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Lake of the Wolf

It's been a couple of weeks - took Victoria Day off, then got sidetracked last week, but the blog is seemingly back on track =)  After Moraine Lake, the three of us decided to hit up Peyto Lake.  I've mentioned the smog caused by the forest fire quite a few times already in the previous post, but it's probably most obvious in the pictures I took at Peyto Lake.

peyto01.jpg

Yikes!  Unfortunately, there's not much even software can do to recover all the detail.  The image above was a single shot, but I also decided to do a pano of the lake.

peyto02.jpg

Normally I like my pictures sharp, but given the haze in the picture, I decided to give this one a glow-like effect.  This probably won't suit everyone's tastes, but I prefer this effect over just having a hazy picture.  As an aside, Peyto is known as Wolf Lake or Lake of the Wolf.  What do you see - a wolf's neck and head, or a wolf's paw?

Finally, I'd like to quickly talk about dynamic range again.  Each camera has its own dynamic range, and in general, better cameras have a larger dynamic range.  What does this mean?  Cameras with a larger dynamic range are able to produce pictures that allow the user to recover more highlight and shadow information from a single shot than ones with lower dynamic range.  If you get the picture correct in camera, generally all cameras have enough dynamic range unless you're shooting into the sun or at night (HDR works great for these situations), but sometimes you get the settings wrong and the picture itself just comes out too bright or too dark.

peyto03.jpg

That's a picture that Sylvia took of me with my camera (D800), and clearly the settings were completely wrong and the picture came out way too bright (this wasn't her fault though - I handed her the camera with settings I used for a different picture).  Luckily for me, the D800 has incredible dynamic range, and using Lightroom, I was able to recover a lot of detail that wasn't there in the original shot.

peyto04.jpg

Pretty awesome, no?  Obviously there's a limit on the amount of information that's recoverable, and you can see that there's still very little detail in the top left portion of the sky (and the lake also seems a tad discoloured as well), but the safety net pro cameras provide is amazing =)