Saturday, January 24, 2015

Glowing wings

Twilight light makes the wings formation in the Bisti Badlands/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in Northern New Mexico glow.

The Wings in the Bisti badlands are glowing in warm twilight light
The Wings in the Bisti badlands are glowing in warm twilight light
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-288mm f/2.8, 21 mm, f/18, 6.0s, ISO 100.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I am very slowly going through my images of White Pocket in the Pariah Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs wilderness where I was last April. Every time I go into those folders in my library I discover new gems. Unfortunately this prevents me from actually getting anywhere as I become too scattered, so I have been taking the approach that I don't even try and just pick one image once in a while that I work on. The below is one such image. This place is full of landscapes and lines such as this at every corner. The colors were really quite amazing this morning. Deep reds, yellows, and pinks all over the place. The below scene really reminded me of veins or marbling. There were many opportunities here for abstracts, but in the end I decided to show some sky here too.

White Pocket, April 2014
Veins. On smugmug. On Flickr. On facebook. On Google+
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28 mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/16, 0.5s, ISO 100

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Dream sunrise

Last week, I went for a sunrise in Rocky Mountain National Park. The original plan was to go for sunrise at Lake Helene or Two Rivers lake to photograph sunrise on Notchtop. However those plans were scuttled due to a miscommunication with the friend that was coming with me. We both thought the other was picking us up. So we arrived too late to get to Helene. Due to this delay, we decided to divert to Dream Lake for sunrise, which you can easily get to in half an hour or so. It looked like it was going to rain and overcast completely. Luckily right at sunrise, an opening in the clouds at the horizon let through a spectacular sunrise.

This is looking back in the direction of the rising sun not long before sunrise. The glow is starting.
Tree near Dream Lake
Ushering Dawn. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 1.6s, ISO 100.

A few minutes later an almost unearthly glow was starting on Hallett peak and Dragon Couloir. There was a strong breeze kicking up waves on the lake which gives the water a smoky appearance.

Dreams of Snakes. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 2.5s, ISO 100.

I also created a horizontal version of this image using another tree trunk as the foreground element.

Smoke on the water, fire in the ... . Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 1s, ISO 100.

A little later, the color got really intense and a few very short breaks in the wind allowed me to compose images that included a reflection. This was really quite spectacular. Very little editing went into these pictures. I did also move back a little bit to get some more quiet water.

The quiet. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 0.8s, ISO 100.

The color was changing rapidly at this point. This image has a somewhat more perfect reflection but the sky was already taking on more blues. The light was fading in and out all the time due to the patchy clouds on the horizon as you can see in the first image above.

Upside Down Dream. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 1.0s, ISO 100.

I also made a portrait version of this. I like both a lot. This one again has more direct light on the peaks compared to the previous shot
Sunrise reflection in Dream Lake, RMNP
Reflection. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 0.4s, ISO 100.

At this point, we moved on to Emerald, Hayiaha, Mills and more. On the way to Emerald. I came across a small strand of Aspen trees that was backlit and really glowed. This is a handheld shot.
Trees near Dream Lake
Trees. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Nikon 24-85mm at 28mm, f/11, 1/25s, ISO 100.

More tk.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Soft rays

I discovered that an earlier photo from the sunrise at Blue Lake (see yesterday's post) has an intriguing atmospheric effect in it. There are some subtle rays visible in the sky that appear to converge onto Mount Toll. Of course they do not actually converge but are parallel lines that appear convergent due to perspective. They look to be caused by light scattering of sunrise light in the high atmosphere that hits higher altitudes moisture before it hits the peak itself.

A picture taken 10 minutes before sunrise. I just noticed it has some rays in the sky opposite to where the sun will rise.
Soft rays. Bigger and prints. On flickr.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 at 17mm, f/16, 6s, ISO 100.

Friday, September 26, 2014

An Equinox sunrise

On the day of the fall equinox, I went to see the sunrise at one of my favorite locations in the front range mountains, Blue Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. My old friend Jean-David joined me. I don't often get to go out with others for these crazy sunrise hikes so this was great. We were greeted at the lake with very little wind, which is something that almost never happens in this place as well a fantastically colorful sunrise. A major treat. I took a series of images at sunrise with the same framing.

This image was taken just before sunrise:

before. Bigger. On flickr.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/16, 2.0s, ISO 100

The moment of sunrise:

The moment. Bigger. On flickr.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/16, 0.5s, ISO 100

Right after sunrise the color was most intense:

Intense. Bigger. On flickr.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/22, 0.6s, ISO 100

I created quite a few more images of this place, including the full 360 degrees panorama shown below. Click and drag to zoom around:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Color management in Safari is broken in Mavericks too.

I've written here about the color management problems with Lightroom on Mavericks before here and here. With the recent release of OS X 10.9.5, color management now appears to work right in Aperture and in iPhoto. However, it is still broken in Safari and preview. This is quite disturbing. Amazingly, both Chrome and Firefox do the color management right. It appears that Safari has built-in code to deal with sRGB tagged images because it treats them differently than any other embedded profile. It ignores the sRGB gamma curve and assumes it is the same as your display gamma profile! Below is a little test link for your pleasure to illustrate the problem. Rollover to switch between adobeRGB and sRGB tagged images. The sRGB image will have the darkest patches blocked completely in Safari. The adobeRGB image is correctly displayed. In Chrome on Mac OS X, since it is color managed, you will see only a very subtle difference due to the gammas being different in adobeRGB and sRGB and there therefore being subtle bit errors but both displays are essentially correct. The same is true for Firefox.

Mouse over to see the problem. Loading the alternate image might take a few seconds. You won't see it unless you are on Mavericks/Yosemite and are using Safari. If the darker patches change brightness, you have the bug.

On a well behaved browser these two images should be close to identical. Safari in Mavericks (I tested 7.1) is no longer well behaved and completely destroys the shadows. It is important to note that is also broken but in a different way. Strangely it does not display black correctly. Aperture and iPhoto do behave correctly as of 10.9.5 but used to be wrong in earlier versions of Mac OS X Mavericks. Photoshop, since it uses its own color management routines, behaves correctly too. Lightroom only behaves correctly in the Library views as I have shown before. In Develop it has the same blocked shadow problem as you see in Safari. This problem is non-existent in 10.8.

Edit: Before any confusion arises, I need to explain the numbers in the images above. The sRGB version of the image shows the values of r,g,and b in the sRGB color space as encoded in the file. The adobeRGB version is the same file, but converted to adobeRGB color space in Photoshop. The numbers are still the r,g,b values of the patches in sRGB space, but the file is simply encoded in adobeRGB. The display should therefore be identical in correctly color managed environments as it is in Photoshop. EDIT:10/17/14. Finally got around to installing Yosemite. Unsurprisingly, this is still broken in Safari like it is in Mavericks and the Webkit nightlies. Unfortunate. Strange that this is not getting picked up as this bug is present on every single Mac that has Mavericks or Yosemite installed. No matter whether it is hardware calibrated or not. Mac OS pre Mavericks did not have this bug.