Saturday, May 16, 2009

J'adore Paris - or at least the romantic memory of it

I loved my time in Paris.  Beautiful city, charming people and the sights were truly beautiful.  Small wonder it has the reputation of being one of the most romantic cities on the planet.  

In working some of the images from Paris in an impressionists style I opted for the soft romantic feel of the Orton Style rather than going back to the HDR more surreal feel.   Am glad I did.

What I am beginning to discover in working into the Orton style is that if you start with a slightly over exposed original you will keep some shadow detail.   This is important as many of the Orton style works I have seen of late kept the standard formula of mating together a regular exposed and a 1 stop over-exposed image which unfortunately yields "bullet proof blacks".  Or areas of shadow so devoid of detail they are just big blobs of black that no light penetrates.   

Since I like a full tonal range opting to go my route of overexposing the frame by 1 stop and work from the resulting RAW file alter it to just 1/2 to 3/4 of normal with the RAW Processor in CS.  I do lose a little highlight detail but gladly exchange that for huge gains in shadow detail.  Both of these images were worked that way and am pleased with the detail in the shadows while still keeping the highlights saturated with color and nominal loss of detail.  IT adds to the romance of the scene when you have that detail instead of the big black blob.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A little meander in my garden

Yesterday was a strange day, misty in the am then it cleared up fast.  I spotted a few of the Fortnight Lily aka African Iris all covered in droplets that the sun hadn't dried up and HAD to get a quick pic.  While I was at it I shot a few more of Shropshire Lass.

All of these were post processed from the RAW image data file into the Orton style.  The final images were given the look and feel of the old Cibrachrome print material from back in my dip and dunk days.

Enjoy the pics and the coming weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shropshire Lass the most fleeting of English Roses

It is no secret that I am a fan of the English Roses, especially those from David Austin.  This particular rose, "Shropshire Lass" is one of the few single roses that make the category.   Barely.  
Whereas most of the other English Roses will bloom repeatedly this blooms only once.  Just one fleeting day I get the most perfectly pink fading to nearly white blossoms.  Given the size of the bush (nearly5 diameter and over 6 foot tall) one would expect it to be a hardy bloomer, but its wild rose parentage in the mix interceded and allows it to bloom only once a year.   I'll take it for its fleeting beauty is so special.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Been busy week or so - new web is up!

My new website is up.  Its been a long time coming, but I needed to work it out with the gallery's I show in where I didn't compete with them as well as directed sales to them when they have the piece on their walls.  Everyone is happy, now to the business at hand, producing more images which is always the fun part for me.   

This image was shot in the early morning hours far up Azusa and San Gabriel Canyons along the San Gabriel River.  Early spring here means lots of green and blossoms all over the place for a short period of time.

The image is post processed from RAW in the Orton style.  The final image was washed through virtual photographer to give the look and clarity of the older Kodachrome films.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I love HDR on a Cloudy Day

Add a little doo-wop and you could have the chorus line to some old song with that title.   The reality is that shooting on a cloudy day when you expose for subject detail you lose your sky detail.  If you shoot for sky detail, most of your shadow areas are just too dark to have any detail.  (The lede photo is the example of what happens to a "T").

The other downfall to shooting on a cloudy day can leave you with flat contrast and subdued colors.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you want contrast and colors that pop for some particular reason this is not the best day for shooting with straight film or single image digital.

Shooting bracketed and using a program like Photomatix to generate an HDR File allows you to capture all the subject detail as well as the drama in the sky.  It also allows you to bring in contrast and colors with depth that otherwise is lost on a cloudy day.