Monday, August 5, 2013

SOFT MORNING LIGHT

The shot above is an example of soft light.  Look at the white bow on the boat as well as the distant shoreline.  Incredible light!  It has texture...

Shade and I were on Cherokee Lake and, as usual, there was no critter action to speak of at all.  There was, however, the most beautiful soft morning light imaginable - perfect light to allow a camera lens to work magic.  I decided to collect a few scenic photos created using this softest of light and later compare them with the normal, brighter, harsh light of late morning.
Canon 50D & 150 -500mm lens @ 150mm focal length
The shot above was taken with the big 150 -500 millimeter telephoto using 150mm focal length.  That lens turns out some mighty impressive pictures when it has enough light.  It's not designed for panoramic work, yet it did a great job in the above shot.  Notice the yellowish light.  That's the soft light I speak of.  The next shot is created with a harsh, normal daytime light.  Notice the difference.  It's more of a "white" light.

SD990 IS  @ 14mm
There's quite a difference between the two shots.  The harsh light of late morning is fine and the picture is really good, but soft light makes the photograph look like one could walk right into it - or boat right into it.  
Canon 50D & 150 -500mm lens @ 150mm focal length
The shot above is one of my favorites.  The only thing missing is a canoe.  Look how the beam of soft, early morning light is shining down onto the edge of the trees and just catching the fog on the water.  Below is a similar shot with brighter, softer light. Yes you can have bright, soft light.
Canon 50D & 150 -500mm lens @ 150mm focal length
The light is a bit more harsh, but the softness is apparent as the eye follows the beam of light to the shoreline.  I like it.
Canon 50D & 150 - 500mm lens @ 150mm focal length
The shot above is a great example of soft light.  It's what I call a WOW shot.  I'm using the 150 mm focal length, the lower end of the telephoto, because there is no need for magnification beyond the 150mm focal length.  At 500 mm - that hole in the rock face would fill the picture frame.  No need for that.  I am really impressed with the results 
from this big lens.  As I've stated - this thing isn't made for scenic shots.  It's not doing bad though.
The above shot was taken with the Canon SD990IS.  I am particularly fond of that shot.  If I were to take the picture over again, I would do it exactly the same way.  Perfect light and color rendition.  The water is perfect too, thanks to soft light.  The only other way to get water to reproduce photographically like that is to use a polarizer filter.

Shade's got that "I gotta go ashore for a second" look in her eye. She's been patient sitting on this boat for four hours without a break.  We have an exceptionally large area of lake to cover this morning.
 "Yes, yes - I understand.  We're gonna stop right now for a little while."

It wasn't a long stop as we had water to cover.  Shade is very patient on the boat and is no trouble at all.  She lays and watches me.  I'm very fortunate to have her friendship and devotion. 

Below are two more soft light favorites of mine:
I think they're stunning shots! I get lucky sometimes.  I may enlarge one of these poster size.
Shade sees a fishing boat.  Notice how she moves to the side of the boat and rests her feet on the top deck.  She does that when something catches her eye.
"Ready to head home girl?"
Two more example of bright and soft light follow:  The differences are obvious and do not require explanation.
 The photo above was taken early morning and the reflection shot was taken near noon in white light.  There's a big difference in reproduction.
"Shade - lets go home."

I've been doing a lot of investigating into cameras and I looked at a couple camera reviews for the Canon EOS 50D, my camera.  I've been lusting for a Canon 7D for over a year and I compared the two.  It seems the 7D really only excels in two areas of importance to me.  One is that the 7D is faster.  It does more shots per second than my camera.  It also has a super video system.  My 50D does not.  However, my 50D has better resolution and color reproduction.  The 7D does have a super sophisticated focusing system but focuses no faster.  I'm beginning to come down to earth and realize that I have a great camera now and there's no real reason to buy a new one other than I'd like to have one.  I seem to do fairly well with the little system I have and I think I'll just chill out and maintain the status quot until the 50D breaks.  The shutter is tested to last a minimum of 100,000 actions and that isn't too shabby.

Tomorrow's a day off and I may take the Gheenoe up to Beech Creek in the morning.  
On a final note - I picked up a really classy piece of drift wood the other day for my flower yard display.  It's a work of art.  An old tree trunk became dislodged from the lake bottom and washed ashore to lay in the sun for eons until it was bleached white. I put it in front of the clematis two days ago and the tendrils are already reaching out to it.  I love clematis.

That is a very unusual tree stump.  I may try to find two more, varnish them and sit them at each side of the porch.  The clematis is moving in on it.  That vine seems to sense things to climb on when I make them available.  Plants are fun.  See ya tomorrow.