Monday, February 22, 2010

My hands got so cold

Couple more ice shots from this past weekend and my early morning of laying on a frozen lake.

It's hard to make it through a winter around here without managing a few of these kind of ice shots. Now that it's getting warmer I might have to go out specifically in search of these before everything melts.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

And on the eighth day, god created ice.

This morning I got out early in search of something. Wasn't sure what it was or where I would find it but I went out in search none the less. Ended up at my first stop but found the conditions were shit and frankly, boring. Found another spot but the rather large and conspicuous "No Trespassing" signage turned me off that location; didn't feel like running into some moron who might attempt to ruin my otherwise good mood.

I ended up taking a quick jaunt down to the waterfront to check out any possible nice sunrise action. I wasn't disappointed. The sunrise itself kind of sucked; I've seen better. When I was about ready to head back to the car, just as the sun was coming up, I noticed a natural ice formation sticking out of the snow about 100 yards out from shore. Seeing as how the ice is still thick enough I took the walk and was able to come up with this...

I wasn't in search of ice shots; this one kind of found me. I could have just gone home but instead I decided to come to this spot and lucked out.
Had to lay prone on the ice for about 10 minutes to get a series of shots.
It's hard to get a good exposure doing these and I don't practice them enough to nail it right away.
I'm happy as long as I get a couple that I like, maybe one I can print.
Like this one...

These type of shots are always fun to play around with when the opportunity presents itself.
For a real good look at some fantastical icescapes, why don't you quit reading this and go check out the wonderful world of ice brought to you by Mr. Jay Arpin.


Friday, February 19, 2010

The Trees effect

Found a few older shots from this past fall that I guess I had never got around to posting. Not just that but I'd never really even looked at them. I do that I guess; take a ton of photos each time out and never touch 3/4 of them.

Trees. Fall. Near my house. Nothing too special.
Fall always possesses me to try new things and experiment a little bit with light and colour.

This shot for example. Same area, same day, same camera, different settings and intentionally blurred to produce a bit of a painted look. I first did this accidentally but happened to like the way these shots can look when you purposely pan the lens during exposure. It's just a different spin on the same old boring shots of fall colour. I like this one enough that I think I will print it and have it framed.
After finding the last two shots the other day, I had some spare time and happened to have the camera handy so I figured I'd take a walk and try a few more. This time around the colours were a bit more bland but the effect remained the same.

So there you have it. Boring old shots made a little more interesting.

Ansel Adams once said " There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs".

That said, I'm going to go have a scotch and catch some sleep. Photogging tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Star Trails Experiment #1

Tonight the weather actually cooperated for long enough for me to throw the camera on the tripod and set up in the back yard to do a test shoot for some more serious star trails.

I'd mentioned that I think I know what I'm doing now but tonight didn't seem to work out that well. I ended up shooting a 26 minute exposure at f/3.5, ISO 200, triggered via remote and aimed straight up at nothing but black sky filled with stars.
After 26 minutes I went outside to check my results and I had an image of a white, blown out square on my screen. No stars. No sky. Just blown out white.

It wasn't supposed to be anything fancy; more a shot to see if my camera (which is only capable of a maximum 30 minute exposure) could handle this type of shot without catching on fire and blowing up causing severe injury to any unfortunate passerby within a 30 yard radius.
I think my problem was the backyard light emitted from my neighbors porch and subsequent light reflected from my other neighbors olympic sized backyard hockey rink may have been picked up more than anything else by my camera's sensor, hence the overexposed white blob I ended up with.

Since my original location is closed to the public for the next 3 to 4 weeks, I'm not sure I will get the chance to carry out experiment #2 any time in the near future. Time will tell.

On a brighter note, I did get out this morning and shoot some local animals. When I went over these shots with Lightroom (on my laptop) I thought they looked perfect on my monitor. When I got home and viewed them on my other monitor they looked a lot more contrasty and saturated. Almost too contrasty for some reason. I dunno, have a look see...

See what I mean. Too contrasty.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Old shots revisited

No time to actually shoot new material drives me to revisit older shots from way back when.

Trowbridge falls cascades lower end

Trowbridge Falls upper river

Sleeping Giant sunrise, Pool 6

Silhouetted fishermen, Dog Lake, Ontario

Images © Ian Benninghaus 2010. All rights reserved
Not to be used without permission.

Star Trails

I'm going to attempt to shoot some star trails. I've not spent a lot of time on it and have yet to give it a serious attempt.

Tried it once before without much effort and resulted in a shot with a few stars, some movement but not a lot as far as a decent result...

As it turns out, there is a lot more to it than I had first expected. From what I've been researching, star trails take a bit more effort than a simple long exposure at night.

My first half assed attempt was a 921 second (15 minute, 35 second) exposure.
Half an hour would provide for some better results but I'm not sure whether my camera will develop hot pixels resulting in unwanted noise due to sensor heat.

Seeing as how it's still somewhat cold out as of late I'm banking on the cooler night air to help alleviate this issue. We'll have to wait and see; it's going to be an experiment for sure.

I think I know what I'm doing now and have a couple locations in mind. Just have to wait for the weather to start cooperating. Hopefully I will have some decent results. Fingers crossed.

Networked Blogs?

I've decided to link this blog through Networked Blogs. Not so much to increase readership (of which there is slim to nil) but more so because I can and it's something to do.

More networking. My Flickr links to Facebook, Facebook links to Twitter, this blog now links to all of them.

I really need to update this blog more often. My main excuse is that I never have the time. It's my excuse since the last update over a month ago. Here's to hoping I keep up with it this time around.

On an unrelated note, do yourself a favor and check out Seung Kye Lee. The guy is absolutely fantastic and abundantly talented behind the camera.
On that note, also check out Bliss If you're planning on getting married or even if you're not, give Alvis' work a view and be awestruck by his incredible wedding photography.

That's all I've got.

Planning a night time photo op shortly. It's specific purpose must remain a secret for now. Will update later.

Here's some cat stuff from lately since I've not been outdoors in a while...