Mad Dogs and Englishman …

go out in the noon day sun.  So the saying goes, and self-respecting photographers don’t -: at least that is the common perception.  But … decent photographs can still be made when the sun is high overhead, long after the morning’s blue hour and golden hour.  Case in point, my host Fred and I went to Stump Pass south of Venice, FL today, after lunching at the Gulf Grill on the way. Here is one of the photos from today’s shoot: 

This was shot about one o’clock this afternoon, in bright sun on the beach at Stump Pass.  I spot metered the brightest part of the scene, compensated by adding two stops, initially, to place the highlights back toward the right side of the histogram, and then further compensated by adding another four stops to account for the four stops of ND I programmed into my Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter.  I then set the camera to fire on CL (constant low speed) and fired off a whole bunch of shots over the next several minutes as the water swirled around the old tree trunks.  This is one of the better captures.

Post processing was very straight forward.  I cropped the scene as you see it very early in the process, added Tonal Contrast and image borders from Color Efex Pro, and added a small amount of structure to the clouds and the retreating water in the lower right of the image using control points in Viveza.

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Back in Venice …

We arrived at our friends house in Venice, FL early Friday evening.  Most of Saturday was a washout for me as I had to go online and get some computer repairs taken care of in order to be able to use Photoshop and my Nik plugins.  By the time that was done, it was raining and blowing, so I processed a couple of pictures from our drive around Cades Cove in the Smokies (see the two preceding posts).  This morning, however, I made it back to the Venice pier for another sunrise, after which I drove down to Casperson beach to take pictures of the waves rolling up against the rocks.

This is a 90 second exposure.  I had to rush this portion of my morning as I was trying to beat the sun getting high enough in the sky to kill the soft lighting in the shade of the dunes and palm trees behind me.  The light line across the top of the image is the sunlight touching the top of the small rollers as they head to shore.  Processing was pretty straight; add a little contrast and structure, neutralize the whites in the center of the image (they were very blue in the shadows), darken the rock in the upper right corner, and use Nik’s Darken-Lighten Center filter inColor Efex Pro 3.

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Day 3 In the Smokies – An Analog Picture

Shortly after taking the shot in the last post, Barb and I parked at the west end of Hyatt Lane.  We stopped there because I was interested in photographing some gnarly old trees against a background of red foliage on the right side of the road, but I was also interested in getting a decent shot down Hyatt Lane. I had been on the lane earlier in the day with disappointing results, photographically. The vantage offered from our pull-over spot seemed pretty good, but there was an endless stream of traffic to begin with. On my way back to the car, this view revealed itself and the lane was, mercifully clear of traffic for the moment.

As an experiment, and out of pure curiosity, I processed this using Nik’s new Analog Efex plugin. It appeared mysteriously in my list of Nik plugins the other day, so I decided to give it a try.  I don’t know what to say about it.  I used Classic Camera 5, and except for some cropping of the original image, that is all I did.  Recently, I have pretty much gotten away from obvious filter layering, etc., and I hope that has shown up in my pictures. Given that, I don’t know how I feel about this new plugin, although I am pleased with the results with this photograph.  If you have an observation or opinion, please let me know about it.

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