Taken with a FujiFilm GFX 50s and 32-64 lens, ISO 200 hand held 5 part horizontal panorama.
Calico Rock has to be one of the best places in Arkansas to go and grab a panorama and feature both wonderful scenery and the White River. Just down stream on the White River you will find the town of Calico Rock and in this photograph the town is visible just off in the distance. You can spend the whole day here and the scene is always changing. On this day, I was there around 5:00 p.m. and there were no clouds in the sky at all. Many times I have been there and just had a huge blue sky with no clouds. For such a shot, clouds to me make it much more interesting, period. However on this day just as sun was starting to go down, a line of clouds rolled in and the moon rose over them. I could not have asked for a better scene.
On this evening I was shooting the Fujifilm GFX 50S, which is Fuji’s new entry into the Medium Format range of cameras. Fuji is using the same 50Mp sensor from Sony that has been used by Phase One, Pentax and Hasselblad. But this is the first large format camera from Fuji ever, as before all of their cameras have been APS-C. More about the camera in later reviews, but I have to say I am totally impressed with what can be done with this camera. I knew that the sensor had a lot of range since I used the Phase One versions, but never hand held. The Fuji GFX is both considerably lighter than the Phase One XF and the 120mm lens has image stabilization something that no Phase One lens has. Normally I have taken this in 15 exposures, 3 for each segment but with the GFX, I just took an exposure for the middle of the exposure range and pushed up the shadows and pulled down the highlights. Neither of the extremes were blown out. In fact the shadow recovery rivals the Nikon D810 and in fact may be just 1/2 a stop better. But the real amazing facet was just how sharp the 120mm lens was, outstanding optic.
This image has shadow push in several areas, the entire lower half of the left and right sides were pushed at least 2 stops and the middle of the image which was not in the sun was push at least 1 stop. The sky on the far left was pulled down 1 1/2 stops and the sky on the far right was pulled down 1 stop.
I took these Fuji Raw files straight to a panorama in Lightroom first, and then worked on the image in both Lightroom and Photoshop with several Topaz tools.
Overall the color and clarity is excellent throughout, and I have attached a couple of full sized crops below to show this. The first is the lower right side featuring the bluff and the trees along the river. This part of the image was pushed as much as 2 stops and I still have a nice green color in the trees that are just starting to leaf out. The other crop is from the center of the image where the sun was shinning and again you can see that the amount of fine details is very impressive.
Written for PhotosofArkansas by Paul F Caldwell
Taken with a Nikon D810 and 14-24 Lens, @ 24mm in 3 vertical shots, stitched together in Lightroom
The view from the summit of Mt. Magazine offers some amazing vistas, and one of the best is looking out to the due south towards Blue Mt. Lake and Blue Mountain behind it. This shot was taken last year, in late October and I was able to catch the rising sun hitting the rock and old tree in the foreground. Mt. Magazine is the highest place in Arkansas and has a lot to offer the visitor. There is a wonderful lodge where you can spend the night and enjoy a great meal after hiking around on some of the trails. The area is also a favorite for rock climbing and hang gliding.
I like to work this particular spot on Mt. Magazine year round, but the spring and fall are my favorite times. The sun will only come into the frame during December and January, but you can still get great photographs during the rest of the year. The play of light is amazing here.
Mt. Magazine’s summit is 2,700 feet high, and is the highest place in Arkansas. You can see for many miles off in pretty much any direction. The lodge offers a higher vantage point so when you visit make sure stop by.
The view from Mt. Magazine’s north side is just as impressive, so make a point of driving over to that side also. There is a one way drive which has several pull outs for viewing. During the fall you can expect a lot of traffic and a bit of congestion, especially during the weekends. The lodge will be booked up a year in advance for the best dates in the fall so plan accordingly.
This image was taken with aid of a tripod, in 3 vertical segments with a Nikon D810 and 14-24 lens. I used the 24mm focal length and F8 with the base ISO. I did not use a polarizer since I was panning across the scene and knew that would cause problems with composition later. I used Lightroom to work on the raw files, and also to make the panorama. The fall colors were just a few days before peak when this image was taken.