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

Bali Hai Lighthouse

I think this area is called Bali Hai but don’t quote me on it. If you don’t have a motorbike or car you aren’t going to get there because it’s a hike from the Bali Hai pier in Pattaya.

I drove up there and was just tooling around. Bali Hai pier is getting redone so it was closed and I didn’t feel like trying to find a space to park and then walk out on the pier. So I rode down to the lighthouse and took some photos.

Light was kinda flat so I went with a black and white for this because I think it looks cooler this way anyways. I left the people in the image to give you a sense of scale. It’s not a big lighthouse, hell I don’t even think it does anything except guard the weeds and trash around the area.

Enjoy!

Bali Hai Lighthouse

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

Thai Nightlife

This was shot actually in Thailand. It’s a little place called Mike’s Mall as you can see in the background. There is usually a small market and then at night the vendors setup for drinks and other shopping stuff.

It’s weird running a photography site where I can’t actually show client photos. Which is all I shoot now. I have been complaining about it but it’s hard to find a balance when you need to manage the expectations of a client versus your own work. Trying to work with someone else to do a shooting day where we go out and just spend a day taking pictures. Hoping it works out.

The other issue is I find myself shooting stuff that is more for me than anyone else. This leads to a logistical question of what do I do? Continue a site where time for personal work is limited. Living in Thailand has been an amazing experience and I have loved every minute of it. It’s not like being on a holiday where I get up and decide what I want to do  today or not. Still, I have my own schedule but there are certain realities I have to keep as well.

Will either try to find a balance in the coming weeks one way or the other. Who knew that slowly transitioning to what I really wanted to do would lead to a quandary for my own personal work. Don’t get me wrong, I love the photos I’m taking. It’s just not for here.

Editing this was a challenge. It’s noisy to begin with because was shot on my RX100. This meant trying to keep the noise down but get a usable image out it. Normal workflow but I didn’t sharpen it. Would just increase the noise already there.

Enjoy.

Thai Nightlife

On The Bench

These were all shot at Meadowlark Gardens while I was shooting the early spring stuff. While they could have gone with those images I felt they stood on their own with their own theme.

Still on travel, in fact as this goes live I’ll be on my final leg of my flight to Thailand. So hello from the future since this was all preloaded.

Editing was my standard Lightroom and Photoshop workflow.

Enjoy.

Bridge Among The Clouds

I took this photo in Portland out of an Uber while a group of us were heading to dinner at Pok Pok. They specialize in food from South East Asia and in particular North/North East areas of Thailand. If you know Thailand that means Issan! I will be making a visit to Udon Thani this year so will see how authentic their fare is. I will tell you that if you have never been to Thailand but enjoy Thai cuisine most of the stuff you have eaten is from Issan.

The whole reason I finally edited this photo was I was watching a Photoshop video where an image was shot out of a moving train in Tokyo. I thought I have a similar image to this that I rejected so why not give it an edit. Was more for fun than anything.

Shooting out of a moving vehicle is fun. You need to make sure the camera focuses on something relatively static and that your shutter speed is up fast enough to freeze that. You still get some blur indicating motion.

When I went to edit I wanted to make this about the clouds. Luckily I had locked focus so I had them frozen. This made things fairly straightforward.

Started with my usual camera profile (Sony RX100M3) and then just did some quick adjustments. Mainly using gradients to bump clarity and dehaze in the sky. Then it was into Photoshop for a curves adjustment and then local working using dodge and burn. Final bit was getting the sky to look a more natural blue so a quick hue/saturation to bring it down and called it done.

Enjoy.

PS – No more watermarks. This will be explained sometime in the upcoming weeks.

Bridge Among Clouds

Follow The Line To Where It Leads

I shot this at Antietam Battlefield last year. I was walking along one of the many roads that go through the park and saw this and figured why not take a photo.

This image was meant for HDR but when I ran it through the initial conversion using Aurora it just looked awful. I did a quick edit just to see what I wasn’t happy with it at all. I just moved back to Lightroom and reverted to my usual workflow. While I enjoy making HDR images sometimes things can get a little too much. There is no sense in trying to push an image when it doesn’t work.

When it came time for editing I did my usual workflow then into Photoshop. Once I added my curves adjustment I did some local dodging and burning. While the image wasn’t going to be HDR it could use a bit of a pop. I created a new layer and opened Intensify CK and picked a preset that I have as a favorite. Brought it back into Photoshop and masked in the road at one opacity and the field and trees at another. Still wasn’t done. The grass and fields were a bit hot and nuclear. So brought them down using desaturase brush and a hue/saturation adjustment. This caused my line to lose a bit of its punch. Quickly made a new layer from the base, bumped the saturation back into the yellows and masked that in. Called it done.

Enjoy.

Follow the Yellow Line