I should just title this image too many damn layers and masks. I lost count how many were used in this image but there were a lot.
I shot this out of the window at work. Used a tripod and a delay shutter timer. Once I started to edit the trees turned muddy and I really wanted them sharper along with keeping the sky intact and not causing too much noise in the blue channel. Thats when the layers and masks started to appear until it got to a point where I said enough.
Oddly enough when this picture goes live I will be on a plane heading to parts unknown. For an adventure. I know where I will land and see dawn breaking and it won’t be my home country nor will it be the country I will end my journey in.
PS – Happy Halloween. I missed it! It’s like how I left on a trip once that left on 12/31 and I woke up 1/2. The crew gave us champagne at some point. I was disappointed it wasn’t for every time zone we hit.
I had to be at work early for a couple days so I used the time productively; taking pictures.
This image was a pain to edit because of the light. With the blue hour light providing enough to illuminate the landscape but causing deep shadows but also washing out the car lights which I wanted in the image. Not 100% happy with it but it gives it some drama and you get the light streaks of the headlights which I wanted.
I had to wait a few minutes to get enough cars coming down the road for me to take the shot. It was done around 7 AM which is still isn’t a busy time, just a start of the morning rush but I timed it right for a group to leave a stop light and take the shot.
This is also the first day or my vacation so I won’t have to deal with anything remotely like traffic for the foreseeable future. So it seemed appropriate to use this image today.
I will admit this is an “experimental” edit. There are lots of layers and masks going on. I wanted the girl to be the focus of the image and it was difficult with all the other things going on in the image. Part of the problem was I had a tiny shooting window because I didn’t want her to look up while I was taking the photo so I didn’t have time to really get my focal length right. So I worked with what I had.
I know it looks like I used a vignette in the image I didn’t. It was a mask and then burning down the shadows. Then I loaded a layer mask to do a dreamy focus to soften the buildings around it and then masked it in to keep her more in focus.
While its not a technically perfect image I like it and sometimes you just post an image you like.
I have been doing a lot of color so I like to mix in some monochrome every once in the while to make it visually different. The theme here is each of these has some sort of structural support in the image. The first one is a stretch because I really liked the reflection but there is some structural bits on the top of the reflection and the parking garage roof. Also, since I took the picture and I edited I declared it fitting into the theme.
The other two images are more inline with the theme and if I had to pick a favorite it would be the pole going up to the roof. It just contrasts nicely.
One of the interesting things about monochrome images and me is that when I take the picture I usually know its going to be done in monochrome. The image usually just has a few colors to it with a evenly distributed light and dark area. Architectural images lends themselves well to monochrome.
This is the USS Constellation. It’s now a tourist attraction docked in Baltimore Inner Harbor. No idea what the fee is to board it. One of these days I’ll eventually go aboard. My desire to avoid people from walking into my shots is rather strong. I don’t mind them if they fit the image but most of the time they don’t. I need to have a sign or announcement that states “Photographic Genius At Work” or something. That way they know not to walk into my shot.
I was debating on making this one monochrome but I kept it in color once I finished all the other edits. Once I saw the color on the keel and and the red of the slightly flooded bricks it gave a nice contrast to the sky and buildings around it. So I left it in color.
I like this image for some reason. You got the darker side balanced by the lighter side then with the blue contrasting everything.
Seeing a US Coast Guard cutter docked in Baltimore isn’t unusual. I believe they have a base near by and Baltimore is a major port for the United States. Mostly cars coming in and out from the automotive plants in the area. There are also cruise ships embarking from the Port of Baltimore as well.
The triangle shaped glass structures gave me the name. I have no real idea what the building is. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what the area is. It’s the Baltimore Inner Harbor but I forced myself to roam other areas just to get some new shots. To be perfectly honest this was a fine outing as I got a lot of great shots and with a minimum of gear. Just my Sony RX100M3 and either setting the camera down on something or using my mini-tripod that I keep in my bag. Two second shutter release delay and I’m good.
This will be my last “real-time” post as I am traveling next week for work so everything will be preloaded. Most will be from Baltimore as I clear out the images. Then some other shots I have taken to round it out.
Fairly obvious where the title came from. The image just felt more natural this way. The cobalt blue just made the other colors stand out. With the water looking the way it does from the shot being 3.2 seconds long it felt right.
This one is also from Baltimore Inner Harbor. I want to say the condos/apartments across the way are apart of the Federal Hill neighborhood but I would not quote me on that as I have never ventured that way. The dock area I believe is public docking provided you pay the fee but don’t quote me on that either. I pretty much know nothing of Baltimore. In all honesty, if it was closer to where I work I would live there because its a cool city to wander around in. Regardless of what you may have read on the news.
Another one from Baltimore. Still in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore but in an area I have never really explored. I was just walking around with my camera and snapping the images. I remember this shot because I was trying to shoot the bridge and was having a hard time using the bridge rail for stabilization. It’s a small suspension bridge so every time someone walked it would vibrate the whole bridge. This made it extremely difficult to keep the camera stable.
I am not sure how I finally managed it but I got this shot of the two ladies walking across the bridge.
Did the usual tweaks to this one. One of the things you deal with when shooting in low light with lots of blue channels is noise. There is no way around it. You can scrub the noise out but you lose critical details. Or you can just ignore it. I went the ignore it route because it didn’t detract from the image s there is a lot more visually going on.
This is the National Aquarium located in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. I am assuming this is some sort of greenhouse type exhibit as I have never been in the place myself. It’s usually packed with people when I go and I tend to avoid crowds. They don’t understand that a photographic genius is at work and walk into my shots!
I took this as the sky was starting to go to black or as near as possible in a major city. No tripod so it was handheld but with spot metering I aimed at the brightest spot and hoped for the best. There are lots of different layers going on here with opacity and flow changes to get the look I wanted. I used Nik Color Efex Pro and the Contrast Pro filter along with Vibrance and Saturation. Then I brought it back in and used Intensify Pro to bring out details. Played with the flow until I got it where I wanted it. Then I used my cheap and tawdry layer to put the finishing touches on it.
I’ll come clean now.
The cheap and tawdry layer thing is nothing but a luminosity mask. In simple terms I create a black and white version of the image, knowing the colors of the image, mess with the opposite color so I bring out the luminous side of it then change the mask to luminosity and it then play with opacity and flow if you are in the mood till you are happy. It gives your colors vibrancy. It’s totally cheap and tawdry but works really well! You can watch the video on how to do it here. He uses Nik Silver Efex same as me but you can easily do it in Photoshop by duplicating the layer then switching it to black and white. Same principle.