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Architectural Photography HDR Photography Travel Photography

All In The Details

Taken at the Sanctuary of Truth here in Thailand. Always worth a visit.

I have to be honest and say I wasn’t sure there was going to be an image today. One of the benefits of keeping the same publishing schedule but living on the other side of the world is I do the image daily and publish it the same day it goes live.

The issue facing me today is I had to go pickup a friend in Bangkok who flew in from Canada. I had to be up at the unholy hour of 7 AM local time. Since I moved here, I go to bed around 3 or 4 AM because there just isn’t a reason to be up and running around early. So the 7 AM just about killed me because while I attempted to go to sleep at Midnight I mostly just dozed on and off till the alarm went off at 7 AM.

Once I dropped my friend off at his house and got a bite to eat it was promptly operation I’m going to go and take a nap and wake up whenever. Luckily I had a few hours to spare so I got up in time to do a photo edit.

I wanted to pump the details in this image. I have been super masking happy lately and this one was no different. I first did the image in HDR and had that as a layer. I then went into Intensify CK and used preset to bump the hell out of the details and then had that as a layer. I then masked the two together but wasn’t happy. Finally I used Tonality CK and a black and white detail version and then an opacity mask for just a bit more detail. I then dodged and burned to bring a few things down or up depending on what was required.

Maybe I should nap more before editing.

Enjoy.

All In the details

Categories
Architectural Photography HDR Photography Travel Photography

Temple Wall

This is a shot from the inside of the Sanctuary of Truth. I never published it before because I didn’t think I could make a decent image out of it.

When I took this images and all the images the last time I was at the Sanctuary of Truth I was using adapted Sony Alpha lenses. They were cheaper stuff I picked up off of eBay or other places so I could have some glass to use with my then new Sony A7R. I was still invested in the Olympus micro four-thirds stuff and the A7R was me using a full frame sensor again. It was also the reason I sold all my Olympus gear and moved to full frame for the most part.

The downside of using cheaper, adapted glass was that it was older and tended to have flare and chromatic aberration. It wasn’t the best stuff but when you are in the process of considering a system change the last thing you want to do is invest a ton of money in glass. In the end I sold all that stuff and bought all native gear and even ditched my micro four-thirds stuff completely and went with a Nikon D810. Now I have 3 full frame cameras and one crop sensor. How things change in 2 years.

This image was shot for HDR using 3 exposures. The more I work with HDR the more I know 3 exposures aren’t the best way to go for a lot of things. So this was done with just one exposure using Aurora 2017. Once I had the photo finished with my basic workflow I just went to Aurora 2017 and started to crank sliders until I was happy. Brought it back into Photoshop for a bit of dodging and burning and called it done.

Enjoy.

Temple Wall

Categories
Architectural Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Sanctuary Of Truth

Took this a few years back but never published it so I figured why not. So I went ahead and ran it through.

Sanctuary of Truth isn’t really a temple even if it does look like one. It’s a tourist attraction only and you can wander through with a guide or not. It’s a cool place to visit and I hope to in the future get a night shot of the place. Might need to “pay a small fee” to the security guard to get in there after hours but Thailand being Thailand it isn’t so hard of a thing to do.

Editing this wasn’t hard. The reason it never saw the light of day before was a blue tarp. This time, when I went in and edited I just used a desaturation brush on the tarp. Went ahead and ran it through Intensify CK to bring out some details of the sky, building, and sea. Brought it back into Photoshop and then used a layer mask at 50% opacity to those areas and 10% to the bushes and called it done.

Enjoy.

sanctuary of truth

Categories
Architectural Photography HDR Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Temple Through The Jungle

I indicated yesterday I was playing with the archives even though I am sitting on a thousand plus new images. As I have mastered various techniques and software I just feel the need to address some of the stuff I did before (not sure if I published this one or not).

This is the Sanctuary of Truth in Thailand. It’s not really a temple at all. It’s a handcarved tourist attraction that has been under construction since I first ventured to Thailand now 11 years ago. It has seen many dignitaries including Pope John Paul II visit. It’s fairly easy to get to and worth the 500 Baht price of admission. You can get a volunteer tour guide (for a donation) if you like to explain a few things to you. I did that my first trip in my subsequent visits I skipped that and did my own thing.

There are also elephant rides and horse and carriage rides as well. There are also photographers running around taking your picture with the hope of selling you some after your visit. I can maybe attest to buying a commemorative plate on my first visit. Now they look at my gear and don’t approach.

Editing wise I just used Aurora 2017 to do a simple 3 bracket HDR. Once it was in there I just used various layer masks to get the image to where I wanted it. The more I use Aurora 2017 the less I use presets and just do the HDR myself. I know what I want and go with that.

Once I was happy it was into Photoshop. The one thing I don’t like about Aurora 2017 is that you can’t do hue/saturation adjustments on the level of Photoshop. The trees are still a bit nuclear but no where near what they were. I did a wee bit of dodging and burning and called it a day.

Enjoy.

Temple Through The Jungle

Categories
Architectural Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

The View Out

This was shot at the Sanctuary of Truth in Thailand last November. I need to tell the back story of this image. Not that the shot itself was special, I setup the tripod and pointed out. No, the story is I have attempted to edit this image no less than 5 different times and I have about 8 hours worth of work on it. I have routinely just trashed my edits and went and did something else.

I was watching Trey Ratcliff’s – Becoming and Artist and one of the things he does is mostly edits in Lightroom where as I don’t. After watching him do a few edits I was like let me try this image just editing it Lightroom and ignoring all the anal retentive photo rules I tend to follow and go with the flow. So I did. I just went with what I felt I wanted out of the image and once I had it the way I wanted it took it into Photoshop.

There was some of the usual dodging and burning but it still didn’t feel “right”. So loaded up Macphun Intensify CK and started playing with filters until I found one I liked. Brought it back into Photoshop then masked in the bits I wanted. Mainly I wanted it to glow and feel warm. Make the carvings pop more than they were. A couple of masks later I was happy.

Is the image perfect? Hell no. Am I happy I finally got it to some place I could live with it? Hell yes! I really liked the image and I just didn’t want it to go to waste.

Full resolution here.

Enjoy.

The View Out

Categories
HDR Photography Travel Photography

Enlightenment Above

I still have lots of images from various adventures that I just never publish. As I shoot other stuff and now have a back catalogue to work off of and working on shooting a series I have the freedom to bounce around. Since its freezing cold and I am missing Thailand I figured why not revisit the Sanctuary of Truth. The first tourist place I ever went to in Thailand that didn’t involve a bar.

This is a portion of the inner ceiling inside the temple itself. It was a bit of a challenge to shoot because the floor is wood and if someone walks by your tripod is going to move. In fact, I was giving death stares to the student volunteers that were having a laugh while my tripod was riding out what appeared to me to be an earthquake of epic proportions. Sadly their interpretation of my death stare as the usual tourist look of confusion and happily joked until someone with some authority came along.

Did the usual HDR conversion then heavy lifting in Photoshop. I had to bring the colors down a bit because they were a wee bit bright. Then ran it through Intensify Pro and masked in the bits I wanted. Had to had some gradients in Camera Raw to get the center to be the focus then a wee bit of dodging and burning par for the course.

Enjoy.

enlightenment-above

 

Categories
HDR Photography Travel Photography

The Grand Entrance

This is the main entrance to the Sanctuary of Truth. I am patently amazed that I was able to get this image because its normally full of people coming and going. Still, I learned that its better to hit the tourist sites later in the day instead of the morning to avoid the crowds which did allow me to shoot without the constant worry of someone walking into my shot.

For inquiring minds it is HDR. I know everyone loves the stuff when I make it subtle. I really wanted the red inner shrine to be the focal point but also bring out the detail in the wood work leading up to it. So lots of layers masks going on along with curves and dodging and burning. If I would have thought that the last 4 or 5 months would see such a change in my workflow I would have never guess it would be layer masks because I had no idea how to use them. Now I spend a lot of time in the brush tool masking stuff in.

Enjoy.

The-Grand-Entrance

Categories
HDR Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Shadows Of A Seawall

This is actually from the Sanctuary of Truth which sits out in a small peninsula in the Gulf of Thailand and is surrounded by a seawall. The structure you see the the shadows of looks more like a gatehouse so that boats can be launched safely as the water can be rough at times.

I took this shot on top of the gatehouse type structure. There were stairs leading up so I figured why not. No idea if I was supposed to be there or not. This being Thailand its easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Asking could lead to a whole host of other issues so just quicker to play the dumb tourist than to bother the staff who are clearly not interested in being bothered as they talk amongst themselves.

Enjoy.

shadows-of-a-seawall

Categories
HDR Photography Travel Photography

Stairway To The Gods

This is another shot from the Sanctuary of Truth here in Thailand. This is the back entrance stairs to gain access to the inside of the temple.

I just liked how the stairs looked with the wood tones changing between the natural, the orange, and the green. You must remember that all this is hand carved using traditional tools and there are no nails holding it together. It’s all done with wood dowels.

Enjoy!

stairway-to-the-gods

Categories
HDR Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Temple In The Jungle

Well, not really but you do have to walk down a treacherous set of stairs that are in a leafy canopy to get this view of the Sanctuary of Truth. Trust me, lugging a camera on a tripod down and up these stairs is miserable.

I have no idea how long I have been coming to Thailand now. A good many years and this is my third trip to the temple. It’s been under construction the entire time. Since its all hand crafted, with no nails or anything modern being used in its construction the scaffolding around it has always been there. Still, its a cool place to visit.

Enjoy.

temple-in-the-jungle