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Showing posts from August, 2013

Under the Bridge

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I don't remember having ever seen the Golden Gate Bridge from this vantage point in all my years in the Bay Area. Maybe I should have shot off some brackets for an HDR composition, but I was leaning over a fence to get an unobscured shot, and don't think I would have gotten the brackets needed. The one thing I was happy with in processing was getting some texture and body to the clouds instead of grey featureless blob.

Battery Point Lighthouse From Shore

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I've been hanging on to this shot for a while now. I've been wanting to share it, but it had never hit that threshold of me liking it enough to post publicly. Especially when I look at where this photo started off. A little about the sight first. This is Battery Point lighthouse which during higher tides is cut off from the mainland. Unlike a lot of lighthouses these days this one has a lighthouse keeper that lives on site, and as a result very unsightly electricity and phone lines are strung up between the rock/island and the "mainland" (for lack of a better term). These lines didn't work as leading lines so they were just a distraction. So I set about getting rid of them. Now it's entirely possible there's an easier way to do this, and maybe even better tools, but I used the tool I was familiar with, Aperture. Using a mix of the clone tool and the automatic retouch brick I was able to get rid of the wires and a power pole that would have looked odd if …

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 33

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For +Project 52 B&W our theme was Long Exposure. This shot came to me by accident. I had originally meant for it to be a super color sunset shot (see this post), but that just wasn't happening. So I regrouped and gave it a black and white treatment. I'm quite happy with how the water turned out; enough blurring to give a sense of movement but still nicely defined.

This is one of those photos that satisfies the theme but not much else. Texture was the theme for +Weekly Photo Project 2013. As I mentioned in my G+ post that went with the photo, I feel like I should caption this with, "I woke up at 5am on a Sunday for good sunrise photos and all I got was this stupid rock". Well I got this rock and my disappearing profile photo, so not a complete loss?



You can view my Weekly Photo Project album here.
My black & white project album here.

Forcing a Photo

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**Disclaimer: Today's post is kind of long.**
I recently decided to try my hand at a competition I saw on Google+, the +10000 PHOTOGRAPHERS 1st Contest - Natural Water Photos being put on by +10000 PHOTOGRAPHERS. There's no tangible prize except notoriety on what some think is a ghost town social network. Shortly after having made the decision to enter this, and deciding I wanted to use a new photo for the competition, Digital Photography School published this post about dynamic landscapes by +Todd Sisson. The post itself is a teaser for his newly published book Living LandscapesFeatured in the article was this image which instantly caught my eye.

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 32

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Week 32 was a bit of an odd week for me. For the first time that I can easily remember I had photos for both projects ready on Tuesday, leaving me feeling a little empty when the weekend came around and I didn't have to rush around for a shot. For +Project 52 B&W the theme was On White, which I took to mean a white background. A cloudy but bright day on the beach and a long-ish shutter speed of .8 seconds got me this.

With the theme of Home Town for +Weekly Photo Project 2013 I chose an image from my library of Hangar One in all its naked glory. Though technically next door to my home town of Sunnyvale, Hangar One was a structure we could easily see when anywhere close to Moffett Field Naval Air Station. I hope something between the Navy, the city, NASA, and private parties can be put together to renovate it and bring back some of its former glory.



You can view my Weekly Photo Project album here.
My black & white project album here.

Unexpected Surprise

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This was shot after what I felt was a disappointing session further down the beach, getting photos I wasn't happy with and feeling a little discouraged. More on that part in a later blog post. So I packed up my stuff, stuck my earphones in and was trudging back to the car when I for some reason decided to turn around. I'm glad I did! It was dusk and the light was fading fast so i had little choice but to hand shoot the seven brackets that make up this HDR. I generally don't like people in my landscape photos, but the more I looked at them in the final version here the more liked them. And they help convey scale. I like how the over exposed brackets bring in just a hint of color and texture from Pewetole Island, but isn't too bright.

In terms of shooting and processing: As I said the brackets were handheld with an aperture of f4.5. Shutter speeds varied from 1/10 of a second to 1/640. As I normally shot in Aperture Priority mode (I adjust the Aperture, the camera adjus…

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 31

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I've been finding myself in a rut lately with my projects. I feel they are more of a chore than a project. I look at the calendar and see a shot is due and, in the case of this week, go to my library to see if I have something that can work. This shot for Silhouette for +Weekly Photo Project 2013 I had originally shot for another purpose that it didn't really work for. So I re-worked it to fit for the theme.

For +Project 52 B&W our theme was Nature. This is leaf that I shot (and didn't use) from last week's theme of Macro. Hoping next week goes better.



You can view my Weekly Photo Project album here.
My black & white project album here.

Topaz Labs Restyle Preview!

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As I've mentioned many times here on the blog I'm a big fan of Topaz Labs plug-ins. So much so that the only ad on the site is for their web store. And, I should mention, if you purchase anything through that link on the right I do get a little something back from them. It isn't much, but I figured since I talk up their products a lot on here I would give this affiliate thing a shot. But another nice benefit for me, and in turn you guys, is I get to preview new products, and I have one to show today.

Topaz Labs ReStyle. I'm not sure how to describe it, but to say it has the feel of Instagram filters, but with a whole lot more power and control to them. ReStyle seems to tone your photos using 5 colors and an astounding 1,000 presets to choose from. My beta copy doesn't have all 1,000 (they told me, I didn't count) but the number included already was mind boggling. And all the presets have names to them. Seriously, who's job is it to think of 1,000 names for…

B-17 Engines

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I recently got to see the Wings of Freedom group again at Moffett Field. I'm not sure why, but I didn't get many shots that I liked. I'm not sure if it was the setup of the planes, the harsh mid-day sun, or just a lack of creative spark but either way I came away with a lot of shots, and only two or three that I liked. This is an HDR shot of the engines of the B-17G Flying Fortress. I don't normally like doing what I call "parts of" shots, but this one worked for me.

Photo details: As I mentioned it is an HDR composed of seven brackets then processed in Photomatix Pro. From there I put it through the Topaz Labs suite of plug-ins. I know I've mentioned it a couple times (at least) earlier, but Clarity is my new favorite tool. I literally can't wait to get to that step in my process. To finish the shot off I used Star Effects to add some flair.