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Old Mar 6, 2010, 7:53 PM   #1
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Default I don't know about these...

This has been a week for me to do something different just about every day. Monday it was dawn pictures, Tuesday found me shooting macros, Wednesday it was window reflections at lunch, and yesterday I played around with street scenes.

If I were to write a photography book it would be titled "How NOT To Do It". I made a point of taking my K100, a couple of lenses, R72 filter, step up rings, and tripod with me on Thursday. Only problem was that the batteries were still in the charger, and there wasn't enough juice in the flash's batteries to power the camera. So Friday I made sure that I had batteries in everything, went to set it up and discovered that I didn't have a bracket for the the camera to put it on the tripod's QR plate. I tried to have the camera sitting on the plate, but even at ISO 1600, my shutter speeds were around 1/20 sec, so the pictures were fairly soft. And I'm still not sure about the processing - it probably doesn't help that I only had about a half hour for lunch, so not enough time to go somewhere interesting - the pictures aren't the greatest to begin with.

What is your reaction to these - all but one of them is pretty extreme processing - not my usual thing at all. My 30 day trial for Topaz Lab's Detail is over and I'm not ready to buy yet, so last night I downloaded the 30 day trial for their Adjust plug-in to play with this month.

This one was processed completely in CS4 - I used the high-contrast blue filter pre-set in it's b&w adjustment panel.



The same picture, only this time I used the auto b&w conversion and adjusted the contrast with curves. It's a more normal reflection of what the original looked like:



A different picture, this time I processed it using Topaz Labs Adjust on two different layers, adjusting for different things (the picture was very soft so I used one of their more aggressive detail/sharpening pre-sets for the street, trees and buildings and another layer that had no extra sharpening but more contrast for the sky), then blending them to get this:



I thought that sepia rather fitted this one. It's definitely not brilliant, but for some reason I rather like it, don't know why. The sepia was done in Lightroom, then further processed in Adjust.



So are these way out in left field? Are they awful or is the processing too over-the-top (looking at the post preview, they don't look as processed at this reduced size, I think)? I don't have a feel yet how to make the most of the R72 filter, so I'm not very good at envisioning what the scene will look like in b&w. I tend to shoot a picture, review it to see what it looks like, adjust the camera and shoot again - you can't see through the filter.

Anyway, any comments, suggestions or criticisms would be greatly accepted.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 8:07 PM   #2
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Made my mind go way out in left field with a great thoughts of no ways looking at the clouds and the trees really pushed it over the edge. but they are great and that is what counts different for sure....
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 8:40 PM   #3
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The first and third pics are my favorites. I love the dark brooding sky of the first one. For some reason the parked car at the left edge bothers me in the second one, but in the first, it fits right in. I really like the third pic a lot, but I have two quibbles: the same car on the left edge still bothers me (though not as much), and the pickup truck driving out of the frame bugs me a bit. I like the two pedestrians in that shot a lot.

Overall, I'd say these are good shots. I like them, especailly the first and third ones.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 8:44 PM   #4
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I like the third one a lot Harriet.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 9:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback - I think I could get rid of the truck in the third one - I took another picture from the same place that has no people or vehicles in it. I haven't processed it yet because I like the pedestrians and thought the picture looked really strange with nothing in it. But I could possibly match the part of that picture without the truck and overlay it on this one. I'll have to give that a try.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 10:06 PM   #6
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I prefer the darker sky and more muted tones of the first one - the other two look overexposed to me - especially the third one. I like the first one a lot.

The sepia tone seems to complement the brick buildings, which look older. The tall modern building in the background look out of place in sepia - like a time warp.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thanks, Penolta. I've used the high contrast blue b&w preset a couple of times with IR photos and often like the result when it works (it doesn't always - there's got to be enough that doesn't have much red tint). You may have discovered why I like the last one - the contrast of the out of place Oppenheimer Tower building against the brick low-rise buildings along the alley, maybe that's what attracts me to the picture. I'll have to try this up on main campus, were I'll be able to avoid the Wilshire high-rises.
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Old Mar 6, 2010, 11:27 PM   #8
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I like number one best. You might try cloning the truck out of the picture. The palm trees in IR look great.

One thing I found helpful taking IR shots with a tripod was to first look at the scene through the camera without the filter and frame my shot. I then put on the filter and adjusted white balance, focused and took the shot.



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Old Mar 6, 2010, 11:33 PM   #9
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i actually like the first one you posted as well. has a very nice infrared look to it, with the white foliage and nice dark sky.

the 2nd one looks overexposed. the 3rd one looks overexposed and looks kind of artifacty to me (is that even a word).

i would like to see #3 but processed similar to #1.
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Old Mar 7, 2010, 11:29 AM   #10
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For me, in the first set, the vehicles are distracting and in the first two, the man walking in the foreground looks like he is wearing a hat, caused by the dark spots in the background. The last one would work if all the vehicles were gone and the modern buildings were cloned out. jmo.
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