Winter Storm Clouds

The Kansas State University Olathe campus is closed tomorrow because of the weather, still not sure if the campus here in Manhattan will be open or not.  I’m guessing it will be business as usual. Last week we got hit pretty good, maybe 7-8 inches of snow, not the 12-15 I was expecting and kinda hoping for, but I didn’t waste what “little” we had.  It started out as just a small group of us friends throwing snowballs at each other but it morphed into this epic snowball fight with like 20 people!  It was a lot of fun.

Anyway, with all this snowy weather we’re having, I decided to post this image.  I actually took this back in January.  I think I was on my way to class or on my way to the office.  I was carrying my camera, using my Carry Speed Strap, so it was handy and easy to get to.  I take my camera with me everyday, but I usually have it in my bag, and I’ve found that unless I have it out of the bag, even if I have it with me all the time, I’m not going to take more photos.  That’s why I got the Carry Speed Strap, so I could easily carry it outside the bag and be ready to take and make photos.

This photo is a HDR image.  I used Photomatix Pro to merge three DNG RAW photos bracketed from -2EV to +2EV.  I then imported the merged or tonemapped image into Aperture 3 (I use Aperture 3 to manage all my photos).  I did a few adjustments in Aperture like exposure and added contrast using curves.  I lightened certain parts of the image with the dodge tool, just brushing it in on parts of the lamp-post and some of the snow.  I also used the intensify contrast brush (I really like this one!) to darken the clouds in the background a bit more and make them stand out a bit.  I then used Nik Color Efex Pro Aperture plugin to bring out some more detail and add some “brilliance” to the photo.  The last step was to send it to Photoshop for sharpening with the unsharp mask filter.  That was pretty much it.

Winter Storm Clouds


Some details about this photo:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: DA* 16-50
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 16mm
Aperture: f/10
3 image HDR, bracketed from -2 EV to +2 EV




In case you didn’t know, the “Top of the World” is actually in Manhattan, Kansas, not the Himalayas, not Nepal!  Don’t believe me? Google it… okay, I know, I know, almost every town with anything taller than a mole hill has a “top of the world”.  Anyway, this last Sunday was my first time to check out the “Top of the World”, because it was the best place in town to view the eclipse, and it was actually my first time to photograph one.  If you are like “what eclipse?”… uhm, there was one on Sunday, May 20, 2012.  It was pretty cool.  Didn’t get to see the “ring of fire“, but it was an eclipse.

Just in case you want to know.  I had the Pentax K-5 with the DA-L 55-300 mounted on a tripod, had the camera set to aperture priority.  I used the lowest ISO possible for the K-5 – ISO 80.  The aperture was f.19, the focal length 190mm, and the resulting shutter speed after applying -1EV was 1/45 sec. There you have it.


Behind Tuttle Creek Dam

When I go out to Tuttle Creek Lake, I’m usually on the other side of the dam where I can see the lake.  This time around I was at the park behind the dam and climbed up on to the rocky shelf.  It was cloudy and late in the afternoon, so the sun was low, but there was a slight breeze, so once in a while the sun would shine through the clouds and light up the dead grass, giving it this golden sheen.