TR: Beacons Today



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Phil Cook

Guest
On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 22:01:26 -0000, Paul Saunders wrote:

>Snow, sun.


Where's the &*#$*#& pictures then?

Lovely and cold here in London. Went for a stroll in Hyde Park under
clear skies this evening. Didn't have my camera with me, :-|
--
Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
 
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Paul Saunders

Guest
Phil Cook wrote:

>> Snow, sun.

>
> Where's the &*#$*#& pictures then?


I forgot to mention shattered! It was knackering walking through all
that deep snow! Probably averaging 6 inches deep but often a foot or so
around Llyn y Fan Fawr. In fact there were very deep drifts on the
eastern edge of the lake, which I stumbled waist deep into on two
occasions (trying to get closer to the edge for photos).

Anyway, a pretty normal shot of Fan Brycheiniog to set the scene;
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190009.jpg

Figure in a landscape. Does it really make the pic?
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190021.jpg

Spring. Arty shot with a pretentious title. I've corrected the blue
cast so that the snow actually looks white.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190023.jpg

First shot with the 10-22 and first time up to my waist in snow getting
it. I've never been able to include these boulders and the ridge in the
same shot before, yet there's nothing terribly obvious about how wide
the lens is, which is a good thing IMO.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190038.jpg

Wind blown snow at sunset, looking east.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190046.jpg

Llyn y Fan Fawr at twilight.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190071.jpg

Snow covered rocks.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190079.jpg

Frozen pond. First stars starting to appear. 30 seconds. Flare from
moon at the top of the pic.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190081.jpg

The night sky, featuring Ursa Major. Fully dark now, first moonlit
shot. Some exposures were as long as 8 minutes, but this one was only
30 seconds, in order to stop the stars from creating trails
(underexposed then brightened).
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190082.jpg

Lake reflection. 2 minute exposure.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190087.jpg

Lake outflow. 4 minute exposure. As mentioned elsewhere, I've applied
no processing to this pic. If I had, it would look more like the
previous shot. Note the straight line in the sky on the left hand side
of the sky - probably a satellite. Pity about all the footprints in the
shot which have ruined it, nothing I could do about them, other than not
take the shot.
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190088.jpg

Ended up with soaked trousers because of all the deep snow, I really
should have worn overtrousers. Socks got soaked through my boots too.
Didn't bother me too much because there was hardly any wind and I didn't
feel cold whilst moving, but still, I'd probably have stayed longer if
I'd managed to keep dry. Not pleasant standing around in the snow in
wet trousers waiting for very long exposures to complete.

Paul
--
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
 
T

theo

Guest
"Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> schreef in bericht
news:[email protected]
> Phil Cook wrote:
>
>>> Snow, sun.

>>
>> Where's the &*#$*#& pictures then?

>
> I forgot to mention shattered! It was knackering walking through all
> that deep snow! Probably averaging 6 inches deep but often a foot or so
> around Llyn y Fan Fawr. In fact there were very deep drifts on the
> eastern edge of the lake, which I stumbled waist deep into on two
> occasions (trying to get closer to the edge for photos).


Inspiring pictures, Paul. Our weatherforecast gives a possibility of some
snow in the near future. I'll try to make some decent snowpictures in my
region.

--
Theo
www.theosphotos.fotopic.net
 
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Tony Simpkins

Guest
"Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote
>
> Figure in a landscape. Does it really make the pic?
> http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190021.jpg
>


Nope, but it adds a mite of interest to what would otherwise have been
a dull picture.

Figures wouldn't have made any of the other pictures either and,
worse, would have been an intrusion.

Nice pics lit by the Moon. Did you know the exposure to use or did you
try several?

Tony Simpkins
 
S

SteveO

Guest
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 05:05:25 -0000, "Paul Saunders"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Phil Cook wrote:
>
>>> Snow, sun.

>>
>> Where's the &*#$*#& pictures then?


Yeah! Exactly!!

>Anyway,


....ah, see I'm quick off the mark again ;-)

Some interesting shots Paul, ranging from so-so (my ho, because of the
flat light) to the superb - in the bracket I'd put the "after sunset"
pics. This is my fave:

>The night sky, featuring Ursa Major. Fully dark now, first moonlit
>shot. Some exposures were as long as 8 minutes, but this one was only
>30 seconds, in order to stop the stars from creating trails
>(underexposed then brightened).
>http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190082.jpg


The other shots are equally as inspiring for the light (huh? we are
talking after sunset aren't we?? ;-) but the star-trails have an
unbalancing effect (for me). If the pics were mine (I wish!!) I might
clone out the linear star trails and leave the static points of
light... but then I'd have to see how far from the "original" that
took me before I'd be happy.

Cold and conditions notwithstanding Paul, would you say it might have
been practicable to take longer exposures to get to the situation
where all of the stars were showing trails? (I think, for me, its the
half-way house that's unbalancing the composition.)

N1 Paul.




SteveO
--
NE Climbers & walkers chat forum;
http://www.thenmc.org.uk/phpBB2/index.php

NMC website: http://www.thenmc.org.uk
 
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Paul Saunders

Guest
Tony Simpkins wrote:

>> Figure in a landscape. Does it really make the pic?
>> http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190021.jpg

>
> Nope, but it adds a mite of interest to what would otherwise have been
> a dull picture.


I think it's pretty dull anyway.

> Figures wouldn't have made any of the other pictures either and,
> worse, would have been an intrusion.


Exactly my thoughts.

> Nice pics lit by the Moon. Did you know the exposure to use or did you
> try several?


Yep, I tried several. That's the great thing about digital, being able
to check the result afterwards (the histogram rather than the LCD, which
is not a good guide - even underexposed pics looked good in the
darkness).

The tricky bit was getting the best compromise between the f-stop, film
speed and exposure time. My last shot which was 4 minutes at f4 at ISO
400 was probably the best exposure, but f4 limited the depth of field
and ISO 400 added a bit of noise. Ideally I'd have preferred f8 at ISO
100, but that would have required an hour long exposure!

Fortunately the 10mm focal length gave such good depth of field that f4
wasn't a problem, and ISO 400, although not quite as pure and noise free
as ISO 100, is still very low in noise, so it was an acceptable
compromise.

Now if I'd been camping there I could have taken some far longer
exposures and gone back to the tent to make a cup of tea whilst waiting
for them to complete.

The biggest problem I had was with focusing. Needless to say auto-focus
didn't work in the dark, but worse, I couldn't even see well enough to
focus manually. I tried shining a torch onto the foreground but
auto-focus still wouldn't work and I still couldn't see well enough for
manual focusing.

I tried focusing on the moon to locate infinity [1], which was the only
thing that auto-focus worked on, but after taking several long exposures
I then zoomed in to find that they were all out of focus. Unable to
focus manually I ended up simply setting the lens to infinity [1] and
trusting to luck. Luckily the focus was fine, due in part to the huge
depth of field of the 10mm lens.

That's also why I'd have preferred to use smaller apertures. During
many of my twilight shots I took the precaution of taking two version,
one at optimum exposure, the other at a smaller aperture but slightly
underexposed. In many cases the darker shot was sharper, due to the
extra depth of field. Focusing is definitely a big problem with
twilight/night shots.

[1] As you may be aware, most lenses these days are designed to focus
past infinity. The reason for this is that the focus point is affected
by changes in temperature. I noticed that due to the cold weather,
whenever I auto-focused on distant mountains, the focus point was set
way past infinity, so I couldn't trust the focusing scale on the lens.
However, it was definitely an advantage to have a focus scale on the
lens, unlike the cheapy that came with the camera.

With wide apertures, hyperfocal focusing is more important, and if you
can't auto-focus or focus manually, the next best thing is to estimate
the hyperfocal distance and set it on the lens. With the lens focusing
way past the infinity mark on the lens due to the cold, I couldn't
really trust the distance, but luckily setting it to infinity worked.
In future I'd prefer smaller apertures and longer exposure times to get
extra depth of field.

Paul
--
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
 
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Paul Saunders

Guest
SteveO wrote:

> Some interesting shots Paul, ranging from so-so (my ho, because of the
> flat light)


It wasn't so much flat as "in the shadow of the mountain" - right place,
wrong time (it's a morning location), but then of course shadow means
flat. I had no idea it had snowed the night before else I'd have gone
out earlier. I thought it had just rained, it didn't seem cold enough
for snow on the mountains, and it was cloudy first thing in the morning
anyway, so it didn't look like a good day was in prospect. Twas only by
chance I noticed the snow on the distant hills when I nipped over to the
shop at midday. Then it was a mad dash to get up there before it got
dark, although I gradually realised that was probably when I'd get my
best shots, so I had no expectation of getting home early.

> to the superb - in the bracket I'd put the "after sunset"
> pics.


Yes, there's something special about twilight and night "light" isn't
there? Snow of course is ideal subject matter. You really need bright
high contrast subjects for true night shots.

> This is my fave:
>
>> The night sky, featuring Ursa Major.


Mine too.

> The other shots are equally as inspiring for the light (huh? we are
> talking after sunset aren't we?? ;-)


Yep. Oh it's light alright, moonlight! Just over a half moon. A full
moon would have been brighter but no moon probably wouldn't have
produced very good results. Luckily the moon was well positioned, high
in the sky, roughly SSE I think. Any later and the scene would have
fallen into "moon shade".

> but the star-trails have an
> unbalancing effect (for me). If the pics were mine (I wish!!) I might
> clone out the linear star trails and leave the static points of
> light...


Linear? Static? They're all moving! I presume you're talking about
the lake reflection shot? It's easier to see that they're all moving in
the full size image. You're obviously referring to the fact that the
stars on the left are moving "faster" than the ones on the right.
That's because the pole star is just above the right hand corner of the
picture, and they're all rotating around the pole. Imagine a record
spinning, the outside of the record moves faster than the inside.
That's what's happening, longer star trails away from the pole. The
different angles of the trails also gives away what a wide lens this is.

> but then I'd have to see how far from the "original" that
> took me before I'd be happy.


But that would be "manipulation", wouldn't it? I rather like star
trails anyway, that's one of the appealing things about night shots IMO.
Perhaps they're not long enough to be impressive enough? So you prefer
the normal looking stars, do you? I must say that I like that too, but
without moonlit snow it would be hard to get the ground bright enough
for a decent pic.

> Cold and conditions notwithstanding Paul, would you say it might have
> been practicable to take longer exposures to get to the situation
> where all of the stars were showing trails?


Absolutely. It just means waiting for a long time for each shot. I had
a flask of hot tea with me so normally I wouldn't have minded waiting,
but I forgot to bring a sit mat and my trousers and socks were soaked
through, so it wasn't very pleasant standing around in those conditions.
Next time I'll be better prepared.

Paul
--
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
 
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Phil Cook

Guest
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 05:05:25 -0000, Paul Saunders wrote:

>Frozen pond. First stars starting to appear. 30 seconds. Flare from
>moon at the top of the pic.
>http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190081.jpg
>
>The night sky, featuring Ursa Major. Fully dark now, first moonlit
>shot. Some exposures were as long as 8 minutes, but this one was only
>30 seconds, in order to stop the stars from creating trails
>(underexposed then brightened).
>http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190082.jpg
>
>Lake reflection. 2 minute exposure.
>http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190087.jpg
>
>Lake outflow. 4 minute exposure. As mentioned elsewhere, I've applied
>no processing to this pic. If I had, it would look more like the
>previous shot. Note the straight line in the sky on the left hand side
>of the sky - probably a satellite. Pity about all the footprints in the
>shot which have ruined it, nothing I could do about them, other than not
>take the shot.
>http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190088.jpg


Hey these are really great. Have you thought of blending two shots for
these long exposures? One very long exposure for the land and one for
sky that keeps the stars as points?

As for footprints it depends on where they are, sometimes a few can
add to a photo. It's nice to have the option of adding a few yourself
but I admit there are rather too many by the Llyn.
--
Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
 
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ste®

Guest
"Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
| Phil Cook wrote:
|
| >> Snow, sun.
| >
| > Where's the &*#$*#& pictures then?
|
| I forgot to mention shattered! It was knackering walking through all
| that deep snow! Probably averaging 6 inches deep but often a foot or so
| around Llyn y Fan Fawr. In fact there were very deep drifts on the
| eastern edge of the lake, which I stumbled waist deep into on two
| occasions (trying to get closer to the edge for photos).

Thanks for sharing the photos. I know you've not asked for comments but I
guess I'll go through them anyway, as I know you would return the favour if
the roles were reversed! ;-)


| Anyway, a pretty normal shot of Fan Brycheiniog to set the scene;
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190009.jpg

Well it sure does set the scene. Not had any snow yet around where I live,
but it snowed for a few minutes yesterday lunch time. Woke up this morning
to icy weather again, though there was some beautiful mist across some
farmer's fields as we drove to work this morning, with a lovely pink sky as
the sun was rising. If only I had the time to stop and take some photos...
(must make sure I have some early starts during my xmas break...)


| Figure in a landscape. Does it really make the pic?
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190021.jpg

No, it's too small to make a difference in this photo IMO. However, I read
the other thread where you were discussing this with someone else, and I
agree with the other guy that people in his photos did make them. I guess
it depends on the photo.


| Spring. Arty shot with a pretentious title. I've corrected the blue
| cast so that the snow actually looks white.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190023.jpg

Nice idea - try the same thing whilst looking across at a green farmer's
field (the ones where there are walls seperating the fields), and you'll
have a winner as I've seen loads of shots like that in calendars etc. I've
got one in a book of mine (Photographs that sell and sell), so will email
you a copy of it.


| First shot with the 10-22 and first time up to my waist in snow getting
| it. I've never been able to include these boulders and the ridge in the
| same shot before, yet there's nothing terribly obvious about how wide
| the lens is, which is a good thing IMO.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190038.jpg

Yes, I guess we can't appreciate how wide it is, not knowing the area. But
I guess you're well pleased at the 'wideness' of your lens? After xmas,
I'll be weighing up a Sigma 12-24 v Canon 10-22... (I'm sure the Canon will
win, but I'd rather wait for LL to post their results, once he gets a new
lens that is!)


| Wind blown snow at sunset, looking east.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190046.jpg

Which reminds me, have you not been to the beach yet? :)


| Llyn y Fan Fawr at twilight.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190071.jpg

Ahh, now this is where the shots start to step up a level, IMO.


| Snow covered rocks.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190079.jpg

Nice composition, but quite cool.


| Frozen pond. First stars starting to appear. 30 seconds. Flare from
| moon at the top of the pic.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190081.jpg

I like the 'bluer' sky in this shot than the previous two shots. Is there a
reason for this in the post prossing, or exposure of the shot, or did it
just 'go like that' in real life?


| The night sky, featuring Ursa Major. Fully dark now, first moonlit
| shot. Some exposures were as long as 8 minutes, but this one was only
| 30 seconds, in order to stop the stars from creating trails
| (underexposed then brightened).
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190082.jpg

Whoa, and now upto another level again, very nice. That sky is just great!
I love these star shots...


| Lake reflection. 2 minute exposure.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190087.jpg

Very nice, again. I like the way the star trails are just starting to form
nicely, however, I'd have liked it even more if you'd have got the north
star in there somewhere, so the full circle of trails was visible.


| Lake outflow. 4 minute exposure. As mentioned elsewhere, I've applied
| no processing to this pic. If I had, it would look more like the
| previous shot. Note the straight line in the sky on the left hand side
| of the sky - probably a satellite. Pity about all the footprints in the
| shot which have ruined it, nothing I could do about them, other than not
| take the shot.
| http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/lyff/0412190088.jpg

Very nice again, though I'm still looking out for this north star. Don't
ask me why, but I guess this is just my personal 'thing' as it's a shot I
want to and will take myself.


| Ended up with soaked trousers because of all the deep snow, I really
| should have worn overtrousers. Socks got soaked through my boots too.
| Didn't bother me too much because there was hardly any wind and I didn't
| feel cold whilst moving, but still, I'd probably have stayed longer if
| I'd managed to keep dry. Not pleasant standing around in the snow in
| wet trousers waiting for very long exposures to complete.

I took a bin bag out with me the other day, to kneel on. I fancy getting
one of those fold-away chairs, so long as they're not too heavy or bulky.
I'll look into it, as I'd love to be able to sit down whilst composing shots
on the tripod.


| Paul

Ste
 
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W. D. Grey

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, ste®
<[email protected]> writes
>Yes, I guess we can't appreciate how wide it is, not knowing the area. But
>I guess you're well pleased at the 'wideness' of your lens? After xmas,
>I'll be weighing up a Sigma 12-24 v Canon 10-22... (I'm sure the Canon will
>win, but I'd rather wait for LL to post their results, once he gets a new
>lens that is!)

Have a look at this link

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/Canon-10-22mm-test.shtm
--
Bill Grey
http://www.billboy.co.uk