Saturday, November 24, 2012

Narrows reflection

I recently found this image from the Narrows in Zion National Park while going through my Lightroom library. The image is a composite of 9 images to create a very high resolution image and I hadn't noticed while shooting it that I had blown out (i.e. it was overexposed outside of the range of the camera's sensor) the cliff in the back. At the time, Lightroom wasn't able to bring these back to anything resembling nice color so I never bothered stitching the images. However the latest Lightroom versions are far better at this and surprisingly by just dialing back the exposure slider a little on the individual raw files, suddenly a blue sky showed up and detail in the rock appeared. So after some stitching and editing (mostly some dodging and burning) the image below was created that I am very happy with.

Narrow reflection. Buy a print. Image on flickr. Image on facebook. On Google+
High resolution composite from 9 images from Nikon D300, Nikkor 18-55mm at 24 mm, f/16, 0.6s, ISO 200.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The importance of white balance revisited

A little post for all you photographers out there. This is a revisit of an older post that gets a fair amount of hits every month. In the previous post I showed how the white balance setting in your raw converter, whether it is your camera or in software, has an enormous influence on the look and feel of an image. Also, there are many situations that simply confuse your camera's automatic white balance algorithms and so you often cannot trust it. This is especially true in landscape photography done at the edges of the day or in situations where there are deeply saturated colors present. A few days ago, I was photographing the sunset at a lake near my house and my D600, although far better at interpreting white balance correctly than any other camera I have shot with clearly got it wrong as should be evident from the image below.

Click for bigger!
This was shot with a 3-stop graduated ND darkening up the sky. The left image shows what the camera thought of the color balance. It rendered the water weirdly green. The white balance it chose is actually pretty close to a tungsten white balance but with a large green value. It is pretty close to the out-of-camera jpeg as I chose landscape picture style and chose the same profile in Lightroom. second from left is the result of clicking on auto in Lightroom. This gives an interesting result with very blue water. I did not use a Blue/Yellow polarizing filter for this image so this does not correspond to what I saw, but is still an interesting image. Again, the automatic system thinks the white balance is close to that of a tungsten bulb. The right three images are daylight, cloudy, and shade in that order. Those all correspond to the mood of the scene much better and choosing between them comes down to taste I think. In fact I would choose close to "Cloudy" if I were pressed.
I haven't posted this and other images from this sunset yet except for the panorama I posted a few days ago where I actually went for the bluish look that the camera itself selected but will do so soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lightroom 4.3 RC supports retina displays

The just released LR 4.3 RC now supports retina displays (i.e HiDPI) in Develop as well as the minor support that was already there in Library. It's just gorgeous. Aperture already had this support but I prefer Lightroom myself. Check it out in the link above! Lightroom now also fully supports the D600 with camera profiles. Much appreciated!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Standley Lake sunset panorama

Standley Lake sunset. Buy a print. On flickr. On facebook.
Assembled from 6 images Nikon D600, Nikkor 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5 VR at 24 mm, f/16, 1/4s, ISO 100.

Much more to come from this place!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lost dollar aspen

Lost dollar Aspen. Buy a print. On flickr. On facebook. Google +.
High resolution composite assembled from 9 images. Nikon D300, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 at 35mm, f/16, 1/30s, ISO 200.