April 1420

WSCU Springfest

A long standing tradition that used to include a lot of beer. Now it's a bit mellower but it was still fun and the bands were good. 

I missed the first band, but then the Denver Jamband Yamn played before Gramatik who I hear is from Slovenia. Pretty fun energetic electronic set. It was a beautiful evening. The hoopers with lighted hoops were my favorite photo subject of the evening. 

There was also a slack line competition. Pretty cool event!

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Tags: , , , , , , , , | Categories: Concert | Photography

I had a very lat night earlier this week because I stayed out and photographed the lunar eclipse. It was an impressive sight and the thing that made me extra interested in this was that Mars would be nearby during the event, making for some photo opportunities we don't get very often. 

I hiked up behind the WSCU campus to get some photos. I'm still going through some that will take a little more work but here are a couple of basic shots of the moon and the night sky. 

 

Tags: , , , , , | Categories: Astrophotography | Photography

I had a fun time shooting some photos at the Slush Huck pond skimming event at Crested Butte on Saturday. What a fun end to the season! I shot a lot of photos and put a gallery up here

If you don't see yourself let me know and I may have an unpublished shot I could put up. 

Nice huckin' everyone! 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Categories: Action | Photography | Skiing | Sport

I was happy to hear I won a photo contest at the Pentax Forums recently for this image, Lateral Growth. A requirement was that I write up a "making of" post for the forums. Here's that post:

This photo was taken at a place called Hartman Rocks Recreation Area. It's an area a couple of miles from where I live in Gunnison, Colorado that has a big network of hiking, biking, and ski trails. It’s a great amenity for our very active community and also just one of my favorite places to be.

 

I’m a mountain biker and during the long summer days I ride those trails after work for fun, my health, and my sanity. I almost always have a camera along in my pack as well. When the clouds or light are looking good I’ll stay out through sunset and ride home in the dark with a headlamp. Usually I just bring the camera (K-5 in this case) and a small prime or two, usually the DA 40 and DA 15 Limiteds.

Late last summer we got more rain than usual. Hartman Rocks which is typically dusty dry desert really greened up, and in flat rocky areas we got some persistent puddles. Puddles are very unusual in the area so on this particular night with puddles present and what looked like an interesting sunset coming I had to stop riding and shoot for a while.

 

I shot this area with a lot of different shaped puddles for a few minutes, mostly getting the alpenglow in the East where the exposure is easier to control because of lower contrast between the landscape and sky. After getting what I felt were going to be some good shots facing East I started packing up. The light was starting to fade and I knew it was going to get chilly on my ride home. I turned around and noticed this interesting and probably very old juniper tree had been behind me the whole time. It had this nice puddle below it and I knew I just had to get the camera back out for a few more shots of my newly discovered subject.

 

Shooting to the West now, the foreground was in shadow and the sky was brighter than it was to the East. I figured it was worth a few frames of the tree and puddle with those good clouds so I took a few more shots. I exposed for the sky, not wanting to blow it out. This left the foreground rocks very underexposed. I also put my subject relatively centered in the frame which I try not to do too much, but to get all the elements I wanted without ones I didn’t want, it kind of had to work out this way. Reflections seem to be more forgiving of a centered composition so I had that going for me too. I shot this at 1/50s, f/10, ISO 200 so I’d get good DOF but still be able to hand-hold it.

Once I downloaded my images I saw that my other shots did come out pretty well, but I was intrigued with this tree shot. I felt it was flawed being so underexposed but decided to see what I could do with it anyway because the tree was so neat and the puddle probably wouldn't be there long.

This is how the image looked when I first downloaded it from the camera.

I straightened it and boosted the exposure and shadows in Lightroom. This helped lighten and balance it out, but it still lacked detail in the wonderful lichen growing on the rocks.

After adjusting levels in Lightroom but before using Color Efx Pro

For the final touches I opened it in Nik Color Efx Pro 2 and applied the Brilliance/Warmth filter and Detail Extractor to bring out the foreground texture details.

The final product was something I was happy with, although it involved more processing that I prefer to use, it was the best I could come up with. I found the subject so interesting I had to make this image work the best I could.

 

Looking back I could have made it better if I used a ND Grad filter to balance the sky and foreground at the time of capture. A tripod would have helped too and I prefer to shoot landscapes with one, but I also prefer not to mountain bike with it.

Read more at: http://www.pentaxforums.com/news/the-making-of-lateral-growth.html#ixzz2xkbRhSyS

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IMGP9995, originally uploaded by MattB.net.

Lots of fun was had at the 2014 Al Johnson uphill/downhill telemark ski race at Crested Butte on Sunday. A perfect bluebird day, lots of smiles and some fun costumes. A classic CB style event!
I have a full gallery (147 images) with prints and downloads available here.

Tags: | Categories: Photography | Skiing | Sport

March 1406

February


IMGP5222-Edit, originally uploaded by MattB.net.

Well, I've been slacking on my blog posts. Sorry about that if you are following along. February was a really great month of skiing and most of my photos are of playing in the snow.
This is my son a couple of weeks before he turned 11 skiing his first run down Teocalli Bowl in Crested Butte. Yeah, it was pretty good. Hopefully March will continue the trend!

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January 1401

Happy New Year!

My New Year's adventure this year was skiing up Snodgrass mountain to get this perspective on the Mt. Crested Butte New Year celebration which included a torchlight parade (the squiggly line is skiers carrying torches) and fireworks. 

Interested in a print or card with this image?

I wish you peace, love, and happiness in 2014!

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December 1321

Photo cards

It's a little late for Christmas, but I thought I should point out that any of my photos can now be ordered as cards. I have a few customizable designs to choose from, so if you like a photo of mine and wished you could get it as a card, your wish is now granted!  
Available as singles or in packs of 25. If you want a photo that you don't see there just let me know and I can add it. Thanks for looking!
http://mattburt.zenfolio.com/p1010744748

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November 1322

Winter moving in

It's been snowing for a couple of day now. Not a lot of accumulation here in town but I hear it's piling up at higher elevations.
I went out before work yesterday to get some fresh snow images with my K-3. I'm getting used to it now and so far I'm happy with it. Handling is great and the controls seem intuitive (especially for someone who already shoots Pentax).

Tags: , , , | Categories: Gear | Photography

This is not a review, but just a few thoughts from my first day shooting with the K-3. I got it yesterday and was glad the batteries are the same so I could put a charged up battery from my K-5 in it and get right to taking some photos. I went to an assembly at my son's school and shot the kids dancing to Grease songs (my son had never heard of the movie until I mentioned it after!). It was in a poorly lit gym. The lighting was was awful, with a weird yellow tint and not much output.
I shot mostly in TAv mode, trying to balance noise, DOF, and shutter speed.
In my hand, the camera feels great. Kind of like the K-5 but even more ergonomic. I didn't notice that it was bigger and heavier, it feels reasonable to me.
The shutter sound is like a whisper. More of a "swish" than the K-5 and no clunk like my K-x.
It was responsive and I had correction enabled. Much quicker than the K-5!

I did some NR and tried to fix the WB (it was on auto) but it's still not quite right to my eyes. All edits done in Lightroom 4.4.

I shot in RAW producing DNG files as I normally do.

1/125 ƒ/6.3 ISO 2500 53 mm
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1/125 ƒ/6.3 ISO 3200 135 mm
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1/125 ƒ/6.3 ISO 3200 24 mm

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1/125 ƒ/6.3 ISO 3200 18 mm
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Then after work I took a little detour and shot a little at sunset and after.
I was shooting handheld, so I had the ISO at 800-3200. I only have this one posted.
I brought the shadows up quite a bit to get some detail back and that looks reasonably clean to me.
1/640 ƒ/8 ISO 800 53 mm
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In my quick edits last night I was definitely noticing more noise at 100% as others have noted. I just used some of LR's NR to tame it, but at smaller sizes like this it's not bad. It was noticeable enough in some images I had a little concern but not enough data to come to any conclusions yet. I'll probably be out shooting in the dark tonight so I may add to this as I put the camera through it's paces for my kinds of shooting situations.

Tags: , , , , , , | Categories: Gear | Photography