Monday, October 08, 2012

Did I say I was done?

Yeah, well...

In all the years I've lived up in the Highlands, I've NEVER seen the fall colours as vibrant and ubiquitous as this year. I have so many pictures I want to show you, and I'm so excited about the new D600. So I'll shut up now, and show you some images. These were all shot during what I call "Mini-Tours" of some fall colour sites in the Highlands.

I know you're going to say it's an HDR, and it is, but you would not believe that this was the actual colour of this maple tree.
All the HDR did was to enhance the sky. 
The tree was right opposite Stanhope Airport. Then I turned around and behind me was this scene.

This is another HDR, but I tried to make it realistic.  It was a blustery day, and nobody was flying. 
On Friday, 5 of us drove up to Bancroft. There was a stand of pine trees I had shot last week, and a waterfall...and fabulous scenery along Highway 118.

This was enroute, I think on 118 but it might have been closer to Bancroft, along 28. The detail from the D600 was so high, I thought it took away from the mood of the picture, so I used the oil paint filter in CS6 to soften it. Yes, yes, it's another HDR but I use that to enhance the sky more than anything else. 
Here are some images in that pine forest I mentioned.

Jim and Kathy from the Richmond Hill Camera Club 

My D600. Just showing off that I actually have one. That's my Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8, the whole thing held rock steady on my ultralight 3-Legged-Thing tripod. Shot with my D300 with the 12-24 lens, which is for sale, if you're interested. See? It takes good pictures!

My favourite picture of the day. Also shot with the D300/12-24 (seriously, it's for sale. email me.) 
On Saturday morning we went out to shoot at dawn. Unfortunately it was rainy, there was no sunrise to shoot, but we stuck it out (lesson: don't give up. An hour later, conditions change and you'll find amazing shots!)

This is the old log chute, a historic site just behind Hall's Lake. A slow shutter speed — but not too slow, so the water patterns would still be there — I was going for the maximum amount of detail so it was shot at ISO 50, f/11 and I combined 3 shots in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 (yeah, yeah. HDR).
Nearby was the Hawk Lake Marina. We took a bunch of shots there.

Of course it is. Do you have to ask? How else can you balance the sky and rocks into one photo? 
Next, we went to the Minden Wildwater Preserve.

I put the 10-stop Neutral Density filter on the 70-200. This is a 15-second exposure.  
While we were there, we were lucky enough to see some kayakers practicing their tricks, and the super fast autofocusing on the D600, coupled with its excellent metering, gave me a lot of excellent shots! I can't show them all here, but these were my favourites:

This last shot seems to have epitomized the day for us. To me it really says what whitewater kayaking in the fall in Minden is all about.

Shot with the D300 and the 12-24 lens (the combination that's for sale. email me!). I struggled with cropping this to move the kayaker out of the centre, but in the end, I preferred this full frame. It tells the story...
I hope you enjoyed these pictures. I plan to go out again next weekend. If anyone wants to join me, please visit and sign up for a mini-Tour.

PS: If anyone wants to learn more about how to create HDR images, I'm available for tutoring. Contact me to discuss the details. I prefer 1-on-1 sessions, maximum small groups.

PPS: and if you think any of these images deserve a place on your wall, or on your desktop, get in touch. Some of them will make outstanding large art prints.

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