Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages – Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Copyright 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 70mm, f/16 for 1/4th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Palo Duro Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Photography, Texas High Plains, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography

Circle of Life?

Another landscape self portrait in a long series of shots from the great state of Texas!

Circle of Life

Circle of Life – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 19mm, f/14 for 1/15th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography, West Texas

Something Different

Here’s something I’ve been working on for the past few weeks while waiting for the weather to break and for autumn to actually begin here in Texas. A free copy of my latest book for the first person to identify all six objects in this product shot.

Race Gun

Race Gun – Sugar Land, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on manual using an EF 24-105m f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. Lighting was provided by natural light through a 1-stop diffuser and with a single 580EX II with a soft-box for fill and highlight. Post capture processing was done n Adobe’s Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Filed under: Photography Tagged: 1911, Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Kimber, Photography, Product Photography

The Splendor of Grapevine Hills

Grapevine Hills

Grapevine Hills – Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/14 for 1/60th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, West Texas

Learning to Use a Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Everyone knows I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy when it comes to getting the correct exposure “in-camera” as opposed to “in post”. For me, post-capture processing in Lightroom 4 or Photoshop CS6 is a matter of tweaking the RAW image to help recreate what I remembered seeing when I took the shot. A graduated neutral density filter is used to balance the exposure between the background and foreground of an image. As such, it is an essential tool that every landscape photographer should learn to use early in their career (or hobby). Yes, I know you could accomplish the same thing using a photo-blending technique like HDR but it’s much easier to do this “in camera” while you’re out in the field.

Subaru Forester Sunset

Subaru Sunset – Orchard, Texas
Copyright 2012 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 17mm, f/14 for 1/2 second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop, soft, graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 4.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

The way a graduated ND filter works is very simple, by reducing the amount of light transmitted through a portion of the filter to your camera’s sensor so that the foreground exposure more closely matches the background exposure. They are not perfectly matched mind you, just more closely. By positioning the graduated ND filter in front of the lens you can vary the amount of exposure “balancing” the filter does in each scene. You can position these filter by hand or by using a filter holder as shown in the image below.

This is my typical setup for a landscape shot with my 5D Mark II on a lightweight but sturdy tripod (Gitzo Traveller using an RRS ball-head) and a Singh-Ray graduated neutral density filter held in place by a Cokin “Z” holder, mounted on a wide angle lens. The graduated neutral density filter is generally a 2, 3 or 4-stop / soft ND grad made by Singh-Ray, a company that designs and builds the best quality photographic filters in the world.

Graduated Neutral Density Filter Setup

The purpose of the “ND Grad” filter used here was to “hold back” the bright sunset to balance foreground exposure in this late evening shot in Orchard, Texas. This allowed my DSLR to meter for the mid-tones without blowing out the bright highlights or losing all the shadow detail. The great thing about a graduated neutral density filter is that you, the photographer, have complete control over how much light the filter blocks by changing its position in the filter holder. Many photographers (myself included) prefer to hold the filter against the lens by hand, moving it to achieve exactly the effect we want.

On of my favorite landscape photographers Steve Kossack, is famous for teaching students “conscious control over colors and light” and a big part of his craft is in using the right filter at the right time. Steve’s also famous for hand-holding and moving his ND-Grad filters during the exposure so that each image is unique and one of a kind.

As Steve teaches, getting control of the colors and the light “in-camera” using a graduated neutral density is a great way to practice your craft in the field. Learning to properly use a few simple filters can extend your success and bring some much needed control to your landscape photography.

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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Really Right Stuff, Texas, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscapes, Texas Towns