HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Posts tagged “water

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.

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Seems like so long ago

Living in Pennsylvania and only a few hours from Punxsutawney, home of the famous groundhog Phil and “back drop” for one of the top 5 most boring movies of all time (the real town used in the film was Woodstock, IL), a lot is made of Groundhog Day.  This year Phil got everyone all excited that spring would be coming early this year, however it looks like he attended the same meteorological school as the rest of the weatherman in Pittsburgh, because it has been far from an early spring.  We had snow last weekend and were supposed to get more today and tomorrow, however the temperature inched just above freezing so we have nothing but rain.

It seems like last summer was so long ago in a whole other world after the past six months of weather.  We’ve had huge snow storms, torrential down pours, one nice day followed by a week of clouds.  I’ve found myself looking back on the pictures that I took in July and August last year, spending time on a friend’s boat, having a few beers and trying my hand (somewhat) successfully at wakeboarding.  There is something about being out in the middle of the Ohio River, with the city out of sight around the bends and corners that is just so relaxing.  The above shot is from one of those days, when I was waiting for some friends to show up and I was just sitting on the dock, listening to the breeze rustle the leaves, not even thinking about winter.  I can’t wait for those days to be back!

I will be posting both of the shots you see here on flickr today, but since it is still pouring down rain this morning I figured I would start with this one.  This is one that I took a few weeks ago at a bar in downtown Pittsburgh before the Elton John concert on a night that we were seeing golf ball size hail.  I actually saw a woman come into the bar with a bruised knuckle because she was hit with a falling missile, crazy.  Pretty simple processing on this shot from my S95; increased both the contrast and saturation, as well as added a Contrast Only filter in Color Efex.  In iPhoto I also increased the definition, just to give it some extra pop.

Last Pens home game tonight.  Let’s make it two in a row against the Devils at home.


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.


Seat with a view

I’ll tell you what, it has not stopped raining for almost 48 hours now.  I need to see the sun soon.  Until then, how about Jamaica overload today?

One of my favorite parts about being on vacation at an all inclusive resort (other than the fact that I am at the beach, off work and don’t have to worry about a thing except what I want to get next to drink) is the food and drink.  I realize that that is why people attend an all inclusive resort, and I don’t know how I can ever go back to going to a non all inclusive.  I’ve been to plenty of open bars before, at weddings, parties and the like, but to be able to go to a restaurant or a bar at the resort, order a drink or food and just leave a tip for the whole week?  It makes going back to a restaurant in the States that much more difficult, because when you are finished eating, you’re like, “Oh wait, you want me to pay??  I can’t even think about food now!”.  I know, I know, you already pay for the food at an all inclusive, but since we normally book our trips about four months in advance, I feel like I’m getting it all for free.

The food at Couples Sans Souci was some of the best we have ever had on vacation.  It wasn’t like some of the other all inclusive resorts that we have stayed at, where they try very hard to cater to the different tastes of their guests, and have Mexican, Italian and American food night.  While they did have a pasta night at one of the restaurants, it was pasta with a Jamaican kick, something that you probably would not even find in the States.

The other great thing about the food at these resorts is where you get to eat it at. At one of the restaurants, we got a table right on the beach twice, and ate by candlelight listening to the sounds of the ocean.  It couldn’t have been more relaxing.  We also ate breakfast overlooking the courtyard/main lawn area in front of the resort and had our “formal” dinner overlooking a walkway that went to the beach.  Then you come back home, go out to dinner, and have a table of screaming kinds next to you.  Awesome.

Anyway, today’s shots are from some of the different restaurants around the resort.  The first two are from the buffet style restaurant, Pallazina, and the view from one of our table.  The one of the actual restaurant was processed with Photomatix, before I discovered the beauty of HDR Efex.  Standard processing on that one, just had to mask in the sky, as there were some crazy halos going on.  Also had to reduce the noise in some of the wicker work on the tables and chairs.  The second one was taken with my Canon S90 at breakfast during our last day at the resort.  There was a nice breeze blowing, and that hammock you see in the tree was swinging back and forth, begging someone to lay on it.  Processed that one with HDR Efex, had to mask in some of the tree branches that showed some motion blur.  Also added a vibrant green curves layer to give the whole image some pop.

My upload for today is the view from one the beach bar, a view that I’ve posted a few other times, but this one was a little different.  I also took this one with my S90, single shot, no HDR this time.  Processed it with Color Efex and first added a Tonal Contrast filter to the sand, railing and tree.  Then I added a Glamour Glow filter to the entire image, gave it a nice inviting, um, well, glow.  Increased saturation of the sand, straightened the horizon, added pillbox borders, and shipped it off the HDR Exposed for your viewing pleasure.

As long as it keeps raining, keep looking for more Jamaica on HDR Exposed.  See you guys and gals later.