Thursday, April 30, 2015

New composition, "Liquid Light" by D. "Bodhi" Smith

This new composition is entitled "Liquid Light" for the way everything made of water was flowing and glowing around me in this extremely long exposure. It was captured on my trip last month during my brief visit to Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park on the South Island of New Zealand.

This image was captured on Lake Rotoiti's boat launch dock. It was difficult to finally get this long exposure (15 minutes plus) with numerous boats coming and going, which would always result in them bumping the dock which would move my camera and I would have to start all over...I took some other shorter exposures ranging from 2 minutes to 8 minutes, but really liked the results of this composition better (after finally capturing it cleanly without having my camera bumped). Of course, with such a long exposure, all movement on the lake gets erased (boats, wakes, waves, and ducks).

The light you see here is actually 180° away from the sunrise that happened behind me. But for some reason, the cloud deck continued to hold color well past the sunrise and change colors from a red glow to a softer grayish-blue-yellow.

Btw, the dock is not actually this reddish, I took some artistic liberty in changing the color from brownish red to more red to contrast better with the yellow clouds in the sky which creates a nice color profile much different than any of my other works.

One neat thing about this spot was that swimming around and under the dock were numerous very large eels...many people were pulling up to the dock especially just to see them. Strange, scary, and quite ugly looking fish...

Camera Settings: ISO-100, 24mm at f/8 for 915 seconds using 15 stops of Lee Proglass ND filters at 8:30am about 1 hour past sunrise on a cold cloudy morning on Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park on the South Island of New Zealand

#Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #24mm #Dolica #tripods #Lee #Filters #Proglass #Big #stopper #LongExposure #BodhiSmith #Impressionist #expressionist #Sunset #dock #Lake #Rotoiti #New #Zealand #Nelson

Friday, April 24, 2015

New Composition, "Broken Emotions" by D. Bodhi Smith

Entitled, "Broken Emotions," this is my newest was captured last night at on Broken Hill in Torrey Pine State Reserve just south of Del Mar, CA.

I guess you could say that Broken Hill and much of the Torrey Pines State Reserve is San Diego County's version of Bryce Canyon with all of the eroded sandstone formations. Quite beautiful, and located right next to the ocean in a park that is protecting the last grove of Torrey Pine Trees in the world (it is an endangered tree). And, of course, I have been trying to catch a special image of this spot for close to one year now, having shown up to this place numerous times only to go away empty handed. But alas, finally last evening I was able to capture something worthy of my own liking. We had a system coming in off the Pacific late yesterday afternoon, and it looked extremely good early on for some great clouds at the coast. But then as I was driving down to Torrey Pines, I could not believe my eyes as it started to clear up (this is a bad thing for a landscape photog). 

After getting to my "short-cut" parking spot close to the golf course, I figured I would still hike out to the point and see what was presented to me through the lens of my camera. I just never give up, you never know, and once again, this image is the result of my persistence and patience. Besides, it is a very beautiful hike and it was a cool spring evening here in San Diego, so I took off my flip-flops, threw on the hiking shoes, and strolled down the 1.5 mile trail out to Broken Hill. I have had my composition picked out here for a considerably long time now, as I have just been patiently waiting for the right conditions (clouds, sunset, springtime) when I got to Broken Hill, I did not need to figure out where I was going to set up for my shot...

After getting my Nikon D800 situated up on my trusty Dolica Tripod, I dialed in with my focus, and got my Lee filters all in place. But the skies had now gone total bluebird. Really?!? Was I going to get shut out of getting the image I have been trying to capture for a long time one more night, again??? There was still about 45 minutes until the sunset, so I just waited--maybe the heavy cloud deck on the distant horizon would roll in....and that is exactly what they did. Right as the sun was getting ready to set, the clouds rolled back in with a vengeance. In fact, they rolled in so fast that the window of opportunity for my image opened and slammed shut extremely quickly. I was able to take just 2 long exposures in that short time frame (this one and one a bit longer), and that was all, before the cloud deck was too thick and destroyed of the beautiful sunset hues and long shadows of contrast. Poof, the gorgeous light was gone. But who needs extra shots? Of the two, this one came out pretty good I think.

I hope this image and message find you well.

Camera settings: ISO-100, 24mm at f/8 for 83 seconds using one Lee Proglass 3.0ND Filter (Big Stopper) and one Lee .75ND Grad filter. Image was capture at 7:13pm, about 10 minutes before the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.


#Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #24mm #Dolica #Tripods #Lee #Filters #ND #Proglass #BigStopper #Bodhi #Smith #Expressionist #Impressionist #Surreal #LongExposure #LE #SanDiego #Torrey #Pines #Broken #Hill #Sunset #Pacific #Ocean #LaJolla #DelMar

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Newest image is entitled "Noche de Coronado." by D."Bodhi" Smith

This newest image is entitled "Noche de Coronado." It was captured last Wednesday on a very calm, windless, clear, and moonless evening here in SoCal. This is a bit of a departure for me, as I seldom, if ever, take images of city buildings...but the stars and the reflection, well, I guess that is more like me.

The name is literally translated as, "Crowning Night" but could also mean "Night From Coronado"...both translations apply quite well to this image, so hence the title...

As many of you know, for the better part of 8 months now, I have been trying to capture a magical image of a reef on Coronado beach for clients of mine who were engaged and married on that very spot close to the Hotel Del Coronado. I have been patient (and thankfully so have they) waiting for the conditions to be right for the image i have in my mind's eye: I need a very high tide of 6 feet happening at sunset combined with clouds in the sky.

Last Wednesday I drove down to Coronado Island to give it a try and see if I could get lucky with mother nature, for the conditions were close with a 5 foot tide happening at sunset, but no clouds showed and the tide was ultimately not high enough. Closed out once again, bummer. Of course, I will not give up and I will be trying again in mid-May when the conditions are perfect hoping to get a cloud system passing over one of the nights during a 96-hour window of opportunity.

So while I was walking back to my Xterra along the beachway, I noticed that it was unusually calm for Coronado Island. I got in my truck and went over to the other side of the island to try my luck with another image I have had a vision of taking for a couple of years vision needs a windless calm in order to optimize reflections I want to capture in the San Diego Bay at night...

This is another one of those famous scenes that is photographed by millions of is taken from a vantage point across the bay on Coronado Island showing the San Diego skyline at night and its glowing reflection in the water. Easy spot to find, easy composition to make, easy to take with a little bit extra exposure time....but I wanted to capture something especially different, something my style of uniqueness. I wanted to create something that is impossible to capture in true reality at this location with one or even multiple exposures with a camera, as there is just too much light pollution created by the city lights to pull it off.

To get my vision, an image would need to be created from two separate exposures...using an exposure taken of the stars in the San Diego desert which I already had captured to be combined with the image of this Skyline taken on this evening. Of course, things would be considerably more technical for me to get the composition I wanted to create, along with needing things in nature to align correctly for me to match the image in my mind's eye with those taken by my camera turned into one composite image....

I needed the calm night to enhance the reflection of the lights and eventually the stars in the water. It also had to be clear and cloudless, with no moon to help create the final blended composition. This is an image composed of 2 separate exposures: one for the city and the skyline reflection in the water; the other for the stars in the sky (the stars' reflection is explained below). Using Photoshop CS6, I had to manually blend these two images together to create the composition you see here.

Camera settings: For the city and city lights reflection part of the image (not stars): ISO-100, 52mm at f/2.8 for 123 seconds using two Lee Proglass filters (.9ND & .6ND) to block down the light 5 stops and permit a much longer exposure while using such a large aperture as f/2.8. I wanted the larger aperture to soften the sky behind the city and the lights in the foreground as much as I could. For the stars part of the image: ISO-1250, 24mm at f/1.4 for 15 seconds using no filters (this is also a different lens than the one used to capture the skyline scene). The stars' reflection is a post-production addition using editing software to create the final effect on the image, an effect that is made further possible by the use of the long exposure of the city lights in the water making the bay flat and glasslike...

I hope this image and message find you well.

‪#‎Dolica‬ ‪#‎Tripods‬ ‪#‎Lee‬ ‪#‎Filters‬ ‪#‎Proglass‬ ‪#‎ND‬ ‪#‎LongExposure‬ ‪#‎LE‬ ‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ ‪#‎Nikkor‬ #24-70mm ‪#‎Seascape‬ ‬ ‪#‎Bay #Harbor ‪#‎Pacific‬ ‪#‎Ocean‬‬ ‪#‎Landscape‬ ‬ #Coronado #Island #San #Diego #Skyline #Reflection #Stars #Night #Sky


Newer image, Entitled "The Greeters" by D. "Bodhi" Smith

My newest composition here is entitled "The Greeters." This was captured during my recent trip to the south island of New Zealand in March/early April, 2015.

After my plane landed in Christchurch and I gathered my luggage and got my rental car, it took me a bit to get acclimated to the left-side road driving and opposite instruments and controls in the car. But soon after I was headed down the left side of the highway towards the south parts of New Zealand. My first stop was to be the Moeraki Boulders on the coast but was unable to capture anything because of a massive rain system hanging over the area that was also dropping many lightning bolts onto the I relegated this spot for capturing later (images to come of these soon) and drove to the city where I was staying for the next couple of nights, Dunedin, for sunset...

Pictured here is the old pier on St. Clair beach located just south of Dunedin, New Zealand. On this evening there was a fairly low tide, so I got right down into the middle of the old pier posts to take this one amidst the waves. I liked the way the red illumination from the sunset was just creeping into the right side of the image and glowing off the pier posts and the wet beach sand. There was no way to get the setting sun into the frame because at dusk its aspect was behind some quite large hills that are just west of this beach, so I decided to center the island just off the coast between the pier posts. The island was named "Ponuiahine" by the indigenous Moāri which oddly means "The Girl's Great Night"...the local English name is much less original, it is named "White Island" because of the island's appearance from all of the white bird droppings that have built up the island over the centuries.

This is the actual first image I took during my recent trip to New Zealand. So the title of the image comes from the fact that this composition "greeted" me to the beauties of New Zealand combined with the way the pier posts look to have faces on them (at the top) and are all lined up like ushers greeting people as they come off the ocean and "walk down the aisle" of these greeters onto the beach and then into Dunedin...

I hope this image and message find you well.

Camera Settings: ISO-100, 24mm at f/11 for 381 seconds using one Lee Proglass 3.0ND Filter (10 stops) for the longer exposure and on Lee .75ND Grad (2.5 stops) to balance the brighter sky with the foreground...image was captured at 7:30pm as the sun was setting (off camera about 90° to my position)...

D. "Bodhi"

‪#‎New‬ ‪#‎Zealand‬ ‪#‎South‬ ‪#‎Island‬ ‪#‎Moari‬ ‪#‎Dunedin‬ ‪#‎SaintClair‬ ‪#‎Dolica‬‪#‎Tripods‬ ‪#‎Lee‬ ‪#‎Filters‬ ‪#‎BigStopper‬ ‪#‎ND‬ ‪#‎LongExposure‬ ‪#‎LE‬ ‪#‎Nikon‬‪#‎D800‬ ‪#‎Nikkor‬ ‪#‎24mm‬ ‪#‎f1‬.4 ‪#‎Seascape‬ ‪#‎Pier‬ ‪#‎Ruins‬ ‪#‎Beach‬ ‪#‎Ocean‬‪#‎Waves‬ ‪#‎Landscape‬ ‪#‎Sunset‬ ‪#‎Dusk‬ ‪#‎Reflection

Newer image, entitled "Ambivalent to Becoming" by D. "Bodhi" Smith

Entitled, "Ambivalent to Becoming," this is another of my newest compositions captured recently on my trip to the South island of New Zealand. I am telling you, without hesitation, go visit this is a very beautiful land.

I named this image "Ambivalent to Becoming" as I can personify these rocks as unhatched eggs...only these eternal eggs could care less one way or another if they ever hatch to become something else...they just sit and bask in the sun as they lay on the beach day after day, year after year, century after century, relishing in the idea that being is better than becoming. This might be my best title for an image of mine ever, IMHO.

I got up a few hours before sunrise and set off on dawn patrol for capturing the Moeraki boulders (pronounced "Mow-racky") at sunrise during a low tide event. My drive to this spot was a little over an hour, but because of the time in the morning, there was absolutely no traffic on the highway and I made it in less than one hour. Under darkness i headed out in search of these gigantic boulders. I was shut out by rain/lightning for capturing a sunset at this spot a couple nights previously, but luckily I was able to return to this unique scene before I headed over to the west coast of the island on my third day in New Zealand.

This is a well known spot for visitors and photographers alike to visit. Pictures of these boulders were even on the promo images for New Zealand Airlines during my arrival flight listed as a place tourists "must see." So it is not a surprise that this beach gets extremely crowded as people relieve their curiosity and get up-close and personal to check-out these egg-like rocks. And to boot, they are very easy to find with signage right off the main highway and access via a short, easy stroll on the beach.

I made the stroll up the beach in the dark to see the large silhouettes of these boulders in the dim glow of my headlamp at low lumens. Impressive in the dark, I could not wait to see them in the reds and purples of the morning light. But that would not turn out to be the case on this morning as the tide and the clouds just did not cooperate.

I was then joined by another aspiring NZ photographer, Mason Osborne as the sun was starting to rise. We were both comparatively disappointed because the cloud deck was just too thick on the east front to permit any of the red wavelengths of the rising sun to shine on the clouds overhead, resulting in a very lackluster and unspectacular sunrise. Bummer. Double Bummer. My idea of "Planned Chance" working against my favor once again...or maybe not?

As I pointed out previously, this location is well known, so before I ever stepped foot on the Moeraki Beach, I was told over and over by numerous guides and photographers to shoot here at low tide. I will tell you now that this is not so. Do not shoot this location at low tide, ever, period. This is identical to California's Bowling Ball Beach as it is best shot at middle-high tide. Low tide is too low. High tide is too high. Middle-high tide is Goldilocks just right.

At sunrise, the tide was honestly just too low to really get anything spectacular with my style of long exposure photography anyway. The waves were not coming in far enough and flowing around the most interesting of the boulders on the beach. So my Options: 1. leave and make my way early to Lake Wanaka, or, 2. stay 3-4 hours longer on this beach until the tide came up and was surrounding the rocks and hope the cloud deck lingers to help block down the sunlight. #1 had no risk or variables. #2 needed allot to happen for it to work out. I opted for #2, I would wait, reasoning that it might be a long while before I made it back to this beach in the future. I decided I would hang out until the clouds started to break up or the tide came in and permitted me to shoot these rocks in the manner I wanted to capture them.

A few hundred people milled onto the beach and played around and on top of these boulders as the clock ticked away and the tide came in more and more favorably. The clouds hung out with me, as if wanting me to capture something special from this spot to take home to the other hemispheres of the world. I set up on these three rocks at the north end of the formation, more remote and aways from most of the tourists on the beach. I liked their roundness and contrast to the waves rolling in around them. I waited. The clouds waited as well. Then it happened, I got an image I really liked, this is the result. Glad I chose that second option, but I know I could have easily wasted my time and got nothing for my efforts, but "Planned Chance" did work in my favor after all. As I walked down the beach to the carpark, the clouds broke apart and the sun came out in its full bright glory. Insert a smile on my face as I strolled off the beach, got in the car, and drove off down the left side of the road to Wanaka singing to the steering wheel my rendition of Men at Work's "Overkill" which was playing through my iPod into the car stereo ...

By the way, these boulders make up a rare rock-reef formation whose only equal is actually found in my native California on the northern coastline in Mendocino county on "Bowling Ball Beach" (see my image a few posts below this one that is named "Idiosycre Sea"). I am not certain, but I think that I might very well be the only professional photog to have captured gallery images from both of these beautiful and eerie seaside rock formations located on opposite sides of the vast Pacific Ocean. And I hate to admit it, but this set of rocks is more photogenic and eloquent than the ones found in my homeland...I will be going back to revisit this scene as a sunset, and at mid-high tide in the near future. Beautiful rocks in a beautiful land.

May this picture bring a smile and brightness to your day

Camera Settings: ISO-100, 28mm at f/8 for 355 seconds taken at 10:56am under a canopy of heavy clouds...using the Lee filter holder system, I stacked four filters mounted in front of my Nikkor 28-70mm f2.8 lens for this exposure: three Lee Proglass ND Filters (3.0ND (a.k.a. the Big Stopper),.9ND, and .6ND for 15 stops in total) for permitting me to capture this extreme long exposure and one Lee .75ND Grad (2.5 stops) to balance the brighter sky with the foreground...

I hope this message and image find you well.

D. "Bodhi"

‪#‎New‬ ‪#‎Zealand‬ ‪#‎South‬ ‪#‎Island‬ ‪#‎Moeraki‬ ‪#‎Boulders‬ ‪#‎Dunedin‬ ‪#‎Dolica‬‪#‎Tripods‬ ‪#‎Lee‬ ‪#‎Filters‬ ‪#‎BigStopper‬ ‪#‎ND‬ ‪#‎LongExposure‬ ‪#‎LE‬ ‪#‎Nikon‬‪#‎D800‬ ‪#‎Nikkor‬ #24-70mm ‪#‎Seascape‬ ‪#‎Reef‬ ‪#‎Beach‬ ‪#‎Pacific‬ ‪#‎Ocean‬‪#‎Waves‬ ‪#‎Landscape‬ ‪#‎Reflection‬

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New composition, "Surrealist Dreams"...fourth in New Zealand Series

My newest composition entitled, "Expressionist Dreams." This is the fourth in my series from New Zealand, and the first of my seascapes from the south Island.

The beach pictured here is called Wharariki (pronounced "far-a-ricky") and the rock formations in the image are actually part of the Archway Islands. This beach is located at the extreme north top end of the south Island of New Zealand and it is remote enough to get few visitors. Because of the inanely steep and curvy Takada Hill, it took me a little over two hours (each direction) to drive from Nelson where I was staying to the trailhead parking lot. The path to the beach is a little over one mile and is easily walked in 20-30 mins. The track is well marked up until the sand dunes, which are about a quarter of a mile wide, and where the path becomes your own footprints.

Wharariki beach is extremely beautiful and quite diverse with all sorts of different formations such as sea caves, natural bridges, tide pools, arches, sand dunes, channels, sea spires, waterfalls, and seals (even baby seals playing in the many tidepools). The actual beach is over two miles long and very wide and flat, perfect for a long stroll at sunrise or sunset, and is a must see if you ever find yourself in New Zealand.

Wharariki beach is famous for being insanely windy all the time (as it was on this evening), which is evident from all the pristine sand dunes surrounding the beach. While I was there, the high winds even erased all traces of my footprints and all others from existance off the dunes. I recommend that if you are ever visiting this beach and plan to stay after dark, be certain of your route back using GPS or other means as the trail home over the dunes might no longer be there when you head back (as with what happened to me).

While I was there, there were only two other couples on the entire beach, possibly because of the high winds and it being mid-week...but totally abandoned is my kind of beach. One very nice bonus about the winds is that they blow all the pesky black sand flies away--so no human blood-crazed sand flies, hoo-rah! The winds were howling close to 50mp and I had to drill my tripod deep into the sand and anchor it with sandbags to ensure it and my attached camera did not move during the entirety of both long exposures used to compose this image. This composition is comprised two long exposures taken about 15 mins apart, without moving the is for the exposure of the Archway Islands and the other is for the moon exposure. At low tide, the flatness of the beach kept the sand very wet and super reflective as the waves would roll in and out for several hundred feet while only being less than an inch in height. This is absolutely perfect conditions for this sort of a long exposure mirrored photograph.

I truly love the range of color tones in my image here as they are reminiscent of the exact same color blends that can be viewed in my personal surreal favorite, and Salvador Dali's most famous painting, "Persistence of Memory."

I am glad to be able to share this gem with you, but the pleasure was all mine in getting to experience this enchanted and wondrous beach on the northern tip of the Southern Island of New Zealand.

Camera Settings: ISO-100, 34mm at f/8 for 260 seconds using one Lee 3.0ND Proglass (Big Stopper) Filter, one Lee .75ND Grad Filter to balance the sky down 2.5stops, and one Lee .3ND Grad Filter to balance the reflection down 1 stop--this filter was used inverted. Both exposures were taken a short time after sunset using the same filter setup...

I hope this message and image find you well.

D. "Bodhi"

#Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #squaredroid #Dolica #tripods #Lee #Filters #Big #stopper #LongExposure #expressionist #Impressionist #Surreal #Bodhi #Smith #New #Zealand #Beach #Seascape #archway #islands #Sunset #moon #rise #reflections #Wharariki #farewellsplit #Motueka #Takaka #Nelson #Tasman #Sea

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

First release from New Zealand series: "Ancient Congregation" by D. "Bodhi" Smith

Entitled "Ancient Congregation", here is my newest release--the very first composition in my series from New Zealand. !!Click on this image to see the full's another tall panoramic!!

I had a 2 night and 3 day stay in the middle of the South Island in a small town called Wanaka.The location of this village is central and really close to a lot of different things giving me a wide of range of subjects which I can go shoot, especially if the weather changes giving me a lot of different options to turn to. And in the long run, things worked out very well for me having all these different options at hand choose from...

I came to Lake Wanaka with the full intention to shoot the famous tree that is surrounded by water and has been shot by just about every New Zealander photographer on the island as well as the many thousands of visiting photographers as well. The image in my mind's eye that I had for this tree was really the top photo I wanted to get on my visit to New Zealand. This composition I hoped to capture was the first one I wanted above all others, and I started actually planning the trip around how I was going to give myself the most opportunity to shoot this tree.

Of course, as luck would have it, the area has been experiencing the worst drought on record over the last month and the lake is down over 5 feet...this relationship to the water level basically exposes the tree and it is no longer surrounded by water, which really destroys the composition that I saw in my mind's eye. Total bummer..."it's a bummer, man..." < the voice of The Big Lebowski> It was actually so awful, that I didn't even bother to take my camera out of my backpack to shoot the tree while I stayed here. Because what I like, and what I wanted, did not exist as a result of the crazy extra low level of the lake. When I was planning this trip and scouting the location before I arrived in New Zealand, the lake was at a normal level just a month ago, but now 30 days later, its just pitiful. Kinda reminds me of California with our drought. But hey, it's part of my world as a landscape photographer...gotta have patience. My idea of "Planned Chance" literally in action again, except this time the chance and luck did not go my way--yet, as it turned out.

So, even though I don't live here, I'll just have to come back...something which I definitely have plans to do as the south island of New Zealand has quickly become my second favorite place to be, right up there next to my native home of Southern California. While here so far, I've only been able to catch about 1 out of 5 things that I had on my list to scout, which was honestly as expected. But what I didn't expect was how beautiful everything has been--there truly hasn't been a bad thing on the list. Usually there's a couple duds here and there, you know, things that just don't translate into a good picture...but, wow, this scenery here has been just absolutely phenomenal!

But things in my world do seem to balance out between the negative and the positive in my did happen with me on this occasion. I did not get the picture that I wanted, but I've probably managed to capture something every bit as spectacular, maybe even more. Plus, this scene was actually more difficult to have all the variables to align together correctly all in such a small window that was really only a matter of about 3 hours during my entire stay of 8 days. If even one variable was off, the composition just wouldn't have be possible, and I would have driven for many hours out of the way in the middle the night all for naught.

So, last night I made the decision to go after an image I had in my mind under the stars. Since the weather looked very very good-- in other words, being cold and clear overnight to shoot the Milky Way, I decided to drive 2 hours in the dark on a winding twisting road that I did not know (nor have driven) out to Lake Tekapo. Beside the lake is an old historic building made of stone called the Church of the Good Shepherd. My data had the Milky Way as possibly being positioned over top of the church, which of course as it turned out, it was. And man, the Milky Way is beautiful and full of personality here on this island in the southern hemisphere.

Once I arrived at the church, I chose my position, set up my trusty tripod, selected the settings from my Nikon D800, dialed in my focus on my Nikkor prime 24mm f1.4 lens, created my composition, clicked open the shutter, and 13 seconds later--wow! After taking just a couple snaps, I knew this was going to be something very very special... well worth the long drive in the middle of night, and the frigid chill that was in the air which was freezing me to the bone.

I do not usually post an image when I'm in the middle of a trip, but this composition was one I was really excited, instead of taking a nap during the day as I often do, I decided to process this image at my motel here in Wanaka, New Zealand.

On the long drive back from the church to my room in Wanaka, I had to pull off the road for an hour and sleep because I was so tired. As I was dozing off into my power nap, I decided I was going to edit this image and I already had named it in my mind...the name, "Ancient Congregation" is a title which is really just perfect for this picture. I can imagine the stars banding out over top of the back cross, which seemingly are coming and rising out of the church, as spiritually representing the residual of all the people that have sat in that church over the last couple hundred years. This is a neat ethereal effect in my honest opinion, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved capturing this beautiful image.

This capture is actually two images taken consecutively, and then stitched together on top of each other to enable me to get the full colour at the top of the Milky Way which could not be done in just one composition as it was just too tall.

Camera settings: ISO-1250, 24mm at f/1.4 for 13 seconds captured at 4:45am. The church was being illuminated by the lights from the town of Lake Tekapo, so for this composition, I had to use one Lee .3ND Grad Filter inverted upside down (sort of in reminiscence of being in the southern hemisphere I guess) to bring down the church one stop as it was much brighter than the fainter stars the sky I wanted to have in my detail. To get the illumination of the windows from inside the church, I placed my headlamp on low lumens and shown it in through the back window.

If you like my photographic impressions here, please check out all of my work on:
And especially please remember to check out the works of my two friends and fabulous photographers, Chip Morton and Jeff Deveau , who are also my associates in our workshop endeavor at .

I hope this message and image find you well.

D. " Bodhi "

#Dolica #Tripods #New #Zealand #Tekapo #Church #Good Sheppard #Milky Way #Nightscape #Stars #Lee #Filters #Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #24mm #f1.4 #long exposure #impressionism #expressionism #Bodhi #Smith #photography #landscape #stars #

New release, "Haast To Be" by D."Bodhi" Smith

Entitled, "Haast to Be" this is another new compositions from my trip here to New Zealand's south island this week...

This is an image of an unnamed waterfall close to the well-known and well-visited Fantail Falls in the Haast Gorge. It is not an easy hike to get to, but with some trail finding and unwillingness to give up, it can be done. You have to ford a rocky bottomed and frigid stream numerous times...and then scramble over some slick talus rocks and moss-covered deadfalls. The water was beyond cold, and my feet were frozen by the time I got to the falls, but I am soooo glad I made it. Awesome cascade dropping their tiers into a gorgeous glacier blue pool of water. Wow. I climbed up above the pool about 15 feet and set up shop to take some long exposures of this sweet waterfall. Life is good...but then a big oh-oh happened...

A couple of shots just before taking this image, I had a bit of a monstrous scare with my camera as I got an SD memory card failure error. An extreme panic attack seized my entire being. Oh-oh. I could not take any new pictures onto that card, and the ones I had shot all night/morning and afternoon were on that card. I could not even view those images through the camera. My heart sank. I was sick to my stomach. 

I always back up my images at the end of a day of shooting for just this reason--fear of losing them due to a memory card failure. I had some of the best images taken on this trip unbacked-up on that card--including the first one I released from New Zealand of the Church of the Good Sheppard under the Milky Way (post directly below this one). What if I had just lost all of those images? I was feeling more and more sick, literally. I had no way to view the images, none of them. No way of knowing for certain if they were gone or if I could still pull them off the card. In the past, I have seen it go both ways--sometime relief, with a big "whew" as the images are still there, and other times dismay as all of the images are lost.

My computer was back at the motel, which was about an hour's hike out of the canyon back to the trailhead and then another hour and a half drive away. Nothing I could do right now. Worrying does no good. The light on this waterfall before my eyes was still getting better, and even though I desperately wanted to hike back to the car and drive back to the motel to put my mind at rest about the images that were either still accessible or simply lost for good, I persevered and and decided to just keep shooting--I put in a new memory card and took a group of successful images, including the one you see here before you. I pack up and headed back, with only one thing on my mind, my body almost numb in deep though and regret for not backing up the star images from last night when I stopped by the motel before heading out to shoot this waterfall. if i just would have done that--you all know how we torture ourselves with "what-ifs"

The trip had gone so splendidly well up until this point, but now all I could do was drive back to the motel and hope that a separate card reader I carry with me would be able to view the images so i could copy them onto my computer and back-up hard drive. 

As I took the card out of my camera bag and inserted it into the reader, I could barely breath...but as it turned out, I got lucky--they were there. I had all of my images. Card was dead and useless, but I had all of my images. It was the "whew" option that i got. The "I dodged a bullet" feeling coupled with deep thankful relief as all the images were transferred safely to my permanent storage. "WHEW!"

So, I hope you enjoy this image of mine, one that i went through quite all physically and emotionally to get...and if you ever go to new Zealand, these spectacular falls should be on your must see list...

Camera settings: ISO-100, f/8 at 24mm for 480 seconds using 15 stops of Lee ND Proglass filters (.6ND, .9ND, 3.0ND) taken about 11:30am in a dark narrow canyon.

If you like my photographic impressions here, please check out all of my work on:
  1. Facebook -
  2. Instagram - 
  3. My website - 
And especially please remember to check out the works of my two friends and fabulous photographers, Chip Morton and Jeff Deveau , who are also my associates in our workshop endeavor at .

I hope this image and message find you well.


#New #Zealand #Waterfall #Glacier #Blue #Pool #Falls #Haast #Gorge #Dolica #Tripods #LeeFilters #Nikon #D800 #Nikkor #Lenses #24mm #Prime #Bodhi #Smith #Landscape #Surreal #Impressionist #Expressionist #LongExposure #Lee #BigStopper

Newest release, "Impressions In The Mist" by D."Bodhi" Smith

This is my newest release entitled, "Impressions in the Mist" is the third photo in my series from New Zealand taken during my recent travels to the south island.

This is a composition where I zoomed in on the details of the lower cascade of the Devil's Punchbowl Falls rather than try to capture the falls in their entirety (sometimes I wonder just how many natural geographic formations have the word "devil" in their names?)...this image was captured on Easter Sunday morning on my last day on the Island at Arthur's Pass, and is sort of NZ's kindly parting gift to me before I had to catch my long flight back home to California...

These falls are located just off the main pass through the mountains that connects the cities of Christchurch on the east coast with Greymouth on the west coast. The setting for Devil's Punchbowl Falls is Arthur's Pass National Park which is located in the mountains in the middle of the island. They are really quite easy to access since the short trail (called a track in NZ) is very close to the road and is a very well maintained path by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Only issue is the long climb up to the falls, as they are located uphiill from the trailhead and are reached after climbing 316 steps at higher altitude in the mountains (I was a bit winded when I arrived at the falls)

This waterfall is very majestic and impressive dropping 112 meters (350ft) from the cliffs above. I could have taken images of the entire waterfall, however, I was really fascinated instead by just the lower part of the falls for their personality as the water cascaded over numerous spire shaped rocks. A bonus in the composition was a small evergreen tree that was jutting out from the cliff closest to the observation deck, which could easily be included in the composition in many different ways using a longer zoom lens. The foggy morning and misty air also added some character and depth to this composition as well.

Btw, if you are ever on the South island of New Zealand, be sure to ALWAYS carry deet/insect not ever think that because of the weather you will not need it. The pesky little black sand flies seem to pop up out of nowhere and seem to be everywhere unless there is wind. These little blood-suckers are persistent and if you are bitten by them, the result is an itch 100 times worse than any mosquito bite ever could wish to become. It is always good to be prepared. I kept these pests off of me the entire trip by coating exposed skin with bug-spray, especially my lower legs, right up until the last day.

On my last morning, I packed my bug-juice in my suitcase in prep for my flight home (too much liquid content for a carry-on) thinking that there was no way these bugs would be in the crisp cool mountains to bother me--WRONG! two days later, and I am still itching from only a couple bites from those little kiwi nuisances...just an f.y.i. heads-up to any future traveler to this great little island in the southern hemisphere. In fact, the black sand fly was really truly the only bad thing of any sort I have to mention about New Zealand. I am sure that the New Zealand national travel/promotional bureau wants to keep a tight lid on any sort of advertisement of the problems that these pesky little bugs have created for tourists on the island. Famous British explorer, Captain James Cook, stated that these tiny little flying insects were the fiercest creatures he had ever encountered in all of his travels!

Camera Settings: ISO-100, 155mm at f/8 for 55 seconds using one Lee Proglass 3.0ND filter to bring down the entire image 10 stops. Image was taken at 10am under foggy and misty conditions.

If you like my photographic impressions here, please check out all of my work on:
  1. Facebook -
  2. Instagram - 
  3. My website - 
And especially please remember to check out the works of my two friends and fabulous photographers, Chip Morton and Jeff Deveau , who are also my associates in our workshop endeavor at .

#New #Zealand #Arthur'sPass #Waterfall #Devil'sPunchbowl #Falls #LeeFilters #Dolica #Tripods #Nikon #Nikkor #D800 #Impressionist #Expressionist #Bodhi #Smith #LE #LongExposure

I hope this message and image find you well.

D. "Bodhi"