Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Flare and bear

Brown bear and sunrise, Katmai National Park, Alaska
Canon 1Ds Mark III, 24-105mm 4.0L (32mm), 1/250 sec @ f/11, ISO 100

The versatility of zoom lenses is so appealing that I use prime lenses less often these days. However, they are notorious for lens flare and controlling that can be difficult. On this trip, I did bring a 24mm prime just for the purpose of daybreak landscapes which include the sun. Where was that lens on this fine morning? Back in camp, I forgot to bring it, since I was traveling light.

This was a very complicated photo for a number of reasons. Not a small issue was the temperature variations so near freezing and high humidity of morning fog. This caused my lens to fog over. And, every time I would put my eye up to the camera the view finder would fog up also. To complicate all this, I could not see my exposure values because I was blinded by shooting directly into the sun. In retrospect, this would have been a worthy time to experiment with the live view feature of the 1Ds (that is, you view the scene on the monitor on the back of the camera like most little digicams offer). I expected all sorts of unwanted lens flare but the position of the sun somewhat near the center of the frame helped to reduce that, and the flare that did show up almost creates a sense of motion.

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