It’s been a few days since I have been around the blogging world and for that I apologize. Been a bit busy with the whole holiday weekend, enjoying the nice weather than finally arrived. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time on my new website, which I am still hoping to have up and live by the end of the week and I’m definitely pretty excited about it. I’ll keep everyone updated as to the status of it.
Since I missed Candid Monday yesterday, I’ll do a Candid Tuesday, which is kind of like Monday since I wasn’t around yesterday. We don’t really have a whole lot of street performers in Pittsburgh, except really in Market Square, which is where this was taken. I wouldn’t even call this guy a street performer, more along the lines of someone with a hoop. He actually had about five hoops with him with different colors, designs and so on. I held my camera up to him, and gave a “You mind if I take a few pictures?” look, he shook his head and continued his routine.
Some pretty light processing on this one. A little bit of color correction and exposure adjustment to bring back some of the blown out areas and also a Tonal Contrast and Pro Contrast filter applied in Color Efex. Straightened the shot out a bit, added the logo and shared it with you.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that everyone celebrating this weekend had a great Memorial Day.
Happy Monday everyone, I hope that you all had a great and relaxing weekend. Even if it wasn’t relaxing, I hope that it was still great. We had two beautiful days in a row here in Pittsburgh, which hasn’t happened for months. More storms to come this week, but for now, we are enjoying the nice weather.
I was thinking about maybe starting some kind of a theme day on the blog, given that I have posted candids on consecutive Mondays. I’m not sure how many I will be able to post in a row, as I have a very limited backlog of them, but I’ll give it a shot. Today, I introduce Candid Mondays.
Back to Mt. Washington we go, to continue with shots from Mothers’ day a few weeks ago. Like I’ve said before, I had the telephoto lens on for most of the day/evening, trying to branch out from my current wide angle addiction and this is one of the results. I was heading back down Grandview Avenue, the main drag through the hill top community to get some HDRs from the very overlook that these two were standing on. Unlike the candid I posted last Monday, which was a hurry up and get the camera up as fast I could shot, this was a little bit easier to capture.
Simple processing here. Opened the RAW in Photoshop, desaturated the entire image and increased the vibrance. Brought back some of the saturation of the reds and greens, and increased both the black levels and overall contrast. Added a very slight Tonal Contrast filter to everything but the sky, a Pro Contrast filter to the entire image, and the Hollywood Effect in onOne software to polish to it.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the inaugural Candid Monday. Back to the HDRs tomorrow.
I know that this blog is called HDR Exposed, but that doesn’t mean that everything I post has to be HDR. Today, we take a break from city skylines and Pirate games. I’ve taken a bunch of candids that I really like recently and may try to throw them in every now and again.
I used to be really intimidated by taking candids. Afraid of getting caught, looking weird, and really just not quite sure what the best way to go about them was. My equipment last year wasn’t the most well suited for it either; while I really liked the 55-200 lens for the D40X, it really doesn’t compare to the 70-200 2.8 on a D700. I got inspired by a couple people on flickr, mainly DJ Poe, who always has incredible street shots of New York City that just have a dynamic cinematic effect to them. While I haven’t been yet able to really emulate his style, I found that I started to develop a style of my own, a style that fit more of how I shoot. I also got more comfortable having people see me taking pictures of them and figured how and at what time of day is the best time to photograph candids. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting better each time I go out.
All that being said, more about today’s shot. I took this on Mother’s Day as I was trekking around Mt. Washington. There are usually a few people milling around up there, but on that particular Sunday there were quite a few people milling around. I was getting ready to head back to my sister’s apartment and had just taken my camera off my shoulder to put in my bag when I happened to look up and see these two sitting on a bench in front of me. I hurried my camera to my eye, all while dexterously zooming to 200mm, turning the camera on, setting the aperture to 2.8 (I was just taking skyline shots at f13), flip the switch to spot focusing and snap the shot. A half second after I took this shot, she moved her head to look over the city. Whew. Just in time.
Even though this isn’t an HDR I still had some processing to do. Opened in CS5, reduced overall saturation and kicked up vibrance a bit. Enhanced the shadows and increased global contrast, as well as giving a closer crop to the couple. I added a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex to help give it some local contrast. In onOne PhotoTools I added a Golden Hour enhancer and a Turbo Boost, to help give the color a tiny kick and the entire image some punch. Added the logo and shipped it off to the blog.
I hope you all had a great weekend. See you tomorrow.
Oh, one more thing. The lady over the girl’s left shoulder? Yes, that is her stomach hanging out and yes she is holding an iguana.
It doesn’t get much better than Friday. Pens hockey on tonight and Sunday, casual day at work, finally getting at least a one day break in the weather to spend some time shooting tomorrow, it’s going to be a good weekend. Going to be a bit of a post and run catch up day, as I am finishing up all the month end activities that I started on Monday at work today.
First off my shot from a few days ago which I took two weeks ago whilst roaming the South Side. Like I said before, that day just seemed to bring all the interesting people out of the woodwork, and I was more than happy to oblige by taking pictures of them. As I’m walking down East Carson Street, the road that runs right through the middle of the South Side, I came up to the Birmingham Bridge, which crosses the Monongahela River over to Fifth Avenue. Now this is a pretty busy intersection, as it is one of the main ways from getting from downtown Pittsburgh to the South Side, and this day was no different. Then, out of the blue (well, more like gray, it was pretty dreary out), I just see a head bobbing over the cars. I take another look and there is this guy on a scooter with pink handle bars and pink wheels. Now, this would have be strange to see if he was, say 12, but he was at least 25. He was singing to himself, looking around, completely oblivious that he was crossing the street in the middle of rush hour traffic with cars coming, who had to subsequently stop and wait for him.
The processing on this one was pretty light. Desaturated the entire image, then enhanced just the greens and reds with layers of curves. Added an over adjustment curve to boost the contrast as well as a Tonal Contrast layer. Finally added a warming filter to give a bit of a cinematic tone, put it in a pill box and then on display for you.
Today’s shot, which I will be posting a little later, is from a photowalk I went on with Brad Truxell before the holidays. It was such a frigid cold night, and this was one of the last shots I took before the blood in my fingers froze solid. This is a view down the parkway from just off the Clemente Bridge. On the right, you can see PNC Park and Heinz Field in the distance. What I didn’t realize I’d captured until I got home was the smoke coming out of the top of the building on the left, which I thought looked pretty cool.
I was going for a little bit different processing here, a bit more extreme than normal. Since the sky was such a deep blue, I was trying to get the tones on the road and the city to contrast it and I liked the way it turned out with almost a diagonal line of color separating the two. And of course you can’t go wrong with reflections. This is a 7 exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex under the “Clean” method. I had to do some heavy selective coloring adjustments to get the look I was going for. I also added a Pro Contrast filter in Color Efex.
Wishing you all a great weekend, see you on Monday.
Just going to be doing a quick post and run today. It is our monthly financial close and work, and this impacts me since my current title is senior financial analyst. Bit busy at the quarter end, but back in the swing of things tomorrow (hopefully).
Don’t you wish sometimes you could just tell off something that you couldn’t possibly tell off? Like a Monday? Or maybe the toaster that burned your bagel? Or the pen that ran out of ink just as you sat down for a meeting? Or a Monday? Whoops, already said that one. Well, this one is dedicated to all those things in life, though I’m pretty sure that if this girl wanted to tell me off she could. I was on a photowalk with a buddy Ty Sharp and we were shooting some Pittsburgh cityscapes from atop a garage in downtown. All of a sudden a bus lets out and all these people start walking across the street, some boring, some interesting, some ignoring us and some pointing and waving. Or flipping us the bird. These girls spotted us and while most of them seemed nice and friendly, one, um, wasn’t so much. She subtly expressed her displeasure by flicking us off from five stories away. I believe that this is the first time that I have ever been caught shooting a candid, and the complete range of reactions is present here, from a jovial hello to a rude middle finger.
Processing was light here, just a quick white balance adjustment, desaturation and Tonal Contrast filter. Added the pill box for the cinematic effect.
Just to get you all caught up, above is my post from last night. This is a shot of one of the buildings on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, right next to PNC Park. I took this one during a photowalk with Brad Truxell, as he had shot it before, and I knew that it was a perfect candidate for HDR. It is a seven exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex under the “Natural” setting. Added a blue curves layer to bring out the glass and a red one to bring out the lobby. I masked in the little piece of the sky, as well as added a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex.
Sorry again for the post and run, catch you guys tomorrow.
I’ve never done this on my blog, but I found this quote for my flickr post and really like it, so I thought I would share.
|“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”|
Pool is one thing that I was just never really good at, no matter how much I played or practiced. Granted we didn’t have a pool table growing up, but a friend of mine did, so it’s not like I never played. I am however fascinated by trick pool shots, people who can make the cue ball curve all the way around the table, pocketing all the balls en route, as this is something that I would like to be able to do one day. I think that I literally have just decided to buy a pool table for our next house and got really excited.
I know that that had nothing to do with photography, but pool came to mind instantly when I saw the subject of today’s shot. I was walking through the South Side of Pittsburgh before meeting some coworkers for dinner, armed only with the 70-200 2.8. I knew that if I even had the 16-35 with me I would be tempted to through it on and get a few wide angle HDRs. Instead I just wanted to focus on candids. Someone must have told all the characters to come out that day, because it just about a half hour of shooting I got four or five really quality candid situations, this being one of my favorites.
I was strolling along, camera in hand (never over the shoulder because you just don’t know when a great photo op will come along), when I saw this kid walking along. The title of this post immediately came to mind and I got so excited to take the shot that I almost took the picture before he passed, which might have been a big awkward. I calmy waited for him to pass, gave him a few strides to get past, smoothly turned around and fired off this shot, all while getting a weird look from a lady sitting at a red light directly to my right.
Did some light processing on this one. Opened in Camera RAW, adjusted white balance slightly and increased the clarity. Desaturated the reds and enhanced the blues to make his jeans stand out. Over in Photoshop I added a slight S curve to increase contrast. I then lowered overall saturation and increased the vibrance. I was going to crop it in closer, but I didn’t want to lose the negative space to his left, and I didn’t add a pill box because I didn’t want to lose his feet. Finally, added a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex and called it day.
TGIF, made it through the first week in the new building. See you all on Monday.
Picking up where we left off last week with some more shots from Couples Sans Souci in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we spent our honeymoon.
One of the really interesting things about the resort was how it was laid out. Part of Couples Sans Souci used to be apartments that were converted into hotel rooms at some point and this made the entire grounds seem like more of a little village than a resort. There were winding staircases, hidden staircases, so many levels and different areas to explore, which means that you could walk to the same place five different ways, instead of just walking by the pool to get to the restaurant. You could walk up a staircase, around a bank of rooms, by the mineral pool, through the hammock area, or up an entirely different staircase, around two other restaurants, through the lobby and end up at the same place. One of the little hidden treasures of the CSS was the Mineral Pool (pictured above), which was kept at a certain balance of natural minerals to give you a relaxing swim. You had to shower before you even got in it, and there were strict rules about what you could and could not do it. I’ll just leave it at that.
There was also another pool (non mineral, just regular) attached to one of the bars at the resort called the Balloon Bar. The only person I saw swimming in it the entire time we were there was a big tattooed guy who had one too many Red Stripes. During a show that was going on directly next to it. I’m pretty sure that that was also the only time where “No problem mon” turned into “We have a problem mon”. At the Balloon Bar they had nightly shows where the performers were right on the little patio area that you see the above picture. Guest interaction was highly encouraged and by the end of the performance you were almost always up dancing with them. On a side note, this was also the only place on the entire resort that served Guiness, and it was only on the weekends, and they usually were out of it in a few hours after they got the shipment in.
So today’s shot. I said yesterday on flickr that I am going to try to do some more street photography and candids. The only problem is actually getting out and taking them. I also want to have my wide angle out to give a better sense of the beauty of our city of Pittsburgh, but this week I am going to make an effort to go out shooting with just the 70-200. Not taking the tripod, not taking the 16-35, just the 70-200 and see what I can do. I have a few candids I will be posting from the archives and this is one of them
I was meeting up with my wife and some friends last fall for a happy hour and decided to get some shots before I had to be there. This is one that I captured in South Side Works in the South Side (obviously) of Pittsburgh. There is a little area right in front of the Cheesecake Factory and movies theatre that has a fountain and some benches that people just sort of mill around in. I saw this guy poking away on his phone and couldn’t help but get a shot. As in my shot from a few days ago I think he has an iPhone, which I thought was great, because you don’t see a lot of people his age with iPhones. Definitely a reflection of our times. (Sorry, had to do it).
I think I’ve found my groove in terms of processing these. Opened in up in Camera Raw, reduced the overall saturation, added a standard S Curve to bring out some contrast, and finally added a slight Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex. Pretty happy with the result.
I really appreciate the visit everyone. See you tomorrow.
Well, after a long weekend off from work and celebrating my little brother’s 21st birthday, I make a return to the blogging world. It was a fun weekend but I certainly needed yesterday of just sitting on my couch watching basketball to help recover. I think I’m starting to get a bit old.
As my Monday posts are typically a recap of my weekend uploads to flickr, I won’t stray too far from that path on this particular Monday. I actually won’t stray from it at all. Although one of my posts you have already seen on my blog (the panorama of our honeymoon resort), so I will not be posting that one. You are more than welcome to check out that post though if you are in some need some warm weather.
We’ll start with Friday’s post. This is one that I took a few months back at the end of November on a photowalk I did on Mt. Washington. Now I have photographed the city from that location a couple dozen times, but this was definitely a sight that I had not seen in any of those previous visits. I usually like to make the trip up there at night, as the Pittsburgh skyline from that high is just breathtaking. However on this particular trip the sky at a certain rainbow quality to it that was just awesome (that’s “awesome” as in full of awe, not awesome like in Wayne’s World). On Mt. Washington there are a handful of overlooks that stretch out from the main road that you can view the city from. I was a bit farther down than normal, and I had a great view along the river of the main part of Pittsburgh. Set up shot, bracketed and fired away.
Processed this one in HDR Efex under the “Subtle” method from 7 bracketed exposures. I masked in the entire -3 exposure, as it had the best color for that I was going for. Added a curves layer to enhance the red of the red and then a second blue layer to enhance the, well, blue. Did some selective coloring on the top of the PPG Building (the shiny one with spires on top) to bring out the golden tones of the sunset reflecting off of it. Finally, added a Tonal Contrast filter to the city as well as some high pass sharpening to the skyline.
Next up is another candid from our trip to New York in December of last year. I was walking around early Friday morning and caught some iPhone photographers trying to capture the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. I’m always intrigued by pictures of people taking pictures, so I thought I would give it a go. I had dedicated this one on my flickr page to Kurt, aka Ian Sane, as he wrote me a very kind testimonial. Kurt is a master of candids and street photography, and like I said on my flickr page, if you haven’t visited his work, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Not too much to speak of processing wise here. Lowered the overall saturation in Camera Raw and increased the saturation of the reds and greens. Straightened the shot and applied a Tonal Contrast filter (very slight) and the pill box. Voila.
Today’s upload brings us back to that early morning photowalk I went on a few weeks back. Like I’ve said before, the one thing that I have not had much success capturing is the moon, and this is an example of that. I was walking between two hotels new the Point in Pittsburgh and saw the moon glowing over Mt. Washington. I set up the tripod and took the brackets, but wasn’t really happy with the result of the moon. I did however like the overall scene, with the warm glow from the hotel restaurant, the pastel colors in the sky and the motion blur from the tree branches, as it was incredibly wind, so I thought I would process it anyways.
This is a seven exposure HDR processed with HDR Efex under the “Natural” method. I had a bit of a tough time with the white balance, as I was getting incandescent light from the hotel, halogen from the street lights and the natural light from the moon. I had to do some heavy adjustments to the reds, as the whole shot was just too warm. I also increased the saturation of the sky to help bring out the pastels. I didn’t mask in the entire sky, because like I said, I really liked the motion blur from the trees, it gives to scene a sense of being there, in my opinion. Added a very slight Tonal Contrast filter and call it a day.
Thanks for sticking with me through this long post. I’ll catch everyone tomorrow.
Back and blogging after what seemed like too short of a weekend. Attended an ‘80s themed birthday party this weekend. Let’s just saying that it was…interesting. I did take a whole bunch of pictures, but I’m not sure I’ll be sharing them on here. People have reputations that they probably want to protect.
Today is going to be somewhat of a catch up day on HDR Exposed, as Mondays usually are. I have a variety of pictures you post, seeing that I unconsciously post more random pictures on the weekend that during the week. Actually, I’m not sure if it has something to do with having more time on the weekend to take a look through my “For Flickr” folder than I have on my hard drive and pick out an interesting one, compared to the weekday, where I’m a bit more rushed and more or less just pick a random one from there. The backlog of shots is getting a little low, so I may need to get out shooting sometime soon. I’d like to do some street candids in Pittsburgh on a Friday or Saturday night, but I think that it is still a little too cold out for that. We even got more snow yesterday. I’m about ready for spring to come around, when we can leave the doors and the windows open and you don’t feel so cramped and stuffy in your own house. Soon, very soon, spring is coming.
On to the shots. The first shot is a candid that I took while we were in New York, on Friday morning during the AM rush hour. Speaking of it being cold, it was absolutely FREEZING that morning, but I think at the time I took this shot my fingers hadn’t frozen yet. I was getting ready to cross the street in front of Radio City Music Hall when I saw this lady crossing the street. I captured her right when she was kind of making this goofy expression which just added to the shot. The only thing I didn’t capture was a perfectly crisp shot. Since it was so early and my first couple shots had been with a tripod, I hadn’t adjusted my ISO yet, so there was a little motion blur. I touched that up with Topaz InFocus then ran it through my typical cinematic processing steps, or at least my version of it. Decreased overall saturation, did a selective coloring adjustment on the red in her coat and the greens in the sign and bush. Added a Tonal Contrast Filter in Color Efex and the pillbox to finish it up.
Next is my post from yesterday. This is another early morning shot, except this one is from the Steel City (Pittsburgh, just in case) a few Saturdays ago. Equally as cold but with the element of wind too. Fun stuff. Took this one soon after I arrived downtown, and my initial plan was the head over the Clemente Bridge. Well, I made it about this far, took the shot, then turned around, because the wind was really whipping across the water. So I took my seven bracketed shots and moved on. This is a view from the Clemente Bridge looking down the Allegheny River towards the Rachel Carson Bridge and Convention Center, which you can just see the first light of day starting to come up behind.
For the processing, pretty standard to all the rest of the shots in this series. A seven shot HDR processed in HDR Efex under the “Natural” method. Adjusted sliders accordingly, then kicked it over the Photoshop and Color Efex. I masked in the enter sky of the -2 exposure, with some minor adjusting to the original shot. Desaturated the reds in the roads and from the lamps, as the D700 has a bit of problem sometimes with white balance. Masked out a corner of a piece of the bridge in the upper left and finally added a Low Key filter to the entire shot from Color Efex.
On to today’s shot, which I will be posting a little later today on flickr. This is a panorama that I took last Wednesday on the far end of Mt. Washington in the late afternoon. I had some time to kill before heading to friend’s for the Penguin game. I had actually seen this exact shot, as someone in my office had it hanging in their office, so I think I would give it a try. I would have liked to do the panorama with my 70-200 zoom, but all I had was the 16-35 with me, so I took it at 35mm. On the right you can see the Point and the city of Pittsburgh and how high the water is. We got a lot of rain early last week, which caused all three rivers to rise, shutting down parking lots and some areas of the North Shore and the Point. I really like this vantage point too, because you can see the Monongahela River on the right, the Allegheny on the left, and where they converge to form the Ohio. Pretty cool stuff. On the left you can see Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
On to the processing. This is a panorama of three 5 exposure HDRs, stitched together in CS5. The HDRs were created under in HDR Efex under the “Subtle” HDR method, as I didn’t want to go too heavy handed on the HDR since I was making a panorama. I didn’t like the way the sky looked, so I masked in the entire sky on all three HDRs. Adjusted the yellows of the bridges and Heinz Field to make them stand out and desaturated the browns of the lifeless trees to make them not to distracting. Lastly I corrected the skyline and gave the overall shot some definition in iPhoto.
Whew. I’m exhausted. But today you got a little bit of everything, candids, regular HDRs and panorama HDRs. What more could you want?
I think that I may have jinxed the Pens with my post on Friday. It was an ugly weekend for them, losing both games by a combined 14-6, and two of the most painful games I’ve watched in a while. I don’t even really want to talk about it, so I won’t. Just wanted to mention it.
Something that I need to do soon is get out shooting. I feel like I’ve been a bit lazy lately because I had so many shot from New York that I knew I wouldn’t need to get out and shoot much. Other than Penguin games, I really haven’t been out at all this year with my camera. I may actually go out one day this week after work. It’s not that I am unmotivated; I’ve been there in the past, and it’s kind of a tough feeling. It’s not like I don’t have anything to post when I go through one of those funks. It’s just that I don’t think that anything is good. Then all of a sudden you look at the same pictures a few weeks later, and you start processing away. Not really sure why, but sometimes, that’s just how it works. I guess that I just feel I need to get out of my comfort zone. I have photographed Pittsburgh from so many different angles, at so many different times of day and times of year that I just think I need to get out of Pittsburgh and shoot something different. Maybe go hiking, or a little road trip to another city. Or maybe it’s as simple as just taking out the 70-200 and shooting some candids instead of wide angle HDRs. Everything in moderation after all.
Anyways, on to today’s shot. And yesterday’s shot.
First, yesterday. Another one from Times Square. I mean, I don’t think I could ever get enough of that place, as there are always going to be different people and things there and therefore different stuff to photograph. I’m sure I would get sick of it eventually if I lived there, but seeing as I don’t, I could take pictures of it all the time. Then again I’d have to live there to do that. Touche, catch 22. I took this one form the top of the grandstand in the middle of Times Square, looking towards the corner of 47th and 7th. I really like this view because it shows so much that is New York: the theatre, taxis, limos, people in suits, tourists, people selling you stuff on street corners, chain restaurants. To me, the whole scene is still moving.
This is a five handheld HDR processed with HDR Efex. Had to mask in a lot of the street for all the moving people and cars, and also that tiny bit of sky you see, as it was a bit blown out, then moved it over the Color Efex and added a Tonal Contrast filter. Desaturated the whole scene, then did selective coloring to enhance the reds. Added a warming filter to cool off the blue tones just a bit, and finally added some High Pass Sharpening.
Seeing as today is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would post something somewhat related to the sentiment that today is all about. Looking through the archives I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use. Then I stumbled across this one from our trip to New York, one I took during one of the five total minutes that I had the zoom lens on instead of the wide angle. This is from the Brooklyn Bridge during our last day there. I wasn’t really thinking too much about this shot when I took, but now I’m glad that I took it.
For the processing, I edited the RAW in Camera RAW in CS5. Decreased the Saturation, increased the vibrance, and warmed up the white balance a bit. Recovered some of the highlights, lowered the exposure and the contrast, and gave it a bit more clarity. Moved it over the Color Efex where I added a slight Low Key filter, at 15% Effect Strength and 90% glow. Gave it a quick crop, and here you go.
Here’s to wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day!