Beach’n

Took a ride out to Jomtien Beach just to sit by the Gulf of Thailand and enjoy a cold beer on a hot day. I’m technically retired so I’m allowed these indulgences.

Living in Thailand is a bit surreal at times. I’m in a major tourist area so I don’t get the real, Thai experience as this place caters to tourist. My neighborhood is mostly Thai with a few expat enclaves but for the most part it is Thai oriented. This means I deal with Thais most of the time. This mean Thai style restaurants, shops, and services. Having been here enough I know what to expect but it can still be a bit daunting if I have to ask for something and my Thai vocabulary isn’t there. Lots of gesturing going on. While the Land of Smiles is a bit of a myth; a smile and taking things in good humor goes a long way when there is a language barrier. Generally you can get what you want and need provided you go in with that attitude.

Shot this image on my Canon S100 because I can chuck it into my shorts pocket and be good to go. I’ll be honest and say I shoot it in P mode and let the camera handle everything. For a point-and-shoot it works better. I will override the settings if required but so far the images have been good.

Editing I did my usual then brought it into Intensify and hit a preset. I then masked in the original version of the beach to bring that down a bit just so I could get the clouds and water as the main focus.

Enjoy.

Beach'n

View From Home

This honestly is one of the views I get when I leave my building and ride the half mile or so to Pattaya Beach.

I have taken for granted I live in a beach town and fairly close to the Gulf of Thailand. Its just not my normal path on my daily wanderings. Living in a beach town doesn’t mean ¬†you actually go to the beach. You just know its there and if you are inclined then you can go to it. If not then you ignore it and go about your daily life.

I was riding with my gear gear shoved into my backpack because I had some other work to do and planned on shooting something completely different. When I hit the road I saw the sun setting over the Gulf of Thailand and raced down to the beach. Got lucky and found a spot to park the bike and jumped off. I didn’t want to waste time with setting up my full kit so grabbed my Canon S100 in my pocket and just took a few snaps. It’s why I carry it now because it’s small enough to go everywhere and has a decent sensor to what is needed.

Editing was just a quick crop and then a curves adjustment. I did a bit of dodging and burning and then called it done.

Enjoy.

View From Home

Pond Bridge

I have likely published a photo of this bridge more than a few times before. When you like a subject you keep shooting it. This is a bridge at Meadowlark Gardens in Fairfax, Virginia.

Strangely enough I always went back to Meadowlark Gardens even when I moved to Maryland. Not that it was a far drive, it just happened to be a place I frequented because it was the first real “shoot” I did with a camera. Was my Canon XSi which I spent $400 on and a friend gave me a 18-55mm kit lens. I thought it was the most expensive piece of photography equipment I ever owned. Little did I know the rabbit hole I was heading down. I don’t even shoot with Canon anymore but I have taken a photo at this park with every camera I have ever owned. Living in Thailand that’s not going to happen anymore but I still have the memories and the images.

Editing this image I went a bit different. I was going to make it black and white but it looked more infrared when I did the conversion but I liked how it bumped the detail up on the trees. So I went ahead and just created a layer and then did an opacity layer and brought it down to 20%. Did a bit of dodging and burning here and there to get it to where it is and then called it done.

Enjoy.

Pond Bridge

Tulips – Part 2

This is the second set in the series of tulips I shot this spring.

When I am pressed for time I love doing flower edits. They are quick and easy and can be knocked out without a lot of effort going into them. When I first started processing photos I would just use Lightroom and now I use Photoshop for the majority of my work. I can quickly just do what I want and dodge and burn as needed and call it done.

One of the things that I can get away with since I now live in Thailand but publish on a East Coast of America time is I edit the same day. When I need to get out and do something I can quickly do these edits and then out the door.

I more or less explained how editing was done. Mostly gradient work to get the flower into focus then a bit of dodging and burning.

Enjoy.

Clear Waters

You would think this image is from Thailand and the beach I live close by but it’s not. Why? It rains constantly or the sky is grey. Instead this is Coronado Bay in San Diego, California.

It seems the rainy weather has followed me from Florida to Thailand. It is overcast and raining or drizzling here daily. The new fun of having only a motorbike for transportation is that if I get caught out in the rain I get wet. I now carry ziplock bags to store my stuff in because I got soaked once with my wallet and international driving permit and visa getting absolutely soaked. I also carry a $1 rain poncho in manly pink under the bike seat.

With the threat of rain constantly being a problem my photo gear stays in the room as I just don’t have a way to protect it. I am now starting to carry my Canon S100 in a waterproof case because it fits in my pocket and if it does get ruined no big loss. I hope to get out and get some photos if the weather cooperates but at the rate it’s going might be late August before the rainy season settles down.

This is a single image HDR that I created. Brought it into Photoshop to do my normal workflow and just didn’t like it so created a clone and then opened Aurora HDR and started to play around with the sliders. Got it to where I was happy and called it done.

Enjoy.

Clear Waters

Tulips – Part 1

I shot this series of images when the tulips were in full bloom. The series was shot between Brookside Gardens in Maryland and Meadowlark Gardens in Virginia.

When I was taking these image I didn’t have a filter that fit my lens. I would have used a 3 stop neutral density to cut down on some of the light since I shot them just before midday. You can fix some of it in Photoshop but it’s never going to look as good if you had a filter.

None of these were shot with a macro lense. I just used my Sigma 24-105 on the Nikon D5500 and went wild. I was still learning how to use the camera so I there were a few misses but for the most part the images came out decent.

Editing wise I just did the Lightroom to Photoshop workflow. I always add my contrast in via a curves adjustment and do local work with dodging and burning as needed.

Enjoy.

Red Clouds At Dusk

Shot this in Fort Myers. One side of where I was standing was a massive rain storm. The other side was this view.

Power is happily restored at my building in Thailand. I went out and did what I needed to do and by the time I came back power was back up. Bit of a relief being in your own room again. Even though I have lived here a little over a week all my stuff is in this room so it was a hassle to have to sleep some place else when you don’t expect it. I knew stuff like this would happen so not unexpected but not very welcome in the middle of the night and then having to wait for an electrician to show up.

Editing was my normal workflow. I do stick to using Daylight or Cloudy as my white balance and just adjust it as needed. Took the image into Photoshop and figured it could use some extra something. Loaded up Intensify and picked a preset. Then took it back into Photoshop and masked in the river from the original photo at a low opacity. Once I was happy hit save and done.

Enjoy.

Red Clouds At Sunset

No Photo Today

Apologies for no image today. I have no power where I live in Thailand. The entire floor is without it.

One of the joys of Thailand is that things happen when they happen. Trying to fight it is like trying to stop a raging river. In this instance I was told power man was coming at 11 in the morning. Which would be great but it was 11:30 at this point. It became Noon.

I write this on my phone where I am eating breakfast. I thought it would be better than nothing.

I will share a video clip of what likely caused this electric issue. It rained a wee bit here last night. That was the raging new river I named Auronthai 4 after the street it was flowing down.

Enjoy

 

Dawn Over Somewhere

I shot this when I went to Fort Myers last December. Just getting around to processing it.

Aerial photography is cool but you end up taking a lot of shots because the plane is moving at speed and you are generally behind. So you need a high shutter speed and a decent ISO to keep up with the motion. It also helps to have a window seat so you don’t annoy the person next to you. This flight I was first class and a window since it was a single seat row on the plane.

Used my RX10 for these shots because of the 24-200mm lens on it. I could adjust on the fly versus trying to change lenses or use a longer and slower lens. For stuff like this the bridge cameras really work well. You get versatility and fast glass since the lens on the RX10 is 2.8 all the way through the zoom.

Editing this I was going to make it HDR but it blew everything out and made it too HDR. While I appreciate HDR it can be too much. So I went ahead and just ran it through Intensify and used Sky Details and was very happy with the image. Just did a bit of dodging and called it done.

Enjoy.

Dawn Over Somewhere

Splash Of White

This was shot while on a boat in Estero Bay in Florida. It’s part of the Gulf of Mexico.

I just like this photo. The way the white buildings just dominate a mostly blue image is kinda cool. Visually it isn’t that most stealler thing but the way the colors work make it interesting to me.

One of the things I have learned while while living in Florida and I new it would apply to Thailand is that the tropical sun in harsh. To combat this I purchased a large number polarizing filters to work with the my neutral density filters. The polarizers really help cut down on the harsher light. The other trick if I don’t have a ND filter is to just turn down the exposure compensation by a stop or so and you can get some very good images out of a camera even in the worst light.

This image is more or less out of the camera. I cranked the contrast but saw no need to dodge and burn. Just used gradients. I then wanted to spice it up a bit and put it through Intensify. Picked a preset and was very pleased so I just left it without masking it in. Hit saved.

Enjoy.

Spash of White