Showing posts from July, 2013

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. 

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 30

Streaking S-Curve I'm late to posting this entry because I only shot this last night. I didn't know what I was going to shoot for  +Weekly Photo Project 2013  and our theme of S-Curve, but I didn't want it to be an s-curve of a road or trail. Yeah, technically this is a road, but I'm hoping you'll overlook the road and concentrate on the streaks of light. The road wasn't quite busy enough to get all these streaks so I ended up layering three shots on top of each other to get it right. Shooting was easier done than I thought it would be. Set the camera in manual and adjust the aperture to f.13. The shutter I set on Bulb mode, which allows me to open and close the shutter as I see fit, and fixed the focus on the mid-part of the curve. Thanks to  +Andrew Willard  for bringing this feature to my attention. Then using my wired remote I opened the shutter just as the car enters the frame and close it as it exited. Exposures were as short as eighteen and as long as

Sunset Panorama

One heck of a sunset This started off as one of those shots that I had high hopes for but realistically didn't think much would come of it. In fact when I first got the stitched together photo back into Aperture I was disappointed in the lack of foreground detail. I tried manipulating the RAWs to get some kind of psuedo-HDR going, but there was so little data in the dark foreground that all I got was a lot of artifacts. So I put it away for awhile I wrote it off as lost. When I pulled it up again I decided to embrace the darkness and let the sky have the stage, and I think that was the right way to go. I used a black and white version of this shot for my black and white project. I liked the outcome, but think this version of it works better. You can see that one here . In terms of processing the shot I didn't do anything extraordinary. Using all Topaz Labs plugins, I adjusted the exposure and colors in Adjust, and played with contrast in the clouds in Clarity. Then, as an


Thank you, Google. You might have just finally unleashed the potential of my mom's HDTV. My mom is a technophobe. She can handle email and some basic stuff just fine, but once we get beyond that it requires going through hand written notes. And, let's face it, if she can't find that note on how to do that thing in a minute she'll just forget about doing that thing. This is why I think Chromecast, a new HDMI dongle thingy, will find its way into an HDMI port or two. TV one is the main TV. It is a 42" LED LCD dumb  Vizio HDTV. This isn't to say it's stupid, it's just not connected to the web. To make that connection for her Netflix needs we have a smart Samsung home theatre system. It's fairly easy to operate; grab remote 3 (TV remove, cable box remote, and home theatre remote), press Netflix, go make something to eat, get back, wait some more, and you're in Netflix where the response time is measured in seconds. Basically it works, but I fee

Quick post: AutoAwesome

NOT a video! So apparently you can search your Picasa/Google+ photos for Auto Awesomed gifts, as Google likes to call them. Searching for "motion" found five animated gifs in my library. Three out of the five turned out ok. One was a planned project for +Project 52 B&W , seen here . One was of a bomber landing, that was just too short to really share, and the other is this one. The other two were handheld HDR brackets that shouldn't have been auto awesomed, but that's ok. This shot of a crashing wave was in an album that had 40 shots taken within a two second burst using my G3s electronic shutter. I don't know how many of the shots were used in making it, but it looks really smooth and video like, again due to the 40 frames in 2 seconds.

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 29

Week 29: Summer Week 29 for  +Weekly Photo Project 2013  was the opposite to our earlier Winter/Summer (where you pick the season you were in), so Summer it was. I liked the colors on this sunny day.  Not much to this shot really, except that it wasn't as focused as I would have liked it. I was experimenting with manual focus. Week 29: Silhouette This was a shot I stumbled across and wasn't looking for. I came across this stack of stones and hastily shot them as I was more focused on the sunset going on behind them. I had a problem converting this as I really liked the color shot, which you can see here . You can view my Weekly Photo Project album here . My black & white project album here .

Beach Zen

Beach Zen A quick posting today. I posted this last night on G+. This is an alternate version for my weekly black and white project, but I really liked the color version so posted both. I ran across these stacked stones while shooting for the sunset. I kind of wish I had spent more time with the stones instead of the sunset as I wasn't very happy with the sunset shots.

The Bridge

Just another bridge I have a number of shots of the Golden Gate from different vantage points and different processing techniques. Today's shot is a single image that I worked on for awhile to get it to pop a little. The morning was dull and grey, and the photo was just as dull and grey. I didn't want to do anything drastic like masking out the grey clouds for a sunnier, bluer, less cloudy sky (though I did try, and it looked horrible), but I wanted there to be something  in the sky. Working with contrast and the excellent Topaz Clarity, I was able to get something out of the clouds. I sharpened, saturated, and brightened the bridge to get it to pop a little more. All in all I like the finished version here.

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 28

Closing out the day This was a last minute pick. With the theme of Closure for the  +Project 52 B&W  group I was out of ideas. I had some road closure signs, and some closed doors, but I didn't like any of them. So while I was processing another group of shots I began thinking maybe a sunset shot, that closes out the day, could be used. I don't normally think of sunset shots in black and white because it's the colors of a sunset that makes a shot interesting. But the clouds, the silhouette, and the sun just dipping behind the head seemed to work for me. I'll post the color version in the near future.

Gotham Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge Pano B&W Going through my Aperture library with an eye to finishing panoramas I ran across this four shot Bay Bridge shot. The photo came out pretty good in color, but there were some definite issues with it the background. I liked it well enough while shown at a size less than 100%, but when viewed at 100% there were some problems that I couldn't fix. I quickly took it into Black & White Effects and used their Cool Tone and got this. I instantly liked it. It still doesn't look great at 100%, but I'm happy enough with it.

Weekly Photo Projects, Week 27

Farm Road Wow, we're on the second half of the year. It's July already?! Well for  +Project 52 B&W  our theme was a panorama picture. I suppose there are different ways to interpret this, but I took it to mean a panoramic photo, which to me is a photo made up of multiple photos. I was hoping to catch a coastal shot, but ended up using this shot. This was a large, for me, ten shot panorama. If you're viewing this on a monitor be sure to click the photo to see it larger. A quick bit about the shooting and stitching of the shot. I have found that orienting the camera in portrait position typically gives me better results and more area to crop from without eating into the subject of the photo. The downside to the portrait orientation is that the lens or the camera doesn't line up with the axis of the tripod so it rotates around the axis giving it some issues when lining things up for the stitching of the photo. An L bracket mount for my camera and tripod would fix


The original way to stream I have some 40 different project, or shoots, in Aperture that I've taken so far this year. Think of these as sessions of when I was shooting. My new project is to go through these 40 and do what I should have done when I first imported these photos, weed out the crappy ones and focus on the quality ones, then tag the finished shots as ready to be used here, or where ever, so I don't spend an hour every so often looking for a shot, processing it, then posting it. I suffer from digital pack-ratitis, and the wrong belief that with a little (or in some cases a lot) of post work I can save a picture. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot that can be done with a RAW file and the right tools, but you have to have something decently shot to get good results, and, shocker, not everything I shoot is decent. This shot was taken with my, then, new tripod and four stop ND filter that gave me a nice long twenty second exposure at f22. As is the nature for

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