Sunday, May 30, 2010

Monument Valley Sunrise

Sunrise at Monument Valley, April 21, 2010. We were at Monument Valley for two sunrises, and after getting up early both days, unfortunately both sunrises weren't that spectacular. Still, when you're at such a scenic place, it's hard to pass up shooting something. I decided not to even attempt HDR with this scene after a disappointing failure at Jekyll Island in the fall with a similar sunrise. Just captured what was there and didn't try to force this scene into something that it wasn't. Simplicity seems to be becoming more and more appealing these days. Nikon D200 at 52mm; f/8 at 2.2 sec; -1 EV.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lauren #5

Another photo of Lauren taken several weeks ago in Galveston. This was taken early on in the shoot when we were experimenting with some backlighting. Heavy light from behind provided by Larry's Elinchrom; gold reflector from the front. I opened up the face a little in postprocessing with layers and textures. The textures also warmed up the image a lot. Nikon D200 at 85mm; f/4, 1/320 sec. I was above the 1/250 sec sync threshold here, and you can sort of see some tell tale darkening at the very top, but the texture does a pretty good job of hiding that.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Granville Street Bridge

Here's another photo from Vancouver -- the view under the Granville Street Bridge from the Granville Island side. This was taken on our last day in Vancouver, and it started to turn pretty cloudy and rained a little right after this shot was taken. There wasn't much color in this shot even though it was HDR -- so I decided to try black and white. It was the best I could do. Maybe at some later date, I'll try and add some color or texture. I tried a couple of things but nothing really struck me as going anywhere. So for now this one lives in stark black and white waiting for some inspiration. Nikon D200 at 24mm, 3 handheld bracketed frames merged together with Photomatix Pro. Base exposure at f/8 and 1/320 sec.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vancouver Harbor

Just returned from a long weekend celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday in Vancouver, Canada. I took this shot at the inner harbor as we waited to board a paddlewheeler cruise -- perfect weather that day. Even the locals were excited about the weather they had last weekend. We complain about the heat and humidity here on the Gulf Coast, but from what we heard from people around Vancouver, this was the nicest weather they've had since the fall. Kim checked the weather in Vancouver today just for fun -- 55 degrees and rain. Nikon D200, 40mm, f/9 at 1/320 sec; colors are not tweaked too much here, pretty much straight out of camera -- just a little Topaz Adjust in the trees and boats.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lauren #4

From the photo shoot with Lauren and Chelsea in late March. Yes, still working on these. This was one Lauren selected from the contact sheet, and it had a few issues that I had to fix. First, we had just set up lights for this pose and this was the first shot, and it was a little overexposed -- especially on her white blouse. There was also a lightstand leg in the background I had to remove. Nice pose and expression though, so probably worth devoting some time to it. Lighting was done with Larry's Elinchrome from off camera left and a gold reflector from the front. Decided, like I do a lot when I have exposure issues, to make it monochrome with Nik Silver Efex. Edge is a combination of OnOne Photoframe and Kevin Kubota's Sloppy Edges. Nikon D200 at 85mm, 1/200 sec at f/4.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monument Valley

Another shot from Monument Valley -- from our hotel balcony. This one focused a little more on the mountain and the great texture below as it sinks into the valley. Also postprocessed slightly cooler and more metallic -- 5 frames merged together in Photomatix Pro.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chelsea with Texture

Still going through the Chelsea and Lauren photos from several weeks ago, also experimenting with some new textures. Sometimes the texture you least expect to work ends of being one you end up using, like with this image. Not sure if it does actually work, or whether it's more of a challenge to try and merge the texture with the image in some kind of hybridized way to create something unique.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Look, Over There

Easy to get caught up in the mittens at Monument Valley -- like any iconic scene. You want to shoot it over and over. You get blinders on. But after we arrived in Monument Valley and after staring at the mittens for a while and taking some shots I realized that the scene above was in the opposite sky. I then proceeded to shoot it over and over - single frames, bracketing all over the place, panos, verticals, and horizontals - for the better part of two days. I randomly picked this set of brackets out of the bunch to process through Photomatix Pro -- five bracketed exposures, base frame at f/11 and 1/180 sec. Processed a little further in Photoshop with Topaz Adjust. Never ceases to amaze what bracketing and HDR can do to heighten the visual interest in a sky. Sometimes it looks like the apocolypse, other times it looks like an impressionist painting. The more I use HDR, the more I tend to use some restraint, hence the painterly look here. As I look at this scene, I think I could add some green to the left side in the valley. But you also have the long shadow across the field. I dunno, strong elements here, but I have the feeling something's missing to really put it over the top.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Monument Valley Mittens

The classic view from Monument Valley -- mittens, late afternoon. Photo taken from our hotel balcony. A healthy layer of Topaz Adjust was applied to bring out some details in the sky and rocks (taken down to 68% and the saturation decreased a little). Still getting used to Topaz Adjust 4 -- great tool for this kind of work, but it's easy to take it too far -- color and contrast wise. Nikon D200 at 24mm, f/11, 1/250 sec.