Tuesday, July 14, 2020

If Turner had a camera

The English painter, William Turner, was known for the intensely colorful way he painted his sunsets and sunrises, as in the painting below. Whenever I encounter an extremely colorful sunset or sunrise, I always think of him.  This time I was photographing the sky in normal daylight when I encountered what I term a "Turner effect". 

I was out photographing the sun peaking through a heavy sky full of cumulus clouds. I was using a Nikon Z6 with the latest 24-200 mm f/4-6.3 zoom lens because it could cover such a broad focal length that allowed me to form the scene into multiple compositions by going from extremely wide to telephoto.

As I began photographing directly into the sun, which was shining brightly from behind a thin area of the clouds, I noticed that the edges of the image took on a kaleidoscope of colors. The color effect only lasted for a short time, just long enough for me to grab a few images. I was using a shutter speed of 1/8000 and an aperture that varied from f/11 to f/22 to capture the two images below.

While the colors were there in the original, RAW file, I did enhance them somewhat and also adjusted the exposure in post by lightening up the shadows and bringing down the highlights.  For shots, like these, where I want the colors to really pop, I convert the image to the LAB color profile in Photoshop and increase the color intensity there before re-converting it back to RGB. LAB has a far more extensive color range in which to work.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Concepts of solar energy

This week I decided to turn my creative photo attention to solar energy - an important enough topic and one that is constantly in the news.  So, I picked up a solar panel and went at it. While I did take some specific shots of just the panel, for the most part, I've been stocking up on simple images of the panel that I can use to construct more complex images in Photoshop. Below are a few of my first efforts. There will be many more to come.

I used both the Fuji X-T4 and Nikon Z6 to take the photos of the panel. Both cameras had standard zoom lenses on them so I could change the focal length quickly to obtain different perspectives on the panel.

All the suns were added from the collection of "Sunshine Overlays"  I created for MCP Actions .

Recent solar technology is now working to also garner energy from solar panels at night. To illustrate this concept I added a background shot I took of the Milky Way to a photo I made of a solar panel array and created the above photo.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The day after the 4th of July

A nice thing about the day after the 4th of July is getting to rework some of the firework photos from the night before. This year I incorporated a shadow silhouette of a palm tree to tie the fireworks display to Florida. And, as always, I will make some other patriotic images by combining the fireworks with other images I have collected over the years, such as the shot of the Liberty Bell below.

All the photos were taken using a Nikon Z6 and the new Nikkor 24-200 zoom lens.  The fireworks were very bright so I had to shoot them at f/11, but I also had to leave the shutter open for around 25 seconds to capture the silhouette of the palm tree against the dark sky.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

In honor of the 4th of July ceremony, I assembled these two images in Photoshop using photos I had taken of the various elements. The top photo illustrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, while the bottom one honors the four U.S. presidents on the Mount Rushmore Memorial.

Happy 4th to everyone. I hope you are all able to celebrate safely in these trying times.