Eye on the sky

Living at the water’s edge offers us a large view and ‘front row seat’ to the weather systems in our area. We face east south east and systems typically move from west to east. Often we can see what’s coming from our front window. With all the technology in our palm (mobile phone), we have incredible weather stations at our fingertips to get specific details!

This afternoon we had been out and about when we noticed the dark clouds on the western horizon. The radar confirmed something menacing was headed our way.

We hurried home to shut the windows and set up to watch the ‘show’.

Thankfully, the worst of the wind and rain passed just south of us. Spectacular nonetheless!

The image above is a composite of about 5 captured in portrait orientation then merged in Photoshop. I posted a video of the sky on my Facebook page as well. Check it out and like/follow my page while you’re there. Thanks!

After the rain

Thirsty lupin foliage collects tiny droplets in tidy rows guiding moisture down into the center.

Lupin drink

This image was my first attempt at ‘stacking’ shots. With a long lense, it is not possible to get the whole image in focus. I took several shots adjusting the focus each time. The images are stacked in Photoshop and parts of each are masked to reveal the clearest part. A greater amount of the overall image is then in focus.

It is essential to use a tripod. The slightest movement becomes evident in post processing. I tried to reduce movement by shooting with the 2 second self-timer. There was still some movement between shots as the shoot took place in the ditch along side the highway and passing vehicles created an unavoidable draft .

Two of the 4 shots used were overexposed and needed to be adjusted to match the other two. I will have to look into where the exposure lock is on my camera and how to use it!

Night lights

Didn’t see the expected meteor shower at 1:30 this morning but was treated to the beauty of a moonless night sky!

Night Sky

 

I found this article very helpful in getting my gear set properly the evening before so I wouldn’t have to do it ‘in the field’ in the dark. I used my widest, fastest lense a Tamron 17-50mm at f/2.8, 17 mm, ISO 3200 set the mode to BULB and used my wireless timer remote shutter. It was impossible for me to see well enough to fine tune the focus so I crossed my fingers. made sure it was on manual focus and dialed to infinity.

Because of the brightness of our yard light, I took several images with different exposure times. In Lightroom, I selected the image shot at 25 seconds for the horizon and sky (on the left below) and one with a 4 second exposure for the foreground.

exposure time comparison

 

The two images were then layered in PhotoShop. I added a layer mask to the darker shot then applied the gradient tool to reveal just the bottom of image for the foreground.

layered image

All definitely worth the effort, I’d say. 🙂

 

 

shades of (not so) grey

Here’s a screen shot in Lightroom, before and after view, of my not so black and white misty morning image.

The saturation slider (last slider in the adjustment panel on right hand side) was moved all the way to the left removing all colour.

In Photoshop, we can look at the pixels up close. Using the colour picker tool, we can select an area of the image to see what the colour is. I hovered the eyedropper over a grey part of the image just above and to the right of the dialogue box and clicked. I tried this in a number of areas of the image with consistent results. (When I attempted a screen shot capture to share my findings, the eyedropper vanished from the screen! The image below was shot with my iPhone!)

Did you guess the hint of colour is orange? Darker shades of orange become brown and when added to an image create a sepia or aged look.

So my original image had a natural infusion of sepia!