Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Working with Photomatix tonemapping again today...I really like the control it gives you. In the end you need to switch from HDR formatting to JPEG files for the web so you lose some details and clarity, but even then when dumbed down and downsized for the web the results are pretty amazing.
Shooting for HDR creates an interesting situation I call "Ghosting". Ghosting for lack of a better term is when you have movement of items within your subject and it can't be helped as you need 3 frames of the same subject at different exposures. People are notorious for moving, go figure. Wind causes movement too most noticeable in small tree limbs. I'm actually starting to dig the ghosting...its like a picture Paul Strand made back in the 1920's where he in the dark room removed people and left their shadows in place in a shot he did in New York (I think it may have been near Times Square...just can't find a copy of the image on the web). Kind of eerie to see something man made in all its permanence with man himself just a wisp moving through.
Anyway, the other bit of news is I have a bit of a flu bug and I need to cancel tonight's appearance at the PnP Gallery here in town. Luckily we can do it next Friday,May 4, 6-9:30 PM. The info if you need it : 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia 91016. (It's located in the heart of Old Town Monrovia, 2 doors down from the Movie Theatres).
Anyway enjoy the "Ghosts of Westminster" shot in London earlier this month.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This old abandoned church was explored briefly while taking a walking tour in the Jewish Quarter in Paris. (I had other things to get done that day like indulge my other passion , cooking and eating well, and needed to get to E. Dehillerin before it closed that afternoon). The church reportedly was being gutted and going to be rebuilt as shops and a restaurant. What grabbed my eye in the first place was on the other side it opened up to a courtyard shared by several apartment buildings. This courtyard was once part of the convent and rectory gardens. The whole building could be traced back to the 1600's. That little pocket of nature surrounded by ancient to very old man made structures posed a nice contrast.
I spent this morning learning how to get the most out of HDR and tone mapping. HDR is my current obsession and tone mapping was the latest conquest on the old learning curve. I am happy with the final result here, much more so than what I was able to get by using the automated pre-programmed stuff in Photomatix.
Now the details, this is a bracketed shot shot with a 20-35mm wide angle lens at the 20mm setting. I love this lense when I want to capture as much of a scene as possible with maximum depth of field. The base EV was 1/20 second, f8 and an ISO of 400. The other two exposures were bracketed +/- a stop on either side of that base. All were shot in RAW format so I didn't lose a single pixel.
The fun came in when I started to use the Tone mapping plugin for Photoshop. The controls are very user friendly and let you control so many variables that the results are much more what I envisioned when I shot the image as opposed to what the preprogrammed filters allow. The final image here loses a lot when its made small enough for the web, but you get a good idea of what the real deal looks like. Wahoo it sure is fun to learn more stuff.
This image will be with me in its "artist proof" version Friday night where I will be one of 2 artists featured at the Paint n Play 2 open house being run in conjunction with the "Family Festival". The details Friday, April 27, 2007 6:30 - 9PM. 418 S Myrtle, Monrovia, CA 91016. (PnP is located 2 doors south of the theatre in the center of Old Town).
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Giving to the community is what keeps us all thriving. The Monrovia Art Festival Association has a simple mission to bring art and art education to the community. "MAFA" as it is known locally does just that. I do my share within the organization when I can and that includes donating pieces for their use when it is fund raising time.
May 12, 2007 is the next MAFA event : Acknowledge the Arts. In this event MAFA recognizes and awards a local individual or business that supports our mission. In this case its Chris Owens of the Focus One Credit Union here in Monrovia who donates their entire lobby for MAFA Artists to show their work.
The particulars: Ticket price purchased in advance is $25 per person or $40 per person with guest. Cost is $30 per person if purchased at the door. The ticket cost provides for admission and refreshments. Please forward your check to: The Monrovia Arts Festival Association, Post Office Box 92, Monrovia, CA 91017. The Monrovia Arts Festival Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so that means your ticket costs are tax deductible and you get a nice evening with great food and lots of good wine. You may request tickets to be held at the door. And an invitation (click for a full size copy).
The piece I will be donating this year is "English Rose in Blossom". Straight forward photograph and will be on display at the Focus One Gallery later this week until the night of the auction.
Enjoy the song and video too. I found this on a blog I check in on by a local photographer "Citifarmer" , that is quite lively...may well have to be my summer theme song. It's by Tim Armstrong of Rancid fame, the cd "Into Action" is due to be released 5/22
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Ages ago (like 1984) there was a B-Movie, "Buckaroo Bonzai" and one of my favorite lines went something like "no matter where you go there you are..." . Travelling opens your eyes up to the world and it sometimes isn't so much the differences but the similarities that strike me.
Meandering around London and Paris there was so much to see and tease your eyes. Its kind of hard walking along these ancient cobbled pathes and not think about who walked in the very path you traversed during the dark ages. Like here in LA graffiti and other urban art like "stenciling can be found", just has its own twists. A few little tidbits for your own visual stimulation....
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
The travel gawds smiled upon us this last week in Europe...London was gorgeous and a warming trend started when we arrived. From the low 70's to nearly 80 by weeks end in Paris. All the spring bulb's were up and showing off their color...fields of daffodils, tulips all over the place. This visit only reaffirmed my view on London being one of the most charming and friendly cities. Paris certainly is a close second for this crazed American that can speak "tres un peu francais" and found no difficulties communicating with anyone.
HDR is fun, you can certainly do a lot with it in terms of presenting both "natural" and the "surreal". The couple I worked on today addressed the natural world, quite nicely I think in preserving details in the shadows. In the case of the "London Eye" it even does a nice job in keeping details in the cloudy sky. Saturation certainly wins across the spectrum in both.
Anyway jet lag is taking its toll and after downloading and sorting images I am too beat to do much more today.
Enjoy "Houses of Parliment" and "London Eye" for a teaser on the images done this last week while on "holiday"
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Show prep goes well have 3 more to get the wires on so I can hang at 3:30. As I mentioned a couple of days ago I am hanging today for a 3 month run at the Monrovia Coffee Company. The information: