It was a great day for some spring skiing at nearby resort, Bogus Basin.  Mostly sunny with spring type snow.  I had my Canon 40D DSLR with me today, but took this particular image with my iPhone using the new panorama feature.  It does an amazing job.  From the far left edge to the far right edge was about 100 degrees of azimuth.

This image was captured on the cat track heading south from the top of the Superior chairlift near the top of Shafer Butte.  You can see Dear Point with the TV transmitter antennas in the distance.



The post for today will be somewhat different than normal.  Instead of a regular still image I’ve added a video that I shot this past weekend.  What is interesting about this video is that I shot it with my still camera.  The camera was set up on a tripod with a timer attached to the trigger.  I set the timer to take a photo once every 10 seconds.  6 1/2 hours later I had captured the day in 2,335 photos.  These photos were put together using Apple’s Quicktime Pro software to display 30 photos a second.  That works out to 6 1/2 hours of shooting being shown in 78 seconds.

This technique is referred to as “Time Lapse Photography.

The day starts out quite foggy, but soon breaks in to sunshine with clouds rolling in over the valley.


Vivid Fall ColorsI love taking pictures in the fall season.  You can usually count on getting some very nice colors off of the changing foliage of trees and bushes.  The same day that I photographed the fall picture of the foot bridge (see March 27, 2008 post), we were driving toward Galena summit north of Sun Valley, Idaho and saw these nice colors.  It was also a rainy day which helped to bring out some of the richness of the leaves.

Someday, I would like to travel to the east coast of the country in the fall to see the thousands of square miles of trees all showing off their autumn colors.  It would be a photographer’s dream.

Cascade FallsIn the same part of the country as Anacortes (see prior post) is a place in the San Juan Islands called Orcas island. This is the same island where I shot the picture from the top of Mount Constitution shown in the post a few days ago.
On our way down from the top of the mountain we stopped to check out “Cascade Falls” which was just a short hike from the road. The forest is very thick up in this part of the world and the foliage is beautiful which can be seen in the image to the right. This waterfall is no more than 15 feet high, but it was a great sight to see.

When taking an image of a waterfall, you can get a very interesting effect by slowing the shutter down just a bit to cause the water to take on the illusion of angel hair. The shutter speed in this one was 1/6 of a second. It was a bit longer than I would have liked, but due to the darkness under the forest canopy, this was as fast as I could shoot.

Take the tripod with you the next time you are out shooting a waterfall or stream. Try various shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/60 of a a second and notice the difference.

Tunnel VisionNear the university in Bellingham, Washington there is a nice hiking trail that takes you up into the nearby forest.  One portion of this trail takes you through a tunnel.  Photographing tunnels is fun, but you need to know how to handle the exposure.

The easiest way to do it is to walk to the far end of the tunnel where your camera no longer sees any of the tunnel itself, but only the forest.  Set your camera’s exposure adjustments there (manual exposure), then go back into the tunnel and compose your shot.  The view of outside will be a perfect exposure.

The other option is to use the “spot metering” function on your camera.  Most of the SLR cameras, both film and digital have this feature.  You are really just telling the light meter in the camera to use a small spot where you are pointing as the place to adjust to for exposure.  This keeps you from having to walk to the end of the tunnel.

If you just try to take the photo without taking into account all of the blackness of the tunnel, the camera will think that everything around you is normal daylight and the exposure will be adjusted to make the tunnel brighter.  When this happens, the tunnel will lose the blackness and the outside will be very over exposed and washed out.

You can do the same technique looking out of the windows of a building.  The inside of the building is much darker, so step up to the window, adjust your exposure, then step back.  The outside will look great.

Have fun experimenting!

InversionBoise sits in a valley that is about 2,800 feet above sea level.  It is also right next to a ridge of mountains that reach up to about 7,000 feet.  The mountaintop is where the local ski area “Bogus Basin” is located and is only 16 miles from town.

Nearly every winter we get to experience temperature inversions where the temperature in the valley is lower than the temperature on the mountain.  Quite often when this happens, low clouds and sometimes even fog forms in the valley hiding what is truly going on above.

It is days like this when it is fun to escape the valley floor and head to the mountains.  Once you break through the clouds, you get to see a fantastic blue sky above with a blanket of clouds below.  It’s an awesome site.

I did a little bit of exposure manipulation in Photoshop before posting this image.  The sun caused the whole image to appear a bit on the dark side, so I adjusted the image to have a good exposure for the sky and saved it to a file.  Then I took the same image and adjusted the exposure for the hills in the foreground.  I then brought in the original “sky exposure” image and stacked it on top of the “foreground exposure” image.  I then masked out the lower portion of the sky image so that the foreground image showed through on the bottom of the photo.

Canon PowerShot S-500 (pocket camera), lens 7.4mm @ f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 50

Skiing SunsetThis weekend was a great time to be at the nearby Bogus Basin ski resort. The sky was quite blue, the snow conditions were nice enough that it made everyone look good as they skied down the mountain.

I referred to this images as a sunset. Actually, it was another 3 hours before the sun would be going down, but only a fraction of that time before it set behind the mountain.

I really like back lit ski shots. It makes for a good spray of the snow as this skier carves his turns.  I also like the silhouette it makes of the subject.

The camera was set to an automatic mode and I pointed it in the general direction of what I wanted to shoot. The direct sun created some interesting highlights as it bounced around between the lens elements.

When I later cropped the image I took into account the rule of thirds for composition. The horizon is about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. The skier is about 1/3 of the way from the right of the image. The sun was opposite from the main subject to balance the composition.

Canon PowerShot S-500 (pocket camera), lens 7.4mm @ f7.1, 1/800, ISO 50.

Mt. BakerDuring our last sailing adventure in the San Juan Islands we were blessed with some fairly clear skies. This particular evening we were sitting at anchor in Echo Bay on an island named Sucia. As the last rays of sun left the peak of Mt. Baker a large sailing yacht entered the bay to join the rest of the of the boats anchored there.

I used my telephoto lens zoomed at its maximum focal length to frame the image of the mountain and the boat. Several shots were taken, but this one was my favorite of the evening.

Canon 20D, Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS at 200mm, 1/640 at f4, ISO 100

Mountain FogWeather plays a very big part in our photography. It can block out the sun with clouds, or block out a mountain with fog. This is what happened on this day at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state.

The same scene can change radically over the period of just few minutes.

Olympus E-10, lens at 26mm, 1/640 at f5.6, ISO 80