Really Right Stuff Photo Contest

Hello all,
Just wanted to post a quick couple of shots showcasing some gear that I use when shooting. A few years back, I bought a new tripod head and L-Bracket for my cameras. I was having trouble with a tripod head drifting while I was setup and trying to take a series of bracketed photos. I read a few write-ups about Really Right Stuff Tripod Ball Heads and L-Brackets and decided to give them a try. I purchased the BH-55 head and an L-Bracket for my D200. I have been hooked ever since. In my opinion, this is by far the most finely made tripod head you can buy. Here are a couple of shots that required a steady head while the shutter was open for 30 seconds or more. The flower shot was taken on my back porch – with my camera hanging over a plate of glass only about 1″ away. Taking a shot like this – you need a steady tripod head. The second shot was in the Outer Banks, the surf crashing in against the pier pilings during about 1 min 30 sec exposure. Your camera head has to remain steady for a shot like this. Without having a head that is rock steady, these shots would not have been possible. RRS is having a photo contest to help promote sales of their equipment. Check it out here.

 

Purple Mum through beads of water © Rob Loughrey

 

Ocean waves - Outer Banks, NC © Rob Loughrey

 

Point lookout sunrise

During a recent sunrise, I took the opportunity to use a combination of my Singh-Ray Vari-ND-Duo and Mor Slow filters. I composed my image and took a test shot. Once I did this I added the Vari-ND-Duo filter and adjusted the polarizer to darken the sky and remove some of the reflections from the water. I adjust the variable ND portion of the filter, being careful not to change my focus. Then I added the mor slow filter. Once I added this filter, I was at about 15 stops from the original scene. The resulting image was in the neighborhood of  2 minutes at F/22. A long exposure with the sun rising gives such a unique look to the image.
 

Sunrise over the Patuxent River, St. Mary's County, MD © Rob Loughrey

Summer sunrise

It is on days like yesterday and today that I look forward to the upcoming seasons. I do like winter. I would just rather travel somewhere to see it. 🙂 Last spring I took a trip out to see a close friends son graduate from High School. It was a bitter sweet day for a number of reasons. I went out to stay with the family the night before and decided to get up really early and catch a sunrise from a nearby peak in the Monogahela National Forest. It is was great to be able to drive to this location in just 30 minutes. I did a self portrait to give a sense of scale to the image. Maryland doesn’t have too many high peaks that have sweeping vistas. Driving a few hours into Virginia or  West Virginia has some of the best view around at 5000′ above sea level. Still nothing like being out in the mid west but nothing to complain about either.
Sunrise - Bear Rocks Preserve - Dolly Sods Wilderness - Monogahela National Forest, WV © Rob Loughrey

Blue hour – Grant County West Virginia

West Virginia in the fall is a great place to visit. One thing that I enjoy doing is driving around in various parts of the area and finding good vantage points for the sunset. I usually try to find a road that is nearby the numerous wind machines in the area. They always have a good vantage point of the surrounding areas. The trick is to find a section of road that isn’t lined with trees blocking your view of the surrounding valley. This shot is from along a rural road outside of Thomas, WV looking South West. I used a long telephoto to compress the seemingly endless ranges of mountains.
Blue hour along rural route - Thomas West Virginia © Rob Loughrey