OK, maybe not true abstracts, but bending in that direction. I spent a bit of time this afternoon looking to do some long-exposure work with the river – in broad daylight…
My goal is to continue to explore the boundary between the surface and what lies below and that requires some interesting lighting conditions and ways of visually working into the water column without getting too wet in the process.
The really cool part of these images, for me, only appears in good-size prints. The water’s surface is inscribed with patterns of light so as you pull back you see what is below but upon closer inspection you can tell that there is a layer of water above (see zoomed inset below).
Technical stuff: Canon 5D Mark 2, 24-70mm f/2.8L, exposure times vary but generally around 10 seconds, f/18 to f/22, ISO 100, 3 stop ND filter stacked with 2 polarizers. I believe the first image was done with the ND filter, polarizer and a 3-stop graduated ND filter running left to right. Lightroom processing varies slightly between images but generally fill +10, black +9, vibrance +5-+15, strong contrast curve. Some of the images pulled down the saturation of the red and orange channels to remove some color casting caused, no doubt, by the mass of filters piled up in front of the lens. (That these photos work in color at all was pretty amazing. I was expecting a lot more skewing of colors.)
A scene from the Concord River in Billerica a couple of years ago (you can tell it’s not this year because there’s not 5 feet of snow on the shoreline). I have to admit that I was a bit let down by how this renders in the browser’s colorspace — the blues are much more vibrant on my monitor in Lightroom. That single leaf trapped in the ice also appealed to me a bit.
Technical: Canon 1D Mark II, 24-70mm f/2.8L at 28mm, 1/125 second, f/13, ISO 200. Filter configuration unrecorded.
Lightroom 3: Lens correction applied, exposure +1/4 stop, fill 48, blacks 35, clarity +37, vibrance +7, sharpened to taste. White balance was set to 6300K – which probably isn’t far off from “reality” (such as it was). This was one of those images where the white balance dramatically affected the intent of the image. Keeping it around 6000K balanced the warmth of the setting sun with the cool ice reflecting the sky.
A tiny stream that feeds the Assabet River in Stow — probably 100 yards from busy Route 62. Sometimes color adds to a scene and some call out for no color — and as I was working through this image the color just kept getting in the way.
Technical: Canon 1D Mark II, 24-70mm f/2.8L at 70mm, 5 seconds, f/16, ISO 100. (Probably a polarizer.)
Lightroom 3: lens profile correction, WB to 9960, Exposure +1/2 stop, fill 60, blacks 19, brightness +65, clarity +25, highlights -45, sharpening 40/0.8/39/14; burned the snow in the lower-right 1/3 stop.
Another photograph from the archives… One of our most memorable trips was a few years back when we visited Alaska in February 2004 as part of a Shoot the Light workshop with Charles Glatzer. We had driven down the Kenai Peninsula from Anchorage and were approaching Homer when the light on the bay compelled us to pull over for a bit.
Technical: Canon 10D, 100-400L, ISO 100, 1/200 at f/16.
Lightroom 3: Converted to Black & White, recovery 17, fill 27, black 77 (mostly compensating for lack of contrast caused by the sun’s angle to the lens), touch of clarity.
Where does the time go?
Photographs taken at the Assabet Reservoir in Westborough, Massachusetts.
Canon 7D, 500mm f/4, 24-70mm f/2.8, handheld in kayak (calm water).
Minimal Lightroom processing. The tricky part is picking the white balance… A topic for another day I guess.