Archive for the ‘Photomatix Pro’ Tag

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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On Top of Dorr Mountain   12 comments


On Top of Dorr Mountain
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The general consensus in photography is that you don’t shoot at the height of the day. I can understand the reasoning, but… I dunno…. sometimes it seems to work out just fine. I think such is the case here, where we’re presented with a stunning view from Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park (Maine), looking south toward Otter Cove, Blackwoods, and Southwest Harbor, where a few lobsters await us after the hike.

The ‘model’ is my lovely bride, Susan, and yes… that’s a teddy bear in her pack. “Bobo, the Magnificent” he calls himself.

As with my previous image, Boats on Somes Sound in Early Morning Fog, I employed the approach of working with multiple merged frames in 32-bit mode, without the ‘standard’ tonemapping that’s used with Photomatix or other HDR programs. It seems the results are much more crisp and ‘realistic’, while still bringing in the extended dynamic range that multiple frames can provide.

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Sometimes, It Is…   4 comments


Sometimes, It Is...

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Gamble, an abandoned lobster boat found alongside Route 1 in northern Maine.

We woke up in the tent one morning and decided that it was too chilly to stick around outside, so we took a photo road trip up to Moosehorn NWR a few miles north of us. (Truck heater, yay!) Alongside the route, we found this poor, dilapidated beast in a vacant lot, an equally sad looking abandoned Gulf gas station.

We could only imagine what kind of story might be behind the vessel, its legacy on the water, and what conditions caused its demise.

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An HDR from five frames, the original version showed just how colorful and lucious the foliage was at the time, but I didn’t think that it set the mood for the image. Using a number of layer techniques and a subtle filter from OnOne, I tried to create the mood as I saw it on that cold and overcast day.

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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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Mom Told Me to Freeze   11 comments


Mom Told Me to Freeze

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Each spring, we become aware of at least one momma rabbit who sets up her den somewhere in the yard. It’s predictable that at some point, we’ll see one if not several young bunnies exploring the new, glorious, nutrient-rich environment that we call “garden.”

This year has been better than previous years. We know of only one young’n – this one – and he seems perfectly content to munch on what’s left of our field of crimson clover. So far, he has bypassed all the good, human stuff.

Like the Carolina anoles, under the right circumstances a bunny can present a great photo op, as they freeze perfectly still when confronted with danger. In this case the danger was in the form of some big, two-legged galoot with a 300mm lens. While shooting, I told him that we have to learn to coexist for our mutual benefit.

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At the End of Day   10 comments


Thurston's Wharf

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In the recent HDR Collaboration project, Inland Sailor, I mentioned that prior to snapping those brackets we had indulged in a great lobster dinner. This scene is from Thurston’s Lobster Pound in Bernard, Maine, where lobster boats unload their daily catch to be enjoyed at the waterfront restaurant. It’s a great place to kick back and enjoy the scenery while waiting for your crustaceans to steam.

To be honest, I’ve become a bit bored with standard processing techniques, even though there is always room for improvement (perhaps particularly so in my case.) I’m sure it’s just a temporary condition. However, in order to fully break away from my typical stuff, I decided to give the image more of a nostalgic, postcard feel using a few techniques that I don’t usually approach. Given that the composition of the original shot was cluttered and had a chaos of different colors, I like the way that this treatment works with the scene, and hope you like it, too.

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Starting with an tonemapped image from 7 exposures (+/-1EV, f/14, 75mm, ISO200), I applied a Shadowmap derived from Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, adjusted for some imperfections, then turned around in SEP to apply both aged toning and light vignette effects. Seeing that it was a bit too monochromatic, I allowed just a hint of color to sneak through in places. Various other more subtle plug-ins were used, including Topaz DeNoise and Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 for final dressing.

The Good Life   9 comments


The Good Life

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This past autumn while in Maine, we had a nice visit at Eliot Coleman’s Four Season farm (lettuce in Maine, in January!) One of the assistants there suggested that for a nice lunch, we should drive just down the road to Orr Cove. Best tip we had on the entire trip!

We pulled off to the side of the one-lane road, making sandwiches and firing off some sun flare brackets, after which, we drove about 50′ to The Good Life Center, the place where we found the Alien Landing.

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This image was particularly tough to process, which is why I didn’t offer it up for the recent HDR Collaboration, choosing Inland Sailor instead. The sun flare caused a great deal of spotting and CA, and the dust on the sensor didn’t help much, either. Eleven exposures, f/22, 17mm.

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