So here we go, the first of a series of blog posts that will focus on the before, during and after the shot. My Side Of The Lens takes you through preparation, set up, capture and edit, finishing with the finished photograph that you now see here on my website!
Lets start with number one!
My Side Of The Lens - Foggy Vancouver
Every winter I wait for the fog to invade our city, located on the coast we tend to see a dramatic temperature change between air and water resulting in a crazy fog inversion that swamps our city in grey darkness. This year has been amazing and I wish I was able to get out more in order to take full advantage but o well, the working bit gets in the way from time to time. So here we go, on Friday morning, January 23, 2014 I made the trek albeit not all that far.
The night before I simply pack my camera pack with the appropriate lenses, camera body and filters, I make sure my batteries are charged, my cards are cleared and my lenses cleaned. I decide on a location and set my alarm. I know that we (myself and my Dad) will need to be up early to avoid traffic and more importantly get the best spot. The location I have selected is a popular one and easy to get to, it's the view point half way up Cypress Mountain, you can drive, park and shoot virtually from the car. This view offers one of the best lookouts over Vancouver and the iconic Lions Gate Bridge. I set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. knowing that sunrise will be about 7:30 a.m., this should be plenty of time to make the thirty minute drive, park ready the gear and get the shot. Upon arrival I am glad we made the early arrival because it's already filling up with eager photographers anticipating the same morning outcome.
It's go time, I set up my tripod and bolt on the 70-200mm F2.8 lens, this should give me the reach I need to frame up my composition. I place the Lee filter system on the lens via a screw on ring adapter and slide in a two stop hard graduated neutral density filter. I have attached a cable release to my camera so that I open the shutter with out touching the camera itself, this allows for the least amount of camera shake during the capture. I also use the mirror up mode also to eliminate any vibration that might be caused from the shutter opening and closing. I pick an F-Stop to give me the depth of field I want and adjust the shutter speed. I am also shooting at iso 100 for the smoothest possible image. Lastly I make sure I am shooting RAW capture not JPEGS. The sun is now painting the sky in incredible colours of orange and pink, the fog is filling the frame and the city looks incredible. I click away for about an hour and a half knowing that I am getting exactly what I came for.
Now that the sun is up and its about 8:30 a.m. I am just about done. I have been checking my images via the LCD screen and the histogram to ensure I am well focused and properly exposed. I am so it's time for coffee and breakfast then back to the office for a quick edit. I fire up the big Mac and import my images into Lightroom. First I attache my copyright info and metadata then I do a few tweaks such as colour correction, shadows and highlights, contrast and a little sharpening. The photo looks great so lets go ahead and export this out in DNG, Tiff and JPEG formats so that I can use them later for various uses such as here on my blog. I make sure every image including all the RAWS are backed up at least twice and I'm dun like dinner!
Here is the finished Photograph of Foggy Vancouver at Sunrise.
Equipment used, Nikon D300S Camera, Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 Lens, Lee Hard ND Grad 2 Stop Filter, Remote Cable Release, Manfrotto Tripod
Specs 25 sec @ F16 ISO 100 (Single Image)