I don’t know why…but I like leaves change more than flower season in spring. Maybe because of my personality? It is like after excitements of the short summer, trees set up climax with the perfect stage effect of yellow leaves. After the drama, long enduring winter is waiting. That’s is the reason I visit Lake O’Hara every year.
I tried this idea of flowing needles for 3 years, and eventually, I got a successful image. I used Lee big stopper neutral density filter and achieved 160 sec of shutter speed.
This time, the article won’t be serious. I found this photo when I was archiving slide film. This photo was taken in 2001 when I was living in Kaploops, British Columbia and travelled to Canadian Rockies. I do remember so many things happened during my trip in 2001, but I totally forgot about the crashed Cessna near Takakkaw falls. I searched on Google and I found the airplane was 180 floatplane crashed around August 19th, 2001.
This photo is just a snap shot. But I got back some other memories with this photo like I left eyeglasses at the camping site after I took picure and I had to go back from hiking for 3 km to get them back, or I injured my knee in Lake O’hara, or a pole of the tent broke at Mt. Edith Cavell and I had to give up camping. I barely made parking lot before sunset. We phographers often have discussions like wether photography is art or how original photography should be. But I sometimes think camera is great visual recording tool, and the snap shots please people years later. That’s aslo powerful.
Another photo from film, but this time is 4×5 color slide. This image was taken at my last autumn trip. When I visisted lake O’Hara, peak of larch trees was a little passed. But I still got some good… actually, some great shots. I will post them in future posts. For this post, I respect the media so I kept the digital processing minimum and only global adjustments were applied. It is nature of slide film. I heard large format sizes of Fuji Velvia had been discountinued in Europe. I hope the supply of the such a legendary film will last longer in Canada.
For nearly one and half years, I have been scanning my film taken from about 20 years ago to current chronologically, and now 4×5 film came to point of my college years in Kamloops about 9 years ago. I tried panoramic photography by my large format camera which allows perfect overlapping of 2 images. Here is how it works.
Since primitive design of the large format camera, its front board shift both orizontally and virtually (like a slide door). With my camera, the amounts of the vertical movement is larger than horizontal one.
So I set up my camera vertically on the tripod, therefore, I could get wider panoramic images. Shift the front board to one side and take a shot.
Then shift the front board to the other side. Since a lens is mounted off center on the lens board, I flip the lens board to get more shift from previous position. And then take another one.
Finally, I merged them with Photoshop CS5. I do not think this photo does not meet my current quality standard. This is just youthful impetuosity.
So am I going to use this technique to obtain panoramic photography? Most likely, not because I own a panorama head now and prices of film have been doubled since 10 years ago. Obviously, Nikon PC lenses or Canon TS lenses are more practical in the digital age. However, if you are interested in large format cameras and taking full advantage of the bellows techniques, I think now is the time. You can find unbelievably cheap ones on eBay. That is another sad reality, though.
This photo was taken in Lake O’Hara, British Columbiain in early September in 2010. I was walking on a trail and I found a beautiful green moss shinning in the morning sun light in a creek. However, I was with some friends heading to a location for the day. So I decided to come back in the evening. Unfortunately, the day turned to cloudy and we had a shower at the evening. But when I came back to the location I found in the morning, the sky was clearing up. I had still time before sunset.
But here was a problem. The creek was running about 3m below the trail. If I had taken Ninja action, I would’ve been able to go down to the creek. Well…now, I’ve got to tell myself…”No, I can not do this. It is not acceptable”. “Staying on trails”, that was clearly stated by a park ranger. It takes long time to recover once natural habitants are damaged. Photographers tend to bend the rule to get unique shots. But it may result in struggling own neck in long run.
Anyway, I kept walking and I came to cross the creek. Then there was a pass along by the creek. Lucky! I can reach to the green moss without stepping over natural vegetation.
Ultra wide Heliar 12mm/f5.6, my fun lens. Lee 0.9 ND filter. This is HDR image. I used PS to develop the HDR image but the outcome was not satisfactory. Then I tried Photometix, and I am quite happy with the result.
Since I have to stay in town for this long weekend in Canada, I am (re)- post processing images for the exhibition at the Western Photo Gallery at the Stampede. These images were taken in Lake O’Hara area last year at the same time, and each image is stitched with 5 images by Photoshop CS5. The first one shows reflection of mountain in the pond. The 2nd one does not show such a static reflection due to wind and wavy surface of the water. But reflection of trees has a more painterly charactor and impressionism kind of feeling. Interestingly, I did not notice this, until comparing the two images side by side, that the top image is more contrasty and more saturated. The top image, itself has a kind of strong character so it may lead me to add more contrast and saturation unconsciously. On the other hand, the bottom image a little more subtle so it may have made me process the image toward more soft side. What does this tell ya? Although we use many techniques to control conditions of light at a scene, the images opened on a computer monitor first time is kind dull. So we take a lot of time to make photos more attractive. To me, it is not different from wet dark room. My point is this process is strongly affected by mood of image as well as one of a photographer at the location and on a computer. It can be consciously or unconsciously. Don’t you think this is really artistic process?
Actually, I am supposed to submit the 2nd image since it is the one accepted by the gallery. I do not know which image I like, more precisely to say I do not know which one appeal to viewers. If you were me, which would you pick? Any comments are appreciated.
Recently, I have been quite busy for the gallery show and post processing for bunch of photos. But here is my cute animal portrait. This friendly pika was taken in my 2nd Lake O’Hara trip with a bunch of camera club members. I hope you like it.
Oh, one thing I can mention. Do not trust auto focus for these situation. Rather than chasing a target with auto focus, waiting an animal to come into a frame tends to result in more successful shots, in my experience.
This time I tried infrared photos for urban photography, and the result is pretty good, I guess. The day I took was nice sunny day and a lot of lights, so this photo was taken for a handheld. The top photo is taken by the same camera, converted by Lightroom with “B&W orange filter”. The bottom one is infrared. I adjusted contrast.
B&W orange filter - Vancouver
New years day of Vancouver - Infrered
Infrared one has very dramatic sky. On the other hand, buildings of the regular B&W show more details.
I am not surprised if someone said he or she does not like infrared photography. It is fun to play with. IR photography characteristically achieves high contrast and dramatic images. But it is not magic tool. There are suitable subjects and light conditions for IR photography. Sunny day lights and interesting cloud patterns do not go wrong most of the times.
This is the photo I took in lake O’Hara in early September. It was my first snow this year. I do not take botany photography since my camera is not capable to take macro lenses. But still I take pictures of flowers. I think that this image of mine is more like landscape photography rather than botany.
Western Anemone - Lake O'Hara
Now I am waiting for ice and snow covering mountains.
Surprisingly, I achieved one-two finish in the foothills camera club monochrome competition. Although it is the competition by a local camera club, it makes me feel good.
The B&W image is the last shot on my lake O’hara trip at the end of September. After 3 days of rainy days, eventually, I got a blue sky… it was a beautiful blue sky….boring blue sky…I need some cloud patterns! I guess photographers are kinds of species who are never blessed. Anyway, while I was hiking up to the Opabin circuit, I found this location. But the sun was already up high. I took some pictures but they are not even close to “okay”.
You know I mean…the blue sky is boring. This is a HDR image and I used LEE Big Stopper filter to calm the wavy water. But I failed to bring punch in the image.
I took whole day in the Opabin circuit until the sun disappeared. It was around 05:20 pm. The last bus to a parking lot is 06:30 pm. I rushed to the camping site because I left my tent and I had to pack it up. When came back to the location where I found in the morning, It was breath-taking…nice side light, mirror-clear surface of the water, now some cloud in the sky. I spoke to myself “which photographer misses this shot”. I quickly set up my tripod and camera, and took 5 color images, then took other 2 shots with infrared set up.
I think I was lucky…only 7 shots for about 10 min from setting up to leaving the location, and I got this gorgeous image. What I learned from this experience? …COME BACK LATER…light is more ideal in evenings, and usually you can expect some clouds near the horizon. I will talk about the patient part next time.