02/11/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Wintertime Vista from the summit of Pinnacle Mountain
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Taken with a Canon 5d MKII, Canon 24-70 lens, @ 24mm and F 8 ISO 100 with a Circular Polarizer, Panorama taken in multiple vertical stitches
One of the most noticeable landmarks in Pulaski County, Arkansas is Pinnacle Mountain. The mountain is approximately 550 feet tall and has a commanding view of both Little Rock and the eastern approaches to the Ouachita Mountains. In fact the Ouchita trail starts at the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor center which is not far at all from the base of Pinnacle.
There are many trails up to the summit of Pinnacle, but the most common is the trail that goes up the west face. Here you get a great view of the slate rock that makes up most of the mountain and you can get some great views of the surrounding countryside.
This shot was taken after a heavy snow fall in February of 2009, and I was very lucky to catch the mountain right after the skies cleared. There was no one else there so the snow was totally undisturbed. My goal on this day was to get about 1/2 way up the mountain where the hard rock face starts to show up. The pitch of the climb can be upwards of 30 degrees, maybe a bit more and on a normal day this is not a problem. But on a snowy day things were a bit more difficult. Once on the summit I realized that the view was amazing and I wanted to take some panoramas. I did not have my tripod, but just shot away in multiple vertical hand held series and then stitched the images together later on with Photoshop. Now, I would most likely want to use Lightroom as it offers a lot more possibilities and power. But for this shot Photoshop was able to get the job done.
There was no wind and the snow was perfect in that everything was nicely coated. I did use a polarizer on the shots and wondered if I would be able to get an even sky but overall I like what I was able to produce. Pinnacle mountain is in western Pulaski county, in Arkansas and is well worth a hike if you have the time.
Taken with a Nikon D800e, Nikkor 24-120 lens @ F8, ISO 100. Image taken in 3 parts and stitched together in PtGui and Photoshop.
This was just one of those days. I had been out a few times previously, but the conditions did not equal this afternoon. You have to wait until around 2:00 pm to get this shot as you want the sun over the back of your shoulder. The light was perfect and Little Rock had a much better fall than other locations in Arkansas. But the clouds, oh the clouds. They started out as just some small swirls but as I continued to shoot they grew into this massive line that was turned upwards. To get this type of a panorama, even with a 36Mp camera, I knew I would need to stitch. However since my subject (main subject) was all off in the distance, I did not worry about a tripod, or setting my nodal point. I didn’t need to, just aimed and shot. I was using the Nikon 24-120, and was in the 90mm focal range. The colors that afternoon were perfect also, but I did add a circular polarizer to help pop them some more and cut the glare. You can clearly see the exposed part of the trail heading to the summit. Pinnacle to me is best photographed from below as the view from the top is impressive, but surround by homes, roads and the like.
To make this image happen, I first converted the raw files in Adobe Lightroom, then opened them up in PtGui, (a panoramic stitching software). The image came together perfectly and at first I thought I was done. But on closer inspection, I found that during the stitching I had allow for blur on the center image. It was only on the right edge and looked like a VR user error. VR is Nikon’s vibration reduction that is built into some of their lenses. If you are panning you have to be care with VR as you can confuse the system and it will not be totally finished. When you take a picture like that the blur looks more like a rolling issue as some of the file will be fine but usually towards one edge you will pick up some vibration induced blur.
So I had to manually go back to another image and pull that one part back to this stitch. It was not as hard as I thought it would be and the overall came out fine.
Taken with a Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24 lens @ 18mm iso 100 with no filters. One spot I never get tired of visiting is Pinnacle Mountain. There is always a shot to be taken, either on the climb up or in driving around the mountain. To many a 500 foot tall peak is not a mountain, but Arkansas it does seem to quality since the tallest spot in the state is only 2700 feet, the summit of Mt. Magazine. Arkansas will usually get one or two snows that will dust the higher spots. Pinnacle can be climbed from pretty much any side but most prefer to come up from the west side (the opposite from this picture), the east side which this image shows is a bit more challenging and is more of a rock hop to the summit. I like to try to catch a reflection shot of Pinnacle when I feel the conditions are right. On this morning I had just a bit of breeze but I was still able to get a close to mirror reflection. The pond is a small catchment on the back side of the mountain.
07/23/12 Featured Arkansas Photography–Lightening Strike over Pinnacle Mountian in Pulaski County Arkansas
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, Canon 24-70 Lens at 24mm, F2.8, Bulb exposure, tripod mounted camera. This image will be added to my favorites, mainly because of just how hard it was to take. I had been photographing the sunset from the other side of Pinnacle mountain when this storm started to blow in. The early lightening drove me off and I headed around to the west side hoping to get a shot of lightening over the mountain. By the time I made it over, the rain was starting to fall and lightening was flying all through the air. At first I thought I could stand outside my car, with my tripod and take the shot, but soon I started to notice my arm hairs standing up so I choose to move back to my car. I put the tripod outside the car window and then setup my remote release so that I could hit the shutter when I first started to see lightening out of the corner of my eye. I just set the lens to infinity and F2.8 hoping to get the most light as possible. I captured this shot on the 3rd attempt. What amazed me was the different colors of blues that were in the sky as the lightening went off. The orange color off to the left of the image I didn’t notice until I looked at the shot.