Monday, July 21, 2014

Google+ Auto Awesome Effects

A couple of weeks ago one of the new features we launched in Google+ Photos was Auto Awesome Effects.  For those unfamiliar with "auto awesome", they are fun effects and new photos and videos automatically created and gifted to you.  One of the first and probably still my personal favorite is motion, where you get a stabilized animation from a burst of photos.

Auto Awesome Effects is a little different in that it applies a set of edits that I can then adjust to my taste.  For example, here is an image I took on a recent vacation, a JPG straight out of my camera and then auto backed up from my phone (my camera sends pictures to my photo over wi-fi).


I had planned upon returning home to edit the image using Lightroom and the Nik Collection, but in this case I didn't have to wait and immediately got an Auto Awesome Effects version:


Immediately, to me what Auto Awesome Effects did is better than my original image.  However, there are some creative things that happened here that I would have done differently and the great thing is that I can tweak it very easily using the web editing tools.  Once you click on edit and load the editing tools, in the lower right you will see a number indicating the set of edits applied to the photo:


If you click on that, displayed is the list of edits applied to this photo in order:


Now I can step through the edits and see what each one did to my photo and I can also change the parameters for each of them by clicking on the pencil icon.

For my taste with this image, I wanted to adjust "center focus" and the frame.  I changed center focus so that it was centered around the people, had less edge blur and more vignetting.  I also changed the type of the frame used and make the frame color a solid white.  My final image:
What I love about Auto Awesome Effects is that it saves me a bunch of time by kicking off a bunch of edits but still gives me full creative control.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grand Canyon Winter Sunrise

Grand Canyon Winter Sunrise - 5D3, 24 TS-E, f/13, ISO 100
I am trying to think of something interesting to say about this image, but can't really find it.  Its the Grand Canyon, it was winter, there were no clouds and the sun was about to come up.  Thats pretty much it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stroll

Stroll - D800e, 70-200 @ 200mm, f/10, 1/200s, ISO 140
A family of elephants out for a stroll on the Okavango.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shrouded

Shrouded - D800e, 70-200 @ 80mm, f/8, 1/640s, ISO 100
When I'm out on a photography trip, I love weather conditions that are on the border of terrible.  In this case, with a storm moving through the area, and plenty of cloud cover, on occasion some wisps of cloud would descend lower shrouding just parts of distant mountains, giving interesting patterns and texture.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sofa Mountain Panoramic

Sofa Mountain Panoramic - D800e, 70-200 @ 110mm, f/7.1, 1/125s
The last time I was in Alberta, it was last summer and I went on a road trip with the family and one of our stops was in Pincher Creek near Waterton Lakes National Park.  I drove past this area with a view of this range including Sofa Mountain and returned that evening in the hope of some color; sadly there wasn't much.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Nap

Nap - Fuji XE-1,  60mm, f/2.4, 1/680s, ISO 200
Its a beautiful Friday, the weekend is about to start and like this guy I think what I'd like to do the most is take a nap surrounded by trees.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Frozen Waterfall

Frozen Waterfall - 5D3,  24-70 II @ 24mm, f/7.1
A frozen waterfall and ice caves at the end of Larsen Harbour, an inlet/branch of Drygalski Fjord in South Georgia.  We spotted a couple of Weddell Seals (but thats an image for a different day) on our zodiac cruise into the inlet.

Monday, June 23, 2014

St. Georgs Kirchof and Graffiti

St. Georgs Kirchof - X100s, 35mm equiv., f/5.6, 1/280s, ISO 200
I've walked by this church (also called Holy Trinity Church) many times during my various trips to Hamburg but it wasn't until this past trip that I stopped to make a photograph.

Flowers

untitled - Fuji XE-1, 14mm, f/5.6, 1/75s, ISO 200
Some flowers to start off the week.  This will be a long week at work because after its over, its vacation time!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bicycle and Planter Box

Bicycle and Planter Box - X100s, 35mm equiv., f/5.6, 1/40s, ISO 250
This past week, I was passing through Hamburg again for work and on the short walk to dinner one night spotted this scene.  I don't usually do a lot of street photography but figured this would be a good image to use Analog Efex Pro 2 and take a bit more creative liberty.