morning

Osprey at Lake Martin

During my visit to The Gulf States Camera Club Council Convention last week, I was able to take a boat tour of Lake Martin.  On the particular morning I did the tour, it was pretty chilly...around 50 degrees or so.  Due to the chill we didn't see any gators, but we did see several species of birds that hang out at the lake.

One of those birds was this Osprey.  He had just caught a bass and was sitting in the sun feasting.  This Osprey was probably the best lit bird of the morning.  It was front lit and in plenty of morning light.  Most of the other birds were in dimly lit areas so I was excited to get some good light on a bird!

Aperture-priority, 1/1,000 sec, f/8, ISO 250, Compensation: -1/3

I used my Nikon D500 and Tamron 100-400 F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens to capture this image.  Since I was on a boat with several other people and there was no room for a tripod or monopod, I relied on the VC of the lens to help with any movement from either me or the boat.

Folly Beach Long Exposure

Sticking with the Folly Beach theme from yesterday...

After sunrise we stuck around for a bit and I got the chance to try out my new 16 stop Firecrest ND filter by Formatt Hitech.  Although I had ordered this and the mounting system for it some time ago, I really hadn't gotten much of a chance to try it out yet.

What a better place than the ocean?  It seems water, especially moving back and forth water, goes very well with longer exposures.  It creates a very surreal look that everyone seems to like.

ISO 400, 51mm, F/8 @ 4 Minutes and 6 seconds

This exposure was over 4 minutes long.  If you think waiting on a 30 second exposure is long, try a 4 or 5 minute one!

I used my Sony A7R, Metabones adapter and Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Lens.  Of course the ND Filter was the new Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 stop ND.  All of this was resting atop my Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT tripod.

I also processed the image in Lightroom and On1's Perfect Black and White.

Smoky Mountain Dew

So, it's been a LONG time since you've heard from me.  I've had quite a few things keeping me from posting lately, but mostly the lack of a computer.  I ordered a new computer, then when it arrived it had a few issues, so I had to send it back for a replacement...which took about 2 weeks.  So, now I'm back in action with a brand new computer!

A week or so ago I met up with some long time friends for a quick run up to The Smoky Mountains for a half day photo fix.  These trips are always a ton of fun and always produce good photos from everyone involved.

We spent the hours before, during and after sunrise at Cades Cove.  We were treated to a pair of whitetails and a family of bears within our first 15 minutes once we got in the cove.  It was a very cool morning.  I'm saving bear photos for later...today I wanted to share with you a dew covered spiderweb.  In Cades Cove during the late summer, these things can be found literally everywhere.  So, you get to spend time picking the one with the best pattern, the best backgrounds, the best dew...you get the idea.

On this morning I found one with a very nice pattern, nice dew, I found a undistracting background and this one even had prisoners.  Bonus!

This image was taken with my Sony A7R and Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  You can't take these macro shots at this time of day without a tripod, and I used my new Abeo Plus 323CT for this shot.  I shot this in Aperture Priority at F/8 to blur the background into soft, creamy nothingness.  Also, I had my ISO boosted a bit to 400, which resulted in a shutter speed of 1/50th.  I pushed and pulled a few sliders in Lightroom and this is what came out.

 

Don't overlook the details

During my Smokies Workshop a few weeks ago, while we were waiting on sunrise, or driving around looking for wildlife, I noticed several things that would make fantastic macro images.

I wanted to share a few of the images with you and remind you not to miss the forest for the trees, as they say.  Even though I was there to shoot grand landscape style images, I was on the lookout for these little details.  

When I saw that the morning dew had covered everything in sight, then I had to get the macro lens out and take a stab at a few shots.

First it was an attempt at spiderwebs.

This was shot at a very shallow depth of field for a few reasons.  First, I wanted to blur the background to a nice blurred non-distracting background.  Second, I wanted to get those cool out of focus dew drops on the other things in the background.  Lastly, I only wanted to isolate a few of the dew drops to be tack sharp.

This was shot using my Canon 5D Mk II and Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro Lens.  I stopped the lens down to F/4 to get that nice, shallow depth of field.  I shot this in Aperture Priority, so with an ISO of 100, the shutter speed was 1/160th.

Next was the dew covered dandelions.

I did something with this pic that I very seldom do...I cropped it.  I have a good reason, though.  The composition I wanted was so close that it was inside the minimum focusing distance of my lens and I didn't have my extension tubes.  So, I shot the image getting as close as I could and still focus, then cropped to get this composition.

This was shot with the same combo, the Canon 5D MkII and Tamron SP 90mm F/2,8 Di 1:1 Macro Lens.  I increased the F-Stop a bit on this one.  I set it to F/11.  Typically that is an aperture setting that would allow everything to be in focus, however depth of field is directly effected by how close we are to our subject, so even at F/11 I knew the DOF would still be very shallow.  I also shot this in Aperture Priority Mode on my Canon.  I bumped the ISO to 400 to give me a reasonable shutter speed, which was 1/160th.

Next time you are out shooting - whatever it is - don't forget to look all around you.  There may be shots everywhere!