Panoramic photography

I have always found panoramic images interesting. The ability to combine 2 or more photographs, horizontal, vertical or both, opens up a new realm for displaying a scene. The image featured above is actually a combination of 12 images, 2 rows of 6 images, spanning from Gatineau on the left and across the bridge to Ottawa on the right. I love this image because I was able to capture a beautiful sunset as it occurred during the summer. The process to capture the image was to make sure the camera was as level as possible (on a tripod for best results especially if you are taking long exposures as I did) and then take a series of photos across the scene, ensuring to overlap each by 10-20%. It is best to take the pictures in manual mode to ensure the exposure is consistent across all the images. The next step is to use either Photoshop or Lightroom to do some preliminary processing on the RAW images and then sync those settings across all of the images. I like to do this before I merge the images into a panorama but you don’t have to. In Photoshop you can then merge the images – you have a few options to choose from but I find  auto works just fine. Once the image is finished, merge the layers and then do your final editing on the image to add your special touches.

I always shoot in RAW because of the exceptional quality and range of adjustments when it comes to post processing but you can use JPGs if you are not familiar with RAW.

 

It has been a busy summer

As the title indicates it has been a busy summer of taking photographs but I had neglected to upload the images to the site. Accordingly, I will be posting a few posts over the coming days to catch up a bit. Over the summer I was involved in various shoots ranging from nature photography to model shoots to astrophotography to  night shoots and creating large panoramas. I seem to enjoy many types of photography but if I had to choose some favorites they would be black and white and night time landscapes. If you have visited the site before please note that I have reorganized many of the categories and in doing so added a lot of new images to each in the process. I will continue to add new images as I process them.

Insect photography – challenging but often rewarding too!

Taking photographs of insects is often a tricky proposition. These skittish little creatures always seems to land where you can’t get a clear shot or just too far away to get a close enough composition (unless you like taking walks with an enormous telephoto lens). The key I have found and the only recipe for any success is patients. You need to keep your eyes open, track them and move slowly into position once they land (for flying insects like dragonflies). The other thing you need to do is have your camera settings set up before hand as they don’t generally stay in one position for too long. I either shoot on manual or aperture priority with spot metering for focus. To try and get the best shot I usually take a shot, move closer and take another and so on so I don’t completely miss a shot. The closer I get the better but I always have a shot, albeit maybe from further away than I want, that I can crop if need be.

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Mill of Kintail Conservation Area

Milky way by Scott Hill PhotographyLast night was a late one. Despite the weather, I along with a few other photographers, ventured out to attempt to get a few pictures of the night sky. Luck was on our side and the sky was incredibly clear. Relatively little light pollution made it difficult to focus but the beauty of the stars made it a worth while trip. If you would like to try this I would highly recommend it. Find an area away from the city, it will be dark so take a light and learn your camera controls before hand, with a clear view of the sky ( a field works great ). The key is to focus your lens to infinity and make sure to use manual settings so you can control exposure. These images were take at ISO 3200 and approximately 15-25 seconds at f3.5. If the first image doesn’t look great, make adjustments to your exposure and take another. Don’t forget to enjoy the sky. Without light pollution it is entirely different. Instead of seeing a few stars, like in the city, you see a thousand times more. The detail you could see in the sky is what amazed me. Anyways, in this post is a pictures of the milky way. Enjoy.

 BTW -Watch out for mist on your lens as the air cools. Because of the low light it can be hard to detect and you may be disappointed when you get home and find your images appear blurry and out of focus.
Butterfly by Scott Hill Photography

Welcome to Scott Hill Photography

This is the first post of what should eventually be a good resource for aspiring photographers (at least that is the goal). I am still working on setting the site up so what you see now will most likely change depending on when you see it. I am hoping to use this blog to pass along some useful and inspiring information about photographic techniques and my experiences. I will be opening up the site to comments once I am able to finalize the structure. If in the mean time you wish to contact me please feel free to use the contact form.

Contrary to popular opinion, none of the photos on this site are HDR. It is simply a result of my post processing techniques that give them an HDR feel. This is not to say that I will not post HDR images in the future.

I hope you enjoy the photos!