Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day is done...fine tuning with CS5 from RAW Files

For reasons unclear this set of images keep drawing me back to work them differently for different reasons. Maybe its because it was a colorful sunset, something generally lacking here in So Cal unless we have a raging fire somewhere, or because the location has special meaning to me. Not sure, but I keep reworking.

Today I took one of the bracketed exposures and used nearly all the tools available in CS5 "Photography" section to adjust and fine tune exposure, color, hue, lens correction etc to get to this image "Day is Done".

Tonight, July 31st is the second of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Summer Art Walks and it is dedicated to photographers. I'll be there in the Paint n Play Studio and Art Gallery from 7-10PM. IF you see me and are in the mood for a little tipple, just ask as there is a private reception that I can invite anyone I want into at the back of the gallery. The Paint N Play Studio and Gallery is located at 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA. (This is the shameless self promotion portion of this post).

Friday, July 30, 2010

New image for 7/31 MAFA Art Walk

This is among several new images printed just for the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Summer Art Walk being held in Old Town Monrovia this weekend. The image is one of several I shot at Missouri's Elephant Rock State Park earlier this month.

To see me and my other images you're welcome to attend the Free Art Walk dedicated to photographic arts July 31, 7PM-10Pm. I will be in the Paint n Play 2 Art Gallery and Studio located at 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia (91016 if you need a zip for google maps).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Surfers in Ventura

Just a couple of quick arty shots from our trip up to Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. We took a nice stroll along the sidewalk bordering the ocean near Harbor Blvd in Ventura. Great little spots to just and sit enjoying the ocean and surfers. They even have a nice pier that isn't commercialized like some of the others in the area where you can just walk out and not be annoyed with a dozen vendors hawking stuff....makes for great sea life watching at the base as well as watching surfers from afar. return from cool oceans breezes to Monrovia's 110+ heat was a bit of a shock. Wish I was back there right about now. With my boogey board.

The two images were post processed to fine tune exposure, contrast and color vibrancy from RAW files using Adobe CS5.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lake Cachuma Valley in panoramic form

So after the long weekend of play back in MO I took off with the better half for a few days of continued play in the South Central Coast area of So CA. Managed to hit the wineries in Solvang (you gotta track down Lion's Peak winery) and Santa Ynez.

What was a bit of a disappointment was that CA State Highway 154 from Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara had too few turn outs and vista points where one could really get out and do some shooting in the beautiful hills and valleys. We did find one nice "Vista Point" where we stopped and grabbed a few shots of Lake Cachuma and the surrounding hills and valley, even got this decent panorama stitched from 5 individual frames. You can click to embiggen this image.

Lovin' the ease Adobe's CS5 lets one stitch panoramas together so well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One last Sunset for MO...ala HDR

I kept it "photorealistic" not surreal. The scene was surreal with the sun lighting the bottom of a clearing thunderhead at sunset that it didn't need any further digital help.

To have some detail in the shadows this was shot with rain drops falling bracketed +/-2EV (stops) and the resulting RAW files were run through Photomatix for the HDR file generation. The resulting HDR file was then tonemapped in Adobe's CS5. A little color correction was in order to remove the too much orange reflected from the clouds and voila "Cemetary Sunset" was created.

Elephant Rock State Park and HDR...

Among the spots I hiked was the Elephant Rock's State Park in the Ozarks of Missouri. It is an interesting are where gigantic boulders of granite were exposed after eon's of weathering. On any given day you come across way to many hikers to call it solitude, but even with them in the rocks its a pleasant way to spend some time, they just have a habit of being around to "ruin" shots of the rocks one wants to get for use arty reasons.

All of these were shot bracketed +/- 2 stops (ev's in the digital realm, but what the heck am old school) and from there the RAW files were blended into an HDR file using Adobe's CS5. The tone mapping was also done with CS5 and done so to maintain a photorealistic as opposed to surrealistic image.

Enjoy 3 images from Missouri's Elephant Rocks State Park.

Panoramic images in CS5

Woot its a party at the PC with CS5's multiple options for blending images for panoramas from several shots. You need to play around with them to get to understand how they take images and blend them together. What you need to know is I used "Spherical" as the option and used 3 basic jpeg files to get to the desired image with minimal distortion.

The actual file is I re-sized and dumbed it down to fit into a blog post. Suffice it to say its still a very large image that gives you a sense of the depth and views from atop Tom Sauk Mountain in MO looking over the St Francios Mountain Range that is with the northern Ozarks and is the highest point in all of MO.

Click away for a larger version for your viewing pleasure. I sure do pick nice places to explore over vacations.

Next is the wine growing regions of Santa Barbara County.