December 31, 2010

Star Trails

While spending some time in the mountains over Christmas, I took advantage of the opportunity to shoot some star trails.  I worked on this two different nights and used two different techniques.  The first night, I did one 60 minute exposure.  The challenge with this process is that you end up dealing with a lot of camera noise and it can be tricky to get the exposure correct.  My settings for this image were:  3633 Sec - f/8 - ISO 200 - 16mm.  Overall, the results weren't too bad.  I added some fill light and contrast adjustments in Lightroom 3 as well as some noise reduction.  The combination of the long exposure and the bit of ambient light allowed for some detail in the snowshoes and skis in the foreground.  I'm not sure where the light is coming from that is causing the bright area in the background.

For the second image, I did things a little differently.  Instead of one long exposure, I took multiple shorter exposures and then combined them in post-processing.  It was much easier to get the exposure correct and because of the relatively short exposures, camera noise was not an issue.  With this image, I left the Christmas lights (solar-powered) on; they would have been completely blown out in the long-exposure image.  My settings for the images were: 30 Sec - f/2.8 - ISO 400 - 16mm.  I set my camera on continuous shooting and manual focus.  I used my cable release and locked the shutter open.  I let it run for more than an hour and ended up with 104 images.  I had originally planned on around 200 images, but I got started late and had to quit because the nearly-full moon was coming up.  You can see the effects of the moonlight on the foreground snow, skis, and snowshoes.  I think it really adds some depth to the image.  The images were converted to jpegs in Lightroom and then combined in a free software program that I downloaded from  This simple but effective program only took a few minutes to process the images.  I saved the result as a tiff file and then did some final tweaks in CS5.  Overall, this is a much stronger image.  The foreground detail and the clean, noise-free sky and star trails work really well together to create an image with impact.

December 30, 2010

Frozen Eggs

Nothing too exciting photographically about this one, I just thought it was interesting.
This is a half dozen eggs that got a little too cold on our recent stay in the mountains.
They actually peeled quite easily and cooked up just fine.

December 28, 2010

Moonlit Night

I took this image during our recent stay at a Yurt in the Uinta mountains over Christmas.
This was taken through the window in the door at 4:45 in the morning.  This scene is completely lit by moonlight.
I love the cold, quiet feel of this image.  This is a 30 second exposure at f/2.8 and ISO 100.

Canon 1D Mk IV - Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L - Manfrotto Tripod & Ballhead


While spending a few days in the mountains over Christmas, I had the opportunity to capture a couple of shots of the sunrise and sunset.
While they aren't overly dramatic, they are still beautiful.

Canon 1D Mk IV - Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L - Manfrotto Tripod & Ballhead

December 27, 2010

Through the Window

A couple of views through the windows of the Tabernacle on on Temple Square.

Canon 5D Mk II - Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L - Manfrotto tirpod & ballhead

December 22, 2010

The Assembly Hall

A few more images form my time at Temple Square.

Canon 5D Mk II - Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L - Manfrotto tripod and ballhead

December 20, 2010


While wandering Temple Square, we came across these luminaries.  I don't remember seeing these in the past, they were pretty neat.

Canon 5D Mk II - Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L - Manfrotto tripod and ballhead

December 19, 2010

Salt Lake Temple

Got to spend some time shooting the lights last night at Temple Square with my buddy Rusty.  The skies were a lot more cloudy than we had hoped for, but they weren't a total loss.

Images were taken with the Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L, and Manfrotto tripod and ballhead.

December 15, 2010

Exploding Pete

While wandering the Christmas lights the other night, Pete and I took a minute to try out something a little different.  This effect was created by combining my flash with a slow shutter speed and zooming the lens.  These aren't bad, but I want to play around with this technique a little more.

Canon 5D Mk II - Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L IS - Lumipro LP160
Canon cable release - Manfrotto tripod and ballhead

December 13, 2010

3rd Round Of Christmas Lights

This is the third round of images from my wander around the Christmas Lights in downtown Ogden.  For this series, I used a slow shutter speed and my cable release with my camera mounted on my tripod.  The difference with these is that instead of using my tripod set firmly on the ground, I had it on my shoulder as I walked around the lights.  I used my cable release to fire random shots.  The motion made for some interesting and random shots.

All images were taken with the Canon 5D Mk II and Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L lens, Manfrotto tripod and ballhead and Canon cable release.

December 12, 2010

2nd Round Of Christmas Lights

We spent a bit of time wandering around the Christmas Village in downtown, Ogden tonight.
These were all taken using a tripod and a slow shutter speed.  I used various combinations of panning and twisting the barrel of the lens while the shutter was open to create the different effects.
All images were taken with the Canon 5D Mk II and Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L IS lens.
Canon cable release and Manfrotto tripod and ball head.

December 5, 2010


We put up the tree today.  I couldn't resist snapping a few ornament shots.
Images were taken with the Canon 1D Mk IV and Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L lens.