Back from Jasper

A great weekend in the mountains. The skiing was perfect at Marmot Basin for the wife and kids and I brought home a few new pics of Jasper.

The skies and light were okay on Saturday and on Sunday it was a wash, a gray morning and very flat light.

The trip was a great example of shooting close to where you live. Back in Edmonton, I don’t walk carry a camera with me everywhere I go. Instead, if the conditions look right in the morning, I’ll head out before work.

It’s great to shoot often. It gets you more familiar with your equipment and how it sees compared to how you see but I don’t have it with me all the time because I don’t have to. I keep work and my photography totally separate these days. That keeps it fresh. A break from anything makes you come back to it recharged and with a refreshed vision.

Because I don’t live close to Jasper, I’ll end up shooting under conditions that I wouldn’t normally at home. You are at the mercy of mother nature. If she smiles upon you with great light and skies, it’s easy. If not, the photos require a bit more work.

The shot above was taken at Sunwapta Falls. Graduated neutral density filters are popular these days with many amateur photographers. It becomes almost reflexive. See a bright sky, slap on a graduated filter and the exposure difference between it and the ground is reduced, making for a better image. That does work but not in instances like this where the filter would have also darkened the trees to either side of the open sky.

A three stop blended image recorded enough of the highlights and shadows to help keep the image usable. I purposely kept the shadows blue. A little was taken out. To remove the blue entirely would have made the scene unnatural. Without some corrections, the shadows were almost cyan, ie. too cold.

I’m not a purist when it comes to photography. Whatever retouching it takes to get the image I am looking for is fine by me. Your mileage may vary.

Happy shooting,

Dan

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~ by Dan Jurak on January 18, 2010.

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