Author Archives: James Even

Becoming… 101/365

Becoming... 101-365

A hole opened up in the overcast off to the west revealing the building clouds as a storm built itself to the west…

This is a little different of an HDR than I usually do in that I have pulled the color from it rather than saturate it…the image was almost black and white anyway so it was easy to push it a little farther and…

Becoming... 101.5-365

Thank you for visiting…

New York, New York…

Intro…

This was my first visit to “The Big Apple” and while I was excited to visit our friends who live about an hour and a half north of there, I was a little apprehensive about going into the city itself.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not very fond of large cities (even though I went to school in downtown Chicago), and have chosen to visit but not stay if I even visit at all.  I have to admit, though, that New York has quite an endearing property to it that I find less oppressive for a large city, a lot of that having to do with the landscape (and seascape) surrounding the city and the fact that to me it has a more settled feel to it…meaning that it has been around for so much longer than any of the other large cities I have visited and the inhabitants and scenery feels more “in place”.  That all may only mean something to me if it makes sense at all, but that being said, because of that “sense” I was not only less apprehensive about being there, I actually enjoyed it and dare I say felt comfortable there.  Call it the excitement of new scenery, but I was thoroughly impressed and would not mind going back there someday…not to live of course, lets not fly off the handle here.

 Manhattan

The plan for the day was to get to the city, visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and finish off the fourth with a birds-eye view of the fireworks display on the Hudson River…so as any with any trip in a new place…

Route 9 Inbound…

…We took the long way, following Route 9 and the Hudson River, stopping at a scenic overlook near West Point military base.  The cloud ceiling was right at the tops of the hills and appeared in places like smoke rising rather than the sky meeting the ground. 

 Overlook...61.5/365

We continued south, following the river as it led us through the small communities cut into the hillsides and forests including the home of the headless horseman…Sleepy Hollow…(as a foreword to the images following, I took them all from the front passenger seat of our trusty chariot…a 1987 GMC Safari Van…I think maybe one of the last ones on the road…)

Downtown Sleepy Hollow, NY

One can almost feel the history in the towns as we rolled through them

Into Sleepy Hollow...

A beautifully old cemetery that seemed to go on for miles in all directions…If we had the time I would have loved to stroll through it looking at the age of the monuments, but we had an agenda to follow so onward…

Heading into Downtown

The rolling hills begin to fade a bit and the small towns begin to grow and then suddenly you are in Yonkers in a flash that almost feels like someone threw a switch. A few stoplights later we were on a highway bordered by rocky channel walls on our way into the city…

IMG_9208

 

IMG_9195

Next up…on foot and on the water…

Thanks for Visiting…

Coleus… 100/365

 Coleus... 100-365

That’s right, 100 images into the 365 project and still going strong…I think…It has not always been as easy as it looks…ask anyone working on their own 365 project and I think you’ll hear the same…the desire and time is not always as strong some days as others…but I have found that even on those days, creativity can still be tapped and in some cases end up even stronger when under the gun…at least it seems that way for me sometimes…

In other news…a big Thank You to the Racine Post for linking to my post on the overnight camp-out at the Racine Zoo…I am not sure how you found me exactly, but I appreciate the compliment and I welcome all visitors from that site as well and hope you will decide to stay for a while…

Thanks for visiting…

Cosmos… 99/365

Cosmos... 99/365

I had a tie for tonight’s image…both  are of the back of a cosmos flower which I thought was just as interesting as the front view…

Cosmos... 99.5/365

While I am not terribly fond of orange (sorry Dana) unless it is the fruit or a soda, I did find its tone in this flower quite appealing…reminds me of a sunrise somewhat…

Thanks for visiting…

 

Overnight in the Racine Zoo…

 Sunrise on Lake Michigan 

…See the whole set of images from the visit here…

Black and White Colobus Monkey… 97/365

Black and White Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza)... 97/365

(Or Skunk Monkey s the scouts and their siblings liked to call them…A little bit about them here…)

That’s right, we spent the weekend on a camp out in the Racine Zoo with the rest of the scout pack.  After setting up camp, we went on a scavenger hunt through the Zoo looking for the answers to a list of questions handed to us by volunteers at the zoo and visiting the animals…after the scavenger hunt, we broke into groups and headed off to visit the zoo behind the scenes which included a visit to the lower level of the main building and also an opportunity to feed the Black Rhinoceros…after the after hours fun, we headed back to camp to make “enrichment” for the animals in the form of paper-mache balloons and painted cereal boxes and cardboard tubes (the enrichment comes from the fact that they will contain food for the animals as well as provide some fun after the food is gone)…  after the creative session, we created smores and drank hot chocolate and then tried to get the sugar rush to subside enough to maybe catch a couple of winks…all in all it was quite an experience and one worth looking into if you have a group that is looking for something to do one weekend…

Julie… 98/365

Julie... 98/365

On our first outing into the zoo (the scavenger hunt) we learned all about this little creature…Julie here is the oldest Patas Monkey in captivity in North America at 28 years old.  Her kind also claims fame for being the fastest monkey in the world with a run of about 34 MPH.  Unless told wither of these facts, one would never know it.  Of course it is hard to build up speed in a closed space, but she certainly did not act her natural age, running right up to the side of the exhibit as we approached to check us out…

Be sure to check out all of the images I uploaded from the trip…I will also be uploading them to my Smugmug account for the parents of the scouts and the scouts themselves to download from…just email me at jonosay@gmail.comand I will send you the link (in your email to me, make the subject line the name three of the women there shared (and one of the three it was her birthday as well) to verify that you were there)…for everyone else, just click on the link at the beginning of the post to go to my Flickr site and enjoy…

Thanks for visiting…

Journey from the Bottle into the Darkness… 96/365

Journey from the Bottle to the Darkness... 96/365

Take the longest title I have ever assigned an image as a literal translation of what the image is or as a metaphorical statement on what the last year has felt like to me at times and you caught my meaning perfectly either way. Photo-technically (if it is not a word, it is now, so there), I was trying to match some of the light and color saturation and contrast one of my favorite photographers on Flickr has mastered. Please be sure to check his stuff out here

Thanks for visiting…

sil·hou·ette… 94/365

sil·hou·ette... 94/365

This one almost looks like an HDR image after all was said and done, but in fact it was just a single image initially processed in Lightroom to get the temperature, tint, tone, clarity, vibrance and sharpness set, then moved over to Photoshop and put it through my usual paces: Curves for more contrast, Lab color technique and the Orton type effect, then back to Lightroom to finish off and export to JPEG…a peek into my process a bit…more on that to come…

sil·hou·ette(2)

This one was processed similarly, but is an HDR image that was generated in Photoshop CS3 then tone-mapped in Photomatix then brought back into Lightroom to begin the above mentioned processing until…here it is! I have found that I prefer generating HDR images through Lightroom/Photoshop CS3 then tone-mapping them in Photomatix rather than generating them in Photomatix. The images are much sharper and cleaner done this way, and since the tone-mapping feature of Photomatix is all I use the program for at this point, the Photoshop plug in version of it would have done me just fine at a lower price tag.  I am sure the other features like the batch processing and such are useful, I just have not had the time to invest in learning it right now.  Maybe someday…until then… 

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Painting With Clouds… 92/365

Painting with Clouds...

I decided that one was not good enough for tonight…so I have four to offer…I decided to make the following three a “… of three” title with the top one as the main one, again chosen by the wife on her way up to bed.  These are all of the same confused and cluttered sky right before the storms arrived this evening…

One of Three…

Painting with Clouds... 1 of 3

Two of Three…

Painting with Clouds... 2 of 3

Three of Three…

Painting with Clouds... 3 of 3

 I like how the Orton effect sort of thing makes the clouds look like paintings…hence the name…and I tried a little different of a procedure than I usually follow tonight.  I like the results so far and just need to remember to write the steps down someday to replicate and maybe even share…maybe…until that time…

Thanks for visiting…

 

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk… 91/365

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk...

Of all the images I captured today, this one was the winner overall in the voting…OK so my wife was the only one voting but who am I to argue?

The image was pretty much good to go from the camera raw file, but I decided to add my special sauce to it as I normally do including a Lab color treatment to really pull the green out of the image. The Lab color process I used is outlined on the Flickr page and the Orton Effect technique I use will be outlined in a later post…just as soon as I figure it all out for myself…

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk...

 

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk...

These are  actually images of three different frogs in the same green water, just sitting there watching me and my daughter stand in the mud off the trail…

Limenitis Arthemis Arthemis

Earlier this morning, I went on a mini hike through the back yard and caught a decent one of a Limenitis Arthemis Astyanax…say that five times fast…the name of which I only know through exhaustive on-line research (OK so I spent about two minutes)…I am still looking for a more pronunciation friendly name for this one.  “Red Spotted Purple” is what I think it is, but even that feels a bit strange on the tongue.

And of course here are the gratuitous flower shots of the day…

Cone Flowers

Field of Black-Eyed Susans

All in all, this was a perfect weekend, the weather was great and I got to do a lot of playing…let’s hope that this is a great sign for the work week to come…

Thanks for visiting…

 

Severe Clear… 90/365

Severe Clear... 90/365

OK so maybe not entirely severe with the whispy clouds up there, but darn close. When I saw that the weather was going to be perfect, I rented the plane for the day and headed out to Platteville Municipal to have the $100 hamburger with my sister who lives close to there…dragged both the kids with me too…

Elevation 1024

The flight out was smooth as glass…the flight back…not so much, and I had a couple of green passengers as we plowed through some mild turbulence. Good news is, I still have all three of my air sickness bags so I chalk that one up as a successful flight too…

Death of a Salesman

On the drive home, I could not help but notice the irony in this image as the quintessential car lot salesman lay dead on the roof overlooking his inventory and seeming to reach out to the “Bank Asset Sale” sign…or maybe it’s just funny because it is…in any sense…

Thanks for visiting…

Storm Cell… 89/365

Storm Cell... 89/365

This one went through to the southwest of us this morning. It never got to us but put on a great show none the less.

I am posting this a little early today (by about 12 hours if anyone pays attention to when i post the image of the day) mostly because I have the image already but also as I will be getting in late for a work function tonight and will probably head straight to bed after the week I have had.

Still putting together the New york images, but if you want to take a sneak peek of what i have so far just click Here and it will take you to the gallery in Flickr. 

Thanks for visiting…

 

Lone Red Cloud… 87/365

Lone Red Cloud... 87/365

This is a three image HDR of the sunrise this morning. I wanted to try a little comparison to see if I could recreate some of the aspects of the HDR technique using a single image and processing techniques. What I came up with after an hour of messing around with various procedures I either read about or made up on the spot was this:

Lone Red Cloud... 87.5/365

Not too bad, but a lot of the depth created by the contrast in the HDR is missing and to blast the contrast to that level in a singe image processing was making it look like crap to me.  I am sure I could spend another hour on it and get closer, burning here and dodging there, but then, there would be no real point to all that work excepting maybe a little reduction in the noise that is evident in the HDR images.  In any sense, it was a fun experiment…

Thanks for visiting…