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Yosemite #6

Merced River

This is another from my Yosemite series. I loved the beautiful green color in the Merced River but had a hard time capturing its essence. In the process, I learned a trick that I want to pass on. Below is the same image as I would have normally processed As you can see, there is a huge difference in the tonal quality between these two images.

Merced River (original)

The original image was captured in Raw format. There was no black or white clipping in the histogram but the histogram shows a very contrasty image with a large spike in the quarter and three-quarter tones. I processed this image (5) times with exposure values of 0, -1, -2, +1 and +2. This simulates doing exposure bracketing in the field. Then using Photomatix Pro, I combined the (5) images into a single High-Dynamic Range image and did tone mapping (I think I used the default values).

Maybe, you are saying to yourself that I could just use Shadows & Highlights to open up the darker areas in the original version and retain some detail in the clouds. Well, I did use Shadows & Highlights and I still could not get results nearly as good as using the high-dynamic range image. The bad news is that you would have to buy Photomatix Pro because this trick does not work with Photoshop CS2's HDR plugin. Photoshop's HDR requires different exposures not just different raw processing. The good news is that you can try out Photomatix Pro for 30 days and see if it works for your style of photography.

Filoli

Tree Peony

I will break my Yosemite posting streak for a Filoli posting. This is an American Castle donated to the Historical Trust. There are acres after acres of incredible formal gardens. It is mind-boggling to see how the super-rich lived. As a midwestern transplant to California, I missed peonies. Turns out that tree peonies due fine here. This bloom is about the size of a tea saucer!

Yosemite #5

Unnamed Waterfall at Turnout

Every day driving to and from the park, I would see tucked into a turnout along Highway 140. On my last afternoon, I decided to stop and take a picture. To my surprise, there was another photographer just stowing her large format camera. As she left, I walked around for the best vantage point. I could see her footsteps in the grass and where she placed her tripod. I selected the same spot. I wonder if our images are the same?

Yosemite #4

Since this was my first visit to Yosemite, I had a hard time not taking the grand landscapes and look for the details. This is one of those (few) detail shots that I took.

Yosemite #3

El Capitan from Cathedral Beach

I do not think that any photo can really show how massive El Capitan is when viewed from below. It takes over the skies above the trees. This was from our most successful outing when we got up around 5:45 AM and rushed into the park. This is the last of the golden light.

Yosemite #2

Cathedral Beach

This is taken on an early morning on Cathedral Beach along the Merced River. This is taken with my back facing El Capitan which was filled with golden light. I have the El Capitan shot for another day. I like the mood of this one.

Yosemite #1

In the Moment at Wildcat Falls


I just returned from my first visit to Yosemite. Wow! I wish that I had went before now. After all the rain, all the waterfalls were going gang busters. I think there maybe a few new waterfalls this spring. I have not processed everything yet but I think this may be my favorite image from the trip.

Technically, this is my first real fisheye shot (with my full-frame 5D). This is also a high-dynamic range (HDR) image with exposure bracketing of 10 stops! I have started using Photomatix (www.hdrsoft.com). It works like magic in difficult lighting conditions like this scene.

Hidden Bay Workshop #10

I tried many, many macro shots of the lacy leaves. This is the only one that I am semi-satisfied with. The rest did not have enough depth of field and some of the foreground elements were to fuzzy for my taste.

Hidden Bay Workshop #9

Another from my workshop. In case you are wondering, I do have a few more to post.

Hidden Bay Workshop #8

Another of my graffiti shots taken during the Hidden Bay Workshop. I no longer remember where I found this or what exactly it was.

Cannery Row

I am leaving on vacation to Yosemite for a week. Hopefully, these posts will happen using the 'magic' post in the future capability.

This along Cannery Row in Monterey. I find this image particularly appealing because it was the first blue skies that we have seen in a long, long while.

Monterey Bay Aquarium #4

I am leaving on vacation to Yosemite for a week. Hopefully, these posts will happen using the 'magic' post in the future capability.

At the Aquarium, they have life-sized replicas of whales hanging from the ceiling.

Here is a more abstract viewpoint.

Monterey Bay Aquarium #3

I am leaving on vacation to Yosemite for a week. Hopefully, these posts will happen using the 'magic' post in the future capability.

I think these are sardines. This is the ceiling of the aquarium. I leaned against the wall to take this shot. While looking through the viewfinder, the rapid circling of the fish actually made me a little dizzy.

A few nights ago, Chip and I attended the Photo Alliance lecture up at the San Francisco Art Institute. The main speaker was Arno Rafael Minkkinen. He does these amazing nude self-portraits. I found them fascinating. Probably the ones that I felt moved me the most were those taken with his wife. See http://www.arnorafaelminkkinen.org/. After seeing his work, Chip says "So, now are you going to start taking pictures of yourself nude?"

Photo Friday - Full

Big Sur Overflowing

This is the Big Sur river. During the dry months, this is just a shallow stream. I heard some of the restaurants along the shore put chairs in the middle of the river and serve coffee and tea out there. I could see the campground across the river with picnic tables but this water was much too deep for me to wade across and was really rolling along.

Monterey Bay Aquarium #2

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I am leaving on vacation to Yosemite for a week. Hopefully, these posts will happen using the 'magic' post in the future capability.

Last nite, I 'convinced' Chip to attend a Photo Alliance lecture up at the San Francisco Art Institute. The intro speaker was German Herrera. He presented a fascinating portfolio (Between Here and Now). Even Chip found it compelling which is saying something!

Andrew Molera #2

This is a short way down the trail in the opposite direction from yesterday's infrared shot. As you can see, all the rain has everything very waterlogged!

Andrew Molera

This was taken during my last sunset during my brief visit to Big Sur. My plan was to be down on the sand in Pfeiffer Beach State park. After going down a windy one-lane road, I was stopped in my tracks before the parking by a large river flowing over the road. So after a very hairy time backing up a one-lane windy road with many parked cards, I headed toward Andrew Molera instead. After paying and entering the parking, I saw the sign that all trails to the coast were washed out by the Big Sur river. Instead, I wandered down a trail along the bluffs of the river until a came to a large pond from runoff blocking my way.

Grungy Poppies

Another in the grungy flower series. This is a fairly old infrared shot of California Poppies combined with a graffiti shot from the Hidden Bay Workshop.

Jellyfish #2

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Another from the jellyfish exhibit from the Monterey Bary Aquarium.

Shark Exhibit

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This is from the Shark Exhibit of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For a while, the aquarium had the only great white shark in captivity. There was a large celebration but the shark kept killing other fish in the exhibit had to be released.

Grungy Rose

Today, I am trying out the Qumana Blog editor for posting. Here is a grungy flower using my recent abstracts from the Hidden Bay Workshop.

Big Sur River

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This was taken during my recent visit to Big Sur. The river was raging. This is a small pool left after the high water receded.

Hidden Bay Workshop #7

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Tonite, I went to the Berkeley Camera Club print review. I showed (4) images from the Hidden Bay Workshop. I almost did not bring this image, but the group thought it was the strongest. I will say that Aphra rotated 90 degrees CW and that greatly improves it reading. It is shown rotated here.

Hidden Bay Workshop #6

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This is a 'pretty' shot from Benicia. I cannot remember what caused the pink background.

Today, Aphra and I went to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I went for the surreal exhibit but ended being fascinated with the photographs from the 1906 earthquake. The photographs were amazing and extremely disturbing to someone who lives near the Hayward fault. There were amazingly detailed panorama photographs of the devastation taken from an array of cameras from a kite. These were taken by George Lawrence. See some here, but these web images are a pale representation because these exhibited prints were made from extremely HUGE contact negatives. The details was incredible and made all the destruction very real.

Hidden Bay Workshop #5

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This one is in honor of our host, Tim Rice. He paints abstracts and this is my version of his style of abstracts.

Hidden Bay Workshop #4

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Another from Crockett under the Carquinez Bridge. For this one, I am most pleased about seeing the image. I was thinking of my recent composition class and was looking for repetition.

Hidden Bay Workshop #3

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This image was taken under the Carquinez Bridge. Again, I was skeptical of the location when we arrived. Now, this is where I shot my best images. I have been flip-flopping on whether to keep the razor wire along the top of the image.

Hidden Bay Workshop #2

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Funny all day at the photo workshop, everyone was raving about the locations and how inspiring they were. I was thinking. Hmm....I am not sure that I see anything. Well, I get home and look at the results and see some that I really like. This is almost the same spot on a boxcar but I could not decide between them. So, I think they work as a diptych.

Hidden Bay Workshop

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Today, I attended an all day workshop through PhotoCentral, the Hidden North Bay Workshop. I thought we were going out in the wetlands but this workshop focused on abstract, "wabi-sabi" style photography. I do not feel very competent in abstract but am trying to learn. Our host, Tim Rice, does beautiful abstract paintings and is a very nice man.

Jellyfish

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The jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is an amazing experience. It really does feel like another planet which I guess the ocean is. I read that these jellies are fed using a turkey baster to squirt the food near their mouth (no, I cannot identify the mouth). If the food is squirted too close, the tentacles are damaged and too far and no food gets eaten. When you see these jellies in person, you realize how delicate they are.

McWay Falls

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This is one of the few "classic" Big Sur shots from my recent visit. I visited Julia Pfeiffer State Park in the morning. That is exactly the wrong time because your coastal access is limited to this walkway and all the great lighting is in the evening. So, I tried out the Photomatix HDR tool and this is fairly close to what it looked at to me. That evening, I went out to dinner at the Big Sur Roadhouse. They had a gorgeous shot of McWay Falls with red skies and golden light.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

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On the way down to Big Sur, I stopped in at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a short visit. I wandered around and just enjoyed the exhibits. I have a bunch of Big Sur shots that I need to process.

I noticed a new phenomena at the aquarium this time...

Continue reading "Monterey Bay Aquarium" ยป

Waterlilies Reflected

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I have not been out for a few days so I dug into the archives. This is a reflection from the Conservatory of Flowers.

I am going on a short vacation to Big Sur for the next few days. I will be posting again sometime early next week. Have a good weekend!

Sunol

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This is a stitched image. The first that I have done in a long time. I was worried about flare but did not realize that the wind kicked up for the image along the left-hand side. Therefore, the tree branches went into motion.

Grungy Mini-Roses

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It is a new month and here is another of the grungy flowers. This is a very old picture of the mini-roses from my own garden. The other image in the composite is a picture of pavement with eucalyptus leaves and roots breaking through.

Petaluma Storefront

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I had big plans to go out this weekend shooting. The reality is that I fell into bed and slept most of the weekend. So, I dug into the archives. This is from the field trip to Petaluma for my photography class.

Photo Friday - Metallic

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Just a fun shot from the boat yard. I liked the bright blue on the metal.

Sailing Club #5

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Dug into the archives for this show from the Berkeley Sailing Club. Last nite, we had the opening the of the PhotoCentral Spring Exhibition. This was my first exhibition and it was fun to be involved. Today, I went to Aphra's opening up in San Pablo.

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