Friday, March 27, 2015

Yet Another Austin Skyline Shot

So, if you haven't seen enough shots of Austin's skyline, have I got something for you!  Here is yet another shot of Austin's skyline at dusk.  I took this shot with the newly totally retired Van Sutherland last August on the boardwalk that's on Lady Bird Lake.

Like my previous post, I exposure-bracketed this particular scene for a possible HDR image, but in the end I just used one exposure and tweaked it out in Photoshop.  You know, it seems the more photo processing software (Photoshop, Lightroom) evolves, the less one needs to do HDR as long as you are able to capture the shot you are looking for in the beginning, exposure-wise.  I find that I still bracket when I go on a shoot, but not too often anymore do I run the brackets through the HDR process.  I just now take one of the exposures and work on that and maybe blend in another darker or lighter exposure depending on the sky or a different part of the scene that I like.  I prefer the results a little better mostly.  That's not to say I won't do HDR at all anymore, but I just don't do it as often.

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 55mm
Aperture - f16
Exposure - 1 Sec
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - Yes
HDR - No
# of brackets -NA

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Moon Over Centennial Olympic Park

This is a shot I took over two years ago during a trip to Atlanta.  It's another angle of the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel as seen from Centennial Olympic Park.  You can see the moon in the upper right corner of the image.  I'm not sure if it is more of an annoyance or an enhancement to the shot, but since I know it's the moon, I thought I'd leave it in.

I originally bracketed this shot for HDR, but in the end I just tweaked out the 0 EV exposure for this final image.

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Nikon D700
Lens - Nikkor 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0
Focal Length - 19mm
Aperture - f22
Exposure - 6 secs
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - Yes
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

360 Rooftop Bar

Baseball season, Major League Baseball season, will soon be here.  I think opening night is April 5th and opening day is April 6th.  So as an early commemoration for those dates, I thought I'd post a somewhat sort of baseball picture.  Technically it has nothing to do with baseball as this shot is really a shot of a bar atop a Hilton hotel in St Louis.  It's location however, has lots to do with baseball.  You see this bar is called the "360" and it's atop the Hilton St Louis at the Ballpark, right next to Busch Stadium, home of the St Louis Cardinals.  And, when I took this shot, I think it was game two of the National League Championship Series and the Cards beat the Giants 5 - 4.  The light coming from below in the shot are the lights from Busch Stadium itself and one gets an awesome view inside the park from this bar.  Pretty cool stuff!

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
Focal Length - 10mm
Aperture - f8
Exposure - 1/4
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 6400
Exposure bias - 0EV
Tripod - No
HDR -No
# of brackets - NA

Friday, March 20, 2015

South Bye Southwest

I didn't make it out to get any pictures during Austin's famous South By Southwest (SXSW) festival this year and as it winds down this weekend, I thought I should at least post something to commemorate it.

Every year SXSW seems to get bigger and bigger and when things like that get bigger and bigger they become more and more of a pain in the arse.  While the festival may be great for the local economy, it makes it especially difficult to get around town.  Most of the locals are just glad when it's over, I think.  That's the vibe I got from the sign at Doc's Bar and Grill on South Congress when I went shooting one morning back in 2013 just after SXSW ended.  I think they were glad to see it go.  It was the same in Park City, UT when we went there last month.  The locals were very happy to see the Sundance Film Festival end.  These things just get too big.

So this shot is not an HDR, but it is a blend of two brackets... One shot at -1 EV and another at -3 EV.  I then put them together using a gradient mask in Photoshop to darken the sky but keep the main building well lit.  I then did a little more masking on the sign to darken it a bit for detail and got rid of a few spots on the camera lens as it was a little misty during the shot.  Lastly, I made some vignette tweaks with Nik Color Efex 4 and here you see the final product.

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Nikon D700
Lens - Nikkor 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0
Focal Length - 18mm
Aperture - f11
Exposure - 10 secs
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - -1 EV
Tripod -Yes
HDR - No
# of brackets - 2

Utah Capitol Chandelier and Murals

We're going back to Utah and the state capitol with this shot...  Here is an angle of the chandelier that hangs down from the top of the rotunda in the center of the capitol.  And all around are these great murals that depict various events in Utah state history.  The main one you see here on the left is titled, "Peace with the Indians September 1852", depicting a time when the Mormons brokered a peace treaty with the local Native Americans, as stated on page three of "The Historical Structures Report" from the State of Utah.  The one to the right of that and a bit obscured by the light is called "Pony Express and the Stagecoach" and the one on the far right is called "General Connor Inaugurates Mining."  They are all rather extraordinary and really make the capitol a worthwhile place to visit. 

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 30mm
Aperture - f3.6
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 500
Exposure bias - +0.33 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Big Fish

I've been under the weather a tad lately so I haven't been paying too much attention to the blog.  I'm beginning to feel a bit better now and I figure it's time to put a picture out there.

I'm not sure exactly why I picked this one, I just kind of liked it.  I found it while going thru Lightroom the other day and decided to tweak it a bit.  This shot is some sort of fish, maybe a grouper, but I'm not quite sure, that I took at the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, AK.  It's a great place to visit if you ever get to Seward.  There are lots of animals to see from these fish here, to sea lions, puffins, salmon and lots of other native species from the area.

So, I added some pro contrast, darken/lighten center and bi-color filters to this shot using Nik Color Efex 4.  I also had to blur out the background a bit more using Nik Analog Efex as it was a tad noisy.  I'm not promoting those products, but I use them because they are so easy and a major part of my workflow and I sometimes like to state what I use to get the final product you see here.

Anyway, I hope you like the picture and thanks for dropping by.  Oh, and if you know what kind of fish this is, please drop a comment and let me know.  Am I right about it  being a grouper?

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-E1
Lens - Fujinon XC50-230mmF4.5-6.7 OIS
Focal Length - 50mm
Aperture - f4.5
Exposure - 1/60
Exposure program - Program AE
ISO speed - 6400
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Block or Foul?

This is another shot I took during the Mavs game we went to last Sat night.  Most of the guys in here are off the bench, but it turned out to be a decent action shot even if it was taken with my little point and shoot.

The player with the ball is Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack and he is either getting blocked or fouled by Dallas Mavericks' forward Charlie Villanueva.

The shot was processed in Lightroom with a little vignette added, cropped and a tad bit of split-toning...

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Sony DSC-HX9V
Lens - 4.3-68.5 mm f/3.3-5.9
Focal Length - 38.3 mm
Aperture - f5
Exposure - 1/250
Exposure program - Auto
ISO speed - 1250
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dirk Nowitski

Last Saturday we went up to Dallas to see the Mavericks play the Brooklyn Nets.  Getting up there was a bit of an adventure as Fort Worth and Dallas got about 2 - 3 inches of snow a day or two prior and the roads were a little slippery up there.  This just freaks Texans out, but us Midwest-born people are used to it.  Everything was just fine up and back.

Our friend Ellen who lives in Ft Worth and went to the game with us let us stay at her house and she suggested we take the TRE train which was a great idea!  It has a stop right in front of the American Airlines Center so it was perfect!  (Thanks again, Ellen!  It was great and you are a great host!)  It made the trip to the game very easy and we didn't have to worry about parking.  Not to mention  worrying about the people who do not know how to drive in snow!  Try the train if you ever go to the AA Center!

That is a great arena to see a game or just about anything else.  Very clean, great beer and just a nice atmosphere.  We were a little surprised by the crowd though..  It seemed to be kind of a snooty one as a lot of the people there looked like they had quite a bit of money from the way they were dressed and when the game announcer asked to make some noise, the crowd seemed to let out a collective, "Whatever"..  Not literally, but they really didn't make much noise and they just didn't really try to play along.  Once in a while they let out some cheers when Dirk here made a nice three pointer or someone else made a good play, but overall they weren't too enthusiastic.  Maybe the fact that the Mavs were behind most of the game had something to do with it, but they were never totally out of the game until the very end.  Oh well, still lots of fun!

I got this shot of Dirk Nowitski during shoot-around prior to the game kicking off.  Not sure what he was smiling about but he really seemed to enjoy himself and his teammates out there!  Good for him!  Rajon Rondo on the other hand did not look too happy and I don't know why.  I guess because he just came off of a suspension by his coach for a game because he and his coach got into a little bit of a tiff...  Still, if I made his kind of money, I'd be ear-to-ear every night along with Dirk!  Like the crowd, I thought, "Whatever".

I took this shot with my trusty Sony DSC-HX9V compact point and shoot.  It has a nice zoom lens on it.  Ellen went down as far as she could to get a nice shot of him and I followed her down.  We made it about 5-10 rows before the court where we could not get past the last usher and I just zoomed all the way in.  I also cropped this shot to give Dirk a nice placement in it.  Lastly I added a some bokeh to it using Nik's Analog Efex to give it some depth and put the focus on Dirk.

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Sony DSC-HX9V
Lens - 4.3-68.5 mm f/3.3-5.9
Focal Length - 68.5 mm
Aperture - f5.9
Exposure - 1/200
Exposure program - Auto
ISO speed - 1600
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

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