All posts tagged boat

… of the adventure.
Day one was mostly spent sleeping and recovering from the 30+-hour traveling.
Day two was also still that. I was surprisingly tired. I don’t usually take naps during the day, but I simply had to. Lot of impressions, lots to read, lot of information t process and then two dives.
Two dives, which went totally fine, but -of course- filled with excersize and no camera. Gritting teeth… Several times…
But I will get my pictures!

For now you’ll just have to do with the last remainder of the sunset. I missed it, because I was out cold for two hours.
It’s still pretty, I think. Last night I watched it completely, and it was stunning, but I was too tired to pull out the camera and the tripod. But I’ll be here for about 4 weeks, so I’m sure you’ll see a few sunsets (and/or sunrises) come by.

Camiguin sunset

D800, ISO100, 30 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

I’ve got some more bugs coming up for you, but this one I wanted to share first.
We were up in the wilderness again, and the weather forecast was dreadful. As usual one should never trust the weather forecast. Those forecasters couldn’t even predict the entrance of an elephant if they were riding in on it…
It turned out to be probably one of the best weekends of this thing we call summer in this country. Absolutely gorgeous!

Kuhmoinen panorama

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm.
Panorama stitched together in Photoshop from 7 pictures

Sometimes I complain… It’s usually about the Finnish weather. Or the Finnish people. And I think in a lot of cases I do have the right to complain *grins* But this post isn’t a complaint. It IS about the Finnish weather, and about Finnish people, though.
We spent the weekend in the summer house in the Finnish wilderness, on the border of civilization. I love that. I love to go back to basics, where all the luxuries of today’s society stay behind, and you get to relax without all the stress of the city in your head. The quietness, save for the buzzing of the insects, the chirping of the birds, “old-fashioned” wooden sauna (for which you have to chop some wood into small pieced first, because the big logs don’t catch fire out of the blue), mowing the lawn, violently letting yourself go on the man-high weed with a scythe and of course the cheers from the Olympics coming out of the TV.
Owwait… Hang on…
Right… The TV… Ok, in the time of the Olympics we’re allowed that little bit of luxury. But really, usually the tv stays off. There are better things to do 😀

But this is not really about that either. We were talking weather and Finnish people.
We were visiting the Better Half’s relatives in that area. She hadn’t seen them in many, many years, and it was my first time, I’d never met them before, and they’d never met me before. Complete strangers to each other, that’s what we were.
See, if you are that to someone down here in Helsinki you’re being avoided like the plague, basically. But up there, on the border of civilization, people are actually much more civilized than in the big city. It almost reminded me of home, where you greet people in the street, even if you don’t know them. Where you can look at each other, look each other in the eyes on the street, without getting a look back asking “What the f**k do you want from me?”
We were invited in as if we were living there. Got the grand tour around the house, were to stay for dinner AND sauna (and a swim afterwards in the lake, about 40 paces away from the sauna), but before all that we were taken out onto the lake to catch our own dinner. Now THAT’s the kind of unconditional civilization that I like. No questions asked -well, of course, a lot of questions asked, but you get my point- and you’re showered with hospitality. The kind of hospitality that has seeped away into the sewers of individuality in the big cities (plural here, because it’s not just Helsinki in which you find this kind of behavior).

And the place… Oh my dear… That little piece of paradise. And that with the weather we had during the weekend…
If I’d have a dime to spare I would be gone from here in an instant, press the pause button on time and stay in it forever…

I’ll say no more…

View over the lake

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

View over the lake

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm

I took it out for a test run today.
Nothing challenging, but interesting to do nonetheless. On my D700 I have the vertical grip. I haven’t got it on the D800 (yet, primarily because I think the Nikon grip for this camera is ridiculously overpriced at 450+€ + 155€ battery). Having only the standard D800 without battery grip makes it feel rather flimsy when you’re used to the extra grip. But it’s only a matter of time. The LCD is superb. Much better than that of the D700. Even in bright sunlight, which it was today, the image is very good.
In terms of file size it really IS a monster. I’ve never really been the big card kind of guy. Rather have several smaller cards, so IF something happens, you don’t loose too much, but for this little guy you really do need some massive storage. I had a nice 32 gig card for my D700, which fit about 1200 shots on lossless compressed raw. I put this card in the D800, formatted it and I could fit 400 shots. The D700 NEFs are between 12 and 15 meg, the D800 NEFs are between 40 and 50 meg. That’s gonna take a whole lot of storage space…

But in the end it’s worth it, I’m sure.
I’ll do some more testing under more challenging circumstances and see what comes out of this. The first ones are very satisfying. The colors are stunning, straight out of camera.
What I did notice, first thing when I took some test shots out of the box, is that the color of the pictures on screen has turned more yellowish/greenish. On the D700 it’s more reddish. The pictures on my calibrated computer screen are spot-on, though.

Rowing boat in Porvoo

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

100% crop of a detail from the above image

100% crop of a detail from the above image

After our first day of scouting we were sent to different bar, a place which was THE place to be on a Tuesday (!). Well… The place was positively buzzing with about 5 people. So after a few drinks we headed back to the hotel, tired from a long day of driving in the rain. We did check up on the weather forecast, never giving up hope that the trip to this godforsaken country, which was called The Paris of the North, where a drink costs you an arm and a leg, would be a total miserable loss. And guess what? Out of the 5 websites forecasting the weather for the Troms area one actually mentioned a clearing up for the next day. Of course with all our hope we fully believed that one website and with sunshine in our hearts we withdrew in our walk-in closets and called it a night.

Lo and behold… We woke up to patches of blue in the sky. We couldn’t believe our eyes!
Another day of scouting ahead, and bring out the sunglasses!
Tourist information told us we would better be heading east for the night, where the sky would be the clearest. Near Tromsø things would be clouded over come evening, so no use to stick around there. So off we went, in the direction of the Lyngs Alps, a mountain range east of Tromsø, topping just under 2000 meters. We drove all the way to the east tip of the island, to Breivikeidet, there where the ferry leaves to Svensby.
It was there were we set up “camp”.


D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm. A 180-degree panorama put together from 10 images.

We had plenty of time to kill before sunset and darkness, so we got acquainted with the area a bit.

The beach in Breivikeidet

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

There was an actual beach there. I’m not quite sure how often per year you could actually lie on the beach this far north, but pretty it was. And the water… Shockingly clear…

The beach in Breivikeidet

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50 mm

(I didn’t position them like that…)

Sea urchin on the beach in Breivikeidet

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm macro

And some more landscapes:

Gletcher on the island of Svendby

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 70-200mm

My buddy spotted a totally unexpected guest when he was standing here: a seal! Unfortunately he didn’t manage to get a good picture of it and it took off too soon. I managed to only get a glimpse of it from where I was standing 🙁

My buddy Alan

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

And they had boats, too 😉


D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm


D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

And while we were waiting for the darkness and the night to set in, which it finally did after us spending about six hours in the cold there, we saw happening what we were dreading already for a few hours. More and more clouds came in and what was supposed to be a clear night was about to go all wrong.

Breivikeidet / Svendby

D700, ISO200, 10 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 70-200mm

It ended up clouding over so much that we decided to get away from here and hoping we would drive towards some lighter skies.
On our way back, for just a brief moment, we thought we saw something over the mountain range, but we didn’t capture it on sensor. It might’ve just been our eagerness…

Somewhere along the way from Breivikeidet back to Tromsø

D700, ISO200, 15 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 14-24mm

Following the previous post about Norway I have a few more examples of the boat. Approach was the same as in the previous post.

Boat wreck originals

This image was combined out of three exposures.
Left, exposed for the foreground: D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.
Middle, exposed for the boat: D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.
Right, exposed for the sky: D700, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.

I’m sure I would’ve been fine with just two exposures for this one. There’s enough detail in the RAW file to bring out the foreground sufficiently from the middle exposure, but owwell… This worked out just fine, too.
And the end result:

Boat wreck end result

The end result after all the work is done.

And the same for a detail of the boat.

Boat wreck detail originals

Two exposures here.
Left exposed for the sky: D700, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm.
Right exposed for the wood: D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm.

And the end result:

Boat wreck detail

The end result

It’s been quiet for awhile. I’ve been on the road a lot, and busy with a whole bunch of things.
The past days mainly processing images from a trip with a good friend of mine to Norway to shoot the Northern Lights. This post is not about that, I haven’t finished processing the images, yet. In the next few days I will, and then I’ll make some posts about that.

I’ve been going on about HDR and cross-processing in the past, and the picture below is a bit of a cross between the two.
It was shot in Norway, near Hella in the Troms area, just south-west of Tromø. Beautiful area and very nice people. It required us to cross private land. When we drove past the property we ran into (not literally 😉 ) a guy taking a walk and we inquired about it. He said “Oh, no problem. Just go. People here don’t mind so much. I haven’t spoken to the owner in awhile, I guess I can stop by and have a talk with him, tell him that you guys are good guys.”

And so we parked our car on the property and strolled around there for almost two hours.

It really IS nice to get out of a town where people are so private that they (really, this happened to me for real, in the elevator in Helsinki’s Stockmann) turn their back to you not to have to face you, look at you or -god, beware- nod a friendly good-day to you.

Anyway… A whole bunch of pictures, it’s not really a tutorial, but it kind of shows in a few steps what I did.

Boat wreck originals

The two images from which the end result is built up.
Left exposed for the boat and foreground: D700, ISO200, 1/60 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.
Right the image exposed for the sky: D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.

The screenshot of the canvas in Photoshop looks like this:

Screenshot of the Photoshop canvas

Screenshot of the Photoshop canvas with the layer palette showing all the adjustment layers with masks.

I’m very anal about my images, and I hate it when I see halos around my images when I produce HDRs. I’m sure there’s software that can do it quicker than I can do it by hand, but it took me just over an hour to mask out the boat perfectly. A small, hard brush to draw the perfect outline around the object and then filling it in with a big brush or the selection tool to make the perfect mask so you don’t see a halo in the sky or dark lines around the edges. The foreground with the sand and sea weed wasn’t as critical as the sky, luckily, otherwise it would’ve taken probably twice as long.
The basic mask, which I used for the rest of the masks, looks like this:

Photoshop mask for the wreck

It may look like a simple shape, and it is, but with HDRs and different exposures the mask has to be very precise to prevent halos or dark edges to show up in the areas where the two exposures merge.

And the end result, after all the work is done:

Old ship wreck lying tilted on a shore at low tide

The end result, after all the tweaking, masking and color correcting


It’s almost a month ago since I stood on the sea taking pictures of the sunrise. Last week I was out there again. A whole different story now. And a lot earlier, too. Pff… And I almost missed it. Thought I’d be in time when I set the alarm on 5am, but boy, it was close. The civil twilight was already on its way out when I came to the spot.

The sea was starting to open up already again, even if it hasn’t been above zero very much, yet. The ice is still very thick in most places, but for the pictures that I shot I went right up to the water.
And when that boat passed, and everything started cracking and moaning around me, it did give me a slight tingle of discomfort. But owwell… There where I was standing the water can’t’ve been really deep 😉
Also… It’s rather worrying how the thick ice chunks appeal to you (or me in this case), they’re almost beckoning you to jump on them and see how far you can walk out on the sea…
But anyway… I could withstand the draw of the ice, but I did shoot some wonderful pictures of the sunrise.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/8 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm, and a second slightly shorter exposure, which I merged in Photoshop into the above HDR result.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 2 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm, and a second slightly shorter exposure, which I merged in Photoshop into the above HDR result.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

I didn’t realize when I was out there, that I was so close to the route of the cruise liners that go to Estonia and Sweden from Helsinki. So it was a nice surprise when they came by.

Cruise liner going to Sweden

D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 70-200mm

The next one was a bit more complicated. I had to run close to the water and set up 14 flashes which I could remotely trigger, so that the ship was lit up sufficiently. I nearly drowned in the process, but I survived.

Cruise liner going to Tallinn, Estonia

D700, ISO200, 1/60 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Okok… I lied… I didn’t use flashes, I did it in post-processing 😉

So it’s early morning… Sun’s rising, fog’s coming up from the water, which, by the way, is totally still…
Lovely! It was kind of chilly, but refreshing. If I wasn’t dying to go back to bed (after sleeping for only a few hours), I would’ve sat down on the pier and… just sat…

Sunrise over a lake

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Sunrise over a lake

D800, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/9.5, Nikkor 50mm