Truland Photography

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cohoes Falls Riverbed Scenics

I made my once or twice a year trip to the riverbed at Cohoes Falls last weekend. Remembering the 85 step staircase and steep trail I'd have to climb up on the way back, I only brought what I needed down with me. In addition to my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, I used my big tripod and remote cord (I almost called it a cable release, dating myself).

I used both a three stop neutral density filter and polarizer filter in order to achieve slow enough shutter speeds to blur the water. All images were made at f/11 and ISO 100 with the shutter speeds for normally exposed images ranging from 1/4 second to 1/10 second. The widest I could shoot was about 19mm due to vignetting from the thickness of the stacked filters.

As is usual at Cohoes Falls, three shot HDR processing was needed due to the degree of contrast between the flowing water and darker cliff sides. I used fairly aggressive HDR settings on these shots because the sky was fairly plain and I don't mind this look once and a while. Since I save all my RAW files, I can always go back and process them differently for a more natural look.

I wanted to concentrate on including foreground interest in the compositions and while I usually try to avoid including the power lines in shots at Cohoes Falls, I decided to include them in some shots this time. I like the way the line of the towers follows the lines of the clouds and cliff edges.

These first two perspectives are interesting. While the second shot is taken from farther away from the falls with a different foreground, by using a longer focal length the cliff and falls are almost exactly the same size in the image.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bugs in Chains

Or, at least, in chain links. I was out with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, a combination I haven't walked around with in a while.

As I was leaving Peebles Island I checked out the chain link fence that lines the path onto the island as there are interesting spider webs which in certain lighting can be photo worthy. Today, instead of webs, I noticed some daddy long legs and other insects hanging on to the fencing.

Each of these is a different individual. They are cropped a bit to try to make an interesting composition out of the fencing and background in addition to the subject bug. All images were made at f/4 in order to blur the background.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bridges and Piers

On a couple of extended walks last weekend I made some photographs of Bridges crossing the Mohawk River between Cohoes and Waterford as well as Lock 5 on the Erie Canal in Waterford.

The first two shots are one of the bridge carrying State Route 32 over the Mohawk River and one from that bridge of the railroad bridge just adjacent to Route 32. The highway bridge was built in 1932 and is slated to be replaced between 2018 and 2020.

Both photos are high dynamic range images made from three bracketed exposures. The exposure information is for the normally exposed file.

EOS 60D, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM at 31mm, f/8 1/125 sec., ISO 100

EOS 60D, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM at 21mm, f/8 1/125 sec., ISO 100

One of the most interesting attractions in New York's Capital District is the Waterford Flight of Locks, which is located just West of the Hudson River and which connects the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, bypassing the Cohoes Falls. The flight is the largest lift in the shortest distance of any system in the world. Five locks in a space of one and a half miles lifts and lowers boats a total of 165 feet.

This shot is taken from lock 4 looking West toward lock 5. The first image is processed only with Canon's DPP software and the second is a high dynamic range image made from three bracketed exposures.

EOS 60D, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM at 27mm, f/6.7 1/350 sec., ISO 100

Friday, August 9, 2013

Closeups, Two Ways

Here are some shots of Phlox Blossoms and a Cattail made with the EOS 60D and the 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens. These were made along the old Champlain Canal North of Waterford, New York.

On this occasion, I carried my travel tripod, a Benro A150EXU, and used a remote release. I used live view mode to make composition easier.

I also used the eyepiece cover as the sun was directly from behind the camera. I usually just cover the eyepiece with my hand when shooting on a tripod to keep light from affecting the metering system.

EOS 60D, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro, f/8 1/500 sec., ISO 400

EOS 60D, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro, f/11 1/125 sec., ISO 400

Here are some shots of an underwater leaf and dried up moss from a walk on Peebles Island with the EOS 7D and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens at 200mm. These are handheld, taking advantage of this lens's image stabilization feature.

EOS 7D, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, f/8, 1/125 sec., ISO 100

EOS 7D, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, f/4, 1/90 sec., ISO 400

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tale of Two Setups

I'm going to share some shots made with two different setups. First, a couple of images made with the EOS 7D and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.

I have to learn to be more conscious of the focal length setting on the zoom when I use this lens, particularly at the long end. Previously, my longest lenses had been single focal length lenses, a 300mm f/4 and a 400mm f/5.6. Using either the 1.4x or the 2x extender, this zoom reaches both those lengths and apertures. But I find that I don't pay attention to the zoom ring and I get back to find that I've made the shot at less than the longest focal length - not by design.

I actually don't remember if these two shots in particular are examples of this or not. They were made about a week ago and I might actually have intended to back off a bit, given the framing.

EOS 7D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II w/2X at 380mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 400

EOS 7D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 175mm, f/5.6, 1/750 sec., ISO 400

The second setup is the EOS 60D with the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens. These shots are of a bee feeding on the base of a trumpet vine blossom and are hand held in natural light.

This lens and body combination is quite small and the lens will focus to life size although you need to get within inches of the subject to get that much magnification. Image stabilization would be nice on a future upgrade to this little macro lens but that's unlikely. The lens would have to be larger and more costly and Canon already makes a 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens with IS.

The first 3:2 aspect ratio image is cropped somewhat, the second is not. The 1:1 (square) format images are just cropped in from the full images to show more detail without having to upload a large file. As usual, you can click on the image, then click on it again to view it at the size I have uploaded, then just use your back button.

EOS 60D, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro, f/8, 1/250 sec., ISO 800

EOS 60D, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro, f/8, 1/250 sec., ISO 800