Friday, September 30, 2011

Jackson Square, New Orleans #4

After that last post, I couldn't help think that black and white was a possibility. I've been demo'ing Topaz's latest black and white product -- comparing it to Nik Silver Efex. So this was done in Topaz B&W Effects -- a selenium conversion with a lot more contrast.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jackson Square, New Orleans #3

Travel tip for New Orleans: August isn't the greatest time to visit. It's hot and humid like Houston. After a day of walking around the French Quarter and Jackson Square, I finally realized you could actually go inside St. Louis Cathedral. And the cool air in there feels pretty good. Tons of people milling around. I took some shots, played with ISO...but decided that I'd get there early the next morning after 7:00 am mass and take some interior shots with a tripod. No signs were posted against that, just that you couldn't shoot during services. So at 8:05, there I was with tripod firmly planted clicking off brackets. Must have shot for 20 minutes, until I realized a crowd had gathered behind me letting me have clean shots free of people walking up and down the aisle. Nice of them; and as anyone who has been around me when I take photos can tell you, sometimes I get a little preoccupied. I had great hopes for these shots -- surely an entry in our photo club's architecture assignment in September. But somehow I never got an image I was really excited about. Colors seemed muted -- cream, beige, gold. They are accurate colors, just not the rich reds, greens and blues you'd like to see in a cathedral shot. The shot above is 3 bracketed exposures, f/11 at 12mm.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jackson Square, New Orleans #2

Another photo of St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square in New Orleans -- this one taken late in the day from the plaza area in the front left corner. The colors were pretty blah, so converted to sepia, almost a split tone. Pretty non-traditional crop with the fence in the foreground, but somehow I was drawn to that. I have a few variations of this one in my files -- muted color, black and white, etc. But ultimately I think I like this one the best. I used Nik HDR Efex Pro on a single frame to bring up the texture in the clouds, also Nik Silver Efex for the toning. 1/100 sec at f/6.3, -0.3 EV, 35mm.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jackson Square, New Orleans #1

This is from a recent trip to New Orleans -- Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, early morning on August 12. I wondered why the flags were at half staff and later found out that it was in honor of two Louisiana soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. For the next week or two, I'm going to be posting some images of the square and church. This one was taken from across the street on the elevated plaza; three handheld frames merged together in Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

San Francisco De Asis Church

Taken in July, this photo is the back of San Francisco De Asis Church in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico. This structure is supposedly one of the most photographed, sculpted, and painted structures in New Mexico. People like Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams have all taken their turn portraying this church. After I took this photo, I was looking through some portfolios of Ansel Adams and saw he had a similar view of the church as this one -- from behind, no windows, doors, or crosses shown -- just the graceful lines of adobe and stucco. My modern spin was to do a single image pass through Nik HDR Efex Pro to give everything a little more texture; also desaturated it a bit. If you're interested, here's Ansel Adams' image. I have to admit, it's a little like the Alamo in San Antonio. You hear of these places, and you imagine them to be out in the middle of nowhere, but just as the Alamo is in the heart of a busy city, San Francisco De Asis in the middle of a gravel parking lot with restaurants and tourist gift shops all around.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Backlit Bee

Taken at a park in Santa Fe, NM over the summer. I was going through files recently and ran across this image. Maybe it's summer or maybe it's my evolution as a photographer, but I find myselft shooting more and more backlit. 300mm, f/5.6 at 1/320 sec, +1 EV, a little texture and tint added in post.

Monday, September 5, 2011

French Quarter at Dusk

This photo was taken several weeks ago in the French Quarter of New Orleans -- three bracketed images merged together with Nik HDR Efex Pro.