Tuesday, February 23, 2016

SS Dominator, Palos Verdes seascape sunset

Some odds and ends from the SS Dominator off the coast of Palos Verdes. Tide was lower which revealed some parts that normally are under water. The water was moving nicely in between the two rusted pieces you see in the foreground so I setup in between and let the tide rush through. The golden hour provided some nice light on the subjects.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/16, ½ and 1/10 sec blended, ISO-50


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Trona Pinnacles - twilight Milky Way

Here is the twilight Milky Way shot from Trona during this month’s new moon. Caught 2 shooting stars in 1 frame. As a general note, you can pull off a good MW shot in Feb if you are ready to shoot about 1.5 hours before sunrise right in that twilight time period before the sun starts washing out the stars. I’ve shared a few tips in the past for astrophotography but here are some good ones to remember. 1: The darker the area the better. Light pollution severely washes out the night sky. 2: Learn how to focus in the dark either using live view manual focusing or by a focus assist high powered flashlight. 3: Use the fastest lens you have, i.e. something that can open to f/2.8 or more. 4: Keep your shutter speed in line with the rule of 500 (some use less) where you take 500 / your full frame focal length equivalent in mm. So a 20mm on a full frame would be 500/20 = 25 secs max. I personally use 15 secs max but my lens opens to f/1.8. 5: Utilize programs such as stellarium to plan the direction of the MW to pre-visualize your shots before you get out in the field. 6: Practice, make mistakes, learn, and repeat.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Seagrass - Palos Verdes sunset seascape

Here is a re-edited version of an oldie but goodie. I’ve been trying to reshoot this because it was when I first got my D750 and was still using the DX Tokina 11-16 lens with it so it’s not the sharpest. But I haven’t been able to get the right conditions to match this shot so I ended up taking a re-edit to it. The original file was blended; this one is all from a single file. I warmed up the white balance to really bring the sunset to life and worked on keeping the vibrant seagrass on the greener side to really contrast against the burn. I brought out the shadows quite a bit as well. Using the shorter exposure, the rocks in the foreground aren’t as blurred as they were with the longer exposure as there is less tide moving through the scene, but it is still long enough to smooth out the water to my liking. The grass in the immediate foreground isn’t sharp either probably because I focused too far back. I’ll get back out to get this one of these days.

Nikon D750, Tokina 11-16, f/11, 10 sec, ISO-100


Monday, February 8, 2016

Early Bird - Trona Pinnacles Milky Way

I guess it’s not the early bird if it’s an all nighter. Had a crammed but successful mission shooting from Sat night to Sun am. Took about 1000 photos in the 12 hour session but mind you most were for the timelapses. We started at Red Rock and Cantil for some star trails then made our way out to Trona for some more trails and to catch the rise of the Milky Way. I was really only able to capture MW 2 comps before the sky started getting washed out by the rising sun. If you read my last MW post, you can now probably see why I love the early season positioning. I love how it sweeps horizontal across the frame making it perfect for a landscape oriented shot. Framed this one with the pinnacles in the backdrop along with one of the trails leading out. The sky was already starting to take on a bit of twilight hues. When I get around to posting the second shot, the sky will be a much richer blue. Hopefully some of you were able to catch some MW shots to kick off the season with a bang. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sunset burn from Palos Verdes - Flat Rock Point

This was one of those sunsets where I was down at Flat Rock point shooting in the other direction when I notice the sky lighting up behind me. All I had time to do was hop over to the other side, quickly setup and shoot with no real comp in mind. Therefore this image is largely unbalanced with everything on the right side of the frame. While I caught some nice wave action, and the sunset was fire, I always like to have a well balanced image with elements of interest throughout the frame and not just hugging one side.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/8, 1 sec, ISO-160