To all the piers I’ve shot before

REDINGTON-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPBait & Tackle, Redington, FL – F/22, 258 secs, 50mm, ISO 100

If you are a landscape photographer in Utah, obviously your subject will be big rock formations, mountains with snowcaps, all the good stuff mother nature can offer. But, if you are in Florida there are only piers, LOL.
To add more drama to these simple subjects, you must have a good combination of light and composition. All of these added result to a good photo out of simple or ordinary subjects.

BALLAST POINT-TAMPA-02-ZEN-FAA-36MP-2Ballast Point Sunrise, Tampa, FL – F/11, 130 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

I have used either a 6-stop or a 10-stop ND filters in these photos to have very long exposures. These are essential tools for a landscape photographer. Don’t you know that they have now a 15-stop ND filter?

DUNEDIN-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPReckless Abandon, Dunedin, FL – F/22, 300 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

BALLAST POINT-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPBallast Point Twilight, Tampa, FL – F/8, 306 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

BALLAST POINT-TAMPA-03-ZEN-FAA-36MP-2Ballast Point At Dawn, Tampa, FL – F/6.3, 307 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

Stitching limitation 02: Very long exposures

DUNEDIN-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPReckless Abandon – F/10, 258 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

One of the limitations of digital panoramic stitching is very long exposures. I have mentioned this in the past that it is very difficult to stitch images in Photoshop 100 seconds apart. Ideally, stitching is not really meant for very long exposures specially when the light is dynamic; sunrises and sunsets. The stitches will be very visible and it will just look like crap and it’s very difficult to correct in POST.

TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPTampa Skyline – F/18, 194 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

But why do very long exposures? Because it adds drama to photographs and for me it is the opposite of a snapshot. I don’t like snapshots personally, photos taken effortlessly with no passion. Drama is capturing motion like slow moving waves or slow moving clouds. With the aid of neutral density filters these are possible. The first photo is with the help of 6-stop ND at 258 second exposure and the second photo with 10-stop ND at 194 seconds.

In stitch, I would just limit it to 30 seconds per frame. As an example below, 5 frames at 30 seconds each. These were stitch seamlessly in Photoshop.
BRICKELL KEY MIAMI-02-FB-54MPBrickell Key – F/9, 30 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

All shots were taken from the beautiful state of Florida. Until next time…


Non-stitched because sometimes I don’t need to

PHILADELPHIA-07042015-02-FB-FLCKR-36MPPhiladelphia – Birthplace of American Democracy – F/8 @ 30 secs, 50mm, ISO 100, 36MP

JERSEY CITY-NYC-02-FB-FLCKR-36MPDark Part of Twilight – WTC – F/9 @ 30 secs, 24mm, ISO 100, 36MP

JERSEY CITY-NYC-01-FB-36MPCloudy With A Chance of Rain – WTC – F/9 @ 85 secs, 24mm, ISO 100, 6-stop filter, 36MP

Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July celebration!



CHICAGO-007-FBChicago Skyline -F/6.3, 30 sec, 24mm, ISO 50, 4-stitch

These are the photos I took during our visit to Chicago. I have been to big cities in the US and I gotta say that Chicago is up there, first class city. Anyway the best place to shoot Chicago skyline is at Adler Planetarium. In this location beside the lake you will have full view of the skyline plus water reflection. Two days ago we went there but it’s too foggy, cold and windy. We had to go back last night which was perfect conditions.

I only have one lens with me my trusty Roki 24mm F/1.4 and this lens is so wide in full frame camera. I had to use the DX crop mode of my camera to have a close up stitch because the distance from Planetarium to the skyline is quite far. The skyscrapers and buildings became too small looking from the live view of my camera. The best lens to use in this situation for stitching is a telephoto, perhaps a 70-200mm lens.

CLOUD-GATE-002-FB-77MPFoggy Cloud Gate – F/22, 20 sec, 24mm, ISO 50, 7-stitch

The second and third images were taken form Millennium Park.

CLOUD-GATE-001-FB-36MPMillennium Bean – F/10, 30 sec, 24mm, ISO 50, single photo

Stitching limitation 01: Image stacking

PHILLY-02-STACKED-FAA-ZEN-FB-35MPPhiladelphia – F/18, 6 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, 30 image stack, 36MP

These are 30 shots stacked in Photoshop. The purpose here is to really capture as much trail lights my camera can, spaced at 6 seconds each frame. The exposure must be the same all through out.

Image stacking is also used in photos like star trails you see in photosharing sites. Some are like 500 images stacked together. If you have the patience, this Photoshop technique is really fun. Of course you are going to need Photoshop software and high capacity RAM computer. My 8GB RAM computer could barely make it, LOL.

Compare it to 30 seconds, 10 image stack. I used a ND filter here you can see a little bit of vignetting.

My point really about this post is that, these two above, are the limitations of stitch panorama, which I normally do. I think it would be very difficult to image stack with long exposures and stitch them. I do not think the result would be good specially when the light is changing, e.g golden hour, sunrise or sunset. The white balance will be messed up as well.

Have a good week end everyone and all.



BOATHOUSE-ROW-PHILLY-03-2Boathouse Row Reflections – F/8, 30 s, 50mm, ISO 100, 97MP

There is a photography quote from Vernon Trent, ..amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light, I just take pictures… In photography forums, you can see people spending too much time talking about gears and doing less time photographing. It’s about who’s got the best tripods and lenses.

BOATHOUSE-ROW-PHILLY-01-FB-91MPBoathouse Row – F/8, 30 s, 50mm, ISO 100, 97MP

Do people or clients really care about the gear you used to take that photo? The answer is no. If it looks good in their living room or kitchen they will buy it. I have been in this location a couple of times in Philadelphia, the famous Boathouse Row. I’ve sold three photos from this location using not so expensive lenses. My point really is you to go out there and shoot!

The above pictures were photographed with a Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 I bought for 80 bucks off Craigslist, stitched in PS and post-processed in Lightroom.


Walking to Canada

NIAGARA-ONTARIO-01-FB-FLCKR-46MPHorseshoe Falls – F/20, 2 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, ND64

I’ve been busy lately, my vacation leave that I filed 1.5 months before was denied. My plan during the peak foliage was to drive and take photos in Maine, New Hampshire, cross Canada to Quebec and drive down to Toronto and meet a friend and then go to Niagara Falls. Only the last part was materialized because I was in the Upstate New York area doing work.

It’s been 8 years that I never stepped out of American soil. Today was my first time. I crossed Canada via Rainbow bridge in Niagara Falls. Wow, that was easy. I was very early before the sun was out and head right to Canadian Horseshoe falls. This waterfalls is just right to the edge of where people could stand and take photos.

NIAGARA-ONTARIO-02-FB-FLCKR-94MPMorning Mist – F/20, 5 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, ND64

On my way back while the sun was still low in the horizon, I took a 180-degree panorama of Rainbow bridge, American falls and the Canadian falls. 9-stitch total of 94 Mega pixels! The weather cooperated and of course I got timing because the foliage is at its peak in Ontario.

Hope you enjoy it!


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