“This magical beach on New Zealand’s east coast has unique boulders that look like giant dinosaur eggs. I matched tide charts so that I could capture this photo as the tide was beginning to cover the rocks. Shooting with my tripod in knee-deep water, I got up close for this perspective. This was the first time I'd used my new reverse ND grad filter, which proved perfect for this colourful sunrise!” Canon EOS 5D Mk IV with EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens. Exposure: 3.2 seconds at f/10 (ISO 100).
“Sometimes the best photos are unplanned. I drove over two hours to get to this lighthouse for sunset, but by the time I arrived clouds covered the sky. I waited it out and got a shot just as the sun broke, but left assuming the sunset was over. This was taken handheld from the car park as I put away my kit – the sky lit up beautiful oranges and purples!” Canon EOS 5D MkI V with EF70-200mm f/4LIS lens. Exposure:1/500 sec at f/8 (ISO800).
“At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island sits a beautiful beach with interesting rock formations and large dunes. Because it was a blue-sky afternoon, I knew I wouldn’t get the sunset I'd hoped for, so I explored the sand dunes. I ended up lying on the sand and shooting handheld to get this frame, capturing the details in the sand ripples.” Canon EOS 5D Mk IV with EF16-35mm f/4LISUSM lens. Exposure:1/125 sec at f/10 (ISO100).
“I wanted to get my own unique perspective on this famous tree. Rocks were jutting out from the water, providing great foreground interest. I shot from ground level to accentuate the tree against the distant mountains. A polariser and ND filter helped to control reflections and smooth out the water with a longer exposure.” Canon EOS 5D Mk IV with EF16-35mm f/4LIS lens. Exposure:Six seconds at f/10 (ISO100).
The valley surrounding Vals, Switzerland, was filled with thunderstorms that day. But this spot 600 meters above the village was pleasantly warm and clear. “From here you have a wonderful view stretching from north to southwest,” says Sandro Casutt, who runs Cosmic Art Photography in Vals with his brother Markus. Grateful for clear skies after numerous overcast days, Casutt trekked the 40-minute hike and spent the night at this perch, using his Nikon D500 and Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, a tripod, and a panoramic head to make star-studded photographs, which is Cosmic Art’s specialty. This panorama took 33 single exposures (three rows, 11 exposures each), which were stitched together using Photoshop, Lightroom, and Autopano Giga. “What I like about this photo is that it represents exactly what Vals is: pure nature,” Casutt says. “Vals gives you the time to lose your gaze in nature or in the vastness of the universe and to penetrate deeper and deeper into your own.”
• CAMERA & LENS: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Sigma 100mm F1.4 EX • EXPOSURE: 1/200 second at f/4, ISO 400 • LIGHTING: Smith used natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows facing north, with two 40x72-inch silver Aurora reflectors on the opposite side. • POST-CAPTURE: She desaturated the color by 20 to 30 percent and used the Photoshop mixer brush tool for painting. The image was printed on fine art paper, and Prismacolor colored pencils were used in some of the details.
• CAMERA & LENS: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 85mm f/1.2L II • EXPOSURE: 1/125 second at f/8, ISO 100 • LIGHTING: The main light was an AlienBees B400 modified with a 35-inch octabox, and the two lights toward the back and sides were Photogenic PL 1250s modified with stripboxes. • POST-CAPTURE: She processed the raw image in Adobe Camera Raw, created a Topaz Adjust layer, and used a layer mask to paint in areas for more details. Final edits were made in Photoshop CC.
• CAMERA & LENS: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 24- 70mm f/2.8L for the first exposure, and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L for the second exposure • EXPOSURE: 1/125 second at f/5.6, ISO 160 • LIGHTING: For the first exposure silhouette, she lit the white backdrop with four lights—two on each side, one hanging from the ceiling, and the other at the subject’s height. The subject was positioned several feet in front of the lights to avoid excessive spill. The second exposure was natural light. • POST-CAPTURE: In Photoshop CS5, Yearsley used the additive option. She started with the silhouette, then paired it with the tree. She layered a backdrop from her personal collection for the colors and added a flower image for a soft background.