Tag Archives: landscape photography

Long Exposure Creativity in Garden of the Gods

Long exposure (265s) captured in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor lens and Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filters (15 stops)
Long exposure (265s) captured in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor lens and Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filters (15 stops)

My latest addition to my photo kit is a set of Singh-Ray “Mor-Slo” solid ND filters. I got these filters in both the 10 and 5-stop varieties in 4×4″ square glass. Continue reading Long Exposure Creativity in Garden of the Gods

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The Nikon D7100 DSLR: DX-Format Flagship?

The Nikon D7100 is described as the DX-format "Flagship."  Image courtesy Nikon USA.
The Nikon D7100 is described as the DX-format “Flagship.” Image courtesy Nikon USA.

Last night, Nikon announced the long-awaited D7000 replacement, the new D7100 DSLR. You can pre-order a D7100 here so that you have one in your hands the minute they come out.

The D7000, to me, has always been a “close but not quite” camera. By all accounts, its sensor is really good. However, the smaller form factor and diminished performance (AF, frame rate, bracketing limitations) dissuaded me from getting one as a D300s replacement. The biggest surprise to me when I read Nikon’s announcement was the subheadline:

“Nikon’s DX-format Flagship Provides Agility, Amazing Image Quality and Wireless Connectivity

You read that right; the DX-format Flagship. In my opinion, this means what I’ve been hearing (and thinking) for some time. DX is for enthusiasts, FX is for pros. Continue reading The Nikon D7100 DSLR: DX-Format Flagship?

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Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2.0 Hands-On Review

Badlands sunrise, processed in HDR Efex Pro 2.0

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve recently been posting a lot of HDR photographs here and on my G+ page lately. Part of the reason is because I enjoy being creative, and HDR is one of my creative outlets. The other reason is that I’ve had the opportunity to test the latest version of Nik Software’s HDR tone-mapping software, HDR Efex Pro 2.0, which was formally announced today and is available now.

At first glance, version 2.0 might seem like a minor revision, with subtle improvements to the interface and control sliders. However, I can honestly say that after testing HDR Efex Pro 2.0 for the last few months, I will not be going back to version 1. My HDR images are consistently better across the board with version 2.0; they have better color, better sharpness, and superior tone-mapping effects.

Continue to my hands-on review of Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 Continue reading Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2.0 Hands-On Review

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Creative Outdoor Photography Workshop Wrap-Up

Skulls on a truck, Park County, CO (HDR Image)

I just wrapped up a four-day workshop here in Colorado, where we explored creative outdoor photography. We started out by doing traditional landscape photography in Garden of the Gods, then we moved on to several unique locations for interesting compositions and shots. We had a great photo walk in Manitou Springs, and we were able to shoot inside the Miramont Castle, a unique Victorian building. After each morning’s shooting session, we held classroom sessions where we explored the creative aspect of post-processing, including HDR, Monochrome, and Color Efex Pro. We also learned how to use Photoshop layers to maximize our creativity and enhance our workflow with Nik Software plug-ins and Flypaper Textures. Continue reading Creative Outdoor Photography Workshop Wrap-Up

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HDR for Blustery Days

Clearing storms in Garden of the Gods

Looking out the window yesterday morning, I saw a solid wall of gloom to the west. Pikes Peak was completely obscured by clouds, and it looked crummy for photography. By 9am, though, the clouds were breaking up just enough in the east to let light poke through once in a while. So I figured I’d take a chance and shoot in Garden of the Gods, my favorite local spot to “get away” to.

Normally, I have a pretty steadfast rule about overcast days. To make the shots work, you avoid getting sky in the shots as much as possible. But yesterday, I took a different approach. Since I was set up on my Gitzo tripod, I went ahead and made exposure bracket sequences. For the uninitiated, that’s when you shoot 3 or more shots of the same scene, each at a different exposure. By doing so, I had at least one underexposed and one overexposed version of the same image.

When I got back home, I ran the bracketed image sequences through Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro plug-in to combine the exposures into a single high dynamic range image. The results were quite pleasing! Textures in what would have been a completely washed out sky gave my images a dark and moody feel.

Save 15% off all Nik Software USA products, including HDR Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro 2 by using this link!

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