Saturday, March 31, 2012

Washington, DC around town ~ Snapart3 ~

Washington, DC Metro Underground Photoshop CS5 ~ Snapart3 Pastel~ onOne PhotoFrame Pro
Just having some fun with my updated software and a few more pics from last Sunday's Washington DC outing. As we were waiting for our train there were several trains moving through the tunnels which I thought were great subjects. The light in the underground and the lights in the train are what really caught my eye, as well as the interesting subjects of people in the train and the design of the train itself.
DC Metro Sign Photoshop CS5 ~ Snapart3 Pastel ~ onOne PhotoFrame Pro
When we arrived at the metro stop there was a colorful lighted display over the exit to the street level. The lights, and fan or roulette shape of the display reminded me of Las Vegas lights.
American Art Museum Photoshop CS5 ~ Snapart3 Pastel ~ onOne PhotoFrame Pro
The first stop we made was in the American Art Museum and as we waited for the docent I was taken by the beauty of the architectural shapes of the curving stair steps overhead and the reflected light from the strategically placed window.
 After the tour I watched the children play in the water scrim and this delightfully dressed little girl caught my eye for the color of her attire, rain boots and the pure "cute" well as the colorful reflections in the water scrim. It was a fun day with lots of photo opportunities!
I will be conducting an iPhone workshop in DC on May 5 for shooting and on May 6 for a full of processing....if you have an iPhone check it out the photo possibilities are amazing!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Washington DC Monuments ~ Snapart3 ~

Snapart3 Pastel Filter~ onOne PhotoFrame Pro for border
After purchasing the Nikon D4 last Saturday, I have been spending time updating software programs...from Photoshop~ to all my Nik plugins, Snapart3, and PhotoFrame Pro....
I have the L-Bracket for the D4 on order from Kirk. (oh and its back ordered out of stock right now) and my old tripod quick release plate broke so I am trying to get a replacement part or I may just have to get a new one too....
and I have to put more ram on the laptop for travel...
just things we deal with when upgrading....but when its all up to speed again...I have faith it will all be great! So I have not done much shooting!
In the mean time since my Snapart3 plugin is now working again I decided to play with a few shots I made on Sunday of the iconic monuments in Washington, DC. when I was testing out the D4 and the 28-300mm lens. I will be doing an iPhone workshop in Washington on May 5 and May 6th...hope you can meet me there!
World War II Monument Snapart3 Pastel, onOne PhotoFrame Pro for border
Washington Monument Sapart3 Pastel, Nik Color Efex Pro, onOne PhotoFrame Pro for border

Monday, March 26, 2012

D4 Changing everything....

Processed with Photoshop and Topaz adjust..
It's been a while since I made a "Big Camera" blog post so I'll try to catch up. I have had a pretty busy week since I began to feel better after my horrible reaction to some anti-biotics, but feel better I do, so I am thankful. Last Friday I conducted a day long workshop on iPhoneography at Chesapeake Systems a great Apple resource business location in Baltimore. It was great fun!
Saturday morning I met a group of photographers from the Digital Photography Club of Annapolis who had signed up for my Annapolis Harbor workshop exclusively for their membership.
After the workshop I drove to Service Photo in Baltimore to pick up my long overdue new camera the Nikon D4. Saturday afternoon, I spent unpacking, familiarizing and setting up the D4 for a practice run on Sunday to Washington, DC with a group of Baltimore Camera Club members.
Sony has a new card for the D4 called the XQD. When I put my old 8 GB Lexar card into the D4 and formatted it the screen said I would get 118 shots...where I was used to getting a bit more than that on the old D2X. So I put the new 16 GB HQD card in and it said I could get about 400 I went with that.
When we arrived in DC it was early morning around the Verizon Center and a fair amount of homeless folks were just getting moving..I shot the opening image above from across the street with the 28-300 (also new and testing that out as well).
 We were heading to the American Art Museum to see the Annie Lebovitz exhibit. One of the members had set up a tour for us which was terrific.
Processed with Snapart3 and Photoshop

Springtime in Washington is beautiful...there was a very large tree in spring green bud that caught my eye just outside of the Museum. I had to go across the street and shoot from a different perspective to capture the beauty of the tree against the sand colored stone of the museum. I wanted a clean background for the tree and from this perspective enjoyed the wrought iron fence as a bit of a foreground element.
Four images blended in Photoshop
After the tour we gave ourselves another 45 minutes in the museum to view more collections or just walk through. I chose to head out into the open space in the Kogod Courtyard at the museum where there are some pretty cool water scrims. I enjoyed watching the children run through the shallow scrims. As I was sitting down, resting my elbows on my knees to stabilize the camera, I made several shots of this child running through the scrims. I blended the shots together in PS to  achieve this image.
Processed with Nik Silver Efex pro2 and Photoshop

After leaving the museum we had lunch in Chinatown and then hopped on the Metro to head to the Smithsonian/Monument area. This shot of the metro underground was made handheld at 6400 ISO (that's why I wanted the D4) incredible ISO ability.
Processed with Photoshop and Snapart3
We wandered around the tidal basin, but it was crowded and the blossoms were all but gone due to the high temps on Friday and the rain on we made our way over to the WWII memorial and I chose to sit a spell watching people move around the fountain area. I spotted this adorable little girl in a princess dress and boots dancing around the side of the water she must have felt skipping and watching the wonderful water display on a spring day from her perspective...if we adults went and danced around the fountains we would make people wonder about our mental stability, but the innocence of a child dancing with the delight of a perfumed spring day enjoying the discover of the water fountains was sheer beauty to me....oh to be so light~hearted!
I made a few shots from my seated bench with the 28-300mm at 300mm.

As we were heading back to catch the metro home, the light broke and the wind started to blow the flags around the base of the Washington memorial. It was a great day in DC!
When I got home I was very anxious to download the files.....but I had some reservations about how my laptop and software would or would not handle it.....first thing I found I had big files so I had to move some other files to download....OK that worked fine....then I tried to open the files....not so fine...Adobe said look for a new raw I went looking for one for hours to no avail....was going to call Adobe, but no phone hours until the AM, so I headed to bed.
This morning I connected with Adobe support and they said the raw converter for the D4 had not been released yet even in the Beta for CS6....SO I called Service Photo and asked them about that. Jack said Nikon Capture NX2 would open the files and then I could convert to tiffs....OK, I was doing that and Jack called back and said Adobe Lab had just released the 6.7 Raw converter found out I had to have the latest CS5...
so I contacted Adobe and now have my Educator application in for a CS5 Download.....
hopefully they will send me the link soon to get back to a "Normal" workflow....

Now for the D4~ Very comparable in function, menus etc to the D2X so not such a huge leap in learning new buttons and menus, thankful for that. It has amazing ability to capture images at high ISO, and I am sure as I continue to use it will love even more of the new technologies built into the that's it. A day and a night of getting up and running with a new camera!
Now I have to do some real work!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

About the Blues~ Longwood Gardens Blue Poppies

 When shooting flowers in such close up work I look for flowers that are either perfectly perfect, or singularly different. Finding the appropriate depth of field for a macro subject is a balance between ISO, shutter speed,  to capture a sharp shot when your subject is moving as these poppies were and aperture selection. I normally shoot with a 200mm macro which inherently delivers a shallower depth of field. I loved the buds on the poppies and this image about to unfurl had just the right balance for me of sharp and soft focus, highlighting the texture of bud and tip of the emerging bloom.
I liked this poppy as it was dropping petals yet the stamens still looked fresh. 

There were two poppies among the blue ones that had a beautiful dark color. I liked the difference in the color and made a few shots.

And then I went back to the soft out of focus images that I love for their impressionist quality. I reduce clarity in PS Bridge and then in PS liquefied the petals just a little to enhance the gentle curve. The image below is the back of the poppy shot with in camera multiple exposure set and then blended back with a straight has little visual vibration..but I liked it. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Longwood Gardens Visit Orchid Swipes

Friday I made a run to Longwood Gardens after receiving their schedule of events announcing that the Blue Poppies were in. I started working with the blue poppies and then switched to working on Orchids. Last time I went I went for orchids and shot Calla Lillies.......hmm......
I got into swipe mode on the large hanging orchid arrangements. I was using my 200mm macro so this was a fun experiment. Usually I do swipes with a "normal" lens. You never know exactly what you get when you move the camera while exposing but often they are pretty cool, and always dreamy. I love the suggestion of subjects in theses images and the interplay of light and color.

And I did make a few shots, straight on!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Silk Mill Textures

I have been working with a few more images from my last trip to the silk mill a few weeks ago. These images I decided to add a few textures to in Photoshop using layers and then blended and reduced opacity selectively. The exterior colors of the mill create visual color vibrancy naturally because of the green painted surface and the red blocks. When I saw the red and green cardboard in the window, I had to make the image. The texture overlay I chose was also red and green.
This image I chose a grunge type overlay texture and masked out the window leaving the grunge effect in the snow, the roof tiles and the concrete.

This image also received a grunge texture treatment. Give textures with complimentary color palettes a try on your images for a little different look.