Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘landscape

Super Moon

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Nikon D800 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII | 1/2 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

The moon passed awfully close to the Earth over the weekend, and we found ourselves over 200 miles north of home on a gig the night we saw it rise over the horizon, bigger and brighter than I’ve ever seen it before. As the sun set and the sky darkened, we quickly looked for a place to pull over and nab a few frames.

The problem, however, was that there was a beautiful sunset over a mountain range to the west, but the moon was rising to the east. At this point, the rock was all by itself in the sky and any shot of it lacked context, so I thought I’d cheat a little. I turned on the D800‘s double exposure mode, spot metered on the moon, took one exposure. Spun the camera around, flipped back to matrix, second exposure of the hills and sun setting sky. The camera combined the two, and the result was pretty cool. I’d love to do this over San Francisco next time…

Written by Jonathan

May 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Still My Favorite Bridge

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Fuji x100 | 30 sec, f/11, ISO 200

The Bay Bridge may have just celebrated a milestone anniversary, but the beauty of the Golden Gate is unmatched. Combining beautiful weather with a holiday weekend, there was just no way I’d be able to shoot from the headlands yesterday. It was just too packed with tourists up there. So I opted for a less known area to the east of the bridge. Besides a few scattered people here and there, Suki and I basically had the whole place to ourselves.


Nikon D700 + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | 16mm,1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800

While this is quite an enjoyable sight for me, hanging out by the water here couldn’t be more boring for Suki, who prefers to be on the move. It’s still nice to have a little bit of company, even if its reluctant company :)


Fuji x100 | 30 sec, f/16, ISO 200

This shot was taken about 5 minutes after the one up top. I tweaked the white balance to give the sky a cooler, bluer look, whereas the top image shows the color as I set it at the camera. Can’t decide which one I like better, but the top image is a more accurate representation of how the scene actually looked. I hope to get more fiery clouds in the background next time, but at least there were more clouds yesterday than there were when I made my last attempt at this location.

Written by Jonathan

November 14, 2011 at 10:25 am

The North Peak

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This is exactly where I was standing when I took my week 45 photo of Suki last week, only in this image my camera is pointing south. We climbed to the very top of one of the Twin Peaks in San Francisco with Suki, and while we were trying to get her to stay put for a photo, I turned around and saw this beautiful sweeping scene, with a clear view of the other peak and a gorgeous sunset sky. Fired a few frames, got a weird shot of Suki for the project, and ended up with a bunch of mosquito bites in the process. Ouch!

The image up top is now available for purchase as a print or desktop background at the “City and Landscape” gallery of my website.

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Image Top: Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/5.6, 1/30 second ISO200
Image Bottom: Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4G VRII at 16mm f/5.6, 1/160 second ISO200

Written by Jonathan

November 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

My New Photography Website

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My cousin recently convinced me to set up a website for my photography. I’ve been wanting a slick, simple way to display my photographs on the web for a long time now. While I do have a flickr page as well as this blog for sharing photos,  neither really offer me a customizable way to display my artwork in high quality, high resolution galleries.

My new website allows viewers to browse my images using a very simple but beautiful interface. Each gallery includes an awesome full-screen option, and features custom compatibility with iPhone and iPad.

So please, check out my new website! Head on over to www.jonathanflemingphotography.com. I’ll make sure to update it regularly.  Enjoy!

Written by Jonathan

June 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

The “Desktop Image” – Shooting RAW with the Canon S90

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The Canon S90 has exceeded my expectations as a great compact camera for landscape photography. Due to its small size, it’s incredibly easy to slip into a pocket carry with you at all times, just in case. Take this image you see above, for instance. Driving down a freeway back to my office in San Francisco after visiting some of my company’s customers on the east side of the San Francisco bay, I spotted these beautiful clouds hovering over lush green hills.

As the exit ramp off the freeway quickly approached, I debated with myself as to whether or not I should take a few minutes and try to capture an image of this beautiful scene. With only seconds to decide, I chose to not let this opportunity pass me by. I was so glad I had the S90 with me!

Getting the shot

After posting this image on flickr, I got quite a few questions about how I got the image to look this way, and if there was a lot of post-processing involved, so I thought I’d write a little “how I did it” on the image. The short answer is that there isn’t very much to the post processing here. The entire strategy for achieving the look I wanted, however, started at the camera and ended in Lightroom 3 beta.

I typically record JPEGs with the S90 since it’s more of a casual-use camera for me (I always shoot RAW with my DSLR). This was actually the first time since I starting using the S90 that I chose to record in RAW and post process the image myself. Shooting RAW allowed me to plan ahead in achieving the look I wanted in my editing software.

In this scene, the sky was brighter than the hill, not by a huge amount (the entire scene is front-lit), but enough to make it very difficult to get a nice even exposure across the frame. With no filters at my disposal, I had to improvise.

This is what the image looked like coming off the camera into Lightroom. Notice that the sky is over-exposed. Not to worry! I intentionally over-exposed the scene to get a good exposure on the foreground, while being careful not to blow out any highlights. In digital photography, this technique is often referred to as “exposing to the right [of your histogram].” The idea is that to get the most out of the dynamic range of a RAW file, it’s OK to over-expose the image and bring the exposure back down later, as long as you don’t over-expose so much that you clip highlights and lose detail.

In this case, my intention was to overexpose the entire scene at the camera and then selectively darken certain areas of the frame in post. The S90′s live histogram made this really easy. I simply added +EV at the camera until my histogram indicated that I was about to start clipping highlights, and then took the picture. I ended up adding +2/3EV at the camera.

Now, all that’s left to do is darken that sky in Lightroom to even the exposure out:

Here’s the final image. Darkened the sky with Lightroom’s adjustment brush and graduated filter. Notice how much detail was retained in the clouds despite the over-exposure at capture. Removed a couple distracting elements, added some contrast, and there you have it!

It’s important to keep in mind that in order for this method to work, you have to stay within the limits of your camera’s dynamic range. If this scene was back-lit and/or had a dynamic range that was higher than the camera could record without losing detail, achieving a balanced exposure might require exposure blending, HDR, or the use of a graduated neutral density filter over the lens.

Ok, so multiple people have told me that this image reminds them of a default desktop on Windows 9x/xp. I suppose it does…but hey, why use it on Windows???

That’s more like it!

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Shot Specs: Canon Powershot S90 at 9.64mm f/5.6 ISO80 1/400 Second