HDR

The Red (Rope) Pony

This was a bit of a bear of a horse to process. I wanted three exposures stubbornly so I could get that great tonal range (even though I later converted it to a monotone). A good rule of HDR is not to make multiple exposures of difficult subjects like animals or moving objects. He was both. After much masking and manipulating in photoshop, I was able to get as close as I could although his nose isn’t tack sharp (you can see what looks like camera shake but is actually ghosting). This particular pony was on break from being ridden by cranky kids at the Memorial Day festivities at a local park. He had that look on his face… the I don’t mind being glue if this can all just stop look. I told him he was a good boy and pet his nose. I hope it helped.


Super 7(000)

Ever since seeing the poster for the new movie “Super 8“, I was inspired to try and recreate the same mood. I had no idea if I would find a location suitable or if I’d be able to come close to capturing the poster’s feel. On this day,the sky was right (menacing clouds in layers and completely overcast) and I live in a somewhat rural area in California (Sonoma County) so chances of finding something midwestern were slim, but not impossible. After driving for about a half hour I spotted this water tower out of the corner of my eye. I had to stop on a two lane road to get the bracketed shots I needed for the cloud contrast and it had started to rain. Fortunately I didn’t kill anyone (or myself) and I got my shots and processed them using Photomatix and some heavy-handed photoshop. I took the pictures with my Nikon D7000, thus the name. I enjoy fun diversions like these and encourage all photographers to take a break and have a blast doing something you wouldn’t normally do.

3 exposures EV -2 to +2
Photomatix,
Photoshop CS5
Silver Efex Pro


Raining in the Sunshine

I’ve met people who absolutely hate it when the sun is shining while it’s raining. To me, it’s one of the coolest phenomenons of weather. It is a dichotomy of meteorological logic that results in a beautiful, even cinematic scene, especially when it happens during the golden hour. This is my driveway. It’s not the most stunning scenery, but the quality of light alone is enough for me to want to preserve on film and retrieve on those dreary days. The only downside? My camera was absolutely soaked. I didn’t want to miss the moment, so I sprinted out of my house without an umbrella. Fortunately, I’ve got one of those weather resistant camera bodies. D7000, you have proved to be amazing once again. This was 3 tonemapped exposures because I was shooting into some major glare and wanted to get the foreground. 


Kendall-Jackson Winery

Living in Sonoma County means knowing where the wineries are because visitors from out of town look at you like a dozy shut-in if you can’t recommend a place to go for a good flight (hip term for wine tasting). Such a recommendation was made just last month with visiting family where we piled in the car and went to Kendall-Jackson winery. It’s a very warm, french-inspired chateau with good wine (I’m not a huge drinker of it myself) and good people. They let me take pictures all around the property which is very much anathema to some other establishments around the area. Jess Jackson, of Kendall- Jackson, died today. I never met him or really even read much about him before the obits started trickling out, but I felt very welcome at his place. So, I’ll be going back to  pay respects arriving empty handed and departing with memories of a nice afternoon and a bottle of Chardonnay.


The Point At Which To Embark…

Or the Embarcadero, as the San Franciscans call it… I guess everyone calls it that. Anyway, it’s the main marine port of commuters and tourists alike with the Ferry Building acting as berth and landmark for the bustling area. It’s also one of the most convenient places to grab a really tasty bite in the city. Stalls line the Ferry Building making it a veritable market for a wide range of appetites from Chinese, pastries, and the un-kosher but very delicious Boccolone which serves nothing but “Tasty, Salted, Pig, Parts”, to farmers market offerings and specialty boutique shops that, respectively, sell only amazing cheese, oysters, and bread. Aaaand I’ve just made myself hungry again. The downside? They don’t allow tripods to be set up inside. Lucky I got this shot seconds before I was told to pack it up. Seriously though. Was there a tripod war I never learned about? Is War of the Worlds to blame? If you ever make it to San Francisco, touristy or not, get here.