Letting a Plugin do the Work

September 28, 2009

This shot was taken near Cape San Blas in the Florida panhandle.  One of my very favorite places.  The sun was setting as I drove by and I simply pulled over and fired off a frame or two.

Later on, I processed the photo through Topaz Adjust, a 3rd party filter that has a number of interesting effects – including a pseudo HDR.  That’s what was used here.  Topaz is fun but way to easy to over process an image.  Use it subtlety and it’s sort of interesting though.

A salt marsh near Cape San Blas, FL

A salt marsh near Cape San Blas, FL


I Like to Play!

August 26, 2009

When I was an undergrad, our photo program strongly encouraged us to study “alternative processes”.  At that time,  that phrase meant things like cyanotypes, uranium and platinum prints etc.  I’ve never lost my love for “different” ways of doing things, even with digital imaging.

While I’d like to say that this image is of a small diorama I built of toy figures and astro-turf, it’s obviously not.  But that’s what it’s supposed to look like.

This is a “Tilt Shift Miniature Fake” where full size scenes are made to look like photos of miniature sets.  Think how it would look if you were really photographing a small scale model with a macro or T-S lens.  Shallow depth of focus, high contrast etc.  These effects are simply artificially induced in Photoshop to make a normal scene look miniaturized.

While not something I’d do a lot of, it’s an interesting process to experiment with. You quickly learn there are certain subjects and perspectives that lend themselves to this.  Try it, it’s fun.  Google “Tilt Shift Miniature Fake” and  you’ll find plenty of “how-to’s”.

A "Tilt Shift Miniature Fake" of a local High School band.

A "Tilt Shift Miniature Fake" of a local High School band.

Things You See as You Go

August 25, 2009

Stopped at a produce stand along the roadside.  This cabbage almost jumped up and forced me to take a picture.  The contrasting colors were just so startling.  I’m almost embarassed to confess that it’s another G-10 shot.  Again, I had it with me…cabbage_WM

Jelly Peeps!

June 24, 2009

Jelly Peeps !

Jelly Peeps !

Yet another G10 shot, that was do-able simply because the camera was with me.  I have no idea how often these Jellyfish at the Atlanta Aquarium are photographed…but it has to be a lot.  I can’t believe my photo is even unique, but during a vist, it was just impossible not to capture.  The G10 was set to ISO 800 and the image was very noisy.  This copy was processed through DxO Optics (jury’s still out on that one).  It survived fairly well.  Other versions using other commercial noise solutions fared even better.

Not HDRi

June 11, 2009

Beach Houses of all kinds!

Beach Houses of all kinds!

I stumbled across this (nearly literally!) on the beach at Cape San Blas, Florida. The unusual tonality and contrast was produced by tonemapping this image in post processing. While it looks a bit like an HDRi image, it’s not.  Still it’s an interesting effect.  A pseudo-HDR image.

Harder than it Looks

June 5, 2009

A butterfly rests in front of a palm frond

A butterfly rests in front of a palm frond

You’d think this was a pretty simple picture.  And in some ways it is.  But I have to say that photographing butterflies is much more challenging than you’d think.  It really requires you bring your full mental toolbox to bear.  There are issues with “posing” the subject of course.  Then finding an attractive background.  Making the light interesting is…interesting.  Controling the depth of field at high mags is tough, as is balancing fill flash. Motion blur is almost always possible.  I’ve found my rejects far outstrip the number of keepers I get from a session.  Canon 20D with 100mm macro and Canon ring flash. Shot at the Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History.  No tripods allowed (except for some special occasions) so pretty much everything is handheld.


June 4, 2009

Smile!Another G-10 shot that I probaby wouldn’t have captured with a bigger camera because I probably wouldn’t have been carrying it.  This building had apparently just been renovated. The tile and brick work were fresh and covered with dust.  Someone had come along and done their own “contribution” using the dust as a medium.  I’ve always admired the work of Piet Mondrian (19th  and 20th century Dutch artist) and this tile work just struck that chord.  The dust-fitti on it just added to the overall message.