Archive for the ‘Photoshop’ Category

There Was a Time…   10 comments


Yes, There Was a Time...

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… when gasoline was cheaper.

I doubt we’ll ever see this at a working gas station again, but at least the moment was immortalized in a decrepit station sign. Being that I live in the south, I couldn’t help but notice that the sign has been repurposed into a target.

Found at the side of the road – of course – in northern Maine, at the same location where Gamble was found.

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The Asticou Azalea Gardens, Seal Harbor, Maine   5 comments


The Asticou Azalea Gardens, Seal Harbor, Maine

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Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate when we’d like to go hiking. When that happens, we take a road trip around the area, looking for new and interesting spots. On our way to Seal Harbor on the south side of Mt. Desert Island, we passed by the Asticou Azalea Gardens.

The day seemed perfect for a soft, moody rendering of this colorful scene. The overcast skies created a soft and diffused light that really helped to pop the autumn colors in an otherwise gray day.

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As before, I decided to approach this image as an HDR without tonemapping, preferring to edit in both Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CS6. I’m really enjoying the result as being more ‘realistic’ than most tonemapping programs would allow. There are times to get creative, and times to let nature stand on its own merits.

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Boats on Somes Sound in Early Morning Fog, Maine   9 comments


Boats on Somes Sound in early morning fog, Maine

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Ahhhhh… This was the view from our campsite while we were at Acadia National Park/Mt. Desert Island. Placid water, cool temperatures, and mysterious fog rolling through Somes Sound made for one of those delightfully perfect mornings. No coffee was necessary to be fully alert in a place like this.

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In a departure from my usual workflow, I took a new tack by merging three frames in Photomatix to create an .HDR file, but instead of tonemapping in Photomatix, edited the resulting file in 32-bit, then 16-bit mode directly in Photoshop. Since I’ve tended to post-process in a more ‘realistic’ style lately, the steps were perfect for the look I wanted to achieve.

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The Painter at the Wharf   3 comments


The Painter at the Wharf

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After experiencing the demise of more than a few fresh Maine lobsters one evening, we decided to celebrate by catching the sunset at a nearby wharf. There was some sort of seminar or class going on in the area – there were a number of paint artists in the area set up at different viewpoints, and some were being videotaped as they worked.

It was quiet and serene as I went about catching different scenes, with Susan recording some video segments. I asked this woman if I could take a few frames; she graciously said Yes. I’m delighted that she did.

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HDR from three exposures, 26mm, f/11, ISO100, merged in Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2, modified with several filters in Photoshop with masking via Topaz Remask 3

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Circus Life   7 comments


Circus Life

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I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything of my own. Life has been a circus around here.

We’ve been keeping close to home most days, working on the expanded gardens. No matter how many hours we’re out there, at the end of the day we always have something more to do. (Totally worth it for the organic veggies.)

I hope to get back into the swing of things photographic, and to catch up with everyone as soon as possible. In the meantime, please enjoy this scene taken at a local ‘museum’, of sorts.

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The Drift   8 comments


The Drift

The Drift

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Some people trick out their cars or motorcycles. Others sink thousands into landscaping. Me? I like to dress out the kayak, mostly with safety bling and sandals. (The boat is a 2000 Perception Eclipse, Kevlar, composite bulkheads, a little over 17 feet. Susan has a similar version, but a bit smaller. And firecracker red.)

The other day – mid-November, mind you – the weather was forecast to be almost 80F, so we felt it was our responsibility to go out for a nice, long paddle trip. This spot is near Hammocks Beach State Park and Bear Island, one of our favorite destinations. Bear Island is separated from the mainland by a few miles, with a network of creeks flowing through rich marshlands, filled with Great Herons, Egrets, Pelicans, and a host of other shorebirds.

We worked our way upwind during the morning, with a nice wind-driven coast back to the landing in the afternoon — just the way it should be. Late in the afternoon, not wanting it to end too quickly, we beached up to take in the last warm rays of the setting sun.

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This is a single-exposure image. I used it to test out several new product versions in the world of Photoshop Plug-Ins. (I have to wonder if these product uprgades were released just in time for Christmas?)

Flipping back and forth between Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Topaz Adjust 5, and OnOne Perfect Effects from Perfect Suite 6, I was struck by the architectural similarity between them.

There used to be a time when running a filter would return a single filter result in a layer (the old PhotoTools from OnOne excepted.) Now, in Adjust and Color Efex Pro, we have the ability to stack effects together, adjusting each to taste, without having to continually pop in and out of Photoshop (or Lightroom, or Aperture.) This is clearly a good approach, as all three companies have adopted this model.

Each plug-in set has different features, pre-sets, strengths and weaknesses, of course. Which one is best for your purposes is a matter of taste and convenience. But I must say, all of these companies are pouring on the steam to develop kickazz modules, and we as photographers benefit from that competition.

If there is any drawback to this, it comes from trying to decide which filters you need at a given time. Oh, the horror of too many options. :)

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Linda Ann   7 comments


Linda Ann
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On the same cruise through rural Pamlico county where we found Serviceable, the road leads through the town of Oriental. It’s a quaint little place on the waters of the Neuse River leading into Pamlico Sound, which is the largest lagoon on the east coast.

Oriental is a haven for recreational sailors as well as shrimpers, and is well worth the visit, but be sure to poke around carefully. Blink, and you’ll drive right through town.

Despite the appearance of tranquility, this image was difficult to process. With the tripod set up on a large, floating dock, there were enough people wandering onto the dock that the whole system moved substantially, causing alignment problems. (And, it was simply too hot out to wait for everyone to leave!) Enter Photomatix Pro’s selective de-ghosting feature, which has saved more than a few of my brackets. Without this function, other programs tend to fall short given the task of dealing with wind effects and vibration, problems that we frequently encounter. A good trick to try in a case like this is what I’ve done here: Use Photomatix Pro to come up with the base image, then layer on clean output from other programs in order to pull out all the details — it seems that no one program does everything perfectly for what I want to do.

I’ll likely illustrate this technique in an upcoming video tutorial.

Speaking of which, my free HDR Processing Techniques tutorial just surpassed 1,150 views, which surprises me in that I don’t usually advertise or promote its presence on YouTube. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and many people have written some nice personal notes of thanks, which just warms my heart.  If you haven’t yet seen it, you can find Part 1 of 5 here: HDR Processing Techniques with Rob Hanson, Part 1.  And please tell your friends… I’m not so much of a social media monster that I can get the word out effectively, so your help is much appreciated. Thanks.

 

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Someone Left The Cake Out In The Rain   5 comments


A large, droopy sunflower just after a summer rain.

© 2011 Rob Hanson Photography, All Rights Reserved

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After one of our recent, infrequent rainstorms, we found this sad sunflower looking as though it had seen better days. She was much more vivacious when seen in Mwah! Air Kisses.

With its dinner-plate size and bright colors, it reminded us of the old Richard Harris song, “MacArthur Park.” It’s getting close to time for harvesting the seeds… only this morning, we found a squirrel hanging off of her, an unseemly end to such a beauty.

Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 800, 1/60s, 24mm, f/7.1

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Mwah! Air Kisses   4 comments


A brilliant sunflower blows air kisses to the crowd.

Mwah! Air Kisses

Image © 2011 Rob Hanson Photography, All Rights Reserved

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In an adjunct garden just behind our deck, we’ve planted sunflowers, and their location allows us to come face-to-face with the tall plants. Our intent is to get to the seeds before the birds do. Uh-huh.

A recent rain played around with the fragile flower petals, and we found this one blowing a kiss to the audience.

I was surprised to learn that the onomatopoeic word, Mwah has actually made it into Webster’s dictionary.

Single exposure from Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/800s, 240mm. Photoshop CS5 and Nik Color Efex Pro

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Masnavi   18 comments


Reflection-Solo-Final-web

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Know that the world of created beings
is like pure and clear water, reflecting
the attributes of God.


Their knowledge, justice and kindness
reflects God’s like a heavenly star is
reflected in running water.


Earthly kings reflect God’s kingship.
Scholars mirror the wisdom of God.


People and nations may change as
one generation replaces another;
but the divine attributes are eternal.


The water flowing in the stream
changes many times, but the
reflection of the moon and stars
in the water remains the same.

– Rumi (Masnavi 6: 3172-8)

~

A Great Egret admires his reflection at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near the coast of Delaware. Perhaps this is a good followup to last week’s Narcissus.

As we were driving north to New England for our autumn vacation, one morning we decided to slow down and take a more coastal route. The small road brought us through farmlands, forgotten towns, and beautiful natural areas hosting thousands of birds. At one bend in the road, there were ponds on either side serving as brooding areas for various birds. (You can see another view of this pond at Assembly.)

My good friend from Wales, Anthony Woodhouse, has started a new Flickr group called Weekly Photo Challenge. This image is my entry for this week’s challenge: Reflections.

Single Exposure handheld from Nikon D90, Nikkor 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at f/9, 300mm, 1/640s. Processed in Photoshop CS5, Nik Color Efex Pro assisting.

NEWS:

For a short time, I’m running a contest to win a free copy of the recently-released Topaz Lens Effects. To win, all you have to do is drop a comment under this photo, answering the simple question: What was different or unusual about all of my photo-blog entries last week?   It should be obvious to those who have been with me for a while.  A winner will be picked at random from all correct responses, and notified by email, so be sure to include your address (I will send no SPAM.)

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