Archive for the ‘cold’ Tag

Winter at the Grand Canyon   8 comments

Grand Canyon, sunset, winter, snow, canyon, Arizona, south rim

Despite heading south to Arizona for a week’s vacation away from winter, I found snow anyway. It seems that at 7000 feet (average elevation of the south rim of the Grand Canyon), it can get pretty cold in the winter. For the two days we were at the Canyon, the temperatures were exactly the same as they were back here in Edmonton.

I capture this image around sunset at Hopi Point. For sunsets, I really like Hopi Point because you get a great view to the east and west and because there’s lots of room for all the people. With all the room, you don’t have to just stake out a spot at the railing and stay there the whole time. You can move around and get different angles.

For this image, I really wanted this scrubby little bush in the foreground, but there was a sign in the way and two photographers with tripods, one on either side of this sign totally blocking my access. Thankfully, I’m not too concerned about what people think so I got down on my hands and knees and crawled under the sign. I sat on the ground with my tripod splayed out to get down really low. With my camera lens sticking out through the railing I managed this unobstructed view of the canyon.


Braving the Cold   4 comments

Seriously, who would force their kids to come out modelling for photos when it’s -30C outside? Not me. I just asked and she agreed. Honest! Still, judging from the pose, there was still a little bit of ‘hurry-it-up-Dad!’ going on.

The above is my first time with a technique or method that has earned the name the “Brenizer Method” (Brandon Brasseaux shared this technique in a recent post). It’s named for the photographer who popularized the method. Mr Brenizer seems to prefer calling it bokehrama because it is simply a panorama shot with a shallow depth of field. The exaggerated shallow depth of field really makes your subject pop.

I shot 49 images, but this is a stitching of fewer than half the images. My decision to select just fewer images was primarily subject size in the frame, but also the processing to include a greater number of images was testing my patience. I used a 100mm lens set to f2.0 for the images. Manual focus allowed me to retain a consistent focus throughout the images.

To give you an idea of my proximity to my model, the initial frame is just her head and shoulders. I was pretty close.

Give it a try if you like, but make sure you leave plenty of time for your computer to crunch away. This is processing intensive.

In The Bleak Mid Winter   18 comments

My daily posts are starting to look about as ‘daily’ as ‘The Daily Show’. This weekend though, I had a good excuse. My hard drive with my photo library finally gave it up after a slow, lingering death. Thankfully, the drive was under warranty and backed up. After replacing it on Saturday and reformatting the new one Saturday evening, I restored the contents overnight and I’m back up and running.

It’s time for me to welcome winter to the blog. I made the photo above in William Hawrelak Park, here in Edmonton. It was approaching sunset, which for us is about 4:00pm right now.It was somewhere south of -30C at the time so I didn’t stay out long.   With the weather all warmed up again this week – we’re back around the 0C mark – we’re planning some skating. Just below the tree line on the right hand side you can see the sun reflecting off the ice. That’s a pretty big pond that the city clears of snow and it looks perfect for skating.

Day 117 – Lake Louise   3 comments

© mike moruzi | insearchofstyle.wordpress.comWhile Edmonton is now blissfully free of snow, Banff National Park is most definitely not. We arrived in Banff NP on Thursday night to find it snowing hard and the whole landscape covered in snow. That was great for our plans on Friday, which included skiing at Sunshine. For the rest of the weekend though, we were hoping to do some short hikes.

While the snow quickly melted in the village and on the roads, we discovered that there were many roads that were still closed for the winter (such as the road to Moraine Lake), most hikes were off-limits and some places, like Johnston Canyon, were going to need proper hiking boots and even cramp-ons. The kids don’t have hiking boots yet, but that’s something we may need to fix for next time!

Road and path closures aside, we headed up to Lake Louise on Saturday to have a look and hopefully do a little walking. The confusing bit is that “Lake Louise” refers to the village, the lake, and the ski resort so if you’re going to meet up with someone at Lake Louise, be specific! The above shot is from the village looking toward the lake. The lake itself is off to the right behind all the trees.

After grabbing a quick lunch, we headed over to the still very frozen lake to go for a walk. I’ll save that story and the picture of the lake for tomorrow.

Processing notes: This is an HDR processed from three images (-2EV, 0, +2EV) using Photomatix Pro. In Photoshop, I used the Viveza plug-in to darken the sky and add a bit of saturation to the image. Using the Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex Pro, I enhanced the contrast in the trees, the stream, the mountain and less so in the sky. I used the Foliage filter in Color Efex Pro to enhance the green in the trees. I find the HDR processing in Photomatix Pro tends to add a bit of red/cyan fringe so I finish up with the Reduce Noise filter in Photoshop to clean that up. I added the border using Silver Efex Pro.

Day 99 – So long Spring! Welcome back Winter!   3 comments

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago so I’d like to tell you not to worry, the snow is gone. A couple of days ago, I could have said the snow is nearly gone. Sure it’s still there in the bigger piles or in the shadowy corners, but our front yard was clear. We have been enjoying temperatures in the double digits (in celsius) for the first time in six months. Today though, we seem to have taken a few very big steps backward. We woke to some dense snow fall this morning. And by the time of this post (10:30am), we’ve had about three centimetres of snow. Not happy.

Thinking positively though, the temperature is still supposed to be above zero for the next few days so we’re all crossing our fingers (and toes) that the snow won’t stay.

This lovely pagoda sits in the gardens of Government House on the north side of the river in Edmonton. I’m sorry to admit that I didn’t read the signs to find out its background. I must have been distracted by the amazing roof!

Processing notes: This is an HDR image generated from three exposures using Photomatix Pro. I used the tonal contrast filter in Color Efex Pro to bring out the textures in the trees, snow, and the pagoda. I added some saturation to recover some of the colour in the pagoda. Finally I added the Color Efex Pro skylight filter (at 20%) to warm up the picture a bit. I added the border using Silver Efex Pro with a blending mode of luminosity to retain the colour.

Day 85 – It’s melting!   4 comments

A few days ago, I posted a picture of icicles down by the North Saskatchewan river. They were fresh beautiful clear crystals formed from melting snow dropping off the High Level Bridge and catching on the trees below. The last few days, we’ve been enjoying above-zero temperatures and those icicles have collapsed into a big mess at the bottom of the same trees. The crystal clarity they previously had has given away to this thick, slushy look that happily spells their demise. That’s right! This snow and ice stuff is finally, after five long months, melting!

Process notes: I processed this as an HDR image from 5 bracketed exposures (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) using Photomatix Pro to combine and tone map the result. I brought the image into Photoshop CS3 and applied the Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex Pro 3 (Nik Software) to bring out the details in the ice. I then converted it to B&W using Silver Efex Pro 2. In Silver Efex, I added a blue tone to the image, selectively restored colour to the branches, add a soft white vignette and added the border.


Day 83 – Bridges, bridges, bridges   8 comments

Continuing my minor obsession with bridges today. This is the High Level Bridge again, but this time from a perspective that actually lets you see what this bridge looks like. My favourite thing about this photo is that I can imagine, with no other structures in sight, that this is exactly how it looked when it was built 100 years ago.