Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm F/2, F/32, 3.2 secs, iso 125
I have been going through some of my Oregon trip images lately. When I came across this one, it seemed perhaps a nice B&W subject. Looks nice, in B&W, don't you think?
But as often is the case, there is more to the story. The creation of this image was several iterations of both cropping and editing, in addition to the Topaz B&W Effects work.
As I have been doing lately, I'll make several trips back and forth between Lightroom and Topaz in order to achieve the final vision. I began with a much tighter crop, and with the light area above the rocks basically blacked out. Once I was on BWE, I found the Warm Tone I preset was giving the tonalities I was looking for. But I wasn't happy with the crop.
It came to me that the flowing water above and below the rock area were sort of "cradling" the rock area that is obviously the focus of the image. Kind of that "precious cargo" effect I like so much. So I opened up my crop.
Click on the continue link and you'll see more about how this one was done.
Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm F/1.2, f/5.6, 1/800, iso 100
Photography is all about the light, that's the first thing you learn. I have learned that I have a favorite type of light. It's when the sun is low, and there are big dark clouds overhead. The sun is peeking through, and the rays must bounce between the land and the clouds, and for me, this light is magical.
On this morning I had left our hotel (in Astoria, Oregon) to get some boat shots at the marina. At sunrise. I wasn't real successful with the boat shots. As I walked back to the hotel, the morning sun lit up the hotel and I just stopped in my tracks. This is the magical light. I quickly switched lenses and fired several frames before the light was lost.
(If you ever find yourself in Astoria, this is the place to stay!)
I thought Topaz Adjust would bring out some interesting character in the pilings and buildings. I noted the sky though, and often Adjust will render a sky like this in an unnatural way. So in Photoshop, the first thing I did was make a duplicate layer. Then in Adjust, I started with the Spicify preset. Probably because of the intense sunlight, the building was over saturated. No problem, just grab the saturation slider and back it off some.
And yes, I didn't like the sky one bit. Back in Photoshop, I clicked the layer mask button, selected a paintbrush, and just painted away the Adjust sky. The original sky was revealed and I'm a happy post processor. As always, the original image is on the continue link below.
Canon 5D Mark II, 14mm F/2.8, f/7.1, 1/125, iso 100
On Fun Friday, I try to lighten things up a bit. Maybe not a fine art photo, but something that makes me happy. Nostalgic in this case. This was in Astoria, Oregon. Our hotel had these cool bikes to borrow. Was out here for the sunset and just tried to get creative.
This is Oregon's Cape Creek bridge, which I first showed in this post. These shots were just minutes apart, but my shooting positions created vastly different perspectives, and overall color rendition was different as well.
You'll note this lens is not a zoom. When using a zoom, it's common to pick a spot, then zoom in and out to create the composition. With a fixed lens, you "zoom with your feet," walking around to create the composition.
Today I'm feeling a longing to visit the Pacific again some time soon. I decided to go through my Oregon seashore images and find one that spoke to me, and that I could process with some moody tones. I played with one image but it just wasn't working for me.
When I took this image, I had placed my camera pretty low, with my widest lens, the 14mm. I was shooting sequences of the waves rushing into this area. I chose this particular frame because I thought the water was the most dynamic.
I decided to make it black and white. As you know I do 99% of my processing in Lightroom. I chose a B&W preset that made the sky look the best, but the rock area went totally black. I "painted in" an exposure adjustment and then played with the amount of adjustment, and was quite happy with the result. I added in a little GND for the sky.
Today is one of those days I'll show you the original, as the resulting processing feels pretty good to me. It's on the continue link below. And of course you can comment on this one.
Canon 5D Mark II, 180mm F/3.5 Macro, f/22, 1/5th sec, iso 100
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, a forum I was browsing prompted me to revisit my Painted Hills (Oregon) images from June 2010. One of the great things about Lightroom is how easy it is to jump to any year/month and go through your images. And if you haven't seen them for some time, often you'll have a fresh perspective.
The image I originally published was a wide angle view of the landscape. Yesterday I zeroed in on this image. With just a bit of cropping, I had this interesting view of the forms and tonalities of the hills. Like plump pillows, eh?
And the memories of being there came back easily too. Having ended the Palouse Workshop (see this post for the beginning of that series), several of us drove down through Washington, and into Oregon, finishing our day's drive at the Painted Hills. It was a pretty new experience for me. Just being with photographers, just doing photography. Very energizing and food for my creative soul.
Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm F/1.2, f/16, 1/4th, iso 100
Here's a shot from what I described last year as "the best photographic day of my life." I was in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon. If you missed that series, click on the Oregon link in the "category cloud" over on the right.
Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm F/2.0, f/29, 15 secs, iso 100
I spent about 5 1/2 hours driving yesterday, with the latter 3 hours pounding my way through a downpour of biblical proportions. It's no fun, but at least I have a vehicle that is up to the task. It got me thinking about how much snow we are getting in the Sierra, and how our streams will be flowing to the maximum.
I spent about an hour on this creek up in Oregon last year. I was toying around with my new piece of gear for that trip, the Singh Ray Vari ND, a variable neutral density filter (link to their site). This allows a photographer to do long exposure images, such as this one. The long exposure is what creates the "misty" water effect.
What helps make this shot more interesting is the varying light. The creek is both heavily wooded and in a crevasse. So the sunlight comes and goes quickly. And then there is the water itself... you know me, water is good!
Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm F/1.2, f/16, 1.200, iso 200
On of my coworkers flew up to Oregon last night for a wedding. I was mentioning some things for her and the family to do around Bend. On my way home from work I was thinking about Oregon, and how much I'd like to visit Bandon Beach again. I reviewed my images from the trip there a year ago and found I hand't put this one up on the blog.
So it's a little treat for us today. I have seen some great sunsets in Maui, but Bandon, with its sea stacks, remains my favorite place to be for a sunset. I bet it will look just like this tonight, and you know I wish I was going to be there.