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Tag: David Fitzsimmons

HDR Photography + Focus Stacking

“Wild Chervil at Sunrise, Kelleys Island, Ohio.” Photographed during the 3rd Annual sponsored Island Photo Adventure photo workshop sponsored by Sigma. Nikon D800E. Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM. f/16. 1/15 second. ISO 100.  Nikon cable release. Gitzo GT2541EX tripod and GH2780QR ball head. This image was processed using both Helicon Focus stacking software and Photomatix Pro HDR software. Photo © 2013 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

In my workshops and presentations over the past few years, I have discussed my extensive use of two powerful software packages: Helicon Focus and Photomatix. Helicon Focus stacks multiple images, each focused on different planes, creating one super-focused image. Photomatix combines multiple images photographed with different exposure values, creating one file with a super-wide exposure range.



The Difference of One F-Stop

© 2013 David FitzSimmons | Wild Geranium F-Stop Study Animated GIF. The Botanic Garden at Smith College, Northampton, MA, USA. Sigma SD1 Merrill. Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro. Sigma remote. Gitzo GT2541EX tripod and GH2780QR ball head.

In conjunction with Sigma and Hunt’s Photo, I recently lead a garden photography workshop at The Botanic Garden of Smith College in Northampton, MA. There and anywhere I lead a workshop dealing with macro photography, I always stress the importance of choosing your f-stops wisely.



Experimenting with Polarizer Filters

A polarizer filter helped bring out the blue sky in this shot taken during the Sigma FitzSimmons Photography Island Adventure photo workshop on Kelleys Island, Ohio. By turning my polarizer, I was able to bring out the blue skies over Lake Erie. Sigma SD1 Merrill. Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM lens set at 18mm. f/11, 1/15 sec. ISO 100. Sigma 77mm Circular DG Polarizer Filter. Gitzo GT2451EX tripod with Gitzo ball head. Processed in Sigma Photo Pro 5.5, optimized in Adobe Photoshop CS5, NIK Viveza plug-in applied. Photo © 2013 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

It’s pretty well known that a polarizer filter may deepen the color of blue skies, but the more subtle effects of a polarizer are often less known–and certainly worth exploring.

Polarizers limit the light that penetrates through them. As such, they help reduce contrast. Polarizers are like prison bars, where the light bouncing up and down through the bars passes through, but the light waves traveling horizontally do not. Of course, polarizing filters can be rotated, changing which directional light reaches a camera’s sensor and which does no



Spring along the New River

A mid-morning blue sky, peppered with cumulus clouds, accentuates the New River Gorge Bridge and the hillsides below. New River Gorge, West Virginia, USA. Sigma SD1 Merrill. Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM lens. f/5.6, 1/200 sec. ISO 100. Sigma 77mm polarizer filter. Gitzo G2228 tripod with Gitzo ball head. Processed in Sigma Photo Pro 5.5. Two TIFFs, 1 stop apart, processed in Photomatix. The resulting image optimized in Adobe Photoshop CS5, NIK plug-ins applied. Photo © 2013 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

In spring, as life slowly fills the dormant West Virginia landscape, color bursts forth everywhere. It seems that wherever you point your camera, you get good images. While leading photography field sessions at the New River Birding and Nature Festival this May, I was stirred by the hues sweeping across the mountains in West Virginia. Each day, festival leaders take participants to a variety of locations, and, while much of the week focuses on bird watching and photography, many trips include beautiful landscapes.



Aurora Ice Museum

Two knights joust in this ice sculpture by world champion ice carvers Steve and Heather Brice. These life-size figures are featured in the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort, Chena Hot Springs, Alaska. Seven exposures processed in Sigma Photo Pro and then combined into on HDR image in Photomatix Pro. Sigma SD1 camera, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM lens (10mm), Gitzo GT2541EX tripod and ball head. Shutter speed: 1/15s to 4s | Aperture:  f/11 | ISO 100. © 2013 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Recently I traveled to Chena Hot Springs, a beautiful, well-appointed, and environmentally responsible resort located about 50 miles east of Fairbanks, Alaska. While you would expect to find ice sculptures mid-winter in the 49th state, at Chena Hot Springs Resort’s Aurora Ice Museum you can find exquisite frozen artwork year-round.



Point Reyes Photo Workshop

Q: What do you get when you combine sun, sand, waves, and wildlife with eager nature photographers? A: A great […]



Finding and Photographing CURIOUS CRITTERS

You never know where your next picture is going to come from. Whether it’s travel photography, weddings, portraiture, or whatever, […]



Top Five Nature Photography Subjects

I’ve been reflecting on some of the most popular photography subjects across my career—images used most frequently in books, magazines, […]



Mississippi River: Patterns of Industry

Barge and freighter along the Mississippi River near New Orleans, Louisiana. Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens and Sigma Circular Polarizer Filter mounted on a Nikon D2X. 200 mm, f/5; 1/500 sec; ISO 200; hand-held; OS on. Processed in Adobe Raw Converter and Photoshop CS5; NIK Viveza 2 and Sharpener Pro 3.0 plug-ins applied. Photo copyright David FitzSimmons 2012. All rights reserved.

The first lens many people think of for landscape photography are wide angles. While I utilize wide and super-wide glass […]