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Showing posts from March, 2013

Peaking Sunset

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Pulled this set out of the archive. Earlier this week Nik (owned by Google) released a new version of their software plugin suite for Aperture (and those other photo editors) for a much reduced price of $150. Considering the suite used to go for $450-$500 this was a pretty big deal. In this suite is an HDR plugin (HDR Efex), a black and white conversion (Silver Efex), a color and tone enhancer (Color Efex), a sharpener, and a denoise tool. I had gotten Silver Efex and absolutely love it, but had tried some earlier version of HDR Efex that I felt weren't as good as Photomatix, and I couldn't get into using Color Efex. But with this new release and tempting price I thought I'd try them again.

I denoised in Topaz's DeNoise. After playing with Nik's version I just felt more comfortable with DeNoise and wanted the 2 HDR photos to start off on the same equal footing. After that one set of exposures went to Photomatix for HDRing then to Topaz Labs plugins for finishing a…

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 12

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Another Monday another week done for my photo projects. For +Weekly Photo Project 2013 the theme was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I was tempted to find a copy of the movie and just shoot that, but then this abandoned firetruck ruined those plans. This is a seven exposure HDR that might have gotten a little too sharp and crispy. Especially in the sky, which is why I cropped it the way I did.

Putting It All Together

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Recently a friend of mine shared with me some really great faux color infrared photos. Though he didn't know it the shots bummed me out because the quality of them were something I wouldn't be able to mimic until I permanently alter a camera to only shoot in the infrared spectrum. My main problem with how I shoot IR is that due to the very long exposure times I get so much blur that I can't stand looking at my own photos. So I decided to try and challenge myself and shoot trying to minimize the biggest weakness of my setup, blur.

On this really bright and sunny day (the same day I shot this panorama) trees were ruled out because there was a slight breeze. Bushes were ruled out for the same reason. But a field seemed to do the trick. A field with a barn in it worked even better. Still trying to figure out just how to expose for IR I did a couple things different. First I set a custom white balance on the grass, with the IR filter on my lens. Then I put the camera on a trip…

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 11

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Week 11 came and went with little fanfare. For +Weekly Photo Project 2013 I used this five shot panorama that I originally thought would be a throw away shot. I was trying to use my auto exposure lock function on my camera (which either didn't work the way I expected, or just didn't work at all for this shot) and thought I'd be tossing this shot after I finished stitching the five shots together. I ended up keeping it because I liked the vibrant colors, and really liked the clouds. If you zoom in (on the original at least) you can even see what I hope to be the last patches of snow on the background mountains.

Pewetoll Island From the Other Side

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I'm glad I was able to capture the other side of Pewetoll Island at sunset. The light was hitting the island just right, but I was having a hard time capturing it. So I did what I often do and turned the auto-bracket option on and fired of 7 exposures. Then I quickly scampered off the rock that was soon going to be underwater.

I couldn't find a single exposure that I really liked so went to HDR them all. It worked out really nicely I think. But I didn't like the large amount of water that was originally showing at the bottom of the photo, and cropping it at 16x9 wasn't doing enough for me. So this is a 2.35x1 crop, or what is sometimes referred to as a cinema crop, since a lot of movies these days are coming out like this. I liked how it worked for this shot.

In the background and to the right is Trinidad Head, and to the left you can just make out some of the coastal houses that make up the town of Trinidad.

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 10

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A little late with the blog posting because I was a little late with one of the photos for this week. For +Project 52 B&W I went and grabbed a quick shot of Pewetoll Island (also shown here). The choppier water left me unsure about how the reflection would turn out, but I like that it's not as detailed as past shots I have of it. I love the detail in the island and trees. This G3 is really impressing me, still.

Revisiting an Old Friend

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Haven't been in a photography mood lately, which is why I completely missed last week and am late with this week's posting. I think I need to dig into my archives and work on some of those.

When I get a new camera I like to look through my archive at photos I've really liked from my old cameras and try to recreate the shot with the new camera. This gives me a chance to evaluate the new camera and how it differs from the past ones. This isn't one of those shots that I would use for comparison, mainly because this is two shots merged into one. Using my neutral density filter I took a shot of the falls at f22 giving me a couple seconds of exposure to get the silky look of the falls. Unfortunately it was a bit windy so the foliage around the falls were not very sharp to blurry. So I kept the water part then masked in a shot I took at a much faster shutter speed to pull the foliage in nice and sharp.


Weekly Photo Projects, Week 9

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Week 9 almost had me diving into my archive to satisfy one group, and a last minute shot for the other. For +Weekly Photo Project 2013 weather and timing weren't working in my favor four our landscape theme. I was never out shooting at the same time the sun was out. I was thinking I'd need to go into my archive to find something when I happened across this. I had accidentally shot this in auto-bracket mode, giving me 7 exposures, so I jokingly played with HDRing it thinking nothing would come of it. The exposures were really flat to begin with, but when it came out of the HDRing there was more depth to the trees there. As the day was very monochromatic, and HDR didn't help with the color, I decided to just ditch all semblance of color in Topaz Labs B&W Effects 2. I started off in their Platinum Collection, which makes use of quad-toning, added some grain to disguise my poor noise reduction technique (or lack thereof) and added a vignette to it. I find the shot to be v…