Assignment 3

Opposing Landscapes 

We needed to have two landscape images for this assignment. One of a rural landscape ad one of an urban landscape. It could be done as a diptych or separate images. 

The first image I took was when my boyfriend and I went down to Watkins Glenn during the warm spell in February. We went to a bunch of waterfalls both on our way down and on our way back up. This one I took at Taughannock falls near Ithica. I waited for about five minutes to get this shot, I wanted the two people to be well into the frame for a scale of the immense waterfall. Having the ice helped the contrast in the shot. However my professor criticized it for “being too perfect.” She said it looked like I was trying to do everything with just one image. She wasn’t wrong. But it was a carefully composed shot that I took my time on and got it the way I wanted it. A long enough shutter that it would curtain the falls but quick enough that you couldn’t tell I was balancing my camera on the railing of a bridge, also the people needed to be sharp. I took a few photos just to be sure I got the one I wanted. 

I paired it with this photo that I took later from the top of Rockefeller center in NYC. I wanted to match the tall vertical waterfall with the tall Empire State Building. For this photo she said she didn’t like how soft it was. Which is something that I couldn’t really help. The photo was taken with the last light of day, as you can see some of the lights are starting to come on in the buildings. And again I didn’t have my tripod. I was handholding my camera lower than I should have but I had myself braced up against the glass in a corner to try to counter my low shutter speed which I needed not only because of the dying light but a relatively small aperature, I believe I was around f11 or f16 for this shot, I wanted a fair amount of clarity for the distance shot. 

Overall she said my waterfall photo should have been softer and my city photo should have been sharper, but I like them the way that they are. Their contrast between their content and their technical aspects are part of the bigger contrast of the nature vs the city. I wouldn’t change them. 


Assignment #3

Assignment #3 was hyperfocus. Meaning everything in the image, foreground, middleground, and background should be in focus. To achieve this you want to close down your aperature (I used an f-stop of 22) and a decent shutter speed. If you know a little about photography and shooting in manual you know that when you close down your aperature you need to slow your shutter to allow the correct amount of light to hit your sensor. Unfortunately the two weeks we were given for this assignment it was drizzling and overcast the entire time, so it was a challenge for us all. 

I stared by going up to salmon river falls and walking the gorge trail. I wanted to get a long shot of the river o show depth. Here’s the shot I ended up using. 

Originally the rock in the foreground was too dark, so I dodged it on a layer mask. I also lightened the trees on the right and darkened the trees on the left to make them more uniform. The sunlight was a little harsh and I didn’t get high enough to really get a good amount of river, it looks like just rocks but it is river. I shot this image from down low. As you can see even the trees in the far back are sharp, making it hyperfocused. 

Unfortunately I didn’t like any of the others from shooting the river, so on another day I went to an abandoned North Country near where I live and tried to get some depth in there too. This was the first one I turned in. It looked a little gray under the flourescent lights so I had to bump up the contrast a bit. 

I had to bump up the contrast a bit on this one too but I really like the way it turned out. I was a little nervous having the telephone pole cutting the image but I decided that it’s not too much of a distraction and I rolled with it. 

Light was a challenge in this assignment because of the weather and needin a small aperature for the focus. As well as finding a space deep enough to properly show the hyperfocus of the photos. There aren’t too many places near me that have something interesting in the foreground and background and a big enough space separating the two to really show hyperfocus. It’s not a technique I use often because I prefer some background blur, I actually prefer selective focus. I shoot a lot of “things” and not so many “places” but it was good practice. 

Back to Green Lakes

After purchasing a circular polarizing filter, I made it back to Green Lakes. I did the walk around the lake pushing the stroller with my camera around my neck, stopping and taking photos wherever I thought I could get a good shot of the water’s brilliant blue hue. The filter definitely helped cut down on the glare a tremendous amount and let me shoot into the water once I figured out how to use it. (I was unaware that it spun after you screwed it onto the lens, mostly because I was chasing a two-year-old and trying to get my camera settings set, lens changed, and filter on.)

None of these photos have been edited in any way, and are straight out of the camera.



Carpenter falls NY

A couple of weeks ago I went down to carpenter falls. The drive there and back was absolutely beautiful. Next time I go I need to not have a time constraint so I can stop at all the beautiful places on the way there and take photos. I was supposed to be meeting a model there to shoot, she had rescheduled our first attempt to go out there because she said her boyfriend and her were having issues that morning. 

So the at second appointment, I get there and I try to get a hold of her, while waiting at the agreed upon location, and I can’t reach her. So I go down and take some nature shots, I had never been there before and it was nice to see. Very beautiful falls. No graffiti or anything cluttering up the nature of the place. It was a very steep slope to climb down but it was worth it. 

Here is a shot of some stones I found stacked. 

Here is a shot of some flowing water taken with a quick shutter speed to freeze the droplets as they flow over the rocks.

These are not edited, they were cropped/straightened, but no edits other than adding my mark. 

Here is a before and after of a lovely natural stairway along the path.

  In this photo what I did was I adjusted the black point, because I found the photo to be too bright. Then to darken it up some more I burned the pathway itself. My reasoning behind this was that I wanted an egsaggerated contrast between the pathway in the trees and the light shining down. If there wasn’t so much foliage I may have been able to get some sun burst in there as well, I feel like that would have taken this photo to the next level. 

The next phot is a before and after of the falls themselves. 

 I knew I wanted the curtain affect for this shot, so I had to slow my shutter way down, unfortunately without a filter I overexposed the water directly in front of me. Considerably. I really couldn’t push anymore mid tones out of it. I bumped up my black point again, and burned the rock shelf behind the falls. It’s quite a deep shelf, but because the sun was out in full force, you can’t tell that from my photo. I duplicated the image in a new layer and set the blend mode to overlay to push the trees at the top of the falls without losing color or burning out any details. The curtain of water I left completely alone. 

Things I did wrong: only carried my 50mm lens to the bottom of the gorge. So I had to be really far away from anything to shoot it. Also it was impossible to get a wide shot of the valley. Long exposure shots had to be shot from down low because I had to rest my camera on the rocks. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just forced me to be more creative with my shots. 

I may add some behind-the-scenes type of shots to this post as well tomorrow, but I need to be on my computer for that. So until next time, get dirty and have fun! 

First time at Green Lakes

last Sunday I took my first trip to Green Lakes, it’s a state park near Syracuse. It was absolutely beautiful there. Here’s a picture I took showing the reflection of the sky in the crystal blue waters. 


This photo was simple enough to edit, all I did was increase the contrast slightly, the tree in the water was too dark so I brightened it up some, then the pine trees in the background were a little washed out so I increased the contrast a little more over there and slightly increased the vibrancy. This was actually a stunning spot where I was trying to get a picture of what the bottom of the lake looked like as it stretched out and went from a light blue to a darker blue, but quickly realized I’m in need of a polarized filter. This just means that I will have to go back sometime this summer 😏

Here is a second photo I took while there, this shows more of the blues, I call it dizzying blues. 

To edit this one, all I did was duplicate the background layer twice and took the new layer and brought it slightly down and to the right both times and set the blend mode to overlay. This created quite a dizzying effect on the photo that I hadn’t originally intended, but once I did it I was like yup this is what I want. For me the dizzying effect was a good comparison to what I was feeling while I was there. It was a gorgeous day and the beauty of the water was just breath taking. Everytime I looked away from the water I would think “wow that water is just so BLUE, there’s no way it could be that blue” and I would look back at the lake just to see that yes, it was in fact that blue. 

In the future I would like to get a model in my old prom dress that is a light blue and gold and do their makeup to match and shoot them in the lake. I’d really like Carlee to do it but between her two softball leagues she plays in I’m not sure our schedules will line up with each other.