*** PLEASE SEE ON BLACK.
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The light Paine is exceptional in late fall and winter, and dramatic conditions can be expected. In winter the sun is so low that you are very nearly shooting sunrise or sunset the whole day (which starts at 10am). At one point we observed 14 out of 15 consecutive sunrises and sunsets that were this good, probably my lifetime record, and a photographer’s dream! The challenge is, like always, also where the most excitement is. It’s about getting off the beaten path and seeing unique places, making images that are yours. I will NEVER forget this trip to this remote shore. We nicknamed it iceberg bay (obviously).
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I have captured this peak before but although the images were nice, I felt they were too commonplace in comparison to what I’d seen previously. Winter allowed me a unique perspective, with the waters of this glacial river being clear and 1/10 the volume of the muddy spring through autumn flows. The peak is very far away so I found it necessary to shoot with a mid-range length here, something between 55 and 70mm. I did a minor focus stack for DOF. Otherwise, the exposure was 4 seconds, which captured a little wind motion in the sky since it was blowing like crazy on this evening.
After 3 nights and 4 days of waiting in this area for this giant to emerge, and nearly giving up on it, the evening of this capture went from snowfall to intense windstorm to completely clear in less than 1 hour! A large view of this image reveals spindrift avalanches swirling down the cliff faces distant. I shot continuously, managing at this point to capture a fleeting second when the mountain stood alone. I hope you enjoy it and it does something to convey what was a very memorable experience.
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Never got to share this here yet. You can find these beams catching the mist in the air from the falls almost any clear summer day at these falls, but capturing them is quite another matter. Rarely have I gotten my camera so wet!
This is a single 14mm exposure primarily, with a bit of blending around the sun area and for water spots and wind motion.
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What you are looking at here is a 180-degree field of view. It is a 1 second exposure where I managed to get some nice splash action as well as some water streaking thanks to the splashes occurring in darker areas and showing up well.
To take the shot, I am wedged up against a giant rock and cannot do anything more than hand-hold my tripod against it, dangling off the top. I am getting splashed big-time every third wave, to the extent that Nikon just repaired my salt-water damaged LCD last week. I am shooting 2 shots down for water action and rock details followed by 1 shot up to include the entire background rock stack and another 2 shots further up for sunset light and more interior details. I need to take the whole setup down off the rock every 3 shots because I’m getting splashed and put fresh water onto the lens element to wash the salt off, because flare will kill almost everything in this lighting condition because of that salty film on one’s lens. I cannot actually reach the front of my lens though, so…… After a repeat of this process through the course of an hour, I have about 20 sets of 5 shots to put together.
To stitch a 180-degree 14mm blend plus exposure blends I put all the details together around the periphery first. I need to manually use warps to get them as close as I can to aligning so I am in control of perspective, not a program. For this reason alone, no 14mm stitches are ever going to look the same, but it does do a realistic job of portraying the actual shape the cave here. After stitching the periphery by hand, I then warp the sky to fit also, and paint it in. I then follow it up with some of those luscious glowy effects (accentuated by sea spray that was already on my lens) that are so in vogue today, and there it is.
All and all, I think the shot is good, maybe worth the effort (about 2 hours in PS) but ultimately lacks some of the depth of my best coastal work. At issue is the lack of mid-ground transition to the background elements. It all feels very ‘near’ to me, as everything is within 15ft of my lens. Ah well….figured I’d share it anyway. Thanks for your thoughts.
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