So many off us try to keep life in balance, but sometimes getting knocked a little off-balance gives us a new perspective on things that helps propel us forward….
This one has been fermenting in my Lightroom library since January! I have browsed right past it countless times and then tonight I decided to mess with it. turns out, it just too a little lens distortion and contrast adjustmens followed by a little Kryptonite in Perfect Photo Suite 7 to bring this one to life. I suppose I just needed a different perspective on things.
Click the image to view on black on my Flickr page….
“Take everything from the inside and throw it all away
Cuz I swear for the last time I won’t trust myself with you” ~ Linkin Park
In the dead of winter, sometimes all it takes is a nice sunset to warm the soul.
“Danger Everywhere”….I saw that phrase all over the place in the few area of this old structure my brother and I explored. As with any old abandoned building there was a certain degree of creepiness, but this place was wide open so I think it was actually pretty safe this time of day. The place was actually tagged with all kinds of awesome graffiti. I actually hope we can get back there again this winter. We spent longer here than in any other one spot, but we didn’t spend a huge amount of time. Just long enough to scout a little and get a few cool shots. I liked the repetition and large amount of color and texture contrast with this composition. My brother nabbed some brackets from the same spot so I’m actually pretty curious to see how different his turns out.
In regards to processing, I didn’t do anything too elaborate here. This is a 5 bracket HDR that I ran through Photomatix. Then I applied some lens correction and did some cropping/straightening in Lightroom 4 before sending it to Perfect Effects 4 where I applied some Kryptonite at 100%. After some slight blurring of the edges in Focal Point, I brought it back into Lightroom for some minor tweaks. That’s it…pretty simple edit.
I don’t always have the exact processing in mind for images when I shoot them. I’ll have an idea of what I want to do in terms of mood, but for this one I was pretty specific about what I wanted. I really like minimal B&W images and so after a morning full of brackets for HDR and fumbling around with my tripod I decided to end the day with some hand-held 50mm shots. The morning was pretty gray and moody (which is by far my favorite for shooting). However, as my brother and I were wrapping up our morning of shooting the sun started peeking out and when I peered through the lens for this shot and brought the building into focus, the surroundings were totally blown out which worked perfect for this image and was exactly what I was hoping for. After some tweaks in Perfect B&W I brought it back into Lightroom and finished accentuating the highlights to give this faded/blown out effect.
Are you standing by….watching…as life passes you by?
A little about this one……
This is a 5-bracket HDR tone-mapped in Photomatix 4 from my outing yesterday in downtown St. Louis. This was kind of a rush set-up because I was initially going to pass on the shot because the train was moving pretty slow and it took f/22 and an ND2 filter to get any kind of blur on the train.
This was taken with my crusty but trusty Sony a100 using the 18-55 kit lens, btw.
I’m still messing around with Perfect Photo Suite 7 and I thought this image was a nice candidate for a couple of the effects in Perfect Effects 4. I’ve been using the entire package a lot, but this image was all Perfect Effects 4. I’ve developed quite the affinity for the Kryptonite setting under Movie Looks as a base for many of my images and have been intrigued by the Firenza setting so I thought this image was perfect to pair the two up. I used Kryptonite at 100% on the entire image. Then I applied Firenze at 65% to just the train in order to bring out the warm rusty type tones. Then I applied Firenza again on top of that at 45% to the entire image to give a more uniform feel between the train and surroundings. I then painted the Firenza back out of the RR crossing gate at 45% opacity using the Perfect Brush setting, which was a huge help with the small details in terms of staying in the lines.
I’m certainly no expert, but I think this package is outstanding. Paired with Lightroom 4, it has completely transformed how I process. I previously used CS3 with PhotoTools 2.6 and I just grew tired of Photoshop’s cumbersome nature. Perhaps it was my own ignorance to Photoshop, but it just seemed like more of a hassle at times just to edit an image.
With this set-up I was able to edit several HDR’s yesterday (after 5 hours of shooting) in between cooking, playing with kids and looking at houses so the simplified processing and workflow fits perfect with my busy and often erratic lifestyle.
So thanks again to +onOne Software for making such awesome software and to+Brian Matiash who first inspired me to give OnOne a shot after seeing him use the software on so many of his awesome images.
This is a random shot from last winter that I never posted. I actually have several from this outing that never got posted for some reason. Perhaps I will post some and reprocess some in the coming days/weeks. I shot the entire day with my 50mm and processed most of them in B&W. I decided to post this because I’m thinking of an outing in the city this weekend. Urban stuff is always good for winter since everything else is dead. I have an urban itch that needs scratchin! ;-)
I’d tell ya how I processed this one if I remembered. I’m trying to get better about sharing more detail about what goes into my shots. This one was processed a year ago though, so cut me some slack…
My brother and I just kind of wandered around a small portion of South City on this particular day and grabbed random shots of some rotting buildings. Always a good time….
I chose another shot from last March again for tonight’s post. This was from the same trip as the abandoned go-cart track. Just up the road from it, we found this old farm house with this bad-ass old TV just sitting in the living room. The house was very old but had been lived in recently enough to have carpet in the living room, but the rest of the house was still very dated . My brother and I were more impressed with this TV than anything else I think. Something like this is almost like an old muscle car in terms of the coolness factor. We both snagged several sets of brackets.
In regards to the processing, this would be the 2nd image processed completely with my new set-up in Lightroom 4 and Photo Suite 7. Unlike the last image though, this one if a 5 exposure HDR that also got pushed through Photomatix. So from Lightroom I exported the brackets to Photomatix and processed them using the Detail Enhancer before sending them back to Lightroom. I then sent them to Perfect Suite 7 for some Focal Point and Perfect Effects lovin.
Some Rambling About Gear
As some of you know, my laptop died a while back, which was my primary editing machine. Along with it, died my CS3. Luckily I have access to several computers and laptops through work, which enabled me to continue limited editing while I contemplated what I wanted in a computer, software and workflow. I quickly decided I was done with using laptops as my primary computer. The just don’t hold up. Granted, when I bought my last laptop I wasn’t doing much processing and certainly not what I am these days, so it lived a long life considering how intensely it was used. However, I really wanted to get back to a good stable desktop. I purchased a nice, modest Asus system. I’m a budget photographer in every way, so I never have the “best” stuff by most standards. However, I am very pleased with the system I chose. In addition to new hardware I needed new software as well. Although I love Photoshop, I realized that I could do everything I wanted with Lightroom 4 and Perfect Photo Suite 7 for a fraction of the cost of Photoshop + plug-ins. I’ve wanted Lightroom for a long time anyways to streamline my workflow and I fell in love with OnOne when I bought Phototools 2.6 a year or so ago. So after reviewing all the functionality of Perfect Photo Suite 7 and Lightroom 4 I took the leap and switched. The one piece of software I kept was Photomatix 4, which obviously integrates well with Lightroom. So, I shaved all the bulk of PS and now have a streamlined workflow using some really powerful budget software.
I’ll share more specifics of what I’m using and how I’m using it in future posts.
Some Rambling About Vision
This has been a relatively slow year for me in terms of shooting and processing. I’ve just been kinda taking it easy. Shooting here and there. Processing when I have time and/or feel like it and trying to find a way to balance everything on my plate these days. In some ways I took the year off. I still shot and processed and shared. I just didn’t put a lot into it. With a new outlook on things and some fresh tools to help me do things more efficiently, I’m ready to get back to it in 2013. Ready to try some new things and improve on others.
Some Rambling About The Picture
This is a shot from last March. My brother and I checked out an old abandoned go-cart track and an old house one day and turned up with a lot of good shots. This is one that was left unprocessed until now. I’ve posted several from this location throughout the year and still have several I will post as I get ideas for processing them. I liked all the peeling paint in this one and thought it went well with my thoughts on my dead crusty gear and stale vision. I processed this one using Lightroom 4 and perfect Photo Suite 7. I’ll get more specific in future posts. Since this image was kind of experimental, I lost track of all the exact settings used.