Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Happy Birthday St. Louis Missouri!

This photo was taken on June 6, 2014.

ISO 100 4.3 f/8.0 1/160sec

That year St. Louis was turning 250 years old. 256 cakes like this one were put out all over the city and surrounding area. Some of them are still on display, a current listing is here.  I’ll be honest, when I first heard this was going to be a thing, my reaction was something like…oh. Then I started seeing them around town. They really were works of art. I ended up with quite a little gallery of them. The one above was one of my favorites because of where and how it was placed. The St. Louis Art Museum is free and located in Forest Park. It’s a gem and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.  Here is my Luminar edited version of the original file:

ISO 100 4.3 f/8.0 1/160sec

The original photo was intended as a realistic snapshot. It was shot in the bright light of a St. Louis afternoon.  The edit has been given a bit of a bronze tone that I thought made the shadows look more interesting. I cropped it because I thought the original had a lot of not very interesting sky. I also removed the working crane.  I did try a crop that would straighten the photo but to my surprise, I thought it made the photo less interesting, so the tilt stayed.

I like this edit, but other than making an appearance here it will pretty much stay in my photo files as a memory of the fun little cakes that dotted St. Louis in 2014.  Do you like this edit? Has your town done something like this? I know there are several US cities that have done similar things. Your comments on the edit and community art projects are welcome below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Birthday and in a bit of a cheeky way to One Word Sunday, Fire.

 

 

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Alphabet

This morning I was walking, and came across this sign:

ISO 400 78mm 0ev f/11 1/125

ISO 400 78mm 0ev f/11 1/125

Only, it didn’t look like that.  That is more what it looked like in a final version that existed in my head and was going to be put in this week’s alphabet photo challenge. Here is what I actually saw:

ISO 400 78mm 0ev f/11 1/125

ISO 400 78mm 0ev f/11 1/125

It was a cold and grey morning, and I knew that I was going to want to edit this photo into something that I didn’t see, so I took a bracketed shot, of which the shot above is the middle exposure.  When I got home, I edited the photo into an HDR image using Photomatix.  Then in Photoshop I added some grain and an over the top sepia layer.  The result is the top photo.  I think you can tell that I was cold when I took the picture from the warmth that I insisted upon that is shouting a bit too loudly in the edited version.  I think though, that the sign is trying to invoke another time and place, so bringing an additional layer of fiction is ok in this situation.

Have you ever taken a photo knowing that the final image you wanted to see was something entirely different?  What do you think of my take on this photo? Your comments are welcome below.

Again this year I am using a widget in my sidebar for this year’s photo challenges.  I am using this widget courtesy of Cardinal Guzman.  The link is to the post of his with this year’s widgets, it would your while to have a look at some of his other creative posts as well.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight(less)

Here is the St. Louis area we have been thinking a lot about water, flood water.  I am grateful that we have not had much in the way of damage or inconvenience in our house, but there has been a lot of damage in the surrounding area.  Earlier this week, I was driving in an area that had just been reopened to traffic and took this shot:

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

Usually, being in the water makes me feel weightless.  But standing on the side of the road the other day, I was thinking about the power of water to displace people and things.  This photo is just a small view of the amazing amount of debris I drove past.  Most striking were all the plastic bags waving in the trees and the brush.  So much for feeling weightless, more like being weighed down by all the trash.

For this photo, I pulled over to the side of the road, just before a posted road closure sign.  I would say when I am taking photos, I tend to err on the side of caution, try to pay attention to my surroundings and not get into trouble.  What kind of photographer are you, would you have driven past the posted sign in hopes of getting a different or better picture? Have you witnessed the aftermath of a flood? I find it to be incredibly humbling, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Cheers!

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iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Follow the Signs

Sometimes when you are out hiking trial markers are very helpful, other times less so:

ISO 125 4mm f/2.8 1/120

ISO 125 4mm f/2.8 1/120

I took this photo over the summer while on a backpacking trail at Hawn State Park in Missouri.  When we are carrying all the stuff needed for backpacking I tend to just carry my phone and use the camera that it has.  In this case, that was all I needed, just a snapshot to show a funny sign.

Signing in can be very important when it comes to backpacking.  We also stop and register at the trailhead when we will be gone for a few days:

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

Fo this photo, which was also taken with my phone, I have edited it using a Iris-blur filter in Photoshop.  This obscures the details of the people signing in and I have set the focus point on the act of signing in.

When out on the trail sometimes it is difficult to find creatures like this frog, because they are attempting to give no sign of their presence:

ISO 64 4mm f/2.8 1/24

ISO 64 4mm f/2.8 1/24

Even sharpened a bit in Photoshop, this photo is still a bit blurry and is a situation where I wish I had one of my more sophisticated cameras with me.  This frog was beautifully blended with the background, and my camera phone really doesn’t do him justice.

How do you decided which camera to take on a trip? For me, a lot of that comes down to weight and how much else I am going to be carrying.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Deepest Night

I enjoy walking through cemeteries and looking at grave markers.  Today I found one that I would not want to run across at night:

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

This iron lady sitting at the foot of the cross I found somewhat intimidating.  I think it is the stern look on her face.

It was a tough grave marker to get a photo of as well, so I figured I was going to have to take some liberties in the editing process to get the image that I wanted.  Lighting was a issue.  Although it was a sunny day, the marker was in the shade.  Also the grey stone was very light in color and the lady was a very dark green.  I took a bracketed shot.  So one exposure in the middle, then one a stop higher and one a stop lower.  With those three shots on the computer I put them in Photomatix and then created an image using the painterly setting.  With that finished I opened the photo in Photoshop, cropped it to straighten in a bit and then sharpened it.  Here is the original middle exposure:

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 1000 70mm 0ev f/5 1/125

What do you think of my final interpretation? Do you enjoy walking through cemeteries?  If you do, and happen to be in St. Louis Missouri I would recommend Bellefontaine, it is a beautiful place.

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Travel Theme: Unexpected

Sometimes you forget to be a tourist in your own town.  Then maybe you get an unexpected reminder.  For me  the reminder was in the form of birthday cakes.  Specifically the Cakeway to the West, a celebration of the 250th birthday of St. Louis Missouri.  There are 250 of these 4ft. tall cakes scattered throughout the St. Louis region.  Here are snapshots of a few of them:

ISO 100 7mm 0ev f/4 1/160

ISO 100 7mm 0ev f/4 1/160

Lone Elk Park

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4 1/80

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4 1/80

World Bird Sanctuary

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/8 1/160

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/8 1/160

St. Louis Art Museum

ISO 64 4mm f/2.8 1/278

ISO 64 4mm f/2.8 1/278

Cahokia Mounds, which is in Illinois.

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/00

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/00

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

I have a bunch more to see obviously if I want to see all 250 of them!  It is a lot of fun to run into these cakes around town.  These photos I have taken with my point and shoot or iPhone. In Photoshop I did a levels adjustment on a few of them and then sharpened them a bit. Have you ever played the tourist in your own town?

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room to Roam

I was camping a few weekends ago and spotted this False Map Turtle:

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/500

Basking in the sun, which is an activity you are likely to find these turtles engaged in on rock outcroppings at lakes here in Missouri.  After a few minutes of posing for photos, he wandered off:

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/400

ISO 100 8mm 0ev f/4.5 1/400

I was at the water’s edge with both my DSLR and point and shoot camera but reached for my point and shoot to get these photos.  I used my smaller camera because I really like the macro setting on it.  The other reason was that for the first photo I have my camera pretty much on the ground.  Getting a photo from that angle is just easier with a smaller camera.

Once I got home, I edited these photos in Photoshop.  I used a levels adjustment layer to get the color to be a bit more true to the actual coloring of the turtle.  The original images were a bit overexposed despite the low ISO and fast shutter speed.  The top image was also cropped a bit and both images were sharpened.

This post was written in part as a response to the theme room.  My favorite room? outdoors, where there is some room to roam.

I wrote a few weeks ago that I was a bit behind on my blog and that I was hoping to catch up soon.  I’m sorry to say that that hasn’t happened.  I’ve been under the weather for just over a week now, so I’m even more behind than before.  I’m happy to say though, that I am feeling better and am happy to publish this post after about a week off.

Thoughts on my turtle images? Do you have a favorite setting on your point and shoot camera? they seem to come with so many these days.

Cheers and good health to you!

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