My Evening View

I traded in my city view for something a bit more upscale in July. I deceided I’d had enough of Pattaya and moved further out and in exchange I got this for an evening view now.

During the day the Gulf of Thailand is visible and I live on the 12th floor of a 15 story building. The only downside was the local pigeon population was using my balcony as a love motel and were fornicating endlessly besides crapping everywhere on my balcony. That has now been resolved.

Last night I setup my A7II on my tripod and fired off this shot.


My Evening View

Pattaya City At Night

I have no idea where I shot this from. Think a walkway leading to a restaurant over the water. I just thought it was a cool shot but I totally forgot to bring my mini tripod and there wasn’t a rail I could set the camera on to hold it steady. So just cranked the ISO and hoped for the best.

The people sitting on the jetty looking thing are actually fishing. I see Thais riding with small poles on their bikes heading towards the beach almost daily. Personally you could not pay me enough to eat the fish out of Pattaya Bay but if you are just going to cheap fun I guess its ok.

I did bump this image up with Intensify and then I had to run Noiseless on it. Won’t stand up to pixel peeping because of the high ISO but it’s still a nice enough image.


Pattaya City At Night

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.


Golden Spirit House

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.


Fountain Spray

Cuddle Up

This is from Glen Echo Park. The booth really isn’t for anything. Behind it is a stage area but its all open and there is no reason to buy a ticket from what I have ever seen.

I like night photography. This image isn’t that spectacular but I just like the contrast of colors in the image. You get the subtle reds with the hard blue neon.

There wasn’t a whole lot I could do about the neon blowing out. Short of masking in a lower key version but then I would have lost something in the image and it was meant to be fun, not perfection.

This is a HDR image. I just did a single image and went from there. Once I was happy I did some editing in Photoshop, mainly around dodging and burning and called it done.


Cuddle Up Booth

Fade To The Stars

I have published the landscape version of this photo before. I figured why not publish the portrait version. You get a whole different perspective of the image.

The image shifts all over the place color wise. You go from the black water to the bright bridge light reflecting off it. Then you have the bridge itself and the buildings in the distant. They all twinkle like stars at night. However, there are real stars visible. That isn’t noise in the sky, those are┬áreal planets or stars. Rare that I would have captured that with so much ambient light bleeding into the night sky but I got lucky I guess.

This is a straight up standard edit. Nothing fancy going on. No masking or layers to enhance the photo. I just put the contrast in via a curves adjustment then some local dodging and burning. I did desaturate the water where the lights reflected. It was a bit too much. Hit save and done.

EnjoyFade to the Stars


Dusk On The Beach

This is one from Thailand I never got around to editing. Just liked the water and the twinkle of lights.

I alternate between HDR and non-HDR. It totally depends on my mood. I tend to shoot three brackets for most things unless I know it isn’t going to work. Then I’ll shoot just one.

I was in full HDR mode with my A7R when I shot most of the image in Thailand at the time. While I understood how to process in HDR better there are times when you just don’t want to do it. This image done in HDR is just a nightmare of colors and motion blur. While you can eliminate it things tend to get muddy quickly with the image.

When you learn something new you tend to get stuck in that mindset when post-processing. I was stuck in HDR mode so I ended up never using a lot of the images I shot simply because my mind could not consider processing it a different way. This has led me to look at images I otherwise never published because now I’m like great image. Let me process it.

This image is straight up post processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. No layer masks, no luminosity masks, no nothing. It was me doing my usual stuff in Lightroom and then adjusting exposure and contrast in Photoshop. I did a bit of local working using dodging and burning and that’s it. Took only a few minutes and I’m happy with how it came out.


Pattaya Beach

Silhouettes On The Gulf

Still feeling inspired to go through and look at the images I never published. This one is from Thailand. I was on the beach shooting out onto the Gulf of Thailand. While technically not silhouettes the title fits.

This image was shot for HDR using my Sony A7R and an adapted 24-200 Tokina lens. Since I have had time to let the images sit I can tell you the lens had more than a few issues with it. It tended to do some weird chromatic aberrations. It also wasn’t the sharpen lens in the world either. Not saying my $1000 Sony FE 24-240 is either but it’s a lot sharper than the Tokina. When you are lazy and don’t like changing lenses you take the trade off and usually with landscape stuff you aren’t out for sharpness. The human mind is wonderful for filling in details so you can get away with it.

When I went to edit I didn’t even bother with the HDR. The entire series I shot was dark. Not sure if it was me or the camera but the images coming out are just too dark. In fact, I used the +2 exposure to make this image. I just brought the exposure down to get the image to where I wanted it. Then into Photoshop for heavy lifting. I spent a ton of time cleaning dust bunnies off the image. Part of this was my own laziness on not cleaning my lens and part of this was shooting on a beach. So if you see a dust bunny it was my fault.

Once in Photoshop I put the crop in. I wanted a panoramic feel. I then put in a curve to add contrast. Then only a wee bit of dodging to lighting stuff up in specific areas. The image felt cooler than I wanted so into Color Efex and just added a quick filter. Got the light to where I wanted it and called it done.


Gulf of Thailand.

Night Bean

It should be pointed out that I took many a photo of the “bean” in Millennium Park in Chicago. I used to feel bad about about publishing images that are similar but each one is different. Light changes, mood changes when editing and so on. Spread them out and you get a lot of usable images that would otherwise never see the light of day.

I edited this photo nearly a month ago. Sometimes I do edits when the mood hits me and sit on them. I showed it to a friend of mine gently hinting prints were available. He knowing me well asked me if I wanted to kill the people in the image since they were ruining my shot.

I used to be fairly anal about people in my images. I have come to the point if they are there and make sense I have no problem. In this case, the blurred motion of the people give the otherwise static image a sense of life. It’s not just a cold object reflecting anymore. Still, if someone walks through my damn landscape when I’m clearly shooting I’m going to kill them. Justifiable homicide for photography is permissible.

Editing wise this was really all about the bean and the reflections. The sky going to blue was actually the ambient light coming off and the sky being purple and dark blue earlier. To counter that I wanted other parts to punch out as well. So I ran a filter through with Intensify CK and then masked those bits in. Ran another filter just for the bean to bring those reflections out. Finally some dodging and burning to keep focus on the bean itself.

For inquiring minds, no my reflection is not in the bean.


Night Bean

Eiffel Tower via Las Vegas

Home after 3 days in Florida. Didn’t shoot much while there but I got a lot of aerial photos on my way to Florida. Once I get some time from another project I’m working on I may get to them. Right now I’m a wee bit tired from traveling so keeping things simple.

This is the Eiffel Tower that is apart of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. When I got to Las Vegas I stay at the Planet Hollywood next door and they are both owned by Caesars Entertainment. Since I deal with hotel staff I got the word that there was a main power line cut to the Paris Hotel and that the hotel was evacuated and shut down until they could repair the cut. I found out later they got everything back up by 1 AM and let people back in.

That night I wandered over with my tripod and snapped a few shots. It was weird because the casino and hotel were completely dark. There was no light. There were security and Las Vegas police blocking all entrances. I guess the Eiffel Tower was on a different power feed so it was lit up and since there was almost no traffic I could set up almost anywhere. One of the officers looked at me and I just pointed up towards the tower and he was happy that I wasn’t trying to get in or ask when I could get in to get my stuff. I was thrilled that no one was going to walk into my shot.

Editing this one I did things a bit different. Trying a new workflow out to be quicker and I only add one curves adjustment and a lot less dodging and burning. So far so good because I am tired and really not in the mood to edit. I stayed in RGB mode and only did a light burn to the base of the tower. I was going to add some Intensify or even HDR it up but when I loaded it into either program it just wasn’t doing it for me. So I sharpened the image and called it done.


Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas