HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Posts tagged “onOne software

End of the day

So today’s the last day on the old blog.  You know, six months ago I probably would not even care.  But I’ve gotten used to how things work around here, got used to the format, how to post, add pictures.  I’m sorry, I didn’t want to get emotional *sniff *sniff*…

Ok, well now that THAT’S done with, I really am excited.  I’ve spent a ton of time this week getting everything ready, and while it may be a few weeks until I am at the level I’d like to be at, I have it in a pretty good place right now.  So tomorrow, when you all go to visit hdrexposed.wordpress.com, you will be taken to the new site.  I’m anxious to hear all of your opinions, so please let me know what you think.

Today’s shot was meant to be a bit symbolic of the setting sun, moving a new site, you get the idea.  I took this last week at a school near our house where my wife and I will go play basketball in the evening sometimes.  I was really impressed with the lack of noise in this shot, as I had forgotten to change my camera settings and was at ISO 1,000.  With my old D40X, if I used ISO 400 I got visible noise, but it seemed like the D700 handled it just fine.

The HDR is made up of 7 handheld brackets processed with Photomatix then edited in CS5.  I did some slight shadow and highlight adjustment to start off with, then added a blue curves adjustment layer for the sky.  Added a very slight Tonal Contrast filter from Color Efex as well as a Local Contrast boost and Turbo Boost in onOne PhotoTools.  Added a bit of Clarity as well and called it a day.

See you all on the new site tomorrow.  Take care.


Fight to the finish

How about some good news to start off the day?  Made some great progress on the website last night, so Friday will be the official launch day.  At that time, all traffic will be directed to the new site, which is at www…..actually, why don’t I just wait until Friday.

For today’s shot we head to the Pittsburgh Zoo, where my wife and I went on Sunday to enjoy some of the nice weather we were (and still are) having.  I went about 10 years and had been to the zoo once, and now I have gone three times in the past year.  I really do enjoy it there, partly because you see something new every time you go.  This time was no exception.  The first time we strolled by the tiger cage, all three of them were sleeping, once was rolling around a bit, but nothing exciting.  Since we had to walk by them again on the way out, I thought we should take one more look.  I’m glad we did, because the two cubs were wrestling around and I got some of the best shots I have ever gotten at the zoo.  I think that this one is my favorite, with both of them on their hind legs going after each other.

Just a bit of processing on this one.  Straightened the image and did a little bit of color correction.  Desaturated the greens and saturated the oranges, applied a Tonal Contrast filter as well as a Pro Contrast filter.  Finally, added some Progressive Sharpening in onOne and called it a day.

Two more days til Friday and the new site.  Can’t wait for either.


For my next trick

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.


Open to possibilities

A quick post today, as I have some stuff to wrap up at work before the long holiday weekend.  Website is coming along as well, and I’m still targeting to get it up and running by the end of next weekend but seeing as I’ve never done this kind of thing before, we’ll see.

 

Another shot from the Pirate game I went to a couple weeks ago.  One of my favorite things about PNC Park is the fact that you can see the city skyline from pretty much every seat in the stadium.  This is a view from one of the rotundas leading to the upper levels.

For this I combined 5 handheld exposures in Photomatix, then tonemapped the +2 exposure to mask in both the flag and the people, as they were both obviously moving.  The scoreboard had changed between shots too, so I took the -1 exposure to mask that back in.  Finally, Tonal Contrast, Pro Contrast and Progressive Sharpening filters were added, along with a desaturation layer to finish the shot.

I hope all of you who are celebrating Memorial Day (and those of your who aren’t) have a great weekend.  See you on Monday.


Focused on the now

­I don’t normally get too philosophical on my posts, but today I think I might, as this will be a shorter post.

It seems like we (myself included) are always looking ahead, looking forward to something in the future, be it a vacation, a wedding, a graduation, holiday, or simply the weekend.  Most of the time, there is nothing wrong with that at all, especially in regards to major life events, like a wedding or the birth of a child.  Life goes by so quick and when we spend time hoping and waiting for things to come, it can make it go even quicker.  Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and take a look around us to enjoy where we are and what we are doing right now.  If we spend every day just waiting for tomorrow, have we really gotten everything we could out of today?

On to today’s shot, which inspired the sentiment of my blog today.  I’ve taken a shot similar to this in downtown Pittsburgh before, and while I really like it, I took that shot in the middle of the day, so the light was pretty harsh and the background was just ok.  I like this one a lot better, because the background, even though it is out of focus, gives you a wider variety of colors.  I even snuck a sunflare in there, which I didn’t think that I would be able to get at f4.

This is a seven exposure HDR that I laid on the road and blocked traffic to get and then processed in Photomatix.  I had to do a little masking on the upper left and right hand corners of the shot to get rid of minor haloing there.  I boosted overall saturation, as well as added a curves layer of green and yellow to enhance the trees and line on the road.  Finally I added a Tonal Contrast filter (Color Efex) and Turbo Boost filter (onOne PhotoTools) to complete the shot.

Thanks for stopping by guys and gals, see you tomorrow.


Topsy turvy

Well, I finally took the plunge.  Went out a registered a domain and am in the process of completely revamping my blog/website.  I’m not exactly sure how long the whole process is going to take, but I hope to have everything up and running by the end of next week, so stay tuned.  I also wanted to say a big thank you to Chris Frailey, who even got his wife involved in answering some questions I had, and also to Jason Hines and Chris Nitz, who also were able to help me.  All three of these guys are fine photographers; please make sure to check out their sites if you haven’t already.

For today’s shot we head to Delaware Park in Buffalo, New York, where I was on Saturday afternoon for a friend’s wedding, just in attendance, not as the photographer.  On a side note, they had four photographers at their wedding, which I had never seen before.  Anyways, we had about two and half hours to kill between the ceremony and the reception and since it was a beautiful day, we opted to find a park to hang out at.  This was the closest, so we made our way down there.  We saw a bunch of different weddings come through, which was extremely interesting to see, as there were brides, grooms and bridal parties of all makes and models.

This is a five exposure HDR processed with Photomatix and then kicked over the CS5.  I first did an overall curves adjustment, then opened it in onOne PhotoTools.  I applied the WoW Landscape filter and then a slight Firenze filter, to give it the bit of a reddish hue.  Next up was Color Efex, where I added a Pro Contrast filter and the vignette.  Removed a few dust spots, flipped it on its head, and shipped it off to the blog.  Enjoy.

Happy Wednesday everyone and thanks for stopping by.


Taking it all in

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.


Catching some air

So this is my first ever Saturday post.  Well, I think that it is.  If it isn’t my first, then it is definitely my second.

Since today is one of the first nice day’s that we’ve had in weeks, I felt compelled to post a fun, sunny, summer picture, even though it is not technically summer yet.  This will be a quick post and run, as I am heading to a wedding today, not to shoot, just to observe, but I may have to take a few picture anyways.

This is a friend’s boyfriend end, catching some air behind a wakeboard boat.  Believe it or not, he just started wakeboarding at the beginning of the summer, and I think that he caught on pretty fast.  I was actually just starting to get ok myself, but then the summer ended, and the boat got put away.  I’ll have to add that to my list of goals for this summer.

Processing on this one was pretty minor.  Did some slight color adjustments, added a Tonal Contrast filter from Color Efex and lightened the shadows on Ed, as he was a bit shadowy.  Added a Progressive Sharpening in onOne and that’s that.

Enjoy your weekends, see you on Monday.


Device confusion

Some weeks seem to take longer to get to Friday, but once it’s here, everything is all right.  Happy Friday everyone.

 

How about something completely different for today?  I’ve been wanting to create this shot for a while now, and even though I took it a few weeks ago, I didn’t get around to processing it until yesterday.  Back in mid March I finally got my iPad 2 (didn’t have the first one) and I wanted to take advantage of the camera that it is equipped with.  Now, just because I have an iPhone, iPod, iPad 2 and an iMac does not make me one of those people who denounce all that technology that is not Apple.  I thoroughly enjoy all my Apple products, but can still see the benefit and advantages of those non Apple devices and have no problem with anyone who uses them.  Not trying to turn this into a Mac vs. PC debate, just wanted to throw my stance out there.

For this scene, I first took a shot of myself holding both my iPhone and iPod.  Easy enough, took me one try.  Now for the tricky part.  I had to take a picture of the iPad in front of me, showing my face on the screen, looking towards one of my other Apple devices.  This took me about half an hour to get right.  I was having problems getting the iPad lined up right where my head didn’t look freakishly small.  I still actually had to do some work in post to enlarge the picture of me holding the iPad, which made the iPad look just a liiiiittle bit bigger than it really is.  Regardless of that, I like how it turned out.

Other than that, just had some fun with filters in Color Efex and onOne PhotoTools.  In CE, I added the vignette and a Tonal Contrast filter, as well as a Pro Contrast one.  In onOne, I applied the Blue Dawn Leonidas, Turbo Boost and a Noir one (can’t remember the exact name).

That’s it for me this week.  See you guys and gals on Monday.


Illuminating

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog yesterday, I had over triple of my average views for the year.  Not exactly sure how this stuff happens sometimes, but I am glad it does.

On to today’s shot.  I took this one a few weeks ago on a little stroll through downtown Pittsburgh.  This is the entrance to the Steel Building or USX Tower right near the center of town.  I was walking by a bit before rush hour and about 45 minutes after I took this shot, the sidewalk in front of the building would have been completely packed with people waiting for rides or buses to come and pick them up.  I really enjoy being downtown at this time of day, because there are so many different sizes and shapes of buildings, that it really filters the light well and you get cool beams coming through like this one.

Usually the camera police come out and tell you that you can’t take pictures in front of the Steel Building (yep, camera, not just tripod, these guys are crazy) and I saw one of the guards eyeing me up, but he was wither too tired to come outside or just didn’t care.  Guess I didn’t look like much of a threat.

Bonus:  Can you spot the guy who just narrowly missed scoring the lead role in “Multiplicity” instead of Michael Keaton?

Pretty standard when it came to processing this one.  Five exposure handheld HDR, processed with Photomatix.  Did a bit of masking to get rid of ghosting from the car on the right and the people in the center (I thought that Multiplicity man was pretty cool).  I had a few slight halos, so I just masked in the -2 exposure for the sky.  Added a red curves adjustment layer to enhance the building and a blue one for the sky.  Also added a Tonal Contrast filter from Color Efex, and a Progressive Sharpening and Firenze filter from onOne PhotoTools, the former to, well, sharpen the image and the later to give the sunlight some more glow.  Slapped on the logo and exported to blog.

Thanks for all the support and visits.  See you tomorrow, which is Friday, which is good.


Centurial

Well, today is my 100th post on my blog.  Of the last 99, 26 of them were from 2009 and 2010 combined with the rest coming this year, which is kind of crazy, given the fact that I just started really committing to my blog in late January.  Daily traffic to my blog has tripled since then as well, so I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone who is a regular visitor and also those of you who just mosey on by every once and while.  I really appreciate all the support I receive from everyone.  Here’s to another couple hundred.  Or thousand.

 

Today’s shot is one that I really don’t even remember taking.  I mean, I can believe I took it, but as I was looking through my pictures from Mt. Washington I saw it and thought, “Huh”.  So I went ahead and processed it and really liked the way that it came out.  This is a view up the Monongahela River, one of the two rivers that meet at the Point to form the Ohio River.  You also get a view of some of the distinct bridges we have in the city (from bottom to top, excluding the second from the bottom which is the trolley bridge):  Smithfield Street, Liberty, 10th Street and Birmingham.  In the center of the shot you can see the Allegheny County Jail (which you also saw a few posts ago) and in the foreground is the top of the Grand Concourse in Station Square.  Off in the distance is the top of the Cathedral of Learning, the iconic building on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland.  All that being said, I think my favorite thing about this shot is the shadow that is created by the city lights of the trolley bridge on the water.  You would normally expect to see reflections, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the shadows.

On to the processing.  This is a seven exposure HDR processed with Photomatix.  It was a bit flat coming out of the tonemapping, so I applied an S curve to bring back some of the contrast.  I applied a Pro Contrast filter in Color Efex, as well as a warming filter in Photoshop to cool the entire image.  In onOne PhotoTools I used the Progressive Sharpening filter to being out some details and the Firenza filter to also cool down the blues.  A bit of spot healing in the sky to get rid of some dust specks and that was that.

Again, thank you for all of your support on my last 100 posts.  I hope that you all will continue to follow me in the future.


Young love

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.


Stepping up to the plate

A couple more shots from the Bucco game that I went to this Tuesday this time with some action shots thrown in with an HDR. 

The shot above is the view from the rotunda over left field that leads up to the multiple levels of PNC Park.  We got there a little late, about midway through the bottom of the first, and seeing as I have never had my D700 at a Pirate game I wanted to get this shot.  I was a little disappointed that the sky wasn’t clearer when I took this shot, but that’s the beauty of HDR: It can take a flat, otherwise uninteresting sky and turn it into this.

The shot above is probably one of my favorite from the game.  The Pirate pictured is first baseman Steve Pearce, who I had never heard of before this very at bat.  I know, I know, it’s a bit sad, but my favorite MLB team is the Atlanta Braves, so I can’t keep up with the merry-go-round of prospects/rookies/no-names that the Pirates parade through year after year.  Anyways, Pearce hit a soft grounder up the middle of the infield and legged it out for an infield hit.  I was able to capture him JUST as he was hitting first base, with the ball clearly still in the air.  What I found most interesting however, is that you can’t see a single other player in the frame.  It looks like they are all alone on the field.  Didn’t plan it like that, but that’s how it came out.

The next action shot is of catcher Ryan Doumit, who is having a modestly productive year after a couple of slow ones.  A lot of people were calling for his departure from the Bucs, but they kept him around, and he has been consistent so far.  This was one of the last shots that I took, and it shows Doumit just before he made contact.  He didn’t get a hit on this pitch, but he scorched a line drive to the outfield that was caught.

On to the processing.  The HDR is a 5 exposure handheld HDR processed with Photomatix.  As with the last couple, I masked in the entire crowd to get rid of the ghosting.  I also did a bit of masking on the lights, as I was metered on the dark stands (d’oh) and they were a bit blown out.  I added a blue curves layer to the sky to enhance what little blue sky there was, and also a green curves layer to the field to help it stand out.  In Color Efex I used the Tonal Contrast filter, and in onOne PhotoTools I added a Turbo Boost.  What a cool effect name.  Turbo Boost.

I processed the action shots similarly.  Both were opened in Camera Raw where I increased the clarity and desaturated the images.  Moved them over the CS5 where I added a Tonal Contrast later to both of them, increased then vibrance, and opened them in onOne PhotoTools.  They both got the same Progressive Sharpening, and I added an extra filter to the second one of Ryan Doumit at bat, the Hollywood Intensity.  Pretty happy with how they turned out.

That’s all for this week folks.  Hope you all have a great weekend.  See you on Monday.


The baseball blues

There seem to be very few teams throughout the history of professional sports that have experienced the fall from grace the way that the Pirates have.  And I’m not just talking about missing the playoffs for a few years in a row, or not making it to the World Series.  There are teams with longer World Series droughts than the Buccos 32 years (Indians 63 years, Padres, Rockies, Astros, Rangers and a few others, never).  I’m talking about the fact that it has been nearly twenty longer years since the Pirates have won more games than they lost in a single year.  Nearly two decades since they have finished with a winning percentage above .500.  The closest they have come was in 1997, when they finished 79-83, a mere 2 games away.

There seemed to be a slight glimmer of hope this year, as they have hovered around the .500 mark for most of the year, and that’s where they were the night that I attended this game.  However, they got stomped 10-3 at the hands of the Dodgers, and then were shut out again last night.  The problem with the most recent Pirates teams is they have no star power, no game changers, no one who is really dangerous.  They have young players who show a lot of potential like Andrew McCutcheon, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez, but chances are they will not win you a World Series.  Pirate’s ownership has said that when fans start coming to games they will invest more money in the team.  Well that’s a catch 22, because if they don’t field a competitive team, you aren’t going to get many people to come to game.  While I am not a huge fan of the salary cap in other sports, I think it would be the only way (under the current management) for the Pirates to start winning again.

Anyways, on to today’s shot.  I have a bunch to post from the game, but I wanted to start off with this one.  The seats we had were pretty good, about ten rows off the first base line, which afforded me some great picture opportunities.  I took this one a little bit later in the game, when some clouds had rolled in and the blue hour was upon us.  PNC Park is a beautiful stadium, especially with the view of the Pittsburgh skyline in the distance, which is what I was trying to capture with this shot.

This is a 5 exposure handheld HDR that I processed in Photomatix.  I actually had originally taken 7 brackets, but the -3 and -2 exposures were a bit too dark, so I ended up using the -1 to +3 range.  I tonemapped the +2 exposure to mask in the entire crowd, as you can imagine no one was kind enough to sit still while I took these.  I also used the 0 EV exposure to mask in the players on the field and the coaches, as they were just shifting a tiny bit.  The last mask I added was over the scoreboard so it looked crisp and clear.  I added a curves layer for the blues and greens to help bring out the sky and the field respectively, and also added a Tonal Contrast and Pro Contrast filters in Color Efex.  Logo added, good to go.

More Buccos shots coming tomorrow.  Make sure you stick around.


Permanent residence

So I went to my second Pirates game of the year last night, actually it was my second in less than a month, which hasn’t happened in years.  The first game I went to was great; there was a beer tasting before the game, they Buccos jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first and they ended up winning.  Last night?  Not to much.  Got stomped by the Dodgers 10-3, and looked very much like the sub-.500 ball club that they’ve looked like for the last 20 years, taking up permanent residence in the bottom half of the standings.  I did, however, get a ton of great shots, which I will share with you in the next few days.

For now, how about another view of the city?  This is more of what I was talking about yesterday in taking a different approach to shooting from Mt. Washington.  In the center of this shot is actually the new Allegheny County Jail (by new I mean newer), which is right along the parkway that leads you out of the ‘Burgh to the east.  I thought that it was pretty cool how you can see four different levels of streets, two above the jail and two below it, and light trails on all of them.  The street that I find the most interesting is the one that is directly behind the jail, as it is one continuous streak all the way along the road.  The three bridges you see here are (in order from bottom to top) the Liberty Bridge, which takes you to the South Hills (where I live), the 10th Street Bridge (which takes you from the end of the South Side to downtown) and the Birmingham Bridge, which also connects the South Side to the bottom of Oakland, where the University of Pittsburgh is located.  The bridge at the very bottom of the frame isn’t a bridge for cars; it connects the trolley line from Station Square to downtown Pittsburgh.

This is a seven exposure HDR processed in Photomatix and Photoshop CS5.  I first tonemapped the +2 exposure to get the light trails I wanted and masked in all the roads.  I did a color cast removal of the blues/purples in Color Efex as well as add a Tonal Contrast layer.  In onOne PhotoTools I added a sharpening layer and another filter tha cooled the reds and warmed the blues.  Finally, I did some selective coloring on the reds (decreased saturation) and the greens (increased vibrance and saturation).  Added the logo and uploaded.

Halfway there guys.  Friday will be here soon.  Until tomorrow though, adios.


Streaking through town

Ok, so nobody thought that I was really going to post something about me or anyone else streaking through down, did they?  Probably wouldn’t be the best move to try to drive more traffic to my blog, trust me.

Anyways, more from Mt. Washington.  For those of you who haven’t been to Pittsburgh or who don’t follow me regularly, it is a neighborhood above the South Side of the city that provides an excellent view of the Steel City.  Originally named Coal Hill for the coal seam that ran at its base, the name was changed to Mt. Washington in 1876 and has been ever since.  One area of Mt. Washington that I have yet to photograph are the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines, which are the oldest continuous running inclines in the world.  I actually haven’t even been on one in probably 15 years, when I was just a kid.

You can get so caught up in the view of the skyline and the bright lights of the city and the various stadiums that sometimes you tend to look at interesting areas that you can’t see that with a wide angle lens.  Like I said yesterday, I put on the 70-200 2.8 on this particular trip and tried to capture some of the more intricate workings of the city from a unique vantage point.  Above is one of them.  This area is known as the Point and immediately to the left of the busy roadways is where Fort Pitt, named for William Pitt who also gave his name to the city, used to stand.  You can still see its outline at Point State Park.  This is an HDR that I’ve taken twice before, but never with the D700 and never with this kind of glass, and I really like how the light trails turned out.  It was Sunday night so that traffic was kind of intermittent, but I plan to go back during rush hour to see if I can get any more extreme light trails.

This is a 7 exposure HDR processed with Photomatix and then kicked over the CS5.  I did some shadow adjusts and then tonemapped the +2 exposure in Photomatix so that I could mask in the better set of light trails from the brackets.  Did a curves adjustment on the greens and reds and then put it through Color Efex to apply a Tonal Contrast filter.  Finally, did some sharpening in onOne PhotoTools and called it a day.

Thanks for stopping by.  See y’all tomorrow.


Bringing your own sunshine

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”
~Anthony J. D’Angelo

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a Friday post so I thought it was about time to do one.  This spring we have had 34 days of rain and only 14 without (and even fewer sunny ones), I thought about the above quote and how appropriate it seemed for anyone living in the western Pennsylvania region over the last few weeks.

I took this shot on one of those few sunny days we’ve had this spring walking around downtown, waiting for the wife and some friends to get out of work.  It was actually a perfect day to go on a photowalk, as it wasn’t too warm, there was a slight breeze, the lighting was great in downtown, streets weren’t overly crowded for a Thursday afternoon.  I kind of have a thing for capturing sunflares, and when the reflection of one in the USX Building caught my eye, I couldn’t resist the shot.

This is a five exposure HDR processed in Photomatix, Photoshop CS5 and onOne PhotoTools.  I did a bit of masking in the sky to get rid of a few halos and dust spots, as well as masked in the cars on the lower right to get rid of some ghosting.  Lowered overall saturation and applied the Turbo Boost effect in PhotoTools and called it a wrap.

Thanks for stopping by this week and I hope you all enjoy your weekend.


Shallow steps

This morning I added another piece to my photo editing arsenal which already includes Color Efex, Silver Efex, HDR Efex, Photomatix, Photoshop CS4 and CS5 and now…the onOne Photo Suite.  I’m pretty excited, especially because yesterday morning I had never even heard of the software, downloaded it last night and get the license before the sales expired.  Definitely worth picking up, as you can save over $150 right now.  Sale said it ended yesterday, but it’s still on their website this morning.

Onto to today’s shot.  I just have one upload today, but I wanted to thank all of you who visited my Seas of gold post yesterday.  I think that I am going to be in the market for a fisheye lens soon, as I really liked the way that the Heinz Field panorama turned out.  I may rent one first, just to make sure that I like it.  And so I have something to pass the time before mine gets here.

This is a shot that I took a few weeks ago while moseying through downtown on one of the first nice days we’ve had in Pittsburgh this spring.  In the Steel City, we don’t have a subway, but we do have a trolley.  It’s a bit limited on where you can take it to and from, unless you live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, which I do.  If that’s the case, then you are good to go.  There are about four stops within a mile of my house, the T (as it is affectionately known) will take you to Station Square or one of four other locations downtown.  This shot is of one of those stops, well, at least the steps down to one of the stops.

One thing that I like about the 16-35 lens is the slight distortion you get at the wide end, which you can clearly see here on the first few steps.  Also, for just being an f4 lens, the depth of field and bokeh can be quite good as well.  When I got my D700 I tossed around the idea of getting the 14-24, which I may end up eventually getting, but I didn’t like the idea of having to lug around a camera that had the lens hood permanently attached.  I know, I know, a fisheye has one attached as well, but the 14-24 is a bit of a monster.

Anyways, this is a five exposure HDR processed with Photomatix.  Just did some slight curves adjustments and added a little vignette to bring the focus to the center of the image.

Catch everyone tomorrow, and thanks for the visits.