Merced Camera Club, Getting The Picture
Getting The Picture

This is a monthly (or so) feature of our site, in which Merced Camera Club members provide their thoughts
about the creation of some of our favorite images.

June, 2013

"Yosemite Meadow Cathedral Rocks" -- Fred Courter

How itís done:

On a recent trip to Yosemite to get the moonbow across Yosemite Falls, I got this shot. While we were waiting for the sun to set (around 8pm) and the moon to make its appearance, I looked west towards Cathedral Rocks and saw this great light happening. I moved my tripod about 25í west of the group. Looking at the bright light of the sky and cliffs, and the shadows in the meadow, I knew I couldnít just set the camera for 5 bracketed shots. So I determined to shoot it manually. My camera is a Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm lens, (70mm) F/4.5, ISO 125, starting at 1/800s, and ending at 1/40s shutter speed, for 14 SHOTS! The only thing I changed for the shot was the shutter speed. I then merged the 14 shots through HDR Efex Pro using a very light setting. Combining the shots made it possible to get that light and shadows on the cliffs and the meadow which was in all shadow. The changing light in Yosemite is amazing at times. I think it pays to keep an eye on whatís happening around you while waiting for another shot to happen. If I hadnít I wouldnít have gotten this shot.

Below is the image if my camera was set at automatic. It is one of the 14 shots, this one in the middle of the 14. As you can see, the sky is blown out and trees and meadow too dark. Using my HDR EfeX Pro was the program of choice for merging all 14 images. If I had shot this scene on manual, the meadow would be fine but the trees and cliffs in shadow would have been black and the far cliffs and sky would have been blown out. As you can see, on the left side of the image I did some cloning of some people, a car and an out of focus fence. I thought these were too much of a distraction if I left them in.

The Birdie

Getting The Picture Archives

"Patriotism," Tom Frazier

"Baby Blue Eyes," Robert Dayton

"Stark Existence," Jim Cunningham

"The Old Barn" -Carlene Cunningham

"Dance" -Sam Shaw

"Snow Geese Flight Pattern" -Lloyd Bever

"Wildflower Trail" -Floyd Hopper

"Sunflower" -Andy Tolsma

"Dramatic Bridal Veil Falls" -Karen Campbell

"Light Bulb" -Brian Ratzlaff

"Mirror Image" -Tom Kidd

"The Hug" -Joy Ullrich

"Orchid Blooms" -Walt Jacoby

"DC Visit" -Doug Torres

"Jackrabbit" -Lloyd Hall