Tag Archives: Assabet River

February 2016 Wallpaper

February 2016 Wallpaper

While searching for a February photograph that didn’t have ice in it I found a series of abstracts I did of the river in 2010 and 2011.   I’ve made a print of the above photo years ago and it is one of my favorites.  I know that abstracts aren’t what I normally use as the monthly wallpaper, but hey, it’s not an ice formation!

If you are interested in how the photograph was made, scroll down to the technical discussion below.  If you are just wondering what you are looking at, it is a river flowing over some rocks with reflections of the sun “drawing” patterns on the water’s surface (done with a long exposure).

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Great for your iPad)

Download the 1280×800 version here.

Download the 1366×768 version here.

Download the 1920×1080 version here. (HDTV widescreen)

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Download the 2448×1836 version here. (iPads with Retina Screens)

Technical: Canon 5D Mk II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L at 125mm, 2 seconds, f/14, ISO 100, ND and polarizing filters. Processed with Lightroom CC 2015.

While, in some sense, all photographs have some level of “previsualization”, when you start moving the camera into the non-human realm of vision there’s a lot more thinking about how the various parts of the photographic process are going to come together when you finally click the shutter.   Details on how I got to this point are documented in this article I wrote at the time (Feb 2010)

Here is the unprocessed photograph.   It still represents an abstract photograph because anyone standing next to me would see glints of sunlight on water flowing over some rocks in shadow.  As your eye would scan the scene your brain would make out the light and color of the rocks below the surface, but the sun is just a collection of sparkles and droplets of spray.

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What happens in the camera is that in a 2 second exposure those sparkles and droplets of spray embody the word photography: they are drawing with light.   The f/14 aperture assures that the sun’s “etching” on the water will be a very fine point (and frankly, I don’t own enough ND filters to bring the light down any further.) The result is an un-natural look of one of the most fundamental scenes in nature: sunlight on water.

From there we have to deal with the limitations of the camera vs. the human eye and brain.  For the camera, the brilliant sunlight on the surface overwhelms the sun-lit bottom of the river, so we have to expose for those highlights and bring out the details in the shadows later.   Once I have the image in Lightroom there is a lot of competing contrast adjustments going on to “compress” the light captured by the camera closer to the mid-tones that you would see if you were standing there.  Here’s essentially what I did for this image:  EV +0.7, highlights -50, shadows +13,   black point -55, clarity +44, vibrance +15,  saturation +10,  linear curve with highlights -15, darks +44, shadows -13.   Sharpening was also pretty aggressive: 113 with a strong low-contrast mask (59).

October 2015 Wallpaper

October 2015 Wallpaper

Here comes autumn…   This photograph was taken a few years ago during a photowalk at Danforth Brook in Hudson (a tributary of the Assabet River).

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Great for your iPad)

Download the 1280×800 version here.

Download the 1366×768 version here.

Download the 1920×1080 version here. (HDTV widescreen)

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Download the 2448×1836 version here. (iPads with Retina Screens)

Technical: Canon 7D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L at 200mm, 1/60 at f/4.0, ISO 640. Processed with Lightroom CC 2015: minor exposure tweaks except whites +30, clarity +20, vibrance +9, medium contrast curve with the Camera Neutral profile).

December 2014 Wallpaper

December 2014 Wallpaper

A variation on a gallery print I used in an exhibit on the Assabet River. Photograph was taken in December 2007.

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Great for your iPad)

Download the 1280×800 version here.

Download the 1366×768 version here.

Download the 1920×1080 version here. (HDTV widescreen)

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Download the 2448×1836 version here. (iPads with Retina Screens)

Technical: Canon 7D. Processed in Lightroom 5 (variety of exposure and contrast tweaks, masked additional clarity to the rocks and frost, leaving the water alone, somewhat aggressive sharpening to emphasize the frost crystals).

February 2014 Wallpaper

February 2014 Wallpaper

After a short (but it felt like it lasted forever) burst of frigid weather here we’re back to just plain ol’ freezing temperatures.   On the plus side, we get some beautiful ice formations along the river.

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Great for your iPad)

Download the 1280×800 version here.

Download the 1366×768 version here.

Download the 1920×1080 version here. (HDTV widescreen)

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Download the 2448×1836 version here. (iOS 7 iPads with Retina Screens)

Technical: Canon 5D Mk2, 70-200mm f/2.0L, 1/8sec at f/11, ISO 125 (w/filters).  Processed in Lightroom 5, somewhat aggressive contrast adjustments mostly.

January 2013 Wallpaper

January 2013 marks my 4th anniversary of my monthly wallpapers.   I hope you continue to enjoy the little slices of nature I dig up each month and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

The recent snow we’ve had here at the turn of the year inspired me to find a slightly more picturesque January — this image was taken in January 2008.  It is the Assabet River as it transitions from Acton to Concord (there’s a town line somewhere in there, I think…)

If you like the above image you can download it to your computer and use it as your desktop or tablet wallpaper. A few of the common screen sizes are available:

Download the 1024×768 version here. (Perfect for your iPad)

Download the 1280×1024 version here.

Download the 1680×1050 version here.

Technical: Canon 1D Mark II, 24-70mm f/2.8 at 70mm.  1/13s at f/11, ISO 200.  Filtering unrecorded.   Processed with Lightroom 4.   There was a lot of tonal compression applied here — too many tweaks to detail.  The two most important were a selective mask of the river where I lowered the exposure by 1/3 stop and added clarity — effectively reproducing what a polarizer would do.  The second biggest push was to move the highlights down to recover some detail in the snowbank.  (I actually had the image ready to go without that and upon a third look decided something needed to be done there!)