Archive for September, 2012

LaPush Sunset

Posted: September 30, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D90, Washington

Originally I had planned on being on Rialto Beach for my sunset picture. But after we visited there, I decided First Beach at LaPush would hold a much more dramatic frame.  It was a good thing I had budgeted plenty of time so that I could be in place when the time was right. In fact, we had enough time to grab a coffee at the Three Rivers Resort Diner (AKA The official Vampire/Werewolf Treaty Line), before we made it back down to First Beach and got ready to shoot.

There is a huge peninsula at the north end of the beach that’s comprised of a log jam of enormous pieces of driftwood. I clamored over these bleached out trees until I found the perfect spot. It was a good thing too, because once the sun started to set, I was joined by three or four other ambitious photographers along with one guy who was flying a kite with a point and shoot camera attached to the string. I still wonder how his pictures turned out…

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Chicago Theatre

Posted: September 29, 2012 in HDR, Illinois, Nikon D90

The Chicago Theater… don’t you mean The Chicago Theatre? Theater vs. Theatre? I don’t know… Google is telling me there’s really no difference between the two, just preference. If I asked Jeeves, he’d probably tell me to stop churching it up son. Anyhow, here’s a shot of that famous venue. We probably emerged from the subway here more often than I can recount; but only at night did this place really sparkle.

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A Mountain Darkly

Posted: September 28, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D90, Washington

Before you ask, no, the sky was not this color in real life. In fact, it was a much more muted grey on a slightly darker grey. There was pretty much no color in the sky whatsoever. In fact, the original scene was so monochromatic to begin with, that I had already resolved to go black and white. But, as I was hovering over some of my filter options, the preview pane showed me one that was almost exactly what you see here.

It was one of those filter settings that you never use because it is so overly done to begin with that things end up looking like something out of Tim Burton’s, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake. I saw that film once, I don’t care to repeat it, thank you… But when I saw that filter applied to this image, it gave this stormy mountain an entirely different apocolyptica-type feel, and I have to admit, I liked it.

Click the picture or else the word will end on December 23rd.

Sol Duc Falls

Posted: September 27, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D90, Washington

This spot is accessed by following the signs towards Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Instead of turning into the resort (which sounds much nicer than it actually is) you continue along the main road until it dead-ends into a large parking lot. The Sol Duc Falls Trailhead starts here, and it’s a short one-mile hike to the overlook pictured above.  The Sol Duc River starts in the Olympic Mountains and flows through the National Park until it eventually drains into the Pacific Ocean at La Push.

Technically speaking, it was pretty hard to get a nice sharp picture at the overlook, due to the optimum spot to shoot from being on a wooden bridge that vibrated as people walked across. Because I was using some neutral density filters to slow the shutter and blur the water, I had to wait for quite a while for the bridge to be absent of people.

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The Lonely Mountain

Posted: September 26, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D90, Washington

Here’s a shot of Emmons glacier on Mt. Rainier, from one of the trails at Sunrise Visitor Center. I took this with my 70-200 zoom to get a nice close up composition of the trail to the summit. As I took this shot, a ranger-led hiking tour passed through and I listened as the guide described the challenges that quite a few people who attempt to climb Mt. Rainier face every year. Personally, I don’t know much about climbing mountains, but it sounds one part amazing/epic, and one part terrifiying/crazy. I will say this however; having witnessed the size and scale of this mountain first-hand, my hat’s off to anyone who could pull that climb off.

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Under The ‘L’

Posted: September 25, 2012 in HDR, Illinois, Nikon D90

The ‘L’ has to be one of the coolest staples of the downtown Chicago community. It’s been there since the late 1800’s and the architecture is just amazing. Sure, the stations are getting run down, dirty, and the train’s distinctive clacking is loud; but the ‘L’ is an icon, and rich in controversial history.

Getting this shot was a little difficult. Because the lighting under the ‘L’ was dim, and I planned on shooting 3 consecutive shots for HDR, at the lowest ISO setting I could; I had to shoot this scene on a tripod. So, I had the camera set, tripod extended, everything ready to go to make my 3 shots and get out. However, traffic is pretty bad pretty much all the time, and even if you get the light, you still have to be worried about other people crossing knocking into your tripod, or getting into your shot. And, you have to be cognizant of traffic making turns on red. I finally got the perfect opportunity and I was able to just get all three shots in, before the light changed and traffic rushed on by again.

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Taste The Rainbow

Posted: September 24, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D90, Washington

My wife and I had just hiked to the top of the Hurricane Hill Trail when it started to rain. I packed all my gear into my bag, slipped on the rain poncho, and we started to head back down the trail. I figured it was going to rain pretty much the rest of the way down, so I wouldn’t need to get the camera back out again. However, at about the mid-point it stopped raining where we were at and treated us to this beautiful rainbow in the distance. It was just as you see it here… not fully defined all the way across the arch; still, it was very beautiful and pretty awe-inspiring set against the mountains. It was one of those times where it’s not exactly sunny, and not exactly rainy, and the temperatures were just right, and everything just fell into place. So, I unpacked the camera and set up to take the shot you see above.

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