Tag Archives: lakes

Sunrise in the Abraham Lake,

I have been going through landscape photos I have taken since 2009. I have to select some images for my upcoming exhibition in February, 2014 and hopefully, I am planning to publish a book at the same time. Then I realized the images I think interesting were taken in bad weather….can be cloudy, raining, snowing or very cold.

When I took this photo, it was warmer day, -6C! But it was windy and cold enough to have made my camera stop working. (I had to keep camera batteries warm and switch them frequently). But when the moment comes like this scene, adrenaline is pumping in, and I just keep clicking a shutter.


Sunrise in the Abraham Lake by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com

Sunrise in the Abraham Lake
by
Hiroaki Kobayashi

I like this photo but I don’t think I will put this one for the exhibition in February. This image is a little too dramatic to meet the title of the gallery show, which is “Wabi-sabi Wanderlust”. The photos at the show will be more melancholic and kind of spiritual. They could be said “Oriental mood”.  More details will be announced. Stay tuned.

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Snowy afternoon in MAY – Bow Lake

I visited Banff, Alberta at the end of May. Unfortunately, I had a very cloudy morning, which is considered to be not ideal for landscape photography. But I believed I still can capture something. Then while I was driving to Lake Louise, snow started hitting the window shield of my car. When I reached to Icefield park way, I found a sign saying “The load is winter condition”. Again it was the end of MAY. Anyway, I decided driving up to Bow Lake, about 30 min drive from Lake, Louise. Snow was getting harder and actually trees covered by snow were pretty beautiful.

When I get to Bow Lake, the lake was re-frozen. obviously, I could not expect big shots. I was walking around the lake shore and looking for something to come to eyes. This photo is the one I found interesting.

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Please click the image for the larger size.

I used TrueGrain for B&W convertion and added structure and toning by Nik Silverefex. I would like to talk about my waorflow for B&W process in the future.

I really think my landscape photos are getting more subtle. How does this photo appeal to you?

A new image form the gallery show

When I publish a new photo, I occasionally feel not sure what kind of responses to the photo I will get from viewers. Currently, my gallery show is going at the Higher Ground cafe in Kensington in Calgary, Alberta. This is the first time to showcase this image takne in Lake O’Hara in Yoho National park, BC in 2012. I was not quite confident since it is a little different from what I have mostly done before. Its mood is so different from my other photos. I guess that is why I was a little anxious to exhibit this photo. However, this image was one of two photos my friends picked as their favorite photos. When reviewing my album, I noticed my style is constantly changing; images from 2012 are somewhat different from 2011 even I traveled to the same places.

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For larger size, please click the photo.

 

Another reason people like this photo would be thye may see quality of the presentation o of the photo. I asked Resolve Photo to print and Framed on Fifth to frame as usual. They do great job.

By the way. the gallery show is going until the end of April. The map to the Higher Ground Cafe is here.

Revisiting Pyramid Lake in Jasper

This place is a super popular location for photographers and I meet some photographer whenever I visited this location. In early October, I don’t have to wake up 6 am to catch sunrise, but, for this location, I have be there by 6:30 to set up a tripod to get a good spot, otherwise it’s been taken.

The reason I kept trying this scene is I have not gotten the image I expect. Last year, it was raining, and this year, it was cloudy. I want to capture beautiful morning glow reflecting on the foggy lake. Well, I have to wait until next year. Having said that, I can still do something in cloudy morning. I knew the sun would come out and the light would hit the mountain so I stayed longer even after another photographer left. I set my infrared camera and filters. I waited for the moment. This is the shot I got.

Pyramid Lake - Infrared

Please click the image for the larger size. I tried a little different composition I usually do; everything line up on center from bottom to top.

Talking about tripod, I bought a new tripod, Gitzo 3541XLS, which is super tall. I can literally make a tent with this tripod. The newer version, 3542 was just released so I got this tripod for bargain price at the Camera Store in Calgary, Alberta. This is great investment since it allows me to raise view point much higher. That makes huge difference in composition. Please check my old blog about disadvantage of lower tripods as well.

Related post: Gallery show at Mount Royal University – Size matters, but be gentle (man)

Film is not dead (3) – Borrowing someone’s eyes

It’s been long time since the last blog. This is the last episode from “Film is not dead” and this time is not quite about film, more toward to a topic about style making . When we had the film development session, Samantha Chrysanthou did not have film to develop so she tried one of my film. I have just picked up the film randomly so I did not know when and where the film was taken.

One morning, while I was JUST photographing the sunrise at lake Louise, Alberta, I saw one guy carrying large tripod and Hasselblad was looking for an open spot. Yes, it was FILM Hassel, one of the most prestigious cameras.  The location was quite busy with photographers. The best time of the morning passed and I started packing my gear. He approached to my spot and IMPATIENTLY waiting for me leaving. Then as soon as I moved my tripod, he set his tripod on the completely same spot and raised it to the same height. I shacked my head. The hundreds of similar images of the location can be found in Google images and more importantly the best moment was long gone. I spoke to myself his Hassey would cry.

So after the film was developed by Sam, I found that the images on the roll were ones I took in Jasper, Alberta last autumn. The trip was hard since I was out of luck of the weather. I visited Pyramid lake in the morning, aiming to shoot the gorgeous sunrise and orange color on the Pyramid mountain but weather quickly turned to gray. I know Photographer’s saying “No bad light”, but also it is true overcastted sky with no cloud pattern is not encouraging. Anyway, I had to change my strategy. Then I was thinking of Sam’s images. Her subtle, soft, calm images with a kind of melancholic feel, rather than gougeous and powerful typical landscapes. That motivated me to try something in the difficult situation. The result is, I think, pretty good. The funny part of this anecdote is Sam herself developed the film accidently.

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Do you see the huge difference in the creative approach between the photographer at the lake Louise and myself. I believe the process of developing creative eyes and learning music is not so different. At first, being interested in someone’s works, then we try the same things but usually did not work. Start pursuing the artist’s works more seriously,…sometimes thoroughly analyze their works. Try at the field again and see the some sort of the achievement . After this long process, the artist’s style blends into own style, becomes own flesh. In my case of Jasper, I used Sam’s influence more consciously. It is not stealing. I call this approach “Borrowing someone’s eyes”. Accepting influences is also important, I think. Mick Jaggar stated that ‘You can’t always get what you want” was inspired by “Hey Jude”. I guess that is cool.

Please visit oopoomoo.com to find Sam’s appealing photos.

Longer than usual – LEE Big Stopper

This time is a kind of the sequel from the last post.  I always take my smart-phone to back county. Not for phone calls obviously, because it is handy when I use LEE – Big Stopper filter. Big Stopper is 10 stop neutral density filter. 3 or 4 steps are commonly used to slow down shutter speed. But it is 10 stops; you can achieve minutes of exposure time! Here is the easy calculation for exposure time.

  • 10 stops is the tenth power of 2 = 1024.
  • So “Exposure time (sec) without Big Stopper” x 1024 = Exposure time with Big stopper.

For example, You have 1/125 of shutter speed before setting up Big Stopper, the final one will be (1/125)x1024=8.192 (sec). When you have 2 sec of shutter speed initially, you will have 2(sec) x 1024=2048(sec), 2048(sec)/60=34.13(min). Savvy! Now I set a timer and read an eBook. That is why I need a smart-phone all the time for the calculation, timer and eBook. One tip is, when you shoot with auto-exposure and Big Stopper is attached to a lens, you may need to compensate exposure to +1.5 to 2.0.

Melancholic - Bow Lake, Alberta

This photo was posted in my last blog post. The Bow lake in Alberta looks really calm in this picture. But in reality, the day was pretty windy and  it looked like the picture below. The 45 sec of exposure totally calmed waves on the lake. Big Stopper adds a tinge of cyan; this may be problematic for some photographers. But I like the cool tone, which often adds ethereal feel to the image.

Here is other examples, shutter speed 30 sec and the bottom one is 3 min.

Kananaskis big sky

Lastly, I should be honest and share my inspiration of the long exposure. Please check out amazing, Michael Levin. Since I saw his works 2 years ago, they have been big influence on my images.

Don’t freeze your camera

On TV, internet, newspaper and everywhere, you see shocking images about Japan since last Friday. I can not describe how I am feeling now but I am feeling depressed even though I am living in one of the safest centuries. But only I can do is do good job for my everyday work and take good photos as much as I can.

So I have not posted landscape photography for quite while. I took this picture about one month ago at Vermilion Lake in Banff, Alberta. If you google vermilion lake and Mt. Rundle, you will find thousands of the similar images. So I have avoided taking pictures there. But it is winter…I may be able to capture some unique images. I arrived at the location around 06:30 in the morning. Vermilion lake has some unfrozen spots due to hot-spring even in a frozen winter. I walked to an steaming unfrozen spot. And Voila! I found footsteps of deer or something leading toward Mt. Rundle. I set up camera and waited sunrise.

However, it did not go perfectly. It was about -20 degree, and when the sun came out on Mt. Rundle, my camera stopped working because it was frozen. I missed the most dramatic moment.

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This image is one of the tests shot before the sunrise but I think it is pretty successful. You can see rays of sun light from the top of the mountain. This is high dynamic range image.