Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dealing with Light Pollution

Shooting in mixed light at night creates choices for white balance. Below are a couple choices showing the differences of 1000k. Which one is right? As in most photography the right one is the one that looks right, in this case most natural. We all know the night skbrowy is black but blue also seems to fit into this reality.  If in doubt I choose Auto WB and adjust until the colors look pleasing, a real scientific answer.

WB 5500k
WB 3800

The best solution is to minimize ground light by shooting into a false horizon like a small swale or hiding the points of light with foreground objects.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

History at Night

This historic church was built in 1861 was a great playground for  photography last night. Multiple sources of light were used to create a this image. I had a bright light on the church, Sandi lit the crucifix, and the clouds reflected city lights. The fun of night photography is finding a subject in the dark. It was a perfect night to be out, more images to come.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A little late

I decided to photograph cactus flowers this summer. My first opportunity was at Louisville Swamp near Shakopee on July 4th weekend. I wasn't happy with the results. A couple weeks ago I went to Gneiss Outcrops near Granite Falls for prickly pear flowers. It was 90+ degrees, humid and I found something like this. Yesterday I was out and was only 88 degrees, still no flowers.  What am I doing wrong? After two frustrating visits I decided to research images like this on Google. This is the fruit not the bud, going back a third time will not result in my flower image.

Lesson: Next time I'll do some research before hand instead of afterward. On a positive note, Granite Falls has a great Dairy Queen where a salted caramel truffle Blizzard will restore you after your walk among the rocks.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Storm Chasing

I was chasing the weather Saturday hoping for some good storm time-lapse sequences. While waiting for a sequence to record the iPhone came in handy to catch some still shots of the clouds. I'm still learning storm time-lapsing technique so the morning was otherwise a little disappointing. For the ultimate storm chasing experience and the source of my inspiration check: Vorticity

Technical: This was taken on the iPhone with Procamera8 app and processed with its HDR app.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Watchful Eye

I thought Canada geese goslings were eating machines but watching these cygnets put the geese to shame with their blinding speed grabbing and gobbling grass (probably rice) on Crex Meadows. It's no surprise when you think they must be ready to migrate just a few months after hatching. Mother (?) was carefully watching me as the youngsters foraged.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

High Water

While crossing the St. Croix last weekend I noticed police officers and spectators on each side of the bridge. I pulled into the canoe landing and saw the river almost touching the bottom of the bridge. On Crex Meadows ponds and lakes also were filled almost to capacity . This photo was made with one leg of the tripod resting on the asphalt.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mornng Mood

Cool colors and light, early morning fog: What more could you ask for? As the sun was rising I raced to the west side of Namekagon Barrens to catch it and the back lit bushes.  Landscape photography is an intense race to the best location in quickly changing light all with the goal of creating a calm, peaceful scene.

Technical: HDR technique with blending in Lightroom

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sunrise Web

Spider webs were motionless as the sun rose through the ground fog. This web caught my attention and was motionless long enough to get images for HDR processing. My imagination tells me the sun will soon be dropping into the web basket.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Almost in time

I had a brief opportunity to record the milky way this weekend.  I set the alarm and arrived at Namekagon Barrens just as nautical twilight was starting, hence the blue sky. The beauty of Namekagon is the ground fog that obscures light pollution for cities along the 35W corridor. I was a little late, as the sky brightened the milky way faded with a few minutes. Always a next time...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Prairie Headstand

The choice for these Turk's cap lilies was a background of green or blue. Green was an easy shot from the knees. Blue meant getting low which took some flexibility and effort, a perfect excuse for a reward at the DQ on the way home.

Technical: fill flash at -2 stops, on camera flash Sony RX10ii

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The end of the day

I went storm chasing last night with my cell phone radar app hoping to record thunder heads boiling with timelapse. When it became clear that was not to be the case I headed east looking for a rainbow. No luck with that either but it was getting late and the eastern sky had some decent clouds. Suddenly I noticed a planted prairie under the developing clouds. I did 20 minutes of time lapse as the sun was setting and then worked the clouds with HDR settings.  This is not what I had envisioned leaving the house 3 hours earlier.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Food for Flies

I found myself getting frustrated trying to get a picture perfect lily last week. When I looked closely these flies were the villains. When I thought about it later, maybe the lily was there for the flies and not my perfect image. Another reminder for me to photograph what I see instead of what I wish was in front of the lens.

Friday, July 8, 2016

One or Two?

The choice for today's blog is a single lily with its reflection or a pair of lilies pushing through a sea of green   A lot is made of shooting odd numbers in photo competitions but there is also a place for even numbers, especially pairs. They can tell a story and create a connection to the subject whereas odd numbers seem more clinical. Wildlife photography showing two animals, especially different species, usually tells a better story than a single animal. The next time you are making choices think about the story. Have fun!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Struggling Pair

I spent a long time with just a couple wood lilies trying to capture the various emotions I was seeing. I fell back on my 10-22 wide angle zoom for most of the images, changing focal length and camera position. I see the pair winning the struggle, stretching above the background competition in this composition.

Technical: red slightly desaturated 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Roadside Beauty

I spent a couple days at Fish Lake Wildlife Area over the weekend after missing last summer's flowers due to a health problem. It was invigorating to return and the absence helped me recharge creatively.  Photographing these wood lilies interspersed with non-native crown vetch made it easier to cope with the hovering, occasionally biting flies.

Technical: sky exposure reduced using -1.5 stop graduated ND filter in Lightroom