Tag Archives: exposure

Iceland Journal – “Goðafoss” – Northern Iceland

“Nature was pure, and still is.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

On day five of our ten-day Iceland trip, we drove through what felt like a rather long stretch of nothing much, as we departed the plains and low hills of Mývatn and headed towards Akureyri, Iceland’s’ second largest city. On our map we noted the location of Goðafoss and decided this was to be an extended stop on our journey.

As I found typical of Iceland, things are often not what you expect. The map showed Goðafoss close to the highway, but we expected a short side trip to get closer. As we rounded a bend, a large river appeared in front of us and there it was,Goðafoss, right next to the highway, a distant spray of green and white in the distance, some six kilometers ahead of us, yet is was clearly recognizable.

Goðafoss is not as big as I expected, with a vertical drop of about 12 meters and a width of 30 meters. Though not exactly as imagined, it’s a beautiful wide and complex waterfall, especially at this time of year, when the waters run cold and pure, no longer carrying the spring sediments which make the water cloudy and gray. This purity showcases the gorgeous green tones of the water, as it falls and as it pools beneath the falls. Goðafoss is the Skjálfandafljót river which flows north from central Iceland’s highlands.

As with many of the waterfalls we experienced, it was quite easy to gain close access to the waterfalls from well-marked access points. On our arrival, we set up our cameras close to the base of the eastern side of the falls, visible in my image  just left of the bottom center. This area is a small shelf of rock, covered in snow, at this time of year.

There were several other people there taking pictures and just enjoying the sight, for the most part, very respectful of others enjoyment of this beautiful place, including photographers, like me, setting up tripods to make long exposures. My son and I spend quite a bit of time shooting from different angles and at different speeds trying to capture the feel of this fall.

I have several decent images, but none really resonate with me, so we headed up to the top, where there is a large viewing platform, with good visibility of the falls. Once more, there were quite a few people taking pictures; some avid photographers with tripods and filters, as well as the casual tourists and the ever-present ‘selfie seekers’, posing in various positions along the railings.

This platform yielded the best photos, though I was unprepared for the brightness of the freshly fallen snow and did not have a good neutral density filter with me to compensate for this. Generally, I can accomplish good light balance through ISO, aperture, and exposure settings, but I maxed them all out trying to get a long exposure. The image above is the best of my attempts, and despite the challenging light, I think it turned out alright, showcasing the bright snow and deep emerald waters. What it can’t show is just how cold this water is. The only evidence being the thin ice-floes accumulating in the foreground, just off my initial vantage point.

Nikon D300
TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF A16NII @ 22 mm
1/6 sec, F/29, ISO 125

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Cool Runnings” – Papineau Creek

“Cool Runnings” - Papineau Creek

“The river moved so swiftly and yet it had no purpose other than to flow, just flow.”
― Gioconda Belli

During a recent backcountry drive, I tried to retrace my route to a little gem of a park I found a few years back. There is no road sign identifying the park, just an unmarked road that leads to a beautiful groomed park on the shores of Papineau Creek, near Maynooth, Ontario.

Just before the creek enters the park area, it flows through a short set of rapids. On a hot summer day this was a nice spot to stop and cool down by the water, make some photos, and just enjoy the refreshing sound of the water as it gurgles over the rocks.

It was quite a bright day and without a neutral density filter,  it look a bit of effort to get my shutter speed down enough to soften the flow of the water. I used strategic timing of passing clouds to finally get the results I was after, keeping the rocks nice and sharp and highlighting the movement of the water.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom
@ 110 mm
1 sec, f/32.0, ISO 125

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“Daisy and the Darkness”- Secord Forest

“Daisy and the Darkness” - Secord Forest

“Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.”
― Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S

Hmm, this sounds like the title for a love story involving some damsel and some adversary.

This single daisy shone like a beacon in the distance, against the dark forest, as I turned a bend in the trail a few days ago. It was so singularly bright that nothing else registered to me. As I neared, a few background details started to emerge in my vision, but it was still that single, brilliant daisy that dominated.

I was hoping to capture that brilliance and singularity in this photo and I believe I have. My camera allows me to set ‘center-weighted exposure’ to an 8mm diameter, though it’s not a go-to setting for me. I do, however, have it set in my camera menu for the odd time I use it, as in this image. This allowed me to set exposure correctly for the bright white petals, while keeping the background near black, still showing some of the green stem.

In reflecting back on the image, it looks like a rend in the forest’s cloth of darkness.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Conservatory Fountain” – Casa Loma, Toronto

“Conservatory Fountain” - Casa Loma

Another long exposure from my visit to Toronto’s Casa Loma. This one is from the Conservatory. A bright spacious room, with a stunning stained glass domed roof. The Conservatory once once held beautiful plants in all seasons. Today it is largely empty but beautiful, nonetheless. The Conservatory is surrounded by large, ornate windows, has Italian marble floors in pink and grey and the walls are lined with pink Ontario marble, quarried in the Bancroft area.

I was fascinated by the fountain, located in an alcove, which was running very slowly and I wanted to see what the image would look like as a long exposure. By Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 has incredible vibration reduction, so I took my chances on a narrow aperture, long exposure, to see what the final image might look like.

The image above is the result of a 1/8 sec handheld exposure. It freezes the water drops as they fall from the fountain bowls, yet still captures the details of the fountain itself.

I have not been to Casa Loma for about 40 years. My last memory was going there on a school trip, but I remember how grand the building was. It was definitely worth the re-visit.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm @ 155mm
1/8 sec @ f/29, ISO 250

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