Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mikes New Hog Detail 01 Mar 24 2012.jpg

High Dynamic Range photography loves gleaming chrome just as much as gleaming chrome loves HDR.

Wing Tip to Wing Tip 01 Mar 21 2012.jpg

Viewed in isolation Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city. Culturally diverse, Olympic host, vibrant metropolitan centers, etc. Viewed through the eyes of two golden eagles flying wing tip to wing tip over English Bay however it's a city that is still north of Washnington State and a great source of fresh salmon. Mmmmm ... sushi.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lenticular Cloud 01 Mar 15 2012 Vancouver..jpg

Here's a nice shot of a lenticular cloud hovering over greater Vancouver on March 15th 2012 5:00 PM. This HDR processed shot was taken during the transit of a mini-high pressure system which was caught between this morning's low pressure cell of rain and snow and tomorrow's low of (hopefully) just rain. This cloud type is quite rare and lasted roughly 30 minutes with several smaller lenticulars appearing west of the city. Seeing one of these cloud types is pretty much up there with seeing a large whale (killer, blue or grey) in the waters of English Bay (which happens more often than you'd think).

Lenticular clouds form near the base of mountain ranges when the conditions are just right and today they were. With the BC coastal mountains at my back this beauty appeared. Oh yeah.

Mother nature - the true artist.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Ghost Islands Mar 08 2012 Now You Dont.jpg

An hour later the islands are just barely visible in the mists. I wonder if, in 20 years, they will return or will this new view become more common as the climate changes. My guess is that I'll see them again sooner rather than later.

Ghost Islands Mar 08 2012 Now You See Em.jpg

Roughly 80 km north west of downtown Vancouver, as the eagle flies, are the islands of Lasqueti and Texada. Snuggled inbetween the BC mainland and Vancouver Island these islands are, in my 20 years of watching sunsets, never visible from Vancouver. Yesterday around 5:30 pm, as another golden sunset built it's colorful momentum, for the first time I spotted the islands.

It was wierd.

For a time my mind refused to accept the fact that I was able to see a whole new strip of land off in the distance. It was like flipping between two visual realities. Once I'd got the islands in my camera's view finder (200mm telephoto zoom lense for the win) the islands 'snapped into reality. An hour later they were .... 'gone'. (See next image.)

Reminds me of the old wives tale of how, when Christopher Columbus and his three ships neared the coast of what eventually became Cuba the natives could not 'see' the ships. The technology Columbus had used to navigate from Europe to their home island was so outside of their experiential and cultural frameworks that their minds eye could not process the view and didn't 'see' the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria until they layed anchor off shore.

Food for thought for us photographers. You might not see the whole picture until you sit back and make the effort to really see it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Power Sunset 02 Kits Beach Mar 06 2012 HDR.jpg

Here's the same moment same HDR and post production tweaks but zoomed back to show more of the zenth light. The soft sister of black's color of blue. The rare air.

Power Sunset 01 Kits Beach Mar 06 2012 HDR

I got home about 6:30 yesterday and this was the view from my living room. .... I love my apartment. :)

Needless to say dinner became secondary to the need to shoot a sequence of 4 HDR images of this power sunset. This one being 01. Nature truley is the artist.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Flock of Fire Dragons 03 Feb 22 2012.

The third in the Fire Dragon series. A classic sunset over English Bay Vancouver on Feb 22 2012 that, thanks to HDR, suggest a flock of Fire Dragons chasing the setting sun. Hey ... I'm just the photographer. :)

Fire Dragons 04 Feb 22 2012 With Dark Dragons in Tow HDR

The fourth in the my Fire Dragon series. High Dynamic Range has shown me how much happens that I don't see directly but my peripheral vision does. In fact my HDR workflow is very reminiscent of my days as a kid playing in the darkroom I'd built in my family's basement (in two homes no less). Waiting for the true image to emerge from the exposed paper I was shuffling around in the tray of developer fluid (developer -> stop -> fixer = 3 trays) while in the magical red light of the darkroom has permanently stuck with me. With HDR the feeling (but not the smells LOL) of anticipation is very much back but in a ... wierd digital way. I also love that my go-to piece of photo management software is called Lightroom. :)