Monday, June 28, 2010

Version #3

Version #3 -- more blue with some bokeh texture worked into the sky and background.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Version #2

Version #2 of the Chelsea image with texture -- this one with some blue and green textures, applied a little harder in the white area of the sky. This one also has some cross processing to the overall image before the application of the textures.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Version #1

First version of my attempts to salvage this image. I've had this fascination recently with the cross-processed look, key shifting color, etc. Not sure where it's come from because most of my photography over the last few years has really been aimed at optimizing exposure either through HDR or blending color temperatures from multiple exports from a raw file. Maybe it's the summer time, when the slightly desaturated, warmer tones seem to fit better. This variation has a lighten layer, a warm photo filter layer, and then a couple of teal blue texture layers -- actually the same texture in two different blending modes. First texture was masked into the sky in linear burn blending mode, then the same texture was applied to the rest of the image in hard light blending. Both with quite a bit of masking to help with the transitions. I tried to create some depth here, with the warm -- cool -- warm color movement from edge to center.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

Did I ruin a perfectly good shot here? Nice pose, nice smile. Composition? -- not so good. And what makes it worse is I shot a bunch like this. Somehow, in my mind, the blown sky didn't really bother me as I shot these photos of Chelsea in March. I was so caught up in shooting shallow depth of field that I never really noticed how distracting that wedge of white was in the background. Hard to miss, huh? And the dark roof right next to it makes it even more pronounced. So, for the rest of the week, I'll be spending about an hour or so per night on a variation of this shot and posting a couple of versions -- each with some unique toning and texturing. This one is pretty much straight out of camera, with just some raw changes and a crop. Feel free to comment or post suggestions on how you'd fix this one.

Monday, June 21, 2010

19 People, 1 Light

This time of year, I find myself shooting these kinds of shots at this location a lot. This scene is the steps of Old Red, the original medical school building on the campus of The University of Texas Medical Branch. It opened in 1891, survived the 1900 Storm, and the red sandstone and Texas grantite building still stands today. It's been pretty much vacant since Hurricane Ike, however, waiting for money and manpower to rehab the bottom floor. Still makes a good backdrop for a group shot, and the steps leading up to the front door make a natural set of risers for lots of folks. I've learned to shoot here early and fast. After about 9:30 a.m., the sun comes over a nearby building and floods this area with some of the brightest light you could imagine. I got this shot just in time. Over the 10 minutes I took these pictures, the sun began reflecting off the top of the steps and columns here, so this shot is from early on in the series. At the last minute I decided to add a little on-camera flash here. Glad I did. I think it added a nice kick to the shadows and brightened the faces. Nikon D70, 1/160 sec at f/7.1; SB900 at -0.7 EV on camera.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Canyonlands in Sepia

Another photo from Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah -- five frame HDR, converted to sepia with Nik Silver Efex Pro, some high-pass sharpening on the canyon edge on the left, and a couple of dodge and burn layers to add some depth.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mesa Arch

This is Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. I struggled with this scene -- backlighting, flare, cloud-free sky, exposure, composition -- not much was going my way here. Finally decided to bracket and that helped a little. Another problem was that the classic shot here is at sunrise and this is about 2-3 hours after sunrise. Still a strikingly beautiful location. One I'd like to visit again and do it justice.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


This photo was taken over 5 years ago in March 2005. In the workflow of Mr. Larry Patrick, this one would have been long gone. As I recall, I was in Galveston on the UTMB campus on a Saturday with time to kill and a camera in my hands. There are these elevated pipes behind the hospital that carry utilities all over campus -- one of those things you see all the time but never have a camera around. This time I did. They were gleaming stainless steel, so I did some texturing and toning to get what you see here. Nikon D100, 50mm; f/9.5, 1/160 sec; +0.5 EV; spot metering (and I never spot meter). EXIF doesn't lie. I have no idea why I was spot metering.