Monday, March 10, 2008

snowy night

I have heard it stated several times – most recently by photographer Moose Peterson – that "the best photography happens in the worst weather."  If you have been watching the news in the past week you probably saw the nice little snow storm that hit southern Indiana and most of Kentucky.  On the evening of the "big dump" I got home from work a little early in anticipation of the storm.  After eating some dinner and watching a little news with my wife I layer up and dove into the storm.  In the interest of packing light I grabbed a 580 EX II flash in one pocket, a 430 EX in the other.  I also took a 3' flash cord incase the flashes decided not to trigger in the snow via the IR.  I mounted my camera to my tripod – it isn't much of a tripod but it works – a medium weight generic tripod from Best Buy.  I mounted a 17-40mm f/4 USM L lens to my 20D along with a remote for triggering long exposures and I was off. No bag, just what I could stuff in my coat and the camera.

My first photo of the evening.  I plopped the tripod down and BOOM - photo.  Here are the camera settings:  30 / second at f/20  24mm ISO 100 Canon 20D.  I manipulated the white balance slightly to cool the photo down.  The park is lit with very very warm lights that gave everything an orange look.  I also added a bit of vignetting and a basic curves adjustment.

This image actually started out as two images vertically stacked. Technically, this is a panorama; however, because of the way it was laid out it doesn't appear like one. Camera settings: 20 / second at f/18 17mm ISO 200 Canon 20D.  Basic B&W conversion in Lightroom with a curves adjustment to enhance contrast.

Down the trail is a new wing of Baptist Hospital East.  The construction lights cast this sort of aura on the woods.  I almost missed this shot.  I was walking with my head down to protect my face from the wind.  I looked up for a split second - and the I clicked the shutter.  I was a little worried about my camera.  Snow was coming down quite quickly and I was having a tough time keeping it off my camera.  In the shot before this, the camera shut off on me.  I was freaking out because I thought my 20D was dead.  I took out the batteries and put them in my pocket as I continued on the trail.  When I saw this shot I dug the batteries out and prayed as I put them in the camera.  BOOM the camera sprung back to life!  I just forgot what sub-freezing temperatures do to camera batteries.  Anyways - the camera settings are: 30 seconds at f/14 19mm ISO 200 Canon 20D.  Again, B&W conversion in Lightroom with a basic curves adjustment.

Last photo of the evening.  I was SO COLD by this point and I was about to walk past this because I was tired and cold and ready to sit down.  As I walked across the bridge the reflection in the water grabbed me.  Here are the very cold camera settings:  30 seconds at f/10 17mm ISO 200 Canon 20D.  B&W conversion in Lightroom with a boost in clarity, sharpness and curves.

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