Welcome to Michael Kleinwolterink’s Photography. I am an aspiring amateur photographer that enjoys capturing those once in a lifetime moments forever. My enjoyment of the outdoors has allowed me to capture images of golf courses, flowers, wildlife, farming and outdoor scenes. I continue to improve my photography skills and have enjoyed every minute taking these images. I encourage you to take a look around this site and view Iowa’s countryside through my eyes.
Panorama days were held the first weekend of August with the fireworks
being shot off on the main basin of Lake Panorama on Friday night. Last year I wasn’t able to take any pictures
so this year I made sure I would be able to and was set up before they started
to light them. I walked out on the jetty so I could get the lighthouse in the
images as well.
The D750 had my 24-120mm f4 lense on it mounted on the Vanguard tripod.
With being on the tripod, VR was turned off along with autofocus. Shooting in
manual mode, aperture ranged from f4 to f11 while the bulb set for the shutter
speed allowed me to use the remote to vary the length of exposure. Most of them
were in the 10-20 second time frame. ISO ranged from 400 to 6400 for this
collection of images. While holding the remote to activate my camera, I used
the SB-700 in my other hand to throw bursts of light at the lighthouse to expose
that area of the image.
Adjustments to the images started in Capture NX-D, with changes to
exposure compensation to help increase the exposure of the boats on the water.
White balance was adjusted to direct sunlight. Instead of using a picture
control, I adjusted the saturation/contrast slider. The shadow slider was also
adjusted if need be.
Final adjustments were made in PSE 11, I first cloned out unwanted
objects in the sky, water or on the jetty. Next I decided that the jetty grass
was exposed too much so I used a brightness/contrast layer with brush tools to
darken that area of the image up. Next I sharpened certain areas of the image
followed by straightening and cropping them. After those steps were completed,
I was happy with how the fireworks turned out over the main basin.
After capturing the Panorama Days fireworks on the main
basin of Lake Panorama, I could tell the Milky Way was starting to show itself
in the clear sky so I traveled over to the golf course at 11 PM. I got in a
golf cart and drove to #5 and #7 to capture the Milky Way over those golf
The D750 was fitted with the 24-120mm f4 lense with VR and
auto focus shut off since I shot everything from the Vanguard tripod. Aperture
was at f4 in manual mode with 10 or 15 seconds being the shutter speed. ISO
ranged from 3200-6400. Instead of using a remote to trigger the camera, I set
the camera to 3 second self timer mode.
I used a single SB-700 Speedlight to throw light on the golf
hole using manual power and rotated the Speedlight has I trigged the flash.
This allowed me to expose the width of the golf hole. To help light up the flag
stick on #5, I even stuck a small LED flashlight into the cup and pointed it up
to the sky.
Processing these starry images started in Capture NX-D by
adjusting the white balance to direct sunlight or leaving it alone. The picture
control was changed to landscape or vivid and the astro noise reduction feature
was selected. Adjustments to exposure compensation and contrast/saturation
sliders were also made to help bring out the stars.
In PSE 11, I first cloned out unwanted objects such as water
hazard and yardage stakes. If needed, I combined the sky with a different
exposure of the hole using layer masks and the brush tool. Additional
adjustments using levels and brightness/contrast layers were also used to help
bring out the stars. The unsharp mask filter was used to sharpen the image
after cropping and straightening once all adjustments were done.
Equipment Used: Nikon D750, 24-120mm f4 lense, 35mm f1.8 lense, SB-700
Speedlights, led flashlight, Vanguard Abeo Plus 363 CT Tripod & Viltrox
Wireless Remote Control
The Exsate Golden Hour app on my phone says “Someone told you the most
beautiful stars are in August? You have to check!” I ventured out to see if this
was true from August 1 – 3 when the sky was clear between 10:30 to well after
midnight. I traveled to four different locations to capture the Milky Way.
The D750 was fitted with the 24-120mm at f4 and the 35mm at f2. It was the
first time I used the 35mm lense to capture the stars and I was pleased with
how much light it gathered but need to fine tune the manual focusing. The camera
was placed on my new tripod that is sturdier than my previous one and also
easier to set up in the dark. Settings on the camera were manual mode with
exposures ranging from 10 to 30 seconds at ISO 3200-8000 with VR off on the
lense and high iso nr set to low. For the best in post processing and enlarging
the files, RAW was used as well. While my camera was exposing for the milky
way, I used the SB-700 in manual mode to throw bursts of light at the
foreground which included the barns I was trying capture.
Capture NX-D processed the RAW files into Tiffs with adjustments to
enhance the image. Exposure compensation was increased while white balance was either
left alone or changed to direct sunlight or incandescent. The picture control
was changed to vivid or landscape or also left alone. The contrast, saturation
and shadow sliders were adjusted if needed. Lastly, I clicked on the astro
noise reduction button to help reduce the noise in the sky.
In PSE 11, I first cloned out unwanted objects such as a line of light
from a plane in the sky or a lightening bug flying through the image. Additional
enhancements included contrast, saturation, brightness and levels layer masks
brushed into certain areas of the image. The unsharp mask filter was used to
sharpen the image after cropping and straightening once all the adjustments
I took two different series of images to combine into star trails using
StarStaX which lasted about 10 minutes between the first and last image took
using the interval timer on the camera. The time between each shot was five
seconds. It sure seems like a longer time when you are setting in the dark. Hopefully
in the future, I’ll be able to do an image that is a few hours long which would
allow the star trail to start on one side of the image and finish on the other
With these images complete, I have to say I agree with the Exsate Golden
Hour app has the stars and Milky Way shine bright in these photographs and I’m
very happy with how they turned out. The D750 continues to impress me with its
ability to capture the scene.