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February 11, 2012
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Brecon Beacons by Alex37 Brecon Beacons by Alex37
Pen Y Fan is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons and in southern Britain. At 886m it is diminuative by continental standard but can still provide spectacular views and unforgiving conditions.

Photographically 2012 did not get off to a good start for me. Of the trips I have been on perhaps 25% have produced any images at all. It's hard to keep going when you keep hitting bad weather! Our hike up to Pen Y Fan was no better. Freezing rain made for quite unpleasant walking conditions and my waterproof shell literally became a shell of ice! Once the tent was up (on the summit of Pen Y Fan because I try not to do things in half measures) we were fine though. It was cold but down jackets and sleeping bags soon warm you up, as does hot chocolate with a spot of whisky! The night went well and I got up every 3 hours to check the weather (it was cloudy but still all night). By 5.30am a gap had appeared on the eastern horizon and with the high clouds overhead an wonderful sunrise became almost certain.

Getting out the tent revealed just how cold it had been overnight with ice covering the tent but photography was the only thing on my mind. Donning my crampons I set off around Pen Y Fan in search of compositions....

5dmkII, 17-40L, ISO100, f11
5 vertical frames at 17mm bracketed with a 3 stop range. Stitched in PTGui and blended in Photoshop CS4

You can read a blog about what it took to get this image here: [link]
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:iconionosphereimages:
Ionosphereimages Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow stunning shot!!
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:iconjeffstokely:
JeffStokely Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Professional
Yep. This is obscenely gorgeous
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:iconrachcedillo:
rachcedillo Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is simply majestic! :love:
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:icondorotejac:
DorotejaC Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello ! You've Been Featured :bulletred:HERE:bulletred: as the Best of February 2013 in #BeautyClub. Please take a look other artists work too :nod:

Thank you, :rose:
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:iconabsicola:
Absicola Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Stunning! :wow: Excellent photo :thumbsup::D
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you
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:iconabsicola:
Absicola Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome :D
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:iconeuph0ria:
euph0ria Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely stunning.

I use 3 pocket Canon cameras mounted on a custom rigged mount with (CHDK firmware installed) to program a script for an auto bracketing, and synch them to shoot together in perfect synch with a USB Trigger. I first have it take three bracketed images, and then repeat the mid-range 3 shots, then the longer exposures/shorter at higher ISO, 2-3 more shots to capture the shadows, then 3 more to capture the brights.
The first three to capture the necessities right away as things may be changing, and the rest are for photo stacking to improve whatever signal to noise there may be. Then I use a freeware program called Hugin to stack, and then to make panos. Of course my subject matter isn't nearly as beautiful.
But I can appreciate the process. The REAL power is the fact that CHDK, Cannon Hack Development Kit, makes it all possible by making the cameras programmable, and automated, where you need to do a number of things in a changing environment (clouds moving ever so slowly) fast, and in perfect synch, that would otherwise be impossible, the camera can all do in a matter of seconds. If the scene permits me I usually bracket in 5 stages if I can.
None of my equipment is on the pro-consumer end, so I have to do a lot of fancy post processing and photograph accordingly, but for the 5dmkII I think Magic Lantern is out that may be useful, many people swear by it, esp for video.

Even a 180-270 degree pano would be an incredible sight to see, not to mention full of detail at a very high res.

Anyway just sharing some feedback and appreciation for the post side of the photo. It's absolutely stunning and I gotta say, you're living my dream up there with all that beauty. Love to see more like this. Thank you for sharing all your amazing work.
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks very much. It's interesting to read about your technique. At the moment I must confess that I dont really see how my capture technique could be improved by software. The bracketing sequence is already a custom function, all I really need to get right (aside from the composition!) is the initial exposure setting, which I would have to do anyway no matter what method I used! The liveview capture sequence is incredibly rapid, as is manually moving the camera to capture the next frame. Thanks for the suggestion though :)
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:iconeuph0ria:
euph0ria Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well the difference being, I'm using a firmware (CHDK) that gives me the functionality of higher end cameras like yours to snap and shoot cameras, and further-more makes them programmable by allowing the end user to write pre-made scripts (such as in a text editor on your computer before hand and then added to the memory card) that can be selected from the firmware's menu. So it's capable of carrying out extremely complex tasks automatically, and quickly/or slowly as the case may be for software) My cameras aren't nearly as good as yours in terms of photo quality. My ISO 800 is going to look horrible compared to your camera's ISO 800, for example, so, I simply set it to burst mode and have it snap 8-10 photos very rapidly, and then stack the photos to get a nice clean photo. The firmware also supports many other things like motion detection which is fantastic for capturing things like lightning, or animals.
For example I have a script that captures lightning at a narrow Fstop and 80 ISO for 1/2 second or so, once it detects the strike, and the immediately follows up with a few shots at a higher ISO, 200/400 at a wide Fstop to capture the clouds, and then composite the images together for some wonderful, almost self-taking, hands free lightning photography, as the camera does all the work with it's motion detection. Oh, and as for bracketing, you can chose exactly how you want the image to be bracket. Sometimes I like finer granularity and have 5 levels of exposures. It helps with the signal to noise, and also HDR. You can chose to bracket by shutter speed alone if you want to keep depth of field constant, or bracket by fstop and/or ISO if you need to keep the shutter speed constant for whatever reason.
You can bracket an image by depth of field, so you capture an image's entire depth of field, and then combine them so the entire image is sharp. (Especially useful for macro photography)
Anyway, I could preach about a dozen other uses, but I don't want to over do it. I would just hope that if it's a tool you can benefit from it would be fantastic, but I don't even know if it is available for your camera. There is another apparent firmware available called Magic Lantern that is supposed to do amazing things for higher end camera such as yours. None of it makes any permanent changes to the camera, it just loads from the card when the camera boots and the camera goes back to normal when it's not there. :blahblah:

The reason I suggest Hugin, is it's very advanced and specialized for panos, HDR, and photo stacking and alignment. Honestly, I don't see where you could have done better either from the results I see, as they are stunning. Hugin just gives you many more options and higher accuracy where Photoshop has failed me in the past. And 32bit HDR images in a couple different formats. Also, It can align and blend the image in layers, so when you import it into photoshop, you can apply masks and remove objects in the blend, such as a person who was in one shot but not in the next. Can do amazing things for architecture and scenery correction/lens distortion correction and fringing color aberration. Just one of those tools that has been built from the ground up by people who make panos. It's open source, and free. :) I have some lofty photos I have attempted and manipulated with Hugin that you might find interesting if you'd like to see sometime. I have definitely enjoyed your works!
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I use PTGUI to stitch. It is also a specialised program. I don't do automated HDRs because the results are not good in my opinion.

I've taken a look at Magic Lantern, looks very interesting indeed, I might consider using it so thanks :)
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:iconeuph0ria:
euph0ria Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hugin is like PTGUI only much more complex, and certainly not automated, thought it does make the process similar. I always manually tweak the control points, it handles chromatic aberration, vignetting, and many different ways of mapping. PTGUI is like the old unevolved version of Hugin. But I agree, automated pano stitching software is almost always too inaccurate.
I hope you get a chance to use Magic Lantern! Would be wonderful to see what works you come up with using it. I'll be eagerly waiting to see what you share next. Thanks! :)
Reply
:icondesigndivala:
Designdivala Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Your images are truly amazing, and the adverse conditions you work through, well I see why we never see these sites except in capable and dedicated artists as yourself... Thanks for the glimpses of heaven!
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:iconbetuwefotograaf:
Betuwefotograaf Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I like this shot very much....................Fave.....
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:iconmangasockattack:
mangasockattack Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful!!
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:iconundefined-mari:
Undefined-Mari Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012
Breathtaking.
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, you have been re-featured in my Weekly Feature Article.
Here is the complete Feature and News Article List, you might find other works of yours in there.
Have a nice day :huggle:
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:icondienices:
Dienices Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012   Photographer
Dude sometimes you really put me to shame about getting out for this kind of thing.
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks I guess :P
Reply
:icongecko-online:
gecko-online Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012   Traditional Artist
wonderful shot and beautiful nature! stay well and enjoy the country! ;-)
Reply
:icondrlightness:
DRLIGHTNESS Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012
Your beautiful work has been featured in

It’s A Wonderful World!
[link]

:iconart-express:
#Art-Express
Artistic Expression
Reply
:iconbojkovski:
Bojkovski Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
beautiful view
great colors
Reply
:iconda-phil:
da-phil Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
congratulations! your outstanding work has been added to the Featured Gallery of #panoramicshot
Reply
:iconmorphine-cloud:
Morphine-Cloud Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
Featured : [link]
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:iconenkased:
Enkased Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
Worth every second of the cold!
Excellent shot.
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks very much
Reply
:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Excellent. This result, all the other shots from the trip, your blog, your motivation. Well done Alex, very well deserved and worked hard for. One of your top images to date.
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks a lot Jake!
Reply
:icondanielleminer:
DanielleMiner Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
you have been featured here [link]
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you
Reply
:icongroovygeek:
GroovyGeek Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012
Mmm, gap on the Eastern horizon at sunrise. The only other thing a photographer could ask for is clouds on the western horizon and shooting with the sun... but you needed to be on one of those ridgelines for that shot to work, I guess.
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
there were clouds on the western horizon which I did photography looking opposite the sun :)
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:iconyatesmon:
yatesmon Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012
What can I see about this image...HOLY SHITTING HELL!!!

Just superb work, best I've seen this year..amazing:omg:
Reply
:iconthanksthatisenough:
thanksthatisenough Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2012
Your beautiful work is featured here [link]
Reply
:iconmayavogrin:
MayaVogrin Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012
Featured [link] :heart:
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:iconmjlefevre:
MJLefevre Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
omg you have taken some fantastic shots they are stunning
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello, you have been featured on my front page in my weekly Box Feature.
For more details about how this feature works feel free to check the "About Features" section in my journal.
Have a nice day :huggle:
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconskimkimchi:
SkimKimchi Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
:D
Reply
:iconskimkimchi:
SkimKimchi Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome job :)
Reply
:iconafeinphoto-com:
aFeinPhoto-com Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Professional Photographer
This is pretty sick...what great light and the snow adds to the color across the scene. Great work

aF
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks Aaron
Reply
:iconprisma-photo:
Prisma-photo Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Sounds like it was quite a (cold) trip ; beautiful shot indeed !
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012
This is wonderful Alex
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks very much Andy
Reply
:iconpribeiro:
PRibeiro Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
hello hello, come here to offer my humble comment from beginner to an aspiring photographer, I loved the picture, the colors, the perspective, the feeling that it makes us dream, many congratulations.

visit my gallery and comment if you can help me to have a premium account so you press to donate to my donation, thank you </ i>
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks very much
Reply
:iconstefanhefele:
StefanHefele Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
Wonderful peaceful pano! Good composition :-)
Reply
:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you
Reply
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