Bellamy, First and Last

Bellamy Harbor Park

I hauled my butt out into the morning so I capture the sunrise yesterday. There was finally the right amount of clouds on the horizon to make it look interesting. I didn’t venture far, I stopped at Bellamy Harbor Park. I grabbed a few different views prior to the sun breaking over the horizon.

Before I moved to the opposite end of the park I lowered my ISO as far as it would go so I could stretch out the exposure. The water was moving at a fairly good clip so I knew this wouldn’t create the mirror like surface I had at Delta Lake, but the effect was pretty good. Although, considering it was the second day of Spring at little warmer weather would have been nice.

As sunset fast approached I considered my options for where to go to close out the day. As I’m starting to drive out of the city I thought, “why not end where it started?”. I drove to the opposite end of Bellamy Harbor to capture the reciprocal view of the canal. The view didn’t strike as dramatic as my sunrise but the two images should compliment each other nicely.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 2.5s, 29mm, f/11, ISO 64


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Say Goodnight

Say Goodnight
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/80s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 200

Water Mirror

Delta Lake State Park

When I was at Delta Lake the other night capturing the sunset there was another photographer on the beach. She had the best location and I tried to wait for her to grab the images she wanted before I interrupted but she was exploring a lot of different angles in that spot. I eventually realized she was not going to be done before the sun slipped away so I chanced walking up to her to see if I could share her location. She graciously agreed there was plenty of beach for both of us.

We chatted a little as we both went about our process. She was working on some long exposure images and I realized the conditions were ripe for doing so. For the last few captures, I threw my 4-stop ND filter in front of the lens and stretched the exposure out to 2.5 seconds. It was enough to smooth most of the water and create a nice mirror-like reflection of the sunset.

I photograph this section of Delta Lake quite often, some could say a lot! Maybe it is the easy access, maybe it is the direction of the sunset that makes it so easy. Either way, I never get tired of seeing this view, especially when there are a few lingering clouds in the sky to add a layer of color. I’m beginning to think orange and blue are my go to colors… 🙂


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Water Mirror

Water Mirror
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 12mm, 2.5s, f/16, ISO 64


Beachcomber Revisited

What I Have Learned
Delta Lake State Park

I thought I would try something a little different today. While I was post-processing my image for yesterday’s post I was thinking about how often I visit Delta Lake but I manage to come home with images I want to share. That led me to thoughts of my early work when I was attempting to understand my camera and to really become a photographer.

I went back to an image at Delta Lake from November 2012. It was and still is a a favorite image of mine. I look at this image now and see all the changes I would make to it if I was creating it today. The changes are not really about the newer software for post-processing or my skill at using them, it is about my vision. I know I capture fewer images now than I did when I was starting out, but I feel I capture better images to express myself.

Well, that was a little long winded… What I wanted to do in this post is look at my original image and walk through the changes I would make today. So, here we go…


MLCreations Photography: Landscapes &emdash; Beachcomber

Beachcomber – Original
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, {0.4, 1/10 & 1/40s bracket}, 17mm, f/16, ISO 200


Back when I was starting on this journey, everything was HDR (High Dynamic Range) and I felt I needed to bracket every view in order to create the image I wanted. This image was no different. I captured -1, 0 & +1 exposures and threw the images into Photomatix in order to get what I wanted. I was also very much in love with the 16×9 image format (don’t ask me why…). Looking at this image I also see how “heavy” I went with my use of plug-ins for Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I had a full compliment of Topaz Labs plug-ins which I had won in a contest and I did not let them sit idly by..

My changes… First up, I processed the original exposed image, no HDR, I didn’t need it. I have learned how to better coax the lights and shadows into my image the way I want them to be displayed. I re-cropped the image to a 5×7 format. I want to bring a little more of the sky into view. This re-balances the image for me. Back in 2012 I knew about the rule of thirds but I don’t think I fully appreciated how/when to utilize it.

The next step was to remove the two yellow/green sun flare areas on the right side of the image. They are the first thing I notice when I look at my original image. They are still slightly in the new image but I know what I’m looking for, the normal viewer will not see them. The next correction I wanted to make was the colors. For one, my original HDR processed resulted in a “muddy” looking image. My heavy-handed processing only accentuated the problem by creating a grey overall tone. I feel like I’m looking at this image through a pair of sunglasses.

In Lightroom I adjusted the image to be brighter and to keep the color of the sky actually blue. I will admit I still use plug-ins but I have a better understanding of how to use the software to enhance my “look” rather than to overwrite the image with a pre-determined style. I added contrast to the shadows and mid-tones to bring out the texture of the sand. I adjusted the color to remove and color cast captured by the camera due to me shooting into the sun. I also wanted to highlight the colors of the sunset but not use them to overtake the image.

As much as I am happy with my original image, this revisited version, in my opinion, is a better representation of the scene. I like the color balance and the image itself is better balanced. Maybe I like it because it reflects my current style, that might be a contributing factor. You’ll have to let me know what you think…


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Beachcomber Revisited

Beachcomber Revisited
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1/10s, 17mm, f/16, ISO 200


Come Back to Me

Delta Lake State Park

After a very interesting day at work where more discussion concerning the next few weeks occurred than actual work, I definitely needed to wander outside with my camera. Even though the sun is setting later due to the spring time adjustment I didn’t leave myself a lot of time, which meant Delta Lake would be my destination for the sunset. I assumed there was more ice melt and I would be able to photograph some reflections. It did not disappoint.


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Come Back to Me

Come Back to Me
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/60s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

Follow the Ice

Delta Lake State Park

Last night was the first “super moon” of the year, the last full moon of winter, the “Worm Moon”. I had a great plan. I would be at Bellamy Harbor to photograph the sunset, then turn around and capture the moon rise. I knew exactly where I would be to capture both moments. It would be easy, the two events were minutes apart.

Driving home from work there were a few clouds in the sky but that was OK, it would add to my sunset. Driving East from Syracuse there were not as many clouds in that direction which is what I would need for the moon rise. It was a good plan.

As I made dinner I noticed the sky was getting cloudier. It only had to hold off until 7:30pm. By then the moon would have cleared the horizon and I would have my image. It was not to be. By 6:30pm, when I would have left to go to the park, there was barely any blue left in the sky. Damn, those clouds moved fast.

So, rather than a cool post with a sunset and a moon rise, you get another view of Sunday’s sunset at Delta Lake. This one has a little more of the ice in the frame…


MLCreations Photography: Blog Post Related &emdash; Follow the Ice

Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/250s, 20mm, f/11, ISO 200