Resting Heron – 300mm, 1/80 @ f/5.6
I’ve been to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge many times because it’s right down the road from my house. It’s a fun challenge to try to find new compositions each time I go to a familiar place. This is probably the first time I’ve gone in January.
I am also getting better about being critical of my own photos. I took a lot of photos of birds this last time, but only the one above has any artistic value, in my opinion. Nice lighting, bird isn’t a tiny blip in the photo, being backlit helps the subject stand out from the background, etc.
Rainier over Nisqually – 252mm, 1/90 @ f/5.6
I should probably point out that this is basically a snap shot. If I was going to do a shot like this justice, I’d put it on a tripod to eliminate camera shake, shoot with aperture around f/13, manually focus with Live View. But I was walking with the family and church friends, and the amazing image stabilization in the EF 70-300mm EF/4-5.6L saved another shot. I like the layers in this shot, going from muddy beach to open water to frozen water to tree line to another tree line to sky and mountain.
Icy Fields – 93mm, 1/125 @ f/8
Nisqually Sky – 16mm, 1/60 @ f/8
The sun was just setting during this last shot, at 4:30 PM. But I am learning that the dramatic lighting resulting from low winter sun in the afternoons means I can get more pleasing lighting earlier in the day.
Just to illustrate how you can take the same photo different directions…
Nisqually NWR Barns – Black & White
This photo was taken with an EOS 7D and an EF 17-40mm f/4L. Between Olympia and Tacoma, Washington is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, where these barns are located. This first shot was edited in NIK Silver Efex Pro 2. The contrast is not extreme but I tried to bring out as much detail as I could. The sky was over-exposed and showed very little detail in the unedited image, but I managed to pull out some of the cloud detail. An advantage of shooting RAW format. The other challenge was winter overcast weather which made for a very gray image with little color.
Nisqually NWR Barns – Blue Painting
This version of the same original image was edited in NIK Color Efex Pro 4. It is a softer and more dreamy look. I could have done just about anything with it, but I thought this look was good. Notice that the sides of the barn are darker, while the roof is lighter, the opposite from the first black and white edit.
Nisqually NWR Barns – Art Effect
This version was done in Topaz Labs Adjust 4. I made it partial color and punched up the details. No it doesn’t look realistic, but it’s art right?
I shot this last weekend and thought I’d see if I could do some versions that were different from each other.