Jul 012013

morning 1738

Day 3 of Staycation: This morning I decided to take a bike ride rather than a walk for my early morning exercise. As I was putting air in my tire, I looked up and saw this beautiful scene. It’s clear as to why our park is called “Holiday Palms.”

I was only going to ride my bike for about 30 minutes, but with the clouds filtering the direct sunlight, I ended up being out for two hours… the last half hour or so taking photos of an some of our abandoned buildings.

Jun 182011

Waterfront dining made for a good opportunity to catch a silhouette of this couple enjoying each other’s company so much that they didn’t notice me taking pictures, nor did they take time to look at their menus.

I applied the “Chesney” setting that I created last year in Aperture, moved the black point all the way to really bring out the silhouette  and then ran it through Topaz Simplify Oil Painting.

Jan 282011

ISO 80; f/5.7; 1/400; 100mm (Canon SX10)

I took this photo in the middle of the afternoon yesterday.  When I shot it, I was hoping for a silhouette, but in fact it was just a dull, overly pixelated image of the perfect Quail shot.   (Anyone following my 2010 blog knows that these Quails are always teasing me.)  So, with a little help from both Topaz and Aperture I was able to turn this into the shot I was aiming for in the first place.

Do I recall how I did it?  Let’s see…  In Topaz Simplify, I used Image CrispEdge, with the Brightness turned to -40.  This turned into the 2 color photo. When I brought it back to Aperture, I had to use the touch up paintbrush in two areas that persisted in being the “wrong” color.   I then turned the Blue Luminance all the way up and the Black Point up to 20, this darkened the sky and improved the silhouette.   I then ran it though Topaz DeNoise to smooth it out, however there was still some residual blotchiness in the sky.  I tried several things but Topaz Detail Edge Softener did the final trick. (Yes, this surprised me too!)

Here is the original as requested by Gisele!

Original before edits!

Oct 062010

ISO 80; f/8; 1/25; 21mm; 6:10pm (Canon SX10 on tripod) Facing North

On Monday evening, right about when I started up the grill, a massive cloud opened up over Quartzsite with torrential rain and winds estimated up to 90MPH.  The whole thing may have lasted ten minutes.  Maybe.  It really was over with before it even started.  I never made it inside and was soaked to the bones.  Everything on our patio went flying – tables, chairs, rugs, plants and there was no dry shelter outside.  I just started gathering up what I could and kept my head down.  I couldn’t look at our awning for fear that it was going to rip apart… but it and the carport took the winds well despite all the noise coming off of them.  One minor tear in the carport cover was the only real damage – and a few potted cactus casualties.

This photo shows the massive cloud leaving.  I wish I had thought to take a photo when it was directly overhead, but then again, I’m sure it would have drowned the camera.  I don’t think the perspective really shows just how thick and solid it was, instead, the setting sun makes it look pretty and benign. Ha!  (Of course, this was nothing compared to what is happening north of us in Flagstaff where they had real tornadoes earlier today.)

In the following photo, you can still see a bit of rain coming out of the cloud:

ISO 80; f/8; 1/50; -1ev; 45.5mm; 6:18pm (Canon SX10 on tripod) Facing west.

Aug 302010

ISO 80; f/5.6; 1/1000; 59.2mm; 6:41 AM (Canon SX10)

We went out to the model airplane flying field this morning just as the sun was coming up.  I took quite a few photos with the tripod but felt I was missing the glider… so I took the camera off the tripod and started to just follow the glider with the camera. This lucky shot was taken while facing east into the sun… post-processing consisted of a crop (to give the glider more room in front rather than behind) and adjusted the black point to darken the silhouette a wee bit.

With as many photos as I’ve taken at the flying field, I felt I would have been remiss not post at least one for this month’s “flight” theme!

May 082010

(ISO 80 F/8 1.160)

On one of my recent morning bike rides, I saw this ball on the side of the road.  Thought it was curious enough that I stopped to see what I could do with it, especially with the nice desert shadows. So, I pretended to kick it. Immediately learned that it is no easy task to balance on one foot and hold the camera steady…. Continue reading »

May 062010

ISO 80 f/5.8 1/250  .67ev  28.5mm

This is last night’s sunset… without a bit of post processing.  After attending John Greengo’s class yesterday I decided to play with the Exposure setting on my camera… I have a Canon PowerShot SD 950, which is a point and shoot camera… but as far as P&S goes, its pretty good. I do  have the ability to change the exposure by up to 2 stops in either direction, thus I experimented last night.

What I learned was that by increasing the expo by 1/3, it changed the shutter speed to a slower speed (from 1/500 to 1/250).  Since the camera was on a tripod the slower speed was o.k and in fact I think the mountains are clearer on the slower speed.

And it did make for a “better” histogram.

Anyway, I’m finding this free photo class immensely informative… even for my point & shoot camera.  At least I understand its limitation a whole lot better.  I’m doing my best not to have DSLR envy…  I simply can’t afford one so that’s that.