New Zealand 5: Lake Pukaki

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Impressionism / Landscape / New Zealand / Photo Log / Photography

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June 25, 2018, Peter’s Lookout, Mount Cook Road, New Zealand. Lake Pukaki is fed by the runoff of two glaciers. The fine silt in the runoff, known as glacial flour, makes the water turquoise. Take a look at satellite photos of the Southern Island and it will stick out like a turquois thumb. We stopped for a lunch break on the way to Lake Tasman and fed our stomachs and our cameras. These two photos were taken exactly an hour apart.

The first, above, looks east — straight across the lake toward Mount Dobson.

(There is a northward view in my Betterists post.)

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This second shot looks southeast in the direction of Grays Hills, the Grampian Mountains, the Dalgety Range, and the Kirkliston Range.

Conventional wisdom has one put something in the foreground in landscape photography. I am not conventionally wise. Rather than attempting to create a third dimension, I was going for a two-dimensional feel. Sort of like my ocean horizons, but with landscapes. Vaguely impressionist, but not.

(Nikon D850; Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

New Zealand 4: Thunder Creek Falls

comments 16
Abstract / Impressionism / Landscape / New Zealand / Photo Log / Photography / Waterfall

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June 22, 2018, Haast Pass-Makarora Road, New Zealand. A quick stop on the way to Fox Glacier. I posted photos of Fox Glacier back in February. The road we were on leads through a temperate rainforest pass in New Zealand’s Southern Alps out to the Tasman Sea. There are many waterfalls along the way. This is a small somewhat abstracted crop of one of the most impressive.

(Nikon D850; Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

New Zealand 3: Wanaka

comments 21
Landscape / New Zealand / Photo Log / Photography / Sunset

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June 21, 2018, Wanaka and Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. You can’t go to the South Island of New Zealand without going to Wanaka and getting your own shot the famed lone willow. Here’s mine. Water: Mirror flat. Late-afternoon sky: Entertaining. Tree: Noble.

Gary and Don showed us shots they made just a week earlier when the water was all the way up to the base of the trunk. Conditions change fast.

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Just before dinner we went to Glendhu Bay on Lake Wanaka for sunset. No clouds but no one was heartbroken. It was sun star day, so there you go. No extra charge.

One of the peaks — the one to the left of the sun I believe — is Mount Aspiring. Our guide, Steve Norris, told us it is the twenty-third highest mountain in New Zealand. I asked him what it was aspiring to be. He said it was aspiring to be the twenty-second highest.

Now you know the rest of the story.

(Nikon D850; Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

New Zealand 2: Fast Frosty Sunrise

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Landscape / New Zealand / Photo Log / Photography / Sunrise

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June 21, 2018, Te Anau-Milford Highway, New Zealand. Our planned sunrise shot was a wash: thick fog meant no sunrise to speak of. Actually, no visible sunrise at all, although the sky sort of got lighter. A bit dejected, we got into the van and motored off. But as we headed north toward Mirror Lakes, another opportunity presented itself. A soft frosty hillside lay before shadowed mountains with the sun just behind them about to show itself.

Stop. Seconds were ticking.

No time for tripod. Dash. Quick frame. Nope. Change position. Quick frame. Not quite. Move up and to the left. Yes, there’s the frame. Go to f/16 for a sun star. Check exposure. Good. And wait, wait, there it is — click. Check it. Damn, not quite right. Waited a bit too long: no sun star. Move to the left to put the sun behind the mountain again, recompose and wait for the sun to come up for its second rise in sixty seconds. Here it comes…annnnd… Click.

In the space of five hectic minutes the frost was already melting, but you can still see a bit of a glow on the grassy ridge.

Best shot of the day. Until what you’ll see tomorrow…

(Nikon D850; Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

New Zealand 1: Lake Wakatipu

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New Zealand / Photo Log / Photography

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June 18, 2018, Closeburn Beach Lookout, Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand. A year ago this week, on our first evening of a photo workshop led by Gary Hart and Don Smith. A few kilometers west of Queenstown. Although Mother Nature was very kind to us regarding lighting and sky, we were not yet used to freezing fingers from her June winter.

(Nikon D850; Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Poise

comments 22
Abstract / Filoli / Floral Photography / Flower / Photo Log / Photography

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March 23, 2013. Filoli, near Woodside, California. I have not one single clue what kind of flower this is. But here it is.

I made many attempts at doing this justice over the years and it wasn’t until three and half years later that I was satisfied. It kept calling me back till I finally got it right. It was its own muse.

(Canon 7D; Canon EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More Fine-Art Photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Monserrate Reveal/Blue

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Abstract / Floral Photography / Florascape / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography

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August 24, 2016. Parque e Palácio de Monserrate, near Sintra, Portugal. While exploring this magnificent park — where I could have easily spent days — I was captivated by a large, smooth succulent. I saw the picture immediately. I made several shots with minor variations in composition and depth of field and moved on to other botanical wonders. I didn’t think about it again until a couple of months later, back in California.

Time being what it is, I saw something different when I looked at the RAW file in October. What I’d thought was the essence, wasn’t. Crop. This was.

But then it was so abstract — especially after I’d had my way with the surface texture and had further sharpened the edges — that color had become arbitrary.

(Nikon D750; Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G Zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More Fine-Art Photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Rose Mountains Sunset

comments 43
Abstract / California / Floral Photography / Florascape / Photo Log / Photography

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May 13, 2012. Monterey, California. Shooting roses from the side opens the door to myriad possibilities. I was unaware of most of them when I shot this. Imagine my surprise when I checked focus a moment later, magnifying the image to 100%, and was faced with a visage that took me straight to the New Mexico desert with Georgia O’Keeffe by my side.

I coined the word on the spot. A floral landscape. Florascape.

This is a case of the best camera is the one you have with you and necessity is the mother of invention. The camera was a 10-megapixel Canon s95. This image started as a tiny crop of the original — 300 by 200 pixels at most. I had to very carefully enlarge it about seven times just to work on it. There was lots of experimentation in post — all limited to selective sharpening, blurring and vibrance with Georgia looking over my shoulder offering gentle guidance. No painting filters. Never EVER! Then, as proof of concept I painstakingly enlarged it a step at a time to 10,800 by 7,200 pixels — 36 by 24 inches at 300 pixels per inch — to be able to print it large. I could take it to 72 by 48 if anyone’s interested.

(Canon s95. RAW processing in Adobe Camera Raw; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More Fine-Art Photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Cat Feet

comments 23
Abstract / California / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes / Sunset

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September 1, 2018. Marin County Headlands, California. Standing on old gun emplacements that go back to the Spanish-American War. Sun going down. Fog rolling in.

This one spent hours in post-processing. Not one pixel was left untouched. The perfect balance that I so clearly saw in my mind was eluding me in the file. But it came. It crept up on me very slowly.

(Canon G7X II. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More Fine-Art Photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Silver/Streak

comments 35
Abstract / California / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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December 24, 2017. The Sea Ranch, Sonoma Coast, California. Christmas Eve. A few hours before the previous post’s photo. The storm was coming in. The sky was threatening but the water was still flat calm. It all had a silvery glow that only winter can bestow.

This is the essence.

(Nikon D750; Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G Zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More Fine-Art Photography at www.amagaphoto.com

The Calm After the Storm

comments 28
California / Photography / Seascapes / Sunset

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December 24, 2017. The Sea Ranch, Sonoma Coast, California. Christmas Eve. It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, to get my tenses correct, it had been a dark and stormy night. Now it was clearing.

Outside it was gray-black. Then a glint of orange. Then black.

Inside it was toasty warm.

(Nikon D750; Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G Zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More Fine-Art Photography at www.amagaphoto.com

Through a Glass, Lightly

comments 39
Abstract / California / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photography / Seascapes

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December 22, 2017. Sonoma County Coast, California. On our way to The Sea Ranch for Christmas. The Pacific was living up to its name. Pacific. Peaceful. Mirror flat. The sky was calm. The temperature was mild. All was right with the world. Waiting until the clouds lazily drifted into position, I clicked.

I wanted the dreamy look that Nature suggested. I just helped her along a bit. Then in creative rapture I hit a wrong key combination in Photoshop. Embracing the error, I offer it to you thus. Voilà.

(Nikon D750; Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G Zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More Fine-Art Photography at www.amagaphoto.com