Archive for June, 2012

June 12, 2012

Abstract Dance

ISO100, 340mm, f22, 1/6 second

The long shawls worn by the fancy dancers at a pow-wow lend themselves to a soft, fluid image. As this was taken during the brightest part of the day, I could have put a ND filter on my lens, but it was easier–and faster–to close down the aperture.  I had to go to f22 to get the shutter speed I was after (a side issue of f22 is the need to carefully dust-bust your image during post-processing, as f22 shows up all the little dust spots that may be invisible at f8). I was using my 70-200mm 2.8 lens, with a 1.7x teleconverter on it, because I really wanted to get in close to remove all but the sense of movement and colour from the image.  The only other post-processing I did on this image was to slightly increase the exposure, add a little extra warmth and up the vibrance slightly–those tweaks have become standard for me and I perform them on most of my images.

One of my favourites!

June 11, 2012

Colour Overload

ISO800, 200mm, f8, 1/1600

There are certain images that simply beg to be taken.  As I sat watching the Grand Entry during the Rocky Mountain House pow-wow, I knew I wanted to get an image of this Elder with the flags behind him–all framed by blue sky. To get the necessary angle for the shot, I was laying on the ground and shooting up. I also had to wait for the wind to unfurl both the US and British flags at the same time.  And I wanted to isolate the elder from others in the procession.   I shot dozens of images, but only a handful had all of the elements that I was looking for. Visualize what you want, and keep shooting–sometimes in the flurry of activity you don’t even realize what you have captured.

June 10, 2012

The motion of the dance

Those of you how have read a few of my posts know that I enjoy motion blur and long exposure images. While some images, such as fast moving horses or traffic lend themselves to those type of images, due to their linear direction, dancers present a bit more of a challenge as they are not usually moving in a single direction, so panning does not work.  While at the Rocky Mountain House pow-wow last year, I stayed long into the evening.  So long, in fact, that long exposures ended up being the only thing I could really try unless I wanted to push my camera to the limits of its ISO ability.  While most of the images didn’t work, there were a few from that colorful evening that I really liked.

ISO100, 195mm, f8, 1/13 second

ISO100, 165mm, f7.1, 1/20 second

For both of these images, the only adjustments I made in Lightroom was slightly increasing the warmth (to the cloudy setting), increasing the exposure a little, increasing the vibrance and the clarity (even with a blurred image, increasing the clarify provided a little more contrast to the image).  I also increased the blacks to bring back some of the depth and contrast.

When twilight approaches and you are shooting a fast moving person or event, you have several options, try to keep the person or object sharp by bumping up your ISO and risking noise, or opening up to the limits of your lens, or both, or slowing your shutter speed and let the motion become the image.  You will delete far more images than you keep, but there may be just a few that capture the moment in a way that your own eyes missed.