Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Lake Panorama Summer Scenes on the Main Basin

Equipment Used: Nikon D750, Tokina 28-70mm f2.8 AT-X Lense, Nikon 24-120mm f4, Nikon 70-300mm f4-f5.6, Capture NX-D, Lightroom & Photoshop CC

The main basin at Lake Panorama during a summer day makes for the ability to capture blue skies, boats, water and the lighthouse all at once. When cumulus clouds were rolling through the sky, I headed over with my camera and started capturing the scene.

I fitted the D750 with different lenses depending on the location I was at and whether I was trying to capture the flag in the image as well. When I used the Tokina lense, I put a polarizing filter on to enhance the sky and the water. Shooting in aperture priority mode, the aperture was between f7.1 and f9 while I kept the ISO at 200.

I used Capture NX-D and Lightroom CC to process the RAW files. Using NX-D, I changed the white balance to sunlight and picture control to nature-landscape. Exposure compensation was adjusted as well along with the hightlight/shadow sliders. In Lightroom, I used the contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, clarity, vibrance and dehaze sliders.

The final step used Photoshop CC to get rid of unwanted objects in the scene such has the buoy and boat docks along the jetty. To improve the color of the water, I used a cooling filter layer with a small opacity level to give it a blue tint. The brush tool was used to erase areas of the image I didn’t want the blue tint on the layer mask. 

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Panorama Days 2017 - Showcasing Local Talent

Next Saturday, August 5 come celebrate Panorama Days in Panora, Iowa and see my photography at the square on display. I'll be set up between 10 am and 4 pm with metal prints, drink coasters, magnets and prints. Enjoy the days events that include a parade, live music, great food and many other activities. 

If I don't have an item or picture in stock, we can discuss how to order them that day. This summer's photography will be on display with new astrophotography and firework images available to purchase or order. 

Hope to see you in Panora!  Check out Panorama Days on Facebook for more information. 

Yale's 4th of July Fireworks - 17 Edition

Equipment Used: Nikon D750, Tokina 28-70mm f2.8 AT-X Lense, VanGuard Abel Plus 363CT Tripod,  Viltrox Remote Control, Capture NX-D, Lightroom & Photoshop CC

To conclude the 4th of July celebration that Yale puts on every year, fireworks are shot off at the local baseball field. Cars and trucks from the surrounding towns and counties come to watch the fireworks and line the streets, highways and country roads. I traveled to Highway 4 and parked along the side and took pictures from my truck bed.

After getting nice results from the Tokina lense at Lake Panorama fireworks, I used it again for these fireworks on my D750. The rig was mounted on the VanGuard tripod and I used the Viltrox remote to trigger the camera. In manual settings, the aperture was f9 and I ranged the shutter speed between 3 and 18 seconds using the remote. I shot in RAW as I always do and the lense was zoomed to 52 or 70mm to capture these firework bursts.

To process the images, the majority of the time I used Lightroom and adjusted the white balance to daylight as my first step. Next came adjustments to clarity, vibrance, saturation, noise reduction and dehaze sliders. In the HSL tab, I used the color specific saturation sliders to bump up the saturation of the certain colors of the firework bursts.

The last part of processing used Photoshop with the patch and clone tools to get rid of unwanted objects on these images. The last step was to rotate the image since the coop was slightly tilted and crop the image after that.

Panorama Days will be the next opportunity to capture fireworks for my camera so hoping that the weather and work schedule cooperates to be able to get out capturing them.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Lake Panorama 4th of July Fire in the Sky - 17 Edition

Equipment Used: Nikon D750, Tokina 28-70mm f2.8 AT-X Lense, VanGuard Abel Plus 363CT Tripod, Viltrox Remote Control, Capture NX-D, Lightroom & Photoshop CC

Lake Panoramas 4th of July fireworks were enjoyed by boaters and other spectators a few days earlier then the 4th since it fell on a Tuesday this year.  That Saturday night, I took a break from a work at the restaurant and drove down to the beach to capture the firework bursts over the boats.

With a week left before I had to return the Tokina lense, I tested it out shooting fireworks by placing it on the D750 and mounting the rig on the VanGuard tripod. I discovered that the location of the focus ring that I had used for taking milky way images didn’t provide sharp images of the fireworks so I had to do some adjusting. I shot in RAW using manual mode with the shutter speed set on bulb and aperture f7.1.  ISO ranged from as low as 100 to a high of 3200. The Viltrox remote was used to trigger the camera and I held it down between 8 to 20 seconds to capture these fireworks.

To process the images, the majority of the time I used Lightroom and adjusted the white balance to daylight as my first step. Next came adjustments to clarity, vibrance, saturation, noise reduction and dehaze sliders. In the HSL tab, I used the color specific saturation sliders to bump up the saturation of the certain colors of the firework bursts. Graduated filter tool was used on the sky and firework burst part of the image as well. Finally I used the adjustment brush to lighten the bottom area of the image so the water and boats were visible.

The last part of processing used Photoshop with the patch and clone tools to get rid of unwanted objects on these images. This included a buoy in the center of the boats and a cell phone tower along the tree line. A  brightness/contrast layer mask was used to fine tune the look of the sky and fireworks to put the final touches on the images.

The firework show was a great display over the surrounding scence of water and boats with hundreds of people watching the show. 

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