Posts tagged ‘long exposure’

August 25, 2019

The Hiker in Red Jacket

Dry Falls flows over an overhanging bluff that allows visitors to walk up under the falls and remain relatively dry, hence its name. Unfortunately no one told this is true, only when the flow is low. That particular day we got pretty wet – with the spotty rains and more so from the spray of the falls. Not that we were complaining, but it would have been good to know !

With the rain, I was not shooting much and this particular view felt cliche – but the hiker in the red jacket (yeah that tiny red fleck you can see, in the center of the frame, about to hike behind the falls) made all the difference and I couldn’t resit but go for the click :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 10 sec

Dry Falls
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA

June 30, 2019

The Path of Fireflies

This is not a great shot in technical sense, but the experience was quiet surreal …

I was really lucky : I got to experience the synchronous fireflies at Smokies for two years in a row. For the first year I got the tickets (this was the first year when they introduced the lottery for the viewing). For the second year I was not that lucky – the tickets got sold in minutes, from when it was opened up online.

As I was exploring to see if anyone would share or other alternate options – realized that booking a camp site at Elkmont campground, during the same days – would grant access to the trails. After trying few days, was able to grab a reservation as someone else cancelled. This even had an added advantage – It gets you within a mile of the Elkmont Viewing area. Even more, one could hike up the entire trail to avoid the crowds, much beyond the set area for lottery viewing. Just make sure to carry the campground reservation.

This shot is a composite of 164 shots (22 minutes) and around 8 sec exposure for the foreground. Thanks to the Sony A7S II that I was able to rent. This low light monster was able to capture so much of details even in the faint moon light !

The 70% gibbous moon was not conducive for the fireflies, but that did help light up the nearby stream :)

The hustling stream, chilling breeze, dark of the night, the little bit moon lit forest, walking with my son, by the trail into the Smokies Forest & Fireflies along the path – it was indeed a surreal experience !

Sony A7S II : Sony 28 mm: ISO 12800 : 10 mm : f2.0 : 8.0 sec [164 shots]

Great Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

June 15, 2019

The Perfect Traveller

Enroute to Smokies we heard about this waterfalls that was tucked away in the mountains. We decided to make the trip to Minnehaha and it was well worth it. Located the trail head with head with help of GPS [34.749633, -83.479083]. There were very few parking spots by the road, but the drive up the winding road and the lake was quick a sight. Once you locate the trail head (with small set up stairs from the road) and get a parking spot, the fun continues. The trail is somewhat uphill, but the few stairs sprinkled along the way helped.

In addition to the trail, the falls itself is incredible. They spill over a cliff in a gorgeous, multi-tiered cascade before continuing downstream to the Lake Rabun. The morning sun, the floating fog, the spray from the falls, the chillness of the water – it all makes it a worthwhile experience.

Water is the most perfect traveller, because when it travels it becomes the path itself !
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm: ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 8.0 sec

Minnehaha Falls
Lakemont, Georgia, USA

March 10, 2019

View with a Vertigo

Dubai is known for high rise skyscrapers and its views. But this one is special. This is probably what Tom Cruise would have seen, when maneuvering over Burj Khalifa, if he had done the same stunt by night :)

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f4.5 : 30 sec

    Burj Khalifa
Downtown, Dubai, UAE
January 21, 2019

Ocean Entry @ Hawaii

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover – Mark Twain

The lava flow and the associated ocean entry, when it happens, is a sight to behold. It is, as if the lava flows all the way to jump into the ocean, while the water keeps lashing it back. Together they keep creating earth, one layer at a time !

Canon 7D : ISO 640 : 119 mm : f5.6 : 1.5 sec

    Ocean Entry
Big Island, Hawaii, USA
October 7, 2018

The Capitol by full Moon

Initiated around 1793, the core building of The Capitol (Washington D.C) construction took 33 years. It was interesting to learn that the current dome of the capitol building was actually the second one. The original wooden dome was subsequently replaced as a precaution for fire.

Today it stands as the meeting place of the nation’s legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its own right. The several blocks from Washington memorial to the capitol building houses the various Smithsonian museums and is a great place to take a walk !

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 200 : 33 mm : f4.0 : 1.5 sec

  The Capitol
Washington, D.C, USA
September 30, 2018

Twin Falls on a Rainy Day

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover
And never judge a day by it’s weather

This particular Saturday started with showers all around. It was a tough choice to decide between lazing the afternoon with family in the couch vs driving couple of hours and taking a hike. With the rain, it was tempting to decide to stay at home, especially since it involved a hike. ClearOutside showed a small break in weather for the late afternoon. Am glad I gambled to take the risk, at the end it really paid off :) Though I did get wet, the rain added to the volume of the cascade and the rolling fog made the day !

Generally, worse the weather & lower the probability of getting a shot, the better it turns out to be :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 10.0 sec

  Twin Falls
Sunset, South Carolina, USA
February 11, 2018

Just in time by Jones Gap

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter – Ansel Adams

Jones Gap is one of a kind, so wild, yet not very far from Greenville. The main highlight of Jones Gap is the Middle Saluda River – the states first designated scenic river. The hike & terrain is somewhat challenging in a couple of places, but the views are amazing.

The late afternoon sun and the clouds were just right. The fall colors and the diffused light caused the entire place to be flooded with the golden glow. Was there just in time to enjoy this lovely scene :)

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f22 : 15.0 sec

   Jones Gap Wilderness
Marietta, South Carolina, USA
June 18, 2017

Symphony of Light

Dying daylight & rising twilight,
Kindles the tiny angels of the endless night.
It is quiet a sight
Witnessing the symphony of light.

Specks of light, Shining bright,
Weaving a silent song by moon’s light,
So nimble & ever in flight –
To watch them twinkle, is always a delight :)

 

If you are interested with how this was shot & processed, check out this article.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 400 – 3200 : 10 mm : f8.0 : 30 sec ; 245 Shots

     Elkmont
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
September 5, 2016

Iconic Skyline of Dubai

Generally urban cities each boasts an iconic skyline. But Dubai – it boasts a skyline where ever u look ! From being a dry desert in early 80’s to being the world’s biggest shopping & transient travel hub now – these skyscrapers play a vital role in making Dubai.

The effort to capture the iconic buildings started much before I landed here. Thanks to Google maps & street views, most of the planning was done even before I boarded the plane. After reaching out to couple of friends and scouting the location on street view, it was a matter of getting to the spot at the right time and pray that the visibility was good !   

When I got in the cab and asked to dropped on the side of the road @ Palm Jumeirah, the cabbie might have thought I was crazy. He asked several times if there is an restaurant or an hotel I would need to get dropped … Eventually he joined me in enjoying this lovely skyline view and did drop me back at the next stop :)

The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is the world’s only 7 star hotel and designed to resemble a billowing sail . At 1053 feet (321 meters), it dominates the Dubai skyline making it the fourth tallest hotel in the world. Tried getting in, but looks like one cannot even enter without a reservation ! Though the visibility was reduced , Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) adorns the distant skyline. At 2722 feet (837 meters) and being the worlds tallest structure, it houses a combination of residential, commercial & business entities. With both Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa this view definitely makes one iconic Dubai skyline.

 

Dubai was totally the opposite of what I prefer in travel – simplicity, native, one with nature – but somehow it made me intrigued. Was surprised with how much you can see and do in Dubai even in a short time.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100: 59 mm : f5.6 : 30 sec

Buy Print    Dubai Skyline
Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
June 13, 2016

Synchronous Fireflies of Smokies

For two weeks, each year, the secluded forests of Elkmont is converted into a magical wonderland.

Words can’t describe the experience, but let me try. As we venture into the forests, a light drizzle along with the cool breeze accompanies. Smokies as the name has it, brings in a rolling fog as the dusk sets in. After finding a remote spot by the trees and set the camera for a composition I liked, it was time to wait. Not long before the horizon begins to darken and the first of the fireflies beings to twinkle. Here a twinkle, there a twinkle and before you know it – everywhere a twinkle twinkle. The entire forest begins to glow, and then as if all lights are off, becomes pitch dark. After couple of seconds, the entire place is lit up once again. There fireflies surround you in its mythical glow. The thousands of lightning bugs gather in swarms and flash in harmony as the entire forest alternates between light and darkness. It truly becomes a magical wonderland.

 

The show is all made possible – thanks to Photinus carolinus – or more commonly known as Synchronous fireflies. Unlike other fireflies, this species uses the synchronicity of the flashing, probably to attract it’s mate.  Synchronous species of fireflies are very special—and they exist only in a handful of places throughout the world. Elkmont @ Smokies is one such place. Fireflies combine the chemical luciferin and oxygen with the enzyme luciferase in their lanterns (part of their abdomens) to make light. The light produced is referred to as a “cold” light, with nearly 100% of the energy given off as light. In contrast, the energy produced by an incandescent light bulb is approximately 10% light and 90% heat. So much for our human invention !

No one is sure why the fireflies flash synchronously. Competition between males might be one reason: they all want to be the first to flash. Or perhaps if the males all flash together so they have a better chance of being noticed. What ever be the reason – it indeed is magical & Here is my take on that magical experience. Hope you like the same as much as I enjoyed capturing it.

 

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 640 -5000: 10 mm : f3.5 : 15-30 sec ; 100 shots

 Elkmont
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA


Tips to get your way to Elkmont

  • Elkmont is Part of the Smoky National Park.
  • Lottery : Starting this year (2016), NPS has introduces Lottery. You need to be on the look out @ the NPS Website and apply during registration period. If you are lucky and get selected, you would need to drive up to Sugarlands Visiter Center on the allocated date. Around 6:30 PM local time the trolley takes to the viewing area. The Trolley / shuttle runs thru 11:30 PM so you will have ample time to experience the fireflies. You can read more about the lottery here.
  • Campground : Don’t lose heart , if you do not get the lottery. The next best thing (or actually an even better option) is to get a camp site at the Elkmont Campground. This gets you within a mile of the Elkmont Viewing area. Additionaly learnt, one more huge advantage is the you could hike up the entire trail to avoid the crowds, much beyond the set area for lottery viewing. Just make sure to carry the campground reservation.
  • But you are warned, Elkmont campground is one of the most famous ones, though it has only the basic facilities. You need to book a spot months ahead, or need to keep checking every other day for a cancellation to pop up, like I did :)
  • Be sure to follow the Fireflies Etiquette.
  • Do remember you are visiting them in their natural habitat, not the other way around. Take every step need to ensure they are not disturbed.
February 21, 2016

Adios Chicago

Moving from salting side walks to salting Margaritas, hopefully ;-)
Read somewhere that not everything can be bought, but looks like even Sunshine can be :)
Looking forward to what Life & Sunshine State has in store …
Adios Chicago !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f8 : 30.0 sec

   Buckingham Fountain
Chicago, Illinois, USA
July 20, 2015

Moon Rise by Cave Point

Moon rise can be as beautiful and dramatic as a sun rise. And the best part, you don’t need to wake up early ;-) This was from a lovely night at Door County, Wisconsin. The moon rise did kind of mess up with enjoying the  milky way, but the dramatic light, compensated for it.

The moon light was so bright, that it lit up the entire cliff. Had lot of fun with trying out some fun compositions like this. Even a shooting star (Draconid) decided to accompany us.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 1600 : 20 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Cave Point County Park
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
July 15, 2015

Rugged Terrain of Mt. St. Helens

The most fertile lands were built by the fires of volcanoes – Andrea Gibson

35 Years later, Mt St Helens is still recovering. It was interesting to read that time of the day (8:32 AM local time) and the season of the event play a lot in its recovery. Many nocturnal animals were already bedded down for the day and so were more likely to have been protected in burrows and to have survived the explosion than their neighbors up and about during the daylight. You just don’t think about that; that’s a chance event – But then nothing else is by chance either :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 12 mm : f22.0 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Mt. St Helens
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA
April 21, 2015

I need a shot of Tranquility

When ever I need a shot of tranquility,
When even I need to rejuvenate,  
When ever I need a kick in the butt,
When even I need to find my self – I get to nature.

This shot is from a lovely night at Mt hood. It is always quiet an experience to be admits nature and once the sun goes down its even more intimate :)

It has been quiet a while – time to make some plans and shake some hands, with nature !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f3.5 : 301 sec

Buy Print   Reflections by Mt Hood
Trillium Lake, Oregon, USA
April 5, 2015

Lunar Eclipse by the Lighthouse

Witnessing the lunar eclipse was magical. Planning and shooting the same was a lot of fun. Out here, in the north east of US, the lunar eclipse was not total, so missed out on the blood moon, but it was still a scintillating experience. As the moon was getting into total eclipse, it set over the horizon. But at the same time it created for some interesting photographing options.

This involved a lot more planning than it meets the eye (and a bit of luck, as there were too many variables from the weather, location, time zone, the quality of the air etc. Will share more details on the planning and tools  in a separate article, for my geek friends out there later this week.

Additionally, this is something new I had tried. Had always wanted to shoot a scene around sunset and into the night and highlight the same in a single frame as time-slice [A time slice is depicting a time range in a single frame]. When I learnt about the lunar eclipse, this past week, thought it might be a good candidate for time slice. This shot is a mix of landscape and time slice – in an attempt to highlight the lunar eclipse in the context of the surrounding landscape. These shots were taken from 4:45AM EST thru 6:25 AM EST (one of the shortest lunar eclipse of this century). This was a panorama made out of a composite. Though it does not look like a wide view, that is what helped capture the moon and the lighthouse in context (all 12 images [10 for the moon and 2 for the lighthouse] used to create the same, were shot at the extreme end of my long zoom lens). The long zoom helped actuate the size of the moon to some extent due to the much debated perspective compression effect.

Driving for couple of hours, setting out with the camera in the biting cold,  witnessing moving ice by the lake, the planning, the execution and the processing – it all culminated in the below shot :)

Panorama Time slice made with 13 shots

Buy Print   Time Slice of Lunar Eclipse 04.04.2015
South Haven, Michigan, USA
March 22, 2015

By the base of Proxy Falls, Oregon

Proxy Falls is one of the most frequently photographed waterfalls in Oregon. It most certainly is once of the most photogenic waterfalls. But being surrounded by the lush forest and given its height, it is a bit tricky to photograph the same. As most of the PNW, getting to the spot is a major part of the experience. The trail goes over an old lava flow, then entering a mixed confer forest.  From the end of the trail, the falls are viewed through a natural channel in the thick surrounding forest.

Proxy Falls is created as the Proxy Creek breaks over a high wall of basalt, which is adorned by mosses. At a height of 226 feet, the two streams that flow down is a sight to behold. This is my attempt to capture the falls with all its surroundings and the majestic mood !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-24 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f27.0 : 30 sec

  Proxy Falls, Three Sisters Wilderness 
Willamette, Oregon, USA
January 26, 2015

Magical Sunset by Mount St. Helens

Getting to Mt St Helens by itself is fun. The Highway 504 enroute is just perfect – be it bicycle, motorcycle or a casual car drive. It has some sweeping turns and plenty of turn offs at viewpoints to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Pacific North West. The drive up takes you to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. A little rustic building filled with history and even more adored with a picture perfect view of the Mt. St. Helens.

The volcanic eruption of the 1980 created a huge crater, losing almost 14% of its elevation and resulting in the flattened top. The debris spurred around for ~250 miles, impacting the entire ecosystem. Even today, after decades, one could still witness the ashes on some part of the wilderness trees. Each element around – the landscape, the deteriorating but majestic trees, the mountain, the fissures of lava – each remind us of the power of nature.

The sun actually sets behind you as you enjoy the mountain view. But this particular evening the light was just magical and it was fire across the sky. Given the vicinity to the visitor center and the concrete paved walkway, it lends itself well for night photography, especially if ur worried to hike up in the dark. It is amazing to view the milky way above St. Helens. Additionally the expansive view also opens up possibilities for some creative panoramas too :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f22.0 : 20 sec 

Buy Print   Sunset by Mt. St. Helens
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA
November 30, 2014

Storm in the Skies

After driving for 14 hours straight, I thought, all I would want was to get some break and sleep. But I was wrong ! As we reached the Smoky Mountain National Park and set the tent well into the darkness, the conditions were just ripe to explore some stars and was too tempting to miss ! The moon was not up, it was one of the darkest skies that I had seen in a while. It took a while to drive around and identify a spot, safe enough to shoot shoot the stars with some interesting foreground. Being new to the place, the mystery of the night and the sound of the rushing stream near by, added to the experience. The clouds were moving pretty fast, and helped set the mood of this shot to a great extent.

As for the processing of this shot : it was aided by the nifty Photoshop script(s) – Creative Trails UI & Creative Effects UI. I wrote a whole article about these scripts over the weekend. You can download the scripts here (for free, of course !) . If you are into photography do take some time to check it out.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Elkmont Road, Tennessee, USA
November 13, 2014

Star Lit Orb at Cave Point

The trip to Wisconsin was awesome this past season. Not only was the falls colors great at door county, but got a chance to hike along the cliffs, capture a shooting star, shoot a moon rise, some star trails and opened some portals too :)

The Gibbous moon lit the cliffs from behind the bushes !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

  Cave Point County Park
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
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