Thursday, February 28, 2013

Colorado National Monument

Before heading to Moab last week, I stopped in Fruita to do a little mountain bike riding in the road 18 area and to capture a sunrise at Colorado National Monument. A little hidden gem in the National Park System. Here are a few shots I shot on that occasion.

Gallery on smugmug. set of images on flickr. Set on facebook.

Monument star
Monument star. Buy a print. Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28 mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/14, 1/40s, ISO 100
This is close to the end of Otto's trail looking towards Independence Monument. I had never realized it is a fin instead of a pinnacle (see last image below). The sunstar is caused by diffraction of the small diaphragm opening (i.e. high f-stop) that I used.

Clinging. Buy a print.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28 mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/11, 1/20s, ISO 100

Compare this to a nearby horizontal composition:

Hot and cold
Hot and Cold. Buy a print.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28 mm f/2.8 at 16mm, f/16, 1/6s, ISO 100

I love the contrast of warm and cold tones here. The color was overwhelmingly brilliant and real life.

Monument light
Perspective/Monument light. Buy a print.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28 mm f/2.8 at 28mm, f/11, 1/20s, ISO 100

This shows the Independence Monument rock from the other side. It looks much more like a pinnacle from here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The awesome new Nikon 70-200 mm f/4 VR

Warning: To those interested mostly in my pictures, please ignore this nerdy gear related post.
After quite a bit of analysis and renting lenses (I like I settled on the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4 VR lens as a good compromise between weight and image quality. It came in the mail a few days ago and I tested it out the first chance I got two days ago. I knew it was good but I am still astounded at the enormous detail you can get out of this when used correctly. Here is a sample image:

Snowy canyon
Snowy Canyon. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Nikkor 70-200 mm f/4.0 at 70mm, f/5.6, 1/50s (handheld), ISO 100.

Of course this a web image so you won't really see how sharp this really is, so here is the central portion of the image with the top of the little S in the road showing.

I did not optimize this image for retina displays, nor display sharpen it. The only real adjustment in Lightroom is a +1EV exposure adjustment ( I forgot to overexpose for the white snow). So on retina it will not look as good as it does on normal screens. Just look at that detail. On most computer screens (usually around 100 ppi), you are looking at the equivalent of a 60"x40" (1.5 x 1 m) print.

Here is another example:

Powdered sugar
Powdered sugar. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Nikkor 70-200 mm f/4.0 at 120mm, f/8.0, 1/30s (handheld), ISO 100.

That is handheld at 1/30s at 120 mm! Now check out the 1:1

Powdered sugar
Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Desert sunrise

This is an older image that I have not worked up until now. The image was taken at sunrise near Airport Tower along the White Rim road in Canyonlands National Park. This was early November and so the flowers you see are actually not very much alive but they do provide a nice counterweight to the sunlight Airport Tower. Nights are quite cold out in the desert around this time of year and I remember frost on my tent in the morning (which was pitched right behind where this picture was taken). Hopefully I will be out photographing in the Moab area again next week with some friends. I'll be hunting for more unconventional (and less unconventional ones ;-) ) desert images again. As always, click the image for bigger versions.

Airport Sunrise
Airport Sunrise. Buy a Print. On flickr, On facebook, on Google+.
Composite of 9 images from Nikon D300, Nikon 18-55mm at 35mm, f/16, 1/6s, ISO 200.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Up and Down - Standley Lake Reflection

One of the first 1000 images I took with my new D600. I am now at 6600 or so shutter events and had to clean the sensor for the second time.

Up and down
Up and down. Buy a print. Flickr. Facebook. Google+.
Nikon D600. Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 at 24mm, f/11, 0.6s, ISO 100.