Sunday, November 04, 2012

Some featured images

Just a short post today. It's been tough to get motivated to get out to shoot pictures when it's been raining pretty well every day. And sometimes you have other things on your mind and keeping you busy.

Long-time readers of my blog will of course have noticed that the format has changed. I got rid of the black background and changed the width and fonts a bit to make it easier to read. I haven't abandoned Blogspot yet: I tried Wordpress for a while a couple of years ago, but I'm comfortable with this platform and don't want to go through the learning curve. If this were a monetized blog, I imagine I would have to switch over, but this serves my purpose for now. Let me know what you think and if I should modify anything.

Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance this week, of course. Not here, thankfully, although the rain I mentioned is from the fringes of that storm. My son in New York city was affected, of course: but according to emails, his home is high and dry and has power, work is a challenge though because he works in midtown Manhattan. My sister lives in White Plains and was more affected: she sent an iPhone picture of the tree branch that came down and killed her power. As I understand it, the whole area is without power and I don't know how long they'll be down. They've found some space with a friend and they're safe, but not at home.

Pictures featured

One of my images was reviewed by Jason Anderson on his blog, last Wednesday. He liked the image, but his comments made me think about one thing I didn't consider while planning the shot (it was planned, as I told Jason). Read his blog to find out what that was: and for great ongoing photo tips and information. Jason's OK for a Canon shooter (LOL).

This is the image Jason reviewed. 
And one picture that I submitted to the Richmond Hill Camera Club did well, taking second place in the assigned category for advanced shooters:

Again, very much a planned shot. I shot this last May when on a photo tour with Linda Cresswell. She's got an excellent travel and nature portfolio up at worth visiting. We've shot together several times, including up in Wawa last November.

Speaking of Wawa, this is the week for the Gales of November Workshop, facilitated by Rob Stimpson. Take a moment to view his portfolio at His images are compelling and inspiring. They've had some challenges up there too, with the Trans-Canada Highway washing out. It's still out and the Michipicoten Indian Reserve is still cut off as far as I know. Greyhound bus lines have had to cancel their transcontinental service for a week: Rosa's brother was supposed to travel to Haida Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands) in Coastal BC last week, but has been delayed. I think he's getting under way on Tuesday.

Four prize-winning images this month were taken by people accompanying me on mini-tours. I obviously can't take credit for their images, but I can for putting them in the right place at the right time! I'm working on more mini-tours, watch for details here...

My new (to me) ATV

As I mentioned earlier, I've swapped my motorcycle for an ATV. It was delivered last Wednesday. It's not perfect (we're addressing an electrical issue but Bob, the seller, is standing behind it and will get it fixed. I've had it out a few times now, but have to address some issues. It's a great platform for getting into the bush with my camera. I'm going to go easy and not push it, though. Although I'm an experienced motorcyclist, it's different and I need some time to learn how to ride it. Here's a picture I did the day it arrived (in the rain, of course!)

I couldn't decide whether to post the full coloured image or this selective coloured one. I like them both! This is a 3-exposure HDR with my D600, 2 stops apart. I'm beginning to get more comfortable with that option instead of the 5-shot brackets I used to do with the D300. It is a Polaris Sportsman 700, vintage 2002/3, with a snowplow as you can see. Although it's low mileage, it's lived an outdoor life so cosmetically it isn't great but the engine's strong and it's just what I need for clearing the snow.  

This HDR image was processed with Photomatix Pro instead of Nik HDR Efex Pro 2, which for some reason I've been using more frequently these past months. I find Photomatix works better for grungy subjects like this one. What's interesting is that I did NOTHING to this picture except to open it in Photomatix, and accept the default toning preset. The ATV shot worked better in HDR Efex though. Go figure.
Reworking an old image

I was looking through some old images and wondered if I could make them better with the software I have today, and with the knowledge and experience I now have. It's sobering to look at old stuff, that I thought was really great then but which wouldn't meet my current standards. That isn't to say that I didn't get some good shots then, but I feel like I've grown a lot since then. Here's one...

This shot was taken at Cape Spear in Newfoundland in 2006, with my D70.  I opened it in CS6 and used two different treatment layers, both with Topaz Adjust 5. I wanted to bring back the feeling of a foggy, rainy day, and yet spotlight my bike. By the way, it's parked on the left side of the road because it stands very vertically on the sidestand and I needed the camber of that side of the road to keep it from falling over.

This image was one of those featured in my Blurb book, "The Path of Least Potholes" which you can access on the right side of this blog. I'd really like to get back there again. Newfoundland is such an awesome place.

That's it for today. Please share my blog with your friends and colleagues, I'd appreciate an increased audience. More and more people tune in regularly — my hits are up about 50% in the last year, but more growth would be great!


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