HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Winter blues

Well, it’s Friday, and is any day better than Friday?  Ok, Saturday is equally as awesome, no work to look forward to the next day, a whole day to do nothing.  Sunday is okay until around 5, when you realize you have to go to work in less than twelve hours.  But Friday.  There is just something about getting in your car and heading home on a Friday afternoon, knowing that a weekend of infinite possibilities lies in front of you.  And hopefully some photography time.  My goal is to motivate myself to be out of bed at 6:00 tomorrow morning to catch the sunrise in downtown Pittsburgh.  We’ll see how that turns out.

We’ve had a bit of a warm spell these last few days, with temperatures hitting the upper 60s yesterday.  However they are calling for more snow on Monday, as temperatures are going to continue to fall throughout the weekend.  This is probably my least favorite time of the year.  Don’t get me wrong, I love winter, snow, seeing the ground covered for months, I think it’s great.  Winter starts out great, because although it doesn’t officially start until December 22nd, right after Thanksgiving at the end of November I feel that the seasons are changing.  Then you have Christmas (my favorite holiday) and New Years, and then in the Northeast US we get most of our snow in January and February, although this year it was pretty much the whole country.  Then the weather warms up to low 40s, all the snow melts, it rains a lot and there is just nothing enjoyable about the end of February through late April.  I don’t normally look forward to spring and summer so much, but this year I definitely am.

This Monday the Penguins will have the Washington Capitals at home in Consol Energy Center for the first time, and it will mark the first time the Caps will have been in Pittsburgh since the Winter Classic, which the Capitals won on New Year’s Day.  It may end up being a bit of a tough one, as the Penguins ranks are still relatively depleted with injuries.  In honor of that meet up, today’s post is a shot from the day after the Winter Classic, right outside Heinz Field.  Being the spouse of an employee, I got the chance to skate on the ice from the Winter Classic the next day, and had my camera to take as many pictures as I could.  I didn’t want to miss the opportunity, because those signs, that ice, will never be there again.  It’s not like a simple playoff game, when you know your team will probably make it again next year.  This had the possibility to be a once in a lifetime event.  I’ll more than likely be posting a few more pictures from that weekend on Monday.  For now, this is a shot of North Shore Drive, and you can see the Winter Classic banner hanging from the lamp post, with a bit of the city in the background.

Nothing groundbreaking in terms of processing for this shot.  Five exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex.  Masked in the entire sky from the -2 exposure as well as the tree branches that were swaying and created a few ghostly looking branches.  Added a Tonal Contrast Filter in Color Efex as well as an S Curve in CS5 to give it a bit more contrast.  Since it was early afternoon on a sunny day, the whole scene had a very blue tint, so I added a sepia filter to help warm it up a bit.  Lastly, did some High Pass sharpening to give it a crisp look.

Thanks for all your visits this week and I hope you all have a great weekend.

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