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