misterx: (Default)
The batch from the tunnel didn't work out due to a lack of bright data (I really did need the tripod after all) but I think I've got the hang of it now with properly exposed photos and the newer software. The photos show some differences due to variations in the settings... I'm still deciding what I want these things to look like.

HDRI = High Dynamic Range Imagery. Take multiple photos of a wide contrast scene, varying the exposure up and down to capture the full range of data available. Using special software, you combine the images, and use tone-mapping to convert the scene-wide contrast into "micro-contrast". This compresses the tonal range a bit, and enables details that would have been lost to come through.

Here's some images I made a couple years back to explain it...
http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/miscimg/hdr1.jpg (3 exposures)
http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/miscimg/hdr2.jpg (result)

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misterx: (Default)
It seems the 5d Mark II is slightly less infrared sensitive than the Mark I, but with suitably long exposures I was still able to get some IR magic. Usually I convert IR to monochrome, but for some reason I was really digging on the hues the filter was producing, so I desaturated them a bit and went with it.

Results are below... note that these pics seem to have a hotspot near the center. I believe this was due to a smudge on the back of the lens. I didn't notice the hotspot until I downloaded, and went searching for the cause. Nice greasy smudge, near dead center on the rear glass. Can anyone confirm this can cause a hotspot in long exposures?

No idea how I managed that one... I am so careful. Alas. Anyway, I'll retest, sans-smudge, soon. The trees look excessively fuzzy because it was windy, and these were 6-15 second exposures.

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This past weekend I took Lorelei, Hannah and Storm up to Roan Mountain. We had intended to head to Cloudland but the gate was closed. We instead parked and went up into the balds of Carver's Gap. In the summertime this would probably be a low meadow full of Queen Anne's Lace, but now everything is dry and dead and flat. The Queen Anne's Lace stems have turned stark white, and are all bent in the same direction by the wind. They looked like the bones of a forgotten, spindley alien. I liked the stark white contrast against the darker trees and rocks.

While down at ground level, I also shot this silhouette-ish shot of the weeds against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

misterx: (Default)
Melanie has pointed out to me that I seem to be in a bit of a depression, and I think she's right. My voices become more internal than external. I have things to say, but I only say them to myself, because they don't seem worth sharing, or because making the words takes what seems like an enormous effort. I find myself killing time until I can sleep.

Over the years though I've developed some coping skills that help me keep a relatively even keel. When things become too difficult, I recognize why, and instead of beating myself up, I try and shift gears a bit. Roll with the punches, so to speak. If I'm not feeling like shooting, don't stress over it. Just shoot less, until the muse comes back. It will and does come back. Sometimes in short guest appearances, sometimes for an extended booking. Whatever. Just roll with it.

Rest assured, behind the scenes, I'm still me, still doing what I do, just not being as vocal about it.

Anyway, just thought I'd post that bit of an update addressing my absence, and also share a few things with you.

One is this article by Ken Rockwell entitled "Your Camera Doesn't Matter". It echoes my own feelings, namely, that it's not the lens, it's the person behind the lens. It's the not the camera, it's what you do with it. Any camera can take great shots, if you use it correctly. That doesn't mean any camera can take any shot. It means that within the limitations of any camera, you can produce good work. Know the limitations and either compensate or work within them. If there are faults, avoid them or exploit them to your advantage (think Holga). A camera's job is to get out of the way of the photographer, and actually this is the reason I have found myself upgrading my cameras each time I have done so. It's not that I can't get the photos, it's that the camera is slowing me down, getting in my way, and if I have the money, I'd rather avoid that. When I can't afford it though, I use what I have, and do what it takes. That's why I ALWAYS used to shoot on tripod, except in the brightest light. Because that is what I had to do to get the quality I wanted.

Anyway, enough rambling, here's the link. Your Camera Doesn't Matter

The second thing I wanted to share is some photos from a trip to Abrams Falls in Bristol TN. I went with fellow photographer Cheryl Dancy from Abingdon VA. We had a good time, despite the VERY slippery trails and ice. I decided to do mostly detail shots this time... I am already quite happy with the wide view shots I have of this fall.

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misterx: (Default)
This fawn showed up in a friend's yard, showing no fear of humans or dogs. Given the many feral dogs in the area, she was sure to be killed, so they brought her in. It was a Friday eve. They tried to get her to eat, but she wouldn't take bottle or solid food. She sipped a little water, that was it. I tried to find a "Save-A-Kid" feeding kit (used for goats) but most of the farm stores were closed, and the one that was open didn't have them. She passed on Sunday.



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[livejournal.com profile] nonspecific and I went out to Blue Hole a weekend or two ago to do some photography and to let her try out a couple of lenses I'm selling. The water was lower than I had ever seen it, and a small cave was accessible off to the right of the middle falls. I had my river sandals on so I made my way past the fall and into the cave. I spent maybe 15 minutes under there, doing shots with and without flash. I literally couldn't feel my feet when I came out, the water was like ice. :)

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