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.
Taken with a Phase One P45+, 45 minutes, 35mm F3.5 lens @ F4.5, iso 50, Phase One DF Camera, One of the most amazing aspects of photography is working with time lapse shooting at night. By leaving the camera shutter open and using just the ambient lighting from the moon, you can get some great night photographs. In this shot I was working the Buffalo River Valley near Steel Creek which is one of the most popular spots along the upper Buffalo. There were no clouds and the sky was very clear with very little wind, perfect conditions for night work. I left the shutter open for 45 minutes which allowed me to capture the movement of the earth around the north star. If you can find the north star in the night sky then you will get the concentric circles outward from the north star. If you don’t have the north star, then you will get different patterns to the star movement, sometimes waves or other partial circles. I feel that the best shot will have a northern view even if the north star has dropped below the horizon. Remember, the moonlight will give the sky the wonderful blue tint.
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, Canon 24-70 lens, F 7.1 at 1/40th, iso 400. When I am out working in the early morning, I often try to find shots where the fog can act as a major effect in the shot. On a morning like this, the fog did not lift for almost 3 hours but as it started, the sun briefly highlighted this lone branch which was just starting to leaf out in spring. Many people have looked at this shot and felt that it was taken in the fall, however if you look closely you can see that the oak leaves are just starting to open. This lone tree has taken a beating over the years but each time I come back to this spot it still there and and survived for another season of snow and ice during a typical Ozark winter. During the time I took this shot you could hear trucks and cars moving around in the valley below and people’s voices, but as the fog was so thick you couldn’t see anything. This is a great time to work the Ozark Bluffs and not just on the Buffalo River, but the Buffalo tends to allow for more fog.
07/16/12 Featured Arkansas Photography–Jigsaw Blocks in Lost Valley on Clark Creek, Buffalo National River
Taken with a Phase One P45+, Mamiya 35mm lens @ F14, iso 50, Exposure 2 seconds. The Lost Vally part of the Buffalo National River has to be one of the most scenic areas in the entire state. I have been hiking, camping, and photographing Lost Valley since around 1970. I can remember Lost Valley when it was still only a small state park and the logging had just been stopped with a injunction. This photograph was taken during the huge rain even in 2010 during late April and May. For over 3 weeks Clark Creek ran close to full capacity and some features that almost never have any water in them were available for photographic capture.
Now Lost Valley probably gets close to 250 visitors a day during the week and 3x of that at times on the weekends. Now there is no campground as the National Park service is totally unwilling to replace the wonderful campground that used to be on the far side of the creek. There was a heavy rain in 2011 that caused a flood and the rest is history. At least they reopened the area to hiking.
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, 100-400 Zoom lens @ 300mm, F11, iso 100, with image stabilization. On this day I was up in the Boxley valley to photograph the 5 tame swans that tend to populate the old mill pond. For some reason on this day the swans were nowhere to be found, but as I was walking around in the scrub bushes, I found a group of Monarch butterflies that were working a plant at the edge of the pond. I still don’t know what this plant is, but they were all over it. In fact they were so interested in the plant, that they let me get within 4 feet of them before spooking. I spent over an hour photographing them and most of the wait was on good light. That day the sun kept going behind the clouds.