Categories
Architectural Photography Travel Photography

Arched Viewing

I was in Tijuana, Mexico last week. As always I eat at my usual spot Hotel Nelson on Santa Cecilia Square. Which just happens to be there the famous Tijuana Arch is located.

I always like eating there and people watching since it’s the main gateway to downtown Tijuana. You got mariachis in traditional outfits to just older guys with instruments walking up and asking if you want music for a tip. You see the Mexican families out for the day. You got vendors selling stuff. Chinese tour groups partaking “authentic” Mexican experience of a cheap Tequila shot and a Corona. The other day tourists coming in walking around with a dazed look that a city that is so close to the United States could be oh so subtly different.

I always take a wander around the plaza. Fending off offers for food and souvenirs of stuff I don’t need. If you aren’t used to it can be intimidating but it’s just the way it works there. You just give a polite no and a smile. They are just doing their job.

I took the two shots of the Arch on different days even though they look the same. The one with the sign that says Av. Revolucion is from the pathway into downtown. The other is from Plaza Santa Cecilia.

I am also throwing in a picture of the walkway through Plaza Santa Cecilia. I just like it and it’s not good enough for a standalone image.

All the images were shot on my Canon S100 and just processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. Nothing overly fancy as the files can’t hold up to a lot of abuse.

Enjoy.

Tijuana ArchTijuana ArchPlaza Santa Cecilia

Categories
HDR Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Warm Fall Day

This image was taken at Brookside Gardens. They have several ponds and one lake. They are all connected I believe based on me walking from the source to the larger lake in the middle of the park.

The small pond here is near the entrance of the park and I stopped to take the photo. I bracketed the shot with the intention of shooting it in HDR and to make the image a bit more.

When I was out shooting the day wasn’t bad but it was a bit cool but the sun was shining and provided you stayed in the sun things were comfortable. So when I went to the edit I wanted to convey that in the image.

I used Aurora HDR 2017 to do the conversion. While I don’t mind HDR photography I tend to go the subtle route so I bring things down in Photoshop. I also like to add a few layers with Color Efex Pro to smooth things out.

Enjoy.

Pond in Fall

Categories
Architectural Photography HDR Photography Travel Photography

Shadows Of A Gazebo

In my recent adventures I stated I went to national parks along with regional parks. This was taken at Brookside Gardens when I ventured there for the day.

Normally this gazebo has someone in it so I don’t bother attempt shooting it. The day I went the gardens were empty so I had no problem setting up the shot and taking it.

This image is HDR. It was the first time I attempted one with the Nikon D810 and I could not figure out how to bracket with it. I never really read the manual. So I was manually moving the exposure 2 stops for every shot. I later learned how to bracket.

I used Aurora 2017 to do the processing which I am liking more and more since I can take the images straight into Photoshop. This means no saving a file then opening it again in Photoshop. This improves the workflow tremendously. When I am in Photoshop I can do the extra bits I like and call the image done.

Enjoy.

Gazebo

Categories
Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Sparkle In The Spray

I returned to Meadowlark Gardens on a long holiday weekend. Since I no longer live in Virginia I was worried about paying out of state fees but they never asked so I happily paid my usual $5 and in I went. I think they are so popular that they don’t bother with where you live now.

I was there to shoot something specific but I saw the fountain and figured why not. The light as you can see is harsh because of the time of the day but it was working for me in other ways. I was also shooting with my Nikon D810 which I had not shot with in over month because I had been using my Sony A7R. So some settings I thought I was using weren’t working for some of the images.

Still I had a good time and I got some usable images and this is one of them. The I liked how the spray was was sparkling in the sunlight so I make sure my shutter speed was up so I could freeze it and fired off a few frames.

I had to really dodge the fountain spray to get it to pop like it did. Then I masked in a bit here and there till I got things the way I wanted it. Once I was happy I called it done.

Enjoy.

Sparkle in the Spray

Categories
Landscape Photography Night Photography Travel Photography

Streaking Down The River Of Light

This was taken while I was in Chicago. There are tour boats going up and the Chicago River doing tours that finish in Lake Michigan and then they return to their docks. Most are based at Michigan Avenue.

I shot this while I was walking towards Lake Michigan and I had 3 boats coming towards me. With it being night and the lens wide open it was still a 4 second exposure.

For editing I had to do a composite image. The first image with the boats the way I wanted them didn’t have the buildings in focus. The second image did. So a masked in the buildings from the second image. Then it was just some standard editing. Dodged the light reflections and a bit of the sky wheel. Then I masked in some preset from Intensify Pro and called it a day.

Enjoy.

streaking-down-river-of-light-ic

Categories
HDR Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

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.

Enjoy.

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

Floating On The Harbor

 

Categories
Landscape Photography Night Photography Travel Photography

Twinkles In The Night

This is another from Chicago. I was shooting along the river walk along the Chicago River. I published the other side of this a few weeks ago. This is is slightly different as you get more of the city with its buildings behind the bridge giving it a different perspective.

I still like night shots and night photography. While you lose some details the lights in the image are so much brighter and twinkle like stars. It gives an otherwise mundane image a lot more color.

Editing wise I didn’t go too wild. I used a mask to pop the buildings and the bridge. I also used it on the water to give it a bit more clarity and make it stand out. As always I masked out the noise in the sky. Minor contrast adjustment using the Pro Contrast filter in Nik Color Efex and called it a day.

Enjoy.

Bridge Over Chicago River

Categories
Landscape Photography Night Photography Travel Photography

Lights On Chicago

Snapped this from the Navy Pier when I was in Chicago. I always like night shots where the buildings are all lit up and you get the long exposure effect of objects moving and they blur. Think this image was 13 seconds long.

I knew when I started to edit this I was going to mask in a bunch of different layers. Each section of the image needed it’s own look and feel to make it balance the other out.

Once I was happy with the light I focused on the first layer mask which was the buildings. I really wanted them to put so masked in a layer that bumped clarity and sharpness. Next was the sky. As with any sky when there are blues you deal with noise so I picked something that was aggressive but not that much to just turn the image into noise. Then my final mask was on the water darken it and smooth it out a bit more. Final mask was noise out of the sky. There is something about sensor noise in skies that just annoys me.

Enjoy.

Chicago Nights

Categories
Architectural Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Squeezed Sunset

This is another one from Millennium Park . I am not sure what direction I was shooting towards. I have a poor sense of direction on a good day. Still, I saw the sunset squeezed between the buildings and I thought it would be a pretty cool image.

The lights in each windows in the buildings look like little sunsets themselves as some of them are building images. You get a progressive cooler to warmer feeling as you start at the top which is blue and cool and work your way down to the warmer part of the image which is all reds and yellows.

Editing I masked in bits here and there. I wanted some of the blacks to go completely black. Figured let your mind fill in what it is instead of trying to dodge out some sense or color. I did bring down the street a bit and then dodged in the people to give the image a sense of motion.

Enjoy.

Squeezed Sunset

Categories
Architectural Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Stroll Down Michigan Avenue

I shot these as I had to walk to the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. I bought another power adapter for my laptop and never checked it to see if it fit. So when I landed and set up my machine I discovered I didn’t have one that fit.

I figured since I was having to take a walk down I might as well bring a camera with me. So I grabbed my Sony RX100M3 and off I went.

I am a very well seasoned traveler so touts and scammers don’t bother me but I was fascinated by how many were on Michigan Avenue. I watched a “homeless” duo do a shift change. The ASPCA and the Humane Society within 20 meters of each other “collecting” donations yet strangely short of credentials except for signs asking for money. The cream of the crop was a fake monk trying to hand out prayer beads for money. Here is a hint if you aren’t familiar with Buddhism. Monk’s only collect alms in the morning and they bring a bowl with them. If a monk approached you at any other time asking for money they are fake. When I pointed out he was fake he quickly moved on.

To further illustrate my point when I was returning to the hotel with my power adapter 6 Chicago officers on bikes rolled. Suddenly the very same people started to have important business elsewhere!

Enjoy the photos.

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