Thursday, July 18, 2013

Walden Pond - the look of summer

My project to photograph Walden Pond is spread out over a year so I can capture it in each of the four seasons that Thoreau would have seen. On this trip I wanted to capture the look of a typical, sunny summer day. The sun accommodated me with temperatures in the 90's. Normally, this is not my favorite time to photograph nature, but I wanted to show the pond in all its myriad aspects and a mid-summers day is one of them.

Not my favorite light by which to photograph, but this is what the pond really looks like on a summer day. This is a panoramic composite of two images taken with a 24mm focal length lens. 
For this photograph I switched to an extreme wide angle of 12mm of the Sigma 12-24mm zoom on the Nikon D800. This focal length is currently the widest rectilinear available for a full frame camera and the Sigma does a nice job of handling it.
The star burst from the sun is particularly sharp with many shooting rays. Taken with a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom set to 24mm and aperture of f/8, an ideal setting to produce this type of star effect.

The green vegetation around the pond is still lush and colorful due to the many rains we had in the late spring.
I carry an early edition of Thoreau's "Walden" on most of my trips to the pond so I can photograph it within the forest environment as the seasons change. 


  1. Sigma 12-34mm. I think it is 12-24 actually)

    By the way how does it compare with Nikon 14-24?

  2. Right you are: It's a Sigma 12-24mm. Sorry for the typo.

    The Nikon 14-24mm is the best super-wide zoom out there. I used to have one. It is the only lens of its kind that is perfectly sharp, even wide open into the corners. It does suffer from rectilinear distortion, but that is a simple fix anymore. The reason I sold mine was that it is a very large, and very heavy lens, and I found I was leaving it home because I didn't want to lug it around. Plus, at 12mm the Sigma is even wider.