Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

  • About this site

    I use this site for several purposes. It serves as a very convenient way for me to share my photos with other people: family, friends, and strangers alike. It also gives me a place to critique my own work to try to learn what works and what doesn't as well as getting feedback from visitors.

    That being said, I hope you enjoy my pictures and tolerate my occasional ramblings. If you would like larger scale versions of any of these pictures, just leave a comment or shoot me an email.

    If you are looking for pictures from Switzerland or Rome, click on "The Trip" in the navigation bar above

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Posts Tagged ‘Mountains’

View from Above

Posted by Ben on February 18, 2012

One photographic “trick” that’s always sort of fascinated me was Miniature Faking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_faking). Using either special lenses or postprocessing, you can simulate the effect of looking at a miniature version of the scene you are photographing.  Unfortunately, one of the things that is usually required to generate this effect is to be looking down on your scene from above, as if you were standing above a model of the scene.  I’ve found that very few of the things that I generally photograph lend themselves to this kind of angle.  There have been a few shots that I’ve taken that work pretty well though.  Below is an example of one of them. First is the “before” or original photo that I took. Second is the product of some selective blurring and increased saturation in photoshop, not too difficult of a process surprisingly

So, maybe not the best example of this effect, but I still think it came out alright.

-Ben

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Experimenting

Posted by Ben on February 1, 2012

Well, I got a new photography toy to play around with over the holidays, a graduated neutral density filter. The idea is that you can use it to help properly expose a shot with an area that’s considerably brighter than the rest of the shot, like the sky in a good deal of landscape shots (read more here if you’re interested). Usually, you would align the delineation between the two parts of the filter with the boundary between the bright and dark areas of the shot. Playing around with my filter though, I did exactly the opposite, and you can see how the right side of this shot looks considerably darker than the left. It was still a pretty neat effect in my opinion

I’m still playing around with this filter, and trying to get an idea of the proper way to use it. I tried a few shots with the filter’s boundary aligned with the horizon in the above shot, but I think the sun was too bright to really get the effect I was going for.  Another five minutes or so, when the sun went down behind the mountain, I think I would have had a lot more luck, but unfortunately, the lookout tower was closing, and I couldn’t wait around for it.  I did get a fairly nice shot looking away from the sun, and using the filter:

And another with the camera down on the railing of the tower:

-Ben

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Spilling Over

Posted by Ben on October 28, 2011

Here’s a (slightly) older shot from May.  A few days before graduation, a few of us from Main Campbell went for a hike at a place called Tinker Cliffs.  It was a great hike, made more difficult by the fact that it started raining once we were about 2 miles into the hike, making several climbs up muddy hills necessary.  It was slow going for a little while, but the rain eventually tapered off by the time we got up to the cliffs, giving a a gorgeous view across the valley.  One of the coolest things was seeing the clouds “spilling over” the mountains across the valley.

We could also see some of the nearby mountains poking out of the low clouds.  Here’s a shot of the group that made the trek:

And here’s a neat shot of the fog in the woods after the rain stopped:

Anyway, it’s been kind of a rough week here, but I made it to the weekend.  Time to relax a little and go dancing in a little while 🙂

-Ben

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Peaks

Posted by Ben on October 23, 2011

Last week was a long one, capped by taking my first midterm as a graduate student and giving my first as an instructor.  Both of them ended up going well, but by the time Friday afternoon rolled around, I was ready for a little bit of a break. I had been looking forward to going out salsa dancing Friday night pretty much since the end of the dance the week before. Even though I’ve only been going for about the last three weeks, I’ve already made some good friends, and met some incredibly talented dancers (I do miss everyone back in Blacksburg though).  I ended up staying until almost 1:30 dancing and talking.  I even danced a few bachata songs, without, I think, making a complete fool out of myself, and I’m definitely looking forward to going again next week 🙂

The weather here on Saturday was gorgeous, and I ended up driving out to the Cascades to a place called the Dee Wright Observatory, located at the McKenzie pass (5325 ft!).  The observatory (seen above), located in the middle of a lava flow, is basically a turret-like structure built out of the lava rocks that the surrounding fields are covered in.  It offered a breathtaking view of the nearby Three Sisters peaks:

In the other direction was a great view of the lava flow, with a few tiny pockets of trees:

Saturday afternoon, once I got back, was spent doing math, but nothing too stressful.  I ended up going dancing again, this time at a contra dance here at Eugene. They had a great live band come down from Corvallis to play at the dance, and it ended up being a lot of fun.

Sunday was not as exciting, but very productive.  I was able to finish grading my students’ exams, and got through a good portion of my homework for the week.  More importantly, though, I feel very rested, and ready to take on the coming week.

-Ben

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Fall Pictures

Posted by Ben on October 31, 2010

I know it’s been a while, but here are a few pictures that I’ve taken over the past few weeks.  I’ve been incredibly busy with school and other responsibilities here on campus, that I haven’t really had much time for photography.  I hope to put some more pictures up here in the next few weeks.

-Ben

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