Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy Camper

Surely he has a good reason to be smiling. He might just be the happiest guy around I know. Taken here at work with my wife's Fujifilm Finepix x100. This point and shoot rocks. I might just engrave my name on it (heh). I placed the model by the window, which seems to provide decent lighting. In post processing, I converted the image to black and white using Silver Efex Pro 2. Then I burned the background to get that studio shot look. Increased the details with Nik Software Detail Extractor. Threw in some left over mojos. Brilliant.

I'm trying to build up my Black and White Portrait portfolio. Any volunteers?

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pico Canyon

One of the perks of being an engineer at the district is one gets to go out and visit places.  This one was shot while inspecting an oil and gas production plant up in Newhall.  It takes one up on the remote hills that resemble the landscape of the old west.  [Insert Rawhide song here: Rolling, rolling, rolling ....] I was told that the area has been used in shooting the television series CSI and Lost.  The place may have been visited by the Manson Family.  Yikes.

The wildlife activity or inactivity looks deceiving.  Apparently at this time of the year there are rattle snakes, coyotes and who knows.  The whole time we were making noises with our shoes to ward off the snakes.  By the time I got back to the office my brown shoes turned ashen gray.  So was the bottom half of my jeans.  Once we saw a jack rabbit and a squirrel.  Our host said that those were good signs because they would mean that we were safe from coyotes.  Next time I'm bringing a gun.  Okay, I'm kidding on the gun part but not on the critters.

Techie Notes:  The picture was stitched from three images taken with the Fujifilm Finepix X100.  If you pretend to draw vertical lines and divide the picture into three sections and look closely.  You'll notice that there is darkening on the blue sky where the imaginary lines fall.  This is because the individual shots have vignette cause by the camera lens.  Vignette is apparent in all lenses but some are more obvious.  I tried to lighten those parts but since I was doing this just for fun I didn't spend much time on them.  Now if this was something I'll submit to a photo contest, then I might work at them more.   

This is one of the few ones I didn't do much processing. Tweak the contrast on the details of the hills and applied neutral density gradient on the sky to darken it a bit.

Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Title: The Wanderer, the Fork and the Soda Can

After being thrown out of his own home by Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt is now homeless and looking for work.  I found him at Old Pasadena.  As you can see, he is obviously not impressed with my camera.  He's probably used to those expensive sets and all the camera accessories that go with them.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Tiffany and Remembering Stuff To Do

The picture was taken at Mama's 96th birthday celebration back in 2009 when I have just barely taken photography seriously.  Tiffany was mingling with the crowd.  At that time I was still using my Canon Rebel XT and the crappy kit lens that went with it (the camera wasn't reliable anymore so last year I had it converted to shoot IR only). I like how the image turned out but for some reason filed it on my To-do list.  I've almost forgotten about it until now.  Last night I couldn't sleep and for some reason I remembered that this image was buried somewhere in the archives.  It took a while to find it but was definitely worth the effort.  I did some edits on it and am really pleased with the result.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Jack in Red

If the background were white this could have been a nice piece for a Red, White and Blue theme.  Would have been perfect for the Fourth of July.  But it's not.  Yet the boy in red is in my view a living example of what America is about.  Liberty.  The freedom to express oneself.  Much like Jack.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Jazz at the Bank

Captured these street musicians one Friday night at the Village in Claremont.  They played jazz.  (I mean traditional jazz like Count Bassie, The Duke and so on.  Not the quasi-cool one hears while being placed on hold or ones played over the elevator.)  These guys found the perfect place to play at night.  They set up right in front of the ATM machine.  They may be playing for tips but they get to deposit their moneys at the ATM when they're done.  The outdoor lighting on their set was outstanding that this could have been taken inside a New York club.

This one is a keeper for me.  I love the lighting here.  The bass player (guy on the right) is standing in front of the glass window, which I think reflected some of the light from the side -- resulting in a subtle rim light on his head.  I also like how the bank arrow sign falls right in the middle.