Some Shots From a Recent Hike

Golden Cliffs
The Golden Hour (the hour or so before sunset) lives up to its name with these golden cliffs. This is a 3 shot panorama which, after I cropped down to cut out some distracting rocks at the bottom, and too much sky at the top, came out to be 16.2 megapixels. A mere .4 megapixels more than my camera's sensor. But it's where those pixels went that make it more useful than a regular shot. At over 6,200 pixels in length it's far longer than the 4,592 pixels the camera can take in a single shot. A single shot with the camera would have had me choosing to cut out either the large rock on the left or some cliff on the left, so this worked out for me. With moving water it's important to try and get a lull in the waves when shooting through your sequence of shots for easier stitching together and to move quickly once you've prepared to shoot. I use my auto exposure and focus lock set on what I picture as being the center part of the photo then start shooting from left to right.

While looking through the camera I noticed what I thought were lighter rocks on top of those darks rocks in the middle of the panorama. Zooming in and I see they're not rocks at all.

Sunning Seals
It might still be hard to see in this crop (I didn't have a super zoom lens on me) but those are seals on the rocks sunning themselves. This is a crop from a 15.8 megapixel shot down to a 2.1 megapixel shot. And it might still not be good enough. The resolution power of my camera is pretty much at the limit here and a telephoto lens would have been a better choice.

My original goal for this hiking outing was to setup for a nice sunset to grab my shot for +The Patch - PhotogrAphy Themed CHallenge for week 3. Our theme was Inspiration and Renewal. But on the way to where I was going to shoot I happened across this.

Week 3: Inspiration / Renewal
I really liked the sun rays and the light hitting off the grass. I was in a hurry to get to my spot so I grabbed a couple handheld shots at f22 (it really gets those sunbursts to pop) and went on my way. Thing is I didn't like my sunset shots for the theme, but I kind of liked this shot. Problem is the original of this shot had the foreground so dark it wasn't a really great shot. Normally I would have taken some exposure brackets to HDR the shot, but I didn't do that. So I tried a single shot HDR. This is not something I normally like doing as I feel it pushes the RAW file too far. A single shot HDR takes advantage of the RAW file's extra data to try and fill-in the blanks in highlight and shadow areas. It does an admirable job in a pinch, but I wouldn't normally recommend this method as a general practice. This photo is one of the few times I'll say DON'T look at it large sized because then you will see the destruction of pixels. Maybe I'll try to reshoot this in a standard HDR.

Pewetole Island at Sunset
 My sunset shot. I really like this shot as it shows the sunset playing off the sides of Pewetole Island in the foreground and Trinidad Head in the background. The reds and purples really play well off the sides of Trinidad Head and the incoming fog. This is a 7 shot HDR.

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