Architectural Travels – Part 4

Final installment on the Architectural Travels. These are all from Panama City, Panama as it turns out. Didn’t plan it that way but it is how it worked out.

All these images except for one were shot on my Nikon D810. The one that wasn’t was shot on my Sony RX100III. When I went to edit these some just felt better in monochrome so I did the conversion using Tonality. I have come to prefer that over Silver Efex because you get much better control. Silver Efex has very limited options which causes you to be limited.

With all that out of the way I return to my normal stuff tomorrow. I am hoping to do another series in the future. While a lot of work you get to see a theme and pattern emerge from the images that you just don’t get when you do just one at a time.


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Tower Above Casco Viejo

This is one of the never before published images from Panama City, Panama when I was there last year.

The tower which is the most prominent feature in the image is the Iglesia San Francisco De Asis. If you are Spanished challenged it’s the Church of Saint Francis of Asis. Who it should be pointed out was never a priest or monk. Just for historical reference.

I liked how the tower stands above everything else in the image. Still there is a lot visually going on. It’s a layered image with the water, the boat, causeway (road), then the smaller buildings then the tower above it all.

When I was editing this image there just wasn’t a lot of color. The buildings are yellow and the roof tiles are red. The sky was grey and with very little details in it. So I did a monochrome conversion using Tonality CK. I just kept playing with sliders until everything felt right. I tried to keep things tonally as separated as I could. The goal being to keep each area distinct as possible. Now looking at it the water is a bit too much but still the overall image is decent.


Tower Above Casco Viejo

Martian Shores

This isn’t really Mars since there is no water on Mars and I don’t know of anyone yet who has managed to go there. Instead this is from Panama City, Panama shot off the fort side of Casco Viejo.

When I went to edit this it felt better in monochrome. So I went to move it into Tonality CK and the conversion left the red rocks looking just dark so to remedy that I went into the hut/saturation slider. I slid it and got the color still in monochrome to look better but switched it over to saturation and slid it right.

I am not a fan of selective color as a rule. However, I think it works as it just adds drama to the image that I think makes it work. Once I was content with what I had bit of a dodge and burn and called it a day.



Casco Viejo Shores

I shot this from the old fort side of Casco Viejo. What seemed to be typical for my time there the clouds had gathered for the usual rain shower to come in the afternoon.

You can see a little bit of the real Casco Viejo and not the spruced up touristy interior that is usually sold. I like the place because it’s a funky mix of old and new. Panama is really trying to sell it as a tourist destination but if you look under the veneer you see some of the truth of what’s really there.

Editing wise it’s very simple. As I said earlier this week I am doing edits on a 13″ MacBook so things are a bit difficult. So no masks and other stuff. For once it’s mostly what the camera could produce.


Casco Viejo Shores

People of Panama

Little departure from the landscape stuff I normally do. I will venture forth into street photography from time-to-time. I’m not a huge fan of doing it because I find it mildly invasive. I also despise having my own picture taken. So I tend not to photos of random people. In addition, I am not a fan of the posed shot unless I am shooting a portrait. I learned this in Thailand where if you ask for a shot odds are you are going to get a peace sign and a huge grin. Not authentic.

I shot these over a couple days. I used my Nikon D810 and my Sony RX100. It just happened to be what I had on me at the time. Some where take in the areas around the fish market and some were taken as I walked downtown. Just depended.

I mainly stuck to the 1×1 crop when I did the editing. This allowed me to focus on the individual. I also went monochrome where I thought it fit and left others in color. This series is longer than my normal but I have more stuff lined up for the week and I didn’t feel the need to split it into two.



Fort At Casco Viejo

I believe and forgive me if I am wrong that the portion to the right is the old fort at Casco Viejo, Panama. I really took the image because of the layering of color in it that I liked.

I’ll get to editing first. This was shot on a Nikon D810 with a 16-35mm lens. I did the usual adjustments and then started to add in various layers. I stayed away from a HDR mask and went with a normal one to bring out the sky and water textures. As is usual when there is a lot of information in the blue channel I had to mask in a bit to remove the noise from the image. Annoying but it smoothes things out. Still, there is always a bit of pixilation.

I am on travel the next 30 days. The first 8 days will be in Chicago and I will be shooting a lot there. Taking the Sony A7R along with my 15mm Voigtlander, 16-35 Sony FE, 24-240 Sony FE, and my 35 Oshiro to test out. I will also have my Sony RX100M3 and a couple smaller point and shoots.

From Chicago I go straight to Thailand. I have some ideas on what I want to shoot there. I am also going to attempt video for the first time. How much I do I don’t know but I have a couple of GoPro’s and various mounts and a gimbal for them. Will be fun to see what I come out with at the end.

Not sure how I will handle photos. I am sitting on a comfortable backlog and I do have a large monitor in storage in Thailand so I can edit on that versus my 13″ Macbook Pro screen. If you start seeing Thailand photos in the next 30 days assume I decided to edit.


Fort at Casco VIejo

Casco Viejo – Part 2

Here is the second part of the Casco Viejo series I shot while I was in Panama. I’ll stress again I didn’t want to go for the typical tourists shots. Anyone can shoot those. I wanted to show the real Casco Viejo that isn’t always pretty.

This set has some people in it. I guess I did a bit of street photography. Unlike the cliche’ street photography stuff I left it in color. I think some people do the conversion to black and white because all the legends of street photography did. Part of it has to do with them shooting film and black and white was cheaper to develop. The other part is that I think people feel the need to shoot in black and white to call it street photography. Good thing I ignore most stuff.


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Tide Is Out

I like breaking up series with a nice landscape because it gives a break and you aren’t overwhelmed with the same subject matter repeatedly. While this image was shot in Casco Viejo you would never guess it just based on the view but you are always near the ocean when you are in Panama.

When I took this image I just really liked how the colors separated into nice little bands. You go from the dark reds to the various shades of blue and the causeway breaks things up nicely.

There was a lot of layer masking going on in this one. I really wanted that sand to pop so I made it so. With the blue channel stuff I had to remove the noise from it. So masked in that bit. Then bumped up the details and called it a day.


Low tide at Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo – Part 1

I will be breaking this up into at least 3 parts and likely 4 based on the 2 days I spent shooting in Casco Viejo in Panama. I really wanted to show Casco Viejo without the picturesque, tourist only images.

Casco Viejo is old Panama, City and it’s an interesting mix of upscale restaurants and bars mixed in with lower and income apartments. There are lots of government offices in the area as well. There is a heavy police and military presence. It’s a weird little area and I really liked spending time there.

Nothing fancy with the edits. While not straight out of the camera they were not masked in like I do my landscape stuff. For inquiring minds, all shot in my Nikon D810 with the 16-35mm.




Distant Early Storm

This one is from Panama, specifically Casco Viejo and I was shooting towards the city. This was pretty much the weather most days I was there but I came to shoot so I did!

I used my 16-35mm and did a handheld shot. One of the things I noticed I did with the Nikon more was used it without a the tripod. The image stabilization in the lenses made me more comfortable with that versus my Sony A7R which does not have any stabilization. The one thing I terribly missed on the Nikon D810 was a flip up screen. This is one reason I did so many handheld shots. For me to get them I had to often hold the camera.

Editing, just straight up curves adjustment and then dodging and burning. Nothing fancy. The dramatic sky and water make the image.


Distant Early Storm