Thursday, July 31, 2008

photomatix again

I was driving to the photo lab the other day and went past this old train station.
I had the camera in the car and thought i had better get a shot of it before it got torn down.
It was midday and the shadows were fairly blocked up. I thought it would be a perfect candidate for hdr.
I took 7 bracketed frames (bracketed by 1 stop each). I choose the normal exposure, darkest , and the lightest of the 7 frames.
I put all three images into photomatix and hit generate. I kept the strength at about 90% also as i wanted the effect to be strong.
I opened the image in photoshop and applied a curve to up the contrast just a bit, sharpened a little more and was done.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

bracketing exposure

This is another shot i took while out on an excellent boat cruise.
The image as you see here looks nothing like what my eye was seeing at the time. The sun was getting close to setting but was still fairly bright. I did a few bracketed exposures to darken the clouds and sun and came up with this.
When the first shot looks lame, try something else, like bracketing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

To crop or not to crop

Here is a photo of a boat i took last week for fun. I was in a friends awesome cruiser and his friend pulled up along side. We were going the same speed for a couple minutes and i thought i would take a few frames. The sun was down and as a result i did not really like the color in the image. I opened the image in camera raw and did the same adjustments to it as my last few posts to bring up the contrast and detail. I took the saturation slider to -100 and opened the image. It did not look very good yet so a dramatic curves adjustment was needed. This brought up the contrast quite a bit. I sharpened the image and that was about it.
Then comes the question to crop or not. I like the balance of the above cropped photo. You will notice that most of the action and lines are toward the center of the image and the boat itself is pretty well centered. This of course would be breaking one of the rules of better photography "dont put your subject in the center of the frame but use the rule of thirds". The boat is actually on the thirds line going across, just not up and down. The crop still works however as the top of the image and the bottom, dead space on both, are equal and balance the image. Being cropped also makes the boat occupy more space in the frame.
There is no real set rule about cropping is what it comes down to. I like to try different crops until the image works for me. It usually only takes a minute and can be very well worth the time.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I just noticed that it has been almost a month since my last post.
I have still been getting lots of visits to the site and that helps to make me feel guilty for not putting up some new info.
I have been shooting a ton of images that i will be playing with in the near future. A break was very much needed by me in all areas of my work as i was truly burnt out, thus the lack of posts to this site.
I took the photo above yesterday morning on an early walk down the beach. For the next week or so i will just post some images. I will be back to business very, very soon.