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Old Jun 29, 2010, 11:07 PM   #1
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Default Miscellaneous

I haven't been taking many pictures recently - been busy both at work and at home. But I've managed a few either around where I work or where I live, so nothing special. Just to prove that I still do use my camera, here's a few miscellaneous pictures I've taken over the last month or so.

First, I think I've just about given up on shooting IR - it doesn't seem to be a good fit for me or something. But I thought this picture came out as nicely as any of the ones I've taken so far, better than most. (K100, kit lens)

Since everyone has been shooting bugs, here's a bee. It's about as close as I want to get to them (K7, DA 35 macro ltd).

A different location. I almost changed my street scene picture to one of these. You have to admit, there's some really BIG glass! (K7, FA 77 Ltd)

K7, DA*300

The next two were taken a few minutes after leaving the astronomer's stronghold. I have no idea what this is, it grows in an open area in the national forest. What caught my eye was how the colors and appearance changed whether the plant was back-lit, like here: (K7, 77 Ltd):

Or front lit, like this one: (same combination)

There was still quite a bit of water/marshy area left over from melting snow and rain. It's probably completely dry now, but the drops of water on the leaves were quite charming. (K7, Viv 105 macro)

This next is just for fun, it's not serious stuff at all. I know it won't appeal to many, but I thought it was kind of neat. I've been playing around with different effects in photoshop, including combining pictures taken of the same scene with different methods. In this case, I chose a regular picture (like this picture - I think I used a different shot, but it might have been this one). K7, version 1 kit lens

And this IR version of the same scene (K100, DA 35 macro Ltd).

Then I loaded both files into Photoshop, asked the program to align the layers and then I don't remember what I did next. I think this picture was done by using the layer blend mode (most often used for extended dof stacking), but I'm now not sure. In any case, the results were totally unexpected and I thought it was kind of cool, in a hilarious way.

Obviously, it didn't exactly work as planned. All right, don't be afraid to tell me that the last one should be forgotten quickly.

The first two were shot at the botanical garden near my office and all of the rest of the pictures were shot within about 20 miles from the house, the last scene within 3 or 4 miles from the house (less as the crow flies).

As you can see, I've been a little at odds with photography recently. I'm about ready to give up playing with IR and I'm feeling totally unimaginative and uninspired. It's about time for me to take a road trip somewhere to get inspired.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 1:08 AM   #2
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Harriet, you keep delivering POTD quality pictures like the water runs in Rio Amazonas. I can hardly imagine how you could put the camera on the shelf for more than a few days before the itch comes back.
I like your IR shots a lot. Is the first one from Frazier Park? The last stacked one appeals to me, it reminds me of the Led Zeppelin "Houses of the Holy" cover even though it's from a totally different environment.
The water droplets picture is outstanding. Do you see how the two center leaves look like two cute aliens from outer space?
What on earth (!) were the astronomers looking for in the strong sunlight?

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Old Jun 30, 2010, 1:41 AM   #3
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I really like the first shot ..... it has a ghostly feel to it too. Also the 2nd front-lit plant shot - great colour and texture.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 1:57 AM   #4
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Hi Harriet,

I'll second Kjell's sentiments, but I kinda know how you might feel -- photography has taken a bit of a back seat to some other pressing matters for me lately -- and the weather hasn't been ideal. . .

I can rationalize my lack of interest in IR stuff since I normally don't have much inclination to shoot landscape stuff -- but I live in the very flat Midwest -- and in a very urban area at that, so there's hardly a scene that I can shoot with anything less than about 300mm that doesn't have some evidence of human interference in the frame.

I also share Kjell's curiosity about the telescopes in such strong sunlight -- UFOs????

I like the combination shot -- and though the double horizon of the hill is fine, I probably erase the IR section of it that intersects the tree leaves in the bottom left corner. The color of the sky contrasting the washed out ground is definitely eye-catching. Not a great image, but definitely something that holds interest for me, and a technique that might warrant more experimentation. I really like it that you try new ideas and techniques and share them here with us.

Really like your water drop captures -- you really do this well -- and I'm definitely envious of that 35. . .

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Old Jun 30, 2010, 3:36 AM   #5
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Hi Harriet,
You're certainly shooting much more than myself, I'm stiil not very mobile. I'm not sure what it is about the first IR shot, there's some ethereal effect I like very much, the bee shot I like too ... looks very sharp. all shots are very good.
I've got to say I'm not a tripod enthusiast, and there's a few in there I wouldn't want to be toting around at all , just joking LOL. ... Jack
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 3:40 AM   #6
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Hi Harriet,

first off I do like all your shots,
never started with IR, but your first shot is really motivating. One of the best IR i've seen.

Your close up of the bug isn't really macro but ... can it be any sharper.

Those drops are ''''wow''''.

And I don't get those astronomers/campers, if they have to wait till it's dark enough to see something through that glass, they'll be plastered enough that they won't even find their telescopes

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Old Jun 30, 2010, 3:42 AM   #7
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The flower/bee and the water drop shots are really nice shots..keepers definitely
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 10:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for the compliments - I wish I could always get IR pictures like the first one.

Kjell and Scott - that first IR picture was taken in the middle of Los Angeles, believe it or not. The buildings you can somewhat see through the trees are both apartment buildings, the one on the right a high-rise while the one in the center is only a couple of stories. It helps that it was taken in the middle of a botanical gardens! So Scott, there are places in the big city that can work for IR, I've actually done better around work than at home - I wasn't all that crazy about the road shot I posted.

As far as the astronomers - that spot is the highest point that you can drive to in Los Padres National Forest, and because it's out of the city a pretty long way, it's popular with astronomers, who come up on the weekends around the new moon and camp Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This was taken pretty early one Sunday morning, before all of them packed up to drive back home (I have another shot of someone packing up his stuff, but his telescope was much smaller than these two). Maybe some day I'll go up there after dark, but I never think of it.

Ronny - those astronomers look pretty serious to me. They come up every month (there's a few that show up even in the middle of winter, if the sky is clear). Some of them have very comfortable set-ups, they obviously do it a lot. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some are so obviously dedicated to their hobbies, considering my own involvement with photography ("sweetheart, you don't really mind eating hot dogs for the next month, there's a sale on at Adorama and they have such a good deal on...").

jachol - I agree with you about those tripods. You'd set them up once and not want to move them. But can you imagine how close you could get to a bird with one of those?
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 2:19 PM   #9
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I echo everyone's comments, Harriet.
The first one is a wall hanger in my book.
The water droplets shot is supper,
and the I got a big chuckle picturing you reaction when you saw the results of your experiment!
even though it turned out pretty interesting.

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Old Jun 30, 2010, 9:54 PM   #10
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Thanks GW. I guess I might have to take the K100 to work again and play some more with IR. Also, perhaps I'm now getting a better idea of what works (wider is better - forget detail shots, which is much more how I see things). It's definitely hit-or-miss for me as while you can see the results immediately, I sometimes have trouble visualizing whether the picture will look good converted from mostly red to b&w. And I have a habit of processing with too much contrast - the second one (the road) has lights and darks but nothing in between. The first one has all different levels of grey. Something more for me to think about.
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