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Showing posts from November, 2012

Fave 5 From 2012 Part 1

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With only five Thursdays left in 2012 it's time to count down my five favorite photos taken by me in 2012. These aren't the blog's most popular photos (which you can see on the right side), but are the photos that I enjoyed taking, working on, and looking at the most. The order picked is random, so today's shot is not the least-favorite or the most favorite shot of 2012.

Along with my photo picks of 2012 I thought I'd highlight five books that I really enjoyed. I mean to write more about the books I read, but am finding it hard to do. Two types of ratings I don't generally bother with looking at are for books and for music. They're so subjective that people can and do often times have opinions that very much differ from my views. So think of these not as reviews of the books, but more of why I liked them.

Week 47 GPlus Project 52 Time

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This week's theme was time, and I was going to to try as hard as I could to not take a photo of a watch or clock. I did take one of a clock to use as backup, but then when I thought I'd have to use it there appeared Zoltar! I hadn't seen an actual Zoltar machine before, except in the movie Big, so this was kind of neat. There's a website all about the machines, which start at $5,500 and can go to as high as $11,000! They're all hand made, which I suppose accounts for some of that price. A pretty cool thing to run into.

You can view this, and the rest of my Project 52 photos here.

Pier Sunset

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This was taken on the first attempt for my post from Monday. I had been under the pier for a good half hour, and was getting a little frustrated with my flimsy tripod and keeping a wary eye on the approaching tide when I came out and saw this. So although 90% of my shots from that day were throw aways, I was able to grab some nice shots out from under the pier.

Week 46 GPlus Project 52 The Vanishing Point

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The theme for this week was vanishing point and I was really excited to do this for a couple reasons. In Evernote I keep a notebook of types of shots that I want to do eventually and this week I was able to cross one of those things off my list. I've always wanted to do an under the pier shot around sunset as I've seen a lot of photographers I follow online do, and with the theme and after the weather I had my chance. It took me two days to get a number of useable shots, but it was well worth it.

Graffiti Reflection

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Still water, morning clouds and fog burning off, and morning make for some great reflection shots. The same bridge as featured for week 44 is shown here a little bit later from a different position. I had planned on this being an HDR image so took my usual five exposures. Post processing wise I used a relatively new program Topaz Labs PhotoFX Lab, which allows me to work with layers, and to use their different plugins in one easy to run session. I wanted to make sure I brought out detail in the bridge and sky, but didn't have that same detail come out in the water reflection. So in PhotoFX Lab I ran the whole photo through Adjust and Detail, then masked out the water from that version with the original version. I think it worked out pretty nicely.

The Time Keeper Review

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The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. I can't remember how I came across the book, to be honest. I might have seen it profiled on some book site earlier in the year and picked it up as an If I Have Nothing Else To Read book. I picked it to read because I was looking for something quick and to wipe my palate of The Hobbit that I had just finished. Again. And at roughly 200 pages, according to my Nook, it seemed to fit the bill. And boy did it.

Week 45 GPlus Project 52 Halloween

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The theme, unsurprisingly, was Halloween for this past week. I knew what I wanted to shoot, but was disappointed that the night shot I was originally planning wasn't going to pan out. Plan B was a day shot, but the day was a very dull flat grey day. So I had to go to some extremes with the post processing. I brought the color back for the rotating jack-o-lantern, something I don't normally like doing as I feel it's very gimmicky, and a crutch for bad composition. As if you needed a neon sign to point your eye to the thing you want it to look at. Yes, it still does that here, but if I'm going be the rule of thirds, it's composed decently. I then went overboard on the contrast and detail settings in Silver Efex Pro so I could get something from the flat grey clouds. Finished it off with a vignette and it didn't turn out all that bad. As an added scare, check out the gas prices!


You can view this, and the rest of my Project 52 photos here.

Fotostat

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One part of my twice weekly workflow that I don't enjoy is the time it takes to upload my photos to the various sites that I show my work on. In the beginning I would upload to Google (Google+ and this blog), Facebook, 500px, and Flickr, and even though that is only four sites it was a hassle. Within Aperture I could share directly to Facebook and Flickr, but I would have to do the admittedly easy task of hitting the share button and choosing the album twice. What can I say, I'm lazy. Also, at least as far as Facebook is concerned, it does a not so good job of synching my Aperture content to Facebook and vice versa. Then, based on the interaction I was getting, I ignored Flickr. 500px, a relatively new photo sharing site, required a plugin to set up, and a complete different setup to get a photo on there. Again not entirely difficult, but as I said, I'm lazy.

River Walk

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A peaceful evening on the river. The only noise was that of the fish that were jumping out of the water quite often, which I found odd. I really like the colors of this so I only gently boosted them in processing it. Other than that it was cropped as I felt the clouds coming in from the top became distracting.