Monday, January 30, 2012

flying over snow

Over the weekend, I was given another opportunity to fly with Heath (first opportunity here.) This time it was over a snowy landscape that completely changed how the ground looked; the recent snowfall had covered everything with a fresh white blanket.

Normally, the lines created by farmland, and differences in soil, break up the landscape but with everything the same color and texture it was easier to notice the subtle rise and fall in topography.  Therefore, I found myself just as interested in the abstract patterns in shadows as I was with looking for recognizable landmarks and trying to capture the essence of the world from above.

In all it was another glorious day for flying.
And, yes Heath, you were right…the queasiness is easier to handle the second time around.
Thanks again!

Monday, January 23, 2012

snow landscapes

This past weekend finally brought snow to Wisconsin worth paying attention to.  Therefore, I ventured out for a drive to try and find some photos.  I was pretty disappointed with the lack of sunlight but there were some great landscape features that look very different in a light snowfall.  (It almost felt like fog.)

Photography like this can be quite fun (if you stay warm) when you look for interesting textures, lines and patterns. (Kirsten, this photo below is when you passed me on the road.)

For the above photos, I decided on just driving out of town, since the 5 degree weather (and -10 wind chill) was a little much.  The next day the weather was a balmy 15 degrees, so I ventured a hike to Parfey’s Glen; a recently re-opened "canyon" that was washed out a couple years ago.  I think I will defiantly need to head back there in the spring.

Technical thought process:
Photographically, snow can be hard to capture right.  The white of the snow and the dark of the rocks are at opposite ends of the dynamic range of the camera.  This is made harder in overcast conditions actually, because it takes away all shadows that can reveal the texture of the snow.  With no shadows it is just a mass of white.  I was very careful not to under expose the snow too, the camera may not like it but I wanted that to be almost pure white.

For the driving around shots up top, I had the opposite problem.  When shooting in the fog (or light falling snow in this case) with a long lens, I am looking through a lot of moisture in the air so everything actually becomes very flat.  Sure, I can expose the snow to be white, but the trees will look like they are light grey instead of dark.  To "fix" this, I needed to really play with the contrast by using the custom curves option in Light Room in order to see the difference.

Like everything, photography takes doing and experimenting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

uw hockey

Over the weekend, Sarah and I were invited to fill some empty box seats at a UW Men's Hockey Game.  Not only was the game fun and the seats great but the company was definitely worth the price of free.  UW winning was an added bonus for me, but the die-hard fans would probably only judge the evening by that single fact.  Thanks Britton (that's the back of his head there in the first pick.)

If I ever go to a hockey game to shoot the event, I think I want seats right behind whatever piece of glass gets pounded the most...but you can't beat the seats we had for overall enjoyment of the game.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

water drops on window

First images of 2012 turned out better than I anticipated, things like this make me see the value of a macro lens even more.

Window condensation looking towards pre-sunrise blue sky: