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“Heron Marsh Trail”
Canon 1Ds Mk III, 1/4 sec @f/14, ISO 400, 17mm (EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II)

This image was pretty straight forward from a technical standpoint, and a good example where any mode except manual fails miserably to make a proper exposure. A careful balance between shadows and highlights is crucial in terms of conveying the depth I felt as i walked along this trail and the forest opened up to the marsh. The feeling of moving into the open space is what the image is about, yet I didn’t want to give away what was beyond these last few trees, so the element of mystery is also at play. I used higher than normal ISO in order to minimize movement in the trees, and was very careful with the corners in order to avoid any distractions. Sure I could have used HDR, but the deep shadows and very soft light is the effect I was after, not an exposure where every part of the image leaves nothing to the imagination.

“Buck Pond at Dawn”
Canon 1Ds Mk III, 1/25 sec @f/11, ISO 400, 16mm (EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II)

I had been “eyeballing” this spot from my campsite since it was about 30 feet away and in front of a small marsh in the water. I knew the stump in the pond would provide something in the foreground together with the delicate grasses to anchor the image. I couldn’t walk there, so I used my canoe to get into position, then stood in the pond together with my tripod and waited what seemed like forever for the water to settle down like a sheet of glass. Because I was concerned about movement, and didn’t want to use too high of a ISO, I set my aperture to f/11 allowing more light to enter and hence raise my shutter speed. The tradeoff of course is depth of field, so I focused on the grasses to the left and hoped the lily’s in the foreground would remain fairly sharp which they did. At f/11 and 16mm, my hyper-focal distance was about 10 feet, so focusing 10 feet away meant that everything from 5 to infinity would be sharp. Here, I tried to make sure the closest lily was about 5 feet from my lens.
You can find several calculators for hyper focal distance here.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I love these two photos Rob. Buck Pond must have taken a lot of patience. the feeling of moving to open space definitely comes through on the Heron Marsh photo, both from the light and from the clarity of the distance tree line and outline of the mountains in comparison to the outlines of the branches of the near trees. Thanks for sharing these.

    1. Thanks for the feedback as always Steve – photography is a language that I am just beginning to learn, but the beauty is anyone can learn if there is enough practice! Talk soon, RR

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