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All posts for the month October, 2011

Just like the Finnish Sininen Hetki, the civil twilight, it lasts only for a brief moment. And if you’re at the right place at the right time, you may see some out of this world things…

Sunrise

This is an HDR image put together from 5 different exposures. D700, ISO200, 1/30-1/60-1/125-1/250-1/500 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Sunrise through the forest

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

So it’s early morning… Sun’s rising, fog’s coming up from the water, which, by the way, is totally still…
Lovely! It was kind of chilly, but refreshing. If I wasn’t dying to go back to bed (after sleeping for only a few hours), I would’ve sat down on the pier and… just sat…

Sunrise over a lake

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Sunrise over a lake

D800, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/9.5, Nikkor 50mm

It’s a hard life… Working the graveyard shift. Getting to bed at 3am and getting up again at 7am to shoot some pictures… (I know, 7am isn’t even THAT early, but after 4 hours of sleep it is!). Luckily around here come fall/winter the sun rises later, so you don’t have to get up at 3am to shoot a sunrise. Or some mist, for that matter.
After the mist I wrote about earlier I wanted to see if I could get some more. Of course I could.
You’d think that with all the bright and vibrant fall colors, all you’d want to do is shoot color, right?
Well… I squeezed in a black and white one. The mist does it quite justice, I must say.

Mist

D700, ISO200, 1/45 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

And we’re not done yet with the fall… Working on more!

If you don’t get the title of the post, you should watch the Green Mile. That’s what they said to put the electricity on during the execution of John Coffey (just like the drink, only not spelled the same).
Electricity was on last night, too. Last year I posted some pictures of the lightning storm over town. And it’s not like this kind of lightning happens all the time. Once a year is already quite a rare thing, but last night there was another one. Not with as many lightning strikes as last year, but more intense. And the weather really hadn’t been anything like pre-thunder storm. It was quite a surprise (which is why I didn’t get many pictures).

Lightning

D700, ISO200, 30 secs @ f/22, Nikkor 50mm

I had the wrong lens on, and opened the balcony windows too little, so that’s why it shows only this. A few shots after this I put the wide angle on, but of course then it was already too late :(
Owwell… Still not a bad one in the end.

So last week I shot those mushrooms (of which I still don’t know what they are, help me out here, people!!), and well, yeah… Since they’re right next to my place I pass there pretty much every day. You can imagine my surprise when the other day when I passed there I saw some movement in the undergrowth.

I set up camp to lure out what was hiding, and geesh… You will NEVER guess what turned up… With a bit of patience… It’s crazy!

Smurfs

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Nikkor 50mm, 2x off-camera SB-800

Smurfs

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm, 2x off-camera SB-800

Smurfs

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Nikkor 50mm, 2x off-camera SB-800

Although temperatures are dropping, it’s still fall. In all it’s glory.
I promised I’d give you some more. I’m not going for all the colorful leaves this year (yet, at least). You’ve probably seen plenty of that.
The other day, when I was driving home, I noticed a whole bunch of mushrooms in a garden patch right out front the building. Had planned to go take some pictures of it, but the weather’s been so crappy that I never got to it. Last Sunday was such a glorious fall day, though, that I finally got to go out and shoot them. Plastic garbage bag a-ready, because I was sprawled out on the wet grass on my belly, getting down and dirty, and up close and personal. I missed all the funny looks from passers-by, but that’s ok. I had some pretty cool views myself.

Mushroom

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

Mushrooms

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

But the coolest thing… shows that you should SO shoot in RAW to retain as much image detail as you possibly can… was this one:

Mushrooms

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm macro, off-camera SB-800

What’s so special about this, you’d probably wonder… Well, I didn’t think of it much first. It’s a funky image with the mushrooms like this and the detail “under the hood”, but when I had it open in Lightroom I noticed the mosquito. Here’s a cut-out of the original:

Cutout of the original

Partial close-up of the original

As a silhouette the mosquito isn’t all that bad either, but I opened it up in Photoshop and went to see how much detail there really was recorded in the RAW file. So with a few adjustments in exposure and curves, and a pixel-perfect mask on the mosquito

The layer mask for the mosquito and the (adjustment) layer panel in Photoshop

The layer mask for the mosquito and the (adjustment) layer panel in Photoshop

the whole thing turned out to be a surprisingly sharp image of the mosquito (lucky focusing there, I guess ;) ). No additional sharpening has been done here. The SB-800 was lying upside down in the dirt to the left (upside down, because I wanted the flash to flash upwards under the cap of the mushroom) and I guess there was so much light bouncing back off the stem and cap of the mushroom that it lit up the mosquito completely. It almost looks like it’s transparent or something. Really cool. Anyway… Ramblings of a biased photographer.

Mushrooms with mosquito

Partial close-up of the adjusted image

By the way… If anyone knows what mushroom this is, feel free to drop me a line. I suck in recognizing plants and other vegetables and Google isn’t much help in this either ;)

Once every year, for about a week, just before it closes for the winter, attraction park Linnanmäki in Helsinki has the Carnival of Light. During this time the park is open in the evenings and all the attractions are wonderfully and colorfully lit and throughout the park there are shows and parades with fire and lights and what not.
I’ve been planning to go there already for years, but I never managed to go.
This year I had set my mind to it, though. And it was planned for Friday. And Friday was -according to the weather forecast- first to be the worst day of the week, but soon that turned around and it was going to be a lovely day. Which it actually did turn out to be. A beautifully sunny and glorious fall day. But then evening came. I had just put up the camera for my first series of photos when it started poooooooooooouring down. Can you say “ANNOYING”??

I might give it another go if I have the time during the coming week and the weather cooperates still.
Here’s the one shot of the series that made it through.

Valokarnevaali

D700, ISO200, 8 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 14-24mm

I’m staying in traffic for a bit.
The other day I was out checking a new apartment. It has an excellent view, very photogenic in many ways and in many directions. This is probably not a direction you’d look at in first glance. But then again, that’s why things here are from a different angle ;)
Love the lines and diagonals in this, and it’s so powerful in black and white! :)

Crossing

D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm