Monday, June 24, 2013

At the Lake

We recently spent a few days at Anglin Lake and area with my sisters. We saw lots of wildlife and of couse I took a bunch of photos - deer, elk, bears, beetles, flowers, and more. Enjoy!

(click to view photos)
Red fox

See also Shelley's blog post.

Photo Notes

I took about 700 photos in four days. I ended up sharing 64. Even excluding the few family ones, that's only slightly more selective than 1 in 10.

I spent about 6 hours selecting and adjusting. I didn't take my laptop with me, so I did all my editing when I got home. My process was to first go through them and put all the potential good ones into the Lightroom Quick Collection. Then I started inspecting, comparing, and adjusting.

This is the first big batch of photos I've done since recently upgrading to Lightroom 5. I'm still learning how to use the new tools like the radial filter and the healing brush. I think they'll prove useful.

As I've mentioned in other blog posts, I've been getting into the habit of pushing the ISO up to get a decent shutter speed and aperture. However, I ran into a few problems with this. Generally I'll push it to 800, but a few times I found that if I'd left it on Auto it would have used an even higher ISO - oops. What I really want is to raise the minimum to 800 but there's no quick way to do that. Maybe I should set up a User mode for that. I've also discovered, by comparing shots, that sometimes I'd get better results if I left the ISO lower. It's a learning process.

Another thing I was experimenting with was "shooting to the right", i.e. trying to get a histogram that is as far right as possible without clipping. I've been doing that by using an adjustment of + .5 or 1 stop. The idea is that there is more digital information on the right side of the histogram (brighter areas). But in practice, I'm not sure I got better results. One problem is that adjusting by +1 stop means losing 1 stop in shutter speed or aperture. The other problem is that it requires looking at the histogram for every shot which isn't always feasible. I don't argue with the theory, but for me the jury is still out.

Taking pictures of some of the birds, like the loons and especially the kingfisher, I was really wishing for a better telephoto lens. I hate the thought of the weight and size and having to change lenses, but I'd really like to capture them better.

I was playing with a few different techniques like panning with a slow shutter speed to get abstract shots. It's not my favorite technique but fun to experiment with. I also tried a few high key images with almost white backgrounds. I quite like the one of the grass in the water.

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