Tag Archives: photomatix

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

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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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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…

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While on my walk… 80/365

While on my Walk... 71/365

As a rule, I try to walk around the block a couple of times a night.  as I was walking this sunset continued to get more and more brilliant, so at the end of the first lap, I shot this HDR of it.  I created this in the usual fashion

I am still working on the NY images, you can see my progress with some of them to this point on the Flickr account and by this weekend, I should have a post on the trip, putting the images with words and in some kind of logical order.  We have people coming back from and going out on vacation this week at work, so my schedule is a bit harried, but I will work diligently to have something up for you all, hopefully by Saturday night.  In the mean time, I will still be putting up my daily dose so until next time…

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Winding Down… 72/365

Winding Down... 72/365

The name change has happened…we are no longer C&M Auto Service of Vernon Hills, Inc. but are now Star Auto Authority.  I have linked the new website there because even though it has not been finished yet, it will be soon and in the mean time, you can still go to the old site and at least get a sense for where I live…I mean work.  We held a party for our clients and employees and unveiled the new name and logo over some of the best Hors D’oeuvres (from The Picknic Basket, I highly recommend them), Stella beer and an assortment of fine wines, waters and sodas (myself prefering the water which I paid for with a hurried trip to the bathroom at 2am). 

Now all I need to do is figure out how to stop saying C&M when I make calls…

Consuming… 73/365

Consuming... 73/365

While I was closing the shop tonight, I saw what looked and acted like a “pneumonia” front come through and in its approaching, it appeared to consume the sun, just minding it’s own business, trying to set.  This is an HDR in my normal fashion…3 exposures generated in Photoshop, tone-mapped in Photomatix and then finished off in Photoshop and Lightroom before uploading.

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Catch Up Time…

At the rate I was going, I figured it would be best to just make one large post, otherwise, I would never get caught up, so here we go…

NY Sunset… 63/365

NY Sunset... 63/365

This is a three exposure HDR of the sunset as seen through the row of trees in the backyard of our friends house in New York.   It was yet another hazy, grey day, but the HDR brought out a sort of spectrum in the scene, and the processing using lab color in Photoshop further refined that.

In Search of… 63.5/365

In Search Of... 63.5/365

I mean no disrespect to anyone who feels otherwise, but these things were all around the yard, living under the shed, coming out to feed on the grass and run away when you so much as thought about them.  I am sure if I was as hunted by so many creatures as they are, I would be a little skittish too, but I now see why they are afraid of their own shadow,  They are Nature’s wuss.

Heart of the Black Dirt Region… 64/365

Heart of the Black Dirt Region... 64/365

Pine Island, New York.  Home to what has got to be the blackest dirt I have ever seen, and apparently the best soil to grow onions in as their field numbers rival that of corn fields in my neighborhood (Norther Illinois, Southern Wisconsin).  The soil is so coveted by many and so important to the local economy, there is a public official in charge of making sure none of it “walks” away during construction projects.

Into the Night We Drove… 65/365

Into the Night We Drove... 65/365

On our way home…

Annabelle… 66/365

Annabelle...66/365

Upon our arrival, the garden had a lot to show us, not the least of which were the huge poms of the Annabelle flowers in the front gardens.  This is merely a portion of one particularly large flower.  Beautiful they are, and without the strong perfume one would expect them to have…

Approaching… 67/365

Approaching... 67/365

The drive home from work and into the clouds I drive…

Poised… 68/365

Poised... 68/365

I started working on a contest shot for the Redbubble “Macro Untouched” group.  The theme this time around is “patterns” and I was trying to get a vanishing point macro of the chessboard fading into the horizon, but nothing seemed to be working very well for me, so I just shot how I felt instead and here it is…

Outreach… 69/365

Outreach... 69/365

Like those worms that live at the bottom of the ocean near the hot springs…that’s what this reminded me of, but I don’t think “Worms” would have made a good title to it…

That ought to do it…all up to date…

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one Point nine… 49/365

One Point Nine... 49/365

This is the processor chip out of my old 1.9 gig computer that went on its way to digital heaven this weekend.  It served me well for a long time, but spent about the same amount of time sitting idle in my utility room after I bought my new computer…2 and a half years ago.  Better late than never I guess…

Piper Cub

Piper Cub

This is a six image HDR of my former flight instructor’s piper cub.  We had the flyling club picnic today which included grilled fare and flour sack bombing contestand although unintentional, this could be considered the antique aircraft display.

Flour Bombing…

    

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Light-Burst… 40/365

Light-Burst... 40/365

Ok, so I am not entirely done with the last digital project, but I have not given it up as of yet either.  I figure I have all the images I need but since they were all taken yesterday, I cannot post the changes on it for today anyhow.  Of course this is an image of the sunset on my way home.  I am really glad I take my rig with me everywhere…

This is a three exposure HDR image…PhotoshopCS3, Photomatix, Lightroom, Upload….the usual for me lately in my HDR work-flow.  Some others in the same series….

Light-Burst-3

Light-Burst-2

I will be camping all day tomorrow in Wilmot Wisconsin, so I may not get a chance to post tomorrow night as I think the Wi-Fi signal is pretty weak at the campsite. I will have plenty to shoot though, so I will double up on the posts on Sunday when we get back. Until then, Happy Father’s day…

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Red at Night..Finally… 36/365

Red at Night..Finally... 36/365

In one of the few hours I was awake today, I managed to see a most brilliant sunset. After I cant say how many days of scorching humidity and rainstorm after rainstorm, we finally got cooler breezes and a little Red at Night…

Red at Night..Finally HDR

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Church at Sunset… 33/365

Church at Sunset... 33/365

Storms bloomed all around us today and created some spectacular horizons to photograph. This is a church in Grayslake I pass by on my way home. I thought it was fitting that the rays from the sun broke through the clouds right at the steeple.

This is a six exposure handheld HDR image done in my usual fashion. Incredibly, the blue at the top and the yellow under the clouds was how it actually looked (well a little more saturated after the HDR generation, but similar all the same).

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Turmoil HDR… 32/365

Turmoil HDR... 32/365

This monster went through early this morning, bringing 90 degree heat and pure humidity in it’s wake. Standing out in the parking lot at work, we were all looking up into the swirling mass of clouds rolling overhead, pointing out potential funnel clouds as they approached or went over, secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of one, outwardly hoping not to…As fast as it came, it left, and we all went back to the rest of the day.

Turmoil is a 6 image handheld HDR generated in Photoshop CS3, tone-mapped in Photomatix and developed in Lightroom.  I took it back into Photoshop, grabbed one of the middle exposures of the bracketed photos that made up the HDR and layered in the trees at the bottom to calm it down a little bit, then burned it into silouhette.  Other than that, it is pretty much as is, haha. 

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5:03.45 pm… 23/365

03.45 pm... 23/365

I have decided to start something a little different to mix it up a bit and will be using this as the base of a larger image. Since they are my rules, I will still have a new image a day, taken and processed on that day, only I will be adding it to this image, building upon this “theme” until the end of the week. The fun part is that this could create a cool image or complete chaos. I guess we will just see what the rest of the week has to offer…

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Saturday Afternoon… 20/365 and The Hodag… 21/365

Saturday Afternoon… 20/365

Saturday Afternoon... 20/365

You all get a two for one today as I was in the great white north this weekend and was not able to post there as the access to the Internet was rather limited.  I was able to get a couple of images uploaded to my flickr account through the use of my cell phone, but I have a feeling that probably cost about a small fortune…

“Saturday Afternoon” is a six exposure HDR of the view off the end of the dock at the cabin we stay at in Eagle River.  It was created using my normal methods with some Photoshop editing and layering to give the water more of a reflective quality.

 Lakeside Cabin

 Lakefront Cabin

This one is a six exposure as well with a lot of the sliders in Photomatix at the full max or full minimum settings to create a rather drastic HDR that almost resembles a pencil drawing that has been colorized.  Not my normal HDR and normally I do not particularly care for too drastic of an HDR, but in this case I liked how the texture was pulled out of the wood grain so there may be some use for this in other images to come…

 

Hodag… 21/365

Hodag... 21/365
On the way home, we had to make a pass by the famous Hodag sculpture in front of the tourist office in Rhindlander.  A little history about the beastie here.  This is a “drive-by” shooting that I did some layers multiplying and Orton Effect to not only to make the face and claw stand out more, but also to mask the blurring from being in a moving vehicle when I took the shot.  

Sleeping Fly

 Sleeping Fly

Last one for the night….while sitting next to the garden, shooting some of the flowers my wife and daughter planted today, I caught a sleeping fly resting on a dandelion stem.

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Water Tower… 19/365

Water Tower

Happy Friday and happy Memorial day weekend to boot!

It was a long week, and on the way home I decided to take a little diversion and headed over to the Almond Marsh Forest Preserve Blackbirdto get a wider view of the sunset.  They are closed when I am on the way home, but the gate at the Almond road entrance is far enough in from the road to allow a car to park there…so I did…except this time I was not alone.  A Subaru was already there and a bearded man with a tripod and a camera sporting a bazooka sized zoom lens was busily shooting away at a little blackbird standing on the post of the entrance sign, no more than 10 feet away.  With the heavy artillery he was using and the close proximity of the bird, he should have some very intimate images.  Hell, at that distance he could have focused in on its thoughts.

I turned off my car and got out slowly so as not to disturb the session that was going on and proceeded to shoot the sunset and the surrounding areas and even the same bird (i decided to shoot him after he had left the not so aesthetically pleasing entrance sign).  In between shots I would watch the progress of the photo shoot next to me which went on for another 10 minutes or so before the guy turned and realized I was even there.  After he got his heart started again, we introduced ourselves and made small talk about… well small talk.  Apparently he is a volunteer for the park and was going to see about being able to go in after hours to shoot if that was not going to get him into trouble.  If that is the case, I will be back with some more from here.  Until then…..

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