Archive for May, 2013

Zaanse Schans

In Landscape by elyktra / May 31, 2013 / 0 Comments

Visited Zaanse Schans today which is just outside of Amsterdam.  The town and surrounding area is much nicer than expected for a local tourist attraction and highly recommended.  It was a beautiful walk with some nice cafe stops and incredible scenery.  It is definitely on the list to just return for a nice stroll and lunch.


In Landscape by elyktra / May 31, 2013 / 57 Comments

 3 exposure 0

While reviewing the photos from the Muiderslot photography meetup, I came across something very interesting.  Actually myself and everyone who has seen the images so far are dumbfounded.  I’ve been shooting for quite a long time and have never encountered anything like this.  Let me explain the images before you take a look and decide for yourself.  I was shooting with a very wide angle lens Nikon 14-24 which can capture quite a large scene.  It was shot with a Nikon D800 with is a 36mp camera so also very detailed when blown up.  I was also shooting HDR which means I was taking multiple exposures at once.  In this case it was 5 exposures.  All five shots were taken within 1 second and the shutter speed on the images in question is 1/250 of a second.  This means something would have to be moving very fast to be blurred in the scene.  There were no aircraft present, no vapor trails as you can see in the subsequent images.  It is definitely not a bird and I’ve mostly ruled out any insect based on the apparent distance from my position in the image.  Here’s where it gets more interesting.  In the +1 shot, you can see it again…coming from the opposite direction!!  It appears to have turned around.  It seems to be traveling in the direction where the two fins are as you can see some sore of trail coming off from left to right.  I’ve duplicated the two images where it appears and changed to greyscale and adjusted the basic settings and detail only using camera raw to get a better look.  Anxious to hear your opinions about what this might be!  You can click on the image to get to the gallery of photos.  Please post comments on the actual Blog and not FB if you are finding this there so we can keep one conversation going (click on the comment link at top of post to enter comment if you don’t see a box to do so).  I’ve kept the original untouched imaged in raw format on the card and copies in case this gets interesting.  Enjoy!!

EDIT:  Please note that no in camera HDR processing was used.  All my HDR work is manual which means I only take a selective number of bracketed shots and later process them using software to merge them together.  This means that each frame is an individual shot from the camera with no manipulation.  I have all the original RAW images untouched.


Adding interesting links:

  • Investigation images made by me and a few others which were presented to me as similar
  • Original post as well as US national TV and cool video
    • Original Huffington Post article
    • ABC News
    • Cool video
  • Other interesting articles with different points of view:
    • Examiner
  • Other articles which contacted me directly:
    • LiveScience
    • MSN
    • Yahoo Germany (DE)
    • NRC (NL)


In Landscape by elyktra / May 25, 2013 / 0 Comments

We visited the absolutely wonderful Muiderslot Castle today. The most beautiful and best kept medieval castle in the Netherlands which was built in 1285.  It was a wonderful Photography meetup event which we traveled to by ferry.  The weather played nice and we had a very enjoyable day.  More photos to come and the collection will be available on Flickr as it is developed.

Why HDR?

In Useful Tidbits by elyktra / May 22, 2013 / 0 Comments

What is HDR and why do I use it? Simply put, it allows me to create images which are closer to what the eye and mind perceived at the given moment the photograph was taken. This is sometimes necessary when the dynamic range of the scene is greater than that which the camera is capable of capturing in a single image. HDR processing is usually accomplished by taking multiple exposures of the same scene and then using software to combine them. Hopefully the before and after images above demonstrate this concept.  The after image is slightly exaggerated in its processing to show what is possible. The before image above is only the base exposure.  Notice you are not even able to see the brick wall on the right.  The overexposed images in the bracketed set would provide this detail.  There are many people who don’t have a taste for HDR images and this seems fueled by the number of potentially poor ones that flood the scene.  I’m still a fan if they are done well, although I’m still in the learning stages myself. It is actually now a recognized art form and holds a place in the Smithsonian.  Please feel free to post additional questions as I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Here is the techy definition:  High dynamic range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a set of methods used in imaging and photography, to allow a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.

Creature Within

In Macro by elyktra / May 20, 2013 / 0 Comments

I’m still experimenting with my new Nikon 200mm macro lens.  Its quite amazing as you don’t have to get as close to objects as other macros.  The benefit of this is not disturbing the area in which you are trying to shoot.  I’m very impressed with the colors and still working on the level of detail which I know the lens is capable of.  Would love to hear comments or thoughts on macro shooting.

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