Ft. Stewart, Georgia & Hilton Head South Carolina

February 10th, 2011 | Posted by Steve in Georgia | South Carolina

Hi all,

This is part of my latest trip info & photos.  This will be followed by another email in a day or so. That way I don’t dump this all on your email at one time.

I am in Tacoma until Saturday Feb 12.  This is a quick trip.  I arrived the afternoon of Sunday 2-6 & leave early Saturday.  The weather hasn’t been too good so I haven’t shot any photos, but it has given me time to process some older shots.

These date from mid to late January.  I was with Sam & Vicki at Ft. Stewart, GA.  We were driving near one of the many railroad tracks that cross the middle of the base when I saw a couple of locomotives not far away.   It was the first time I had seen these two out there.  They were idling in front of what was probably a RR maintenance building.

We parked and I shot both horizontals and verticals, each with the polarizer.  I am ashamed to say the horizontals were trash.  The color really fell off and became disappointing.  It was probably a result of the wide setting on the lens I was using.  The verticals, however, were very saturated.

This is the 3rd Infantry Division Locomotive 4642. It is a General Electric 4 axle model, probably built in the eighties.  The 3rd ID logo is seen near the yellow handrail going up to the platform.   In the few weeks I was at Ft. Stewart I drove by this location often, but the locomotives had moved on.  Maybe they will be there in February when I am back.  I would certainly like to get some good horizontals.

US Army Locomotive

US Army Locomotive

Technical Info: Canon 5D II digital camera & maximum sized raw file (as with all files here in), ISO 200, 24-105mm f4 EF IS USM lens at 32mm focal length, circular polarizer, 1/60th of a second, hand held.  The internally stabilized lens (IS) offers a great deal of stability.  It can yield sharp photos with exposures as long as about 1/6th of a second or 10 times longer than the photo above.

Do I bet on getting a sharp exposure at 1/6th second hand held?  No.  It happens only as necessary.  I much prefer to have a 1/30th second or faster hand held, even with the stabilized lens.

The digital files from the camera when downloaded to the computer vary in size anywhere from 24mb to 34mb.  I cannot give an explanation of why there is such a large variance.  From raw I save the files either as a Photoshop PSD or a TIFF file.  Basic PSD & TIFF files start at about 61mb and go up depending on the changes.  Sometimes they will pass 300mb depending on how I tweak the photo.

Traveling as often as I do it is impossible to carry a tripod or even a light monopod.  Back in the 1970s airlines carried individual pieces of luggage for free up to 70 pounds.  Today the 50 pound weight limit forces a limit on my creature comforts and optional items so the stabilized lens comes in very handy.

Nearby the locomotives were what appeared to be some old boxcars sitting on the ground.  They were without wheels and faded from an original red brown to a washed out salmon & gray.  Vicki suggested I shoot a picture of a dead bush growing in front of one of the boxcars.  The composition & angle of the sun did not impress me, but I thought it had potential as a black & white.  Here it is processed in an antique B&W style.

Bush B&W - Antique

Bush B&W - Antique

Technical info: ISO 200, 24-105mm f4 EF IS USM lens at 67mm focal length.  Nik Silver Efex software for the antique B&W look.  One of my Central Texas friends, Darwin, will say this photo is “jacked”.  Yes it is, and quite a bit too.  Wait for the next B&W.

One of my weekends off I met Crawford in Hilton Head, SC.   Crawford is one of my fellow employees so our paths cross now and then.  He is also an accomplished photographer.  We had a lot to talk about because we both come out the film world, we both miss it, and have transferred our efforts to digital.

Most of our time there the weather was overcast and drear, but the sun came out in the middle to late afternoon.

Hilton Head has a lighthouse on the harbor overlooking the 18th hole of one of their famous golf courses.  It is privately owned & part of a small upscale shopping center.  It may have been planned that way.  It was built in 1969 & opened in 1970.  At the top is a gift shop with a small beacon above the shop.  Access to the beacon is via portable ladder by removing a clear plastic ceiling panel.  Outside is a viewing platform.

Crawford and I paid the admission & climbed to the top.  This is an interior view with the flash.

Interior of the Hilton Head Lighthouse

Interior of the Hilton Head Lighthouse

Technical info with some non technical comments for you non technical readers:  F4 (that is wide open with almost no depth of field), 1/13th of a second exposure (that is a lot of time for the shutter to be open), 24mm focal length (as wide as the lens gets, almost a 90 degree field of view) with a flash (other wise this would be a photo of your hand in a blacked out coal mine at midnight).

When we returned that afternoon the sun had come out.  Here are two views of the harbor.

Harbor View - Hilton Head

Harbor View - Hilton Head

Harbor View - Hilton Head

Harbor View - Hilton Head

Technical info: With the lighthouse – 400 ISO (I was experimenting), 24-105mm lens at 97mm focal length, f11, 1/160th of a second exposure, & with a circular polarizer.  Without the lighthouse – 400 ISO, 24-105mm lens at 28mm focal length, f 14 @ 1/320th second exposure, probably (but maybe not) with the circular polarizer.

Crawford and I also visited a nature preserve on the island.  The colors were intense, but there was no foreground to bring it all together.  Nonetheless the mirror effect appealed to me greatly.  I didn’t want the opportunity to pass me by so I shot a few to see what I could do with them.

This was a perfect situation where a longer exposure offered a more pronounced the mirror effect.  A tripod would have been quite useful, but I had no tripod.  The polarizer slows down the exposure some and I suppose I should have changed the ISO to a slower speed, but I also wanted the photo to be sharp.  It seems to have worked out fine, but if I ever get back there for some afternoon light I hope to have a tripod.

Technical info:  ISO is 200, 24-105mm lens at 24mm focal length, circular polarizer, 1/40th second.  I changed it over to a B&W with an orange filter overlay to yield a dramatic look.  To enhance the look I changed the aspect ratio from 1 1/2:1 to almost 2:1 which gives it a mild panoramic look.

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