Sojourns

Reflections on a year in 365 photographs

Posts Tagged ‘marsh

365:SEVENTY-THREE

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Spring comes to the Charleston marsh

Wellspring

…It seems a bit different today

Open the window

hear the seagull

spring is finally here

Feel the warm breath of wind

caressing my face in the light

Fill my lungs and taste the air…

~Suburban Tribe – “First Spring Day”~

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Written by Brian Fancher

March 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm

365:SEVENTY

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A stormy night on Beresford Creek.

Storm over Beresford Creek

Rain falls on the creek like a million tiny bursts of hope.  While clouds race on toward distant dreams.  The ominous glow of lights against the stormy sky gives way.  Stars shine through, regal lords over the terrestrial tempest.  Sail on, intrepid soul.

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Written by Brian Fancher

March 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm

365:FIFTY-ONE

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A misty marsh sunrise image from my backyard.

Unveiling

An old company commander once advised me that at times “It’s better to be lucky than good.”  In the grand scheme of life, I suppose there is not much more truth than that.  Of course, I also subscribe to the belief that we make our own “good luck” with thorough preparation.  Today’s image embodies a bit of both sides of the equation.

I had planned on waking early enough to get out to the beach for some ocean front sunrise shots.  After all, I am fifty-one images into the project and living in Charleston, SC, but haven’t yet made it out to our beautiful coastline.  Though I climbed out of bed at 5:30, the french press coffee took hold of me to the point that I didn’t think about leaving the house in time to make it to the beach before sunrise.  So I began planning the rest of my day and considered a window-lit self-portrait for the day’s entry.

Then I noticed the mist and clear skies outside.  I knew they would make for a compelling view over the marsh just a few hundred meters from my house.  Grabbing the camera bag, I quickly set up on the edge of the marsh and began to shoot.  While changing lenses from the 50mm to the 24mm, I happened to catch the singular cloud high in the field of view.  I knew this would make a good composition great.  Out of some 65 exposures I made from various viewpoints, this one excels.  The way the shape of the cloud mimics the crisp, low tide shoreline adds a significant dynamic.   Consider the image without the cloud in the sky.  To my mind, it becomes just another pretty picture of a sunrise.  The mist rising off of the marsh adds further mystery and depth.

I had originally thought the image worked well in the native format.  Cropping the image to 8×10, however, brought further focus to the curving shoreline and got rid of some dead space in the sky.  This emphasized the relationship between the cloud and the shoreline.

This shot makes maximum use of the camera’s histogram and the “expose to the right” concept.  Using the camera’s histogram to display all three RGB channels allowed me to ensure the exposure maximized the dynamic range captured in the original image.  For this particular shot, I focused and metered along the marsh line toward the bottom of the image you see here.  The light reflecting off of the water meant the camera would try to darken the overall image.  The proper exposure in this instance became +0.7EV or about 2/3 of a stop.   Doing this meant that I had maximum latitude to shape the details in post-processing.

In the end, this image combined the luck of seeing the mist outside with the preparation of having my camera gear ready to go and knowing how to get the most out of an exposure.

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Written by Brian Fancher

February 20, 2010 at 11:59 am

365:FORTY-NINE

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A railroad trestle seen from North Rhett in North Charleston, SC.

Nowhere

This railroad trestle is near Yeamans Hall Road and North Rhett in North Charleston. I saw this from the road to the left of the train tracks today and had this image in my mind.  The only thing missing is a train coming head on!  I waited some time for a train to appear, but had other appointments to make.  One day I’ll come out when I know the trains schedules and try to meet one.

The last two days I’ve been working on some new post-processing techniques.  They are doing wonders for bringing the images back to what I experienced through the viewfinder.  I am particularly enthusiastic about finally understanding sharpening and how the various techniques work.  You can read for yourself here at Ron Bigelow’s website.  There is a wealth of information there for how to analyze and optimize what comes out of your camera.  Taking the shot and uploading the digits to your computer are just the beginning of making a truly outstanding image.  Check out my Flikr photostream for the original RAW version of this image to compare what is possible.

Also, if you’re in Charleston and you’re interested in the locations of my photos, I have made the Google Maps locations public here on my blog.

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Written by Brian Fancher

February 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm