Archive for the ‘Topaz’ Category

In My Little Town   3 comments


In My Little Town

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So, I thought to myself: If I use a fake tilt-shift effect during processing, will this scene look like a tiny toy town?

Nailed it.

Just having a bit of fun… This was a display at a farm museum nearby. In a long, metal building packed to the rafters, we found an incredibly eclectic collection of toy figures, lunch boxes, old farm gear, restored tractors, and icons from past times. No doubt there will be a few more images from this location, and as with any good spot… gotta go back!

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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.

~

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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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.)

A Seagull Thanksgiving   1 comment


An old, dried up fish head sits on a piling at Fort Macon State Park, North Carolina

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And what would a seagull want for Thanksgiving dinner?

“Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads,
Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up yum

Ask a fish head, anything you want to,
They won’t answer, they can’t talk.”

There. If you’re at all familiar with this Barnes and Barnes song featured on Dr. Demento, then you’ll have this foolish and annoying ditty running through your head all day today… just like me. Grrrrr…

This poor soul was found as-is on a ramp piling at Fort Macon State Park in eastern North Carolina. With no tripod, I went for the hand-held brackets at +/-2EV.  Photomatix Pro 4, Nik filters, and Topaz InFocus made it worthwhile, and not just a little bit gross.

Click on the image to see it in all its disgusting glory.

Better get there before Charles DeGull gets all the good stuff…

A curious seagull with a silly expression, at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

Charles DeGull

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