Having the winter blues
I don’t want to scare anyone with the title, I’m not really sad. Well, just sad that I’m in rainy Pittsburgh right now instead of sunny Jamaica. There’s a saying “No one needs a vacation like the man who just got back from one” and I could not agree with that more. Even though I didn’t just get back from vacation I had a day off on Friday, and coming back to work can be so difficult after a long weekend.
I will probably be wrapping up the Jamaican pictures sometime this week, but today I wanted to post a few shots that focused on the actual beach. It was so incredible to just sit and lounge around in the sand all day, as it was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The sand was golden and soft and not so hot that you couldn’t walk on it, the water was crisp and clear for a vibrant shade of aqua and the sky was just a shining blue all the time (well, except for the one hour it rained). Usually you are lucky enough to get one of these beach attributes, but the fact that Jamaica had all three was perfect.
What made it even more picturesque were the banks of clouds that would continually roll through during the day. Don’t get me wrong, there is little that I like more on vacation than a clear blue sky, because at least then you know it’s not going to rain. But it was kind of just the icing on the cake that made Couples Sans Souci the most relaxing place we have ever been. I think it is the only place where we have said that we may go back one day; we usually like to vacation in different cities and countries, to make sure we experience as much as we can. But Jamaica sure had a compelling argument to lure us back.
From the warm beaches of Jamaica to the cold highways of Pittsburgh. This is one of the last few shots from my early morning photowalk back in February. What I’ve come to realize is, that I REALLY need to get out shooting soon. I mean, I have a ton of shots in my archive, but I’m not thrilled with all of them. Maybe I need to create a second flickr stream so that I can most my not-top-quality work. Because let’s face it. Not every picture you take is going to be your best, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to display it. We’ll see. Anyways, this is a view down the parkway along the Allegheny River. You can see PNC Park on the right, as well as Heinz Field in the distance, as well as the moon, which I just have a terrible time with.
For the processing, this is a seven exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex under the “Subtle” method. I ended up masking in the whole sky, but instead of using the exposure that had the trees frozen, I used the +1 exposure to give them that waving feeling. I also had to do some work on the reds, as the street lamps were really glaring through the shot on the left had side of the scene. Boosted the yellow on the railing that serves as the leading line, added a blue curves layer for the sky and water and applied a very slight Tonal Contrast filter to the entire image.
Check back tomorrow for a discussion on flickr. Pete Talke of Places2Explore recently did a post on this and I felt inspired to do the same.