Light Up Fall

I shot this in some small park in Baltimore when I was playing with my Sony RX10. The perspective is a bit weird but I wanted the focus on the light and the colors of the tree above it.

I have been amazed at what I have been able to achieve with the Sony RX10. While I have the first version which means it doesn’t do 4K video I doubt the sensor has changed that much between the I and the III. Similar to the Sony RX100. There is no compelling reason for me to move from the III to the IV or V. I’m not a video guy but I am slowly making the shift towards that direction. My one complaint about the camera is that chromatic aberration is bad. It’s easily fixed but still something you have to be aware of.

Editing wise I did this low key even though it doesn’t look like it. Normally when I add my curves adjustment I move to Lab Mode so it doesn’t affect the color tones. This time I wants those tones to be vibrant so stayed in RGB (standard in Photoshop). I put in a shadows curve first then added a second curves adjustment to adjust the highlights. Then just some local dodging and burning and called it done.


Light Up Fall


Buildings Of Baltimore

I could have titled this Oshiro 35mm F/2 lens review but that’s boring. Still, all the images were shot using the Oshiro 35mm F/2.

I had purchased the lens because I needed a relatively fast 35mm lens for my Sony A7R. Since they don’t make E mount version I got the Nikon version and adapter for Sony E.

With the lens in hand I set off to Baltimore on one of the hottest days of the year in August. I didn’t think it would be as bad as it was as Baltimore is on the water and tends to be cooler. Wrong!

I still managed to shoot for a couple hours just using the Oshiro 35mm and my A7R with focus peaking turned on.

I’ll let the images speak for themselves. I’m sure some of it was me handholding the camera and some minor motion blur. It was brutally hot.

Since there is no EXIF data other than shutter speed and ISO I know I had the camera at ISO 200 and I think I had the aperture at F/5.6. So corner softness is all the lens.

In all I have had worse lenses. If I had to do it again, I would buy a Minolta MD 35mm and use an adapter.










Float Along The Harbor

I have been shooting new stuff! In fact I have shot around 3000+ frames over the last 2 weekends. I have been in cities, national parks, municipal parks. I have climbed over rocks. Walked through streams. I have faced perils such as flesh eating chipmunks, carnivorous squirrels, blood sucking midges, rabid turtles, and quicksand like mud.

All of the above is true. Mostly.

This image I faced none of the above issues. I was on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I wasn’t there to shoot landscape stuff. In fact I shot stuff completely different which I will share later. I just liked how this looked when I was walking to my next location so I took the picture.

I have been using my Nikon D810 a lot. When I travel I take the Sony A7R due to weight issues and ease of packing for flights. When I’m home I use the D810.

Normally I use zoom lenses because I mainly do landscape and travel work. It’s easier to avoid changing lenses and keeps weight down. I have owned a 50mm 1.8 for some time but never used it. With the project I was working on it was the fastest lens I had so I just put it in my bag and no other lens to keep me honest.*

*I do have a 35mm 2.0 on order.

Editing with the Nikon D810 is a whole other experience to any other camera I have owned or own. The resolution and dynamic range on it are mind blowing. I can get a lot of detail out of it giving me leeway to do a lot of things.

I used Aurora 2017 which really does a good job with single image HDR. I then mask in the HDR bits I wanted. I then added a Dynamic Contrast mask with Nik Color Efex. I then had to dodge and burn a bit more to fix some dark areas. Then I called it done.


PS – Sorry for the ramble. It adds pizzaz for an otherwise placid photo.

Floating On The Harbor


Baltimore Days

I shot this series as a preparation for my Panama trip where I am now. I wanted to see how the Nikon D810 performed in blazing afternoon sun. In addition I wanted to see how I performed in the blazing afternoon sun while carrying the “beast” as someone called it. The Nikon performed better than I did before I tapped out and had a beer after a few hours of lugging it around.

I normally take my Sony A7R on trips because it’s much lighter than the Nikon D810. Yet, with Panama I really wanted to capture the country with a lot more detail. While the A7R is a great camera I primarily use it on a tripod. With Panama, I’m going to be in a ton of different shooting situations so I wanted a camera with image stabilization (all my lenses have it) since may not be using a tripod all the time.

What I learned is that the Nikon lenses are beasts with weight so lens selection is critical. I deliberately lugged all the lenses in a messenger style bag I have. I learned quickly that it’s not a good idea. Messenger bags with that much weight are uncomfortable. So for daily shooting take a smaller backpack that can evenly distribute the weight. In addition, lens selection is critical. No need to carry an arsenal. So with that in mind I rented a Nikon 28-300. After reading all the pros and cons against it, for my style of photography it’s perfect. If I like it well enough I’ll purchase one on return.

With the experiment over it was time to process the images. I deliberately pushed myself off my usual paths in Baltimore and started to wander. The white tower you see is part of St. Vincent de Paul. I have always seen it but never walked myself towards it. So this time I did. As, always I took a shot of the City Hall building. I call it my muse because I have at least a 1000 shots of it. The other shots are around the Inner Harbor that I never really wandered into during the day.

Editing wise I kept it simple, no masking in filters and layers. Sometimes you just need to let the photos speak for themselves.


Baltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore DaysBaltimore Days

Two From the Dome

This is Baltimore City Hall building which I just like for some reason. When I was in Baltimore last month I took a couple snaps of it just because I find it interesting.

I used my Canon S100 for these shots. One of the issue with a 2/3″ sensor camera is that image degrades quickly. It’s just the nature of the sensor which is similar to a cell phone sensor. I still haven’t mastered the editing of these files but I’m working on it. So keeping that in mind I tried to be as simple as possible in the edits while keeping as much details as possible.


Baltimore City Hall Dome IMG_0927-ICBaltimore City Hall Dome

On The Harbor

I didn’t take many photos while I was in Baltimore for the Baltimore Tattoo Convention. I contribute this to the fact that a tattoo gun jumped up and attacked my left clavicle and left me permanently scarred. The attack in question took 2.5 hours and by the time it was over the thought of carrying a camera bag on that shoulder which is my good one wasn’t going to happen so only a few images where shot.

I did get take this photo after I finished eating diner. It was later in the day and the sun was just starting to set. I used my Canon S100 which I had on me and took the shot. I used a few layer masks to get things where I wanted with a bit of selective dodging and burning. While no masterpiece it is a nice looking image and a quick edit.

Full resolution.


On The Harbor

Lost In A Book

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.


Lost In A Book

Structural In Monochrome

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.


Structural In Monochrome

Structural In Monochrome

Structural In Monochrome

Flags Flying

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.


Flags Flying


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.