SR-71 Blackbird From Behind

I like this plane. Plus I’m still in flux with my new place and an easy edit for me so bear with me while I settle into my new place.

One of the joys of living in Thailand is a crap electrical system. My place is older so there aren’t many outlets so the stringing together of power strips that shoot sparks every time you plug something new into them gives you a cheerful feeling of oh shit. I have learned to plug in the cord before plugging it into the equipment. If you think wow, sparks shoot out from an empty cord, you more or less nailed Thailand’s electrical system. It’s rather unbrilliant. I don’t care if its new or old construction. The electrical system over here is a complete mess and they are trying to clear it up. Just consider that the new tunnel they built that was supposed to open a year ago is still have “minor issues” you can figure out how well electric is going to go.

Editing this image is a mix of several layers. I just masked in a standard edit, a Intensify edit, HDR edit, and then some dodging and burning to get it to where it is. I like it.

Enjoy.

Sr-71

Golden Spirit House

I shot this last night on my way home. It’s one of three spirit houses in a field along the road. No idea why but they are there.

I had to take some shots last night of something else and I have been meaning to shoot this spirit house for some time. I know what a spirit house is for and but you can read about it here.

One of the things you get used to seeing in Thailand is a spirit house. They are all over the place and most properties have them. Some are simple affairs and some are very elaborate like this one. No one messes with them because no one wants to upset the spirits so things get left alone even when it’s valuable. While I can’t say for sure I can almost bet that the Buddha in this spirit house has real gold on the outside. The belief in spirits is very strong in Thais so you will never see a spirit house bothered.

I took this on my A7R with my 16-35mm lens. When I went to edit I did the usual workflow and then brought it into Aurora HDR. Once I was happy with that I masked in a detail layer I did in Intensify CK. From there I did a blend and dodged and burned a little to get the light back to where it needed to be. Was happy enough with it and said done.

Enjoy.

Golden Spirit House

All In The Details

Taken at the Sanctuary of Truth here in Thailand. Always worth a visit.

I have to be honest and say I wasn’t sure there was going to be an image today. One of the benefits of keeping the same publishing schedule but living on the other side of the world is I do the image daily and publish it the same day it goes live.

The issue facing me today is I had to go pickup a friend in Bangkok who flew in from Canada. I had to be up at the unholy hour of 7 AM local time. Since I moved here, I go to bed around 3 or 4 AM because there just isn’t a reason to be up and running around early. So the 7 AM just about killed me because while I attempted to go to sleep at Midnight I mostly just dozed on and off till the alarm went off at 7 AM.

Once I dropped my friend off at his house and got a bite to eat it was promptly operation I’m going to go and take a nap and wake up whenever. Luckily I had a few hours to spare so I got up in time to do a photo edit.

I wanted to pump the details in this image. I have been super masking happy lately and this one was no different. I first did the image in HDR and had that as a layer. I then went into Intensify CK and used preset to bump the hell out of the details and then had that as a layer. I then masked the two together but wasn’t happy. Finally I used Tonality CK and a black and white detail version and then an opacity mask for just a bit more detail. I then dodged and burned to bring a few things down or up depending on what was required.

Maybe I should nap more before editing.

Enjoy.

All In the details

Around The Beach

This shot is actually from Thailand! The place I live now but haven’t had time to do photography because I’m generally busy doing other things.

This is Wongamat Beach which is technically a private beach area but there is public access if you can find it. It’s about a 10 or 15 minute bike ride from me and then weaving through side streets, called a soi here to find the public access.

It’s generally considered one of the nicer beaches in the area. Since the majority of it’s private you don’t get the beach chair mafia forcing your pay for a beach chair just to chill on the beach. It’s also cleaner because the private condos and hotels clean the beaches of rubbish that has floated up. The public beaches are a bit of a disaster. Trust me, I spend a lot of time cleaning trash out of the images. One of the myths of Thailand is the beaches are the pristine and the water is blue. Unless its privately held and the owner cares not a hope in hell will you find that.

This image is about 5 layer masks going on to get it to where I liked. Each layer targeted a specific area. It started as a HDR image and then I created another mask to bring in the sky. Then another mask to bring into building details and to bring out the sea a bit. After that I dodged and burned and did some color adjustment to get things looking more natural. Once I had that I called it done.

Enjoy.

Around the Beach

Fountain Spray

Shot this in Vegas with the fountains from the Bellagio Hotel.

Been in a weird editing mood lately. Felt like doing more, HDR-esq photos and going over the top. I shift from reality based super clean to going from it’s my world and I’ll make it look however the hell I want.

Maybe part of it is the fact I live in Thailand where reality sometimes seems a lifetime ago with some of the stuff I have seen in the last month. There is no culture shock but there is just a holy hell I live here factor and now pay attention to things I otherwise ignored or didn’t deal with when I was on holiday. So maybe the bit of unreality has worked it’s way into my editing for the moment and seems to be a trend. Who knows.

Editing this was standard workflow then moved into Aurora HDR and crunched up a bit. Then I brought it into Intensify CK and hit a preset. Once I was happy hit save and called it done.

Enjoy.

Fountain Spray

Venice In Vegas

This was obviously shot in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel when I was there a few years ago. One of the things that I will not miss about living in America is Las Vegas. Hated the place.

It always seems that when I am in a hurry and just want to bang out an image it turns into a marathon editing session. I really am sitting on a ton of series images but I need to sit down for a few hours and do the edits. The problem is doing a site 5 days a weeks make that difficult. Sure, I live in Thailand but I find myself busier than ever doing stuff that is non-photographic related so I don’t have the time to sit and edit photos for hours. Hopefully in the near future I will get some time to do a series or two.

Editing this turned was interesting. I knew it would look good HDR. So usual workflow and took it into Aurora 2017. Just played with some sliders until I was happy. Then took another layer off the original and then brought it into Intensify and picked a preset that worked for me. I then masked those two layers together to get the overall effect I was looking for but still wasn’t happy. Once more into Intensify to bump up some details and then some dodging and burning and gotta say rather happy with the image.

Enjoy.

Venice In Vegas

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

Lost In A Good Book

Took this photo on the back of the Lincoln Memorial. Not a part that most people wander back to but I saw a lot of locals back there enjoying the view of the river.

Most people that visit the Lincoln Memorial only go into the main area where the statue of Lincoln is. There is a whole museum in the basement of the building. You can also walk all the way around it if you are inclined. You get different views as you walk around. As the light changes the shadows from the columns changes. It makes for different perspective as you move around.

This is a HDR image. I just made it from one image versus three. When I used three images it just caused more issues than it was worth. Used my workflow then brought it into Photoshop then into Aurora 2017. Tweaked HDR settings until happy then called it done.

Enjoy.

Lost In A Good Book

Temple Wall

This is a shot from the inside of the Sanctuary of Truth. I never published it before because I didn’t think I could make a decent image out of it.

When I took this images and all the images the last time I was at the Sanctuary of Truth I was using adapted Sony Alpha lenses. They were cheaper stuff I picked up off of eBay or other places so I could have some glass to use with my then new Sony A7R. I was still invested in the Olympus micro four-thirds stuff and the A7R was me using a full frame sensor again. It was also the reason I sold all my Olympus gear and moved to full frame for the most part.

The downside of using cheaper, adapted glass was that it was older and tended to have flare and chromatic aberration. It wasn’t the best stuff but when you are in the process of considering a system change the last thing you want to do is invest a ton of money in glass. In the end I sold all that stuff and bought all native gear and even ditched my micro four-thirds stuff completely and went with a Nikon D810. Now I have 3 full frame cameras and one crop sensor. How things change in 2 years.

This image was shot for HDR using 3 exposures. The more I work with HDR the more I know 3 exposures aren’t the best way to go for a lot of things. So this was done with just one exposure using Aurora 2017. Once I had the photo finished with my basic workflow I just went to Aurora 2017 and started to crank sliders until I was happy. Brought it back into Photoshop for a bit of dodging and burning and called it done.

Enjoy.

Temple Wall

Path In The Park

This is another one from Meadowlark Gardens. This one is one of the little side paths that cut through smaller gardens within the larger park.

Meadowlark Gardens has a lot of side trails all over the park. It’s just a matter of looking for them. While this one was very obvious there are some not obvious trails. They take you through some deeper woods or fields that would appear inaccessible without them. The way you know how they are official trails is that they will have small signs posted explaining some of the flora or a sign asking you not to walk off the trail.

I wanted to give the image a feeling of more shadows than was really there. Went for a lower key image and used Aurora 2017 for the overall image adjustments. Once I was happy with the overall look I started to play with the HDR settings until happy. Then back into Photoshop for some dodging and burning and called it done.

Enjoy.

park path