While walking out on the salt flats at Badwater in Death Valley National Park before the sun dropped low on the horizon, I noticed that the salt that I was walking on wasn’t flat. I’m not talking about the saucer shapes in the salt ridges caused by the expansion of the surface. I’m talking about how the areas that appeared flat from a short distance were not even close to being flat.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the surface was a really beautiful series of salt sculptures caused by the minute forces of nature that also caused the overall beauty of the salt flats.
As the mineral saturated water percolates up through the salt it reaches the surface where the wind blows it into a mist. Mist drop by mist drop, the water evaporates, leaving it’s minerals behind in long strands of salt.
You have to get down on your knees to really appreciate the beauty and delicate results. Be warned, doing so will cause your pants to become salt incrusted as they absorb the salty water and it dries, but it is worth it.
The picture wast taken with Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 105 2.8 macro lens. The exposure was for 1/1000 at f4 and an ISO of 200.
Posted 2 years, 1 month ago at 2:43 pm. Add a comment
Patriotic Sand Dollar
I was working on lighting and macro shots when I took this using a blue and red gel over the flash. It took some time to get the ratio of the two colors so that they were balanced on the sand dollar.
The picture was taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 105 f2.8 macro lens. The exposure was for 1/30 of a second at f16 and an ISO of 200. A Nikon R1 Wireless Close-Up Speedlight System was used off camera.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 2 months ago at 7:27 pm. 1 comment
As are most of you, I am enjoying the holidays with my family, so I will be posting mostly images until after the new year. Enjoy.
With SoCal getting over a very wet six days, here is an image of a water drop hitting the water.
The picture was taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 105 f2.8 macro. The exposure was 1/250 of a second at f16 and an ISO of 200.
Please feel free to use the form below and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 5 months ago at 12:09 am. Add a comment
Sometimes, to make a good image, you have to look at the world in a different way.
Below is an image of a typical thistle plant in bloom that I took in WA. If I hadn’t of looked close, I would never have seen the little white flowers that are on the tips of the thistle flower.
By looking at the details, I was able to capture what most people don’t even see.
The image was taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 105 f2.8 VR Macro lens. The camera was set at 1/250 of a second at f5.0 and an ISO of 200.
You can see more of my images at my Nature Light Photo Gallery.
Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 7 months ago at 4:03 pm. Add a comment
Starting off with a quick re-cap: I went to Death Valley last week to try to get some images and try some new techniques. I tried HDR, panorama shots, and, finally, macro photography.
In this case it wasn’t really macro as much as very close up. The subjects were wildflowers that were blooming on the valley floor. I used my Nikkor 105 f/2.8 VR, which is an amazing macro lense and super sharp. It also does a great job of softening the background and getting the subject super sharp.
There is a certain technique to capturing sharp images. First, the use of a tripod is mandatory. A macro lens is like a telephoto lens, they amplify the smallest movement of the camera. I even use a remote shutter release to prevent movement of the camera when releasing the shutter. Second, timing the shot right so that the subject matter is staying still. This is difficult when shooting flowers in the desert wind. Third, selecting the correct aperture. If the lens is wide open a shutter speed can be selected that freezes the movement of the subject, but creates a VERY shallow depth of field resulting in an image that only has one small part in focus. Too small of an aperture and everything is in focus, but the subject is likely to move during the exposure.
One other problem I had was the harsh light. I was shooting in the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s highest. In order to soften the light and eliminate the dark shadows, I used a diffuser. By putting the diffuser just out of the frame of the picture, I was able to create a giant softbox that evens out the light for the entire image.
Here are some of the images I took using the diffuser. You can see all of my Death Valley images by clicking here.
Wildflower in Death Valley 1
Wildflower in Death Valley 2
Wildflower in Death Valley 3
Wildflower in Death Valley 4
As usual, please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. I encourage it.
Posted 3 years, 2 months ago at 8:00 am. Add a comment