China September 1-14, 2012 Day 8

Today was a relaxed day that gave us a lot of free time.  We had some in the group that decided to sleep in, some that went out early and shot the morning activities of the locals, one who decided to take the morning off to edit images, and Ron & I that were out by 6 AM and shooting all day.

As those of you who follow M&M know that I (Mike G.) love to capture images of people working.  Hands, movement, and those images that portray the work and lifestyle of the people are my favorites.  An image that caught my eye this morning is the following image of this woman heading off to market with her vegetables.  Simple yet tells a story.

Canon 5D MK III, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @ 24mm, 1/800, f/4, ISO 500, Lexar Digital Film, BlackRapid Sport, Clik Elite Pro Express

We were still on the Li River so we ended the day with an interesting sunset through the humidity – it poured rain about 30 minutes earlier and left lot of water in the air – that played with the light and reflections and mountains in the distance.  This shot is what I came up with shooting through a cave-like opening along the river.

Canon 5D MK III, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS @ 24mm, 1/200, f/5.6, ISO 1600, Tiffen Grad ND filter, Lexar Digital Film, BlackRapid Sport, Clik Elite Pro Express

It is odd sometimes that you don’t realize that you are shooting a string of images with similar settings on your camera until you take a second and look – you should check your histogram and settings often.  However, I realized that based on what we were shooting all day it was a perfect day for me to put the Canon 5D Mark III through its paces for high ISO low light images AND to see how the image stabilization was working.  Like I said in an earlier post, I am not a Photoshop/editing guru.  I look forward to seeing what the images look like after editing the RAW file but for JPEGs I am impressed with what the Mark III was putting out.  I can tell you that the sole Nikon shooter on the trip was impressed with the Mark III as well.  Anyway, hope you enjoy the images.

I’ve decided to share a few images from our stop at The Reed Flute Cave – a dark cave that is beautifully lit to show the shapes and texture of the stone and formations.  No tripods allowed, too big for most flashes, and large enough to complicate composition.  The following images are all from this stop and show the capabilities of the Mark III (I purposefully kept my Depth of Field shallow).

This first shot is a reflection of the ceiling in an underground pool.  This scene is large and deep.  I think the Mark III sensor did a great job rendering all aspects of the scene.

Canon 5D MK III, Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L II @ 35mm, 1/64, f/2.8, ISO 4000, Lexar Digital Film, BlackRapid Sport, Clik Elite Pro Express

This shot is in a huge area of the cave and challenged me with total area – width, height, depth and darkness.

Canon 5D MK III, Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L II @ 25mm, 1/50, f/2.8, ISO 4000, Lexar Digital Film, BlackRapid Sport, Clik Elite Pro Express

I saved the “best” image from the cave for last.  Look closely – you’ll see layers, different colors, depth, and your eyes may even think they are seeing a 3D image here…what do you think?  Light and perspective are awesome tools aren’t they?  I saw the 3D image with my “naked” eyes before I tried to capture it with the Mark III.  It was a task as I had to be in just the right place to see with the sensor what my eyes had seen.  Interesting image with many elements to absorb.

Canon 5D MK III, Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L II @ 28mm, 1/20, f/2.8, ISO 4000, Lexar Digital Film, BlackRapid Sport, Clik Elite Pro Express

We hope you are enjoying our journey through China.  We also hope you have a growing appreciation for what the country has to offer and that you’ll seriously consider joining us next year for our journey through The Middle Kingdom.

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