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

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

View From Home

This honestly is one of the views I get when I leave my building and ride the half mile or so to Pattaya Beach.

I have taken for granted I live in a beach town and fairly close to the Gulf of Thailand. Its just not my normal path on my daily wanderings. Living in a beach town doesn’t mean  you actually go to the beach. You just know its there and if you are inclined then you can go to it. If not then you ignore it and go about your daily life.

I was riding with my gear gear shoved into my backpack because I had some other work to do and planned on shooting something completely different. When I hit the road I saw the sun setting over the Gulf of Thailand and raced down to the beach. Got lucky and found a spot to park the bike and jumped off. I didn’t want to waste time with setting up my full kit so grabbed my Canon S100 in my pocket and just took a few snaps. It’s why I carry it now because it’s small enough to go everywhere and has a decent sensor to what is needed.

Editing was just a quick crop and then a curves adjustment. I did a bit of dodging and burning and then called it done.

Enjoy.

View From Home

Red Clouds At Dusk

Shot this in Fort Myers. One side of where I was standing was a massive rain storm. The other side was this view.

Power is happily restored at my building in Thailand. I went out and did what I needed to do and by the time I came back power was back up. Bit of a relief being in your own room again. Even though I have lived here a little over a week all my stuff is in this room so it was a hassle to have to sleep some place else when you don’t expect it. I knew stuff like this would happen so not unexpected but not very welcome in the middle of the night and then having to wait for an electrician to show up.

Editing was my normal workflow. I do stick to using Daylight or Cloudy as my white balance and just adjust it as needed. Took the image into Photoshop and figured it could use some extra something. Loaded up Intensify and picked a preset. Then took it back into Photoshop and masked in the river from the original photo at a low opacity. Once I was happy hit save and done.

Enjoy.

Red Clouds At Sunset

Light On A Storm

This was shot while the storm was doing its thing. In Fort Myers, it’s not uncommon to see strong sunlight while it is storming at the same time.

This was taken with my Sigma 17-80mm which is an amazing lens. I did a lot of research while looking for a good video lens to use with the D5500. After a doing all the research I ended up with the Sigma Art lens which has image stabilization. It’s not constant aperture going from 2.8 on the wide to 4.0 on the long but that wasn’t a deal breaker. Matching it up with the D5500 had been a great combo.

Editing wasn’t much going on. In these type of shots you don’t need to do a whole lot. Applied my camera default and then a couple of gradients. Then a slight curves adjustment in Photoshop. Slight dodging and burning and called it done.

Enjoy.

Light On A Storm

Four From DC

I realized a bit late I should have picked a different title but hindsight is 20/20 and I have been very busy with work.

This is towards the end of my photographic journey in Washington DC and shockingly not on the National Mall. I was walking back to my car which was parked on Virginia Avenue. I have attempted to shoot the United States Institute of Peace building before but no luck. This time the light was hitting it right and I really liked how I got their logo into the frame. I originally shot this at a few angles but this one came out the best.

All the images this week were shot for HDR but this is the only one to actually be edited as a HDR photo. Architecture as a rule tends to work well for HDR which is why I went ahead and did this one in HDR.

Editing was done in Aurora 2017 and I manually played with the sliders and did whatever. Then it was into Photoshop to do some local working with dodging and burning. Once I was happy I hit save and done.

Enjoy.

united states institute of peace

Three From DC

This is the third post in the one off image series I am doing this week. This is the Declaration of Independence Memorial. Least according to the map I looked at.

You can see it’s getting darker or I’m making the image lower key. One way or the other it fits the mood. I honestly just liked the sunset and the ducks floating on the water. Honestly the water isn’t that deep. It would be well below the knees of the average person if you were to stand in it. The ducks and geese seem to enjoy it and hang out there. Then again, they have figured out its easy food since they constantly get fed.

Nothing fancy again edit wise. Just straight up Lightroom into Photoshop. Did some local work and called it done.

Enjoy.

Declaration of Independence Memorial