Sunday, February 28, 2016

Weekly Challenge: Landscape Zoomed In

I'm cheating on the weekly challenge already, and it's not even March. Instead of taking each weekly challenge topic in order, as an assignment, I took an image and scanned the topics to find one that fits it.

The Week 14 challenge from Dogwood Photography is "Landscape: Zoomed in--Most landscapes are wide sweeping images. Try an alternative and zoom in instead." Perfect for today's shot.

A spell of nice-ish weather arrived. It was a beautiful morning for a stroll in the park. I was also roused by a video at Luminous Landscape featuring photographer and instructor Katrin Eismann. She said that she tells her students to get out and shoot every day. Eismann does too, because how would it look if she didn't? So in part my shame drove me outdoors.

I took the Nikkor 70-200mm zoom because it tends to stay in the bag while the Tamron 24-70mm zoom gets lots of exercise (and, truth be told, I wish the Nikkor was a bit longer). But we have a trip coming up and I didn't want to feel stale with either lens so I took the 70-200 for a walk.

Our little stream caught my eye, as it often does. The low sun sent ripple images through the clear water onto the stream bed. The zoom's image quality is always good. 

Stream Bed
The image doesn't follow any composition rules. There's no foreground-midfield-background that most landscapes have. The rule of thirds certainly ain't there. But the textures and the movement speak to me. It looks really good as my desktop background, too; it will probably replace this.

The details: Nikon D750 handheld 1/200 sec. f/11, ISO 800 (70mm AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:4G ED)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekly Challenge: Landscape, Black and White

This week's challenge from Dogwood Photography is "Landscape: Black and White--Look for a scene with great contrast that will make a great black and white."

Last week's enormous snow storm provided lots of high-contrast material. This morning I took a walk in our local park and tried to think in b&w. I took a lot of shots in the woods, where long shadows were falling on snow and branches stuck up everywhere. There were some nice woodpiles emerging from the snow too. Sucker that I am for textures, I shot plenty of those:

But my favorite is this image of geese on the partially frozen surface of the pond. I fooled around with Lightroom's B&W Presets: they are a quick way to look at variations on your image, and you can start with one and then tweak it further. I ended up using my own settings but they are pretty similar to the LR B&W Look 2 preset.

Geese on Ice
Other observations: I haven't figured out how to keep my hands warm in cold weather. Mittens and gloves don't allow working the camera, so I end up sticking my hands in my pockets and blowing on them. The Nikon D750 seems not to mind the cold at all.