Truland Photography

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Tree Canopy Starts To Fill In

These will probably be the last Peebles Island Trail Scenics for April. The tree canopy is starting to fill in and the grasses are growing taller.

Today, I tried out a Canon Powershot S100 for the scenics. Earlier in the week I took both the S100 and a 5D with 50mm lens over to the island. While the detail and dynamic range of the full frame 5D with a quality prime lens was still better than the compact S100, advances in sensor technology and a three generation newer processor make up for some of what would otherwise be a gigantic difference.

Here are shots from today with shooting information in the captions.

Canon Powershot S100; 50mm Eq.; f/6.3; 1/30 sec.; ISO 80
Canon Powershot S100; 50mm Eq.; f/6.3; 1/40 sec.; ISO 80
Canon Powershot S100; 35mm Eq.; f/4.5; 1/125 sec.; ISO 80
Canon Powershot S100; 35mm Eq.; f/4.5; 1/200 sec.; ISO 80

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Grass is Always Greener

The views are starting to look a lot greener along the trails on Peebles Island. Usually at this time of year the trails would be muddy. You know, April showers and all that.

This year, the trails are like concrete and the rivers have been at their summer time low points for the past month. In the month of April, so far, the area has received .14 inches of rain compared to 2.03 inches by this time in a normal year. Since March 1, we've received 1.68 inches of precipitation compared to 5.24 inches in a normal year and 6.79 inches a year ago.

But, green things are still starting to appear. I added these four photos to the Peebles Island Trail Scenic Project yesterday. All were made with a Canon EOS 5D, EF 50mm f/1..4 USM at f/8, ISO 100 with shutter speeds varying between 1/40 and 1/80 of a second.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Daily Walk

Most mornings, I walk a 2.7 mile circuit from my home around and across the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. This walk goes through two cities and a village, each in a different county. It crosses the Hudson River twice and crosses two branches of the Mohawk. It also takes me through a State Park.

The walk can easily be visualized in the google earth capture below by following the bridges across the rivers. The picture is looking West. The Hudson River runs South (from Right to Left) and the Mohawk River is the multi branched, muddy river emptying into the Hudson. The Google Earth image is dated October 7, 2011, about five weeks after Tropical Storm Irene and less than a month after the remnants of TS Lee had both rivers above flood stage. The Mohawk took many weeks to clear up from the mud churned up by the flooding.

I've started bringing a camera along when I walk. Yesterday morning, I was crossing one of the bridges just as the sun was hitting an apartment complex across the river.

Canon EOS 5D; EF 50mm f/1.4 USM at f/8; 1/125 sec.; ISO 100

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Better, but not so Cheap Close-up Solution

As I mentioned in Getting Up Close the Cheap Waythere are various ways to make a lens focus closer. Last week, I was playing with the reversed 50mm lens, taking some shots of Flowering Vinca blossoms. After I was done, I realized that I had forgotten one part of that process, switching to manual exposure and adjusting the shutter speed based on the metering.

So, I decided to dig out my extensions tubes and go back out to see how they compared with the reverse technique. I have a set of Auto Extension tubes that pass on all the digital information between the lens and the camera body. Operation is exactly as if the lens were attached directly to the camera. The difference is the lens will focus closer but will not focus at infinity.

Like reversing a lens, image quality is not altered with extension tubes since all you're adding to the lens is space - there is nothing inside the tube except air. Conversely, adding an auxiliary lens to the front of a lens will affect image quality.

The tubes I have are a set of 12mm, 20mm and 36mm tubes. They can be used separately or in any combination. Here is a photo of the set I have all connected to each other.

I used just the 36mm tube with the 50mm lens and shot the same blossom as I had with the reversed 50mm lens. The 36mm tube resulted in almost the identical magnification as the reversed lens. Below are the two photos. As it turned out, the reversed lens shot was only about 1 1/2 stops over exposed so I was able to darken it sufficiently.

Taken with reversed 50mm lens
Taken with 50mm lens and 36mm extension tube
So, yes, I suppose I will use the extension tube rather than reversing the lens when I want extreme closeups with the 50mm lens. The tubes can also be used on longer lenses but the amount of magnification is less. Also, extension tubes do not work well on zoom lenses as zooming totally changes the focal point. And with extension tubes, there is light loss so shutter speeds will be slower (all other settings being equal) than with reversing a lens.

Herre is a link to a set of extension tubes for Canon very similar to the ones I have. The link is to a set sold by Adorama and costs $180. A singe Canon 25mm tube costs $140.  Link to Tubes

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Peebles Island Project Photos

I added eleven new photos to the Peebles Island Trail Scenics Project today. The link to the gallery is on the right under TrulandPhoto Resources.

The emphasis today was the blossoming trees and the clear blue sky. Lots of contrast there but I like the results.

Here are two photos from today's additions.