Clouds, Ripples, Reflections

This one is from beautiful Southwest Florida, aka, Fort Myers. So I took this when I was living back in America. Then again, Florida and Thailand are basically the same temperature and climate, except we don’t smacked by hurricanes here on the Gulf of Thailand. Instead we get monsoon rains. Nothing says fun while going 60km/ hour on a scooter while getting smashed in the face with rain.

I took this photo from a pontoon boat while on Estero Bay. We rented the boat to go fishing but it was surface of the sun hot. I mainly went to provide sarcastic comments and to drive the boat. I’m better at one than the other. Not saying which. Of course I brought a camera so I took a few shots while I wasn’t skippering or being sarcastic.

Editing this was just me playing around with Intensify and then just a bit of a dodge and burn and called it done.


Clouds Ripples and Reflections

Just A Hint Of Pink

Part of the storm series I did when I was in Florida. This was just a bit of pink cloud left over from the first storm as the second storm moved in.

While I am shooting regularly, as I indicated, it’s not always for publication. Yet, I keep my eyes open for opportunities to do some personal work and I think I have found something interesting I can shoot quickly using one of my smaller cameras. Little bit of life in Thailand. Hoping to get to it this weekend but have some stuff already scheduled so will see.

Editing this was a bit different. I did my normal workflow but then immediately went to Intensify and used my favorite preset. Still wasn’t happy so I loaded up Color Efex and had a run through it. Played with a few sliders until I was happy and  then called it good to go.


just a hint of pink


Bridge In The Clouds

Took this while I was in Florida on Estero Bay near Fort Myers. Was on a boat in the middle of the day.

Sadly this is one of these place holder images I do that should be apart of a series but I haven’t had time. Since moving to Thailand I have been busy with so many other things that editing has taken second place.

This time I had to edit photos for someone else on a quick turn around. So I have been editing most of the afternoon to get them done and turned over. So I’m a little fried from looking at Photoshop right now.

Editing wise this was normal workflow. Then I took it into Intensify to bring out the clouds a bit more. Originally masked it in at 40% and it was way too much. Took it down to 13% and got the effect I was looking for. Bit of a dodge and burn and good to go.


Bridge In Clouds

Bridge Among The Clouds

I took this photo in Portland out of an Uber while a group of us were heading to dinner at Pok Pok. They specialize in food from South East Asia and in particular North/North East areas of Thailand. If you know Thailand that means Issan! I will be making a visit to Udon Thani this year so will see how authentic their fare is. I will tell you that if you have never been to Thailand but enjoy Thai cuisine most of the stuff you have eaten is from Issan.

The whole reason I finally edited this photo was I was watching a Photoshop video where an image was shot out of a moving train in Tokyo. I thought I have a similar image to this that I rejected so why not give it an edit. Was more for fun than anything.

Shooting out of a moving vehicle is fun. You need to make sure the camera focuses on something relatively static and that your shutter speed is up fast enough to freeze that. You still get some blur indicating motion.

When I went to edit I wanted to make this about the clouds. Luckily I had locked focus so I had them frozen. This made things fairly straightforward.

Started with my usual camera profile (Sony RX100M3) and then just did some quick adjustments. Mainly using gradients to bump clarity and dehaze in the sky. Then it was into Photoshop for a curves adjustment and then local working using dodge and burn. Final bit was getting the sky to look a more natural blue so a quick hue/saturation to bring it down and called it done.


PS – No more watermarks. This will be explained sometime in the upcoming weeks.

Bridge Among Clouds

Rising Cloud

This is a shot from Fort Myers, Florida I took a few years ago. It was apart of the everything must be in HDR phase when I had no clue what I was really doing.

Fort Myers has to have some of the weirdest skies I have seen. Well, at least paid attention to since I started photography. It’s on the Gulf of Mexico so you get all the winds coming in from the gulf along with the humidity which makes the clouds go all weird. So you get some cool clouds to go with the sky color if that is your thing.

This image got the nod when I was just going through and seeing what I ignored before. It was the cloud obviously that drew my attention. I had shot a 7 exposure set for the imagined HDR photo but I likely tossed it because the resulting image was a mess. Honestly, if you want to do HDR just stick with 3 frames with a 2 stop bracket and be done. Anything more and you introduce a whole host of problems.

Editing this I used the base exposure for the image. Applied my camera profile and then went about doing the base adjustments in Lightroom. For picking white balance you can’t go wrong with sunny or cloudy. While I could have likely white balanced off the cloud I found that those two give the best overall average for a sky.

Once that was done into Photoshop as usual to apply my curves adjustment to correct exposure and add contrast. Then it was just local adjustments doing dodge and burn.


Rising Cloud

Sky Afire

This photograph was the unintentional consequence of going to shoot something else and looking up and seeing the sky. The evening I shot it the sky was weird all over the Washington DC area with clouds and the Sun making for some interesting views.

I was actually out shooting landscape stuff in the later evening. The place I was shooting would be darkened in shadow before the Sun set so I ventured out at 7 PM. I was moving from location to location setting up my tripod for the shots when I looked up and saw the clouds with the house on the cliff and thought I have to take a picture!

Editing wise, yeah I masked in bits because the camera could never fully capture what the sky was doing. I had to bring the cliff and house up from the shadows because I expose to the right and the Sony A7R lets me get away with recovering shadows nicely. Then I started to mask in some bits to bring the sky out. Final part was a hue/saturation to bring that little bit more out.



Flying High Again – Part 1

This series was shot on my return from Fort Myers to Washington DC. I had upgraded my ticket to a Premium Seat for extra leg room. I’m not tall at all but I like boarding early so I make sure my camera bag get into the overhead. It’s worth it to know my gear is safe.

With my upgrade I lucked out and had a whole row to myself! I’m normally an aisle type of guy as I like to get up and stretch on flights but I’ll gladly look out the window when I get the chance. So I quickly reached up and grabbed my Sony RX100M3 and prepared to shoot out the window during the flight.

One of the joys of shooting out an airplane window is that you get shifting light at the plane moves through cloud layers and banks. You also get the joy of shooting through thick glass that usually has someone’s fingerprints or head imprint on it. You can mitigate the imprints with a quick wipe off with your sleeve. Then I should mention the plane doing something like 500+ miles an hour or whatever it is. So you are dealing with constant motion.

With this set I focused on clouds. So they aren’t in sequential order or anything. The next set will focus on the ground. Editing clouds is a bit of a pain in the ass to be blunt. You gotta be extremely careful you don’t blow out the highlights and you still want to put some contrast in to give separation. It’s a fine line and I’m sure I stepped over in a few images. I will say that dehaze and clarity are your friends when you do plane photos. Just don’t abuse them.


PS – Double bonus points if you get the Ozzy reference. Not sure if he was singing about clouds.

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Into The Blue Unknown

This image is another one from Matlacha, Florida where I did my only daytime photography. The outside temperatures were just too hot to do anything until it cooled off in the evening with the sun starting to set.

I titled this Into the Blue Unknown and it’s all about the clouds which seem common in this part of Florida. As for the unknown portion it’s really the Gulf of Mexico. So it’s not unknown at all. Just sounds more mysterious when you say it’s unknown.

Not much going on here editing wise. I brought out the details in the clouds. Little trick if you want to give your clouds some depth is to dodge the highlights and burn the shadows. Just be careful and go with a light pass and you will give a bit of depth to them. I then smoothed out the water a bit and called it done.


Into The Blue Unknown

Vertical Rising

I had a tip on a park located about 30 minutes away from where I was staying in Fort Myers. The park was called Lakes Regional Park so I headed there around sunset so I could get some evening shots over the lake. One of the problems is that the West view was blocked by trees and housing so I was a bit late for the really good sunset photos but I made do and ended up shooting for a couple of hours at the park.

I took this photo in both landscape and portrait just to see which way would work better. The vertical allowed me to capture the clouds like I wanted to so I edited that version.

The image is all about the clouds. So I made sure to run a filter through it and brought out the details. Then masked that bit in. Then another filter for the water and boat to bring out the sun reflection on it. Finally a hue/saturation and sharpening and called it done.


Vertical Rising