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Showing posts from November, 2011

HDR Spotting Debut

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One of my favorite photography sites is HDR Spotting, a site made in collaboration with Stuck in Customs'Trey Ratcliff and his long time friend Denis Khoo. Photographers submit photos which are screened by a rotating human selection of editors, and those that get approved are put up on the site. Those that are of exceptional quality get an Editor Pick. There are some wonderful photographers on this site, and I highly recommend taking a look.

I've been working up the courage to submit a photo to HDR Spotting now for a while. My blog gets a small amount of traffic made up primarily of friends who either really like my photos, or are too polite to tell me they don't like them. Either way, thanks, but submitting a photo for a group of other HDR photographers to look at made me hesitant. But after some mental pep talks I finally submitted my first photo about 2 weeks ago. I didn't know how long the process was, but after a little over a week I thought I had been rejected. I…

Topaz Adjust 5 (Photocentric)

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If the Internet has proven anything else it's people don't like change, but adapt quick. For example, every time Facebook makes a change there's a new group formed calling for Facebook to revert to the old style of whatever they changed. It's vocal for about a week, then "new" Facebook is simply Facebook, and the whole cycle repeats itself every 6 months or so. Most websites are dynamic, changing things so it's expected that they change otherwise how else are they going to keep you coming back for more?

Desktop software doesn't work that way. Most desktop software sees a revision maybe every year, and that's if it's a small piece of software. So when Topaz Labs released their Adjust 5 I had equal parts excitement with the new features and hesitation because of some of the changes made in using it. Plus, I was just feeling really comfortable with Adjust 4. So what's new in Adjust 5?

Well, to start with are the number of preset filters. Wher…

Sunset Pano (Photocentric)

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A quick posting today, and one from a year or so ago. I just recently adopted a better system for keeping track of photos, so as I'm going through older shots I'm finding HDR and panoramic source shots that I had forgotten I had. This is one of those missed panoramas. 4 shots with a UV and a polarizing filter. Still too bright though. If I had an neutral density filter this would have turned out better.

In other photography related news I got the chance to sit in on a demonstration on Topaz Labs' Adjust 5 (I use Adjust 4) and I'm really excited about it. Of all the plugins I have Adjust is my most used one. I think of it as my finisher to bring a little more oomph to a picture. Adjust 5 will bring more presets, the ability to stack presets on top of each other, and to brush out an effect on certain parts of a photo. I look forward to using this tool soon.


Convergence Bridge (Photocentric)

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This week's shot is an HDR shot from the same set that last week's shot came from. These shots kind of illustrate my planning for the finished version of the shot. The black & white shot I framed differently to get all of the graffiti. This shot I framed to get most of the graffiti but to also get where the bridge ends. And this shot I purposely shot for HDR; 3 auto exposed brackets, whereas last week's shot I didn't shoot a set.

My camera is an older model without the bells and whistles of it's newer versions, but one feature I find invaluable is the C mode, or Custom mode. It allows me to set just about every setting the way I want it, and be able to call those settings up every time. I have it set for HDR work so instead of fiddling in the menus to set up AEB (auto exposure bracketing) I just turn my mode selector to C and shoot. Very useful when mixing in HDR shots with regular shots.

Very little extra processing went into this, beyond the HDR processing th…

Slight Discrepancies

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My blog is small. My audience is even smaller. I know this, and yet I obsessively look at my stats daily curious to see what brings in the pageviews and what doesn't. Blogging about TouchPads and HP got me my highest pageviews, a number I won't share because it's not all that high. Basically my "happy"goal is to get 20+ pageviews per post. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don't. Imagine my surprise though when I looked at my stats this morning and saw a huge spike of traffic for yesterday. A day I didn't post anything. It didn't look like any of this traffic was going to a specific page other than my home page, which was kind of disappointing. Then I opened up Google Analytics. Yeah, there's a little discrepancy between the two. If you were one of the 70+ visitors yesterday, thanks for coming by. If you were one of the six, bring a friend next time.