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Showing posts from September, 2013

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 39

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For +Project 52 B&W our theme was Flow. I was thinking of shooting something water related, even if it isn't that outside of the box in terms of thinking. So when I was shooting this through my viewfinder I was primarily keeping an eye on the water. I wasn't sure how the shot would turn out once I got it on the computer, but once I saw it on the monitor I really liked it. I got the flowing water, but the brickwork also seems to flow.

Our theme for +Weekly Photo Project 2013 was Negative Space. I liked the blue on blue aspect of this shot and the detail inherent on a Victorian house. This was an HDR processed shot  to hopefully make the house detail pop a little more. I think it worked out.


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

Pigeon Point

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Pigeon Point was difficult to shoot. For one it was the middle of the day giving me very harsh light to work with. And two a very ugly, but probably necessary, fence runs around the lighthouse itself. So getting a close up shot that didn't have the fence is near impossible. And I certainly don't relish the thought of painstakingly removing a chain-link fence stroke by stroke. Thankfully I was able to find a gap in the fence and snap this.

In terms of processing I wanted to emphasize the state of disrepair the lighthouse is in, so pulling out details of both the white walls and rust and decay was necessary. I find that the hardest work I have to do recently is cleaning up solid blue skies. This makes working with photos a little more difficult as I'll DeNoise for the subject then DeNoise far more aggressively for the sky then mask in/out the sky, depending on which is easier to do.

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 38

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For +Project 52 B&W our theme was Landscape. I had recently read up on some infrared workflows and techniques so I was once again tempted to try infrared out. It seems my 720nm IR filter is good with black and white conversion but not so good with doing faux color shots, so with that in mind I shot this. I really liked the outcome. The deep black sky was primarily achieved through the IR filter with some tweaking in Topaz Labs Black & White Effects 2. The shadows from the bush on the right kind of play with you, I think, as you want to think this is a night shot.

Unfortunately I needed to use a backup shot for +Weekly Photo Project 2013's Autumn/Spring theme. It's almost a continuation of last week's photo. In terms of anything special about this hot? I applied the Autumn preset in Topaz Labs Adjust (on sale for Sept for 50% off using "septadjust") which gave it the warmish tone I had envisioned. Then jumped into Lens Effects to add some grain in the pho…

Little House in the Valley

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Today's shot is an unintentional re-shot actually. I had originally shot this valley almost exactly two years ago back when I was using the Canon SX10is, and had the chance to shoot it again, though not exactly remembering how the first one was composed. It's interesting to compare the two shots. Sadly the originals of most of my Canon work were lost in a horrible twin hard drive failure (computer and backup drive) so I can't look at them in full size. The scenery looks to be little changed over the past couple years, though it looks like the overhead lines have been replaced with what I can only assume are underground lines. Compositionally I think the two shots cover just about the same area, though with different lenses and sensors it won't be an exact match. I do remember purposely catching the road in the bottom left corner of this shot, though I probably purposely made sure to leave it out of the original shot. This shot was made up of five vertically, or portra…

Surprise

Because I'm too lazy to re-write the post here (wait for the whole page to load).

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 37

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I almost didn't use this shot for the +Project 52 B&W theme of Sports this past week. I had visions of capturing someone serving, but there was no one playing when I stopped by, and I couldn't begin to figure out what would be needed to shoot myself serving. I wish I had a slightly wider lens to get the corners, I'm right up against the fence as it is, but it turned out all right. In terms of post processing I smoothed out the area behind the baseline so bike marks wouldn't be so visible. I like how peaceful the photo looks.

I wanted a shot that showed the end of summer and winter coming, but this is all I got. I do like the spiderwebs and stuff caught in them and the detail in the flower.



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

Topaz Labs Adjust

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I've been wanting to highlight some of the tools and plugins I use often here on the blog because they have helped me learn and enjoy photography. One of these plugins, Topaz Labs Adjust 5, is also on sale this month, so I thought it was a good time to start. I'll have the link and the coupon code at the bottom.

When I first got started with HDR photography I was initially disappointed with my photos after the HDR processing step. They looked flat and boring. They weren't like the HDRs I was seeing from other photographers. I then learned that most photographers finish their photos off with plugins, and one of the most popular ones was Topaz Labs Adjust. Adjust was my first plugin from Topaz and in general, and is still one of my most used plugins with my HDR work.

Topaz and Adjust have come a long way since I first started using them 3 or 4 years ago. Adjust has moved from version 4 to version 5 and other products have been added to both Topaz's portfolio and my &quo…

Water Stripes

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I've been sitting on this photo now for awhile. When I shot this I was looking for something else for one of my weekly theme projects but when I saw this I didn't want to ignore it because I was looking for something else. When shooting the shot my original intention was that it should be converted to black and white to better emphasize the striping in the water, which I hadn't really seen before quite like this. I wasn't happy with the black and white versions that I did, so as kind of a last resort I just began desaturating the photo. Between the very blue sky and blue water the photo just had too much blue so desaturating helped deal with that. It also cut down on the distracting surrounding hills. Though I found the darker greens got too dark so I lightened them up just a bit.

iPhone Event

I wanted to try the new Google+ post embedding so I wrote some quick points from today's iPhone event that I posted on Google+ and am sharing them here. Of course I also turned on automatic sharing of Blogger posts to Google+ so I suppose this will be shared again with Google+. My apologies.


Weekly Photo Projects, Week 36

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For +Project 52 B&W our theme was Shades. I'm sure it meant shades of grey, or shades of a color turned to grey. I had no idea what I was going to shoot. The thought of finding a copy of the 50 Shades of Grey book and shooting that. Then I happened across the blinds shades in the house and started shooting those. Then I had this genius idea. Personally I like the depth of field (look at the material the shades are sitting on) a lot on this photo. I posted some other shade related shots in this gallery.

For +Weekly Photo Project 2013 the theme was Metal. There were many choices to choose from but nothing really sparked my desire to photograph. I came upon this converted older train bridge that I felt was more interesting than most of the other stuff I came across.



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

New Wacom Pen Tablets

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Yesterday, lost amongst all the talk about smart watches, really big phones, and odd phone-camera accessories +Wacom Americas released an update to their Bamboo line of pen tablets. Well two updates. First, Bamboo pen tablets are no more. They've been rebranded as Intuos tablets, and their former Intuos tablets have been rebranded as Intuos Pro. This was a move to better define their products, and makes sense to me. Bamboo is now for their tablet (iPad, Android, etc.) pen accessories and apps. Second the newly branded Intuos pen tablets have been redesigned, and I have to say they look quite slick!

Now as many of you know I use and love my Bamboo Capture (which would now be an Intuos Small) daily. And not just for my photography work. The ability to use it as a large touchpad is awesome, and using the pen for photography re-touching and editing makes things so much easier. So when I saw this new update I was ready to upgrade. It's hard to see from the angle above but the pad …

Other Worldly

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Occassionally while out shooting I'll get a "what if?" situation. Well, I get that a lot. What if I shot it from this angle, with these settings, from this side, from that side, etc. I think of those as normal what ifs, the kind of questions I asking and answering without thinking of it. This was more of a what if from left field. What if I screwed my infrared filter on top of my neutral density filter? So while waiting for my sunset shot for +Weekly Photo Project 2013  I thought I'd see what I'd get. The obvious answer is a long exposure even with a good amount of light available. The IR shot came in at 20 seconds with an aperture of 4.3. It really smoothed out the water, as a 20 second exposure should. I used a saved white balance setting that I've used for previous IR shots and got a very yellow monochrome shot. I took the one shot as the light was getting starting to do what I had in mind for my weekly shot. So I promptly forgot about this IR shot until …

Seeing in Black & White — The B&W Photo

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Quick post to shamelessly toot my own horn. If I can't do it on my own blog, where can I do it? I have my first post up for your enjoyment on The B&W Photo run by Aperture Expert+Joseph Linaschke. Go take a look at my entry then spend some time looking at the other great entries on the site. I'm honored to have been included with some great photographers.

Seeing in Black & White — The B&W Photo

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 35

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The theme this week for +Weekly Photo Project 2013 was Sunrise or Sunset. Having just recently done attempted a sunrise shot that didn't really pay dividends, I thought I'd take it easy on myself and just go for a sunset shot. I take a lot of sunset shots and, as odd as this will sound, I'm bored of them. I wanted to take a shot that didn't make the sun or the sky as the main focus. Of course it's hard to get away from the sky when taking a shot at sunset, but I'm hoping that the light hitting the large rock gets your attention as much as the nice soft colors in the sky.

For my black and white project we had the theme of Decay. I thought for sure I had this planned at the beginning of the week and so procrastinated taking the actual shot. Turns out I really couldn't make the shot work and so I went looking. Found this very weathered anchor  and took shots from different angles and compositions, which drew some looks from others, but finally found a shot I …