With so much texture, I just had to include this monochrome version.
Just thought I’d drop in with a photo from the Smoky Mountains that I’ve processed with Nik Color Efex Pro 4. After lots of manipulation of the original, realistic version below, I settled for this just beyond reality expression.
Here’s the original.
Having now gained a little more experience with the Nik software, I decided to redo this one as a revised color version below and the dramatic monochrome above. The black and white conversion was done with a preset and no other processing. I am truly amazed with the fantastically artistic possibilities that are available with that software.
Quite colorful for poultry, this pseudo-HDR image of chickens should brighten up this otherwise dreary time of year. I found this couple in one of those shops that has just about everything that you don’t need but lots of things that would be fun to have. You know, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, or something like that.
Processing: single image processed with Adobe Camera Raw using Sharpening and Luminance along with a bit of contrast. Adobe Photoshop for dodging and burning to emphasize the subjects a little more. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for the image below and added a lot more drama for more of a menacing look. Angry birds?
I’ve noticed that a number of fellow photogs (whose work I admire) do year end posts of some of their favorite or/and most popular images. So, since this is the end of my first full year of photoblogging, I thought I’d join in.
I’m including a few non HDR images since I occasionally post traditional photography. But most of these are High Dynamic Range images.
I hope you all have had an enjoyable 2012 and have an even better 2013.
Minimal Automotive Expression
This shot is probably my most viewed image on this blog, 500px, flickr, facebook and google+ and is one of my all time favorites.
No Bait and Switch Here
The Old Violin
Photo Art Floral Mystery
The Capital Transit Snow Sweeper
The Arches in Fort Macon
This HDR image was taken at Fort Macon which is located in eastern North Carolina close to Morehead City. The fort has a rich history which goes back to 1834. The grounds are beautiful with access to the beach in a few areas.
The Last Azaleas for The Season
Sun Comes Shining Through
Living so close to the Atlantic Coast, there’s never a dull (sky) moment. Perfect for HDR imaging. This is a typical example of certain seasons of the year in Eastern North Carolina. The awesomely heavy clouds seem to always be breaking to reveal the radiance of the glowing sunlight. Poetic huh!
Big Walls Little Man in Morocco
Red Winged – A Minimal Expression
I spotted this lone, red-winged blackbird in a field of barren trees a few winters ago. While looking for interesting patterns in the leafless branches, the bright patch of red and yellow caught my attention.
Through The Wall
Windy On The Mall
Korean War Memorial – The Men
Rabat Morocco – Life in The Medina
Zygocactus in White
Serenity at Brookside Gardens
I’m finishing up with this image from a post on “HDR – Nik or PS – And a Few Variations of HTDS” where I compared Nik HDR Efex Pro and Adobe Photoshop HDR. You might find it interesting.
This is a shot of the same plant that I worked with a few months ago. The buds were there then but not yet “coming into color” so to speak. This pseudo-HDR image shows a little more progress. But, they’re still not opening up fully due to our crazy weather here in eastern North Carolina. At any rate, I thought this bud was still worthy of display with it’s intensely vibrant colors.
I got in close with my 105mm macro (micro in Nikon speak) lens set at f/5.6 with camera settings of 1/500 sec and ISO at 400. The day was very cloudy so the lighting was pretty flat. I simply loaded the single raw file into Adobe Camera Raw for post processing.
After basic light, contrast, clarity, vibrance and saturation adjustments, I added sharpening and luminosity for a crisp yet smooth look. What a contradiction. Anyway, the Camera Raw results can be pretty impressive. I only used Adobe Photoshop CS6 for enlargement to post on 500px.com .
I’m hoping that these buds will blossom into full bloom. If they do, I’ll try to get a good shot. If not, maybe next year.
Though this shot is not a true High Dynamic Range (HDR) image, I worked to make it look like what many folks call HDR. Guess it’s another realistic, pseudo-HDR. And from a color slide no less. It’s amazing what we can do with software.
I shot this before I converted to digital imaging when my method was to normally take three shots; one at metered exposure and another at 1 ev below and one at 1 ev above. I could always compensate for camera inconsistencies and when I finally moved to digital, the underexposed images gave me just what I needed for a full tonal pallet.
This photo represents about 2 inches of space on an old wooden gate. I hope to present the full view later. Ah, the beauty of macro photography!
And a monochrome version, of course.
I decided to walk around my yard with a Macro lens for a few close up, pseudo HDR images. I planted some dwarf nandina plants a couple of years ago and they are still pretty dwarfy. Guess they’re slow growers.
Processing: I loaded a single raw image into Adobe Camera Raw where I did about 90 percent of the post processing. I especially like the ability to selectively apply just about any effect by using the Adjustment Brush tool. I used it extensively for this image, balancing the color, tone, depth and to apply custom vignetting. I also used a small amount of sharpening and luminance to define the edges and smooth out the tonal gradation. I find that this method gives a more realistic look.
After finishing up in Camera Raw, I did global adjustments for Curves and added a little more color punch with Vibrance where I set vibrance to +60 and saturation to -6. By using a separate layer for each effect, I can further adjust the intensity of each effect.
After finishing the color version, I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for the image below. After getting the tones just right, I used Curves for more contrast and the Burn tool in Photoshop to eliminate the distracting background areas. The color version didn’t need this fix because the color differences don’t conflict as much as the shades of gray do in monochrome.
Equipment used: Nikon D700 with 105mm f/2.8 lens at f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 400.
Not a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image but still a slightly beyond reality, reasonable facsimile. I grabbed this old photo from my younger days and paired it with a song from my younger days. Think about it. (the cats are in the backyard)
This house is close to a university in a small midwestern town with very interesting inhabitants. This abode is an example of the eclectic diversity of the community.
I decided to do something a little different and process this image as a split tone using blue and yellow. In this case, the separation of shadow and highlight is enough to really take advantage of tonal variation.