I once saw an image of Maroon Bells, where the entire scene was red in color, due to sunrise. After I saw that shot, I have been dreaming of taking a similar (or better) picture. During our last trip, we went to the spot twice with Sergey. We woke up at 5 AM the first morning in Glenwood Springs and arrived to Aspen at 5:50 AM, right before the sunrise. We were amazed to see hundreds of photographers lined up with their tripods, hoping to get a good picture of the place. We waited and waited and the sun never showed up on the mountains, since it was a cloudy day and it wouldn’t want to clear up for our shots. Even when some sky opened up for a few minutes, the clouds would again take over the whole sky, leaving no opportunities for good photographers. Here is a shot from the first day:
So many pictures, so little time. I will post some more pics tomorrow.
One of the things that makes photography frustrating, is softness and blur in pictures. Sharp photos are much more appealing than soft images. It is very disappointing when you take a picture at a special moment and images come out soft/blurry or out of focus. In this article, I will go through the techniques that I use to make sure that my images always come out tack sharp.
Let’s start with the reasons why an image might come out blurry:
- Slow shutter speed could cause camera shake, which would produce a blurry image
- Poor focus acquisition would result in a soft image
- Your subject could be moving and causing a motion blur
- You might have a bad lens or a lens that is not capable of producing sharp photos
- Your ISO could be set to a very high number, resulting in lots of noise and loss of detail
Haven’t had much time to go through the images…we’ve been busy shooting all kinds of stuff lately (more to come). Anyway, below are some images of nature that I picked from our trip to Yellowstone.
This first image is from the Grand Teton National Park, which was our initial destination before Yellowstone. The funny thing is, it is called “Grand Tetons” because of the French explorers, that dubbed the peaks “Les Trois Tetons”, which literally means “The Three Breasts” :)
The water in the below photo was taken during our short hike to Hidden Falls at Jenny Lake. There was too much contrast in the falls and my pictures didn’t come out as good, so I decided to post the running river below instead (which is not that great either). Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a tripod or a camera bag with me, so the best I could do was to put the camera on a rock, set ISO to the lowest number, set minimum aperture of f/22, aperture priority and shoot away. Well, I’ll know better next time :)
I have probably seen a dozen full rainbows in my adult life and every time I saw one I wished I had a camera with me. When I did have a camera, the scenery just sucked and photos never came out good enough. This time I thought the pictures came out a little better, but still not exactly what I was hoping for… This is a double rainbow, by the way:
The full rainbow was huge and my lens was not wide enough to be able to capture the whole thing. I did try some quick panoramic shots, but my panorama stitching software is having a hard time aligning both the rainbow and the landscape on the bottom of the frame…need to play around with Photoshop and see if I can figure out another way of making it work.
This first pic is a 30 megapixel image that was composed from 9 vertical exposures. I was planning to make it a panoramic image, but then the left side looked a little odd, so I cropped it to look like a normal image.
The second image was captured at the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. Besides using a circular polarizer to darken the sky, the image itself is basically straight out of the camera. I used a “Vivid” camera profile in Lightroom – nothing else was touched, including saturation.
This third image looks overly saturated, but in reality it looked exactly like shown here (again, no saturation added in Lightroom/Photoshop). The combination of Redstone and sun created beautiful light, almost like during sunset.
This gorgeous wonder is located in Page, Arizona. The sandstone has been deformed by water for thousands of years and was discovered by a little native girl back in 1920s. The local natives pretty much monopolized the Antelope Canyon and created tour agencies that take tourists there. Their regular tours are about one hour long and run at $32 USD per person. There are special tours for photographers for $50 USD that last for 2 hours.
I took the regular tour because we were rushing to Grand Canyon and didn’t have enough time. If you want to photograph the Antelope Canyon, I strongly suggest getting the photography tour, because one hour will NOT be enough. There will be other groups wanting to take pictures and you will have to spend most of your time waiting for a good opportunity. A tripod is a must, or you will simply have crappy pictures at high ISOs and low shutter speeds. Each exposure I took was between 15-30 seconds @ ISO 200 and I simply didn’t have enough time to take good pictures of the canyon. The best time of the year to go there is May and June, but I was told that the place gets so crowded, that people walk shoulder to shoulder. It is also the only time of the year when you can get direct sunlight into the canyon as shown in this picture. During the rest of the year, the best time of the day to visit the canyon is between 10 am to 12 pm. Oh and one more thing – wear good hiking shoes and be ready for a lot of dust.