May 2014

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Turton Tower is in Lancashire, England near to where I grew up. I had never really appreciated just how lush, varied and colourful was the English landscape until I began to make photographs. The price they have to pay over there is, of course, many more rainy days than here in Ontario. This past winter and spring the rain has been almost constant so you have to be lucky to get a good day, but when you do the colours are vibrant and the green – in many, many shades – looks almost painted.

A few shots below that I called my Turton Tower Collection. these were treated in post with Nik Color Efex to give them the high-key effect I was looking for. See them also on Fine Art America.

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Meteors (or the lack of them)

On Friday night / Saturday morning it was expected that here in Canada we were going to be in prime position to see a spectacular meteor shower – the Camelopardalis shower. Now, a couple of weeks ago I was reading an article in a magazine about what settings to use for star photography, so I thought that never having taken star shots before, this would be the perfect opportunity to start. A few of us, including my niece Paula, got together at unearthly o’clock on Saturday morning and headed out for a great dark-sky spot near Caledon, Ontario.

The weather had been changeable on Friday and there were some residual clouds on the drive up, but the skies cleared just like the forecasters predicted and we had a great view of the sky filled with stars. More and more cars arrived at the site, waiting for the meteor shower to begin. And waited. And waited. It was a bust. Ok, we saw a few meteors, including a couple of spectacular ones, but overall it was a bit of a dud.

However, I did get my night shots, I did get to practice the technique and I did get to be out with my camera. It was still a pretty good night. This time I concentrated on single, relatively short images. Next time I’m thinking about the long exposure star-wheel shots and the Perseids.

The settings on the D7100 for the shots below varied slightly, but mainly were:

F4, ISO around 1600-2000, exposure 25-30 seconds. Manual focus at Infinity. On the bluer shots I dropped the White Balance down to around 2600K in post.

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Still, any photography opportunity is a good opportunity. Next time.

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