Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dreamy house and tree, 30 second exposure

Driving up to Oregon was a pretty good time. I love taking the scenic route on smaller highways because the I-5 is a super boring drive. I much prefer highway 395 where you see cool stuff like in the photo above. No fences, no "no trespassing" signs, no admission fees... perfect.

Last time I included technical notes about a photo people seemed to enjoy it... so I'll try it out again.
I took a couple shots just standing there, and it really wasn't doing it for me. I knew it needed something extra to make it a bit better than the normal. So I got down low which was an improvement, but I knew it could still be better. Then I noticed how the green brush was waving around in the gusts of wind, which was super beautiful, and dare I say... "soothing". Whenever I see brush blowing in the wind, I am *always* reminded of one of the best movies ever, Gladiator. Awesome. Ok back to the point here. I wanted to show that movement in the brush so I grabbed my 10 stop ND filter which allows me to shoot long exposures during the middle of the day. Awesome. I also stacked on my polarizing filter to darken the sky a bit, and maybe pull some extra colors out of the scene. So now I had 12 stops of light being blocked which made it easy to shoot for 30 seconds at about f/11. Awesome.
I actually didn't have my tripod with me (it was in the other car with Bethany and my Mom) so I put my moms suitcase to use. Worked pretty well! (pic)

The other bonus to using a 30 second exposure was that it blurred the moving clouds, which means the house and tree are the only sharp things in the frame, kind of a cool look.
So thats the stuff I did "in camera". Everything after the "in camera" process is called "post" or even "photoshopping" is a popular term these days.
I did a bit more photoshop in this shot than I normally do to my photos. First, I found the best frame for the sky and the best frame for the foreground and I joined them for an ideal frame. As long as you don't move the camera between frames, this is pretty easy to do. Then next step was curves layers. A couple for minor color tweaks, and a couple for some good ol' dodging and burning.
And thats about it! Feel free to ask more questions or leave comments!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

another awesome image Blaine - really enjoyed reading how you took it..I learnt a thing or two :)

6/08/2007 3:11 AM  
Blogger Stephen Abbas said...

How come you always take the 5 and not let me know. I live an hour away from it, and would have loved to see you.

6/08/2007 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love u bro


6/08/2007 7:53 PM  
Blogger Mike Matas said...

Nice one!

6/08/2007 8:12 PM  
Blogger Chad Cheverier said...

i like the "how to" you are very creative, wise and humble. I hate it when people think they have a "secret" technique that no one else uses and decide to hold it close to them like everyone is going to copy it exactly.

6/09/2007 8:34 AM  
Blogger Julie Cannon said...

amazing job once again! i also love the how to parts to your blog. i always learn so much from you and am happy that you are willing to share. keep them comin'! and say hi to oregon for me...i'm from the fine city of klamath falls.

6/09/2007 8:58 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

Amazing pic once again. Nice to read about techniques you use. Do you notice difference in image quality when using ND filter?

6/10/2007 10:00 AM  
Blogger The City Girl said...

this is so beautiful! and thanks for the tips-you're so helpful:)

6/10/2007 3:34 PM  
Blogger blaine said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! I appreciate it!

Steebo- We didn't take the 5 or else we totally would have dropped by! We ended up taking the 395 because it's a better way to get to Mammoth. Next time!

Joel- Good question! I actually do notice a bit of image quality loss. They seem a bit softer, not sure if it's from the long exposure or the glass filter... It's not enough to really bother me though.

6/11/2007 10:09 PM  
Blogger Matt Nicolosi said...

Blaine, I stumbled upon your blog today. Great stuff! I love this image and thanks so much for sharing how you did it. Very refreshing.

7/27/2007 12:55 PM  

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