Canon G15 for Travel

So you think you can’t make great travel photos with a point and shoot! You are dead wrong. I have an older Canon P&S the G15. I love it. Yes the sensor is small and it’s only 12 mp but it sure does a great job. Here is the story behind this photo. I was having my car worked on in Ipswich so I decided to go for a little hike down to the Ipswich River to see if there was any water in it. Along the way I made some shots with the G15 and a circular polarizer that I have for it. Instead of using the Canon filter adapter for the G15 I use the Mag Filter adapter which allows me to easily attach the polarizer. When I got to the river and discovered the gorgeous morning light cast the waterfall area in complete shadow, I was a little disappointed. But being a photographer, I know I must be able to solve problems. The EBSCO building was in beautiful sunlight and was throwing a great reflection on the river with some nice warm light. I wanted to capture that but I also wanted the foreground and the small waterfall. A nice blue sky would help but it was kind of a weak blue.

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The difference between the foreground and the background was at least four stops. So I had to compromise. I overexposed the background by about a half a stop without blowing out the highlights. This would make the file workable in Lightroom. The next problem was the waterfall. I wanted it to have a more silky look to it than the exposure was calling for. At 1/25th of a sec it looks kind of weird. I really wanted something around 5 sec. but I didn’t have an ND filter with me. Lucky that the camera has one built in! So I was able to slow the water down to 1/4 sec which is much better. Then I needed to make the sky nice and dark blue so I put the polarizer on which also takes a stop worth of light away. So the exposure is now down to 1/4 sec @ f 8 @ ISO 80. This is workable – well kind of. The problem now is that it’s a slow shutter speed that I can’t hand hold even resting it on something. I brought my little Gorilla Pod with me to steady it up just a bit by wrapping it around the top of the safety fence on the bridge. Oops I forgot my cable release, now what do I do. I searched for a bit in the function set menu and found the timer function and set it to 10 sec. This was to account for the vibrations of me pushing the shutter button. With all the problems solved I was able to get a nice image I can work with since it was made in raw format in adobe rgb. When I pulled it into Lightroom I had a nice easy file to work with. I used the gradient tool to lighten the foreground and warm it up a little and that was about it. Another successful photo with the Canon G15!

A Unique Opportunity

Recently we had a great opportunity to make some great images. The sun and the moon rose right behind the Twin Lights on Thacher Island in Rockport. Of course at different times of day. I was fortunate to have some very nice people from Pennsylvania along on a full day tour. We got up early and were greeted with a fabulous sunrise that was a wowser.

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I love the layers of color in this image. Then as the sun got higher the colors begin to go more yellow.

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Then to make this such a great opportunity we came back around sunset. Of course the sun was going down on the other side of the island but we were looking for the Harvest Moon to come up right next to the North Tower.

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I love it when the geese cooperate.

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In my opinion this lighthouse is so cool. I love the little house and the granite bricks the tower is made of. The best thing is that anyone can find this out when these great opportunities happen. I use TPE on my phone. The app shows where the sun and the moon are going to come up and go down and where it lines up. Great stuff.

Slowing down the ocean

As we move into autumn and the colors start to change I wanted to test out my ND filters which I don’t use that much. I hope to make it up to New Hampshire in October for some water falls and colored leaves. I’ll be scouting locations for workshops next year. So I headed over to my favorite place for water Halibut Point State Park. My filter system is not that varied. I use B+W three stop and 10 stop filters for my Leica lenses. For my Canon lenses I use a variable Tiffen ND filter. So off I went at zero dark thirty for the rocky shoreline at Halibut Pt. The tide was almost all the way in and coming up the flat rocks and I wanted to try out the 10 stop filter on the Leica 21mm Super Elmar.

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This image was made at the Leica M-P 240’s exposure limit of one minute. Besides the huge wait time of about 45 sec. after the exposure for noise reduction processing, I found using the Leica very easy. Using the EVF was a huge benefit. I love the foggy look of the water but if I had brought my three stop filter I would have used it instead. If the ocean had been a bit more wild I think the water would have been more interesting.

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The exposure here was much shorter at 20sec. and the water is still very misty looking but at 40 sec. less time the water does not show as much. Then I switched over to my Canon 5Dmk3 with the 24-70 f4 L. As much as I like this lens the bowing of the horizon is horrible. I used my Tiffen variable ND filter which I had set at the third to highest density level. At the highest and second to highest density level there is some x-ing going on. I converted the Canon shots to B&W as they looked better. The B&W images below were made using the Alpine Labs Pulse. This is a nifty little unit that is small and pretty easy to use. I need to use it more so I get used to it. At one point it stopped working and I needed to shut the camera off and then on again and also restart the unit. It controls the camera in many ways. I am disappointed that you can’t make the shot and control the camera on the same screen in the smart phone app. You have to swipe back and forth to do this. It’s a pain. The other issues had to do with it stopping to work. Not a big deal when shooting waves but imagine if it was important.

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