Friday, September 11, 2009

Napping Beside A Creek

Finally, some fresh material.

Friday is my usual day off and after delivering some wedding photos and spending the better part of the morning and a chunk of the early afternoon stripping wallpaper I was able to sneak up to Roaring Run for some outdoor photography work. I spent two and a half hours up there and came back with 11 images. Now that may not seem like a lot of pictures for a long trip, but there's a reason for that.

Photography is a slow hobby, particularly in the landscape category. I like to take my time, climb around a bit and see what there is to see and imagine how I can capture it and take it home with me. I took every opportunity I could to slow down and study what was before me and really try to find the photo I was looking for instead of taking a bunch of photos and hoping I came across one that made me happy.

This time around the slow approach definitely paid off. Not only did it produce great images, but it gave me the chance to try out a new technique of stacking filters. I stacked my ND400x (which my wife finally found for me) on top of my Yellow K2 filter. With my lens closed as tightly as I could and my ISO at 100, I was racking up exposure times between four and five minutes. As the cloud cover deepened I stretched it all the way to ten and eleven minutes. A little tweaking in Photoshop and I've got pictures I'm very proud of.

I used the Canon EF 50mm Macro for my lens of choice, though I did switch to my 28mm wide angle for the second shot. The 50mm gives me a f/stop of 32 and the 28mm only gives me f/22, but I love having the lens closed all the way. I could have opened up and had a shorter exposure with less noise (and therefore less processing) but I had all the time in the world and I love the tremendous depth of field I gain by closing the lens down all the way.

I actually enjoyed the long exposure time. Once or twice I stretched out on a rock, set the alarm on my phone and closed my eyes. Talk about peaceful...the occasional chirping bird against a gurgling Roaring Run Creek...I could have slept there all day. For the final shot of the day I waded out into the creek and took a vertical shot looking upstream. It was worth the cold water and risking the camera to get it and I'll share it with you in tomorrow's post, which may come a bit later in the evening since tomorrow has a full schedule.

Tonight I'm off to nearby Lexington to do a little shopping. We need paint for the dining room and I've got to get an Etch-A-Sketch for my little cousin's birthday. Somewhere in all that running will be a good dinner, I hope.

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