Posts Tagged: Canon 20D

The broom at 187

Walking through the urban environment the seemingly normal assortment of rubbish or objects can make an image that bit more interesting. This was taken in August, but guess who forgot to bring in the Christmas lights?

Oh yes, a small tip if you’re adding noise to an image. You’ll need to do it twice. Once for your full size image, and a second time when you resize. After resizing noise, it gets blurred and is nowhere near as effective.

PS. I really like An Incidental Shot – the photographer who’s quick off the mark will get the shot!

PPS. Micki has finished blogging on Shutterbug Underexposed and she’ll be missed. Many blogs have fallen by the wayside over the past 2 years, but it takes time and it’s not always easy to find that time.

The red and white man

A street entertainer on stilts entertained the crowd at the Midleton Food and Drink Festival last September. I took photos of him in Cork too and I think he recognised me and my wife as he made a beeline for us and stopped to chat.

This was shot from below as he was towering over us, but I cropped a much larger shot. I used flash to illuminate his face against the bright sky.

San Francisco DPT on the job

The San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT) have painted the kerb of the sidewalk in the city to designate different parking areas in the city.

Wandering around the city I was struck by the startling paint job on the ground, especially the “warning” colours used. It didn’t stop people double parking though, but I didn’t spot any traffic cops around either!

Alcatraz Staircase

A lonely staircase on Alcatraz is off-limtis to tourists but not to the eye of my camera.

Sailing In San Francisco

A yacht sails past the waterfront in San Francisco Bay. There was plenty of activity on the waters with ferries, yachts, kite surfers and even helicopters fly overhead.

Corrugated Prison Roof

Visitors to Alcatraz Island walk about on the broad path up to the main prison building.

Some of the buildings on the island are in a bad state of repair, lacking everything but the brick walls that stand like a whitewashed skeletons. This building is about halfway up the hill and in much better condition.

Alcatraz Tower and Prison

The prison tower and buildings of Alcatraz provide a stark welcome for visitors to the former penitentiary.

Despite my close investigation, the tower in this picture was off limits. Pity, because I bet there’d be a great view from up there!

Cobh at sunset

The tide is out in Cobh, Co. Cork while the sun sets in the west casting an orange glow over the water and boats in the harbour.

Method
This required some work to expose properly. The sky is bright while the harbour, houses and landscape are in shadow. Out with the layers, top layer for the sky was darkened and the opposite was done for the ground.
Then it’s the simple task of adding a layer mask to the top layer and rubbing out the dark bits to expose the brightened landscape.
When using a layer mask, never paint with an opacity of 100%, try 30% or even 5%. Don’t be afraid to do a rough job of exposing the bottom layer because with a layer mask you can always reverse the procedure by swapping the colour of your brush with an opposite colour!

Thank you all for the comments on yesterday’s post, The Lonely Swan, it’s great to get feedback and I’m glad when people get something out of my methods when I describe them. See what you’ve done? I did it again!

The lonely swan

A solitary swan swims on the calm waters of The Lough as the sun disappears at the end of the day.

Believe it or not, this is a 10 second exposure that turned out much better than I could have hoped! I balanced my camera on the edge of the Lough, set it to Aperture priority mode at f/11, dialed the exposure down two stops, flipped up the camera flash and took the shot.

How does this work?

  • By setting the aperture to a fairly high value little light is let into the camera sensor.
  • By setting the exposure down two stops the whole scene will be underexposed but bright areas will be exposed mostly correctly.
  • Given the above settings, any dark moving objects will be completely invisible so when the flash fired it picked out the swan swimming past and even created a nice reflection in the water.

Hope that helps!