A bitter night
One of the great things about living in western Pennsylvania is that we have four very distinct seasons. Unlike a lot of the northern or southern states where it either states cold or warm for most of the year, we see a gradual transition from winter to spring to summer to fall. We get to experience a white Christmas, flowers blooming, barbeques and fireworks and beautiful fall foliage that is painted throughout the region. However, one of the worst things about living in western Pennsylvania is that we have four very distinct seasons. Summer and fall I’m more or less okay with, it’s just the end of winter/beginning of spring that really get me. Don’t get me wrong, I love snow as much as the next guy, but when it dumps eight inches during rush hour on a Monday night in late February, that I can do without. It’s not so much all the snow we got, but the fact that yesterday morning it started out as a torrential downpour of rain. Then, eleven hours later, we have a little blizzard that locks up most of the city.
There is something eerily calm about the snow. I spent the better part of two hours last night unburying both my driveway and a few of my neighbors and when the wind died down it was a very serene mood. The street lamps were glowing warm light that was being diffused by the falling snow, there wasn’t anyone on the road and it was just quiet. You could not tell where one person’s yard ended and another began. You couldn’t even tell where the yard ended and the street began. A plow truck hadn’t been through in over an hour, so the road was completely covered again. I found myself just standing there, with ice forwards on my hair and gloves, taking it all in. And for as much as I do not really like to spent until midnight shoveling and being freezing cold, it was oddly peaceful.
Some shots from the storm, all taken with the S95.
Now to completely switch gears. Yesterday’s post was all about the Winter Classic and the matchup between the Penguins and the Capitals. Well, the Pens lost (title reference #2), in a hard fought, 1-0 game. I can’t be too upset, as the goalie for the Capitals, Michal Neuvirth, played an outstanding game. Since I talked hockey, I didn’t get a chance to post my picture from flickr. I’ll make up for that today, since they are the same subject. Heading back to New York. On the Friday we were we spent a lot of time doing some of the touristy things, like Grand Central, Central Park, FAO Schwartz and the New York Public Library. I hadn’t planned on stopping at the library, but since we were so close and we hadn’t been there before, I thought that it would be worth a quick peak. We made one lap around and then headed on our way.
The first shot is the front of the library. It was a bit of a pain to process because of all the people walking around in front. I just wish for one second I could get everyone to stand still so I could take the picture. I think for all the HDR photographers out there, we should be given a remote to stop people as we please. Just a thought. Anyways, it is a five shot handheld HDR, and HDR Efex did a decent job of cutting down the ghosting. I had to tonemap the +1 image to mask in all the people, and I also did a 100% mask of the -2 exposure for the sky. Desaturated the reds a bit, added a blue curves layer to the sky and applied a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex. Lastly did some high pass sharpening.
For today’s flickr post, we have one of the hall ways inside the library. Same issue with the ghosts here. Five exposure handheld, tonemapped the the +2 image for the people and masked them in. Then I tonemapped the -2 and masked in the window at the back of the scene, as I was metered on the shadows and the window was very blown out. Added a slight blur around the edge of the frame to put the focus on the center and finally added a Tonal Contrast filter.
That’s all for today my friends. See you tomorrow.