Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Empty Street

During our walk around Lubeck last Monday, we came upon this empty street lit beautifully by the late day sun.  I am always a sucker for these kinds of streets as its not something I get to see often where I live in California.  I made one image using just a single frame and then a few seconds later also captured a bracketed set for future HDR creation.  The image above is the single frame, converted to B&W with Silver Efex Pro.

This one is the HDR version, created in HDR Efex Pro 2 and then converted to B&W in Silver Efex Pro.  I processed each one completely independently from the other.  Which do you prefer?

Fishing on the River

I'm back in Lubeck for a couple more days before returning home.  It was raining yesterday but here's an image from early last week.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Mini - RX100,  10.44mm, f/2.8, 1/640s, ISO 125
We did a walking tour of Cologne yesterday afternoon and along the way the classic Mini was spotted. I used the HDR mode of the RX100 to capture a JPEG with decent dynamic range and then finished up working on it with Snapseed on the desktop.  Not bad for a few minutes worth of work.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

View From Kölner Dom

View From Kölner Dom - RX100, 10.5mm, f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 125
I've been in Cologne for the last few days attending Photokina.  This morning I climbed to the top of the Cologne Cathedral to get a panoramic view of the city.  It had been raining in the morning but fortunately the rain dissipated shortly before we started the climb.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lubeck Sunset

It rained lightly for much of the afternoon in Lubeck yesterday but just as we got back to our hotel, the clouds started to break up and the soft, warm sunlight started to light up the buildings.  When I got to my hotel room (this is the view from my room window), I knew I had to capture a panorama of the scene before me.  I didn't realize it at the time, but there was even a very faint rainbow in the sky.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rooftops and River of Lubeck

Rooftops and River of Lubeck - RX100, f/10.5, f/3.5, 1/320s, ISO 125
I arrived in Lubeck, Germany yesterday, a city about an hour north of Hamburg.  Knowing that if we remained in our hotel room, we would eventually succumb to a nap, we decided to head out and explore the city a bit, which turned into a bit of a photowalk.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Street Guitar Player

Street Guitar Player - M9, 21 Super Elmar, ~f/4.8, 1/80s, ISO 160
I made this image as I was walking down a side street in Seville taking in the highlights of the city.  One of the questions I often get from novices is just much color processing my images have had in post.    For example one may look at this image and wonder, was the wall really that deep orange color.  So I'll walk through all the work I did on this image to give folks an idea.

First, I was walking quickly down the street.  I knew the framing I wanted, I knew that I wanted as much of that wall as I could get.  So before I got to the spot I was going to shoot from, I pre-focussed using zone focusing.  Then when I arrived at the spot I was going to shoot from, I framed from the hip, made the frame and kept walking.

Next, my camera's white balance was set to Auto which in most scenes sets a reasonable white balance.     In this case, that super orange wall threw the meter off and the camera decided the white balance should have been closer to tungsten (2850 temp, -18 tint).

With these two facts, the image as it came into Lightroom, untouched looked like this:

The first two things I did was to correct the white balance (setting it to 5000 temp and 0 tint) and crop the frame to the way I had wanted it, which results in:

Then I usually do some tonal adjustments so that I get the kind of global, shadow and highlight contrast I am looking for.  In a lot of images I prefer having areas with deep shadow tones.  This was a tricky image to work with as small changes to some highlights sliders could result in regions of that orange wall taking on wild colors.  I had to experiment and the resulting values at times look contradictory.  I made the following tonal adjustments: Contrast +23, Highlights +18, Whites 0, Blacks +40, Clarity +37.  In Tone Curve: Highlights -68, Lights +25, Darks -17, Shadows +31.  I also applied a post crop vignette which I usually do if I want to darken the edges a bit to bring the attention to the center.  This gives the final image (same as one above):

Note that I didn't say anything about vibrance, saturation or the HSL settings.  Thats because these were all 0 and were untouched.  In fact, looking through a lot of my images, its rare that I apply vibrance or HSL saturation adjustments (one some images I will due targeted hue adjustments).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roadside Waterfall

Roadside Waterfall - 5D2, 24 TS-E II, f/11, 0.6s, ISO 100
Following the epic rain/snow in Yosemite during the winter of 2010/2011, waterfalls were plentiful.  On one drive on Tioga Pass through the park in July of last year I spotted so many little temporary waterfalls that I lost count.  I had to make it to the other side for some other shooting I had planned in the White Mountains so I couldn't stop at all of them.  This particular one caught my attention and so I pulled over and spent a little bit of time with it.

The choice to convert this image to black & white could be debated.  I primarily chose to do so because in B&W the water comes through more prominently than it does in color.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Singing Birds

Its definitely been a while since I photographed birds, so this morning when I heard them singing in the backyard, I quickly put a 1.4x TC on my 400mm lens and went out for some impromptu handheld photography.  Its not high art but it was fun anyway.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Three Jellies

Three Jellies - Olympus EM-5, 25mm f/1.4, f/1.4, 1/160s, ISO 200
I don't usually take photographs of wildlife in captivity but when going through the Monterey Bay Aquarium, its hard not to.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Fall Approaches

Autumn Leaves - 5D2, 70-200 II @ 200mm, f/20, 1s, ISO 100
In around a month's time it will be ideal to head to the Eastern Sierras to capture some fall color.  I've done this trip at the same time the past couple of years, though I likely won't make it this year.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Aspen Row

Aspen Row - 1Ds3, 70-200 II @ 200mm, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 200
I was shooting one morning around the Moulton Barn area in the Tetons when in the distance I spotted a row of Aspen with an interesting set of clouds in background and some fog that looked like was dissipating.  Everything being far away I knew that I wanted to use a long focal length to stitch together a wide aspect ratio panorama.

I have included a Zoomify version above so those that love to go right up to a photograph can enjoy this image.

I am also making a change to the watermarks on the images on my website, essentially they are gone.  Watermarks on images shared on Google+ are also gone.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Loon & Chick

Loon & Chick - D3s, 200-400 @ 400mm, f/6.3, 1/800s, ISO 800
Its been a while since I posted an avian image, and quite a long time since I went out and photographed avians.  Actually I haven't been out to do any serious photography in a while and I can feel that itch building up.