Monday, March 21, 2011
Not too long ago, I realized that I hadn’t yet posted this picture to the blog. That was simultaneously surprising and exciting, because I love this picture, so I was saving it for a good day. But right as I was about to post it, I realized that the reason I hadn’t posted it yet was because I DID already post the horizontal version of the same view. It was awhile ago, and ordinarily nobody would have ever known the difference. Except that, somewhat recently, I added a “similar posts” widget to the bottom of the page, and it’s almost guaranteed that that post (as well as another one that I took at the same time) will appear. Oh well, it’s still cool, it’s just less unique now. But, I figured I’d go ahead and still post it, because hey, why not?
This month is going to officially go down as the month with the smallest number of posts since I started the blog, which is sad. How can I say that with such confidence, even though there’s still more than a week left in the month? Well, see, it just so happens that I’m going on vacation early tomorrow morning, and where I’m going I certainly won’t be thinking about any of you. But before you get all excited thinking this might be the perfect time to stop by and help yourself to some of my more valuable possessions, keep in mind that the parents will be in town, and I warned them about you. Sorry, perhaps next time?
So, enjoy this picture, because it’s the last you’ll be hearing from me for a little while!
Oh, forgot to mention, this is a view of Mt. Constance (and some other assorted peaks) in Olympic National Park. I wasn’t actually inside the park when I took the picture though, I was in the Buckhorn Wilderness, which is north of the park.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Quantaray 70-300mm lens. 1/320s, f/8.0, ISO 300. Focal length: 70mm.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Today’s picture is another one that I took on a particular backpacking trip in August of 2007. I’ve posted at least a couple other pictures from that trip already, and you may or may not be able to figure out which ones those are. Actually, it’s not very hard, but I doubt you care that much.
When I took this picture, I was standing in the Buckhorn Wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula (in Washington State). But, everything (well, most of it anyway) you can SEE in the picture is inside Olympic National Park. Mt. Constance is in there, as is Warrior Peak. And some other stuff. I go back and forth about whether I like this picture a whole bunch, or think it’s somewhere between boring (there’s not much going on in it) or simply bad (the bottom is under-exposed and the rest is just… empty sky.) Today, I’m on the “I like it a whole bunch” side of things. Sometimes, I just like it simple. Maybe next Friday I’ll go even further and just post a picture that’s the same uniform color of blue or something. That would be awesome.
For those of you who like to keep track of this kind of stuff, this is another picture that I took with my point-and-shoot. When you’re taking pictures near twilight like this one, point and shoots (well, any camera, really) will usually try to make all of the “stuff” (the non-sky, basically) exposed properly, which means a couple things: one, since it’s usually pretty dark by then, you’ll need a really long/slow shutter speed, meaning your image will probably be blurry, and two, the sky will probably be overexposed, since it’s so much brighter than everything else. To get around that, a nice trick is to just point the camera at the sky, hold the shutter button halfway to lock in the exposure and focus, then frame your picture and push the shutter button the rest of the way. Up to a point, underexposing things can really bring out the colors. To put it another way, exposing things “properly” or overexposing them is the best way to wash out all the color. Which sucks. Don’t do that. (Fact: I set the exposure compensation to -1/3 stop on every camera I’ve ever owned. Just by default.)
Have a great weekend if I don’t see you. (And let’s be honest, for most of you, seeing me would actually be kind of creepy.)
Notes: Fujifilm FinePix F30 (Point and shoot). 1/450s, f/4.5, ISO 100.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
First of all, I need to once again say WELCOME to all of the new fans of Dave’s Picture of the Day. This was my 2nd day of running Facebook ads, and we now stand at ** 195 ** !!! Welcome, everyone!
Today’s pictures is one of my all-time favorites, and I was saving it for the day when I finally passed 100 fans. So, turns out that’s today. You’re looking at Mt. Constance and Warrior Peak, on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I’m fairly sure that all of the mountains you’re looking at are inside the boundary of Olympic National Park, but the point where I was standing isn’t – it’s in the Buckhorn Wilderness, just north of the park.
Many of you already know that I like to use little knobbly trees like that in my foregrounds – they add a lot of character, and they play nicely against the craggy, rocky background that you see in alpine environments. This one was the only tree that was anywhere near us at the time – clearly not an environment that was tree-friendly, so the fact that it was growing there at all was pretty remarkable.
This photo also does a good job of illustrating a situation where you want to deviate from the normal exposure settings suggested by your camera. If you’re using any mode other than full-manual (I use aperture-priority, but I won’t go into that here), your camera will do it’s best to expose the picture “correctly”. (Meaning, it will adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and sometimes ISO (depending on the camera) to try to allow the correct amount of light to reach the sensor (or film), such that it’s exposed properly. Too little light, and the picture will be dark, and some sections may even be completely black. To much light, and all the color will drain out (particularly from the sky), and everything will be too bright. Now, of course, the concept of what’s “correct” is entirely subjective. You can make some blanket statements, like you probably want to limit the amount of the picture that’s totally black or totally white (because that means you’re losing data), but other than that, it’s totally based on preference. (In general, in my opinion every camera I’ve ever used tends to overexpose by just a bit, so the first thing I do when I pick up a camera is to adjust the exposure down by 1/3rd of a stop, but that’s just me.)
Now, that’s all fine and dandy if you’re taking pictures in the middle of the afternoon, but if you’re taking a picture like this one, when it’s clear that it’s just before twilight, having the picture turn out kind of dark is actually desirable, because *that’s what it actually looked like*. So, to more accurately recreate the feeling of the moment in the image, it was necessary to step back the exposure almost a full 2 stops. (You can do this via the manual mode of most point-and-shoots, but even if you can’t, you can simulate it by pointing the camera at a bright point – the sky – and holding the shutter button down halfway to “lock” the exposure settings.) This also had the added benefit of bringing out the nice blues and purples in the sky, since if the camera had been able to use the exposure that it wanted, the sky would have turned out completely white. (Although you’d then be able to see more of the detail in the nearby mountains too.)
For tomorrow, I decided to let the person who was the 100th fan to sign up (Heather Wotton) to pick one. She picked one that’s really similar to another one I already posted, but I suppose that’s excusable, given that she just signed up. 😉 So, see you all then!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Quantaray 70-300 mm lens. 1/400s, f/8.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 70mm.