Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lake Superior Provincial Park camping trip

I've just returned from a trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park, which ranks on the shortlist of my very favorite places in the world. The landscape is grand, the shorelines wild and the potential for dramatic skies over Lake Superior keeps luring me back there time and again. During a lakeside dinner of fajitas on Saturday evening, I studied the clouds and predicted a wash out sunset. A half hour later I was sprinting  down the beach with my camera gear to shoot the most dramatic skies and kick ass sunset I've ever hit on Superior. That's the way it works in landscape photography - the best skies often materialize when you least expect them. Here are some of the photos from the trip.


Photo 1 (above): Sunset and dramatic clouds over Lake Superior shoreline in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Canon EOS 5d mark II, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo polarizer & 3 stop reverse ND grad; ISO 200, 3.2s @ f/20; mirror lock up & cable release


Photo 2 (above): Sunset and dramatic clouds over Lake Superior shoreline in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Canon EOS 5d mark II, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo polarizer & 3 stop reverse ND grad; ISO 200, 2.5s @ f/20; mirror lock up & cable release


Photo 3 (above): Afterglow over Lake Superior cobble rock shoreline in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Canon EOS 5d mark II, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo polarizer & 3 stop reverse ND grad; ISO 200, 20s @ f/22; mirror lock up & cable release


Photo 4 (above): A shoreline campfire and playing guitar after sunset on the Lake Superior shoreline in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Canon EOS 5d mark II, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray 2 stop hard edge ND grad; ISO 640, 13s @ f/13; self timer (that's me on the right)


Photo 5 (above): Long exposure of clouds (streaking) after sunet on the Lake Superior shoreline in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Canon EOS 5d mark II, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray 2 stop hard edge ND grad; ISO 200, 247s @ f/11; mirror lock-up & cable release


Photo 6 (above): Evening light over sand ripples on the Lake Superior shoreline in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Canon EOS 5d mark II, 24-70/2.8 lens, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer & 2 stop soft edge ND grad; ISO 200, 0.6s @ f/22; mirror lock-up and cable release

14 comments:

  1. Hi Ethan

    Owesome shots !!!
    Lake superior would be my next trip :-)

    Florin

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  2. Looks like a great trip Ethan. I love the color in those rocks!

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  3. awesome shots - have you ever tried hdr ? save you the nd filter :-)

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  4. Very nice serie! The streaking cloud one is fantastic!

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  5. Anonymous9:55 PM

    Three words my friend kum-ba-ya

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  6. eskie fifi10:01 PM

    I'm with anonymous kumbaya!

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  7. Beautiful colors! Gotta love the campfire near the shoreline.

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  8. Great feeling that comes from these images... nice framing, a cool color post-production! Really enjoyed it... ;)

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  9. Bonnie12:21 PM

    "Canon EOS 5d mark II, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo polarizer & 3 stop reverse ND grad; ISO 200, 3.2s @ f/20; mirror lock up & cable release"

    Question ... doesn't all of the above change the appearance of the image a great deal? i.e., where's the challenge in all of that, when it can be done post-production, with software?

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  10. Bonnie,
    The LB ColorCombo polarizer helps to cut glare off the water surface (this is something that cannot be achieved with software in post) and it subtly improves the saturation. The ND grad controls contrast in the image which gives you a photo more like what you actually saw. See my page here about ND grads: http://www.ethanmeleg.com/tip8.htm

    You can use HDR or exposure blending instead of grads, but I prefer to get it right in the field and avoid the time spend post-processing.

    I don't understand the question 'where's the challenge in all of that, when it can be done post....". There are inherent challenges in doing it both ways. Neither is right or wrong.... they are both techniques to get to a similar result.
    Good shooting,
    Ethan

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  11. Sweet shots Ethan. Looks like you had some great conditions.

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  12. Ethan,

    I agree with you about exposure blending vs grads - I think that comes down to a personal choice. I often choose to blend digitally instead of use my grads, given so much of my photography is in the back-country and I need to reduce weight as much as possible.

    However, neither technique compares to HDR. I have rarely seen HDR done well, and even then the resulting photos tend to look "wrong". Could be the way our brains have been conditioned over the years to view photos, I'm not sure. But whether blending two exposures digitally using layers and the gradient tool, or using a Grad ND in the field, the result often looks better than HDR images.

    I discuss these differences in an HDR vs blending post.

    Hank

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  13. Anonymous1:19 PM

    awesome love your post...

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