More of Iceland

It doesn’t always have nice weather in Iceland. But with artistic mind and imagination, and some level of post editing in software, dull images can be turned into interesting ones. When you put efforts into something and share your experience, share your passion, I believe someone will appreciate it.

The “Eggin” picture was taken in Djúpivogur. The artwork was created by Sigurður Guðmundsson in 2009. It consists of 34 eggs, each representing a local bird. The Malarrif Lighthouse were taken near Gestastofa. It was built in 1917. Below the lighthouse is a black pebble sand beach. The church and bay pictures were taken in Hellnar, an ancient fishing village.

For the rest … Since my camera (Nikon D7000) has no GPS unit, and sometimes I forgot to take a picture at the same or nearby location using my phone so that I could use the GPS coordination recorded, I can only say they were taken somewhere on the island, but not exactly where. If you happen to know, please comment below.

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Posted by on October 7, 2018 in Picturesque Scenery, Travel


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Waterfalls in Iceland

How big is Iceland? It’s a bit bigger than Ireland, less than half of England and about 1/10th of Ontario, Canada. It is small on a world map. You could take a 10-hour non-stop drive (750km) from Keflavik International airport (south west) to Bakkagerdi (east) along the south coast. But what’s fun with that? The total distance we drove forth and back to airport on a 10-day trip was 2700km. We haven’t yet visited the north coast of the country.

There are lots of unpaved gravel roads off the main highway. It’s unwise to rent small economic/compact cars if you’re adventurous, trying to find hidden treasure. When driving slow on gravel roads and someone is passing you, your car is likely get scratched. Fortunately, most local folks and travellers are nice and just stay behind you at a distance.

Another thing I noticed is that in the south and south west of Iceland, the weather tends to be foggy and cloudy (80% of the time), while in the east, the sky is clear and favourable. So if you aren’t satisfied with the pictures you took (because they are greyish, overcast), you’re not alone.

There are lots of waterfalls on this small island, too many to count. As expected, large famous ones (Gullfoss, Skógafoss, etc.) are normally crowded with tourists from 10am to 6pm. It’s best to avoid the rush hours. If you’re a photographer, you already know the golden hours for taking pictures, right? 😉 When taking pictures of the falls, I always mount a multi-stop variable Neutral Density (ND) filter, take a few at different stops for later comparisons. The ND filter gives the water a silky feel. But if you ask me the exact stops for each image, I won’t be able tell you, as I only go for my taste, not targeting exact numbers. A tripod is also a must-have. Getting too close to the falls? Be sure to have some napkins and lens cloth handy.

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Posted by on September 18, 2018 in Picturesque Scenery, Travel


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Change of Gears

Since changed job to be a freelancer, I have spent most of my time on that and haven’t done much on this site. I still took photos here or there on vacations, but didn’t have energy on writing about them. I feel bad about it. In the back of my mind, I am still itching to do more in photography.

Last year, I chipped the top LCD display on my D7000 on a trip to Grand Canyon; last month, I broke the 7-year old Sigma lens. It’s disheartening. Since then I’ve been pondering on a new lens for my D7000, trying to get the most usefulness against budget. Didn’t want to get a second Sigma 17-50mm as it’s getting heavier and heavier for vacation trips. Prime lenses (35mm, 50mm) are light, inexpensive, have good aperture (f/1.4, f/1.8) but they can’t zoom — not ideal for vacations while you constantly need to change field of view for each particular scene.

While I was in dismay and searching for a replacement lens, Nikon announced new mirrorless cameras and new lens with them. I’ve been reading reviews, checking on specs and doing comparisons. Then, I bit my lips and put in a pre-order. It’s gonna be my new baby when it’s released in November this year, just a few months away. No more head-scratching on getting a lens for the D7000.

I’ve wanted a full frame camera for a long time, for their sensor and low light performance. The reasons I didn’t get one: heavy weight and expensive lenses. Before the announcement, I even had a look at the Nikon V1 & J1, only surprisingly found them discontinued. The new mirrorless Z6 fits my bill:

  • lighter
  • full frame
  • 24MP (actually 16MP is more than enough for me)
  • 24-70mm f/4 lens
  • lots of controls on the body for immediate settings (I don’t like spending time on changing things through menus which is a slow process.)

The Sigma 17-50mm has aperture f/2.8. I mostly stop down (1-stop) to f/4 to get sharper images, only occasionally use f/2.8 in low light scene. Why? From reading forums on Internet and also from my own experience. When I saw the new M mount 24-70mm only has f/4, I was a bit concerned. Then I realized stopping down is likely not necessary with the new Z6: larger sensor and larger lens mount, the image will be sharp from edge to edge. So maybe I don’t need a f/2.8 for what I need.

The one thing the Z6/Z7 doesn’t have, comparing to my 6-years old D7000 (or any other DSLR), is the built-in flash. Not that I would use the built-in flash as a useful light source. It’s that the pop-up flash in D7000 can be used in commander mode, to trigger a remote flash mounted on a tripod. I use this set up to take casual corporate portraits for my business clients.

So it’s almost a complete upgrade from the old system. I can still use the speed light SB700 (probably need to buy the flash remote for off-camera lighting). I could still use the 200mm DX lens if I have to (in DX crop mode) for telephoto scenes. And most likely I will buy new Circular Polarizer and Neutral Density filters as the new lens have different filter size. Financial consideration aside, the image quality with this will be amazing and I can do more with its ability, and it’s easier for my back.


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Posted by on August 29, 2018 in Photography Techniques


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Canon 5D Mark II

I had a chance to play with my friend David’s Canon 5D Mark II for an hour at his house. It has been a few years old, but still works like new. It has the 24-105mm f/4 L macro lens mounted at front. Image quality is fantastic. At ISO 800, I can’t find any noise at all, even viewing the images at 100% crop. Since I was just taking a few test shots, I didn’t shoot in raw and process them later, but straightly in jpeg with monochrome mode and upload with no processing. The images are quite clean.

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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Photography Techniques


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I Want To Thank …

Everyone knows the fist two months of the year are “Awards months” in US – Golden Globes in January, Grammys and Oscars in February. There are also numerous smaller ones, like Screen Actors Guild Awards, Motion Pictures Sound Editors Awards, etc. He’s thankful. She’s thankful.

This morning, I got up from bed at 8-ish, took shower, brushed teeth, stood on bathroom scale. Woohoo!!! I gained 5 pounds in the last two weeks! I’m really proud of myself!

I want to thank my wife for feeding me. She’s always there for me, in sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth …

I want to thank Tim Hortons for their wonderful coffee and delicious donuts …

I want to thank the grocery stores I bought the junk foods from …


Copyright © 2013 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Funny Things


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Phalaenopsis White Orchid

In the past sprint-summer, our two pots of orchids grew very well. There were so many blossoms that I lost count. But I was able to photograph different shoots that had single, two, three and four blossoms. They are truly beautiful. It’s really joyful to look at them every day.

Copyright © 2013 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.
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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Flower, Garden, Picturesque Scenery


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A Walk in the Woods

Before the year ended, I took a walk on this short trail behind a friend’s house. I like the monochrome side of the nature. Color, sometimes, is just too distractive, like the world we’re living in. Simplicity is better than complexity. One wonders why Chanel has been so successful for almost a century.

Copyright © 2013 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.

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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Garden, Picturesque Scenery


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Neighborhood Park

On a Saturday afternoon in October, after having late lunch at a get-together party, all friends decided to go out for a walk in the neighborhood park. Half an hour later, it started raining. I was only able to snap a few pictures of the nature.

Copyright © 2012 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Flower, Garden, Picturesque Scenery


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Sunrise at Lake of Two Rivers

Sunrise at Lake of Two Rivers

According to my original plan (before we went out to shoot on that late-September morning) with what I wanted to write about, this post would have ended here. As despite of all our efforts (waking up early, searching for a good spot, standing in cold for an hour), we were only able to get a glimpse of sunlight for a minute or two for the whole time. Hence, I can only present to you this one and only one photo with the sun in it. [Feel free to click on it (and others) to see a larger version.]

Therefore, if you say the rest of story has nothing to do with sunrise, I won’t argue. As a matter of fact, I thought of removing the word from the title. But what the hack, this is not a scientific report. Doesn’t need to be precise here.

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Picturesque Scenery, Travel


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Lake Rosseau

Lake Rosseau is one of the many lakes in Muskoka and one of the three largest in the area. The other two are Lake Joseph and Lake Muskoka. The former two were named after Joseph Rousseau, who in the late 1800’s was part of a trading family and was associated with Hon. William Robinson, member of the House of Assembly. Lake Rosseau is 200 km north from Toronto. As with the other area in Muskoka, beautiful summer and fall landscapes make it perfect for resorts and cottages.
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