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.


All In the details

Fountain Spray

Shot this in Vegas with the fountains from the Bellagio Hotel.

Been in a weird editing mood lately. Felt like doing more, HDR-esq photos and going over the top. I shift from reality based super clean to going from it’s my world and I’ll make it look however the hell I want.

Maybe part of it is the fact I live in Thailand where reality sometimes seems a lifetime ago with some of the stuff I have seen in the last month. There is no culture shock but there is just a holy hell I live here factor and now pay attention to things I otherwise ignored or didn’t deal with when I was on holiday. So maybe the bit of unreality has worked it’s way into my editing for the moment and seems to be a trend. Who knows.

Editing this was standard workflow then moved into Aurora HDR and crunched up a bit. Then I brought it into Intensify CK and hit a preset. Once I was happy hit save and called it done.


Fountain Spray

Lost In A Good Book

Took this photo on the back of the Lincoln Memorial. Not a part that most people wander back to but I saw a lot of locals back there enjoying the view of the river.

Most people that visit the Lincoln Memorial only go into the main area where the statue of Lincoln is. There is a whole museum in the basement of the building. You can also walk all the way around it if you are inclined. You get different views as you walk around. As the light changes the shadows from the columns changes. It makes for different perspective as you move around.

This is a HDR image. I just made it from one image versus three. When I used three images it just caused more issues than it was worth. Used my workflow then brought it into Photoshop then into Aurora 2017. Tweaked HDR settings until happy then called it done.


Lost In A Good Book

Two From DC

This is the second from the DC series I am doing this week. This one is the Lincoln Memorial from the far side of the Reflecting Pool.

I took this image after I had taken the Jefferson Memorial image. There were some stops in between the two images so the sun had shifted. The light was coming in from behind me to the left. That is why the building isn’t fully light but it was all about the light and the warmth. I do confess to cheating with these images and increasing the warmth in them but it was a very warm Presidents Day.

If you look close enough in this image you can see a Ukraine flag in front of the Lincoln Memorial. They were protesting the Russian involvement in the Ukraine. One of the things you get used to if you live in DC is that someone is always protesting something. If you are a local you just hope and pray it doesn’t mess with traffic.

Editing again was straight forward. I went with the narrow aspect ration because it felt much better. Then did a very minor curves adjustment and some local work with dodging and burning. Called it done.


Lincoln Memorial

One From DC

This will be a series this week of one off images. It will show my progression in the afternoon when I was down on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Technically this image is in Virginia by definition but it’s on Federal Land. If you live in the DMV; DC, Maryland and Virginia as we call it. You naturally understand what is state land versus what is federal. Most locals don’t even think about it as we know. For a visitor it may confuse you but the biggest tip off is look at the law enforcement uniforms and it will tell you exactly whose jurisdiction you are in.

This image is the Jefferson Memorial shot from the Washington DC side of the Potomac River. I was just walking along the river taking some shots since I wandered off from the National Mall.

The image felt better cropped into a narrow aspect. Just worked better with the image. Once I had the crop then I added some gradients and then moved it into Photoshop for a curves adjustment. Then it was some dodging and burning and called it done.


Jefferson Memorial

Sense Of Scale

Shot this on Presidents Day Weekend. I was just wandering the National Mall with my Sony A7R and randomly taking picture. I was heading back to my car to pack up my gear and saw this and took a shot.

This area is called the Constitution Gardens. It’s just a small pond usually loaded with ducks. There are a couple small islands that you can walk out onto. I have never ventured on them because they are usually crowded which isn’t the greatest for doing photography with a tripod. The one thing you do get is a different view of the Washington Monument in the distance which is why I framed it with the willow tree. Least I think it’s a willow tree.

Editing nothing fancy. I haven’t been into the let’s add lots of masks to the image lately. There is a reason but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. So I have been just doing base edits using my normal workflow.

This was all about the camera adjustments, a few gradients and then adding a curves adjustment for tone and contrast. The usual local dodging and burning and called it done.


Sense of Scale

Long Twisting Path

This was taken at Great Falls on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. The trail is actually part of the C&O Canal tow path that is along the river. I guess the canal was put in to move goods along and avoid the rapids and and the falls.

I shot this on New Year’s Day this year. The weather was warm so everyone had the grand idea of heading towards the park to enjoy the day. I was hoping more people would be hungover and nursing their New Year’s Eve headache from too much partying. I guess more people were like me and just stayed in and stayed home that night.

Editing was straight forward. Nothing but camera defaults applied and a few gradients here and there. Then into Photoshop for a curves adjustment for tone and contrast. Lots of dodging and burning for local contrast. Sharpening and then done.


Long Twisting Path

Koi Las Vegas

I shot this when I was on my last trip to Las Vegas. I was working an event there so I got permission to shoot the photo from the representative at Planet Hollywood. It made for a much nice experience instead of worrying about a random security person coming up and asking me what I was doing.

I don’t have a lot of love for Vegas. I got shipped there for work. I only went once for personal for a friends party. If I could avoid Vegas I do. Too many people lose their minds about it being some adult fun capital. Sure, it’s a fun capital provided you don’t need to worry about a bank account. Everything is stupid expensive in Las Vegas.

The reason I took this image is I would walk past the Koi entrance everyday going to working at some unholy hour in the morning. When I got the opportunity to ask to take the shot I jumped on it. It’s not often you get permission from a casino to shoot something on a tripod.

This is a HDR image. I did the conversion using Aurora 2017 and just manually played with the sliders. Once I was happy there it was into Photoshop for some dodging and burning and a lot of straightening and cropping. Then it was time to clean up some stuff I didn’t want in the image and called it done.


Koi Las Vegas

Fade To The Stars

I have published the landscape version of this photo before. I figured why not publish the portrait version. You get a whole different perspective of the image.

The image shifts all over the place color wise. You go from the black water to the bright bridge light reflecting off it. Then you have the bridge itself and the buildings in the distant. They all twinkle like stars at night. However, there are real stars visible. That isn’t noise in the sky, those are real planets or stars. Rare that I would have captured that with so much ambient light bleeding into the night sky but I got lucky I guess.

This is a straight up standard edit. Nothing fancy going on. No masking or layers to enhance the photo. I just put the contrast in via a curves adjustment then some local dodging and burning. I did desaturate the water where the lights reflected. It was a bit too much. Hit save and done.

EnjoyFade to the Stars


Blue Hour Clouds

Since I was playing in the archives I came across some night shots I never published. This would be one of them from when I was in Fort Myers, Florida. Which I will be heading to in about 30 days.

This is is the magical blue hour that photographers talk about. While it may look like a product of rain or a storm the reality is that is just the clouds coming in from the Gulf of Mexico and with it the evening breeze in Fort Myers.

I liked this photo because of the cool clouds in the sky and the streak of light from a boat coming down/up (hell if I know) the Caloosahatchee River. It made for an interesting photos so I went ahead and just edited it.

Speaking of editing I didn’t mask anything in. I just hit my camera defaults and then went about through and made my usual Lightroom adjustments. Into Photoshop and the usual curves adjustment. I then just went through and did some local dodging and burning for local contrast. Quick sharpen and done.


Blue Hour