All In The Details

Taken at the Sanctuary of Truth here in Thailand. Always worth a visit.

I have to be honest and say I wasn’t sure there was going to be an image today. One of the benefits of keeping the same publishing schedule but living on the other side of the world is I do the image daily and publish it the same day it goes live.

The issue facing me today is I had to go pickup a friend in Bangkok who flew in from Canada. I had to be up at the unholy hour of 7 AM local time. Since I moved here, I go to bed around 3 or 4 AM because there just isn’t a reason to be up and running around early. So the 7 AM just about killed me because while I attempted to go to sleep at Midnight I mostly just dozed on and off till the alarm went off at 7 AM.

Once I dropped my friend off at his house and got a bite to eat it was promptly operation I’m going to go and take a nap and wake up whenever. Luckily I had a few hours to spare so I got up in time to do a photo edit.

I wanted to pump the details in this image. I have been super masking happy lately and this one was no different. I first did the image in HDR and had that as a layer. I then went into Intensify CK and used preset to bump the hell out of the details and then had that as a layer. I then masked the two together but wasn’t happy. Finally I used Tonality CK and a black and white detail version and then an opacity mask for just a bit more detail. I then dodged and burned to bring a few things down or up depending on what was required.

Maybe I should nap more before editing.

Enjoy.

All In the details

New York State Of Mind

Taken in Vegas at the New York New York casino. Which would explain the New York theme.

My first trip ever to Las Vegas was for a birthday party (could have happily been my last) and I happened to stay at the the New York New York Casino. It was my introduction to casino mindgames and how stupid expensive Las Vegas is unless you are gambling and that’s a whole other level of expense.

One of the joyful things large casinos like to do is make it impossible to find the exit. Why? If you aren’t in there they aren’t making any money off you. From a business standpoint it’s brilliant. From the practical standpoint it absolutely sucks trying to find an exit when you actually want to go outside.

The other thing you want to pay attention to is that there is never a clock in casino. EVER! Again, this is done on purpose to separate you from reality and keep you spending, gambling or doing whatever. Sure, we all have a phone now with a clock on it but for most people it’s more natural to look for a clock then reach for a phone.

There are those that love Las Vegas and I applaud them. Me? I live on the other side of the world and happily making it my mission never to go back there again.

This image was shot on a EM1 so I knew I could not push the file that much so it’s more or less out of the camera. I used Intensify to bump some stuff on it then dodged and burned for local contrast since I was happy with the image overall.

Enjoy.

New York State Of Mind

Venice In Vegas

This was obviously shot in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel when I was there a few years ago. One of the things that I will not miss about living in America is Las Vegas. Hated the place.

It always seems that when I am in a hurry and just want to bang out an image it turns into a marathon editing session. I really am sitting on a ton of series images but I need to sit down for a few hours and do the edits. The problem is doing a site 5 days a weeks make that difficult. Sure, I live in Thailand but I find myself busier than ever doing stuff that is non-photographic related so I don’t have the time to sit and edit photos for hours. Hopefully in the near future I will get some time to do a series or two.

Editing this turned was interesting. I knew it would look good HDR. So usual workflow and took it into Aurora 2017. Just played with some sliders until I was happy. Then took another layer off the original and then brought it into Intensify and picked a preset that worked for me. I then masked those two layers together to get the overall effect I was looking for but still wasn’t happy. Once more into Intensify to bump up some details and then some dodging and burning and gotta say rather happy with the image.

Enjoy.

Venice In Vegas

Lost In A Good Book

Took this photo on the back of the Lincoln Memorial. Not a part that most people wander back to but I saw a lot of locals back there enjoying the view of the river.

Most people that visit the Lincoln Memorial only go into the main area where the statue of Lincoln is. There is a whole museum in the basement of the building. You can also walk all the way around it if you are inclined. You get different views as you walk around. As the light changes the shadows from the columns changes. It makes for different perspective as you move around.

This is a HDR image. I just made it from one image versus three. When I used three images it just caused more issues than it was worth. Used my workflow then brought it into Photoshop then into Aurora 2017. Tweaked HDR settings until happy then called it done.

Enjoy.

Lost In A Good Book

Temple Wall

This is a shot from the inside of the Sanctuary of Truth. I never published it before because I didn’t think I could make a decent image out of it.

When I took this images and all the images the last time I was at the Sanctuary of Truth I was using adapted Sony Alpha lenses. They were cheaper stuff I picked up off of eBay or other places so I could have some glass to use with my then new Sony A7R. I was still invested in the Olympus micro four-thirds stuff and the A7R was me using a full frame sensor again. It was also the reason I sold all my Olympus gear and moved to full frame for the most part.

The downside of using cheaper, adapted glass was that it was older and tended to have flare and chromatic aberration. It wasn’t the best stuff but when you are in the process of considering a system change the last thing you want to do is invest a ton of money in glass. In the end I sold all that stuff and bought all native gear and even ditched my micro four-thirds stuff completely and went with a Nikon D810. Now I have 3 full frame cameras and one crop sensor. How things change in 2 years.

This image was shot for HDR using 3 exposures. The more I work with HDR the more I know 3 exposures aren’t the best way to go for a lot of things. So this was done with just one exposure using Aurora 2017. Once I had the photo finished with my basic workflow I just went to Aurora 2017 and started to crank sliders until I was happy. Brought it back into Photoshop for a bit of dodging and burning and called it done.

Enjoy.

Temple Wall

Sanctuary Of Truth

Took this a few years back but never published it so I figured why not. So I went ahead and ran it through.

Sanctuary of Truth isn’t really a temple even if it does look like one. It’s a tourist attraction only and you can wander through with a guide or not. It’s a cool place to visit and I hope to in the future get a night shot of the place. Might need to “pay a small fee” to the security guard to get in there after hours but Thailand being Thailand it isn’t so hard of a thing to do.

Editing this wasn’t hard. The reason it never saw the light of day before was a blue tarp. This time, when I went in and edited I just used a desaturation brush on the tarp. Went ahead and ran it through Intensify CK to bring out some details of the sky, building, and sea. Brought it back into Photoshop and then used a layer mask at 50% opacity to those areas and 10% to the bushes and called it done.

Enjoy.

sanctuary of truth

Korean Pagoda

I have shot this Pagoda before at Meadowlark Gardens before. Not sure if I did it from this angle and because I have been in transit for the last 24 hours it’s a quick edit.

I shot this on my Nikon D5500 as I was learning to use it. Didn’t have any DX lenses for it so used my Sigma 24-105 FX lens. Did a great job but a little longer than I like with the crop. I picked up a Sigma 17-80 shortly after this which I have been shooting with. The camera with its flip out screen makes it a great video camera. Sure it doesn’t shoot 4K but it will does a very good looking HD.

Editing I mixed in some HDR and a lot of my normal workflow. Used a lot of gradients to bring the light down. Then set the contrast and overall exposure in Photoshop. Once I had those adjustments brought it into Aurora 2017 and just bumped some HDR settings to bring out the inside features. Then called it done.

Enjoy.

Korean Pagoda