Olis Garber Photography: Blog https://www.garber.photography/blog en-us (C) Olis Garber Photography garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Thu, 24 Dec 2020 01:03:00 GMT Thu, 24 Dec 2020 01:03:00 GMT https://www.garber.photography/img/s/v-12/u469016257-o947251613-50.jpg Olis Garber Photography: Blog https://www.garber.photography/blog 96 120 Core of a Forgotten Coast https://www.garber.photography/blog/2020/7/core-of-the-milky-way-with-jupiter-and-saturn-rising-over-florida-s-forgotten-coast Drawn to the LightDrawn to the LightThe core of the Milky Way with Jupiter and Saturn over Florida’s forgotten coast. It’s like I'm a moth drawn to the light. I’ve shot this landscape so many times but each time I try something a little different. It's like I'm a moth drawn to the light. I've shot this landscape so many times but each time I try something a little different. The core of the Milky Way with Jupiter and Saturn rising over Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

Camera/Lens: Nikon Z7 / NIKKOR Z 20mm.

For the sky portion of this image, to get sharp stars with no star trails, I used a MoveShootMove tracker with the Z7 set to Bulb for three 80 second exposures at ISO 800 with a lens aperture at f/2.2. I used an N2 from Foolography to remotely control (ISO, shutter, and aperture) and to trigger the Z7 from my iPhone. 

Starting at 10:54 PM, I took three sky images and three additional dark frames with these settings.  Compositionally, this would become the upper 3/4s of the final image, a vertical pan.  The little foreground that I had in these image would be replaced during post processing by a foreground that was taken at the end of the blue hour.  

The six raw (NEF files), three sky and three dark frame were adjusted in Lightroom and exported as tif to StarryLandscapeStacker to get noise, hot pixels, and airplane trails removed.  

The foreground (water, salt marsh and island), consisted of two horizontal images taken looking southeast and south at 9:12 pm with the MoveShootMove tracker turned off.  Camera settings for these images; ISO 64, f/2.8, and 4 second shutter. These files were adjusted in Lightroom and combined as a pano.   

Then both the tif from StarryLandscapeStacker and the pano from Lightroom were opened in photoshop, sized (transformed), placed in layers and positioned, then blended (brushed) using layer mask in photoshop combining the sky and foreground.

Using the MoveShootMove tracker, the real breakthrough for me this time was how easy it was to get the laser aligned quickly and perfectly on the North Star. The breakthrough was a suggestion from a friend, Keith Bartholomew to use a Wimberley gimbal tripod head as the head directly mounted on the tripod instead of a ball head. Just happens I’ve got one of those because I also do wildlife photography with a 600mm lens. The Wimberley has separate and distinct controls for left/right and up/down movements with two big separate nobs. Then the camera with a smaller ball head (RRS BH-30) is mounted with the MoveShootMove in the center of the Wimberley's head and perfectly balanced.   

Most notable experience this trip was a mid-day black & white pan/focus stack taken standing on a wooden, dirt-covered bridge, with a pack of wild dogs under it. That kept us on our toes.

The Florida ForgottenThe Florida ForgottenFenholloway River. It's not everyday you get to photograph a scene with a pack of wild dogs under the dirt covered bridge your standing on making an image. Links to vendor products mentioned above:

Nikon Z 7 

NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8S

N2 from Foolography 

MoveShootMove 

StarryLandscapeStacker  

Wimberley Head

Really Right Stuff BH-30

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) BH-30 Florida Florida's Forgotten Coast Foolography Milky Way MoveShootMove N2 from Foolography NIKKOR Z 20mm F/1.8 S Nikon Nikon Z 7 Really Right Stuff StarryLandscapeStacker Wimberley Head https://www.garber.photography/blog/2020/7/core-of-the-milky-way-with-jupiter-and-saturn-rising-over-florida-s-forgotten-coast Thu, 16 Jul 2020 19:45:36 GMT
A Blood Wolf Moon https://www.garber.photography/blog/2019/4/the-super-blood-wolf-moon-eclipse Photographer Olis Garber shares the story behind the planning and execution of this composite of the Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse.

Made from 20 light frames by Starry Landscape Stacker 1.7.0. Algorithm: Mean Min Hor Noise

This is one of my favorite spots along the Gulf Coast of Florida for dark sky photography and is one of only a handful of dark sky locations I know of in the South East United States.  Keith Bartholomew and I found this spot the previous summer on one of our scouting trips. 

A Plan

Back in October 2018, planning for this event started.  PhotoPills with its Night Augmented Reality was used to look ahead on the night of January 20th and the morning of the 21st. From this, we got moonrise and sunset times, the path of the moon across the night sky, and the position of the milky way at maximum eclipse.

Backlit by Moonlight The day of the eclipse started at 10:45 AM full of optimism and conversation with the drive to the Gulf Coast. It included a side trip to another dark sky location to see if our favorite coastal tree survived the hurricane season, it did!  At 3:30 PM we arrived at our primary destination with two hours to spare.

Scouting for a landscape composition, I’m looking for an interconnected combination of foreground, middle ground, and background. Our plan from studying Google Maps was to be at a specific location that appeared to have good landscape elements for the moonrise and placed us in a dark sky area for photographing the lunar eclipse later that night.

Different Reality

On-site at 3:30 PM, the 100% cloud cover cleared as forecasted. But what looked good on maps turned out to be an open foreground of water, no middle ground, no leading lines. We spent the next 90 minutes scouting a half dozen other locations to no avail and that earlier feeling of optimism now slid towards despair as moonrise approached. 

It was decision time. Giving up on perfection we settled for an unremarkable location with just enough time to get multiple cameras setup. Then the GPS on both iPhones missed the exact spot of moonrise. Even with calibrated iPhones, when we finally spotted the moon, it was at least 10° off where the apps (PhotoPills and The Photographer’s Ephemeris) pointed.  The result, a last-minute 30 yard scurry with cameras, lens, and tripods, jockeying for a viable composition.

By the time my cameras were re-composed and ready, the moon had already risen uncomfortably high for a “last chance” moonrise that evening.  As fast as that part of the evening unfolded, it ended.  We packed and moved to a final shooting location reflecting on what just occurred and how the day had gone with 8 hours in and 11 hours to go, well perhaps those thoughts are best left to the imagination. This brings me to my favorite things about landscape photography; being with friends, sharing insights and techniques, common goals, a commitment to the mission, and the adventure! 

The result, a landscape focus stack. The moon in this stack was replaced with an image taken from my second camera, all taken within a few seconds of each other. Camera 1, landscape & moon; Nikon D850, 4 image focus stack, 1/25 sec at f/5.6 (f/5.6 for optical performance and focus stacking for the depth of field), ISO 64, 80-400mm @ 175 mm. Camera 2, just the moon; D850, single image, 1/25 sec at f/7.1, ISO 64, 600 mm (1/25 sec in both cameras in this light, allow ISO 64).

20 minutes after moonrise and several hundred yards down a gravel road, we selected this island surround by salt marsh to spent our next 8 hours.

Marsh Island SunsetMarsh Island SunsetLife at sunset along a Florida salt marsh, the transitional area where a North Florida river meets the Gulf of Mexico as day transitions to night. Taken the previous summer. A focus stack, 3 images, D850, 0.5 sec at f/7.1, 20 mm, ISO 64.

A Mental Image

For the image, it was always going to be a composite that I’d create in Photoshop with an eclipse sequence positioned over the island. The questions going in were how dark would it get, would the milky way be visible and would there be a twilight like an event on the horizon around the island during the middle of the eclipse? The Island would initially be lit by the full moon and images taken during this time would show a blue sky with stars, a typical full moon night-scape. Then a few hours later, it would only be lit by stars and maybe a dark reddish moon. Can this light transition be recorded in an artistic, meaningful way, and technically, will I be able to set up my cameras to capture this?

1/20/19 Super Blood Wolf Moon
Moonrise Sunset Penumbral begins Partial begins Full begins Maximum  Full ends Partial ends Penumbral ends

5:40 PM

6:02 PM

9:36 PM

10:33 PM

11:41 PM

12:12 AM

12:43 AM

1:50 AM

2:48 AM

It's been a while since I've experienced a night this chilly in Florida, but it's much better than the spring, summer, and fall alternatives of 90% humidity and mosquitoes.  At 2 AM the fatigue and cold won, we had enough. We packed our equipment and did the 3 hours drive back to Jacksonville.

Made from 20 light frames by Starry Landscape Stacker 1.7.0. Algorithm: Mean Min Hor Star Dupe Version 1

Made from 20 light frames by Starry Landscape Stacker 1.7.0. Algorithm: Mean Min Hor Noise Version 2


Technicals

3 Cameras, 3 tripods

Nikon D5

Capture Settings:

  • 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, manual focus
  • Vertical composition with island centered at bottom 1/4 of frame
  • 643 images taken using the camera’s interval timer, the first image taken at 8:17 PM, last image was taken at 1:56 AM
  • 23-second interval
  • 20-second minimum shutter speed
  • ISO set to 1250
  • Exposure mode set to Aperture priority f/7.1 (Moon came across top 1/4 of the image, using this aperture was a mistake, caused a starburst of moonlight that flared from the moon due to the small aperture)

Post Processing:

  • Picked the image just after maximum eclipse with the light starting to glow on the horizon just before the moon flares reappeared. I processed the image in Lightroom and Photoshop, then dropped a moon captured by D850 #2 as described in that post process.

Nikon D850 #1

Capture Settings:

  • 20mm f/1.8 lens, manual focus
  • Horizontal composition with island centered at the bottom 1/4 of the frame (Version 1 & 2 above)
  • 1407 images taken using the camera’s interval timer, the first image taken at 8:30 PM, last image was taken at 1:58 AM
  • 15-second interval
  • 13-second minimum shutter speed
  • Auto ISO (ranged from 400 to 1250)
  • Exposure mode set to Aperture priority f/2.8

Post Processing:

  • In Lightroom from the 1407 images, I picked sets of 20 sequential images based on the quality of light and the position of the milky way for Star Stacking using the software StarryLandscapeStacker. The resulting files became the background images in Version 1 and Version 2 above.

Nikon D850 #2

Capture Settings:

  • 600mm f/4 lens, manual focus
  • Just the Moon, Camera repositioned for each set
  • Took 60 sets of 20 images totaling 1,200 images. Used the interval timer to trigger each set. The first set started at 8:39 PM and the last set finished at 2:00 AM.
  • Exposure mode set to Manual exposure
  • Manual exposure from ISO 400 to 3200, from f/11 to f/4, and from 1/800 to 1/80 second.

Post Processing:

  • Out of the 60 sets, I picked 11 based on sharpness and phase of the eclipse, then for each of the 11 sets of 20, I did “moon stacking” to reduce the noise creating a single image.  From Lightroom, I opened the set of 20 photos into photoshop…, Edit in “Open as Layers in Photoshop…”  hide all the images layers above the bottom two, change the layer mode on the top of the two bottom visible layers to “difference mode” and move that layer until all common areas go dark. When this happens, the two layers are aligned. Then switch that layer mode back to normal and get the next image layer above, do the same with that layer against the bottom layer. Do this until all 20 layers are aligned, here’s a YouTube video that shows this process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-6Z4S6iAFs.  Once done, final adjustments made back in Lightroom.  My final step is 11 moons on a single image with a transparent background that are smart objects that can be dropped onto any image.

ISO 400, 600mm, f/11, 1/250 sec. 

ISO 3200, 600mm, f/4.0, 1/80 sec. 

A Final thought

At the moment not quite so much but now remembering that night that started with a marsh landscape clearly visible under a super full moon, a night that perceptibly changed into one so dark you couldn’t see a hand in front of your face and overhead, a sky that became an infinite black palette of shining stars with a small faint orange ball in the center.  A ball that eventually grew back into a full moon that faded the stars back into a milky sky.  Now looking back at that night in the comforts of home and years ago, I can say in hindsight, it was amazing.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) 1/20/19 Super Blood Wolf Moon Aperture priority Auto ISO Florida for dark sky photography focus stack full moon Google Maps Gulf Coast interval timer landscape composition moon above island moon and palm tree moon eclipse moon stacking Night Augmented Reality Nikon D5 Nikon D850 PhotoPills Star Stacking StarryLandscapeStacker Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse https://www.garber.photography/blog/2019/4/the-super-blood-wolf-moon-eclipse Wed, 10 Apr 2019 15:45:25 GMT
Mosquitoes https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/9/misery-from-a-florida-salt-marsh After days of planning and setup, halfway through a six-hour round-trip drive, two hours into a planned four-hour shoot; at 10:13 PM the hiss of compressed air faded as my can of bug spray emptied. Eyes burning from a mixture of sweat and insect repellent, sandals and pants covered in mud and soaked with saltwater, shirt drenched in sweat, glasses fogged and a buzz of mosquitoes flying around my head, it was time to give it up. The salt marsh had won, I had enough but the critters, well, they were just getting started.

Hiking back to dry land and the car, the big question other than why do this was did I set up the cameras correctly, or was this just another learning exercise?  At least from a technical perspective, I’d know in 12 hours once the files were downloaded.

With the hatchback opened maybe two minutes to pack cameras and tripods, dozens of mosquitoes and other flying things took up residence in the car for the three-hour drive home.  Even though I rolled the windows down several times that night, the next day there were still a half dozen insects flying around inside the car.  

My vision for this shoot was a day to night time-lapse, capturing the colors in the sky at sunset and ending with the milky way moving across a Florida salt marsh. But weather and bugs didn’t corporate.  Got parts of it, even some flashes of distant lightning (see image above) but a line of showers developed and passed right overhead at sunset delaying the start of the time-lapse and of course, the mosquitoes ended it early.

Time-lapse Time-lapse (note to self, next time bring two cans of bug stray) 

My notes for the time-lapse:

Nikon D850, 14-24 mm, manual focus, f/2.8 aperture priority, matrix metering, auto white balance

ISO sensitivity settings:

  • ISO sensitivity = 64
  • Auto ISO sensitivity control = ON
  • Maximum sensitivity = 3200
  • Minimum shutter speed = 13s

Interval timer shooting:

  • Interval = 15s
  • Intervalsxshots/interval = 900x1
  • Exposure smoothing = ON
  • Silent photography = ON
  • Interval priority = ON

Viewfinder Eyepiece Shutter CLOSED

2 Cans of Bug Spray 

For more of my Waters Edge images, click here.
 

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) D850 Florida Salt Marsh Milky Way nikon d850 Olis Garber Thunderstorms time-lapse https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/9/misery-from-a-florida-salt-marsh Sat, 15 Sep 2018 14:49:05 GMT
Florida Star Photography https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/7/florida-star-photography Been working on Florida landscapes lately with my friend Keith, scouting for landscapes of what Florida looked like decades ago where we could also do star photography. We ended up near where I grew up on the gulf coast, where it's mostly jeep and pickup truck territory. An area of dirt roads, snakes, and gators and where occasionally, paying attention to who’s sharing your surroundings is good.

Mars RisingMars RisingLife under the Milky Way and Mars rising on a Florida salt marsh, a transitional area where creeks and rivers meet the Gulf and the night sky. It starts with google earth and light pollution maps, PhotoPills, scouting trips, moon calendars, and cloud cover forecast. It gets real about an hour before sunset at a location we scouted a few days before. 

By sunset using PhotoPills, we’ve confirmed where the milky way appears and moves over the next 4 hours, a composition is picked, and the cameras are locked onto tripods. Camera settings are initially set for focus stacking using autofocus. As the evening becomes night, I’m working on the foreground, taking multiple focus stacks for post-processing in Helicon Focus. The objective is a range of highly detailed foregrounds with a large depth of field and low noise. At this time I’m shooting at ISO 64, capturing the color tones in the sky as it changes from blue to black. I want a variety of choices when building the final composite.

As late twilight becomes night, camera settings are changed for star photography, the focus is switched to manual and a single star is brought into critical focus using live view.  Aperture set to f/2.5, the shutter set to 13 seconds, and eventually, as it gets even darker, I get to an ISO of 2500. The Interval timer is set to a “14-second interval” for 20 intervals. So, each time I start the Interval timer, I get one set of 20 raw files for post-processing with Starry Landscape Stacker.

Both the foreground files (the focus stacks) and the sky files (interval timer sets) are the same compositions, but these files are processed differently.

For the foreground, I pick a focus stack taken during twilight that’s close to the color range and appropriate shadow detail to one of the Interval timer sets taken later that night for the stars. I’ll process the focus stack first in Lightroom, picking one file to make adjustments, then syncing the changes to the other files in the stack. Then the files are exported to Helicon Focus where each area of varied focus over the series of files is combined into a new single file with a large depth of field. Next, if necessary, I’ll take this file to photoshop for further refinements. Finally, it's back to Lightroom for a final tune. Now the foreground file is ready. 

For the sky, in Lightroom, I pick one of the interval timer set of 20 raw files that complement the color range captured in the foreground file. The 20 raw files are prepared for Starry Landscape Stacker by reducing contrast, turning off sharpening and noise reduction, then applying lens chromatic aberration corrections. Changes are made to one file in Lightroom, then synced to the other 19, then 20 are exported as 16-bit tiff files to Starry Landscape Stacker.  From this, Stacker outputs a single 16-bit tiff file of stars and structure with almost no noise and no airplane trails. If additional refinements are needed, it's back to Photoshop and Lightroom. Now the sky file is ready.        

Final Step: Both the foreground and sky files are in Lightroom, both files are selected and opened as layers in Photoshop. In Photoshop, a layer mask and the brush tool is used to blend elements from the foreground layer and sky layer together.

Done. 

Camera Equipment:

  • Nikon D850
  • AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED
  • Breakthrough Photography Night Sky MRC16 filter
  • Hoodman Hoodloupe
  • Really Right Stuff BH55 Ball Head and Tripod

Software:

  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2018
  • StarryLandscapeStacker Version 1.6.1 (113)
  • Helicon Focus 
  • Skylum Software macphun Intensify CK 1.2.3

Research Tools:

  • PhotoPills
  • Google Maps
  • Light Pollution Maps
  • Moon Phase Calendar
  • NOAA - National Weather Service
  • Keith’s Jeep

Pines, Water and Sky - B&WPines, Water and Sky - B&WLife along a Florida salt marsh, a transitional area where creeks and rivers meet the Gulf. Salt Marsh, Blue becomes OrangeSalt Marsh, Blue becomes OrangeLife at sunset along a Florida salt marsh, the transitional area where a North Florida river meets the Gulf of Mexico as day transitions to night. Marsh in OrangeMarsh in OrangeLife at sunset along a Florida salt marsh, the transitional area where a North Florida river meets the Gulf of Mexico as day transitions to night. Salt Marsh Milky WaySalt Marsh Milky WayLife under the Milky Way on a Florida salt marsh, a transitional area where creeks and rivers meet the Gulf and the night sky. For more of my Waters Edge images, click here

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G Breakthrough Photography Night Sky MRC16 filter D850 Florida Landscapes Florida Salt Marsh Florida Star Photography Google Maps Helicon Focus Hoodman Hoodloupe Light Pollution Maps Mars Mars Rising Milky Way Moon Phase Calendar Nikon D850 NOAA - National Weather Service PhotoPills RRS BH55 Ball Head Skylum Software Starry Landscape Stacker https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/7/florida-star-photography Mon, 16 Jul 2018 21:17:26 GMT
Daytime Lightning Photography https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/6/day-time-lightning-photography Packing a ChargePacking a ChargeCooling afternoon shower packed with lightning over Jacksonville

An average of 10 people in Florida are killed by lightning strikes annually and 40 are seriously injured. Of those killed by lightning in Florida:

  • 98% were outdoors.
  • 89% were male.
  • 30% were age 10-19.
  • 20% were age 20-29.
  • 25% were standing under a tree.
  • 25% occurred on or near water.

Of the 50 United States, Florida is the lightning capital. While the most frequent lightning strikes occur in the Tampa Bay Area, the chance of being struck by lightning in Florida is 1 in 3,000 over the course of a lifetime.

Moving indoors offers the best protection from lightning. The best structure is a large, fully enclosed building that has electrical wiring and plumbing. Small, light, or open-air structures such as picnic shelters, sheds, carports, barges, golf shelters, tents, greenhouses, and baseball dugouts are NOT considered safe buildings. Once inside, you want to avoid using any electrical device or taking a shower or bath.

If you cannot find a structure to seek shelter in, the next best thing is a vehicle.

From the area where it is raining, lightning can strike as far as 10 miles, and in some extreme cases up to 20 miles - Florida State University.


That being said, this type of photography is high risk and elusive.    

Lightning and the Lightning Trigger

Two components of lightning I’m after are the bright white flash and the unseen infrared light that always precedes the white flash.  Lightning triggers use a high-speed photodiode sensor optimized to the infrared burst that occurs just before a lightning strike. This infrared light comes from the vaporization of air and particles in the air. When a significant change of infrared light over several milliseconds is detected, the trigger directs the camera shutter to activate.

My Approach:

  • Thunderstorm Image Objectives (day cityscape (see above), twilight cityscape, night cityscape, day landscape, twilight landscape, night landscape, day seascape, twilight seascape, night seascape)
  • Research. There is a lot of information on the web especially on the sites where vendors are selling their lightning triggers. Several have useful camera settings based on the subject distance and brightness of a scene. I use google earth and google maps to identify potential locations for scouting and site selection.  
  • Scouting & Site Selection (looking for the optimum foreground, middle ground, and background that puts me 6 to 7 miles from a storm).  Its day trips before the thunderstorm season, scouting for views to the north, south, east, and west, with plenty of distance between me and where I want to photograph the storms. 
  • Weekly, daily and hourly forecast and when onsite, it's to the minute storm location tracking using iPhone apps. The type of Storm I'm looking for is a single isolated thunderstorm. This is sometimes a half-day event because the storms here develop and move so quickly that it's hard to get in front of them once they are moving so you start well before any storms are visible and make the best guess at where you'll need to be.   
  • Repetition, it took about 20 attempts over two years to finally get a single isolated thunderstorm with a high ground flash ratio over the city of Jacksonville.   
  • One camera with telephoto lens setup for horizontal composition, a second camera with telephoto lens setup for vertical composition, third camera setup for wide-angle composition   

Equipment:

  • Depending on how close the car is and how distant the storms are, 1 to 3 camera are setup
  • 2 Nikon D850s, 1 Nikon D5
  • 80-400mm, 70-200mm & 24-70mm
  • 3 Lightning Triggers (2 MK Controls Lightning Bug, 1 Stepping Stone Lightning Trigger)
  • ND filters (Breakthrough Photography 6-stop ND & Singh-ray 5-stop & 10-stop ND)
  • 3 Tripods

Settings:

  • Manual focus (don’t want to lose any time here with autofocus)
  • Set the triggers to match the frames per second (with the MK Controls Lightning Bug, can capture up to 10 lighting strikes per second. For a camera like the Nikon D850, consider the MB-D18 battery pack to allow up to 9 frames per second. This is not an issue with the D5). 
  • For daytime lightning photography, I used Aperture Priority at base ISO and an Aperture based on daytime brightness and storm distance.
Brightness Close Middle Distant
Very Dim ISO 64 @ f5.6 ISO 64 @ f4 ISO 160 @ f2.8
Average ISO 64 @ f8 ISO 64 @ f5.6 ISO 160 @ f2.8
Very Bright ISO 64 @ f16 ISO 64 @ f11 ISO 160 @ f4
  • My target shutter speed range is between 1.3 seconds to 1/30th of a second.  Longer than a few seconds (again, this is daytime) tend to start blending the brightness of the lightning flash with the ambient light. Faster than 1/60th of a second may cause completion of the exposure prior to the formation of the visible portion of the lightning strike.
  • I use Neutral density filters to reduce the brightness of the day to get to my target shutter speed range.  I also adjust the ISO (and aperture), sometimes even below base ISO depending on the brightness of the day (on a D850 the base ISO is 64, have gotten excellent results with L.03=ISO 50, L.07=ISO 40, and L1.0=ISO 32), an alternative to using a higher-stop ND filter.   

Post:

  • Even during the middle part of the day when the light is typically flat and contrasty, moments happen when clouds around an approaching storm behave like huge softboxes or reflectors to the cities and trees below. I like to capture those moments.  Sometimes these captures are useful as a layer combined with the clouds and lightning strikes.  For this reason, I try not to move the cameras once they are set on their tripods until it's time to go.
  • Love composites!  I like having the ability to capture various elements of a storm, the texture, reflections, and shades in the water, how the light is changing over a city, the rapid formation and movement of clouds, rain bands, and lightning flashes.  All these become components that I can pick and choose from to create the image I saw that day, sometimes imagined years before.
  • Software: Lightroom & Photoshop   

When Sea Breezes CollideWhen Sea Breezes CollideA study in black & white, where the sea breezes from the Atlantic and Gulf meet, a cooling afternoon shower packed with lightning over Jacksonville Florida. It’s exciting when it all comes together, you’re set up on a grand foreground, your camera settings are working with the changing sky conditions, a storm is approaching, lightning flashes, the lightning triggers are tripping your camera shutters and that’s about when you decide it's time to pack up and run.

For more of my lightning images, click here: Waters Edge 

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Breakthrough Photography ND filter CityofJax Lightning Lightning Photography Lightning Trigger MK Controls Lightning Bug Nikon D5 Nikon D850 Singh-ray ND filter Stepping Stone Lightning Trigger https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/6/day-time-lightning-photography Mon, 25 Jun 2018 20:27:27 GMT
Dark side of the Moon, Mile Post 13 https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/5/dark-side-of-the-moon-mile-post-13 The Dark Side of the Moon (Nikon D850 shooting techniques)

That song was playing over the XM radio as we drove our Jeeps out of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Bill, Terry, Izabela, Keith, and I had camped off a dirt road, at a spot that set us up for star photography later that night.

From our campsite, it was a 2-mile round trip (felt more like 4), unmarked hike across a high desert to Sunset Arch.

About an hour before sunset, we took a GPS location at our tents, then we started the hike to the Arch. I carried 2 bottles of water, 2 power bars, 37 pounds of camera equipment, 2 tripods, and a small REI camping chair. It was 1:30 AM the next morning when we finally got back to the tents.

Made from 10 light frames (captured with a NIKON CORPORATION camera) by Starry Landscape Stacker 1.6.0. Algorithm: Median

Shooting Technique for Sunset Arch:  Nikon D850, 20mm (foreground focus shift; ISO 64, f/4.5, 0.4 seconds) (star stack; ISO 1250, f/2.8, 13.0 seconds)

Planning:

  • Used PhotoPills Night AR to identify the darkest night for the dates on the trip, noted both the visibility and position of the milky way and moon during that night.   
  • Used google earth to identify candidate foregrounds that would be east, northeast of the camera position. 
  • On-site after sunset, used PhotoPills for camera placement relative to the Arch.  I placed one camera for the milky way pointing east, northeast, and a second camera pointing north for star trails.

In-camera:

  • Positioned cameras on a tripod and did not move them for 4 hours. 
  • Foreground. After sunset, captured the afterglow on the Arch. I used this technique instead of light painting later in the night to get a blue sky with stars. Took a focus shift set of 7 images from each camera position to get foreground details. 
  • Star stacks. When it was totally dark and after the Milky Way had risen above the arch (about 3 1/2 hours after sunset), took multiple sets of 10 images using the internal intervalometer in the Nikon D850. Interval settings: Interval 15" Intervals x shots/interval 10x1, Exposure smoothing ON, Silent photography ON, Interval priority OFF. The camera was set to ISO 1250, f/2.8, 13.0 seconds. I did this over and over for about 20 minutes, until moonrise.

Post-processing:

  • The foreground (focus shift set of 7 images): Lightroom, HeliconFocus, and Photoshop.
  • The star stacks (10 image set): Lightroom, StarryLandscapeStacker, and PhotoshopAs part of the workflow with StarryLandscapeStacker, you pick an image for the foreground. I used the output from HeliconFocus as my foreground image.
  • After this, I did a typical cleanup with Photoshop and Lightroom.  

8 AM that morning we broke camp and started the 40-mile drive back on a rocky and sandy ‘washboard’ road when the Pink Floyd song Dark Side of the Moon started. That song captured my feelings of the exotic, dark, and dangerous, the uncertainty and expectations of the files that I took that night and the previous nine days.

Sunset Arch was the last shooting location of a trip where we got to experience the 4x4 Jeep life of driving thru deep sand and over large rocks, primitive camping, and a shovel.  Over 9 days, we put 1,786 miles on each Jeep, thankfully about 70% of that was over asphalt.  

Shooting technique at Mile Post 13:  Nikon D850, ISO 64, 24-70mm @ 70mm, f/9.0, 1/125 second, two-shot vertical pan 

  • Had to step out of the way of several fast-moving cars and one slow cross country runner (just kidding about the runner), remember Forrest Gump?  This was the spot he decided to go home...

“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason, I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.” – Forrest..."I’m pretty tired… I think I’ll go home now."  

Shooting technique for House on Fire:  Nikon D850, ISO 64, 14-24mm @ 21mm, f/3.5, (1/50, 1/80, and 1/160 seconds) 

(6 shot Focus shift for each shutter speed) x (3 shutter speed brackets for HDR) = 18 images

Processing sequence: Processed each HDR bracket set of 6 images first with HeliconFocus, then processed the resulting 3 files from HeliconFocus with Lightroom Photo Merge HDR.  Then processed the resulting Lightroom file with Photoshop.

Sunset Arch, Milepost 13, the House on Fire, are just a few of the highlights from a dozen or so locations photographed. Additional finished images from White Pocket, Monument Valley, and other locations from the Western United States and Canada are posted here:  The West

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) d850 dark side of the moon forrest gump house on fire mile post 13 monument valley nikon olis garber processing d850 images sunset arch white pockets https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/5/dark-side-of-the-moon-mile-post-13 Tue, 15 May 2018 17:12:27 GMT
Brady Rd Tree Canopy https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/4/brady-rd-tree-canopy It was a nice experience being an exhibiting Artist at the Mandarin Art Festival which I got to share with my family (they ran the booth).  Long story short, this wasn’t planned.

Got a phone call on a Tuesday from the President of the Mandarin Historical Society. Sandy was looking for a photo of the Mandarin tree canopy for her friend Susie, the Director of the Mandarin Art Festival. Susie wanted a color image of the Mandarin tree canopy, I didn’t have one and asked if I could have a week to get one. That night I got an email from Sandy, she was apologetic but Susie had to have the image no later than Friday morning.

Being a long time Mandarin resident, I had a few spots in mind, but getting the right light at the right location would be a challenge and I was out of town Thursday on a photoshoot, so Wednesday had to be the day.

Wednesday morning, it's overcast, foggy, and drizzling. The forecast said the solid cloud cover would break late in the day. At 4:03 PM, the sun starts to streak through the clouds, and Jo and I happen to be on Brady Road scouting locations when the light started to come thru the trees, we did a U-Turn and pulled off on a side road, parked the car, got the camera and tripod and walked back to a position looking down Brady Road. I had perfect light for about 10 minutes, just the right mix of clouds and filtered sunlight to keep details in both the shadows and highlights and no wind. Got what I needed.

Compositionally, the trees had to tell the story of what Mandarin was, the road and fence provided depth and a path for the viewer’s eye to follow. There was no wind so I was able to get details throughout the image using a stack of 5 images, each image taken at a different focal point, then combined in post-processing.

This image was picked as the background subject in the official 50th Anniversary Mandarin Art Festival poster and I was invited to exhibit my photography and to sign the art show poster for the Art Festival patrons.  A great weekend!

Canvas prints of the image used for the 50th Anniversary Mandarin Art Festival are available for purchase. They are not framed and can be framed later at a frame shop of your choosing. Your image is printed on a premium fine art giclee canvas with a luster laminate coating, plus 2 inches of blank canvas added to each side. It's delivered to you unmounted and rolled. Print size and prices; 

  • 16" x 20" = $175
  • 20” x 24” = $200   
  • 24” x 30” = $250  
  • 30” x 40” = $375  

If you would like a print, just send me an email: ogarber@comcast.net

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) 50th anniversary mandarin art festival brady rd brady rd tree canopy brady road cityofjax classic mandarin florida jacksonville mandarin mandarin art festival mandarinartfestival https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/4/brady-rd-tree-canopy Tue, 10 Apr 2018 21:47:22 GMT
All About the Prints https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/2/custom-prints The images in PROJECTS are available for printing.  As Metal Prints, Acrylic Prints, Canvas Prints, and Framed Prints, I provide high-quality professional prints delivered right to your home and office.

For example, these two images in PROJECTS, of the St. Augustine Lighthouse were recently selected and processed for wall art.

The client(s) went with 24” x 30” (29” x 35” framed) canvas prints mounted on 1/4” foam board, with a lustre coating over the canvas.  Each framed print sold for $527.50 plus tax, delivered!  Price is based on size and material.

Frame selected for these prints:

Screenshot

You can also order prints that are not framed that can be framed later at a frame shop of your choosing. Your image is printed on a premium fine art giclee canvas with a lustre laminate coating, plus 2 inches of blank canvas added to each side. Delivered unmounted and rolled. Print size and prices;  20” x 24” = $200,   24” x 30” = $250,  30” x 40” = $375.  

I use Bayphoto for printing and framing.  The process is straight forward, you pick an image in PROJECTS from my website, send me an email (ogarber@comcast.net), based on the size requested, I’ll prepare the file for printing and customize the presentation (per your direction), you get a beautifully custom finished print delivered to your home or office.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) bayphoto.com custom prints for sale lighthouse lighthouse prints for sale st augustine lighthouse https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/2/custom-prints Mon, 12 Feb 2018 17:45:03 GMT
Making the most out of a Partial Lunar Eclipse! https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/2/making-the-most-of-only-a-partial-lunar-eclipse Get lucky with clear winter skies, wear lots of layers for 36° temperatures (yes, this is Florida), set up at 4 AM with a dramatic foreground (like the Jacksonville Skyline) for a 7:15 AM Moonset.  Have a big vision, pay attention to details, get a shooting buddy for motivation, and a thermos of hot coffee.

I started preparing for this shoot about 6 months ahead with the photographer’s ephemerals researching full moon shooting locations around Jacksonville. This Included getting permissions to be on-site at various locations, figuring out camera settings for creating a time-lapse from the middle of night thru sunrise. And finding the exact spots to place the tripods for getting the city in the foreground and a setting full moon going into eclipse at sunrise. My setup included one camera to record the night to day transition (the time-lapse), a second camera with a large telephoto lens for abstracts, and a third camera for landscape compositions.

But this wasn’t all 1/31/18 had to offer.  An hour drive to the south 12 hours later, a sunset then a moonrise behind a lighthouse happens if you're at the right spot. My last photographs taken were 25 minutes after sunset at the River House in St. Augustine Florida.  A fitting end to a long and rewarding day.

A practice shot (one of many) evaluating shutter speed and sharpness took a few days before.

 

Setting for the camera doing time-lapse:

D850 / 80-400mm @ 165 mm 

  • Metering Method = highlight-weighted
  • Aperture Priority = f/7.1
  • Shutter ranged from 3.0 to 1/100 (3.0 was prior to moon dropping into the frame, 1/100 at sunrise)
  • Auto ISO sensitivity control =on
  • Maximum sensitivity = 800
  • ISO sensitivity = Lo 1
  • Turn VR off
  • In the playback menu, set Image review = Off (to reduce the drain on the battery)
  • Manual focus
  • Close viewfinder eyepiece shutter to prevent light entering viewfinder 

Interval of 5”

Intervals x shots/interval = 1800

LRTimelapse and Lightroom used for time-lapse post-processing.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) cityofjax d850 settings for time-lapse jacksonville jacksonville skyline lighthouse lrtimelapse moon over jacksonville nikon d850 partial lunar eclipse st augustine time-lapse https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/2/making-the-most-of-only-a-partial-lunar-eclipse Fri, 09 Feb 2018 19:56:35 GMT
4 Months with a Nikon D850 https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/1/4-months-with-a-d850 Shooting landscapes, people, products, and BIF.

Scootering HomeScootering HomeAmish Girl Bike Scooter Evening Ride

From this image taken in early October, I saw the potential in the D850 with improved focus tracking and more detail in the files. I do a fair amount of pixel peeking, looking closely at the original raw file in Lightroom (8256 x 5504 pixels) @ 3:1 magnification, I could count (if I had the patients), the individual leaves on the tree behind the subject. I was able to acquire a focus lock on the moving subject (the Amish girl on the scooter) by setting the camera to 3-D tracking, then placing focus on the subject via the sub-selector button on the back of the camera, then moving my thumb up to the AF-ON button for back-button autofocus to let the camera track the subject as I made final adjustments to overall composition (just a fraction of a second before taking the image).  Camera settings: Manual exposure mode, ISO 125, 80-400mm @ 120mm, f/4.8, 1/400 second.  The camera was on a tripod but with a lightly tighten ball head so I could make split-second fluid compositional changes. 

 

Introduction

Wednesday, 09/13/2017, UPS delivered my 1st Nikon D850 camera.  Just about a month earlier on 8/24, I got the email sent to Nikon Professional Services members offering priority delivery on a new D850, an offer I couldn’t refuse, and immediately got an order off to Roberts Camera.  I’ve owned many Nikon pro camera’s over the years like the D3, D4s, D800, D810, and D5, plus lots of their pro glass which I’ve used as a working pro which qualified me for the NPS program. 

Love it!  I find the D850 an impressive upgrade over the D810 for how I shoot!  Some examples:

 

New Perspectives with Tilting Monitor & Focus Peaking

Being an older guy, being able to easily take images on the ground and not having to lay flat behind the camera to do so, or having the camera positioned above your head higher than you can stand, and still getting the images is exhilarating.

Camera Settings: Manual exposure mode, ISO 64, 19mm, f/14, 4.0 seconds

Taken with the D850 no more than 5 inches above the wet rock with an attached Really Right Stuff D850-L bracket clamped to an RRS BH-55 ball head attached to a flattened tripod, with a 19 mm PC Nikkor Tilt/Shift lens and a Nikon MC-30A cable release.  My approach with a Tilt/Shift is to first see the composition then place the camera/tripod. With landscape photography, I’m almost always using Manual exposure so I’m making the decisions on ISO, shutter, and aperture. Next, I adjust the lens shift for the final composition, then refine the manual focus and lens tilt for the depth of field. With the D850, getting just the right DOF and focus using Focus Peaking in live view is “what you see is what you get.”  The icing on the cake, the tilting monitor on the back of the D850, it’s tilted up towards me and I’m kneeling behind the camera looking down at the tilted monitor using the touch screen to make final adjustments before pressing the trigger on the cable release. 

Here’s another example but in this case, the D850 is above my head on the same setup that is described for the previous image but the tripod is stretched out, with legs on different rocks at different elevations.  I’ve got the D850 at this height above my head so it can get more of the yellow fall colors behind the falls. This time the tilting monitor on the back of the D850 is tilted down and I’m looking up at the monitor.  Camera settings: Manual exposure mode, ISO 64, 19 mm, f/11 1/4 second.

 

Selective DOF with Focus Shift

If I had set the number of shots in the D850 PHOTO SHOOTING MENU greater than 30, the trees in the background would be sharper which might have taken away the emphasis I wanted on the pumpkins. Using an aperture of f/3.2 vs f/11 or greater also provided better optical quality in the files.  Focus shift set (30 images) with a micro Nikkor 105mm. Manual exposure mode @ ISO 64, f/3.2, 1/40 second.   

I was fortunate to get a few minutes with no wind at this spot, so I was able to capture a few focus shift sets without the leaves moving. 35 image focus shift using 80-400mm @ 360mm. Manual exposure mode @ ISO 64, f/11, 0.4 second.   Swift River, Coos Canyon, Maine

The capture time of the first and last image in the 35 image set was 5:33:32 and 5:34:11. That’s less than a minute and I got 35 images, which was critical in getting a finished, post-processed product without the leaves moving. The D850 PHOTO SHOOTING MENU settings for this; Number of shots = 35, Focus step width = 5, Interval until next shot = 0, Exposure smoothing ON, and Silent photography ON. It took a couple of test runs to get to the right “Number of shots” needed.  I started by focusing the camera on the closest red leaf, then guessed at the “Number of shots” setting (think I started at 20) then looked at focus on the last image taken in the set and as necessary, increased the “Number of shots” then repeated until the focus range needed was captured, which was 35.

To getting the DOF (depth of field) I wanted, it turned out I only needed 9 images from the 35 image focus shift set for post-processing. There were 15 images in the focus shift set from the tree trunks to before the rocks and another 11 images at the rocks towards infinity that I didn’t need. I did the post-processing with Lightroom, Photoshop, and Helicon Focus.

 

Radio-Controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting

Using a WR-A10/WR-R20 (attached to the D850 10-pin terminal) that transmits and receives radio-communications between the D850 and SB-5000 flashes, I was able to selectively light this couple in a very dark brewery with just 3 SB-5000 flashes.

My main light (a single SB-5000) off to my front right was attached to a softbox. To my left a silver reflector reflecting some of the main light towards the couple to lighten the shadows in their faces. I also placed two SB-5000s behind them to bring out a few details in the background.  I like being able to control the flash power setting and flash modes (manual or TTL) at the camera using the D850 Flash control menu.  And I really like that communications between the D850 and the 3 SB-5000 Speedlight worked 100% of the time.  Camera settings: Manual exposure mode, ISO 400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/200 second.  SB-5000 Flash settings: Main light TTL, two behind the couple - Manual @ 1/4 power.

Adding to this configuration for a commercial product shoot in a dark warehouse, I’m adding 3 Einstein Flash Units (studio lights) with PocketWizard PowerMC2 receivers and a PocketWizard MiniTT1 attached to the D850 accessory shoe. So now I have a D850 with WR-A10/WR-R20 (attached to the D850 10-pin terminal) communicating with 4 SB-5000 Speedlight, and a PocketWizard MiniTT1 attached to the D850 accessory shoe communicating with 3 Einstein Flash Units.  It all works.  With this setup, I’m shooting all the flashes in manual mode and controlling the Speedlight settings from the back of the camera. The following images were taken with a 24-70mm. 

Metal & Feathered BIF

Lesson learned:  Shoot FAST, very FAST!  It took me a few outings with the D850 combined with the 80-400mm and especially the 600mm to understand just how fast this needs to be.  Camera settings for the above 2 images: D850 with MB-D18 grip, Manual exposure mode, Auto ISO. ISO 160, 80-400mm @ 400mm, f/5.6, 1/1600 sec.

For speeding aircraft and Birds In Flight (BIF), what worked for me with a D4s, D5, or even with a D810, wasn’t hitting the mark with the D850. If a plane has propellers, I like to show their movement in my images. So my shutter speed for props was typically around 1/250th second with the 80-400mm lens.  I’d pan/burst shoot the approaching plane with the hope of getting a few images out of the burst showing both blade movement and some critically sharp detail. My keeper rate was around 30%.  

But my keeper rate dropped to about 5% with a D850 at a shutter speed of 1/250th sec.  A keeper for me has to have (1) good angle of light on the subject (2) taken from a position on the flight line with good foreground and background (3) must have razor-sharp details (4) excellent image quality and (5) an appealing angle of presentation. 

I wasn’t getting razor-sharp detail!  In November around the time of the airshow I was researching the D850’s AF Area Modes, AF fine-tuning, and custom control assignments (setting up back button focus), looking for optimal configuration for action photography.  Thru shooting and research, it became obvious the more tightly packed pixels in a D850 imaging sensor required faster shutter speed for handholding and panning.  

For shutter speed for a D850, I’m now going with 4 times the lens focal length. If I’m using a 400mm lens, my shutter speed is 1/1600 second or faster.  For a 600mm lens, shutter speed is 1/2400 second or faster.  For my D5, I’m using a different multiplier.  3 times the lens focal length given the fewer but larger pixels in a similar-sized imaging sensor works for the D5.   

Camera settings: D850 with MB-D18 grip, Manual exposure mode, Auto ISO. ISO 6400, 600mm, f/4, 1/5000 sec.

I’ve been pleased with recent outings with the D850 setting shutter speed based on 4 times focal length, setting the widest possible aperture then letting the camera pick ISO, as long as ISO is no greater than 1800.  For BIF, ISO is another factor when picking between a D5 or D850, this mostly occurs during the early morning or late evening.  Because I’m needing to get the shutter speed fast to freeze action, I’m pushing hard on the ISO. If ISO is at 1800 or less, I’m using the D850.  If ISO is greater than 1800, then it's the D5 (however, rules are made to be broken - spoonbill image above, ISO 6400 with D850).  I find the D850 is better in bright light, it has a better dynamic range, better image quality, and more detail than my D5.  I believe if I’m in a situation where I need greater then 1800 ISO, I’m going to have to do moderate noise reduction in post-processing, and given this, it’s likely I’m going to like the image quality and remaining detail in a processed D5 file better then a processed D850 file, in this situation.

Camera settings, above 3 images: D850 with MB-D18 grip, Manual exposure mode, Auto ISO. ISO 1800, 600mm, f/4, 1/5000 sec.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) bh-55 d850-l bracket focus peaking focus shift helicon focus live view nikon d850 really right stuff roberts camera sb-5000 speedlight tilting monitor https://www.garber.photography/blog/2018/1/4-months-with-a-d850 Tue, 02 Jan 2018 19:43:03 GMT
Wrapping an F-22 in Vapor https://www.garber.photography/blog/2017/11/f-22-in-vapor The solid morning cloud cover finally broke and weather conditions set up nicely for the middle part of the second day of the Air Show. This year the Jacksonville Air Show was at NAS, the previous year it was at the beaches. At NAS, it seems like the action is more concentrated in front of you and one of the main draws for me is the F-22 flight demonstration. It did not disappoint, especially with all the added moisture from the morning clouds.

A complete set of Air Show images of the F-22 is viewable here; www.garber.photography/2017_nas_airshow (this link takes you to the "PROJECTS" page on my website), and also includes images from the MiG-17, P-51, and The Blue Angels performances.

Camera equipment used; Nikon D850 with MB-D18 grip, and the AF-S Nikkor 80-400 mm lens.

To see the official 2017 NAS Jacksonville Air Show website, click here: www.nasjaxairshow.com 

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) 2017 nas jacksonville air show air show f-22 f-22 raptor florida jacksonville mb-d18 grip mig-17 nikkor 80-400mm nikon d850 p-51 the blue angles https://www.garber.photography/blog/2017/11/f-22-in-vapor Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:14:17 GMT
Chasing New England's Fall Colors https://www.garber.photography/blog/2017/10/chasing-new-englands-fall-colors

Starting October 6, and for the next 14 days and 4,188 miles, I’ve been on a quest for fall colors. On day 2, I picked up my friend Bill Crnkovich in Washington, D.C.  Bill is a landscape photographer from Salt Lake City.   D.C. gave us the opportunity to start our quest on the backroads of the Pennsylvania Dutch country.

We’ve been fall color chasers for 10 years covering mostly the Western US and Canadian Rockies. Both of us are professional photographers and doing trips like this helps build our landscape portfolios. 

This year I drove because of the amount of camera gear I wanted to take and because of the proximity of Jacksonville to New England (it’s only a 2-day drive).  Plus our uncertainty around hotel availability, we didn’t make reservations because we didn’t know where the best colors would be and where we would end up each day. So I brought camping gear (tent, cots, sleeping bags, etc.) for insurance.  Given all the above, it had to be a road trip, and fortunately for my aging body, we didn’t need to camp. We were able to get hotel rooms even on the two busiest peak weekends during the New England fall.

So what’s it like on a road trip with a pair of landscape photographers?

  • 5 AM alarm, car packed and we’re on the road by 5:30 AM
  • 1st stop, a gas station for coffee, then back to the car, my first question to Bill the navigator, left or right?
  • Picking the first shooting location of the day is based on weather, previous days scouting activities, current location, maps, road trip guides, and navigational software. If stars are visible (clear skies), primary targets become open spaces, lakes, and farm fields. If we’re not trying to include star photography, we’d try to be onsite 15 to 30 minutes before sunrise. If solid overcast or rainy,  primary targets during the morning become streams, waterfalls, and forest, and being onsite at sunrise isn’t as critical.
  • Sunrise during this period was around 6:50 AM
  • When driving, we’re constantly looking for the right combination of light, color, interesting landscapes (foreground, middle ground, and background); this is the most challenging aspect of the trip for me
  • 10:00 AM, we start looking for a vintage dive, diner, or drive-in for breakfast
  • 10:30 AM, for the next eight hours, scout and hopefully find 2 to 4 settings where all the elements come together
  • 4:00 - 7:00 PM, find a hotel
  • 6:00 PM, sunset, same concepts apply as picking the first shooting location of the day
  • 7:00 PM, find a Pub, wood-fired pizzeria, or sports bar
  • 8:00 - 10 PM, back to the hotel to charge camera batteries, download & backup files, and edit a few images in Lightroom and Photoshop
  • 9:00 - 10 PM, next day planning
  • Eyes close, the alarm goes off

Click here to view my keepers from the New England road trip.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) fall colors new england new england fall colors https://www.garber.photography/blog/2017/10/chasing-new-englands-fall-colors Tue, 31 Oct 2017 18:51:41 GMT
The Presentation for "The Beaches Photography Club" https://www.garber.photography/blog/2017/8/the-presentation-for-the-beaches-photography-club 24x20

It was an honor to spend an evening with the Beaches Photography Club.  My presentation was titled "Driven to the Ends of the Earth".  We had good discussions with lots of Q&A.  The presentation slides can be seen by first clicking on the title above (the title of this blog) and then by clicking here.  It's a large PDF so it takes a moment or two to download. Thank you Beaches Photography Club.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) beaches photography club jacksonville beach photography presentation https://www.garber.photography/blog/2017/8/the-presentation-for-the-beaches-photography-club Wed, 02 Aug 2017 18:46:00 GMT
Only thing eaten were fish, lucky us! https://www.garber.photography/blog/2016/9/lucky-us-the-only-things-eaten-were-fish Honored to present at the 2016 Alaskan Photo Fest in Anchorage.  I spoke on two subjects; (1) posing and lighting, and (2) planning a winter photographic landscape expedition to Iceland.  

I owe a debt of gratitude to Jackie Kramer.  She was the visionary, creator, and organizer of the Photo Fest. I also owe Jackie a special thanks for our side trips to Denali and Brooks Falls.  I also owe a debt of gratitude to Arnie & Celeste Cohen for their kindness and hospitality, to my friend Charlene for the photography road trip along the Seward Anchorage Highway, and to the Alaska Society of Outdoor & Nature Photographers (ASONP) for their support. 

Photography after the conference, views along the Seward Anchorage Highway.

Charlene

Denali National Park

     

Fall abstracts inspired by Jackie on the Denali bus 

Flight to King Salmon, Alaska

Me

Flight to Brooks Falls, Alaska

Walker and Otis (these bears have names) going at it  

So if you can't afford to stay here, where do you sleep?  

Want to sleep with the bears?  Welcome to our quarters, 4 days, 3 nights      An Alaskan float plane pilot

Jackie

Click here to take a look at Jackie's images from Denali and Brooks Falls http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/bears-of-brooks-falls

To see the live view at Brooks falls, click here http://explore.org/live-cams/player/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls

Interested in camping in the woods with bears, click here https://www.nps.gov/katm/planyourvisit/plyovicamp.htm

To see more of my eagle and bear images, click here https://www.garber.photography/alaskanbearseagles

To read my current blog, click here https://www.garber.photography/blog

See what else I photograph, click here https://www.garber.photography

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) . Alaska Brooks Falls Brooks Lodge Denali Eagles & Bears Grizzly Bear Katmai Air King Salmon Salmon Seward Anchorage Highway Walker & Otis https://www.garber.photography/blog/2016/9/lucky-us-the-only-things-eaten-were-fish Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:05:27 GMT
Bugs, Sweat, Sleeplessness, and Dripping Humidity https://www.garber.photography/blog/2016/8/bugs-sweat-sleeplessness-and-dripping-humidity Moon tourists and rockets, just a walk in the park (a typical Florida night) with fellow photographers Trace Cloulat, Keith Bartholomew and John Anderson; an evening photographing the moonrise and the St. Augustine Lighthouse then later into the early morning (12:52 a.m.) photographing the Delta IV launch from south New Smyrna Beach.

Ascending under a Light BeamRising under a BeamLighthouse tourist watching a twilight moonrise while a revolving light beam shines above their heads. Stairway to the MoonStairway to the MoonAugust 18th 2016, tourist watching a full moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

Rocket Launch: United Launch Alliance Delta IV AFSPC-6 August 19, 2016 12:52 a.m. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Space Launch Complex 37

To infinity and beyondTo infinity and beyondNew Smyrna Beach, August 19, 2016 12:52 a. m. Launch under a Full MoonLaunch under a Full MoonUnited Launch Alliance Delta IV AFSPC-6 August 19, 2016 12:52 a. m.

Looking forward to more captures like this with the U.S. manned launches starting up again in 2018.

Notes on night rocket launch photography techniques:

For the vertical image: NIKON D4S, 20mm, exposure (shutter set to bulb) 124 sec at f/16, ISO 200, manual focus 

If I shoot this again under the same ambient lighting with a full moon in the composition (with the same equipment), I’ll try f/11 @ ISO 100 (two reasons: First, exposure in the original file about 1-stop to dark. Second, reduce moon flare from the lens)

For the horizontal image: NIKON D810, 14-24mm @ 14mm, exposure shutter set to bulb) 176 sec at f/20, ISO 100, manual focus. And the adjustments I’d make here for next time; f/13 at ISO 64 

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) delta iv full moon lighthouse moon tourists new smyrna beach photography techniques rocket launch st. augustine united launch alliance https://www.garber.photography/blog/2016/8/bugs-sweat-sleeplessness-and-dripping-humidity Sun, 21 Aug 2016 17:38:04 GMT
Tips on Icelandic Photography https://www.garber.photography/blog/2015/12/tips-on-icelandic-photography

A lifelong pursuit of excellence in photography is about vision, paying attention to details, mastering techniques, and a lot of patience and determination.

I started collecting Internet images of Iceland eight months before the trip and found where each was taken with “Google Earth.” For our dates at each location, “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” provided sunrise and sunset times, and direction of light.  At seaside locations, tide tables were essential for picking the optimum sea level, some locations were only accessible at low tide while others were only photogenic at high tide. And “Google Maps” was used for overall route planning.

From this, a 20-day schedule of winter Icelandic photography was planned and executed. From 11/5/15 to 11/22/15, we had 13 cloudy days, eight with rain, four with snow, and six with high winds.  We had three days of clear skies and three nights of auroras. On this trip, I shepherded two teams of photographers, 10 days each out of four locations; Reykjavik, Grundarfjörður, Hali, and Vik.

Malariff Lighthouse Sunset - 2Malariff Lighthouse Sunset - 2My friends Izabela and Terry where with me photographing this sunset. You know one of those moments in your life that you will remember forever, this was one of those moments for me.

A link to more images is available at the end of this post.

Malariff Lighthouse Dusk - 3Malariff Lighthouse Dusk - 3Iceland, Malariff Lighthouse between the rocks

To the ends of the Earth 1To the ends of the Earth 1Iceland, Sea Cliff on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula Kirkjufellsfoss Morning ColorsKirkjufellsfoss Morning ColorsKirkjufellsfoss - Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Reynisdrangar SunsetReynisdrangar SunsetJust west of Vik, Iceland, the black beach ReflectionsReflectionsVesturhorn Reflections

Auroras over Ice - Facing NorthAuroras over Ice - Facing NorthAnother night to remember for a lifetime. Photographed with my three friends; Bruce, Pat and Mike. Shot with two cameras that night. One camera I setup for time-lapse photography and the second camera I moved around for different landscape compositions.

The Time-Lapse video consists of 550 images taken over a 2.5 hour period. The shooting location; Jökulsárlón (Glacier) Lagoon. Taken with a Nikon D4S camera with a Nikkor 14-24mm lens @ 14mm. Final setting after testing = ISO 1000, f/2.8 @ 13 seconds + (3 second interval between exposures).  The nice thing about shooting a time-lapse is you can take any of the individual images (the raw files) and post-process them just like any other file (like the one below). 

Auroras over Ice - facing WestAuroras over Ice - facing West

C-47 Crash SiteC-47 Crash SiteOn November 24, 1973 a United States Navy C-47 was forced to land on Sólheimasandur’s black sandy beach near Vik. The crew survived the landing and what's left of the airplane remains at the crash site. The GPS coordinates: 63.459523,-19.364618 And the morning and evening were pretty amazing too. The following images were taken with a D810 at ISO 64.

Ice Sculpture in Morning BlueIce Sculpture in Morning BlueMorning light on Ice Beach

Ice Sculpture in Pastals LightIce Sculpture in Pastals LightMorning light on selected Ice Sculptures emphasizing black sand beach environment with the curve of the shoreline.

Gale-forced SunsetGale-forced SunsetImagine what it took to keep a tripod steady for this image. The wind was so strong that it was blowing the snow off the tops of mountains in front of me, taking off the tops of waves right at the shore line next to me, and blowing a storm of black volcanic sand in my face and camera, it was worth it but I'd think twice about doing it again.

Dyrhólaey LighthouseDyrhólaey Lighthouse

Click HERE to view my complete set of Iceland landscapes.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Fine Art Prints Glacier Lagoon Google Earth Google Maps Grundarfjörður Hali Ice Beach Iceland Iceland Landscape Photography Iceland Landscape Prints Landscape Photography Olis Garber Planning a Photography trip to Iceland Planning a trip to Iceland Reykjavik The Photographer's Ephemeris Vik https://www.garber.photography/blog/2015/12/tips-on-icelandic-photography Fri, 04 Dec 2015 19:26:55 GMT
Wines-Gillikin Wedding https://www.garber.photography/blog/2015/5/wines-gillikin-wedding Congratulations Katie and Mike! A spectacular ending to a beautiful day at the Oyster Bay Yacht Club in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Just another wonderful couple at a great North Florida venue with food and staff as spectacular as the scenery, thank you Terrie Sanders, Yacht Club Manager.   

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Fernandina Beach, Florida Olis Garber Oyster Bay Yacht Club Professional Wedding Photographer Sunset Wedding Images https://www.garber.photography/blog/2015/5/wines-gillikin-wedding Wed, 13 May 2015 16:38:53 GMT
On-Location Classical Portraits https://www.garber.photography/blog/2015/3/classical-portraiture Jo and I had an opportunity to setup a temporary studio for executive head shots at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort last week. 

Our goal in creating executive head shots is classical portraiture. Whether in our home studio or on location, for a bride or a corporate board member, the objective is the same; to provide a solid repeatable style, creating a timeless image which embodies a personal fine art feel - even when under a tight timeframe. During this shoot, we only had seconds to pose and photograph. Ahead of time, we figured out the general pose sequence, the background, lighting pattern, lighting power levels and camera settings. 

From Amelia...  

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) CEO portrait CEO portraits Corporate portrait photography Executive portrait bridal portrait bridal portraits https://www.garber.photography/blog/2015/3/classical-portraiture Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:06:40 GMT
Seasons Greetings! https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/12/seasons-greetings It's getting to be that season again, Winter in Florida, where we get to hang out with lots of feathered friends... the Reddish Egret, Green Heron, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Hooded Merganser, and many more over the next few months.  

Images of Reddish Egret and Hooded Merganser from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, to see more, just click here.

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!

Olis

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Black Point Wildlife Drive Hooded Merganser Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Reddish Egret Wild life Photography https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/12/seasons-greetings Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:39:12 GMT
What a great way to spend a birthday! https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/10/what-a-great-way-to-spend-a-birthday It's October 25th, with Jo under crystal blue skies and 70° temperatures.  We're at the 2014 NAS Airshow along with 297,000 other airshow fans. What normally takes 15 minutes to drive, this morning took 3 hours, but that's fine considering where I normally go for a shoot.

See more Air Show images; click here.

Camera equipment: Nikon D810

Lens: AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm 1:4G ED

Camera settings: RAW file format. ISO, shutter, and f-stop set manually; ISO from 100 to 400, shutter from 1/250 for the P51 (to show prop movement) to 1/2500 for the jets, f-stops from f/5.6 to f/16. I used continuous focus in Group AF mode.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Aerial Photography Air Show Photography D810 https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/10/what-a-great-way-to-spend-a-birthday Sun, 26 Oct 2014 20:30:22 GMT
What do Brides and Bears have in common? https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/7/what-do-brides-and-bears-have-in-common Being photographed by me!  A few weeks ago I was capturing the elegance of a Southern Wedding, last week it was photographing black and brown bears in the Alaskan wilderness and not becoming the main entree for their catch of the day.

To see more of my eagles and bears, click here

 

 

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Alaska Anan Creek Bears Wildlife Photography https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/7/what-do-brides-and-bears-have-in-common Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:31:53 GMT
Shooting Eagles on the 4th of July https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/7/shooting-eagles-on-the-4th-of-july It just doesn't get much better!  Just got back from a spectacular 4th of July in Alaska photographing eagles (thank you, Jackie Kramer)!  The eagles were flying above, below and beside me, it was just an unbelievable experience.

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My Notes:  Weather condition, mostly cloudy with a high and midlevel overcast with occasional light showers. The shooting location was near a stream between two heavily forested mountain ridges (the ridge in front of me came up about 70 degrees above the horizon, the ridge behind about 40 degrees). The ambient light, even during the middle of the day, was soft and diffused.

Camera equipment: Nikon D4s (used 80% of the time primarily because of its frames per second shooting speed) & Nikon D800E (used 20% of the time)

Lenses: AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm 1:4G ED (used 70% of the time) & Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8GII ED (used 30% of the time)

Backpack: thinkTANK StreetWalker HardDrive (a high quality, lightweight, good fitting camera backpack)

Tripod: Taken but not used, eagles were flying to close and too fast. 

Camera settings: RAW file format. ISO, shutter, and f-stop set manually; ISO from 1000 to 3200, shutter from 1/500 to 1/1250, f-stop from f/4.0 to f/4.5. I constantly checked/adjusted the settings for the fastest image capture possible given lighting conditions and image quality objectives. On the D4s, I shot at 11 frames per second (mostly in 2-second burst), using a continuous focus in Group AF mode which activated/tied the four surrounding AF points to a specific single AF point to help keep focus while keeping the single focus point (as much as possible) on the eagle's eye. I had a D4 prior to the D4s and was very pleased with the D4s performance in keeping the focus on the eagles as they flew across detailed backgrounds.

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Alaska Anan Creek Bird Photography D4 D4s D800E Eagles Nikon thinkTANK StreetWalker HardDrive https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/7/shooting-eagles-on-the-4th-of-july Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:44:04 GMT
A Southern Living Wedding https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/6/a-southern-living-wedding You know it's not going to be your normal wedding day when it starts with an A-10 flyover.
 
Between the farms, Spanish moss-covered oaks, pines, and pecan orchards, eighteen miles west of Valdosta Georgia is the town of Quitman and the beautiful family home of Colonel and Mrs. Robert Penar. Walking into their home was like walking into the pages of a Southern Living Magazine.  
 
It was an astonishing day...
 
Congratulations Leigh and Steven!
 
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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Destination Weddings Garber.Photography Quitman Georgia Southern Living Magazine Southern Living Wedding https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/6/a-southern-living-wedding Fri, 13 Jun 2014 23:30:01 GMT
Wedding Photography Packages & Pricing https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/3/2014-wedding-photography-packages

$1924 - Just the Ceremony:  Includes consultation, planning, up to 4 hours of wedding day coverage plus post processing and 3-months of digital products and services including proofing, online print ordering (plus frames and mats) and digital file downloads.

$2512 - Wedding & Reception:  Includes consultation, detailed wedding day plan, up to 10 hours of wedding day coverage plus post processing and 3-months of digital products and services including proofing, online print ordering (plus frames and mats) and digital file downloads.

$2953 - Engagement, Wedding & Reception:  Includes consultation, detailed wedding day plan, 2 hour on location engagement shoot, up to 10 hours of wedding day coverage plus post processing and 3-months of digital products and services including proofing, online print ordering (plus frames and mats) and digital file downloads.

$2953 - Rehearsal, Wedding & Reception:  Includes consultation, detailed wedding day plan, 2 hour coverage of rehearsal & rehearsal dinner, up to 10 hours of wedding day coverage plus post processing and 3-months of digital products and services including proofing, online print ordering (plus frames and mats) and digital file downloads.

$3394 - Engagement, Rehearsal, Wedding & Reception:  Includes consultation, detailed wedding day plan, 2 hour on location engagement shoot, 2 hour coverage of rehearsal & rehearsal dinner, up to 10 hours of wedding day coverage plus post processing and 3-months of digital products and services including proofing, online print ordering (plus frames and mats) and digital file downloads.

 

Additional Options for your consideration:  

$50 5-Pack of High Resolution Digital Files

$90 10-Pack of High Resolution Digital Files

$400 DVD or USB Drive of all your images, all High Resolution Digital Files

$299 100-Pack save-the-Date cards including custom design & images from your engagement

$299 100-Pack thank you cards including custom design & images from your wedding

$126 1-hour Studio Session

$30 per page, a custom designed 10x10 wedding book (40 page min)

$35 per page, a custom designed 11x14 wedding book (40 page min)

 

If in Florida, please add sales tax for Florida Weddings (county depended) and a 1/3 deposit to book and reserve your date.

Prices include: Post processing (typically 2.5 hours for every hour of on-site coverage), top line professional camera and lighting and a skilled Master Photographer.

Pricing for destination weddings is also available upon request.

 

Thank you, 

Olis Garber (www.garber.photography

Master Photographer

 
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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) package prices wedding photography packages wedding photography prices https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/3/2014-wedding-photography-packages Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:48:57 GMT
Fine Art Landscape Photography https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/3/fine Award winning International Master Photographer, Olis Garber is offering a selection of fine art landscape prints - you select size, finish, matting and framing (with consultation and additional customization options upon request), and a custom finished print is created and shipped to your business or home.

These images are of 'exceptional' photographic quality, reasonably priced, and printed using the finest materials available from professional labs.

Chick HERE to view the complete landscape collection from Olis.

OG2011-5301OG2011-5301Ice. It was 22 below zero this morning. Trees are in front of the Snake River between the Jackson Lake Lodge and Signal Mountain. OG2013-784OG2013-784 OG2013-1170OG2013-1170 _OGL0638 v1_OGL0638 v1 OG2013-3065OG2013-3065 OG2010-3171OG2010-3171 _OGL35 - 46 47 48 49 50 Pan v1_OGL35 - 46 47 48 49 50 Pan v1

 

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Decorating home and office Fine Art Landscape Prints Landscape Photography https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/3/fine Wed, 05 Mar 2014 00:21:31 GMT
First Coast News Interview with Olis Garber https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/3/first-coast-news-interview At 8:30 pm, the phone rings. It's Lewis Turner, a Reporter/Anchor/Meteorologist for First Coast News. He asks for an interview at my house in 20 minutes. My wife Jo and I are now in a state of disbelief and panic, but on the off chance this was legit, we scrambled to get the house and ourselves ready for Lewis and the interview, which actually happened and was broadcast to the world later that evening at 11:15 pm. OK, the "world" part is a little over the top.

Click here to see the Lewis Turner interview with me on Winter Olympic photography "outtakes" - wished they'd given me a couple outtakes...  

 

 

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garber.photography@comcast.net (Olis Garber Photography) Architectural Photography Fine Art Landscape Photographer Florida Jacksonville Olis Garber Professional Portrait Photographer Professional Wedding Photographer https://www.garber.photography/blog/2014/3/first-coast-news-interview Sat, 01 Mar 2014 14:55:56 GMT