Saturday, July 31, 2010

Untouched by Photoshop #1

I was watching some videos from famous nature photographer Moose Peterson the other day, and he emphasized how he only presents what is captured in camera -- minimal postprocessing and no major Photoshop work. When you think about the subject matter, it really makes sense. I've been known to take some liberties with an image -- cloning, compositing, use of brushes, etc. So I thought I'd challenge myself and go back through some of my bird photos and present some here with no Photoshop work, just camera raw adjustments. Here's the first: a pair of pelicans flying in Galveston.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Alyssa revisited

Still going through old photos, culling and backing up. This image was taken right after Christmas last year on a cold rainy day on the UTMB campus. I've also been using OnOne Photo Tools a little lately. In postprocessing this one, I used a Kubota glow treatment, which also desaturated the background quite a bit. I ended up bringing back some saturation to the skin tones. Nikon D200, 85mm, f/1.6 at 125th sec, light from small softbox from camera right.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bishop's Palace

I've been going through old files lately, trying to delete some archive material in anticipation of moving to a new back-up scheme. It never fails when you start something like this that you see images you might have missed on first pass. It's like looking through an old junior high school yearbook. It never is a short process. And so I worked on this one a little -- Bishop's Palace in Galveston, shot for the Galveston Historical Foundation a few years ago; 1/200 sec at f/8, 24mm, Topaz Adjust to heighten the sharpness, Nik Silver Efex for the black and white conversion.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pole Pixie Test #2

I found myself in the OR today shooting some photos at work. Afterwards, since we are going to be redesigning some marketing material over the summer that will require some new photos, I decided to take my Pole Pixie for some test shots. I've been wanting to try this kind of shot high above during an actual sugery. Thought I'd try it out in an empty room today. Top photo is the standard point of view; the photo below is from about 5 feet above with the paint pole and pole pixie. During an actual surgery the room would be dark and the intense OR lights would be on, but you can see the unique perspective here. In such tight quarters I had a hard time composing. I ended up taking about 25 photos to get a satisfactory crop. Once that camera goes overhead it takes a couple of attempts to get your bearing. I found it best to stay in one place and keep tweaking the angle. Purely by accident, my pole pixie shot just happened to crop out the wires coming from the table in the bottom right -- on shot number 25 of 25.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pole Pixie Test #1

I've been testing a new piece of gear recently -- the Pole Pixie -- a mounting head for attaching your camera to an inexpensive paint pole for wide angle, bird's eye view images. I first saw this type of photography on David Ziser's blog. He was using it at weddings to take photos from high above the crowd down onto small groups. Here's a link to his post. He was using a standard monopod with his dSLR raised above. The Pole Pixie is unique because it has a threaded socket for screwing into a standard paint pole, which you can buy at just about any home improvement store in numerous heights. In addition to the threads, there's also a locking screw in the Pole Pixie. In my tests with the Pole Pixie, I'm using a Nikon point and shoot camera, a 6-foot Shur-Line paint pole, and the Bogen quick release mount shown on the Pole Pixie web site. I must say, it makes for some pretty unique images. It's often said that to really make your photos stand out you have to take a unique perspective -- whether that means getting low to the ground or high above. The Pole Pixie gives you the ability to shoot high above the normal viewing angle -- with no ladders, cherry pickers, or any other expensive and potentially dangerous equipment.

Monday, July 5, 2010

On the Road to Moab

Photo taken from a rest area along I-70 between Zion National Park and Moab, Utah.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Free to Download

This one made me chuckle. One good thing about digital photography -- no irons needed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Free to Download

I was going through some old files the other day and came across a bunch of old slides. Decided to scan some of the mounts to add to my collection of frames and borders. If you click the image, and then click again, you'll get a nice-sized png file to right click and save picture as...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Version #4

Version #4 -- warmer tones, a sunkissed action applied to warm everything up a bit, brown texture and edges applied. Again, hard to make things look even with the textures when you have such a difference in tonality on the left and right sides. Sometimes you can mix multiple blending modes, other times you have to flatten the image and copy and paste one side to the other -- destructive, yes, but sometimes when you have lots of layers and opacities, that's the only way through.