Sunrays, Blue Sky
This is the same patch of sky as the photograph from a couple of days ago. However, the Sun was a bit deeper in the clouds where it wouldn't make the "sunburst" effect. I like the one better than the Sunburst because the exposure was better and things didn't get messed up as much in processing while trying to make everything brighter.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sunrays, Blue Sky
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Another slow spell on the blog. However, here is something for today. I was shooting some sky shots, and thought that I would try to get a sunburst. It's not bad, but I think that I underexposed it a tad too much. I had some noise issues when I tried to bring back some of the mid-tone details. It doesn't look too bad in a small size. Larger sizes I can tell that it needs some work.
Live and learn.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Earlier this week, we had our monthly for the Spartanburg Photography Guild. We met at the Spartan Photo Center store where Jonathan Stewart demonstrated HDR processing for us. I helped him out a bit by filling in with details when he had to concentrate on what was happening with his computer. We spent a bit of time around the shop photographing image sets to later process in to HDR images. This is one of the images that I liked although it was only a single image processed with Topaz Adjust 4's Dark-Ghostly filter. I thought it worked will for this old abandoned warehouse/building that was downtown.
We were just having some fun playing around.
Oh, and I'm also the webmaster for the club. Here is the link to the club's webpage. It isn't anything fancy, but it is a start at least.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Lake Jocassee Waterfall Cove"
This was the biggest waterfall that we saw on Lake Jocassee. It was nestled in this little cove behind a small cliff. There were also a lot of large, yellow winged butterflies fluttering around it the cove. However, I wasn't able to get any shots of the waterfall where you could actually recognize the butterflies in the them. The butterflies stayed close to the waterfall and didn't come close enough to us to be much more than a blurred, yellow speck. It was still quite pretty in there though.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Haze on Lake Jocassee
There was a haze/fog on Lake Jocassee nearly the entire day that I was visiting my sister's family. This photograph was one of the better ones I was able to get across the lake and even it took a bit of finessing in software to get it to this point. While this gunk obscured the mountains, it did even out the light for the waterfalls and family photographs that I took. Guess you could say there was a silver lining in the the haze.
Monday, August 9, 2010
A Jocassee Waterfall
Here is a photograph of one of the waterfall that we visited on Lake Jocassee last week. I believe this is the first one that we saw.
Photographing waterfalls from a boat is ... interesting. Normally, you want to be set up on a tripod to minimize movement so that you can use a longer shutter speed to capture that nice "cotton candy" water blur. Long shutter speeds and a boat don't go well together though. The boat keep moving which would make the entire picture blurry instead of just the water cascade. Both of the lenses I used that day were image stablized, and I used them in their "active" setting. The active setting attempts to compensate for all movement at once and specifically meant to be used while on moving platforms ... like a boat.
It worked well enough I suppose. I got some nice blurred cascades with some of the waterfalls that we saw later in the day.
Friday, August 6, 2010
My sister and her family went camping recently at Devil's Fork State Park on Lake Jocassee in the South Carolina Foothills / Blue Ridge Mountains. They invited my son to come and stay the week with them, and I ended up visiting them for one day as well. We went out in their boat and got to see several of the waterfalls that feed in to the lake.
More after the jump.
Lake Jocassee is an artificial lake which was constructed by Duke Power for hydroelectric generation in conjunction with their Keowee-Toxiway project and the Oconoee Nuclear Station. It is basically a set of mountain gorges that has been dammed and filled with water. The deepest portions of the lake are around 300 feet or more deep which makes it a popular spot for SCUBA divers. There is even a dive shop on the road close to the park's entrance.
Just a couple of years ago, when we were in the midst of our most recent drought, my sister said the lake was as much as 20 feet below normal. All of the docks were stranded on dry lake bed and some of the lake's coves and branches were not accessible via boat. Luckily, we've had more rainfall the past couple of years and the lake was close to normal. The waterfalls that we saw had plenty of water flowing over them and were quite picturesque.
The biggest problem was that it was foggy and overcast all day long. I think that we only had thirty minutes to an hour of sunlight peeking through the clouds in the afternoon. The sunlight eventually went away as afternoon thunderstorms were starting their daily build-up.
The photograph above was taken as we were drifting into one of the coves to view a waterfall. I turned around and saw these interesting reflections caused by our boat's wake and took a few of frames. This was the best of those frames. Normally, I try not to place a horizon line right in the middle of the frame as that tends to make for a rather static and boring composition. However, I decided that the contrast between the well defined trees and the smooth, wavy reflection would look best with a symmetrical composition with the horizon line in the center of the frame.
It is also a good example of not letting yourself get "shot blind" with what you think you want to photograph. We were trying to get closer to a waterfall and I was kind of focused on that. On a whim, I turned my head and noticed the smooth wake and reflections. I was only able to get around three or four frames before the wake had settled down thereby loosing the interesting dichotomy between the two halves of the image.
Sometimes it is OK to break the "rules" of composition, and it is always a good idea to look around for other interesting things to photograph.