July 15, 2011

Words of Light

Last Tuesday the assignment for Bay Area Photography Club was a photo taken at night.  I have not done much night photography so I was very interested in seeing what I could do.  I had tons of ideas of what would be neat, but because of laziness and lack of skill, I did none of my great ideas.  Take me at my word, all fifty of my great ideas were definitely world class photos.
Today’s photo is of the “a, a” sculpture at the University of Houston.  I had seen the sculpture while taking some portraits of outstanding students for the university.  I wanted to capture all the details so I took nine shots at one-stop increments.  I custom set the white balance in my camera so that the lights would take on a warmer glow.
Camera settings:  Nikon D3x, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 at 20mm, ISO 200, f/8 and with shutter speeds (nine exposures in one-stop increments) from 1/4th of a second to 30 seconds on a tripod.
Post Processing:  
Nik HDR Pro—combined and tone mapped six images.
Photoshop CS5—removed a crane and a couple red flowers that were distracting, used lens correction filter to straighten building’s distortion and sharpened image using the high pass filter method.

July 8, 2011

Using HDR to Show Texture

I was visiting a friend’s range over the Fourth of July.  The range is between Luling and Lockhart—two places that have great barbeque.  Before I left, I wanted to try some night photography.  I did, but have little to show for my efforts.  I need a lot more practice before I can take a photograph that does justice to what I imagine in my mind.
I went over to Gonzales one day and shot this photo through an open window of the old jail.  I wanted to show texture, so I used three shots and combined the various exposures in nik HDR Pro.
Camera settings:  Nikon D3, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 at 30mm, ISO 200, f/4.8 and 1/10th, 1/6th, and 1/3rd of a second.
Post Processing:  
Lightroom 3—Set black and white points, adjusted exposure, added clarity and removed slight red cast.
Nik HDR Pro—combined and tone mapped three images using one of the presets in the plug-in.

July 1, 2011

The Expression Says It All

“Why is that damn fool taking a picture of me?”   That’s what I imagine this man was thinking as I fired a few shots off.
Here, I loved his expression—which he had on his face even before I raised my camera to my eye—and the contrast of his expression with the tag line on the sign, “A-List”.   To me, those two items make this photo.
Of course, the photo would be greatly improved if the newspaper stands were not blocking part of the subject, but in street photography, you get what’s there.  Nothing more.
Camera settings:  Nikon D3, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 at 300mm, ISO 450, f/5.6 and 1/180th of a second.
Post Processing:  
Lightroom 3—Set black and white points, adjusted exposure, added clarity and removed slight red cast.