DA40 in the backcountry

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by mattb.net, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. I've been off all week for spring break. It's been mostly family oriented stuff but one day I got to go out on a nice ski with a friend. The ski area (Mt. Crested Butte, in the distance in the first shot below) was going to be crowded with spring break tourists so we did a backcountry line he had been wanting to do and I was mostly just along for the ride. It turned out to be a pretty fun and exciting day. The ski was steeper and a bigger commitment than I was expecting, but it all ended well.
    We climbed for a couple of hours after a short snowmobile ride to the base of Mt. Axtell. Much of the climbing was in the woods, with occasional glimpses of nice views through the branches.
    Finally we broke out of the trees and some views really opened up.
    [​IMG]
    .
    We found our planned line, the Pencil Chute. Some friends had skied it earlier, but the snow was still pretty nice.
    [​IMG]
    .
    The middle section gets narrow. It's steeper than I was expecting.
    [​IMG]
    .
    We work our way from safe zone to safe zone where we can catch our breath.
    [​IMG]
    .
    The nicest snow was in the apron once it widened it again.
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
    .
    Looking back
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
    .
    It ended up being a great and uneventful tour. The K-x DA40 combo were nice and compact so I just carried it in my chest pocket most of the day.
     
  2. Fantastic Matt, I am jealous, great place, good photos. The colour in the first and third looks great - some of the others I see grey snow where I would expect white. Now I have had zero experience photographing snow, but I remember from my photography school days being told about how a camera's meter assumes that the average tone in a scene is mid-gray, and so a very white scene will come out grey as the camera under exposes. How would the duller ones look if you upped the exposure in ACR or Lightroom or Photoshop?
     
  3. Nice shots. Looks like a hell of a run. Very tight chute, I can see how it was more committing then you expected.
    The snow isn't necessarily white at all times. It's pink, orange, blue, and gray among other colors depending on shadow, daylight, alpenglow, etc.
    the third and 4th shots down are good examples of this (as you noted). the snow in the light is very bright, but the snow in the shadows is gray, though both are properly exposed photos. Unfortunately the dynamic range is the limiting factor. Then again, that is pretty close to what the eye would see. Bright snow in the sun, and bluish gray in the shadows.
    The bottom four definitely need a bit of exposure sliding and would also benefit the skier in the shots by brightening him a bit. i'd increase the exposure by .5 and also increase the mid tone exposure a bit.
     
  4. Awesome shots Matt. Esp love the first one. Beauty.
     
  5. Matt,
    Can't ask for a better day off than that. Looks like an awesome trip and great shots of your adventure. I spend quite a bit of time fishing,hiking,snowshoeing, and x-c skiing, but wish I had been more adventurous when younger and have had trips like you and Justin. So guys, keep em coming. They're not only photographically nice but cool too.
     
  6. Great adventure--those times when you're in just slightly over our head and rise to the challenge are really memorable. And you have the photos--that's a nice take along kit.
     
  7. Well, I am really jealous!!! From both the skiing and photography standpoints :)
     
  8. Beautiful shots Matt and I agree on the + exposure compensation for all except the first photo and some of the last ones might even look better a bit cooler and more blueish.
     
  9. Thanks! I see the underexposure on a few - thanks for pointing that out. Where there's both sun and shadow it's tough. I was in survival snapping mode for some of that; I just didn't want to drop the camera or fall while trying to get a shot!
     
  10. I agree with Justin: #2 and the last four would greatly benefit from some highlight levels sliding to the right. On the one where the skier is standing and you can see the sunlit side of his tracks - I put the white dropper there. A little midtone movement will keep the texture in the snow, even a little movement of the black level to about 5 or 7 will crisp things up.
    Fabulous pictures and I applaud your courage! Justin is probably envious of the glorious weather on the mountains given his last trek :)
     
  11. Here's another try on the PP for the dark ones. My mind was more on survival that day! Thanks for all the comments.
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Pretty much perfect!
     
  13. Thanks Justin!
     

Share This Page