Dynamic Sky

I was planning to ride this morning due to the mountain forecast looking unfavorable for a hike and some photography – but when the pup got up to go out at 3am I checked the forecasts and saw the winds dropping and the sky revised to ‘partly cloudy’. I put on coffee, ran around getting gear together, and was hiking by 5am. Summit by 6:30 or so, where I found a spot semi sheltered from the wind.

Trail under the light of the Petzl NAO
Trail marker
Peek at the moon

I ran a quick time lapse test on the G7X Mk2 – but it was very very windy – so I focused on shooting stills. In the Gossamer Gear Summit pack I had the Canon M6 with 4 lenses, Canon G7X Mk2, 2 tripods (1 small, 1 regular height), sit pad, water, snack, and warm layers.

Sunrise!

The color was pretty incredible with the dynamic sky. Before the sun snuck over the horizon we were in and out of the clouds. That calmed down a bit once the sun was up.

The little cloud that could!
Summit selfie
Unreal light

After about an hour of hanging out on top I descended and played with a 50mm f/1.8 lens on the M6. It shoots pretty long on the new camera – but it produces lovely images. Lots to learn – but I like it.

Tree – playing with the ‘nifty fifty’ on the way down
Lonely leaf
Fungi and color
Burl and Bokeh
Trail paint and color – playing with the ‘nifty fifty’ on the way down

I took a few dirt road diversions on the way home to check out the fall color. All in, a great morning.

Learning

Learning to shoot the night sky, with basic, carry everywhere photography kit has become a challenge, and a bit of an obsession. Goal – make nice images with as little equipment and processing as possible. Which may be difficult to achieve, but the learning curve has been fun.

My IF, bridge, and the stars – ‘Daylight’ WB
My IF, bridge, and the stars – ‘As Shot’ WB
This morning I rode out to the bike / pedestrian bridge over the Winooski River in Burlington, VT to use the bridge as a silhouette against the sky. The moon has been shrinking – every day the ambient light becomes a little less than the previous –  so if I get lucky and have a clear night with a new moon I may see more stars.

The bridge and the stars – ‘Daylight’ WB
The bridge and the stars – ‘As Shot’ WB
In addition to re-learning the camera (its been a long while since I shot anything resembling an SLR) – I am also adapting my ‘developing’ process in Lightroom to work with dark images. That learning curve is also a challenge unto itself.

Orion and bridge, and the stars – ‘Daylight’ WB
Orion and bridge, and the stars – ‘As Shot’ WB
Images with 2 different white balances for comparison – ‘As Shot’ – what the camera adjusts to in the field, and ‘Daylight’ – one of the many settings in Lightroom (and also in the camera). There are arguments all over the net for how to shoot the sky. I’m torn between ‘natural color’ (taking into account light pollution (that you see here), air glow, etc. etc. – as well as making an image that works emotionally for a given time / setting place. That process, and mindset will likely evolve the more I wander down this path.

The bridge frame and the stars – ‘Daylight’ WB
The bridge frame and the stars – ‘As Shot’ WB

Sunrise

Sunrise, Camel’s Hump over the Farm Barn

Sunrise at Shelburne Farms. Ava and I got up early, got her packed for school and brought coffee and hot chocolate to watch the sun rise alongside Camel’s Hump and over the Farm Barn.

The sun between Mt. Mansfield and Camel’s Hump

Both ‘HDR’ images done as a test – 3 bracketed shots built right in Lightroom with the Photo Merge> HDR feature. Then manually adjusted before export.

Sunrise with Ava

Ava and I got up early, snagged some hot chocolate and coffee, and watched and photographed the sunrise from Shelburne Farms.

My favorite shot of the morning was just as the sun peaked out from behind Camel’s Hump.

Camel’s Hump and the Sun

I love these micro adventures with the girls. Scheming and planning for more.

Ava setting up her shot
Enjoying the sunrise

I bracketed most of my shots – so I tried out the Merge>HDR feature in Lightroom.

HDR from 3 shots merged in Lightroom
Another HDR from 3 shots merged in Lightroom

Photo Walk

The girls got a lesson on my camera last week and I dusted off my old Canon G12 for them to use. Yesterday before school Ava and I scheduled time to explore town and a park on the way to school. I loved watching her look at the world, and teaching her about how cameras (and our eyes) process images.