Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend photo shoot 1/29 - 1/30. Burke Lake adventure

Cold.  Snow.  Ice.  Grey skies.

All the things that make you want to stay indoors where it is nice and warm at the end of January after a snow storm.  So I decided to venture out to one of my favorite photography spots, Burke Lake park.  Tree limbs cracking under the weight of the snow and ice, Canadian geese honking as they fly overhead and the sound of snow melting in the forest.  There were not many people out so there was time for some humor as I walked.

No skating indeed!

Most of the lake was frozen but the deepest center section was still clear.  Geese and gulls were flying and swimming but there were few other signs of life.  The fishing pier which has given me some beautiful spring moments over the water was now a frozen ramp floating over ice.

Frozen fishing pier

I have fished this lake, biked around it, walked through its trails and this was the first time I have seen it like this.  Frozen, barren and quiet.  I was left feeling chilled and lonely, like I was in a foreign land.  I almost felt like I could walk across the surface.

Burke Lake
Although my Tamrac 5575 backpack was full of gear, I only used a two lenses for this trip on my Nikon D90.  This shot was taken with my Tokina 11-16 wide angle lens to create the spacious desolate feel in the image.  The low light meant a tripod as well, my Manfrotto 190 CXPRO3.

The rest of the shots were taken with my favorite all purpose lens, my Nikkor 24-70 which excels in almost every situation. The images are fast and sharp while the range is excellent across the entire length at f2.8.

I continued to walk, slowly, as the ice was bad in places.  Looking for picture opportunities I happened to spy this rock, which on a summer day would probably not even be noticed.  Trapped in the ice however, the colors pop out and the cracks create some of weird chasms on the surface.

Frozen rock
After an hour I am cold and tired of walking, my backpack is heavy and my shoes are wet.  Kneeling in the snow can create some interesting photographic angles but it reminds me to wear more layers as my jeans are now wet as well.

Iced broken trees
Many trees were down and damaged, the snow and ice covering them in a sort of cake frosting look.  I found the curves of the twisted tree to be almost like a natural roller coaster.  Finally, everyones favorite, big icicles.  They hang down like giant fangs, I would not want to be under them when they fall.

A great adventure today, I was happy to get out and find some interesting things to shoot.  Hope you enjoy the images and the story and until next time, keep shooting.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baby it's cold outside

Well, any thoughts I had about going out this weekend got lost when I heard about single digit wind chills.  Not that I am afraid of the cold temps but the frigid air combined with the drab brown of the scenery and the overcast skies left me less than inspired.

I could take my camera indoors for something fun, like the National Air and Space Museum's annex in Chantilly VA.  The Udvar Hazy center is a great place to view aircraft of all sorts on a cold day but my favorite would be the space shuttle Enterprise.

USS Enterprise
The cold can be good for photos if there is something of interest.  I captured this shot several years ago and still remember that day when I saw these icicles formed on this dead wood.  A very interesting contrast indeed.  This was shot with my Nikon D90 which was but a few weeks old at the time.

Icicles by the lake
I am waiting for some snow, ice or other winter type weather that makes for good photo opportunities.  Until then I will stay inside where it is warm and work on some more old images that need some new life.

Until next weekend.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Early January thoughts

A cold start to the new year and I am spending the time indoors working on some old images.  I find that this helps me to evaluate my progress as a photographer and in addition, it allows me to "rescue" some older images that I may not have had the skill to process properly.  I use a variety of tools from Picasa to Adobe Lightroom to tweak my original RAW files that have been converted to DNG files. The DNG or Digital Negative allow me to experiment and not lose my original data.

A few tweaks to the image here allows the light to stream through across a peaceful lake in early spring.

Then sometimes you can get inspired by the smallest things.  My friend has a garden orb in his backyard that looked interesting.  A closeup shot, a few tweaks through Lightroom and I think this is quite interesting although abstract photography is not one of my preferred types of shooting.

I like the play on the colors, the weathered look of the column and the shadowy figures in the reflection.

Finally another shot from my favorite little camera, my Sigma DP2s.  I cannot recommend this camera highly enough, it is the perfect companion to a large DSLR like my Nikon D90.  The FOVEON sensor captures images in an almost film like quality to the tone and texture of the scene.

This was an early morning shot from my office parking lot.  Handheld without much prep time.  I love my little Sigma camera.  I love the nuances to the reds and the blend with the stark foreground of winter.

Until next weekend. button Promote Your Blog Follow on Buzz Blog ping service Dreamhost Promotional Codes

Follow Us