Water, water

March 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Dear Friends,

  Water is a key component in each of this month's photos, though though in very different ways.

Each time I had traveled from Drexel University to Neumann, I had noticed construction cranes apparently sitting in the Schuylkill River.  "What is that all about?" I thought, "And how can I get close to those striking objects?" On an afternoon in early February , too cold to work in the garden, I took my new Tamron 70-300 telephoto lens and went to stalk the cranes. I was able to get within a few hundred feet of the cranes, but the best view turned out to be from the South Street Bridge. Cranes on the Schuylkill is a composed of 17 exposures shot at 70 mm and then photomerged with Photoshop. Click on any of the photos to visit my ZenFolio gallery, where you can purchase prints and other photo products based on the full resolution images (and support my work), or visit my SmugMug gallery to freely download screen-sized images for computer and tablet backgrounds.

Construction cranes on the Schuylkill river looking north from South Street BridgeCranes on the River

A week or two later, sunshine had given way to low clouds and a misty rain. But when the sky is blah and the world is soaked, it can be a great time to look close. I took off the telephoto and put my trusty Nikon60 mm micro lens on the D7000, covered it with saran wrap, and went prospecting in the back yard for jewels.
I had learned a new technique for building in-depth in-focus images from Don Komarechka's posts describing his techniques for photographing snowflakes, and I was eager to try it out. I had used focus stacking before, but had learned two key techniques from Don. The first trick was setting the camera to rapid exposure mode and taking a large number of shots very quickly while moving the camera just slightly in and out to capture images at a range of depths. The second was to duplicate the many image layers in Photoshop before blending them, so that a particularly nice piece of an image could be recovered if Photoshop goofed. Rain Needles is a composite of six exposures.
water drops hang from pine needlesRain needles
The buds on the apple tree are still tightly closed and winter hard, but that will change very soon.
Rain Garments
One of my new favorite places to shoot in the Poconos is the Blakeslee Natural Area that includes several miles of Tobyhanna Creek, and the Tobyhanna Falls. Since our lakes were still frozen and we had five or six inches of snow on the ground I hiked over to the Falls to see if any ice was left.  The ice had gone, but the creek and falls were still mighty picturesque. Spring Thaw is a panorama composed of five verticals stitched together in Photoshop.
Love to All,
Scott

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