The Cork County Hall and the web

Early one morning I visited the County Hall in Cork and took a few photos. In fact, this one is from the same shoot.

Webs covered a tree behind the building, and the early morning dew sparkled in the sun. I was hoping for an ominous feel to the photo but I failed, and instead I have something that mixes nature with our man made presence on this world.

I quite like the way the strands of the web stand out too!

Alcatraz 2E 53 45

A vintage 1940’s truck with the license plate number, “2E 53 45″ sits under an archway on the Island of Alcatraz. It’s a beautifully restored vehicle that attracts the attention of all tourists as they walk past.

Here’s a few more pictures of the truck but I’m surprised nobody has posted the registration plate of the truck! I love the variety of textures in this image.

First snow of the year fell today! It’s not sitting on the ground, but it’s nice to watch from inside. It’s not so nice walking about in it. Even Oscar didn’t want to go out, but the call of nature won out on his reluctance!

The swans they are a coming

Swans rush to the bank of the Lough looking for bread from the crazy guy hanging over the water with a large black object…

This shows off one of my favourite night-time techniques. Long exposure with a flash. The long exposure captures the background while the flash illuminates the foreground objects, along with some nice movement blur.
It works really well at parties when people are dancing, especially if you’re lucky to capture a laughing face while the body is in motion.

Stepping out of the crowd

A girl steps away from the maddening crowd on a busy street.

This was a bit of an experiment for me. I blurred the background by making a duplicate layer, blurring, adding a layer mask and then revealing the girl through the layer mask. It’s not perfect, and in fact, the closer I look the more imperfections I see. Unfortunately I never saved a .xcf file preserving the layers so this is the final product.

I like it. The blur successfully separates the girl from the backgrond and even the zone of sharpness takes in some of the ground around her which exaggerates the effect!

Taken on St. Patrick Street, Cork last October.

Buildings in the sky

I live in a city where the tallest building is one that will be 17 floors high so when I travel to far off lands it’s always great to see tall skyscrapers looming over the streets.

This might bear a striking resemblance to a previous image but it is a different one and was one of my entries in the Patterns Around Us competition at my local camera club.

I have another 3 or 4 similar images but I’m not going to bore you to death by posting all of them unless I can come up with a nice montage effect or something. I’ll have to think about it.

First Draft: Ready to go!

John asked what did he original Ready to go! look like and I’ll oblige now. Showing what the original photo looks like is akin to showing what the first draft of a written essay or post reads like. Sometimes the image comes out perfectly in the camera but that’s rarely the case. At the very least light levels have to be balanced and if resizing for publication online then the resized image has to be sharpened.

Hover over the image below to see what the original shot looked like. Hopefully this will work for RSS readers but if it doesn’t, visit the blog and leave your mark here!

Notice how I rotated the image? I had to reconstruct the bumper on the right of the picture, as well as filling in the gaps at the other corners of the photo. Tree branches and leaves are easy enough, as is the relatively solid black texture of the tar on the road, but the bumper was difficult, and the shaded area of the building on the left presented me with a few extra minutes of clicking to get right.

Want to see more “First Draft” posts? I can’t promise to do many, but if you have a compelling reason why you’d like to see the original of a photo I’ll do my best to help!

PS. Bryan – you might recognise the CSS. I took it from the button of doom you did! Hope you don’t mind!

PPS. Treasa has posted a tutorial of how she worked on two photos with steps in Photoshop to get the desired effect. Nice!