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Explore / May 21st, 2011

B 9830 C 45 E May 20, 2011 F May 20, 2011
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A thunderstorm started on the other side of the river - a perfect occasion to set my tripod on the balcony and try some luck.

My setup for capturing lightning is dead simple - I go manual and set an exposure time of a few seconds, choosing an appropriate aperture (5.6 or 8, with ISO 100). Now, just pull the trigger and have hope :). The ambient gets underexposed by 2-3 stops, while any lightning occuring during the exposure is captured perfectly - it is very short, yet bright enough to burn into the image.

The image hit Explore at #29. Thanks everybody!

Tags:   lightning

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Venice Beach, California

Tags:   thephonecall Venice Beach

B 3472 C 75 E May 18, 2011 F May 20, 2011
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Almost a year since I did a HDR image. Went a bit over the top with this one, but I like it.

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It was a misty and foggy evening with the moon peeking out. The light was not looking good at the beach so this was my backup plan. No HDR necessary when the scene is evenly lit!

Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!

You must see the super-big 800x2400 pixel version!
www.flickr.com/photos/patrick-smith-photography/574107829...

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Settings etc.:
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Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-105L @67
3-photo panorama with edges cut off to make it exactly a 1x3 ratio
3 30-second exposures @ F11
Stitched with Autopano, no problems
No filters
No polarizer
ISO 50
Small Slik tripod with Manfrotto 322RC2 pistol grip ball head
RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One
TIFF file processed with Photoshop

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Story:
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There are many great photographic vantage points in San Francisco. So when I'm there for a sunset,it is really hard to choose from the vast and comprehensive menu! Parking can be a bit of a challenge though, even at night.

The only difficult thing about making this picture were the sea lions that were constantly swimming by making patterns in the water. Even on these 30-second exposures, the patterns are obvious and can spoil the smooth reflections. So I waited for the wakes to calm down and shot between them since I only get about 4 minutes where the moonlight, sunset light and city lights are even. There was also a human swimmer but when he saw me he courteously stayed away with the sea lions circling him. They seem to be friendly.

Actually there is one long sea lion trail that is just below the boat in the center. I'll mark it with a note. And if you ever go to San Francisco, try the Ghirardelli Chocolate!

The map shows exactly where this is. It was taken from the Municipal pier at the end of Van Ness Ave.

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Resources:
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Google Earth
earth.google.com/

Simply the best way to scout out locations that there is. You can see sun angles and pre-visualize light under lots of different conditions. Sometimes you can actually pre-compose your shots! This has saved me many thousands of vertical feet of climbing by avoiding spots with blocked views etc.

Satellite imagery (choose 'National' for a local US region or use your fave website)
www.wrh.noaa.gov/satellite/?wfo=mtr

Tide charting and preditions: (chose your area in US, other countries have similar websites)
tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/tide_predictions.shtml?gid=235

Wave Heights (I choose 'North Pacific from Global')
polar.ncep.noaa.gov/waves/main_int.html
Or Here:
www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/RP1bw.gif

Photos of every inch of the California coastline from a small plane. Excellent for close in detailed views.

www.californiacoastline.org/

I get my cameras, filters, etc. here:

www.bhphotovideo.com/
or
www.adorama.com/

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Tags:   landscape seascape photography san francisco municipal pier van ness ghirardelli square fishermans wharf transamerica building millenium tower coit tower long exposure bay water united states usa

B 9753 C 113 E May 19, 2011 F May 20, 2011
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It is hard to believe that my baby boy is almost two weeks old already...He is such a sweet kid I could eat him with a spoon! :D
Yesterday we made our first family photo shoot, and it was lots of fun (except the part when I got peed on, but hey, at least it was warm :P )
I am starting to fall into some sort of routine here, so I hope to be around more often to catch up with you guys!
Oh and THANK YOU so much for all birthday wishes - you guys got me all smiling once again :***

Tags:   Bogna Quizz Tym Proggie Noel Baby Son newborn infant fuzzy cute cozy boy


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