Lurking Clouds

Shot this off boat in Estero Bay in Fort Myers, Florida. Always were cool clouds in Fort Myers.

I have been shooting a lot of clouds and I have a series planned when I get around to sorting them out. Right now just doing the I live in Thailand thing which is a lot of fun. There were more than a few nights that went into mornings by the time I got home from the previous night out. Since I’m heading to week 3 living here that has slowed to a crawl and now I am focusing on shooting more stuff. Sadly with the heat or the rain it makes things difficult and I do have work to do from time-to-time which means I have to actually do stuff before just walking out with a camera for a stroll around the neighborhood or even taking a ride on the bike to a temple.

Editing this was the usual Lightroom and Photoshop workflow. I debated on a square crop but like the layering effect with the water, ground, cloud, and sky. Gives you a sense of perspective. I did run it through Intensify just to give the clouds a bit more pop and masked those in.

Enjoy.

Lurking Clouds

Beach’n

Took a ride out to Jomtien Beach just to sit by the Gulf of Thailand and enjoy a cold beer on a hot day. I’m technically retired so I’m allowed these indulgences.

Living in Thailand is a bit surreal at times. I’m in a major tourist area so I don’t get the real, Thai experience as this place caters to tourist. My neighborhood is mostly Thai with a few expat enclaves but for the most part it is Thai oriented. This means I deal with Thais most of the time. This mean Thai style restaurants, shops, and services. Having been here enough I know what to expect but it can still be a bit daunting if I have to ask for something and my Thai vocabulary isn’t there. Lots of gesturing going on. While the Land of Smiles is a bit of a myth; a smile and taking things in good humor goes a long way when there is a language barrier. Generally you can get what you want and need provided you go in with that attitude.

Shot this image on my Canon S100 because I can chuck it into my shorts pocket and be good to go. I’ll be honest and say I shoot it in P mode and let the camera handle everything. For a point-and-shoot it works better. I will override the settings if required but so far the images have been good.

Editing I did my usual then brought it into Intensify and hit a preset. I then masked in the original version of the beach to bring that down a bit just so I could get the clouds and water as the main focus.

Enjoy.

Beach'n

View From Home

This honestly is one of the views I get when I leave my building and ride the half mile or so to Pattaya Beach.

I have taken for granted I live in a beach town and fairly close to the Gulf of Thailand. Its just not my normal path on my daily wanderings. Living in a beach town doesn’t mean ¬†you actually go to the beach. You just know its there and if you are inclined then you can go to it. If not then you ignore it and go about your daily life.

I was riding with my gear gear shoved into my backpack because I had some other work to do and planned on shooting something completely different. When I hit the road I saw the sun setting over the Gulf of Thailand and raced down to the beach. Got lucky and found a spot to park the bike and jumped off. I didn’t want to waste time with setting up my full kit so grabbed my Canon S100 in my pocket and just took a few snaps. It’s why I carry it now because it’s small enough to go everywhere and has a decent sensor to what is needed.

Editing was just a quick crop and then a curves adjustment. I did a bit of dodging and burning and then called it done.

Enjoy.

View From Home

Pond Bridge

I have likely published a photo of this bridge more than a few times before. When you like a subject you keep shooting it. This is a bridge at Meadowlark Gardens in Fairfax, Virginia.

Strangely enough I always went back to Meadowlark Gardens even when I moved to Maryland. Not that it was a far drive, it just happened to be a place I frequented because it was the first real “shoot” I did with a camera. Was my Canon XSi which I spent $400 on and a friend gave me a 18-55mm kit lens. I thought it was the most expensive piece of photography equipment I ever owned. Little did I know the rabbit hole I was heading down. I don’t even shoot with Canon anymore but I have taken a photo at this park with every camera I have ever owned. Living in Thailand that’s not going to happen anymore but I still have the memories and the images.

Editing this image I went a bit different. I was going to make it black and white but it looked more infrared when I did the conversion but I liked how it bumped the detail up on the trees. So I went ahead and just created a layer and then did an opacity layer and brought it down to 20%. Did a bit of dodging and burning here and there to get it to where it is and then called it done.

Enjoy.

Pond Bridge

Tulips – Part 2

This is the second set in the series of tulips I shot this spring.

When I am pressed for time I love doing flower edits. They are quick and easy and can be knocked out without a lot of effort going into them. When I first started processing photos I would just use Lightroom and now I use Photoshop for the majority of my work. I can quickly just do what I want and dodge and burn as needed and call it done.

One of the things that I can get away with since I now live in Thailand but publish on a East Coast of America time is I edit the same day. When I need to get out and do something I can quickly do these edits and then out the door.

I more or less explained how editing was done. Mostly gradient work to get the flower into focus then a bit of dodging and burning.

Enjoy.

Clear Waters

You would think this image is from Thailand and the beach I live close by but it’s not. Why? It rains constantly or the sky is grey. Instead this is Coronado Bay in San Diego, California.

It seems the rainy weather has followed me from Florida to Thailand. It is overcast and raining or drizzling here daily. The new fun of having only a motorbike for transportation is that if I get caught out in the rain I get wet. I now carry ziplock bags to store my stuff in because I got soaked once with my wallet and international driving permit and visa getting absolutely soaked. I also carry a $1 rain poncho in manly pink under the bike seat.

With the threat of rain constantly being a problem my photo gear stays in the room as I just don’t have a way to protect it. I am now starting to carry my Canon S100 in a waterproof case because it fits in my pocket and if it does get ruined no big loss. I hope to get out and get some photos if the weather cooperates but at the rate it’s going might be late August before the rainy season settles down.

This is a single image HDR that I created. Brought it into Photoshop to do my normal workflow and just didn’t like it so created a clone and then opened Aurora HDR and started to play around with the sliders. Got it to where I was happy and called it done.

Enjoy.

Clear Waters

Tulips – Part 1

I shot this series of images when the tulips were in full bloom. The series was shot between Brookside Gardens in Maryland and Meadowlark Gardens in Virginia.

When I was taking these image I didn’t have a filter that fit my lens. I would have used a 3 stop neutral density to cut down on some of the light since I shot them just before midday. You can fix some of it in Photoshop but it’s never going to look as good if you had a filter.

None of these were shot with a macro lense. I just used my Sigma 24-105 on the Nikon D5500 and went wild. I was still learning how to use the camera so I there were a few misses but for the most part the images came out decent.

Editing wise I just did the Lightroom to Photoshop workflow. I always add my contrast in via a curves adjustment and do local work with dodging and burning as needed.

Enjoy.