Before Mowing



Before MowingUpper Grassy Hill, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Yesterday being Saturday, I only worked until four o’clock. I stopped for gas before heading for home but it was still earlier than usual as I approached Good Hill and a vista I never tire of. I had the time, and the gear was all in the car, so I parked on the verge of the road and got out the camera. There was no hurry, so I took a moment to mount a Really Right Stuff L bracket to the camera and mounted my 70mm lens which is the equivalent of a 105mm on a full frame camera. I grabbed the tripod and camera bag and walked over into the field in search of the angle I was looking for and a fairly level spot to set up.

It was my plan to shoot this as a panorama stitched from three or four images so I took extra care leveling the tripod, and for the first time it occurred to me that I could use the level app on my iPhone; it worked great. Once the ball head was level I mounted the camera in vertical orientation then used the K5’s built in level to level the camera. This all sounds like a chore, but it isn’t if you’re not in a rush like I often am. I turned off the auto focus and set the focus using the hyper focal scale on the lens and was able to pretty much leave it set from then on. Exposure mode was set to manual to keep the panned exposures constant, and I used my incident light meter to determine the exposure setting of 1/90th at f11 with the ISO set to 100. Oh, and for a change, I remembered to turn off the image stabilization, something I don’t always remember. With all this done it was just a matter of waiting for the clouds to march across the sky.

I think all together I took about ten sets on images, not all of this exact view, sometimes using five exposures, but mostly four. Time passed as I waited for the clouds that would appear in the photograph, and the clouds that were passing in front of the late afternoon sun. I changed lenses a couple of times; switching to my fifty and even my thirty-five, and while I was getting one of them out of the bag, which was hanging from the center column tripod, I realized I could be listening to music on the iPhone, which I did, and it was a treat! All I needed was a camp chair and a glass of wine and I would have been set to stay until dark. Reminded myself of my post “The Painter”.

This is more information about the process of making an image than I usually post, but it was such an unusual situation for me it just felt good to go over it, especially after this morning’s “photo-dash”. Thanks for humoring me.

Pentax K5IIs with 70mm f2.4 lens. Processed in Photoshop CS4 and converted to black and white in Nik Silver Efex Pro2.






2 comments on “Before Mowing

  1. Marc Isolda says:

    nicely done and nicely related, super!!!!!


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