03 November 2017

Here Comes Winter

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Winter is quickly approaching in Eastern Iowa.  The leaves have fallen, and the land is fading to dull shades of brown.  Yet the skies can still surprise with a vibrant display of color!  It was overcast most of the evening, then the low clouds cleared right as the sun met the horizon, illuminating the underside of the higher-altitude clouds above.

I just got a new general-purpose zoom lens, and this was the perfect opportunity to test out the 24-70mm focal length range.  I've been missing a general-purpose zoom from my kit ever since I moved to a full-frame camera. It's nice to have a lens ready for spontaneous scenarios such as this.

These small trees in my neighborhood were the only thing remotely interesting I could find given the limited time available. I was laying on the grass shooting upwards to avoid the houses, street lights, signs, and other unattractive clutter in a Midwestern neighborhood.  Using a wide angle let me get close to the trees and keep a large section of the sky in the frame.  I moved around on the ground to center the trees in front of the luminous clouds.


Canon EOS 5DS + Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS
24mm, f/6.3, 1/25s, ISO 200

 Click to see a larger copy

 Click to see a larger copy

09 October 2017

Portfolio Image - Marquette Harbor Lighthouse

 Link to larger photo

I recently traveled to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a fall photography trip.  Unfortunately I was about 1-2 weeks ahead of peak color (the leaves in the Northern Midwest are late this year).  I stayed three nights in Munising, MI, and was surprised at the extensive selection of lighthouses, waterfalls, and coastal nooks within an hour drive.  I will definitely be returning to the UP for more photo trips!

I heard about this location while talking to a local photographer. I woke up extra early to make the hour drive to Marquette. The sunrise was spectacular! I wish I had scouted the location previously though, because it was hard to find a great composition. I was literally running around in the sand with my camera and tripod trying to find the best composition. This shot was taken from a lifeguard tower.  35mm from my 16-35mm F4L. Two exposures (one for the sky, another for everything else) individually processed and manually combined in Photoshop, and then cropped to emphasize the lighthouse.

14 September 2017

Autumn Deere Statue

Fall colors are already appearing in Eastern Iowa.  I finally decided to photograph the statue in front of my workplace.

10 August 2017

BRZ at Night

My car is one of my favorite subjects.  Not only because I like the way it looks and drives.  But there aren't many other large and interesting foreground subjects that I can freely position to suit my composition.

For this shot, I was experimenting with light painting (using the screen on my phone) and long exposures.  I went to the local park well after sunset, and took dozens of shots.  It was trial and error to get the right amount of light combined with a smooth reflection on the side of the car (from me walking with my phone screen reflecting off the car).

The final result is the result of merging three images in Photoshop.  The sky is from one frame, while the foreground, wheels, and car combine elements from two of the light painting exposures.