David Nightingale of www.chromasia.com is a world renowned photographer and Photoshop trainer who has mastered just about every form of photography there is, from portraits to abstracts to HDR. He’s so good, he can make a picture of powerlines look good. He’s one of the best I’ve seen! I even had the honor of attending one of his courses here in Austin a few years back. He is also a master of using Photoshop, mainly Photoshop’s curves adjustment to help transform images into great works of art. He has an excellent photoblog as well as a great training site. If you are really interested in getting the most out of your photos, check it out. It’s very much worth it.
All of that being said, he put an image on his training blog that he took recently and challenged others to process it. He was OK with the results he got from it himself, but he wanted to see what others could do. So the following is my take. The first shot is his original straight from his camera and the second is what I’ve done with it. You can visit his post to see what other have done as well.
I have to add that David said he liked this version of which I posted on FB so I guess I know what I’m doing a little… 😉 What do you think?
Butler Park is a nice little place across the street from Auditorium Shores near the Long Center in Austin. You can really get some great views of the skyline from there. However, I don’t recommend going to the benches at the top of the little hill on the right there unless you just want to take in the sites. You see, if you want to get some photos, you may have a little trouble. Butler Park seems to be a magnet for fitness freaks who like to run up and down the hill and get in the way of perfectly nice photo opportunities. The nerve of those people! Trying to better themselves by staying in shape while making it difficult for me to get my shot! In a public place, no less! Why it makes me want to… Wait, I know.. Live and let live. I’m just kidding anyway. But if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have found this neat little pond and gotten this shot of the skyline. So really, it all worked out for the best! Thanks, you fitness freaks!
This is a shot I took last year when Eileen and I took a trip to Massachusetts. It is of the harbor in Plymouth. This time of year is beautiful in that neck of the woods. The weather is cool enough for sweatshirts and the foliage starts to turn into those those great oranges and reds that we expect to see in New England. You can’t beat it!
I hope you enjoy the shot and thanks for dropping by.
The US is currently experiencing a heat wave like we haven’t seen in a long, long time. More than 3/4 of the country has had near 100 degree temperatures. It’s unbelievable! But, that’s summertime! We here in Texas are used to that however. We can’t go through a summer without hitting 100 for weeks on end. It’s just the way it is. This year, though, hasn’t been as bad a last. I think we got nearly 100 days of 100 degree temps in 2011. I don’t think that will happen this year.
All of this heat reminded me of a picture I took last year when Eileen and I went to Cape Cod, MA. In Provincetown, I saw these boats sitting on the beach and it made me wonder how they got there.. Did they have a hurricane which washed them up there? Did the owners put them there for some reason? Or, like here in Texas, did the water dry up and land-lock them? I doubt the answers to any of these questions are, “Yes”, but it would be interesting to find out why there are there. Anyway, it’s something to ponder.
As far as processing goes, I used Nik’s HDR Efex 2 with the defaults and then I did a little manipulation with Nik’s Color Efex… I used a little bit of the pro contrast filter, the darken/lighten center filter, the graduated neutral density filter and little white neutralizer filter on the boat on the right. I also used Nik’s Viveza. I used a control point on the clouds in the horizon to add a little structure and make them pop out a little more. Gotta love the U-point technology!
Let me know what you think and thanks for dropping by!
Recently I’ve been posting black and white shots of some photos I took while my wife and I visited Nantucket Island. The reason for this is two-fold… One is because I’m looking for some new material to post and the other is because I’m channeling my inner David Nightingale. If you’ve ever checked out his website, you’ll see that he’s a master at creating dramatic images. He’s like one of my favorite photographers. Anyway, I’m trying to use some of his techniques to make my stuff a little more dramatic. Of course it helps to have a good subject to start with. His use of curves and masks really helps bring out detail in clouds and other areas of shots that may not be seen in regular processing. Sometimes using curves can get similar results as HDR without having to take so many brackets. And when converting to back and white, it gives the shot an extra dramatic/timeless appeal, at least to me. That’s what I’ve tried for here. I can never tell if I’ve over done it or not, but I may have in this one. Maybe that’s what dramatic means? 😉
(Roll your mouse over the image to see the original straight from the camera.)
When going to and from Nantucket from Hyannis, MA, we took the fast ferry. There are two you can take to the island… One takes about two and a half hours each way and one takes about an hour each way. Of course the cost doubles the faster you go. Well, when you are on vacation and crunched for time, the fast one is worth it. So that’s what we did. Of course, an hour on a fast boat can make for some interesting shots. Hopefully someone out there could get something interesting. Me on the other hand, gets this stuff., hehe.
Congratulations goes out to Tod Grubs of Spicewood, Texas! Thanks for your comments and you should be receiving the AirPort Express in the mail very soon! And thanks to the others who participated!
Here’s a shot I took while out waiting for the light to get right while shooting Austin from Lou Neff Point at Zilker Park with Van Sutherland. We were shooting right by the water and there were lots of ducks and other waterfowl around. Right in front of us came this big ole swan. He kind of shooed some of the other ducks out of there for a bit. Kind of cool to see.
Also as an extra, I’m trying something that David Nightingale does on his blog… David’s blog shows the beautiful photos that he creates and at the bottom right of each, he has a link that states, “Show the original.” From there you can see the pre-processed shot straight from the camera. On this page, if you mouse-over the picture, you will see the original shot as it was straight from my camera. The shot that you see when not mousing over the shot is my final version after some tweaks in Photoshop CS5 with the Nik Software Package. I would love to hear your thoughts on which shot you like better!
I hope you enjoy the shot and thanks for dropping by.