Monday, October 5, 2009


This photo was taken in the spring at the Jamail Skate Park near downtown Houston, and it really has no place on this blog. It's not a great photo, but there's a couple of things about it I really find funny -- more on that later. I recently decided to try Topaz Adjust and see how it compared to my beloved Lucis Art plug in. After a couple of weeks of demo, I decided to buy it and wanted to put it through its paces so I intentionally chose some very difficult exposures to throw at it this past weekend. This image, being backlit, was a good test. I was able to recover decent amounts of detail in an otherwise underexposed shot. But now for the funny parts -- and these were things I would have never noticed if I hadn't spent a few minutes with this photo. If you look closely at this little 4-year-old girl, you'll see she's wearing a pink and black skull-n-crossbones shirt. OK, someone has a sense of humor. Second, there's a Bucees sticker on the back of her helmet -- the beaver logo. Now, if you haven't experienced Bucees, it's like the Disney World of rest stops. I stopped at one on the way to San Antonio in August, and I was amazed. It's the place to be for all your "on the road needs." And third (and this I find especially funny), if you look at the "Girls" sticker in the center and scan directly up -- well, those two guys sitting there are yours truly and Larry J. Patrick. That "Girls" caption for us is just so appropriate as we sit there with our expensive cameras as the 4 year old contemplates the skate park maze. Shortly after this shot was taken, this little girl turned around and I took a photo of her face. Tomorrow, I'm going to start a series of my edits of that photo. Again, it was backlit so my intent was to salvage only, but I discovered a couple of interesting things about blending modes in the process ... just like I discovered a couple of humorous things about this image that most would have deleted on the spot. Sometimes you have to spend a few moments with an image to really notice the subtle details -- funny or otherwise.


  1. Cool shot Steve!

    The reflection tells a whole story within the story. I always love the clarity that Topaz Adjust adds to reflections. Lucis probably does the same thing.

    Well done!

  2. How funny! But I would never have known who the people are in the reflection without your telling me, they are too small at this resolution. I recently went to a Bucees for the first time and was amazed, both at the size of the place and the variety of items for sale. I was also pretty amazed last spring at the ages of the little girls who were brave enough to attempt the skate park! 4 years old...what happened to baby dolls and princess dress-ups?