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Monday, August 3, 2015

Long Exposures Daytime Style

Something I have always wanted to try was stacking multiple ND filters during the day time to get a super long exposure.  Taking a long exposure in the day is tricky due to the sun and shadowing factors.  You also need to have clouds for some movement in the sky to make the picture more interesting and show depth.  I found the perfect situation to try this but didn't have much time.  I have a 6 stop and and 10 stop filter that I stacked on to each other to get a full 16 stops of light.  Moving the exposure to around 3 minutes with enough depth of field caused me to move my f/stop to f/11 and increase my ISO to 400.  I didn't want to take a much longer exposure due to the amount of noise that you will already have in your image due to the time and thereat of the day at 3:30pm.  The other problem is with 16 stops of ND filter in front of your image, you can't really compose a shot due to everything being so dark.  I probably should have composed the shot then added the filters on later, but time wasn't on my side.  I took the original photos and worked them as I normally would in Lightroom and was given the suggestion of cropping and conversion to black and white.  

90 seconds

235 seconds

217 seconds

90 seconds

This is the first photo I took from the day and ultimately turned out to be my favorite once I cropped and converted the file.  I did a massive amount of work on this file to make it presentable and I am very happy how it turns out.  This was 217 seconds.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mid-Summer's Milky Way

I haven't taken many photos of the night sky in my time as a photographer as the times are limited which I have to do such things.  It usually requires summer, lots of bug spray, getting the kids to bed at a decent hour, and finally trying to wake up to an alarm at two o'clock in the morning.  Usually it doesn't work out.  On top of all of that, I have to have a place to shoot, cloudless skies, preferably no moon, and if I am lucky little wind.  All of this usually has to take place when I visit the Sandhills since I am probably not going to drive an additional hour on top of all the stuff mentioned before to get out of the city lights.  When I get the chance, I try to take it.  

Earlier this year, I attempted to shoot the night sky in late December.  It was ridiculously cold and being a novice at night photography it took quite a bit of trial and error.  I didn't get much in the way of usable photos from that experience, but did get some knowledge of what I needed to do.  

Mid-June, I photographed a wedding and on the way home decided to try my hand at the Milky Way again.  This time, I was armed with knowledge and bug spray.  I stopped on a country road knowing that I wouldn't need to worry about other cars due to the time of night and set up for a series of 30 second exposures.  I used my old Tokina 12-24mm for these photos at f/4.  The Tokina is pretty sharp at f/4 and does a good job on the night sky.  Ideally, a f/2.8 or faster lens is best for astrophotography, but this one did just fine.  Not having the moon in the sky, it was easy to see where the Milky Way crossed the sky, but the tough part was getting the camera level and having the horizon line where it needed to be.  There were about three test shots for every good shot that came out of the night.  Since there wasn't a shred of light illuminating the ground, I used the flashlight from my cellphone to light paint the grasses in the foreground.  It did a pretty good job helping me give the photo some depth.

I have seen numerous photos arranged in a panorama across the sky showing off the Milky Way as it crossed the night.  I decided to attempt this with 7 vertical shots to get as much of the sky as I could.  I am happy with how it turned out, but I know for the next time that I probably need to take about 14 shots instead to make it work best.  In addition, I am armed with a new beautiful lens with night photography in mind. 





Friday, July 17, 2015

The Bob

During a recent Nebraska Photographers Network outing, we stopped by the Bob Kerry Pedestrian bridge for a couple photos.  Being from Omaha, it was sad that this was the first time I had ever visited the bridge.  I have seen many photographs of the bridge, but had none of my own.  While many people were on the bridge capturing the sights from above, I was more interested at the belly of the beast.  I decided to stay down and capture the sky above and create some long exposures with the Missouri River traveling underneath.  There wasn't much of a sunset since it was such a clear day and night, but there was a big moon.  Here are a couple shots of The Bob.






Day Time Filter Painting

Trying something I have been wanting to for a while, I took the camera, lens, and a 10 stop filter to the lake to try my hand at filter painting in the day time.  While I didn't get as much blur as I thought I would, I did get some very interesting cloud movements.  The wind was really blowing this day and the high level clouds were moving in a different direction than their lower counterparts.  Made for an interesting shoot.




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Canadian Wildfires

I have been reading about the Canadian Wildfires and it appears that there is no end in sight for the trouble and struggles they are going through up there.  We have seen many of the after effects with many days of sub par air quality due to the jet stream bringing the smoke into our area.  One of the only positives I can think of that has come from the fires is the amazing sunsets we have been receiving here at home.  I have compiled a couple of photos from the past couple of weeks to document the smoke and haze which has invaded the area.

The photos below were taken with a variety of lenses and circumstances.  Some were taken during a very smokey day, while other were taken with just a hint of it on the horizon.  I have tried my best to document the beauty the sky has brought, but remember the situation that those to our north are dealing with.  May they receive relief soon.

To view more photos from the amazing sunsets this situation has brought us, visit my website at AlderImages.com.
















Thursday, June 18, 2015

Russ and Chelsea

The last couple of weekends I have had the pleasure of spending time with this couple.  Capturing the moments and details of their special day has been nothing short of a fantastic experience.  I normal try to pick a couple photos from the day to display, but since it was over a two weekend timeframe I have more photos that I know what to do with.  So here are some of my favorites from the wedding and reception!  

Congratulations again to the Bride and Groom!!!

Please select the photo to view in a larger gallery!  That way you get to see all of the awesomeness!









Saturday, May 30, 2015

Duckings

I've been caught up in so many other things that I have neglected my blog for the last couple of weeks.  A friend of mine said there were some ducklings messing around in a pond that had been drained close to his office, so I had to go have a look.  I'm sure glad I did.  These little guys were really enjoying the safety and freedom the secluded area provided.  There was plenty of grass and moss to feed them for a while.  They were hopping in and out of the water and exploring.  Jumping in the mud and blowing bubbles all under Mom's watchful eye.  One thing I noticed is they sure do like the mud.  View more of the little guys on my website http://www.alderimages.com/wildlifeinnature.  Thanks for looking! Enjoy and share!  Thank you again to Derrald for showing me the little guys and letting me try your bazooka.  You can view his photos at http://www.journeyoflight.com/blog/2015/05/29/photo-friday-ducklings/









Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Family Sessions

Had the opportunity to photograph a young man recently celebrating a birthday.  All photos were taken in natural light at one of my favorite locations to shoot family photos.  He has one of the best smiles and personality to boot.