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!

Bike Lane

Riding a bike anywhere on today’s streets is almost a suicidal pursuit but bike lanes help. Here a bus drove past as I took this shot in an urban tunnel in downtown San Francisco.

What tablet would you buy?

I’m in the market for a tablet to make my life using the GIMP easier. I’ve looked longingly at them in stores but my credit card stayed in my wallet and I resisted the temptation! Now, I’m seriously thinking of making a purchase and wondering which one to go for.

After some initial problems Richard Querin got his Wacom Graphire3 working and I know there’s the Linux Wacom Project but they’re not the only show in town. What about other manufacturers?

As a photographer, has using a tablet helped you? Has it made it easier to work on photos? Is it easier to apply large changes like dodging and burning a whole image?

And finally, red or blue pill?

Ready to go!

You better be good at hill starts if you live in San Francisco! I presume it’s slightly easier with an automatic transmission rather than manual?

Highly processed image via multiple tools in the GIMP until I came up with an effect I liked – multiple layers, b/w, gaussian blur, layer modes and more.
I had to rotate the image at first and reconstruct parts of the image, but I think it came out reasonably well!

Parking for the Guinness

Look up for unusual perspectives on ordinary scenes. I was quite happy with this image of a lamppost in Parnell Place, Cork when I took it. The signs are clearly visible and the upside-down Guinness logo catches the eye!

You have to wonder, what’s more important, Guinness or parking?

White and Red

Tourists in the town of Dingle walk along a street in late September.

I love the contrast between white and red and yet the two houses mirror each other in other ways. This was another entry in the Mallow Camera Club’s Patterns Around Us competition.

The cat’s in the cradle

Michelle looks out from her home at the dreary wet day ahead and the annoying photographer in the doorway. A few seconds later she scampered off under the bushes but was back when I disappeared.

Cats love their comfort and Michelle is no exception. She’s spoilt rotten like most house cats and never has a worry in the world!

This is one of my first shots with my shiny new Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. It was delivered while I was at the conference on Wednesday and I’m very impressed already. It’s horribly sharp and fast. The shallow depth of field offered by an aperture of f1.8 is beautiful and falls off from the sharp in-focus bits really nicely.

Alcatraz Flowers

The entrance to Alcatraz Prison is up a series of steps near these flowers. I love how they catch the light while the background is in the shade of the prison.

After yesterday’s flood of posts it’s nice to get back to the one-a-day habit although I wonder why Technorati hasn’t picked up on my IT@Cork2006 tag yet. Grrr.

It seems that they haven’t looked at my feed or updated their records of my posts yet because if you look under Canon 20d several of the posts I made yesterday show up. Not this one just yet. I guess there are lots of blogs out there!