Construction Skies

This is the view from the other side of my balcony away from the beach. The building is typical Thai construction type stuff and who the hell knows when it will be done.

This is another one of the sky shots I take as normal. When your shooting time is limited you take what you can get. Again, I used my Nikon D5500 and just walked out and took the shoot. I think the building just adds some visual details to it.

I used Aurora to punch some of this up but a lot of the work was done in Photoshop and I just masked in some bits from Aurora and called it done.

Enjoy.

construction-skies

Balcony View

Taking a bit of a break from the Cambodia stuff. Need to do a series next of the street photos but don’t have the time to sit and do a long edit so bit different post today.

Living in the tropics you get some very nice sunsets. It just so happens my balcony faces the Gulf of Thailand. If I am paying attention I generally will wander out onto my balcony and snap a photo or two.

This particular sunset was after an afternoon storm passed through. You generally get some very nice sunsets after a storm here. Don’t ask me why I don’t know weather at all. I was just happy to have the camera at the ready and snapped a few photos.

Editing this was all done in Photoshop for once. For some reason Photoshop crashes on all my 3rd party plugins except the one I use for portraits. So I actually did this using only Photoshop. To be honest, it wasn’t this vibrant of a sunset. I may have slightly tweaked it. After that, a bit of a dodge and burn and done.

Enjoy.

Balcony View

Layered Sunset

This was shot off my balcony in Thailand. I happened to have my Nikon D5500 with the 55-200 lens on it and aimed it towards the beach. With the crop on the D5500 I get a more reach with that lens then I do with any other and it’s light and sharp.

Using portrait orientation worked better for this image because I got the layering effect of the sky along with the buildings. It provides some visual interest that landscape would not have been able to produce.

I won’t bore anyone with editing but lets just say, nature didn’t exactly produce the colours you see in this image. There is some tweaking going on. Nothing too fancy but it’s not natural.

Enjoy.

Layered Sunset

Out Of Place

Shot this off Walking St when I was up there just taking a walk. Strangely enough, during the day Walking St allows vehicles. This makes walking on Walking St a pain in the ass because you may get killed while taking photos. Then again, this is Thailand and you accept certain things regardless of the logic behind.

Actually, there is logic, the trucks and cars need in to restock the bars and only time they can do that is during the day because at night Walking St truely is shutdown to vehicle traffic. I should also point out that Walking St is really Beach Rd, it just is called Walking St because of the night time closures. Confused? Welcome to Thailand!

Anyways I had my Sony A7ii with me along with my 50mm 1.8. I was just out walking around since I had some stuff to do up there. I had firmware patched the A7ii and the 50mm 1.8 and was pleased with the focus speed on the lens which used to be horrible.

While I have shot this view before I just like it and this is the first time I had a full frame camera with me. Most of the time I carry my Nikon D5500. I just wanted to play with A7ii for a bit.

This image is more or less out of the camera. I did run a filter via Intensify and then dodged the water a bit and called it done. Enjoy.

Out of Place

Pattaya City At Night

I have no idea where I shot this from. Think a walkway leading to a restaurant over the water. I just thought it was a cool shot but I totally forgot to bring my mini tripod and there wasn’t a rail I could set the camera on to hold it steady. So just cranked the ISO and hoped for the best.

The people sitting on the jetty looking thing are actually fishing. I see Thais riding with small poles on their bikes heading towards the beach almost daily. Personally you could not pay me enough to eat the fish out of Pattaya Bay but if you are just going to cheap fun I guess its ok.

I did bump this image up with Intensify and then I had to run Noiseless on it. Won’t stand up to pixel peeping because of the high ISO but it’s still a nice enough image.

Enjoy.

Pattaya City At Night

The Lone Cloud

Was just standing on shore and saw this scene and figured why not take a picture. The single clouds was the dominating object in the image but there was so much else that I just liked the total scene.

I am not 100% sure where I took this image. I know I had my Sigma 17-70 on my Nikon D5500 but that’s about it. I believe I was near the Bali Hai but don’t quote me as I was wandering around the area with my camera and just taking photos.

Editing this I bumped it up with Macphun Intensify and liked the end result. I am starting to put more contrast in via my curves adjustments now and let Intensify bring out features. I didn’t bother to mask anything in. I did spend copious amounts of time removing dust spots from the lens and then burned the cloud down a bit.

Enjoy.

The Lone Cloud

Pattaya Bay

I took this up on top of Pratumnak, which is a hill above Pattaya. I was finished shooting along the beach below so just rode my bike up to the top of the hill, saw the view and jumped off and took the shot.

Below is Bali Hai pier and you can see the slips for the smaller boats. The local authorities have finally made the owners park their boats there instead of dragging them out of the water and taking up all the parking space.

I got lucky when I took this image because the fishing boat was heading out of port to do whatever. Maybe head to one of the islands for the night or going out for fishing. The boat just adds that little bit of missing motion from the image.

Enjoy.

Pattaya Bay

Guess Who Is Back

Well I am back. Conditionally speaking of course. Which will be explained shortly.

First off, I had to take a break. I was suddenly thrust with the problem of being a landscape/travel photographer shooting when I felt like it to being a full time portrait/event photographer. Whole different world and one I wasn’t exactly prepared for.

I had done events before. No big deal. Bang the photos out and done with it. So shooting parties wasn’t a real difficult task. The problem was the portraits. I never really shot them much. If I did they were off the cuff and for fun, not work.

I suddenly had to become a portrait photographer which was a whole new world to me. It meant learning to retouch photos on a level I had never done before. It also meant learning flash and lighting and all that went with it.

Over the past month I have learned. I have never spent so much time in Photoshop in my life. When I wasn’t in Photoshop I was reading articles on how to retouch faces, match skin tones, and so on. Took a lot of work and effort.

With all that I didn’t have time to shoot personal work and to be honest I still don’t but trying to change that. I doubt I will do 5 days a week anymore. I just can’t because of other commitments.

I rather publish a photo I am proud of or that I personally enjoy then some crap I shot just to put in for filler. It doesn’t work and I feel I let myself down by publishing crap.

So with all that said, I’ll be most again. Just not as frequently and on a schedule that is slightly more erratic than before. Goal is 3 or 4 images a week and no longer on a Monday – Friday schedule. They will go when I think I have something worth sharing and will just be published whenever. No more scheduled photos. I live on the other side of the world now. So time zones are a bit of a pain and really not worth the effort.

This image was taken off the balcony of my room. My view is towards the Gulf of Thailand (I can’t see the water) and towards downtown. It’s a weird view but I like it.

The sun was setting and I had my Nikon D810 (which I use for all portrait work) on a table so grabbed it and took this shot.

When I went to edit it I wanted that sunset to pop and the buildings to clip towards black. Did all that and then used a bunch of filters to get the sky to pop. Each one a different layer. Trust me, nature didn’t make this sunset. The joy of doing that is you always introduce noise into a sky photo. So I just ran another filter to denoise the image. Then I masked it in so it didn’t look unnatural and called it done.

Enjoy

Sunset over Pattaya

Architectural Travels – Part 3

I am almost done with the Architectural Travels series. I just have one more set to publish. These images were shot in Chicago, Illinois, Thailand, and Panama. The bulk split between Chicago and Panama.

When I started this series out I never had the intention of splitting it into so many categories. It just worked out that way when I started to edit the images. I could see how some images were more similar to others so it just made sense to save them that way.

This series was shot on 4 cameras. My Sony RX100III, Olympus EM1, Canon S100, and Sony A7R. Short of me looking at the names I can’t visually tell the differences between them. With good editing and a workflow that remains the same you can get consistent results regardless of the camera used. Interestingly enough I do own 3 out of the 4 cameras still. I sold all my Olympus gear to purchase my Nikon gear so I could have full frame for all my professional work.

Enjoy.

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It’s All In The Distance

Shot this in Thailand looking across Pattaya Bay. You can see the city on the left and then Pratumnak Hill on the right and finally Jomtien in the distance.

I remember shooting this while I hike all the way down from Wongamat Beach back towards Pattaya. Just taking shots along the way with my camera and tripod. I was fairly new at bracketing exposures and slowly shifting away from micro 4/3 to a full frame Sony. I used the Olympus EM1 for this shoot and it was the last time the camera came out. While I didn’t sell my micro 4/3 stuff immediately I did end up selling all of it to buy my Nikon D810 and selling other bits to pickup native Sony FE lenses. Don’t really regret that choice at all.

This image is HDR which might be hard to believe. The more I use Aurora 2017 and get comfortable with it the more I am willing to use it. One of my complaints with HDR is sometimes it’s too HDR. While I enjoy the more vibrant aspects of it I don’t want stuff looking like it was tossed into a nuclear waste facility. Not everything needs to glow. HDR is all about what your eyes can see visually that a camera can’t. Whole reason you bracket an image to get the full spectrum. Full spectrum doesn’t mean colors that look super unnatural.

Processed in HDR then run through some stuff in Photoshop and called it done. Rather happy with the soft and dreamy look.

Enjoy.

It's All In The Distance