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Category: Lightroom (page 1 of 2)

Yosemite

After working on a few of my images, I confirmed what I already suspected. Yosemite looks better in black and white. The reason for this, as Mr. Adams clearly knew, is that you can make much larger image adjustments without destroying the image. The color image below was enhanced as much as I can stand. Adjusting things further would result in an obviously manipulated image.

This color version looks ok, right?

Wondering what I mean by obviously manipulated? Have a look at this wacky example. (If, on the other hand, you think it’s sorta cool, you can see more of Stephen Wilkes’s work here.)

Now, the black and white version.

Much better, right?

You can see the difference in the sky immediately. I made a few more adjustments to the contrast and some shadow detail here and there. These things were not really possible in the color image.

Yosemite looks better in black and white than it does in reality. The view from the highway just before the tunnel.
Beauty in black and white.

Flakes

California’s got the most of them… Boy they got a host of them.
–Frank Zappa

So, we took the day off so that we could be home to accept delivery of a new table. Even though the table was in stock when we ordered it, we decided to wait until the shipment was complete to save on shipping charges. So, today, after a three week wait, they delivered the LEGS only – no TOP. They have offered word on when the rest of the table will be delivered. Dang! We expected better from Crate & Barrel. On the plus side, we did get this new cabinet.

On a side note, this is a Lightroom HDR image. I set the camera to bracket, and hand-held the shots. The three images were then combined and aligned automatically in Lightroom to produce this image, which has far greater dynamic range than would be possible in a normal exposure.

Update:

Crate & Barrel came through after all. They delivered and assembled the table on Saturday morning. Yay!

I Walked Five Miles
to Get This Shot

The eastern half of an icon of the Bay Area is coming down after carrying up to 300,000 cars per day for 77 years. Progress is slow, but this week a gap appeared in the longest cantilevered section, and I decided that this needed to be captured.

Luckily, the replacement span has a very wide, smooth bike and pedestrian path on the side facing the old bridge. Unfortunately, it’s quite a haul along the Bay Bridge Trail just to get from the parking lot to the foot of the new bridge, and at that point, you’re only half way there. It’s a good 90 minute walk to get out to the most interesting parts of the bridge. I’ll need a day or two to recover, but have no regrets. It was a beautiful day, and I got the shot!

Loving B&W Photography

I’m having so much fun shooting Black and white. It’s a real timesaver, and as a bonus, images look great. Nowadays, instead of trying to correct weird color shifts in images shot under terrible lighting conditions, I just whack the color altogether – and I’m loving it.

(Rollover the image to see the original color version.)

Black and white has several advantages. First, it levels the viewing experience somewhat. I’m always concerned that viewers will not be seeing my images the way I do. Black and white removes a lot of these variables – or at least reduces their influence. These images will look (more or less) the same on all reasonable displays. Removing color from the equation allows for much more dramatic adjustments while still maintaining a level of realism. (So much of the “photography” I see on the web these days is actually so abused by filter-happy PhotoShop jockeys that the manipulations are all I see. The results bear no resemblance to the original scene whatsoever.) Black and white distills the image down to composition and texture. And perhaps best of all, people love it. I shot our last company party, and after half an hour of trying to get a decent skin tone, finally gave up and converted the images to black and white. Well guess what? They look great, and my coworkers love them.

Shooting this way is energizing. It’s definitely inspiring me to shoot more photos, and that’s a very good thing.

Arm Chair Nature Photography

I put my recently purchased 15 foot USB cable to work this morning. I set up this simple rig and connected the cable to my iMac, launched a tethered session in Lightroom and went back to my work. Then whenever I heard the high-pitched squeak of a hungry hummer, without even looking out the window, I hit command-tab to switch to Lightroom and remotely triggered the camera as fast as possible. Here is the very first shot!

Coming in for a perfect landing

Here’s the third shot.

Shootin' the bird from my office chair.

Nikon’s fabulous lighting system allowed me to shoot these at 1/5000 of a second and still use flash. The only problem is that there seems to be a tiny pre-flash, and these hummers are FAST! Often they are well into skeedaddle mode even before the shutter trips.

But then, once in a while this happens.

Beautiful, isn't he? Kelly named him Scarface.
You lookin' at me?

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