Blue Hour Alone

Just got back from a much needed week vacation at Schroon Lake in Adirondack, New York.  We have been spending a week up there every Summer for the past four years and my kids love it.  I usually spend a good portion of the time photographing my kids playing on the beach, but always reserve just after dinner for myself.  This is a combination Long Exposure and HDR blended together.   

I usually try to take a photo like this with something such as some rocks or a pier in the water.  Seeing how there was neither, I decided to try a beach chair.  I am pretty happy with the results.

 LE with HDR Blend

LE with HDR Blend



Fireworks and Long Exposures

This years fireworks in Middletown CT had me experimenting again with some longer exposures and trying messing around with my focus while the shutter was open.  Luckily with a longer show, I was able to try over and over on getting this just right and ended up with a few keepers.  Hope you like them.

 Long exposure with focus adjusted while shutter is open.  - Green bow ties

Long exposure with focus adjusted while shutter is open.  - Green bow ties

 Long exposure - Focus adjusted while shutter open - Pink ribbons

Long exposure - Focus adjusted while shutter open - Pink ribbons

 Normal long exposure - Purple Rain

Normal long exposure - Purple Rain



Post Processing Dilemmas

So the other day I posted a photo of Reservoir number 1 in Framingham, Mass.  This was a 7 exposure HDR shot that I processed in Photomatix.  My work flow was the following:

- Import into LR

- Export 7 raw files into Photomatix and process (processed photo goes back to LR)

- Export processed HDR and a few of the other brackets into Photoshop Layers.  Align layers, mask in a few detail areas that I wanted to make sure to keep, Merge layers and save back to LR.

- Make a few minor additional adjustments in LR, such as crop and then Export the JPG file.

This was the result:

 7 Exposure HDR

7 Exposure HDR

Now while I was at this location, I had to pull out my ND filter and of course get a nice long exposure shot.  The sun was going down pretty quickly, so I needed a 2 minute exposure at F8 with ISO 100.  To be honest, I really can't remember if I ended up with my Lee 10 stop Big Stopper on or my 6 stop B+W filter.  I know I started with the Lee but ended up switching because the exposure times were starting to get too long. (I was also freezing my arse off at this point), but based on the sequence of photos and the slight blue color tint, I have to think this was with my Big Stopper.  Anyways, I ended up with this:

 2 minute LE with Lee Big Stopper?

2 minute LE with Lee Big Stopper?

Here is my workflow for this one:

- Import into LR

- Make some slight adjustments to color, sharpening and crop

- Export JPG file

Thats it.  Much more simple because of the filters that I used at time of capture.  So the question is, which one do you prefer?  I really can't decide which one I like better, but I do know, I wish there were some clouds around.

 

Lighting with kids

Been experimenting with different lighting effects and poses with my off camera softbox.  Here are two of Fiona with the flash to camera left at 1/32nd power and flash zoom at 35mm.  I've discovered that the chalkboard wall we have in one of the hallways is a great black backdrop, and there is a white closet door to the right of the camera that I am using as a reflector.  Both of these are shot with my Canon 85mm at F2.0, 1/200 and Iso 100.   Learning from my mistakes, which is of course why I am doing this, I probably would have shot at F3.2 or slightly more, just to have a little more in focus.  

 In this one she is looking almost directly at the flash inside my softbox.

In this one she is looking almost directly at the flash inside my softbox.

 I definitely like this one the better of the two.  I worked some frequency separation on this one also to clean up the skin.

I definitely like this one the better of the two.  I worked some frequency separation on this one also to clean up the skin.