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We learn from our mistakes

American alligator, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville Florida

American alligator, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville Florida | Canon 1D Mark III and 300mm f/4 lens with 1.4x TC | Exposed 1/320 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 500

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve explored the Atlantic coast of Florida as we consider a move to the sunshine state.  A visit to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge treated us to an amazing sunset and a young American alligator in brilliant blue water the following morning.

American alligator image in Lightroom with all of the clone stamp indicators highlighted

American alligator image in Lightroom with all of the clone stamp indicators highlighted

Unfortunately, I made a pretty serious tactical error the evening before: I mounted the 300mm lens I would use to make the image above while the car’s air conditioning was still running, and did not check and clean the sensor back at the motel that evening.  The result?  The above image, upon scrutiny, revealed a field of dust bunnies scattered along the lower third of the frame (top 1/3 of the sensor, since the image is reversed.)  While image cleanup has become easier with each new version of Photoshop and Lightroom, I still prefer not to have to do very much in the first place.  Lesson?  Better to take the 10 minutes to clean the sensor than to spend an hour and a half in front of the computer to rescue a photograph!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Blue Sky over the Blue Ridge Highway

Blue Sky over the Blue Ridge Highway near Blowing Rock, NC | Canon 5D Mark II and 24mm f/3.5L TS-E | Multiple exposures at f/16, ISO 100

Here in the United States its Thanksgiving, a day to be with friends and family.  In the spirit of sharing, I thought I’d post one of the images that blends a technique I’ll be writing more about soon: blending HDR and stitching to get large photographs with incredibly wide tonal values while still looking pretty “normal!”

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Black Creek Greenway Stitched HDR

Black Creek Greenway

Black Creek Greenway, Cary, North Carolina | Canon 5D Mark III and 24mm f/3.5L TS-E | Multiple exposures at f/11, ISO 200

Recently I began working more with landscape photography and, in turn, my old habit of making multiple photographs of a scene and stitching them together.  Related to that, I recently began to explore what would happen if I made multiple versions of the multiple pictures to be stitched together: that is, what if you bracket for High Dynamic Range photography with each “view” in a panorama or other stitched image.  The results can be pretty amazing, but so is the amount of work that can be required to pull it off!  I’ll be writing more on this topic after Thanksgiving!