Masts As Tall As Buildings

This image has driven me nuts since I shot it last year. There were multiple technical issues with it that I could not overcome. Throw in the weird angle and my obsession because I liked it made me work on it till I got it right. That and I was feeling masochistic.

The image was taken at the Navy Pier in Chicago. I have no idea what the boat is called but I just liked the masts of the boat rising up. I could only get the weird angle because of all the people but it worked with the masts. It also gave me the idea for the title.

My issue with the image was that it was underexposed big time. Every frame was this way. While I could bring up the exposure I would blow out the highlights and cause other problems. Finally I just kept working at it until I got something useful. Used a lot of gradients to keep various areas from blowing out. I also didn’t fight it if things clipped to black.

Editing wise, once I got the image set in Lightroom it was into Photoshop. I did a lot of local adjustments with dodging and burning. I still wasn’t fully happy with the final image. Loaded the image into Intensify CK and just hit a preset. It did wonders and brought everything to life. Once I had it back in Photoshop I didn’t even layer mask it in. Was happy with the way it looked and called it done.


Boat at Navy Pier Chicago

Don’t Cross The Streams

It seems I have been obsessed with movie titles or lines for post titles lately. This one came from Ghostbusters. If you have never seen the original or the remake go watch. It will make sense.

This is the Navy Pier from across Lake Michigan. You can see the skywheel that I have previously published images of before. I was all the way down the Chicago River Walk near some marina and I took this image.

With the image being so dark really with a lot of extra stuff I went for a 2.7:1 ratio. I meant to do 2.4:1 but this crop gives it a more panoramic feel to it.

I have been using Aurora 2017 more lately and it does a really good job creating HDR images with only 1 source image. Normally I mask in bits but with this image being black with various coloured lights I left it alone as HDR no masking.

Still wanting a bit more detail I masked in a layer from Intensify CK to bring out a bit more details in the light trails. Once I was happy called it done.


Don't Cross The Streams

Clustered Together

This is another one from Chicago as I clear out the backlog I have. Soon it will be coming to an end as I have tons of new stuff I shot recently

If you are a regular you may have noticed the theme changed. I got tired of not having a search button so I tweaked the basic WordPress theme and just went with it.

The image is the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan from the Navy Pier. I just liked how the buildings clustered together. You get a sense of balance from the sky and the water. I have this same image in landscape and it just didn’t work as well.

Editing I did a bunch of layers to get different effects. I masked in the buildings one way. The sky another and finally the water another. Each get’s it’s own treatment. The one thing I had to do was clean up the sky around the buildings because I put too much texture for lack of a better word and the pixels clipped. Never seen it before but it was easy enough to fix.


Chicago Skyline

Color Wheel

I am fighting the flu or at least flu like symptoms so going to be brief on this one. I wasn’t feeling the editing and it was a struggle to get through it.

This is a sky wheel that is located on the Navy Pier in Chicago. I went for a weird camera angle using my 16-35mm lens and a long exposure to get the effect. Just a note, if you want to shoot at the carnival you have to have a permit if you use a tripod as I found out.

The image is partly in HDR but I masked it in at only 50% and then lightly to keep it from doing some of the usual funky HDR stuff. I have purchased Aurora 2017 but I haven’t installed it yet so maybe I’ll do more straight HDR in the future if it fixes some of the weirdness you get when you do HDR files.


Sky Wheel at Navy Pier

Chicago Lighthouse

I shot this off the Navy Pier when I was in Chicago. I’m going to call this a lighthouse but I have no idea if that is the technical term for it. To me it looks like one so I am going to call it a lighthouse.

It was really nice to edit photos not being jetlagged or using screens that I’m not used to for the first time in a month. I have my 32″ editing monitor and it really spoils me when it comes to doing editing. While I travel with my Wacom tablet and I usually use larger monitors when I can, the 32″ makes editing so much easier.

I felt the 16×9 crop worked better for this image. There was a lot of extra sky and water. I went ahead and added a layer mask once I had the contrast adjusted to where I wanted it. Masked in those bits. I had to go back and do a bit more dodging since the mask darkened things. Finished that and called it done.


Chicago Lighthouse

Spin Me Round

I always wanted to take this photography. I saw one similar shot under different light and thought it was cool. So when I saw the swing ride at the Navy Pier in Chicago I knew I was going to shoot it.

I should also mention that the amusement park is private property. I know this because I was asked for my permit. Didn’t have one obviously but they were very nice about it. Wasn’t told you can’t take the photos, I just needed the permit because I was using a tripod. I explained to the guard why I really had no choice but to use the tripod and he understood but the rules were there. I had no problem with this and he was very helpful in getting me to the Uber area for a pickup since I was done shooting anyways. In all, pleasant encounter by a well trained person not some of the other stuff I have encountered.

Editing wise nothing over the top. I did mask in some bits to bring out the swing details and dodged the swing lights to bring them out a bit more. Other than that straight out of the camera.



Lighthouse Sunset

I shot this one off the Navy Pier in Chicago while I was there. I didn’t see them until I was at the Lake Michigan facing side of the pier and the sun was setting. Would have liked to shoot them again in different light but still happy.

For once while editing I didn’t go wild with it. When I started to play with the various plugins to mask the images nothing really added to the image. So I just went to Nik ColorEfx and played with the hue/saturation, slapped some polarization in and some warmth for the yellows/oranges.┬áSince I have a monitor I then removed the noise from the sky and then masked that bit in and called it done.