Costa Rican Volcano II and a Botanical Garden

Day Two Hundred and Forty Four. Who doesn't love volcanoes? And, it's always fun to look down on the clouds.

The botanical garden proved to be a really difficult location to shoot. I didn't have enough time to set my tripod up for each subject and I don't have macro rails anyways, so each shot was handheld and right on the edge in terms of being technically acceptable. High ISO and camera shake made for a lot of deleted images. When I got fed up with trying to make "good" images, I opened the aperture all the way and played with the tilt-shift effect to varying degrees of success. It's a neat way of really isolating the subject, but it also means that just about nothing is ever actually in focus.

We took two quick side trips after the botanical garden. Well, one really. We went to see an old church where I was mesmerized by the clouds overhead, so shot a 5-minute exposure. I really shouldn't have though. The church was severely backlit. Inverting tonal relationships is really hard - taking a bright sky with a dark building and turning it into a dark sky with a bright building is not fun. Really not fun. And, I'm not entirely convinced I like the result, but here it is.

The second side trip wasn't so much of a side trip as it was my yelling at the driver to pull over on the way back. I was staring out the window as I'm wont to do, not really paying any attention to what I was looking at, when all of a sudden, the trees broke and a beautiful valley appeared below. The driver wasn't overly pleased with the unplanned stop, but I wasn't letting that view go uncaptured!

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