photography

Double Exposure or Something Else?

I recently posted an image to Flickr in which I appear to be in two locations simultaneously.  Was I traveling with a twin or was there some kind of trickery afoot?  As you have probably guessed, I do not have a twin…I was actually at two locations in the same photograph!  Was time travel involved…perhaps…perhaps not?  Was my future self hiding behind the giant redwood tree to avoid detection by my other self?  Obviously not…I do not have the ability to travel in time!  A rational explanation exists.  Was the photo the result of a double exposure or something else?  I will go into detail on the steps required to create this photograph.

Time Traveller; Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California USA

Time Traveller; Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California USA

One last thing…you are probably asking yourself this question…Was this simply a double exposure image?  The answer to that is no.  The following steps detail the steps needed to create this image:

 

Equipment

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2

XF16mmF1.4 R WR

 

Feisol Travel Tripod CT-3441S Rapid

Ball Head CB-40D

 

Adobe Lightroom v6.14

Adobe Photoshop CS6

Nik Software (Silver Efex Pro 2, Analog Efex Pro 2)

 

  1. Utilizing my tripod, I set up my camera and composed the image.  I decided to use my wide angle XF16mmF1.4 R WR lens to capture the full width of the monstrous redwood tree and the surrounding forest.
  2. I captured two separate photographs…one standing next to the tree and a second shot with me hiding on the opposite side of the tree.
  3. Both images were brought into Adobe Photoshop CS6.  Each of the two images were placed on separate layers.
  4. Adjusting the opacity of the top layer to 50%, I used the eraser tool to remove the portion of the overlying image (layer)…exposing the second “me”!  The opacity was adjusted back to 100%.  
  5. The image was saved as a .psd image.
  6. Adobe Lightroom v6.14 was utilized to perform the necessary cropping and editing to produce the final image.  In addition to Adobe Lightroom, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 was used to convert the image to a monochrome tone and a border was added using Nik Analog Efex Pro 2.
  7. The image was next brought into Adobe Photoshop CS6 and saved in its final form as both a .jpg and .psd image.

 

Photography Tips #1 - How To Photograph the Redwoods!

I was recently lucky enough to visit northern California and photograph the majestic Coastal Redwoods!  If any of you have had the chance to visit this area, you know that producing decent photos of the redwoods can be quite challenging.  Here are a few tips that I put together:

Five images stitched together to create a 6x17 format panorama.  This was shot using the 35mm F1.4 XF lens on my Fujifilm X-T1.

Five images stitched together to create a 6x17 format panorama.  This was shot using the 35mm F1.4 XF lens on my Fujifilm X-T1.

1.  It is best to avoid wide angle lenses, except for specific close proximity compositions.  A wide angle lens tends to transform the huge and awe inspiring trunks of the redwoods into skinny straw-like figures.  That is unlikely to be the effect most photographers are trying to achieve.  

2.  Use a normal (35mm APS-C) or telephoto lens.  A normal lens will allow you to retain the width, breadth, and enormity of the tree trucks (see panoramic image above).  Careful composition can produce wonderful results!  A telephoto lens will allow you to compress the depth of the forest, making it appear to look more dense than it really is.

3.  Don't try to photograph the entire redwood tree!  It is not only a fruitless effort, but even if you succeed, you will almost always lose a sense of scale...or the tree will appear to be leaning away from you!

As you can see here...a normal lens (35mm APS-C) does a fine job of retaining the scale of the trees.

As you can see here...a normal lens (35mm APS-C) does a fine job of retaining the scale of the trees.

4.  Scale back your camera's exposure compensation dial (-1, -2, -3, etc.) to account somewhat for high contrast conditions when shadows and sunlit trees are combined in you composition!  Sometimes the light meter in your camera overcompensates for the darks areas at the expense of the bright areas...resulting in loss of detail in those portions of your photo.  Play around with your settings to find something that looks good.

5.  Set your aperture to F16, use a tripod, and use your camera's timer function.  Since each of your exposures are likely to last several seconds, stability is your friend!

6.  Don't ignore smaller, more intimate compositions in lieu of always capturing the bigger scene! Also, don't be scared to break out the macro lens!

7.  Don't hesitate trying some black and white photography.  Concentrate more on composition, textures, contrast, and lighting to produce some truly wonderful results!

Bring forth you inner Ansel Adams!  Black and white photography can be fun...producing compositions that you would typically ignore.

Bring forth you inner Ansel Adams!  Black and white photography can be fun...producing compositions that you would typically ignore.

8.  As an alternate to digital photography, go old school with analog.  Whether it be 35mm, medium format, panoramic, or large format...go for it!

This composition utilizes trees on opposite sides of the image to frame the "tree of interest" in the center of the photograph.

This composition utilizes trees on opposite sides of the image to frame the "tree of interest" in the center of the photograph.

Once again...the normal lens is your friend as shown in this photo.

Once again...the normal lens is your friend as shown in this photo.

My list of tips are merely the tip of the iceberg!  As you get out there and shoot...you will find other "tips" that help you as a photographer express your vision through your photography!

Planning Underway For Photography Vacation To Newfoundland!

The time continues to move closer to my 2016 photography-oriented vacation trip!  For the most part, I started this annual photography ritual back in 2007, with my trip to the National Parks of the West Coast, USA.  This was my first trip with a DSLR, my good old friend the Pentax K10D.  My photographic odyssey took me to Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Lassen, Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Olympic units of the NPS system!  It proved to be a learning experience in regards to photographic technique...primarily lighting and composition.  A quick outline of my annual trips follows:

  1. [2007] - National Parks and Monuments of the West Coast, USA
  2. [2008] - Australia (Northern Territory, New South Wales) and New Zealand (North Island)
  3. [2009] - Australia (South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania)
  4. [2010] - Australia (Western Australia)
  5. [2011] - Canada (National Parks of the Canadian Rockies)
  6. [2012] - Australia (Queensland and New South Wales)
  7. [2013] - Hawaii (Big Island)
  8. [2014] - California (Sequoia NP, Kings Canyon NP, and Yosemite NP)
  9. [2015] - Hawaii (Maui)

So where will 2016 take me you ask?  This year I'll be off to Newfoundland-Labrador, Canada!  I'll actually be spending all my time on Newfoundland...Labrador will have to wait for another time.  I'm still trying to figure out what photographic equipment to bring with me.  I am weighing the possibility of buying a new Fujifilm X-Pro2 for the trip.  If not, I might opt for a couple of new weather-resistant lenses from Fuji:  XF16mmF1.4 R WR and/or XF35mmF2 R WR.

At any rate...I'll be opting for my Fujifilm gear:  Fujifilm X-Pro1, Fujifilm X-T1, and the Fujifilm X100S plus an assortment of lenses.  My biggest decision will be trying to decide on what analog gear to bring.  Should I go only with medium format...or both medium format and 35mm?  That is certainly the question!  The possible film cameras I'll be bringing include the following:

  • Bronica RF645
  • Fujfilm GF670 Pro
  • Voigtlander Perkeo I
  • Zeiss Ikon ZM
  • Leica M6

Luckily I don't have to make the decision right this very moment...but it will have to be made soon!  Whatever gear I end up taking, the trip to Newfoundland promises to be an experience of a lifetime!  I'll post further details of the trip as it approaches...and provide details and photos of my experiences!

When is the time "right" for photography?

When is the time "right" for photography?  That is quite an open-ended question.  Actually, the time is "right" whenever you are inclined or feel moved to take that shot.  However, sometimes the "right" time equals the "best" time!  If you find yourself at your favorite national park on a cold, windy, rainy, and dreary day...don't despair!  I've found that some of my best photos originate on just these kinds of days!  Take for example this photo.  I was at Glacier National Park, Montana...the weather was not necessarily the best for hiking...but it proved to be excellent for photography.  Often extreme weather conditions can add another dimension to an already beautiful scene!  

Glacier National Park, Montana              Bronica RF645; Zenzanon-RF 65mm F4; Kodak Ektar 100

Glacier National Park, Montana              Bronica RF645; Zenzanon-RF 65mm F4; Kodak Ektar 100