Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More from Rifle Falls

Some more images of the very photogenic Rifle Falls on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains. I posted an image from here before, as well as a a lamentation on water drops on the lens. My photo buddy Dave Peterman told me about this place a few years ago but I never had a chance to visit. Certainly nice and the waterfall works even during the day and not just at sunrise or set.
See also the G+ post on this.

Companions. Buy a print.
Tech data: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16 mm at 11mm, f/22, 1.0s, ISO 200, 4 stop ND + circ. polarizer.
Click for bigger. Image on flickr.

rear view
rear view mirror. Buy a print.
Tech data: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16 mm at 11mm, f/22, 1.0s, ISO 200, 4 stop ND + circ. polarizer
Click for bigger. Image on flickr.

Up front
Up front. Buy a print.
Tech data: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16 mm at 12mm, f/22, 0.8s, ISO 200, 4 stop ND + circ. polarizer
Click for bigger. Image on flickr.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Shoshoni slide

Shoshoni peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness as seen from the tarn below Isabelle glacier. I like the shape of the fan. Taken on a recent hike up there. This is one of the string of peaks named after native American tribes.

Shoshoni slide
Shoshoni slide. Buy a print.
Boring tech: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, f/10, 1/50s, ISO 200, circular polarizer.

Click image for bigger. Image on flickr. G+ post.

Perils of photographing a waterfall

The image I posted yesterday needed some cleanup. The misting was so strong that within a few seconds, my filters would be covered in drops. Too fast to prevent by working fast, so I knew that digital tools would have to be involved in rescuing the images.

Right: Before extensive Photoshop spot healing tool work
Left: After

I had lots of trouble with drops on the filters as the below image will make very clear:

Amazing what is visible at 11mm and f/22. Obviously that image is a total loss apart from the novelty of showing it here. The dark corners are due to the stacked ND and polarizer and are visible when zoomed out all the way to 11mm on the Tokina 11-16mm and largely disappear when I apply lens distortion correction in Lightroom and crop a little. The price of stacking filters on a ultrawide lens I guess.

Monday, June 25, 2012


A rainbow forms in the mist sprayed by Rifle Falls in Rifle Falls State Park on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains. A nice place to visit and camp in the walk-in tentsites (which are spectacular especially with kids - I don't understand why people like camping in movable homes). The falls are an easy walk from the walk-in tentsites either through a nice trail with lots of wild turkeys or over the dirt road. The falls themselves are overdeveloped and overvisited but very pretty and nice and cool on a record heat day in Colorado. Certainly a far cry from all the wildfires in the state at the moment. My heart goes out to all those affected. I'll post more later.

Falls. Buy a print.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11 mm, f/16, 0.4s, ISO 200, circular polarizer and 4 stop ND filter to slow down the water.
Click for bigger. Same image on flickr. Same on G+.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stormy fall

This is a waterfall just above Lake Isabelle in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I was out on a hike with friends that only went to Lake Isabelle and I continued on to the glacier which would have been a little much for my companions. I showed the map profile to my hike in a previous post already. This was the wrong time of day for good light but nevertheless, some clouds came in and provided some extra interest.

A storm brewing
A storm brewing. Buy a print. Click photo for bigger on my smugmug site.
Photo data: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16 mm at 13 mm, f/16, 0.5 s, ISO 200, 4 stop ND + polarizer.
Image on flickr. Image on Google+.

You can barely see Navajo peak peeking out above the falls. Above Lake Isabelle, the landscape is just teeming with Marmots. I must have seen more than 20 or so. I took a picture of one with my phone:

Marmot peaks
Post on Google+

They are quite funny.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Map module - anatomy of a hike

Just wanted to remark that I really like the new Map module in Lightroom 4. On an outing, what I do is use my iPhone with MotionX-GPS to generate a track log and then import that track into Lightroom. Then I just automatically tag all images I shot that time. Below is for example the Lightroom Map view this Tuesday afternoon's hike up to Isabelle Glacier from Brainard Lake in the Indian Peaks.

Click for bigger.
There will be some actual images from this place later.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


The lighthouse. Buy a print.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 at 20 mm, f/11, 1/500s (Sunny 16 rule), ISO 200
Image on flickr. Image in a Google+ post.

This is an interpretation of the funny tiny lighthouse at the end of the stretchdam in the Volendam harbor.
For context on the photoshopping of this image see yesterday's blog post.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Ethics of Editing

The lighthouse - left: artist's interpretation, right: original view.

The above shows a small project I was working on. It is a picture of the lighthouse on the wavebreaker at the tip of the harbour of Volendam. In the distance you can see Marken and a ferry boat heading for the Volendam harbour. When I took the picture I was struck by the stark symmetry of the stones and the lighthouse but couldn't do anything about the ugly steel and wood structure on the right hand side. So I photoshopped them away to see what it looks like without that structure. My Photoshop skills are not superb so this is not perfect but it clearly gives an impression. It's no Gursky (who extremely heavily edits his images to the point of complete fantasy) but I like the increased starkness. The right hand side of the above image shows the image without the editing. While a nice illustration, I remain ambivalent about such editing. Interestingly, while I was doing my cloning, Google Reader popped up the latest article on the Luminous Landscape by Peter Eastway. The article describes how the image was taken from a dull landscape to a sunbathed glowing hillscape. The sunspot on the nearby hill in that image is completely Photoshopped in. It never existed. The description of the treatment mirrors earlier ones on a castle in Italy and a rock formation in Australia. Especially the latter one makes me uncomfortable as the image never happened at the same moment. The sunlit rock is from a different image than the dramatic clouds. While it makes me uncomfortable, you can't argue with results. Eastway's images are quite dramatic and spectacular. Gursky's pictures sell for millions of dollars. So perhaps my ambivalence is holding me back. In the end the art is in making the artist's vision come out. This doesn't have to be limited by the drab reality of the conditions that were present at the moment of the taking of the picture. Most photographers will edit out jet contrails or overhead powerlines. At what point does this go over the line?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Swans

Two Swans with young (pulletjes) in a polder near Ouderkerk The Netherlands. Taken on a quick bike ride with my mother.

The swans
The Swans. Buy a print.

Tech Data: Nikon D300, Nikkor 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 at 45mm, f/9.0, 1/200s, ISO 200
Image on flickr. Google+ post.