cold

All posts tagged cold

I tend to think I’m a social (sociable) guy. But I know I also love solitude. I love to go out by myself, to places where I know I’m alone, where no one can hear me, where I can hear no one.
When I was in the Rocky Mountains with my Buddy Wayne we had an absolute great time, spent together of course, mostly. But there was one moment when we were supposed to shoot the sunrise over Grand Lake, but replanned because there was too thick a fog. We went out on a hike instead and at some point I ventured one way and he the other. I veered off the path and walked about half a mile or so into the bushes, until just at the edge of the forest line.

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

See, not very good for sunrise, or what? πŸ˜€

Got some surprising company in the end:

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2 III

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2 III

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2 III

 

It was awesome. Yeah, it could’ve been a black bear, I realize. In which case it would’ve still been awesome, but things may not have ended in the same way as they did πŸ˜€
It’s a completely different feeling than when you pull up behind the other 10 cars with people (and their pockets / cellphones with flash).

I can write loooong pieces of text about the landscapes.
They’re gorgeous. And they’re many. And they look different every day, especially when you have a sunny day one day and snow the next, and sun again the day after that.
Have a look:

Valley with a river running in between two mountain ranges

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

Yellow line dividing the road running off into the distance

D800, ISO400, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2

Boulders on top of a mountain in Rocky Mountain national park

D800, ISO100, 1/30 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

Logs in the partly frozen water of a lake

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Dirt road leading into the fog and into the Rocky Mountains

D800, ISO100, 1/30 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Waterfall in a small stream covered with fallen trees

D800, ISO400, 1/4 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Water fall in a small canyon in Grand Lake in the Rocky Mountains

D800, ISO100, 8 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND

Sunset over Grand Lake

D800, ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

After all the fuss with the cards and then the image theft, I finally got around to do something with my images.
I’ll spread it out over a few posts, so I don’t have to write everything in one go, and you get to take your time looking at the scenery πŸ˜‰

The initial idea was that we were going to photograph the fall colors. But my Buddy had already warned me to take warm clothes, because the weather was turning around rapidly.
And so it did. I flew in to Denver late one night. We slept a night, and went for a ride in Rocky Mountain National Park, slept for another night and went back along the same route.
These were two completely different days. Two completely different worlds. It was both amazing and stunning. But I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

Colorado River (as a baby)

D800, ISO400, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

And 24 hours later:

Colorado River (as a baby)

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

Traffic sign without snow

D800, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

And 24 hours later:

Traffic sign after a night of snow

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

The sunrises in the posts before the previous one (the one with the ferries) were shot on Tuesday 7th of February. I was well in time, well before the Civil Twilight set in. I was on location at around 7:15 am and it was still dark. Then I planned to go shoot another sunrise with a friend of mine on Friday 10th (the pictures below are from that day). He asked me what time we should meet, and with the “7:15 still dark” in the back of my mind I told him between 7:00 and 7:15 would be just fine. But then Friday came and I was driving down to the location and Civil Twilight had already set in around 7:05. We missed the prettiest part, unfortunately πŸ™
So within three days Civil Twilight had come about 20 minutes earlier…

Not all was lost, though, and even though the sunrise itself wasn’t as spectacular as the Tuesday before, the images still came out nice.
And there’s one of the moonset, too, which happened to be at the same time, in the same location, but then on the other side. I considered trying a 270Β° panorama, with both sunrise and moonset in one picture, but didn’t do it in the end. You’ll have to make do with separates.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/10 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

Lauttasaari moonset

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm (two images merged in Photoshop)

 

I didn’t realize when I was out there, that I was so close to the route of the cruise liners that go to Estonia and Sweden from Helsinki. So it was a nice surprise when they came by.

Cruise liner going to Sweden

D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 70-200mm

The next one was a bit more complicated. I had to run close to the water and set up 14 flashes which I could remotely trigger, so that the ship was lit up sufficiently. I nearly drowned in the process, but I survived.

Cruise liner going to Tallinn, Estonia

D700, ISO200, 1/60 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Okok… I lied… I didn’t use flashes, I did it in post-processing πŸ˜‰

I can just hear you think: “Pff… That guy is ranting all the time about how not to overdo it with the saturation sliders and all, and look at him, totally out of control there!”

But no. I wasn’t. What you see here, is pretty much what I saw out there. It was beautiful. It was breath-taking. It was like the sky was ignited. I took the last image from the previous blog post. Check it out from the screenshots below, and you’ll see that I didn’t touch the saturation sliders to saturate the colors. I even DEsaturated the blues slightly.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm.

What you see above here is the original. The untouched, unedited RAW file. I underexposed it on purpose, because I didn’t want to blow out the shades in and around the sun. Shooting in RAW will give you so much leverage that you can easily underexpose with a few stops without the risk of screwing up your image.

I imported the image in Lightroom, where I tweaked it slightly. The screenshot below shows I didn’t touch the saturation sliders. Just the lens correction, some fill light and some clarity, which made the image look like this:

Lauttasaari sunrise

The original image after some minor adjustments in Lightroom

After that I opened it up in Photoshop. The first thing I did was pull up a curves adjustment layer and gave it some more contrast:

Lauttasaari sunrise

A curves adjustment layer to give the image a bit more contrast for that little punch

See what that does to the color? This would almost go for a saturation increase, wouldn’t it? That’s what contrast typically does to a picture, it gives it that little extra punch that makes it from flat into… well… flamboyant πŸ˜€

The next thing I did, that’s a personal thing, I guess, is desaturate the snow at the bottom. Even if the dark clouds above reflected their deep blue hue in the snow, and it really looked blue, I don’t really fancy it. So I made that look a lot less blue (as I did in all the images from the previous blog post. I think in the first one it shows most clearly).

Lauttasaari sunrise

A hue/saturation adjustment layer including layer mask to desaturate the blue tone from the snow in the bottom part of the image.

And finally a levels adjustment layer, also for the snow at the bottom part, to lighten it up a bit so it didn’t look too grey. Be careful not to lighten it up too much, otherwise it’ll look unnatural with the rest of the image.

Lauttasaari sunrise

A levels adjustment layer to brighten up the snow a tad bit, so that it doesn't look grey after desaturating the blue.

So there you have it. The end result. No out of control saturation stuff. Just the way it was. And gorgeous it was! Worth withstanding the cold every second.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

… you gladly return to freeze your ass off. Seriously!
The forecast was bad. The forecast was full cloudy, with chances of snow. But I had to get up early to bring the Better Half to the airport, so I figured I could take the camera anyway. To drive down there, have a looksie, and if it wouldn’t look good, go home and back to bed.
It didn’t look good. You know… for once… the forecast had a point. It was cloudy. Very much so. But owwell… I was awake and cold (the temperature was only -4Β°C, but that wind… that wind was MEAN, I tell you!), so it would be stupid to go back home and to be now, right?

Right! Good things will come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. And so on and so on.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 10 sec @ f/6.7, Nikkor 50mm

I was out there well before the sunrise started. It was still full dark. But when the light hit through, it started out like this. The sky opened up slightly for a moment, which was when I shot a few pictures like the one above. Then it got totally cloudy again. But then, when the actual sunrise started, it opened up again slightly.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/10 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

I wrote about hi-contrast black and white late last year, when I shot a picture from the window of my apartment.

I shot a bunch of images from this window (all posted here on the blog), which I figured I could turn into a series I named “Between the corner of the street and the sixth floor” (or in Finnish “Kadun kulman ja kuudennen kerroksen vΓ€lissΓ€”). Don’t ask… πŸ˜‰
Anyway… I was missing one image still, and I had some idea about it. And I thought I could implement one of the most clichΓ© things in photography. It was kind of inspired by that court case about copyright infringement which has just been in the news in the UK about the black and white image with the red British bus and the Big Ben in the background (totally stupid, something so moron-ish I thought it could only happen in the US with their farce of a justice system, and all of us photographers could just as well pack up our photography bags and hang them in the trees with an outcome like that, but let’s not get me going, that’ll just ruin my day).

I was looking for people crossing that same pedestrian’s crossing, but in winter, with snow, and dressed (partly) in red.
It’s surprising how many of those are walking around here, I must say. It wasn’t at all hard to get. Hence I ended up with a good number of pictures in just like half an hour or so. Now I’m considering making this a whole new series in itself πŸ˜€

Crossing

D700, ISO200, 1/60 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Crossing

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Crossing

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Crossing

D700, ISO800, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope I won’t be hauled to a UK prison and be dragged into court for copyright infringement. Because that church in the background (which is just outside the visible area) does look a lot like Big Ben. And I gotta say that some of the people in these pictures really do look like a British bus…
But owwell… Let’s see.

Oh, and if you happen to recognize yourself in the picture do drop me a line and I’ll send you a print for free. I didn’t think it was a good idea to yell six floors down and ask if it was ok to take the picture while you were standing in the middle of the road… πŸ˜‰

πŸ˜€

It’s been snowing here pretty much non-stop for the past week.
I got a parking ticket for parking with a permit in an area where my permit is valid, because the parking smurf was too lazy to clean the snow off my window to see the permit (or then I don’t understand what’s written on the sign, but we’ll see about that when I object to the fine).
Anyway… In all desperate frustration, you throw your arms up to the sky, look up and quietly say some really foul words and then fall silent for the beauty that meets your eye up there.
Not all beauty is on eye-height, or at your feet for that matter.

It's snowing!

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/2.4, Nikkor 50mm

It’s really quite easily explained, but it’s still a wonder how this happens.
Did I mention before to get in closer? And don’t be afraid to get down and dirty. Lying on your stomach gives a whole different perspective of the world. You should try it some time πŸ˜‰

Icicles

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Icicles

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm