Fall From Above

Working on the 11th floor does have its advantages. Since it’s one of the tallest buildings in the area I have the ability to shoot relatively unobstructed from certain sides of the building so I take the opportunity from time-to-time.

I recently aquired a Tamron 28-300 lens for those times when I need a bit more reach. It was cheap and it gets decent reviews. Sure it won’t match my Sigma Art 24-105 or my Nikon 70-200 in quality but when you need that little extra it will do well enough.

With the Tamron 28-300 on my Nikon D810 I took a few test shots out the window of the building. Some of the blur you may see on the edges could be from the windows not being the cleanest. If there is lack of sharpness it’s also me not being used to handholding a camera much. When I shoot with the big DSLR’s I am 95% of the time on my tripod. Sadly my tripod is in a shipping case somewhere between where I live and Las Vegas. So it was handhold this shot.

For post processing I wanted to saturate the colors but not make them go nuclear. HDR would have done that and many of my usual filters did too. So I found one that I liked and masked it in at a very reduced opacity. I then added bits from Color Efex to bring out a bit more. Just a quick sharpen to bring things out and called it done.

Enjoy.

Fall From Above

Little Bit of Fall

I set myself a challenge. I found the first “real” camera, meaning one I thought I spent a lot of money on it; something like $179. This was 5 years ago and I had no concept of what photography equipment cost. You can tell by the price it was a point and shoot. I thought I had made a major investment. It was to shortly thereafter I acquired my first DSLR, a Canon XSi so this camera was relegated to the forgotten pile until I found it. Little did I know the path that purchase would set me on.

Seeing how I had some free time I went for a photowalk. I shot a variety of subjects but I figured I start with the fall leaves since they are turning color. The only thing I can control on this camera is ISO, meter mode, and exposure compensation. I shot all these at ISO 200 and in spot meter (rare that I don’t shoot in spot meter). No exposure compensation was used.

They were imported into Lightroom and then “flattened” then taken into Photoshop for the heavy lifting. I did not change my workflow for these images. Meaning curves adjustments, dodge and burn. Then a run through Nik Color Efex for Pro Contrast and Vibrance and Saturation. I then used the newer technique which is cheap and tawdry and I will reveal eventually to give it a bit more pizzazz. A quick layers mask adjustment then flattening the image and running it through Camera Raw Filter to remove the brutal color fringing. About the only thing I did different.

I get that this sounds like a lot but its about 5 minutes an image at most. I have the flow down to a science.

I realize that I have down sized these images because lets be honest, if we were pixel peeping the camera would show its weaknesses. I have found this true even on my modern cameras. So I kept it the standard 1000 pixels I use.

So the challenge is based on what I provided could anyone tell the difference with these images? Would anyone realize that this was all done on a 14.1 meg point and shoot that is 5 years old? I highly doubt it.

If you think you can guess feel free. The EXIF data has been stripped.

I’ll share more images out this week and go in to some of the challenges and frustrations I had with the camera. Still, I found myself enjoy the novelty of the experience. It also reminded me a camera is a tool and nothing more. As I have gotten deeper into photography I have come to view my gear as tools; each has their own uses. Neither one is more special than the other. You just need to use the right tool for the job unless you are Jeremy Clarkson and then its a hammer for everything while screaming POWER.

Enough rambling.

Enjoy the fall colors and enjoy trying to guess the camera.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

I haven’t had a lot of success shooting leaves. They are hard to really get into focus on a camera without making them run together and look weird. So using my Panasonic G5 and my Minolta 50 1.4 I seemed to have found a balance that works for me. So enjoy the fall colors.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Sunset Over the Burbs

Person who works for me ran into my office screaming if I had a camera. Of course I did. I had my Panasonic G5 with a lovely Minolta 50mm 1.4 on it. She grabbed it and immediately went to the window and tried to take a shot. I asked her if she knew how to use the camera. “Of course” was the reply I got. Then I saw her looking at the lens and trying to figure out why it didn’t autofocus. Finally told her the lens was older then her and it was manual only. So I took the camera from her and stopped the lens down to something like F11 and took the shot. I’m on the 11th floor and my window was dirty on the outside but I was focusing to the distance and older lenses tend not to show the flaws newer lenses do. After some serious editing and realizing the camera and the lens were only going to resolve so much I was pleased with the image. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunset Over the Burbs

 

Early Fall Foliage

I haven’t shot much nature stuff lately that isn’t in a landscape format. I have been traveling or doing other things that has led me to move away from shooting nature just because the opportunity that hasn’t presented itself. I am also not that into it to be honest. If I had a choice between shooting other things I tend to gravitate towards them versus close up nature type work. So seeing how I had a choice between sitting in my office and taking a nap or going out and taking a walk and shooting I opted from the shoot. I had my Panasonic G5 with my Nikon 55 1.2 on it. So off I went. These are just some of the shots and I’ll mix in the rest as the days go forward. So enjoy the early fall foliage.

Early Fall Foliage

Early Fall Foliage

Early Fall Foliage

Early Fall Foliage

Fall Lights

I had a request for some fall colors from someone in sunny and dare I say warm Florida.  I saw this lam and I liked the leaves around it against the blue sky and the green plant thingies on the wall behind it.  I will say now that this is straight out of the Fuji X100S with nothing but some clarity and sharpness added for my tastes and some contrast.  Meaning, that sky was that blue without me manipulating it along with the leaves.  So enjoy the fall lights.

Fall Lights
Fuji X100S, 35mm, ISO 250, f/8.0, 1/340