Return to Yosemite Day 2

2013.02.16
Day One Hundred and Seventeen. Got to shoot from sunrise to sunset (ok, a little after actual sunrise ... we didn't get up that early). Lots of fun was had with the fisheye and ND filter. We even got to see a rainbow on Bridalveil Falls! The real story of this day isn't so much the scenery, since it was amazing as always, but rather the utter and complete success of our tour guide: The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite. It laid out exactly where to go for each time of day and gave example images of what to look for. We used it to plan out the day and every word was spot on. If you don't happen to grab a copy before you head to the park, don't worry, they sell copies in the Ansel Adams gallery. One really interesting thing I did note from the book though, comparing the images from "the greats" to what you can see today, most of their images can not be recreated for one reason: the trees have all gotten taller. That little tidbit not withstanding, I also made a huge breakthrough in post processing. I finally broke down and bought the Nik Software Collection (Google for a coupon, don't pay full retail, you should be able to get at least 15% off). HDR Efex Pro 2 beats the pants off of the Photomatix plugin for Lightroom. Color Efex Pro 2 is the solution to what is, in my occasionally somewhat humble opinion, Lightroom's complete butchering of the D800's red channel. I think I'm most excited about Silver Efex Pro 2. Its stunning black and white conversion creates added drama, reminiscent of images from artists such as Irving Penn and John Sexton (and Ansel Adams obviously, but I already said his name once, so I didn't want to say it again, haha). Despite the amount of time and effort it took to finish, I'm extremely pleased with how this set turned out :)
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