Island in the Net

A personal blog by Khürt Williams, full of inchoate writing on photography, coffee, and geekery.

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Ken Lockwood Gorge

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7445 6 7 HDR

Loren Fisher setup a meetup at the Ken Lockwood Gorge, through the Somerset Photography meet up. I had never been to the gorge. In fact I didn’t know what a Gorge was. Loren explained it to me.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7448 49 50 HDR

Ed, Prasanna and I carpooled from Skillman. We stopped in Somerville and had a leisurely lunch at Hurry Chutney.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7454 5 6 HDR

While Saturday — the day before — was warmer and sunny, today Winter came back. We were all dressed in layers from head to toe. Some of the photographers forgot to bring gloves but fortunately Loren had some extras in the back of his truck.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7457 8 9 HDR

The sky was all grey. Soft lighting would prevail. I had rented a Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5 expecting I would get a lot of wide-angle shots. However, this area still had snow and ice on the ground and there was very little greenery. Most of the other photographers decided to do long exposure photography. Ed had brought his neutral density filters with him. He was able to get some very long exposure images. Prasanna and I were a lot less prepared for that sort of photography.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7466 7 8 HDR

The longest exposure we could do without blowing out the image was ¼ second at f/29. I still think we got some great shots.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7487 8 9 HDR

I did a bit of HDR magic. I combined up to three images in Photomatix and used one of the Trey Ratcliff presets. I like the results.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7490 1 2 HDR

I tried to extract more colour from the images. I wanted to make them look warmer and more “spring” like than the weather indicated.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7496 7 8 HDR

I didn’t use the Sigma 8-16mm as much as I thought I would. At one point, I took it off and shot exclusively with my Nikkor 35mm f1/.8. Maybe it was just my familiarity with this lens, but I feel the images are sharper and livelier.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7502 3 4 HDR

I really enjoyed the hike and I expect I will return in the real spring when the trees have some leaves and the air is warmer.

Ken Lockwood Gorge, NIKON D5100 20140323 7505 6 7 HDR

If you live in New Jersey or you are just traveling through and have some time, drop by the gorge.