Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lake Tahoe Storm

Storm over Lake Tahoe
5D Mk IV, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, Lee 10 stop ND filter, f/11, 24mm, 1.6 sec.

A quick trip up to Tahoe this weekend. Trying to decide last minute where we wanted to go, we ended up going to Lake Tahoe. This was my first photographic trip to Tahoe, almost all the images I've seen from there are of a calm beautiful lake with azure waters and boulders strewn about as if thrown in to a swimming pool. With a winter storm on its way in we ended up with just one morning shoot ahead of the storm.

5D Mk IV, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, Lee 10 stop ND filter, f/10, 47mm, 1.3 sec.

With winds blowing and gusting to 15mp or so it was a Challenge just to keep a tripod upright, never mind getting a sharp image with a long exposure, so I had to hold the tripod down against the rocks and try to keep it still while I took my images.


Images In Light

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Exposing for the Mid Tones

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Convict Lake
 5D Mk IV, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS, 1.6 sec, 19mm at f/13
Lee 6 Stop ND filter
Convict Lake, Eastern Sierra

I am always trying to expose for the mid tones, while holding back the histogram from clipping the highlights. This was a pretty bright scene late morning at Convict lake, also very windy. I used the Lee six stop ND filter here to hold back some of the light and allow for the longer exposure on the waves, giving a little motion effect and allowing for some blur on the wave caps.  I used the mid tones on the mountain to expose the image in live view, then pressed AE lock and refocused on the foreground. At f/13, this gave me enough depth of field to make this image work. 

 final histogram

I still needed to pull shadows and highlights in lightroom, but by keeping my histogram in check I was able to pull the needed detail in post and get the most dynamic range out of this scene as I could. Finally I cropped it to a 4:3 aspect ratio, that I like for portrait orientation landscapes.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Using a ND filter for long exposure

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Owens Valley
 5D Mk IV, EF24-70 f/2.8 L  II, f11, 53mm, 30 sec
Processed  in Lightroom for monochrome and split toned.

When imaging a scene with lenticular clouds like this one, I like to use a long exposure to exaggerate their circular rotation. Here I used a Lee 6 stop ND filter to extend the exposure time to 30 sec. Instead of the wispy clouds, I got more of the circular motion of the whole storm system.

This was predawn light, so my original exposure would have been a couple of seconds at f/11, not long enough to get the full range of motion. The below image was a similar exposure taken after the sun came up and the exposure time difference with the same setup was 27.5 seconds, for a 2.5 sec exposure.

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Sunrise before the Storm
5D Mk IV, EF24-70 f/2.8 L  II, f11, 70mm, 2.5 sec

Of course its all a matter of personal taste, I happen to like both, I also have a shot at normal exposure speeds without an ND filter and like those as well. This is just one example of the use of an ND filter and why they should be in every landscape photographers bag.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nikon D810 and AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Sierra Sunrise
Nikon D810 and  AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
170mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO 64

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall Sierra Nevada Trip

Convict Lake
5D Mk IV, EF16-35 f/4 L IS, f/16, 24mm, 1 sec, 6 stop ND filter, ISO 100.
Windy day at Convict Lake 

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Sierra Aspen

5D Mk IV, EF16-35 f/4 L IS, 1/40 sec, f/16, 16mm, ISO 100.
Aspen near BishopCreek

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fleet Week San Francisco

Blue Angles
Number 5 and 6 - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/800, f/5

After Burners
F-22 Raptor - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/800, f/5

Patriots - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/800, f/5

Fleet Week in San Francisco, when a million people descend on the water front to see the Navy bring its ships in, in general a big party, the culmination being the Blue Angles. It really is a pretty good air show, with multiple acrobatic teams and flybys, a PR show for the military and other sponsers like United Airlines, they did a low and slow 747-400 flyby over the Bay.

Its been a while since I shot an air show and with a new camera, I was pretty clumsy, when setting up a new custom setting I forgot to set RAW and shot the first third of the show in jpg, I thought wow, that was a big mistake. However the the 5D Mk IV jpg's are quit nice, the F-22 Raptor and Patriot shot above where shot jpg only and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the new camera produces jpg's out of camera. 

                            Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Angels Race
Angles Race - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/1000, f/5.6

 As usual the Blue Angles put on an incredible show, the sound of their jet engines right over your head is unforgettable. This was my first time shooting the Blue Angles and in the crowd I had to make sure I didn't knock someone out with my big lens as the jets went screaming by and I pivoted to track them.

More Fleet Week images here

More aviation here


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New Gitzo Systematic Tripods

New Systematic tripods from Gitzo.

New design for my favorite light weight tripod, the Mountaineer series 1, 3 section, this is the one I use for backpacking, It is tall enough, light weight and sturdy, I use a medium ball head by Acratech, although the new heads by Gitzo are now Arca Swiss compatible and may be a good solution at last.

The GT1542 offers a good light weight yet sturdy solution for those times you need a little less weight, this system will work for a DSLR or ILC with up to a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. I use it without the center column, by utilizing the ground kit.

I use the Series 3 here for day use and studio with a Kirk BH-1 ball head. The new 3 series now offer the 3/8-16 accessory link system, great for adding a lighting system, video monitor or other accessory. This tripod will hold any lens/camera combination you want.

Mountaineer spec sheet here 

Series 3 here

Buy it here at B and H GT1542

Buy it here at B and H GT3533S

Gitzo site here


Images In Light

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Canon 5D Mk IV field trip

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Little Tahoma
Canon 5D Mk IV, EF 70-200 f/4 L IS, f/7.1, 135mm, 1/5 sec 

So far so good with the 5D Mk IV, finally got to take it out for a shoot, even though the conditions weren't ideal, I made the trip down to Mt Rainier. Though the Mountain wasn't in full view I was treated to some nice views of Little Tahoma, clouds swirled around its peak and I tried out the built in intervoltometer, its nice to have that feature built in now, instead of having to dig in to my bag for my remote. The 30 mp is ideal for the extra room to crop and the dynamic range is really exceptional. It renders black and white very nicely, less artifacts in the sky when you push the blue channel. Clouds are rendered especially well with the new sensor, a great subject to test a camera on.

Images In Light: Seattlescapes &emdash;

Canon 5D Mk IV, EF 70-200 f/4 L IS, f/11, 121mm, 1/80 sec

The shot from Kerry park is one of my favorite places to shoot a cityscape and an excellent place to test a camera, I know it so well I can easily judge a cameras IQ when shooting here. Colors are the same Canon colors I've come to love. The detail in these images is quit amazing.

Lightroom 6.7 was released last week which supports the 5D Mk IV, quick work by Adobe. File sizes are quite large and it does take a bit more time to download from my CF card. However that's not a big issue compared to the whole process.

For both of these images I used Live View with the touch screen controle. Live view is something Canon is very good with and implementing the touch screen feature makes it almost seamless. Metering is as usual, excellent, especially with live view.

Shadow noise is what every one wants to know about, so far I'm very pleased, no more color noise or banding in shadows, noise that does appear after pushing shadows is very fine grained and un-obtrusive. Canon  has done a great job on this new sensor and I'm very pleased with the results so far. Further review of the 5D Mk IV will be upcoming. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sony A99 II

SLR Lounge hands on here

Sony keeps pushing the technological boundaries in the camera world and the A99 II is next. Will they be able to maintain two lines of full frame cameras? only if they both sell well, that would be my only fear with this system. The camera looks very nice, well specked and will make Sony fans very happy. They are leading the technology race, which is great for all of us, it pushes the other camera makers to make improvements. I don't know what we'd do without the likes of Sony and Fuji, my money is on Fuji though, I prefer their lens line up and ergonomics, something Sony is still lacking.

Key Specs:
  • 42.4 mp full frame Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • 79 hybrid cross AF points
  • 12 fps
  • 4D Focus
  • 5 axis stabilization 

DPReview here


Images In Light

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fuji Medium Format GFX 50S

Hotshoe view finder

With Grip

Today Fuji announce the development of their medium format entry, the GFX 50S a 51.4mp, 43.8mm x 32.8mm. Compared to the 36 x 24 of a full frame 35mm camera.

Along with the camera they are dropping 3 lenses: The GF 63mm F2.8 R WR, the GF32-64mm F4R LM WR and the GF 120mm F4 Macro. And later in 2017 the GF23mm F4 R LM WR, the GF110mm F2  and the GF45mm F2.8 R WR.

 GF32-64 f/4R LM WR

Fuji has been in medium format for decades, but this will be their first digital body, they built film bodies and design and build digital lenses for Hasselblad, this is what they are good at and this is what a lot of high end photographers have been waiting for, its rumored to come in well under $10000, thats a lot, but, its a lot less than Phase One and Hasselblad sell for and less the the Pentax 645Z.

Fuji says its an all new sensor, but I think that means its a modified Sony sensor as in the Pentax 645z and the Hasselblad X1D, we'll see soon enough, but it will still be six months until this camera reaches anyone.  And no it's not XTrans, its a standard Bayer sensor.

All of a sudden medium format looks competitive and very interesting. Stay tuned, I will be following this one closely.

Fuji site here 

Fuji interview with DPReview here

DPReview hands on here

More Fuji news here

Images In Light

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Canon EOS M5 announced

 Canon announce the EOS M5, their next iteration of the M series.

Key Specs:
  • 24MP  Sensor
  • 2.36M-dot OLED EVF
  • 1.62M-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Electronic video stabilization combines with in-lens IS to give 5-axis IS
  • 7 fps
  • Wi-Fi with always-connected Bluetooth
  • ISO 100-25600
Big issue for me here is the lack of fast native lenses, if Canon would add those I would get this in a second, it will be a great camera for enthusiasts, I'm sure the images will be great. I can only assume Canon is waiting for the market.

I can't help but be disappointed with this announcement because of the lack of good native lenses, even a third party lens would be helpful here. 

This is where Fuji took the chance and designed a fast Lens lineup and great full featured cameras to go along with them, my money will be invested in an XT-2 and a few of their fast lenses. 

DPReview here


Images In Light

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fall color this year

 Find out where and when to photograph fall color in your part of the country at
They have put together a very interesting interactive map for the whole of the US.


Images In Light

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Recent Black and White Conversions

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Old Man of Storr (BW)

The Old Man of Storr
converted with Capture One Pro

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Horse Tail Falls

Horse Tail Falls, Yosemite National Park
converted with Lightroom

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Rocks

 The Alabama Hills, Eastern Sierra
converted with Lightroom

I am currently trying to asses Capture One Pro to determine if it can replace Lightroom 6, pretty soon Lightroom will be a cloud based subscription model only and I don't want to go that route. I don't want another monthly bill and then end up with nothing to show for it if I stop. Thats where the difference is with Lightroom CC. So far I am liking what I see with Capture one Pro. It may even work better in some ways, I need a little more time with it to see if it would really work with my post flow.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III and EF 24-105 f/4 L IS II

EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III
  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • Three Aspherical & Two UD Elements
  • Subwavelength & Air Sphere Coatings
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Fluorine Coating on Exposed Elements
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm


EF 24-105 f/4 L IS II
  • EF-Mount L-Series Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to 22
  • Four GMo Aspherical Elements
  • Air Sphere Coating
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Zoom Lock Switch; Fluorine Coating
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 10-Blade Diaphragm

Almost lost in today's announcement of the 5D Mk IV, are a redo of two of Canons L series lenses, the EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III and the EF 24-105 f/4 L IS II. The 16-35 being the more interesting lens of the two. This will be Canons third attempt at this super wide formula and I'm guessing they got it right this time.

I have been very happy with my EF 16-35 f/4 L IS, but it would be nice to have better, at twice the price? hard to justify, I will wait for a price drop. It would pair nicely with my 5D Mk IV.

The 24-105 has been the 5D kit lens for a while and an improved version will sell very well, priced at $1100, thats low for an L-series lens, this will sell by the thousands. A good starter lens for the 5D.
Interestingly the 24-105 has 10 rounded aperture blades (8 in version 1) compared to nine in the 16-35, both should supply very nice sun stars.

Buy the EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III here $2200

Buy the EF 24-105 f/4 L IS II here $1100

DPReview here


Images In Light

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Canon 5D Mk IV announced

Canon announces the 5D Mk IV:

Key Specs:
  • 30.4 mp CMOS full-frame sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • Dual Pixel Raw (image micro adjustment, bokeh shift, ghosting reduction)
  • DCI 4K 30/24p video using Motion JPEG + 4K Frame Grab
  • 7.0 fps
  • ISO 100-32000 (expandable to 102400)
  • 61 AF points with 41 cross-points
  • 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
  • 1.62M-dot 3.2" full-time touchscreen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Built-in GPS
  • CF and SD slots 
  • Built-in bulb timer interval timers
  • 2 stops of dynamic range above the Mk III (not official spec)
  • $3499

Download the manual here

Pre order at B and H here

DPreview here
The Digital Picture here
Imaging Resource here
Lens rentals review here 
Wedding photographers point of view here
Canon site here

DxO here

Digital Photo Pro update: here

This will be Canons big seller for the next four years or so, I like what I see, I know a lot of people will be disappointed in the 4K video and the 30.4mp, but this will be just right for me, I wont have to upgrade my computer and cards and 30.4 mp (6720 x 4480) will make perfect 36 x 24 prints, that's what I have been looking for in my next camera. Once its out, everyone will forget the specs and start using what should be the best camera in its class. The 5DSR Mk II will bring the better sensor with 50mp in two years.

This version has regressed back to a stills camera, I am glad in a way, I'm not a video shooter, but occasional 4K video will be nice. The big one here for me is the extra dynamic range the Mk IV offers, now on par with Sony sensors, due to on chip analog to digital conversion, a big step for Canon and in the right direction. This will make bringing up shadows and doing black and white conversion a bit simpler. 

Until then I will have thousands of images on the Mk IV and I'm sure I will be perfectly happy with it, I have owned all 3 previous versions. The one thing Canon does well is test their cameras, I have never had an issue with a Canon camera and Ive been using them since the EOS A2E. They are an extension of my hand now, I know the camera and once you know your camera, you can forget about it and make images. After all that's what this is all about.

From Canon:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Revisiting an old image in Lightroom

Park Butte
5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, f/11, 1/100 sec at 44mm

Every once in a while I will go back to old images and re process them, over the years since I started using Lightroom (since V1), not only has the engine gotten better, but my technique has improved. I often find I can get a much more appealing image with a re process from an image I took maybe 2, 3 or 4 years ago.

 I recently started using smoothing under color noise reduction on black and white images. I can get much smoother gradients using this functionality, this helps with on line viewing and printing to remove artifacts from processing in the sky.

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review - RNI Film Presets

 RNI film presets for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe ACR - I am fond of using presets for Lightroom, I usually look at them as a good place to start. RNI has gone to a lot of trouble to create a massive database of presets that simulate various film styles, the Pro version, comes with an immense amount of presets. Fuji, Agfa, Ilford, Kodak, Polaroid, Rollei, from my old favorites in the film days.

 RNI - Agford Scalia-200, plus, Vignette +5 and Slide Frame Black  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Background Seperation

Death Valley Coyote
D800E, AFS 70-200 f/2.8 VR, 200mm, f/3.5

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mountain Spring

Mount Rainier
5D Mk III, EF16-35 F/4 L IS, 30mm, f/13, 1.3 sec, 6 stop Lee ND filter.

Larger Image 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

When the clouds don't cooperate at Martins Beach

Martins Beach, Half Moon Bay

5D Mk III, EF 16-35 f4 L IS, f/11 16mm and 35mm, 79 sec single exposure

I went to shoot the forbidden beach just south of Half Moon Bay for the first time and the clouds did not cooperate with me. So faced with a very boring beach shot with the Hay Stack, I thought I would try playing with zoom in a single exposure. I framed the shot at 35mm and let my camera expose for 40 sec and then zoomed all the way out to 16mm quickly to avoid shake and zoom trails and let it expose for another 39 sec, the result is the above image.

Martins Beach is in the mist of a land controversy, the land owner is denying people beach access and there is an ongoing dispute with San Mateo county, is it legal to visit this beach? the answer is currently yes, however I think this will be mired in legal BS for a while.

In the mean time I intend on returning here until I capture the image I'm interested in getting.


Images In Light

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fuji XT-2

Today Fuji announces the very well leaked X-T2. Similarly specked to the X-Pro2. It has a uniquely moveable LCD, that will move in most directions to accommodate all kinds of angles.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hasselblad X1D-50c mirrorless announced

Hasselblad X1D medium format mirrorless.

Hasselblad, today announced the  X1D-50c along with a new line of lenses, nice to see this finally happen, the only other camera close to this has been the Pentax 645z.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Adding a light/sun star in camera

Celtic Cross

5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, f/13, 70mm, 1/80th sec

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Isle Of Skye

Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; The Quirang
The Quiraing
5D Mk III, 16-35 f/fL IS, f/11 at 1/100 sec, 29mm

Monday, May 9, 2016

Abstract clouds

Images In Light: Cloudscapes &emdash;

5D Mk III, 70-200 f/4 IS L

Images In Light: Cloudscapes &emdash;

5D Mk III, 70-200 f/4 IS L

Clouds 1v

5D Mk III, 70-200 f/4 IS L

Some times using a long lens to pull detail from clouds can be more fun than shooting a landscape, these shots taken over Big Sur last year are a good example. See more here



Friday, April 29, 2016

Recent Black and White

Leaning Rocks

Exploding Tree

Shark Fin Cove

I love doing Black and White conversions, in some cases they work and others they don't, sometimes they are easier than color images and other times they are much more difficult to make work.

There is also the personal taste factor, not everyone likes Black and White, while some photographers do only Black and White, in my case I like both. Sometimes color is what an image is all about, the below image I think is one of those cases, even though I liked it in Black and White, I took it for the color.

Seattle Daisies

Lightroom has made it so simple, the push of a button and you can preview a shot in Black and White, like it, don't like it, switch it back.

Seeing in Black and White can be difficult, I do have to thank Cara Weston for helping me see in Black and White, some times an outside influence can be very helpful with your creativity. Take a look at Cara's web site for some beautiful images.