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Old Dec 12, 2010, 6:56 PM   #1
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Default Miscellaneous photo ramblings (lots of imgs)

Some recent shots. Haven't gone anywhere in a couple of weeks and haven't been feeling particularly inspired. Struggling with the color topic, too. So here's some random photos that I've taken recently and that I think worked out reasonably well:

Taken for the biweekly challenge (ripples and waves). It didn't get much for responses, I guess you have to have a slightly warped sense of humor about life in California to "appreciate" it:

This one seemed to have more appeal, but not by much:

This picture, on the other hand, got quite a bit of response:

Someone made the comment about the window washer, but that's not what he was - he's actually a painter. Here's a picture I took the next day of him and his painting:

This picture was taken on a different day. I actually spotted the tree in the very early morning but didn't have a chance to photograph it until lunch. I didn't have the CPL and the leaves were reflective with some blown out, the light was really harsh and the scene became far too busy to make sense of it. The brilliant color of the leaves didn't come across right, so I tried a more extreme processing to see if I could re-capture what I "saw" with the mind's eye (rather than the reality). I thought this worked out pretty well, got what I wanted even if it is mostly fantasy. What do you think about it?

Another humor attempt, taken at lunch. Not a great shot, but I laughed as I watched this sea gull in a somewhat unusual spot.

This picture is better:

Right after taking pictures of the gull, I walked around the wall you can see in the gull shots and took this picture with the 12-24 (which I haven't used much recently). It's actually a 5 frame auto exposure set put together as an HDR with photomatix.

Now you can see how out of place that sea gull was.

Another lunchtime, this time I went looking for subjects to use for using the selective color feature on the K7. This rose didn't work well for that process (too much other red in the frame), but I thought it was one of the better flower/close-up pictures I've taken recently.

That flame picture in last month's challenge got me thinking about such things and then when my other half suggested using our fireplace for the first time in two years, I jumped at the chance. I discovered that slow shutter speeds don't do fires any good at all - they are much better with faster shutter speeds.

The first two were taken at ISO 2000 with the K7, the last one with ISO 800. The noise of the K7's pictures sure made me envious of all who've managed to get a K5, I sure want one. Taking the fire pictures was fun, it's so soothing to stare into the fire and watch the flames and the coals glowing, a constantly changing scene. Got me thinking of the campfires at summer camp, something I looked forward to every summer.

That's about all I've done recently, not great photography but some fun moments. Feel free to make any comments about the pictures, especially what you think about the red tree picture. It's not my usual thing at all, but I couldn't figure out any other way to save the picture.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 7:02 PM   #2
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nice day to day collection. as for the tree, well, i don't get much from nature shots but i really like the inclusion of that antennae? or rebar? or whatever it is. good choice.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 8:00 PM   #3
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I really like the abstract reflections! The ones of the fireplace turned out very nicely as well (impressive ISO performance on the K7)! Now that the weather has turned wintry, I need to turn my attention to more indoor stuff as well!
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 8:55 PM   #4
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The Tron poster with the guy on the scaffolding is awesome!
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 9:16 PM   #5
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Harriet, I just don't understand people... What's not to get, they work perfectly for me. Then again you mentioned something about being warped... oh well, that pretty much says it all.
I agree with Ira, the poster shot is really awesome!

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Old Dec 12, 2010, 10:40 PM   #6
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I don't know, are we warped? Californians I mean? Well, I do get the pics, and do like them...I thought Graffiti was against the law? you know, painting on the side of the building, for those on the slow side.
I really like the different reflections.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 4:47 AM   #7
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Some great shots, really like nr2 best.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 6:44 AM   #8
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Very interesting "warped reflections" - forces me to stop and look and think in a different way...

Lovely bright tree, very interesting contrast with the (scaffolding??) - seems to be telling a story in contrasts.

Lots of action in the 2nd gull shot.

Good lighting and use of DOF on the rose.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 9:14 AM   #9
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Some additional comments - the tree picture has rebar on the right side, it's really what got me to notice the bright red tree behind the construction site. I had never noticed the tree before, I think it had been covered up by some type of (rather ugly) pines that used to grow in front of it or else I never really looked in that direction before. In any case, I probably won't be able to see the tree beyond this winter from that spot - the rebar is one column of a large, multi-story dorm they are constructing. The tree isn't affected by the construction, it will just be behind the new building.

Lisa - I definitely think that we Californians have to be a bit warped to live here. Anyone in their right minds would flee this state, between the earthquakes, fires, mud slides, drought and overcrowding. And this sentiment from a native who's really insane, living in the mountains and working in the flatland. It means that several times a year I don't make it home (or to work) for a variety of reasons.

In many ways I'm surprised there's still "graffiti" on the side of the building. Los Angeles has been waging a war against these types of super-sized advertisements. I think there was a compromise worked out, guess it will allow posters to be painted on blank walls like this. It's actually fun to watch the building change, but I really think the city would rather not have anything like this around.

The K7's noise seems to be minimal in very dark shadows, significant in the mid-tones and then not much in the highlights. I used DeNoise 5 to clean up the noise, then InFocus to add some of the detail back in without the noise. Then a final pass with Detail to add some contrast sharpening (medium and large structure, nothing small) to bring out the flames a bit more without adding extra sharpness. I didn't want to over-do the noise reduction so there's still a bit left. It's always a juggling act to try to balance the noise and the detail.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 1:32 PM   #10
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I love that poster shot .... it came as quite a surprise when I got to the bottom of the shot, saw the artist and then appreciated the scale of the painting !

That's an interesting workflow I hadn't thought of (Denoise, InFocus, Detail) ... I'll have to try that one.
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