Required Viewing

This was shot on the Portland River Walk along with the previous image from here. If I was to be honest I would tell you I screwed up the name and this one was to be titled the sweet spot. Oh well.

I haven’t worked in black and white lately and its been fun to do a few images. For images like this it’s just more interesting when you do a black and white because it then becomes about textures and tones.

When you do an image like this you start to bring out features that otherwise aren’t visible when its in color. Things just get enhanced in unexpected ways that just make the image pop.

Editing for this was all done in Tonality CK. I just play with sliders until I’m happy. Then some dodging and burning and called it done.

Enjoy.

Required Viewing

Sweet Spot

This was taken in Portland last year. After going through the images I found a few more that I figured I wanted to process.

I remember the day I took this because it was cold and grey. I was up before dawn and doing long exposures while the sky was still dark. As it got light I just kept pressing on and shooting not knowing what I was going to get out of it. Happy I did.

I have discovered that days like this, with moody skies make for great black and white images. You can really bring out the sky and other details. It takes the need for good light out of the equation and you still have a very nice image.

Did my usual post processing in Lightroom then into Photoshop then quickly into Tonality for the black and white conversion. I just use sliders until I’m happy. I can’t tell you specifically what I did. I just start playing until it looks good.

Once I was happy it was back into Photoshop for local dodging and burning. Then hit save and was done.

Enjoy.

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Portland Bridges

No idea what the name of this bridge is or any of them. All I know is I was in Portland, Oregon standing on a floating dock and taking images.

I was in Portland last year for for work which I took this image. There wasn’t very good light and I was shooting at the ass crack of dawn which is not my normal time. I am the landscape photographer that will do evening and night shots until dawn but getting up at dawn isn’t my thing. I wasn’t jetlagged, instead I had three 8% alcohol beer which I didn’t know was 8% alcohol so I was in my room asleep at like 8 PM local time. Speaking of the beer, it was very good but the next night when I talked to the bartender and I said I was asleep early is when I found out it was 8%. Ooops.

This image was all about the sky. With little color it was perfect for a monochrome conversion. So I did my normal edits and took it into Tonality. I picked a preset and then just started to play with sliders until happy. I then took it into Photoshop and did some local work. I had too much noise in the sky so I created a layer mask and then removed that via Camera Raw filter in the areas. I then created another mask to bring up the brightness in certain areas with the Camera Raw filter. Bit of dodging and burning and called it done.

Enjoy.

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Vertically Natured

Since I was in the archives with the Portland, Oregon photo from yesterday I figured why not see what else was there. For the flower lover(s) out there I clicked on the stuff I shot at the Portland Rose Gardens.

It’s strange what I will and will not let through anymore. I know these images aren’t great. Still, I figured why not. Sometimes you need to let go and just go with what you want. I know there are flaws in these images but most people looking at them will never pick them up. It doesn’t mean I just rushed the edits and said to hell with it. It just means, I’m not going to worry about if it’s an epic masterpiece or not. I have shot them and edited them. Sometimes you just edit and publish image because people like it.

These were shot on either a Sony A7R or a Sony RX100M3. They were processed the same way. Camera defaults applied in Lightroom, then gradients and other fun stuff. Then into Photoshop for a curves adjustment for tone and contrast. Local working with dodging and burning and done. Sometimes one more white balance in Camera Raw and and a hue/saturation depending on what I was looking for.

Enjoy.

PS – If they look crispy it’s because they are. I am now just applying the sharpening in full res and letting Photoshop sort it out when I down res it for the web.

PPS – If you are looking at sky and wondering why there is so much variation. It really did shift that much in the couple hours I was there shooting.

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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

Flower Squares – Part Two

Here are the second half of the flowers I published yesterday. These were all taken in Portland, Oregon at the public Rose Garden. If it wasn’t for people I worked with wanting to get there I doubt I would have ever taken the photos.

There is a bit of a story behind editing these images. It almost didn’t happen. My hands were hurting from lugging around my tripod and Nikon D810 earlier in the day. While it’s not super cold, my tripod is aluminum so all that cold goes right into my hand. So when it came time to edit my hand was screaming in pain. While it only takes a few minutes per image by the time I was done doing 16 I was ready to call it quits.

Enjoy.

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Flower Squares – Part One

I have been getting requests for flowers from my Mom almost daily. Since she reads and comments daily I’ll humor her not for just one day but two!

The whole flower thing started when I was a new at photography. I had no real clue what I was doing. If I was outside it was flowers. If I was inside it was my cat. Over the years my photography got better and I realized I hated flowers because I learned to shoot other things. The cat – well she was old and had an extremely charmed life.

So I don’t take a lot of flowers photos anymore. When I was in Portland, Oregon they were doing the Rose Festival. I already published a few sets of the roses. This was the B roll stuff that I didn’t select in the first cut. Some have errors resulting from myself or the camera. Others have issues with the backgrounds. Still, I knew I had them and to make my Mom happy I just went ahead and did the edits.

Going to split this up into 2 sets. There are 16 images totals. This will also buy me some time to do additional editing of all the new stuff I have shot recently. I’m on the road starting this Friday. So I need to preload all the images which means a lot of time sitting in front of the computer and editing

Speaking of editing flowers are easily done. Nothing special here. Contrast adjustments and then dodging and burning. Called it done.

Enjoy.

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Hawthorne Bridge

I love having lots of stuff to work on in my catalogue. It keeps me from getting bored with one specific area or thing. While I haven’t been to Portland, Oregon since May I still have stuff I shot and never edited it.

This is the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, Oregon. I know this because I looked it up. Otherwise I would not have had a clue. This was right outside my hotel so it’s one of the first images I took when I was in Portland. It was shot around dawn and the sun never really rose because the weather was rainy most of the time and those times that it wasn’t I could not shoot.

Editing wise I went back to masking in bits here and there. I always do my initial edits in Lightroom which includes various gradients. Then it’s into Photoshop to add contrast and do local dodging and burning. After that I then started to add in filters via MacPhun’s Intensify CK. I really liked how it made the sky pop along with the river. Once I had that I then masked in the bits I wanted and called it done.

Enjoy!

Hawthorne Bridge

Portland Roses – Part 2

This is the rest of the roses from Portland, Oregon that I shot. I wish the weather was better when I was out there visiting but the shots I got were pretty good and I did enjoy visiting the city. Would have loved to see the Japanese Gardens that were next to the Rose Garden but I was out of time and I had a plane to catch to San Diego.

I also want to say that this is the last post for weekends going forward. Taking last weekend off made me realize that I could do better editing when I had time to put cohesive series together and work on images instead of rushing them at the end of the day. Churning out images 7 days a week is a lot of effort. While doing that many edits has really pushed my editing skills it also has made me sloppy by rushing them. So no more. Going forward there will be no more images on Saturday or Sunday. I’ll post a reminder next week but this is it.

Enjoy the final weekend post. I go out with flowers much like it started!

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Portland Roses – Part 1

It’s my Mom’s birthday today. She would be the one that comments everyday on every post. She often times mentions that I should have more flowers. I often respond offline that I am not a flower photographer. They were great when I first started in photography but not so much now. I periodically take pictures of them and throw them up on the site to make her happy.

It it with great fanfare that I held these images back from when I was in Portland in May. I had the opportunity to go to the Portland Rose Garden which is free and open to the public. I never knew Portland, Oregon was that into roses but apparently they have a huge festival every year. So before I flew down to San Diego I went with a group and shot a bunch of photos. It seemed a better idea than sitting in a hotel bar or an airport bar.

If you are a lover of roses you are going to like this. Think there are 28 images total and I’ll split them up into 2 parts. I was very basic on the edits simply because there was so many to process. I kept it simple and if there were imperfections on the roses they stayed because to clean up that many images would have been a nightmare. The one good thing I do now versus when I started with flowers is I use gradients and do localized contrast adjustments. This means I don’t get weird background behind the flowers. By using the gradients I can keep the focus on the flower.

Most of these were shot with my Sony A7R and the 24-240mm with a few shot with my Sony RX100M3.

Enjoy.

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