Tag Archives: National Park

Spiral in fall – Three years of patience

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.

Spiral in fall

Award winning – Photographic Artist of the year 2014!!!

Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) holds image competition, called Image Salon every year. This year, the winners were announced in Winnipeg in May. Trophies are awarded to 4 categories including Portrait, commercial, wedding photographer and photographic artist. Winners have to achieve high quality images from all technical and artistic view point of photography for all 4 submissions.

And…..I am a winner of Photographic artist of the year. This is exiting. I received a magazine, yesterday, from PPOC、carrying  an article featuring the 4 winners. Please take a look the article. I mentioned about my attitude toward landscape and portrait photography, and how I found my styles of horse images.

Scan-140711-0001

I should’ve written about the award earlier, but the reason is I did not have good a selphie. I knew this magazine is coming so I waited a photo of myself taken by a professional. I like photograph people, but no way myself! However, I would like to photograph trophies made of acrylic. This is challenging. I will post how it goes. Following is the winning images.

Please click images for large sizes

Sunrise on the Abraham Lake

Sunrise on Abraham lake

 

Touching You, Touching Me

Touching you, Touching me

 

Floating Root

 

Lights on Green

Lights on Green

It is not “beautiful” sunset but… – Overlapping Memories

As I mentioned before I sometimes have precise vision of final image before I press a shutter button at the scene, but also I often just capture a scenery without particular idea of final image. Occasionally, images are just only “beautiful” and did not speak to me regardless of how process the image, but occasionally my imagination grows while I am editing the image.

This is one of the such type of my photos. I took this photo in Jasper last year. I was shooting sunset on the mountains and reflection. While I was waiting for the sky turned to beautiful orange, this scene came to my eyes from the position I stood to different angle. I changed to long distance lens and took some shots. Even I did not use a tripod for this image.

I edited the “beautiful” sunset shot but it did not speak to me even though I took hours for processing. Then I looked at this image. It somehow appealed to me. Although I needed some trials and errors before I got an idea of editing map to the final image, I like this image much better than the sunset image….maybe because this reflect my personality? The sunset image is staying in a hard drive; this image was exhibited at my Wabi-sabi wanderlust show in February and sold.

 

Overlapping Memories

 

By the way, I am on process of rebuilding my business and my business name will be changed to Wide Bright Sun photography from Wide Bright Pass Photography. I hope I can announce my new web site before long.

 

Black and White conversion to the image “Island” (3) – Technique from wet darkroom

In my last blog, each parts of the image were looked after and vignetting was applied. It is getting close to what I imagined. But I felt the island, the woods at the center, was somewhat still weak as a main subject. So I need to spice up a little bit. I used “Curve” layers to modify contrast and brightness. But it did not give delicate control over the intricate patterns of the woods. So I used a different technique.

Before showing the process, please allow me to talk about a little bit about conventional dark room process. In darkroom processing, can contrast be adjusted LOCALLY, like I did in my previous post? Originally, contrast was determined by a GRADE of the paper (#1 to 5, #1 is lowest contrast and #5 is highest) so the contrast can’t be adjusted locally. Then Multigrade paper was developed. With the MG paper, contrast was determined by different density of filters, placed between enlarging lens and the paper. The darker filter, the more contrast. By applying different density of the filter to particular part of the image, contrast can be adjusted locally. This is same as I have done in my previous post. As a more advanced technique, different densities of filters are applied to the SAME part. The principle of enlargement is same as shooting with a camera. It requires certain exposure time; it is just longer than shooting. Now please imagine you need 30sec to get proper exposure to a particular part of the image. With a moderate contrast filter, you get a result with lack of punch. Now, you need more contrast but you don’t want to lose gradation of the tone. So what you can do is divide the exposure time (30 sec) to different filters. E.g, High contrast filter for 8sec, medium one for 15 sec and low contrast one for 7 sec to preserve the gradation. I use this technique for the wood part in digital processing.

Step 1. Create a mask on the woods as precise as possible.

Untitled-1

 Step 2. Create a Curve layer for high contrast. Please take a look a curve and the image below.

Untitled-2Untitled-3-2

Step 3.  Create a Curve layer for low contrast.    

Untitled-4Untitled-5-2

Step 4. Change opacity of the each curve layer. The high contrast curve adds edges of lines but it will sacrifice tonal gradation. The low contrast will recover the tonal gradation. I find this technique is effective to clouds or hair.

Untitled-6Untitled-7

It is done. I saw bluish toning would suit this image so I added selenium toning by Nik SilverEfex. This is finally competed image.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Related posts:

 

Black and White conversion to the image “Island” (2)

In the last post, my photo, “Island” was converted to B&W by B&W conversion software, TrueGrain. This time, I will share how I edited the converted image. As I mentioned in the previous post, my inner vision I imagined was that the woods at the center was floating in the air, like floating Island. Now I have to make changes to achieve the concept.

At first, short grasses are growing around the island. I brightened this area to separate from the outer part (photo 1).  By the way, I used “Curve” layers of Photoshop for this type of changes.

Photo 1

Photo 1

Next, I looked at the forest at the other side of the river. The forest on right side of the island is brighter than left one so I darken the right side to make even (photo 2). It is a subtle change.

photo 2

photo 2

Then although the river is visible, it is too white and not noticeable. So I darkened the river (photo 3).

Untitled-3

Although the Island is main subject (center of interest) in this photo, the summits of the mountains are also an important element since they are acting as a complement of the main subject. So I wanted to enhance the edge (snow line) of the mountains. In this case, the brightness of the snow line was kept at same level, and the rocky aprt around the snow line was darkened (photo 4). It is subtle change but it is significant on print.

photo 4

photo 4

 Lastly, a tree was too white so it was darkened.

Let’s leave dodging and burning process at this point and see what will happen if I apply vignetting (Darkening or whiting corners). Before this process, I usually crop an image to appropriate composition and aspect ratio. For portrait works, I often use automatic vignetting tool equipped in Adobe Lightroom or Nik Color efex. But for landscapes, especially this case, I manually added vinetting. This is the original just after cropped.

L1050414-2 HP5 cropped copy

1.       Left bottom corner.

2.       Right bottom corner.

3.       Right top corner.

4.       I felt still not quite effective, so I darkened about 1/12 of the entire image from top edge.

5.       I see texture on a mountain on the left side. I Do Not want to see the detail. So the area was whitened.

6.       More vinetting on right top corner.

7.       Then mild vignetting was applied at all corners by Nik Color Efex to add retro mood.

8.       Still I did not see the impact of my inner vision so I added gradual neutral density digitally to darken the sky. Vignetting looks okay now. This is the result.

L1050414-2 HP5 cropped copy 08

Hmmm…it is getting closer but I still the Island is not standing out as I imagine.

So I tried another trick. It will be next time.  Stay Tuned.

Related posts

A swamp in Banff

When I went Bow lake mentioned in my previous blog, it was snowing, but next day, I could see stars in the morning. I woke up at 04:30 AM and drove up to the location I had found the day before. I wanted to try a new location in Banff. In Banff, Vermilion lake is the most photographed location by photographers. But I have found that many other places have potentials. Banff may be my hit this year.

Swamp in Banff by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Swamp in Banff by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Please click the image for larger size.

This photo is HDR image.  It looks still natural, doesn’t it? I used Oloneo HDRengine for this image.

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.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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?