Evening Reflection

Ok. So here goes…my very first photo upload…

I took a drive to Poulaphuca Reservoir near Blessington Co. Wicklow on Monday evening. I had been there last week and knew that the water level was low which made the lake shore much more accessible. It was getting late and the light was fading but this suited me as I wanted to try some long exposures with a Neutral Density filter. As I walked from the car to the waters edge I realised how good the conditions were. It was a mild evening and the water was still with some good cloud detail reflecting in it. I had a quick scan around and identified a few potentially good compositions. I fired up my camera with a Sigma 10-20 zoom fitted (probably 90% of my photos are with this lens). I have become a bit obsessed with HDR photography recently, so, with that in mind, I went about setting up the camera. I used the cameras autobracketing feature to take 3 exposures, one at the correct exposure (as per the cameras meter) and the other 2 at 2 stops above and 2 stops below. I set the aperture to f22, ISO to 100 and the focusing to manual. I then fitted a Cokin P Neutral Density filter to the lens in order to lengthen the exposures (the Cokin P filter holder causes vignetting with the Sigma 10-20 so to get around this I have modified the holder by using a hacksaw to cut away the front section which would hold a second filter and I trimmed the corners a bit – not pretty but it works). All that was left to do was to mount the camera on my new Manfrotto ox55PROB tripod and snap away with my cheapo wireless shutter release that I bought on ebay for a few euro. I stayed there for an hour or so covering about a kilometre of shoreline and went home happy that I had gotten plenty of fresh air and hopefully one or two decent photos. I did my usual when I got home..straight to the computer with my SD card before saying hello to anyone. I was happy with several of the photos after doing the HDR processing but the one I have posted here is the one I like the best.

3 exposures  f22  10, 2.5 and 30 seconds @ ISO 100

I tonemapped the exposures in Photomatix (tutorial here), saved the photo as a 16bit TIFF and then made some contrast and saturation adjustments in Photoshop CS4. Usually, thats as far as it goes with the processing but this time I tried out a new Photoshop plugin called Topaz Adjust. You can get some great results with this but you need to be careful with it as some of the presets can be a bit overdramatic. I think it works well with this shot. I would be interested to hear what people think.

Anyway, thats it for my first post..let me know what you think…



4 responses to “Evening Reflection

  1. Nice Blog Gerry,
    I can relate to much in this, the obsession with HDR, ignoring the family in place of seeing the outcomes on the card… and the hassle with vignetting on the 10-20 with the cokin series filters… but we wouldnt have it any other way!
    Good start keep it up!!… I too started a blog a week ago and it is great fun… so far!!.. lol

  2. Hi Gerry

    Well done with your blog site. I will definitely be a frequent visitor. Thanks for sharing some of the “behind the scenes details” and technical details of this magnificent photograph.

    Best regards


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