Rodney Campbell's Blog

River of Green…

by on Dec.07, 2014, under Life, Photography

One of the reasons for thinking that this large very straight hand hewn channel in the rocks may have once had an ocean outfall related past was the very healthy rivers of green. It seemed unnaturally vibrant and lush even – surely it was nutrient fed…

I made two attempts on this composition over a river of green. They were taken and have been processed in vastly different ways so you can compare the two here and decide for yourselves which you might like better.

This first one is only a few minutes after sunrise (well technically a sunrise – it was still well hidden behind that great big cloudbank on the horizon so it hadn’t actually made an appearance as yet).

For this shot even with using a 3 stop grad angled over the sky I manually took 5 exposures at 1 stop increments (from 1 second to 15 seconds). The “normal” exposure (4 seconds) was actually exposed perfectly – no clipped highlights or blocked shadows but I felt I wanted to make more of a statement with that green at the bottom and I felt that the overall exposure was a little flat and didn’t have that glowing sunrise feel I was looking for. So I took some extra exposures (-1 and -2EV under for some more drama in the sky, and +1 and +2EV over for more life on my river of green and on the rocks).

For this image I’ve used an HDR technique that my mastery Cohort in The Arcanum has been experimenting with lately. That is to not use the HDR software tone mapping at all but rather just use it to create a 32bit RAW TIF file with much more extended dynamic range and then do my normal post processing in Adobe Lightroom but with significantly more latitude with the sliders in post.

I’ll cover the specifics of this technique in a future post but essentially I’ve used Adobe Photoshop’s Merge to HDR to generate an untonemapped 32bit TIFF and whilst a normal RAW file in Lightroom (or Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)) can have the Exposure slider go from -5 to +5 but with a 32bit HDR TIF you can go from -10 to +10.

River of Green

River of Green

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 1 to 15 sec at f/13, ISO 100

Well after sunrise the sun finally rose above the heavy cloud and Gerry and I were shooting down the channel again towards the now rising sun. It was very bright by this stage so he was using the Lee BigStopper whilst I was using the Lee LittleStopper along with a CPL and the 0.9 GND.

After this I came back to the river of green for round two – this time with the LittleStopper stacked with the CPL and the 0.9 GND as before and this time this is a straight single long exposure with just some post processing in Lightroom.

River of Green II

River of Green II

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 123 sec at f/13, ISO 100

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