Category Archives: Featured Images

Green in California

The hills in California are finally green after a dry spell over the winter we finally got some rain.  However I know this won’t last too long.  Finally we had a day with some cloud cover, but not the typical grey sky, so I headed out to try to capture the hills while they are still green.  I found a driveway right off of the highway that was quite appealing.  After parking off the road and walking less than 50 feet I was able to take the above photo.

I put the image on Facebook and Google plus and received some nice comments, one person thought it looked surreal and someone else claimed it was a product of just bumping up the saturation, which was not at all the case.  The reason why the photo looks like it does is a combination of a great camera, great lens and using 3 separate exposures combined into one.  The human eye can see a range of light that far exceeds the capability of even the best digital cameras, so by taking 3 or more exposures at different apertures, you can combine them using software to use the best exposure for each part, a technique called HDR or High  Dynamic Range.  To demonstrate, the photo below shows one of those three exposures, without any post processing on the left.  On the right side is the final image after combining 3 exposures.

SideBySide

You can see that it is not a matter of increasing the saturation, something that lower end cameras do automatically to make pictures look more vivid.  Instead the differences are one of exposure or how light or dark the image is in each part.  That is very beneficial with the sky area, letting the final product be closer to what my eyes saw than any of the individual images were able to produce.

Photo Details
Location
Bay Area, California
Camera
Nikon D800
Lens
Nikon 16-35 mm f4.0
Image
RAW
Focal Length
28 mm
Exposure
f8 with ISO 200, 3 exposures at 1/500, 1/1000, 1/250 sec
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom then Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 using 3 images

New Zealand Sounds

This image was taken from a ship sailing by the Sounds off the coast of New Zealand.

Photo Details
Location
The Sounds, New Zealand
Camera
Nikon D300
Lens
Nikon 18-200
Image
RAW
Focal Length
22 mm
Exposure
f18 and 1000 at 1/250 sec with ISO
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom then Nik HDR Efex Pro 2

Hobbiton, New Zealand

We visited Tarunga, New Zealand to see the area where they filmed the Lord of the Rings. Since they also used the area to film the Hobbit which had not yet been released, we had to sign an agreement to not publish any photos until after the film was released.

FJK201202-5845

Photo Details
Location
Tarunga, New Zealand
Camera
Nikon D300
Lens
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8
Image
RAW
Focal Length
11 mm
Exposure
f11 at 1/500 sec, with ISO 1000
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom then Nik HDR Efex Pro 2

Yokohama, Japan at Night

We were visiting Yokohama Japan and after dinner I had this great view but unfortunately I did not have a tripod with me, so I bumped the ISO up to 1,600 and shot this hand held.

Photo Details
Location
Yokohama, Japan
Camera
Nikon D300
Lens
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8
Image
RAW
Focal Length
15 mm
Exposure
f2.8 with ISO 1600, 1/40 sec hand held
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Japanese Tea Garden

Another view at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose.  I like how the weeping tree settles over the pond.

Photo Details
Location
Japanese Friendship Garden, San Jose, California
Camera
Nikon D800
Lens
Nikon 16-35 mm f4.0
Image
RAW
Focal Length
16 mm
Exposure
 f5.6 with ISO 200, 3 exposures at 1/250, 1/500, 1/125 sec
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom then Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 using 3 images

Japanese Friendship Garden

This beautiful and tranquil garden is an expanse of peace in the middle of the city. The Japanese Friendship Garden is a living symbol of the “Sister City” relationship between Okayama, Japan and San José.

I used my Nikon D800 with 16-35 f4 lens  set at 16 mm focal length and f8 aperture on a tripod and took three different exposures at 1/1000 sec, 500 sec and 250 sec.

3ExposureHDR

After bring in all the images into Adobe Lightroom, I exported the three images to Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2 to have it use all three images and create a single image, using the best exposure from each image for different areas, a technique called HDR (high-dynamic range).

Here are a few more images I took.  All were from a 3 eposure set and process in a similar fashion.

JapanesGardenHDR

FJK_0519_HDR-Edit

FJK_0555_HDR

Sunset Pacific Ocean

Many times I have gone down to the coast hoping for a beautiful sunset only to be disappointed as the cloud cover seems to quickly take over as the sun just is setting. We were taking some landscapes at Point Lobos and decided to wait for the sunset. The only problem is that I only had a ultra wide angle lens with me. Fortunately my Nikon D800 has a lot of pixels so I was able to do quite a crop using Lightroom 5, fixing the horizontal horizon at the same time.  I was able to get the result shown above.

SunsetCrop

Photo Details
Location
Point Lobos California State Reserve
Camera
Nikon D800
Lens
Nikon 16-35 mm f4
Image
RAW
Focal Length
35 mm
Exposure
f8.0 with ISO 200, at 1/160 sec
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Point Lobos – California State Reserve

Just south of Carmel, California is a State Reserve called Point Lobos that has some breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

Photo Details
Location
Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel, CA
Camera
Nikon D800
Lens
Nikon 16-35 mm f4.0
Image
RAW
Focal Length
16g mm
Exposure
1/240 sec at f5.6 with ISO 100
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop LightroomNik HDR Efex Pro 2 using 5 images of varying exposure

Point Lobos – California

Having just purchased a new lens we headed down to the coast. It was suppose to be an overcast but when we got there, the sun had come out.

Photo Details
Location
Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel, California
Camera
Nikon D800
Lens
Nikon 16-35 mm f4.0
Image
RAW
Focal Length
17 mm
Exposure
1/400 sec at f 10 with ISO 200
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Garden of the Gods

It has recently snowed and was overcast so I was not sure how the conditions would be for taking photos, but sometimes poor weather is the best.  The sun was just peaking through the clouds.   Although I only had captured a single image, I used Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro to enhance the image.

I wanted to see what the image would look like in black and white and used Nik Silver Efex Pro to produce this image.

FJK201401--2

Original Photo Details
Location
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO
Camera
Nikon D800
Lens
Nikon 24-70 f/2.8
Image
RAW
Focal Length
24 mm
Exposure
1/250 sec at f 11
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Nik HDR Efex Pro 2, Silver Efex Pro 2

I returned two days later when the sun was shining and captured this image.

FJK201401-0005-Edit-Edit

Photo Details
Location
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO
Camera
Nikon D800
Lens
Nikon 24-70 f/2.8
Image
RAW
Focal Length
24 mm
Exposure
1/500 sec at f/ 11
Post Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom