Thursday, March 24, 2011

Up, up and away

The ways things are going with petro around here, this might end up being the best way to travel.  Nah, we probably import the hot air for balloons, too. Anyway, I'm doing something a little controversial tonight.  Some say to never give your secrets away.  But since this is not the norm I'm going to show off some Photoshop prowess tonight.  Been really busy with work and stuff, and since I don't often have a full tank of gas, I've haven't done as much shooting lately as I would like to.  So, to stay somewhat involved I've been putzing around with some of my Photoshop software and other programs. "Usually", my post production of my pics includes only some lightening or darkening, some color correction, and cropping the pic down to what I want to be shown.  Not too involved, but tidying up the pic a bit.  Pretty much the same thing that any pic goes through when sent to a lab.  But, the other day I was going through some shots that didn't make the cut.  I found some pics of a hot air balloon that went over the house that as much as I wished there was more to them, there just wasn't.  Ah hah!  An opportunity to practice.  And that's what I did. Below you will see the original shot.  I really liked the clouds that were the background to the balloon, but I really hated the advertising on the balloon.  Plus, there was really no color. A very flat shot.  Not "post" worthy at all.  After 4-5 hours of work(this is why I don't get too involved with post processing), I think I got something that looks pretty cool.  Yeah, not an original shot from the camera, but it all depends on what you're final goal is.  If you're just going for some eye candy, it works.  If you're looking for how technically adept at photography you are, eh, maybe not.  Tonight, my goal was eye candy.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Super Duper Moon

As many of you know, last weekend we had what is called a "Supermoon".  The moon is closer to the earth than usual.  In fact, the last time it was this close was 18-19 years ago.  This can and has created some iconic images since photography was invented.  Even though the "Supermoon" was officially Saturday night the forecast predicted it would be quite cloudy and rather cold.  I decided to hit a favorite site on Friday to, if anything, practice, hopefully get some nice shots, and if the weather was not good Saturday night I at least got shots that were pretty close to a full "Supermoon".  And that's exactly what happened.  I know of a local forest preserve that is lax in making sure the gates are closed at sunset so that's where I went.  A little scary since last year I was accidently locked in a preserve being there after dark, but that's a whole other post.  This night went off with no such problems even though it was a little chilly.  The plan was to take shots overlooking a lake in the forest preserve, but being that it was cold, I was by myself walking around a lake, I couldn't see very well, and still wary of being locked in I stayed close to my vehicle.  Night photography is a different world of shooting and patience is key.  Each shot can take about up to an hour to complete.  Sometimes more depending on what you are trying to achieve.  Unfortunately, sitting in the forest preserve, by yourself, in the dark waiting for a picture to develop does not lead to alot of shots.  Here are a couple of shots that turned out pretty good.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Signs of spring

Fog and a broken river.  Two of the early signs of spring.  With temps in the mid 40's today we had plenty of fog.  Add in a freely flowing river with no icebergs, and you have a some serious signs that spring is not far away. The conflicting seasons created a nice scene by the river this morning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fly away....Home?

Not sure if these were geese that can't afford to fly south for the winter or ones coming back from Florida, but either way they were a nice surprise when I opened this pic up on my computer.  I was just taking a shot of a nice farm with the sun setting behind but found they made their way into my shot.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Middle East effects

They say that if you wipe out the home of a butterfly in the rain forest, it will have long ranging consequences on the weather here.  How all that works I'm not sure.  But I do know the effects of unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa have serious consequences the form of increasing gas prices. Sheesh, its been brutal on a guy who spends his days on the road seeing customers. So, tonight's post is an outcome of the unrest over there.  Many of my shots come out of me taking side roads and "detours" during my day and keeping my eyes open.  The last few weeks my driving has been limited to going directly to where I need to be, doing what needs to be done, and making my way home in the shortest line possible to  reduce the moneys I'm donating to that part of the world.  Therefore, it has given me some time to learn some new ways of presenting my "vault" of past shots and new techniques to create what I want to show.  One of the new things I've been playing with is creating Out of Bounds pictures.  It's a tricky thing to do and you need to start with a pic that lends itself to it, but I'm learning. I won't bore you with the details of what it is or how it is done, but here's some shots I played with over the last week or so that will give you an idea of what it is.