Vancouver Island Landscapes: Blog en-us (C) Vancouver Island Landscapes [email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:57:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:57:00 GMT Vancouver Island Landscapes: Blog 109 120 How to create an in camera starburst Over time I have learned how different lens and aperture combinations can create different effects on the image. 

I am often asked how I create a starburst when it appears in one of my photos. Often people think it is something that is done in Photoshop but nothing could be further from the truth. So how do you create this effect without using a special program? Like many things in photography knowing the hows and whys can help you to maximize or minimize this effect. For every photographer who loves the starburst effect there's another who does not and are constantly working to avoid it. It's really just a matter of aesthetics and preference. 

Lens and Aperture: It is the phenomenon of diffraction that creates the star effect on distant single-point light sources and, sometimes, on specular highlights on an object in the frame. The size, shape, and characteristics of the star effect are a function of the size of the aperture opening (diffraction of light passing through an opening) and the number of aperture blades on the aperture diaphragm (diffraction of light passing an object). The design of the aperture diaphragm has a profound effect on the star effect. Sometimes, your gear isn’t critical to a successful image, but when you are dealing with star effects, you will find that lenses have vastly different characteristics when it comes to this type of diffraction. If the aperture blades form a perfect circle, you will not get the star effect and you will, instead, have distant highlights producing Airy Discs on your image. In general, the circles emanating from the disc will be so small and faint, depending on the light source’s distance and intensity, that you will not see the rings. Several modern lenses feature “rounded aperture blades” to help form a circle for the light to pass through.

Use smaller apertures: When it comes to star effects, in general, the smaller the aperture, the more pronounced the effect will be (there are other considerations that I will discuss later). However, just as you are increasing the diffractive effect from distant light sources, you will also be increasing diffraction throughout the image. There is a trade-off. When the aperture diaphragm forms a polygon instead of a circle, we get the star effect. The light streaks or star points of the effect extend from the vertices of the polygon formed by the blades.This is where it gets cool. With diaphragms that form a polygon, if you have an even number of aperture blades, you will get one point per blade extending from the vertex of each intersecting blade. The light streak will continue across the opening where it intersects the opposite vertex. Therefore, an even number of blades will create one star point per blade. A 6-blade aperture produces a star with 6 spikes. If you have an aperture with an odd number of blades, the diffraction extends from the vertex across the opening where it does not intersect with another vertex. Therefore, an odd number of blades creates two star points per blade - a 7 blade produces a star with 14 spikes.

Exposure:  Your exposure affects the intensity of the star effect. The longer the exposure, the more star effect you will see, until the point at which the entire image is overexposed. The brighter the highlights in a photo, the more star effect. In night photography, burning out highlights, such as street lamps and other artificial light sources, is sometimes unavoidable. The amount you let those highlights burn is directly related to the size and intensity of the star effect. How much you see of the star effects is dependent on the contrast in the scene.

Love them or hate them? Cool trick or cheesy distraction? Star effects are a creative part of photography. 



[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Photography camera effects filter night star Tue, 24 May 2016 13:51:07 GMT
My Camera

Taken from B&H Photo



The EOS 5DS DSLR Camera from Canon is the long-awaited follow-up to the vaunted 5D Mark III and brings with it new technology and a number of significant upgrades, placing it in very lofty territory for a DSLR. Featuring a full-frame 50.6MP CMOS sensor, the camera captures ultra-high resolution images suitable for large-scale printing and extensive, creative cropping. The Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors provide the wherewithal to handle this abundance of information, enabling fast performance speeds and top-of-the-line image quality. The 5DS also features advanced video capability including HD 1080p capture at 30 fps and a Time Lapse movie function which takes still photos at set intervals and combines them into a full HD movie.

The EOS Scene Detection System with the 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor provides precise exposure and color metering and the 61-point High Density Reticular AF sensor with 41 cross-type points enables accurate AF placement and Canon's EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Resolution) enhances AF performance by using information from the metering sensor. Crop shooting at 1.3x and 1.6x allows for flexibility in the size of image files created and the selection of lenses. Also, a built-in intervalometer and bulb timer expand your creative options. An advanced mirror control mechanism and new selectable shutter release lag times control camera vibration for reduced blur and quiet operation. Anti-flicker functionality compensates for flickering light sources, providing consistent exposure metering during continuous shooting. Despite its large file sizes, the 5DS can still offer up to a 5 fps continuous shooting rate.

For stable eye-level composition the 5DS features the Intelligent Viewfinder II with 100% coverage. In addition to its clear view, a superimposed, transparent LCD is incorporated which displays setting information and offers a customizable view of focus points and grid lines. The 3.2" ClearView II LCD monitor provides playback and live view composition with 1.04m-dot resolution and a 170º viewing angle. High-transparency materials and multi-coating resist reflections for bright viewing, especially important when shooting video.

The 5DS is a durable and multi-faceted camera for advanced use, yet its dimensions match that of the 5D Mark III. A magnesium-alloy build provides resistance to impact and the elements and inputs include a PC terminal, 3-pin input, an external microphone jack as well as HDMI out and USB 3.0 compatibility. The base plate and tripod socket have also been reinforced to reduce vibrations and ensure a secure attachment to support systems. Dual media slots for Compact Flash and SD format memory cards are supported. A customizable Quick Control System allows you to easily switch between frequently used settings and functions.


New 50.6 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
Newly designed 50.6MP full-frame CMOS helps deliver ultra-high resolution images for large-scale printing and extensive, creative cropping, while Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors enable top-of-the-line image quality and processing speed.
Fine Detail Mode in Picture Style
Taking advantage of its sensor's high-resolution capturing power, the EOS 5DS camera has a new Picture Style called Fine Detail mode. Fine Detail emphasizes fine edges and patterns or textures by setting the camera's Sharpness sub-settings, fineness and threshold to their minimum and by lowering contrast settings as well. Prioritizing minute details in the image allows for better gradations, more detailed textures and fine edges for smoother, more polished photographs.
EOS Scene Detection System with RGB+IR Metering Sensor
The EOS 5DS camera has the iSA Intelligent Scene Analysis system that employs an independent RGB+IR light sensor with approximately 150,000-pixel resolution. This sensor enables Canon's Intelligent Tracking and Recognition system (iTR AF) that detects and tracks subjects, automatically switching the AF point to optimize tracking. With new tracking algorithms tailored to recognize faces and colors, this system serves as the foundation to the camera's AF system.
61-Point High Density Reticular AF
For fast, precise AF with sophisticated tracking performance, the EOS 5DS camera has an advanced, 61-point High Density Reticular AF system with up to 41 cross-type AF points. The AF system is sensitive to changes in composition, making adjustments quickly to help ensure consistent, sharp AF. A new RGB+IR AF sensor (with approximately 150,000 pixels) monitors subject motion, and Canon's iTR Intelligent Tracking and Recognition system synchronizes the active AF point with the subject's motion, helping to ensure that AF precision is maintained. With focus modes dedicated to the particulars of the shooting environment, the EOS 5DS realizes a level of focus accuracy befitting its 50.6MP sensor.
Advanced Mirror Control Mechanism and Shutter Release Time Lag
The camera shake that occurs from the impact of an SLR's mirror can leave blurred details in the recorded image. This effect is magnified when working with a high-resolution sensor like the one found in the EOS 5DS camera. To counter the effects of conventional, spring-driven SLR mirrors, the EOS 5DS features a newly developed Mirror Vibration Control system. The camera's mirror is not controlled by springs but instead is driven by a small motor and cams. This system suppresses the impact typical of the camera's mirror, significantly reducing impact and its effects on the image. A new Time Release Lag setting, easily accessed on the menu system, offers added protection against camera shake by setting the shutter release time intentionally longer so the camera does not begin the exposure until after the impact of the camera's mirror has diffused.
Anti-Flicker Feature
With Canon's anti-flicker function, the camera is able to deliver accurate results under cycling lighting situations. Under flickering light, such as fluorescent lighting, a fast shutter speed may result in an irregular exposure. The anti-flicker function detects the frequency and phase of the flicker and captures images near the point of peak brightness when the subject is most likely well illuminated.
1.3x and 1.6x Crop Shooting
For still photography, the EOS 5DS features the flexibility of a cropping feature that extends the shooting effect 1.3x and 1.6x. With 50.6MP capture, cropped shots are possible with resolution to spare. Images recorded at 1.3x (APS-H) are approximately 30.5MP (6768 x 4512) Large/Fine JPEG, while images recorded at 1.6x (APS-C) are approximately 19.6MP (5424 x 3616) Large/Fine JPEG. Particularly useful in extending the range of telephoto lenses, the crop function also improves the subject tracking capability with almost the entire frame covered with AF points. Image cropping can be displayed in the viewfinder either masked or overlaid with an outline showing the cropped area, and in Live View shooting the image is cropped by the effect chosen. Aspect ratios can also be defined, with the EOS 5DS shooting in 1:1, 4:3, and 16:9 ratios, in addition to the default 3:2.
Full HD 30p Movie Capability
The Canon 5DS supports full HD 1080/30p movie capability and Time Lapse Movie function, which takes still photographs at set intervals and combines them into a full HD movie file, is provided. In addition HD and VGA resolution, numerous frame rates and ALL-I and IPB compressions are supported. Still images can be captured during video recording. A jack for an external microphone is provided.
Built-In Intervalometer and Bulb Timer
The EOS 5DS offers time-lapse fixed-point shooting and long exposures without the need for a remote control. The interval timer takes from 1 to 99 shots at pre-selected intervals (from 1 second to 99 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds, or unlimited), ideal for shooting flowers as they bloom or clouds drifting through the sky. Captured exposures can even be collected and saved as an HD movie. Its built-in bulb timer keeps the shutter open for a designated amount of time, perfect for night photography, to capture the flow of traffic on a street corner, or any other situation where long exposure photography is warranted.
3.2" ClearView II LCD Monitor
The 3.2" ClearView II LCD monitor has 1,040,000 dots, anti-reflective construction and features Canon's ClearView technology for a bright, sharp display in any number of shooting situations. It's ideal for reviewing settings and images, as well as for shooting in Live View mode. In Live View, grid lines can be displayed in 9 sections, 24 sections, or 9 sections with diagonals, as can the electronic level. For image review, the camera has a dedicated Magnify/Reduce button for zooming in or out (up to 16x) simply by pressing the button and turning the Main Dial. Images can be protected or erased quickly, individually or in batches, and slideshows can be created with some or all images and can be sequenced by date, folders, movies, stills or rating. A clear and simple feature guide found in the camera's menu provides detailed reference information whenever needed.
Intelligent Viewfinder II
The Intelligent Viewfinder II makes it easy to both shoot, change and confirm camera settings and shooting modes all without looking away from the viewfinder. Displaying approximately 100% of the composition, the viewfinder can show settings like shooting mode, exposure level, white balance, drive mode, AF operation, metering mode, recording format, an electronic level and more. All of this information can be displayed by or superimposed easily over the image for review while shooting, and multiple views are customizable through the camera's simple user interface.
Customizable Quick Control Screen
In addition to a conventional Quick Control screen, the EOS 5DS camera features a Quick Control button that enables the photographer to easily access the settings critical for the task at hand. The user can specify features to display, as well as their location and size on the screen.
Continuous Shooting
High-speed continuous shooting up to 5.0 fps allows you to capture fast-moving action at full resolution.
USB 3.0 and Other Connectors
The 5DS provides support for USB 3.0 connections as well as mini HDMI out, 3-pin input, and a PC terminal. The USB 3.0 digital terminal offers fast transfer to PCs and printers, plus connectivity to Canon's WFT-E7 (Version 2) for wireless transfer and Wi-Fi compatibility.
[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Camera Canon Megapixel Photography Mon, 09 May 2016 13:11:49 GMT
Why do I use a tripod so often? INTRODUCTION

There are a lot of potential issues that can arise when shooting HDR images. These problems include camera shake, motion blur, ghosting and more. Using a tripod can help you get the absolute most detail out of your HDR images. If you do not use a tripod, you will not yield the same results and quality when compared to using a tripod. 


As mentioned before, to get the most detail out of your HDR images, you need to use the tripod. The reason for this is simple. For example, if we have a camera that shoots at a frame rate of 3 frames per second and we are shooting a standard 3 frame-2 stops bracketed sequence, the quickest our camera can take these 3 images is 1 second because the camera shoots 3 images per second. This does not include the length of time the shutter is open for each shot. This means that in addition to the length of time the shutter speed is open for each shot, we also have to hold the camera perfectly still for an entire second while the camera cycles through each image in the bracketed sequence. In this example, that would be 3 images. Handholding the camera will be absolutely impossible. Even with a quick shutter speed, you will notice a bit of shifting in your images when you bring them into post production and go through them. This shifting, caused by handshake and body movement, will cause a reduction of overall detail when you layer these images, even when the images are properly aligned. You would not get the same kind of quality detail you would want out of that bracketed sequence, so it is important to use a tripod whenever you are shooting HDR photography.

Even if you have a top of the line professional DSLR that can shoot at a high frame rate per second, it is still best to use a tripod. In addition, different scenes may require the use of shutter drag. Shutter drag is where we are dragging the shutter out for 10-30 seconds at a time with the intention of either doing a bracketed sequence or a single-shot HDR. In these situations, it would be absolutely impossible to shoot these images without a tripod to hold the camera completely still.

[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Boat Basin Colour Harbour Ocean Photography Tripod Mon, 09 May 2016 12:45:05 GMT
The Sunny 16 Rule Part 1

The Sunny 16 rule has been around for a long time. In the early days of photography light meters were separate, hand held units. Photographers looked at the light and often gauged the exposure with their gut instance and experience. 

No matter what kind of camera you use the most important thing is to shoot subjects that your feel passionate about. Photography is all about seeing with your mind's eye and knowing what you want the final image to look like before you press the shutter release.

The great thing about the Sunny 16 rule is that it works.  To many it will seem odd to use a 'Rule' when we have state of the art light meters built into our cameras.


So why use the rule? 

  • Some light situations are very difficult for an electronic light meter to 'figure out'. In high contrast scenes the meter can easily be fooled and you will end up with images that are either too dark or too light. The other thing the camera cannot do is read your mind - and to me it's all about what YOU see she you look at a scene. Remember you know what you want the final image to look like - your camera does not.  
  • Taking responsibility for the end result. I shoot in RAW instead of jpeg. It takes the decision making away from the camera and puts it in my hands. By learning to judge light you take responsibility for how the image will turn out. It also just feels great when you get the results you want. 
  • Guessing exposure and using the Sunny 16 rule forces you to look at the scene and judge it for yourself. What parts are standing out? Is the light flat or contrasty? What do you want the image to look like when done? I think you will be surprised how quickly you change how you look at light.  


Here's the Rule:

On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the reciprocal of the ISO for a subject in direct sunlight.

  • If you are shooting at Iso 200 then your shutter speed will be 1/200s
  • If you are shooting at Iso 400 then your shutter speed will be 1/400s.
  • If you are shooting at Iso 800 then your shutter speed will be 1/800s.
  • Etc.  
  • Naturally you are free to use any equivalent exposure


‚ÄčI hope this helps. I'll be getting further into it in a future post. 



[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) 16 Colour Exposure Light Photography Rule Sunny Wed, 04 Sep 2013 01:34:21 GMT
High Dynamic Range (HDR) When done right HDR photography can create stunning images which can test our sense of reality in a photograph. There are a set of techniques that can help to accurately represent a range of light levels found in the real scene. From direct sunlight to deeply shaded parts of the scene HDR photography can bring out the parts of the scene that you want to see in your photograph. Personally I am not a fan of HDR software but prefer to assemble the 5 images that I typically use when shooting the scene in Photoshop. This leaves me with a flat and ready to process image. From that point I use standard techniques to bring the image to where I saw it in my mind's eye. 

More on this later...

[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Coast Colour HDR Nanaimo Ocean Photography Wed, 28 Aug 2013 04:36:54 GMT
Intense colours If you think buying an SLR camera will automatically give you more colourful landscape photos think again. A great camera will help by giving you the means to capture more vibrant images but you still need to take the steps to make it happen. So what's the solution? 


HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos. With HDR you blend a series of over and under exposed images into one image using your digital darkroom. 


Graduated ND (neutral density) filters. These filers will limit the amount of light in one part of the scene. Typically it will cut down on the light from the sky which is perfect for landscape photography. There are great benefits to both methods which I will get into in a different post. 



Being aware of the exposure in a given scene is critical to the end result. Too little exposure will leave you with dark, muddy muted images and too much will wash them out. I always look very carefully at the scene and decide which parts of the scene I want to be in perfect exposure and then use the spot meter on the camera to determine the correct exposure. The manual setting works best for this as it will hold the exposure and not change as you compose the shot. 



While you can take several steps to adjust how light enters the camera, you can also change the light of your environment.The sun has a fantastic way of adding depth and texture to a scene, but it’s not always helpful if your goal is deeply saturated colours.Try an upcoming landscape shoot under overcast skies. You’ll notice that the harsh highlights and dark shadows are gone, which allows you to capture more detail. And when you pick up more detail, you can photograph colour in its true, vibrant form.
I also prefer landscape images with interesting clouds. Not only does it have a way of neutralizing the sky to some extent - it also adds drama to the scene. 
I love to shoot during the 'Golden Hour' or 'Blue Hour' as some call it. That's the time just before the sun comes up or just after the sun sets. Colours are at their most intense and are typically 'cooler' allowing for much more saturated blues. You'll be surprised how blue the sky and water can be during these times. 
When you adjust both your exposure and your time you'll be rewarded with deep, rich colours.

[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Boat Basin Camera Coast Downtown Exposure HDR Harbour Light Ocean Photography Mon, 26 Aug 2013 23:59:54 GMT
Sunday Evening Downtown My friend Bijesh, my dog Winston and I spent a couple of hours roaming around Nanaimo's downtown harbour. The Blues Music Festival was still in full swing so there were quite a few people around. The light was very soft, yet it had a nice glow to it. Both of us got some great images. There was a canoe in Swy-a-Lana Lagoon - a first for me. 

[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Bastion Beach Boat Basin Canada Downtown Harbour Ocean Mon, 26 Aug 2013 03:59:04 GMT
Downtown Nanaimo Those of you who know me know that I love to photograph Nanaimo's gorgeous Downtown Harbour - also known as the boat basin. You can see gorgeous sunsets, stunning sunrises and moonrises, and take in a ton of activity. I tend to go downtown at least twice a day. Usually during the day and often when it's dark. 

If you see me please stop and say hello. I am always willing to chat about photography and am thrilled to answer any questions you may have. 




[email protected] (Vancouver Island Landscapes) Bastion Beach Boat Basin Canada Central Coast Coastline Downtown Harbour Horne Lake Moon Neck Point Ocean Qualicum Sunset Vancouver Island Waterfront West Coast dock water Sun, 25 Aug 2013 21:21:57 GMT