Truland Photography

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mohawk River Hydroelectric Dam

I have often photographed a hydroelectric Dam on the Mohawk River that runs between Peebles Island and Bock Island. This morning, the Mohawk River was just about at it's banks from huge amounts of rainfall, mainly West of the Capital District.

I thought it would be interesting to collect some of the various images I have made of this dam in one blog post. Most, if not all of these, have been posted at one time or another.

June 29, 2013
May 15, 2013
January 31, 2013

December 31, 2012

On another note, nothing is sadder than an empty spot in a camera bag and I hope that the empty spot in mine will be filled in short order. It's been almost three weeks since I decided to sell my 300mm f/4L IS and my 70-200 f/2.8L in order to purchase a 70-200 f/2.8L IS II.

Tamrac Ultra Pro 13

The compartment that previously held the 300mm lens now holds Canon 1.4X and 2X extenders and a Canon 77mm diameter 500D closeup lens. And as you can see the compartment that previously held the 70-200 remains empty, waiting for the new lens which should arrive in a few days.

I'm also thinning out my bag collection and will continue to use my Tamrac bags for storage and a pair of Think Tank Photo bags, a Speed Racer V2.0 and a Digital Holster 50 V2.0 for carrying purposes on location. A Lowepro SlingShot 202AW and some smaller Tamrac bags will probably go on the Gear for Sale page.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Walking and Dealing

While we wait for Summer to show up here in Upstate New York, I continue to do my walks in the morning and have spent a lot of time trying to sell my EF 70-200mm f/2.8L and EF 300mm f/4L IS lenses in order to pick up a new EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens before the $300 instant rebate runs out in 9 days.

I've managed to sell the 70-200mm non IS for enough that if I get a fair price for the 300mm, together with what I have allocated, it will adequately fund the new lens. A week on eBay with no takers, a few promising Craigslist purchasers who don't follow through and trying to negotiate the world of's for sale forums has made for an interesting time.

Here are a few shots from my walks this week. The shot of the Common Snapping Turtle laying eggs was technically made in Peebles Island State Park but on Van Schaick Island just over the bridge from Peebles Island. The swamp shot was made on Peebles Island following a period of above normal rain and is an HDR processed image with +/- 1 1/2 EV bracketing.

Canon EOS 60D, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, f/4, 1/125 sec., ISO 400

Canon EOS 60D, EF 24-70 f/2.8L at 24mm, f/3.5, 1/60 sec., ISO 800 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lots and Lots of Water

The day after I made the images of Cohoes Falls in the previous post, the area received an additional 1.55 inches of rain. Both the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers rose slightly above their banks for a period yesterday.

I walked over to the Village of Waterford to document some of the scenes, carrying the EOS 60D with the 17-40 f/4L USM lens. Here some of the results with a couple scenes of normal water height for reference.

And here is a shot that shows how yesterday's high water levels compare with Irene's massive flooding in August, 2011.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just the Right Combination

I've made lots of photographs of Cohoes Falls. From the riverbed when there is no water coming over the falls. From the old overlook in the Winter when the new overlook is closed. From the new overlook with Fall foliage and lots of water.

The conditions were just right yesterday for a slightly different view of the falls. After several days of steady rain, there was an abundance of water coming over the falls. After a mostly overcast day, the sun came out intermittently in the late afternoon and a strong Northwest wind blew mist from the falls creating the occasional rainbow.

I knew before I arrived how I wanted to shoot the falls and had my 5D Mark II and EF 17-40mm f/4L with a 3 stop neutral density filter attached. The neutral density filter allowed me to keep the shutter speeds slower to blur the water a bit in the bright lighting. Using ISO 100 and f/11, the combination allowed a normal exposure shutter speed of 1/30 sec. I was also bracketing 1 and 1/2 stops over and under for HDR processing so the slowest shutter speed (for the over exposed image) ended up at 1/10 sec.

There is foliage obstructing the views at the new overlook and the higher you can get the camera and lens the better. I fully extended my old Bogen 3021 tripod with ball head so that the camera was about two feet above my head. I used live view and a remote release to compose and release the shutter.

The mist from the falls was reaching up to the overlook so I had to cover the front of the lens as I waited between clouds for sunlight. First, I'll post the results of a single normally exposed image followed by a very subtle HDR processing of 3 bracketed exposures.

Single file processed with Canon DPP software
HDR image processed with Photomatix Essentials

Here are two other angles, both HDR processed.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Going Small

As I had mentioned previously, the plan was to use my 60D with the 24-70 f/2.8 zoom and my 7D with the 70-200 f/2.8 zoom to cover the Synod Assembly of the Upstate New York Synod in Rochester.  This combination worked really well allowing me to isolate individuals at the podium and also get group shots when needed.

It was necessary to shoot at ISO 1600 with the lenses wide open at f/2.8. Shutter speeds were still a bit slow for handholding at the longer focal lengths and image stabilization would have been really helpful.

For Friday evening's worship service, however, I decided to go in a different direction and only used my 60D with the 40mm pancake lens. Worship was in the same room as the meetings, and a bit less formal than would be the case in an actual Church sanctuary, allowing me to move around and get up close to subjects.

I utilized live view a lot which made shooting much quieter and let me hold the camera down or up as needed. Here are some examples, all with the 60D and 40mm pancake using ISO 1600. All except the shot with the font in the foreground are made at f/2.8. That particular shot was made at f/4 to gain a bit more depth of field.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Heading to Rochester

I'll be heading to Rochester tomorrow for the Synod Assembly of the Upstate New York Synod of the ELCA. You can read about my coverage of this event last year here.

Last year I shot with my 5D Mark II, switching among the 70-200mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.4 lenses. In looking over the photographs, I realized that only a few were at focal lengths shorter than 40mm and many were at 200mm and were cropped to cut out distracting backgrounds.

So this year I decided to use two bodies and two lenses, the 60D with the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 7D with the 70-200mm f/2.8. With the crop factor of these bodies taken into account I will have full coverage from 38mm to 320mm with camera bodies with almost identical sensors.

I will bring my big bag so the 5D Mark II and the 17-40mm f/4 lens will always be available if needed. Here is a shot of my Tamrac Ultra Pro 13, which contains bodies, lenses, flashes, batteries, filters, etc. and my Tamrac Adventure Messenger 5 which holds my 13" MacBook Pro, iPad Mini, speakers and all cords and chargers. Manuals for all my cameras and flashes are loaded on the iPad.

Video clips of the Assembly can be viewed on USTREAM with this link. If you're so inclined you can drop in and maybe catch me scooting around with my cameras.

And, my photos will be posted at