Showing posts from August, 2012

Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 

Unexpected Surprise

I've been shooting a lot lately so I have a lot  of photos to sort through and get to processing. With HDR shots I often times break with my usual workflow to just see if it's worth putting in the 30-60 minutes to do it correctly. So I'll just take the RAW camera files and without cleaning them up for noise just send them to Photomatix to get a rough idea as to how the finished product will look. I remember doing this first with this shot expecting to not get anything worth keeping, but was pleasantly surprised. So off to Topaz Labs DeNoise for the 5 RAW files cleaning out the noise in the water, shadows, and clouds. Then back to Photomatix for HDRing. Then I tweaked the color a little in Aperture to bring out some of the warm colors in a Golden Hour shot. I think the finished shot has an other worldly feel to it. Pastel colors at sunset

Week 35 GPlus Project 52

Best seat in the house for a sunset Talk about bad timing. The other week I was shooting some sunset shots from a new spot I found and this week our theme for the Project 52 is sunsets. After having taken a large number of sunset shots the previous week I was kind of all sunsetted out so I wanted to go for something a little different. Don't get me wrong, I still have the sunset, but my new spot was getting crowded as a handful of people were making their way to get some front row seats. The shot itself is a single shot (non-HDR) with some detail enhancement done to it, warming it up, and de-noise. You can view this, and the rest of my Project 52 photos here .

The Dawn of the Smart Camera?

Photography circles have been all abuzz with Wednesday night's product announcement from Nikon. The Nikon Coolpix S800c (a very forgettable name) looks for all intents and purposes like a number of other point and shoot cameras with one very big difference. No, there's no big surprise in the sensor or in the lens, it's the addition of Android (specifically Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread) to the camera. This wasn't unexpected as there have been rumors of manufacturers trying to see just how to best use currently the only open sourced mobile operating system. I've been waiting for this to happen for awhile now, I just didn't know if I was going to be happy about it or not. My vision of how an Android run camera would work is probably not the best idea. It'd be a very customized version of Android, much like Amazon's Fire or Barnes & Noble's Nook software, that would have access to a camera manufacturers app catalog. The catalog would be split into t

A Shot From Curiosity on Mars?

I'm finding shooting in infrared to be fun, but it requires some new skills (and programs) to get the results I'm looking for. Some of these hurdles to work through are things that with my current setup I can't fix. Infrared photography on a standard color camera requires an IR filter and longer exposures times which will usually end up with softer photos, at best, or blurry shots. Working on the final "faux" color look required using a program that had more involved editing tools than Aperture or Lightroom have available to them. Even Photoshop Elements 10 didn't have a color mixer which allows me to switch colors. So after some suggestions I settled on the very wonderful Pixelmator, and have added Topaz Labs' PhotoFXLab. So what I have here is an outline of how I worked this IR shot. The original out of camera shot. The shot specifics are an aperture reading of 3.5 ("wide open" for my lens) and an ISO of 400 to help minimize the exposure time

Week 34 GPlus Project 52

Yurok Princess The theme for this week was portrait, and was one I wasn't looking forward to. I generally don't do photos of people, so I had prepared to take a shot in portrait orientation. Turns out I was able to get both a portrait and in portrait orientation. This is a Yurok (Native American) princess and contestant in the 50th Annual Yurok Salmon Festival's Noo-rey-o-won-ee (beautiful girl inside and out) contest. She was unsure oh who to look at as there were more than a couple cameras pointed her way.

My GeekTools Sunset Desktop

Over at one of my favorite sites, Lifehacker , they often times highlight custom desktops made by users. These desktops are primarily Windows desktops as there are more customization tools available to them, but occasionally they show a Mac desktop. So I thought I'd give it a shot using Geektool (free from the App Store ), yesterday's photo , and some time and patience figuring out Geektool. Geektool is not the easiest to use application for the Mac, and their documentation is virtually non-existant. But to their credit that say as much in the description of the app. The idea is simple. You drag windows around on your desktop to where you want a piece of code, an image, or a file to reside. So first I had to decide what pieces of information I wanted to display. Date and time were a given. Weather was also a given. And since I'm rarely using my computer without iTunes playing a script to show what was playing on iTunes. The date and time were easily accomplished using Uni

Candidate For Best Shot of 2012

Taken from the end of last week's shot , this shot is an unexpected favorite. I took a lot  of sunset shots, primarily with the goal to make an HDR shot. So when I got the photos back into Aperture I immediately went to work on finding what set of shots worked out. I was disappointed that I got a couple keepers, but not as many as I originally thought I'd like. But I was really disappointed in one set that looked promising but just wasn't turning out how I wanted. So then I went to work on it without HDRing it. Turns out that was the way to go. I got rid of the noise in the shadows, bumped the saturation and definition up a bit, and voilĂ . Easily one of my favorite shots of 2012. Sunsetting

Week 33 GPlus Project 52

Beach textures This week the theme was texture. This might be a little texture overboard between the rough washed up log, the smooth piece of driftwood, and the grainy feel of the sand. It's been awhile since I've said this, but I LOVE NIK's SilverEfex Pro 2. You can view this, and the rest of my Project 52 photos here .

No Beach Access

Golden hour. The hour before sunset where everything is cast in a very pleasing golden tone. Trails that seem to lead off a cliff into the ocean. A good combination for a photo. I love how you can just see the trail sneaking through the picture leading to what looks like the edge of a cliff and into the Pacific. There's actually a nice little observation area at the end of the trail where I got some great sunset shots. This shot is a 5 shot HDR that I ended up cropping out the right hand side. The sun was too bright. And true to the sign, there is no beach access, though there is another trail for that. No easy  beach access

Week 32 GPlus Project 52

On the road I've been a little lax lately on posting my Google Plus 52 project here on the blog. The photos haven't been all that inspiring, but I suppose that's not the point of this project. So, I'll try to catch up in this post.

The Path

With the addition of the infrared filter I now try to see potential photos in infrared, black and white, and how they'd work out as an HDR shot. It can get hard to do. This shot started off as an HDR but there really wasn't much in the way of color to make it really pop. I didn't bring a tripod and couldn't find a good way to stabilize the camera long enough for a good IR shot. So I took the 5 shot exposure HDR file and thought I'd see how it looked in black and white. I really like how the grass turned out. The Path

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