Monday, May 21, 2007

gigabytes are cheap...

I had this bright idea today to see what would happen if you simply adjusted a normally exposed raw file +2 and -2 EV with the raw processor that comes bundled with the EOS20d and save myself some card space when out shooting. In theory you should be able to manufacture the exposure range needed for creating an HDR file then using tone mapping to bring about an image with detail across the board.

I found out the hard way funky stuff happens, especially when you make the conversion down to 8bits and into jpeg. You start getting noise and other bizarre artifacts that leave you with something that has colorshifted and lost detail. My suspicion is that the simple act of altering ev with a program isn't giving me the detail at other end, rather its just lightening it all up. When its married into an hdr format you pick up too much conflict and the program simply starts doing an "either/or/nor" routine. End result is a picture that is marginal in the detail picked up in the extremes of the gray scale and way too much loss of detail. More than I am willing to live with at least.

So....gigabytes are cheap do the 3 or more exposures needed and let your programs work with the date the way it was intended. An 8 gig card still takes a lot to fill it up even when shooting 3 raw images of each scene.

Anyway..from a recent photo shoot, a nice stretch of the Angeles Crest Highway. Shot RAW and converted to jpeg and smallified to fit here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I bought Art....
Yeah, I know its a fine line between collecting and stalking. A friend of mine here at MAFA is also an incredible painter. Rick Kess has worked for disney studios as an illustrator for years, and more recently as a modeler for other film companies. Great guy. Great wit. Please forgive the crappy camera phone photo, but you get the gist of it all...tiki, olives and martini's total ode to the 1960's cocktail hour!
Anyway...after a few glasses of a really nice siraz my check book was adequately loosened, as was my better half, and I partook in the auction with the Monrovia Art Festival Association.
I am now a proud owner of a totally classic and witt Rick Kess Original...not a giclee'...but the honest to gawd original. The painting is roughly 18 X 24, acrylic on canvas and titled "Courrier and Olives". It will grace my studio walls 10 months out of the year...the other 2 it will grace my mantle. I think it is even cooler than "Last Supper" which I still lust over.
Now if I can scrape together the cash for a Coop original I'd be in total heaven, not that his significant other Rutz (and college buddy) hasn't already fixed me up with a few goodies already over the years, I may just be complete.
That said, the MAFA "Acknowledge the Arts" was a roaring success and certainly raised some funds to help the group further art education and appreciation in the community.
By the Way..did I tell you I am the "featured artist" for the July 28th Art Walk in Monrovia this year. Details to follow as I find out what it all entails.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spring Color Explosion continues...
Love my roses, especially the first flush of the year. The cold, below freezing week in January has made my garden the most colorful and prolific that is has been in years. My favs still are the English Roses as they have the most incredible old rose scents. Hybrid Teas are just a pain in the butt and the breeding to get them to be so colorful and repeat blooming has cause them to all but lose their scent. Not a good trait to lose in my book! Anyway...enjoy the few I shot this morning!
Shropshire Lass...a David Austin English Rose...blooms only once, beautiful single that reminds of the wild roses in the great lakes states when I was a kid:

Graham Thomas, another Austin English Rose, I really like those deep yellows more than any other color. Don't know why, I just do!

Midas Touch, one of the few Hybrid Teas I have in the garden....chose it because it's yellow. The unfortunate part is that like so many other hybrid teas it has little fragrance.

Double Delight..the other hybrid tea in my garden, chose because of the color draw back is that it has very little fragrance.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

And here we go...the results from yesterdays hike up in the San Gabriel Mountains in the Alder Creek Canyon Area. Nice place to spend a sunny day! All postprocessed in HDR, Photomatix Tone mapping and Virtual Photographer. Enjoy!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Too nice to be real

While many panic at the thought of us having a "red flag" as it means high fire danger and if you are in a designated neighborhood parking is restricted so that emergency crews can get in to put out fires.

For me it means I get a beautiful warm day. Today is such a day....nice breeze, brilliant sun and its now debate time whether I should do my gardening or go up somewhere and shoot. Stay tuned, if I get out shooting I'll get the results posted later today.

It's been busy around here. I debuted my "Abandoned Church, Paris" at the Paint-n-Play Gallery reception on Friday night. Nicely received...but that doesn't always translate into a sale. Will have to watch, wait and see what happens.

Don't forget that this Saturday is the Monrovia Art Festival Association's "Acknowledge the Arts" event at the local tennis club. I blogged it a few weeks ago....

Enjoy the flags this morning at the gas station...all nicely back lit against a crisp sky....I'll be outside one way or another today to enjoy it! Took it with my Che-ez Snap while filling up this morning.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Playing Hooky and So Cal is a good place to do it...

It was one of those days, overcast "June Gloom" early for the season and I needed sunshine. Luckily a very few minutes away is the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways. The mountains trap in the clouds when we have on "onshore flow" or winds blowing off the ocean into the basin leaving us foggy or cloudy depending where we are.

Rather than the usual tasks I played hooky this morning. Dropped my favorite 80's mix CD in place as there is no radio in the mountains and off I went. Simple route with stops to shoot. Up the 2 to the Mountains, a quick left onto the Angeles Forest towards Palmdale, across the bridge and right after the Mediation Temple you make a right onto Upper Big Tujunga and a right onto Angeles Crest and a few short miles on that you are back in the city. There were lots of detours, some places I haven't found the names yet googling, others such as Alder Creek Canyon can't be missed. Of course fun old tunes make zipping through the corners and the uphill swoops even more fun...its all in the rhythm.

Anyway, shot it all in HDR, post processed with Adobe's Photoshop CS2 and the Virtual Photographer. Great tools to capture one of my most favorite places to roam! Hope you enjoyed them.