Jul 312012

I took a trip into Ocean City this evening on a quest to shoot the sunset. I came back with a lot of exposures, but after looking at them in Lightroom, this is the only one I like out of the bunch. I may change my mind and work up some other shots later.

 Posted by at 10:48 pm
Jul 252012

Since my last post, there has been a major change in my life. My family has moved from Knoxville, TN to Berlin, MD. Between spending time doing all the things it takes to move across the country and work needing quite a bit of my time, I haven’t been shooting at all.

That is, until tonight! I needed a break from work and from thinking about unpacking and organizing and getting my Knoxville house rented and so forth and decided on a whim to go out and shoot a panorama of Ocean City. To be honest, there was a good chance I wasn’t going to get anything because I picked the spot to shoot from by looking at my neighborhood on Google Maps. I’d never actually been to that area before and didn’t even know for sure that it was accessible. Fortunately, it was. I must also credit my wife for finding the location that the shot below comes from. I had setup at the first possible location and started shooting for fear of losing too much light. She wandered around a bit and told me about this location which I definitely agree is the better spot.

I don’t know if it comes across in the web version or not but I deliberately processed it towards a painterly effect. I think it might look nice as a print on canvas. I think this could also be a really nice spot to bring a model to as well.

Click for larger size

 Posted by at 11:37 pm
Nov 022011

After dropping Katy off at school today, I stopped by a nearby railroad crossing to shoot some photos. I was mainly interested in shooting some HDR sequences in both directions but once I finished that, I just started wandering around a little shooting whatever I could that had texture. I found and shot several different discarded railroad spikes but this one was my favorite.

Railroad Debris

Railroad Debris (Click for larger size)

The dynamic range on the shot as it was imported was just a little too much so I used the Recovery and Fill Light sliders until the histogram indicated nothing was being lost. I then went over to Photoshop and used Topaz Adjust to punch everything up. After that, I used Topaz ReMask to isolate the spike and used the resulting mask to desaturate the rocks on one layer and boost the saturation of the spike in another layer. My last Photoshop adjustment was a healthy dose of Smart Sharpen in an attempt to make the texture pop as much as possible without producing halos. Finally, it was back to Lightroom for a little bit of vignette and that was it.

P.S. I’m very disappointed in Chrome and may have to switch back to Firefox as my browser of choice. The warm colors of the spike are noticeably washed out in Chrome when compared to Firefox. Firefox looks just like I had it in Photoshop and Lightroom. If you have both browsers installed, please open this post in both and tell me if you can see a difference.

 Posted by at 9:35 pm
May 282011

Lisa had her first cello lesson today so Katy and I came along and hung out at the music store while Lisa was with her instructor. It’s a really cool place called Morlock Music on Gay Street. I really liked the atmosphere of the place so I asked the guy at the counter if it was okay for me to take a few pictures. He said yes so I unpacked my camera and got to work. I decided to shoot available light only because I didn’t want to destroy the mood of the place for the other customers. It also occurred to me while I was shooting that I probably would have just been fighting reflections from all the polished wood, anyway.

The very first thing that caught my eye and inspired me get my camera out in the first place was this large display of hats on the wall. I lost some of the hats at the bottom after I corrected the camera perspective in Lightroom, but I considered that necessary so had to sacrifice them.

Click For Full Size

Like the caption says, click to see the full size image. This one needs to be seen at a larger size than I can fit in the blog layout. Processing included a trip to Photoshop to remove a small part of a hat rack that was intruding in from the left and to selective tone down one of the white hats in the lower right area. It wasn’t blown out, but it was so white, you couldn’t see any detail in it. I also used Topaz Adjust and tried out a bunch of the presets until I found one that really made all the detail in the hats and walls pop and then lowered the opacity of that layer just a bit to tone down the results.

Next up, guitars! They had two sections of acoustic guitars and I shot them both, but the section of wall this group was on was way less cluttered so it won. They had a lot of electric guitars too, but they had even more distracting elements around them so I didn’t bother with them

Click For Full Size

Not a lot of processing was done to this shot. Some contrast, clarity, and vibrance were added. I removed a strong, distracting reflection in the body of the guitar hanging way up in the upper left corner. I finished up with a little sharpening and a vignette.

 Posted by at 8:24 pm