Blue Cypress Lake Pontoon Boat Photo Outing

Apr 23, 2011 | Photo Art & Montage

Yesterday I spent most of the day shooting. It all started about 4am in the morning. I had to wake up early to post something for this blog before driving an hour to Vero Beach. This was a last minute photo-outing, planned by a couple of friends… we ended up in Blue Cypress Lake, about 30 minutes west of Vero Beach. We got there just in time for a few sunrise shots.

The top main photo was taken at the boat ramp at Blue Cypress Lake. It was shot with my Canon Rebel XT. My main camera, the Canon 5D MK2, had a 100-400mm lens, so that wasn’t going to work for this shot. The Rebel XT had a Sigma 18-200mm lens and I needed the wide end of the lens to make this composition good.

The Rebel XT is my secondary camera for multiple use. Unfortunely this camera is pretty bad with noise, and lots of noise with HDR is hard to work with. I’ll eventually upgrade to a Canon Rebel T1 or T2. Why not get something more powerful than a Rebel? Because of the weight and size, I don’t need to lug around another full body camera. I might even consider Sony’s new SLR cameras with the translucent mirrors ;-)

This image was processed with a painterly look because of the high level of noise. Too much noise made the image very grainy, so I got creative. Luckily the painterly look made it come out very nice… a piece I could hang on my wall. Note… this image was shot as a panorama, so it’s actually six exposures, stitched together in Photoshop. I had to do this because my wide angle lens wasn’t wide enough to capture the whole scene that I wanted.

The other images are single exposure HDR… no way I was going to do any 3 exposure HDR from a moving boat ;-) I got creative with all the images to see what sort cool affect I could come up with. The photo of the osprey with the moon is real or in other words the moon wasn’t Photoshopped. Of course I was tempted to superimpose a sharper moon into the image but I restrained myself from doing so.

My day didn’t end at Blue Cypress Lake, I spent the rest of the day shooting a drifting event at the Palm Beach International Speedway, formerly known as Moroso. I’m sure most of you motorheads are looking forward to seeing those images. I’ll post them tomorrow… I might even post a video!

Learn Captain Kimo’s HDR techniques with his e-book…
“Secrets to Mastering HDR Photography”

Software Used for Processing Photo:
Photomatix – Used for creating high dynamic range.
Topaz Adjust – Photoshop plugin used to enhance details.
Topaz DeNoise – Photoshop plugin used to eliminate noise.
Topaz CleanPhotoshop plugin used to smooth pixels.
Topaz SimplifyPhotoshop plugin used for artistic affect.

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Photography Style: Single Exposure HDR
Digital Camera Used: Canon 5D Mark2 & Rebel XT
Lens Used: 18-200 & mm 100-400mm
Photo Location: Blue Cypress Lake, Indian River County, Florida