I am always learning new techniques in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, and often a consequence of this is the desire to revisit older photographs and reprocess them. A lot of my older photos were processed using methods that were time consuming and sometimes not that effective. Finally learning to use masks was a gamechanger, for example. There are a lot of these photos where I am happy with the processing, but others that I have started to revisit in order to process them with my current vision of how they should appear. Thankfully my new methods are a lot faster, and the occasional revisit to an older photograph doesn’t take me nearly the time it used to.
This photograph is a good example of one where I wasn’t happy with the initial processing. I like this photo – but the initial version has a foreground that was too dark, the colours were slightly reddish, and there were a few other brightness issues I wanted to fix. I think this processing balances the colours much more faithfully to the original scene as I remember it, and deals with the darker foreground. You can read a bit more about the things I learned while actually photographing this scene in the original post.
One thing I keep noticing with this shot is that the majority of longer exposure river shots I see are looking upstream while this is looking across/downstream. Does this make it look unnatural or different in a negative way?
I realize I may be a bit late to the party obtaining a Canon 7D – but I wanted to pass along my first impressions regardless. A few weeks ago I upgraded my DSLR from a Canon 30D to the newer 7D. The difference between the two is quite noticeable even in the first few hundred exposures I have tested it with. Better dynamic range with the 7D, larger number of frames per second. Live view, bigger, better LCD, 18 vs 8 megapixels etc.
Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) Click to enlarge…
A year or so ago I had to make a decision. Do I go for the EF-S type lenses and be somewhat more tied to a APS-C sensor camera like the xxD series and 7D lines or stick with EF lenses only? I wanted a wide angle zoom, and that seemed to be a choice between the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM or the 17-40mm f/4 L. Both are great lenses, but I went for the 17-55mm over the 17-40mm – somewhat committing me to the crop sensor fork in the road. The other benefit to the crop sensor camera is that it would give me more reach with the telephoto lenses (the 70-200 for example) without having to pay the price for a long lens (like the 300mm L). Those two reasons are why this is not a discussion comparing the 30D to a 5D Mark II.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) Click to enlarge…
The weather here has been pretty bad, even for spring in Southwestern British Columbia – lots of rain and still cold – the “spring” monsoon. Consequently – only a few of the early to rise plants have starting budding out their leaves, and only the really early flowers are out. So I have not gone on many trips yet to photograph spring, but instead ventured into the backyard with my macro lens (Canon 100mm f/2.8) on the 7D. The world suddenly becomes a whole lot larger with a macro lens.
What I have appreciated the most so far about shooting macro with the 7D is the opportunities the live view gives me. The 30D does not have live view, and I didn’t think it would be as useful as it is. To be able to zoom in using the screen and focus on a specific aspect of the shot is very valuable. I suspect that is more valuable to a macro photo but it will no doubt become handy with some landscapes as well. The ability to actually consider raising the ISO beyond 400 for a shot that requires a faster shutter speed without introducing a lot of noise has also been very nice. With the 7D I don’t have to be too afraid of going well over 400 ISO, though I try to stick with 100 for a non-moving subject.
Weeping European Larch (Larix decidua) Click to enlarge…
Another plus to the 7D is the actual LCD on the back. The image of the shot I just took seems much more representative of the actual file compared to the 30D view screen. I think the only downside I can see to the 7D, and its NOT really a downside is the size of the resulting files. I have been used to 8 megapixel images which were somewhere between 6 and 9 megabytes each – and the 7D is an 18 megapixel camera with 22-24 megabyte files. This will force me to be a bit more discerning on which images to keep. Though storage is cheap, its not unlimited at the moment, so I will likely cull more than I used to. I’ll be careful to keep those “maybe” images as I never know how I will feel about an image tomorrow – or next year even. The increased file size has also made both of my 2gig CF cards seem rather small since they will only hold about 70 images each now. I do have 4 gig and 8 gig cards as well, but it might be time to finally get a 16 just so I do not run out of space.
So I have nothing but good things to say – and am happy that I finally upgraded. Soon I will have some landscape shots of some manner to show here for further consideration. I think the monsoon might end early next week…
For the past few years I find myself wishing that I’d spent more time in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest photographing the peaks in the Cascade Range. The classic/cliche Picture Lake is awesome and can yield interesting photographic moments almost every time but the wide range of possibilities from up at Artist Point make it more appealing to me. The trouble is the road remains snow covered until sometime in July (this year it opened on the 30th of July – a bit late). As the road closes with the first major snowfall, this year in late October – this isn’t a lot of time to enjoy it. I live only an hour away just north of the border in Canada but always seem to get caught doing other things. At this time of year I know I will be waiting at least 7 months until I can get back to Artist Point. Editing images like this always give me ideas as to what I want to do next time I am there… but so long to wait!
What a difference a week makes! I shot this panorama of Tipsoo Lake 8 days ago in Mt. Rainier National Park about 90 minutes after sunrise. A bit late in the season for the good fall color (a Ranger told me I missed that by a week only) but still a pretty spot to be. It was cold that morning, probably about 20°F (about -6°C or so) and sunny with a few clouds all weekend. Less than one week later it began to snow. Right now SR 410 (which was right behind me at this spot) at Chinook Pass is closed here due to avalanche danger. It would appear that Paradise has a few feet of snow and more coming fast. Many of the roads are closed, some for the season. I was quite fortunate to be there on the last weekend of fall before all the snow.
Made the trip up to Artist Point last night – just caught the last bit of nice light. A portion of my shots were unusable as a lot of mosquitoes decided that it would be a good idea to take up residence in my lens hood and I was in too much of a hurry to notice. Note to self: I will get there earlier next weekend and I will bring bug spray.
The decent sunset is courtesy smoke from forest fires in Washington State and BC.