Archive for Bridge

Tall Trees

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by chamimage

Del Norte Redwoods

I have spent the past week driving down the Oregon coast to the Redwoods in northern California. I was hoping the rhododendrons would be in bloom, but, even though they were blooming all down the coast, they were resolutely unwilling to bloom in California.

I had one good morning in the redwoods with overcast marine air. The remainder of the days were cloudless and decidedly not foggy. When it is sunny and bright in the forest you can either do macro shots, or look for God beams like the image above. I was driving along looking in the forest for some good cathedral light and came around a corner to see the whole road bathed in this gorgeous light.

Face Rock_Bandon, Oregon

I just loved the face in Face Rock. Legend has it that this is a Native American princess that ignored warnings not to go near the sea. She was grabbed by the sea monster, Komax, while swimming. Still in his grasp after all these years, she refuses to look at him, turning her face toward the sky, instead.

Kelp

It is not low tide season for great tide pooling yet, but there is always something to photograph in them.

Cape Creek Bridge

The classic shot of Heceta Head lighthouse was not available due to a lens repair under construction. Who do they find to replace a lighthouse lens these days? They probably had to bring some old guy out of retirement and it is taking so long because he is up there on the scaffolding with his walker puttering around. The Cape Creek Bridge was a reasonable substitute for the lighthouse.

Roosevelt Elk

I made a mistake one morning. I got too goal-oriented and did not turn around to shoot a fog bank laying in a valley on my way to Lady Bird Johnson Grove. Later that day I was leafing through Larry Ulrich’s photo book on northern California and he had a similar shot and it looked amazing. I tried to make up for my mistake by heading back down to the spot the next morning, but there was no fog bank. I decided I would drive as far as Orick and turn around and there, right at the city limits, was an elk herd grazing beside Redwood Creek. I spent about an hour and took 180 images. It made me feel a little bit better about missing the fog, but still…

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Columbia Gorge

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2011 by chamimage

Wahkeena Creek

The Columbia River Gorge is a lovely place to be in the fall. I spent the day there on Monday with my friend, Sandy Nykerk, visiting from Bozeman, Montana. It was fun to see the reaction of someone from sagebrush and rattlesnake country to our lush rain forest.

Wahkeena Falls has always been my favorite in years past, both for the photography and the loop trail for a good hike. The young hardwood trees have finally grown up to obstruct the view of the falls from below now. They have also runed the shot of the creek above the bridge at the top of this photo.

Latourel Falls

Of course, the lushness of the forest comes at a price. We had only two rain showers on Monday, one at noon and one that ended the day at 4:30 pm. Not bad for Oregon. We did fight the wind and spray all day, as the drops on the lens and the wind artifact in the trees attests to in this photo of Latourel Falls. We gave up on photographing Multnomah Falls altogether due to the volume of spray being blown around. The green mold on the rock walls might give another hint at a bit of dampness year round.

Stone Wall

I loved this mossy stone wall. It snaked through the forest and would have made for some great sinuous curve photos had it not been for all of the tree limbs and brush in the way of the wider shots.

Bridge Over Latourel Creek

If you like bridges, this is a great place. I finished this image and the next one with a filter recipe in the new Color Efex Pro 4 that I like called Warm Sunset. It stacks polarization, sunlight, and vignette filters. I made some tweaks to the image above.

The image below is the filter effect untouched. A bit too warm for me in most cases, but I guess that is the point of the filter.

Latourel Creek Bridge

Helicon Focus in Photoshop

Posted in Photography Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by chamimage

The Moon Bridge

A Japanese Garden in autumn offers up a million photographic possibilities all at once, so I was surprised that after a whole day of shooting on Saturday I had only 128 images on my card. For one thing, I was being very selective and after setting up for an landscape, would take one or two images and move on, not really working the scene like I might otherwise do when not feeling overwhelmed with other possibilities. The other factor was that after setting up for a shot like this bridge, it would take a good twenty minutes of waiting to get the people off of it. People tend to linger on a bridge, it turns out. Note to self, next year go on a Monday, not a Saturday.

Japanese Lantern

In editing my images from the day I found four identical images of this scene. They were all the same exposure so I knew I didn’t do an HDR. In looking closer, I discovered that I was fudging the focal point on my exposures just a bit each time, trying to find the hyperfocal point where there was maximum sharpness throughout the depth of field. Faced with the four images, a light went on over head head. There is a program, called Helicon Focus, that blends a series of images with the focus adjusted a bit further back in each image. For a flower macro on a breezy day, you can shoot it at F4 and still have full depth of field. I don’t own that program, yet, but I learned from George Lepp last spring that you can do the same thing, with mixed results, in Photoshop. So I did.

First you need to have taken the images on a tirpod so they are all exactly the same, except for the focus point. Select all of the images in Adobe Bridge by selecting the first one and then holding down the Shift key while clicking on the last image. Then under the  Tools drop down menu, select Photoshop>Load files into Photoshop Layers. This will open Photoshop and each of the images will be on its own layer.

Then, in Photoshop, again highlight all of the layers as you did in Bridge and click on the Edit drop down menu and select AutoAlign Layers. This will line up the images in case you bumped the tripod leg, etc. Then, under the Edit drop down menu, select Auto Blend Layers and click on Stack Images in the dialog box. Photoshop will then keep the sharpest areas of each image to produce a new image with better sharpness throughout. Very cool.

If you look at the masks of the layers you will see the areas of sharpness that were selected from each image. I don’t know how Photoshop does that, but I’m glad it does. George Lepp says the Helicon Focus software is more likely to get it right for any given set of images. The trick to a good result is not to move the focus too far between images. Any areas of unsharpness in there will stick out like a sore thumb.

By the way, George Lepp has a new book out. I don’t have it yet, but it is on my Wish List at Amazon and I’ll get to it as soon as I finish Moose Peterson’s new book and the Freeman Patterson book I started.

Lion Cubs Playing

Have a great week, and don’t forget to play. And wag your tail a lot.

Ponte Vecchio

Posted in Photo Stories, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by chamimage
Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is a bridge over the Arno River in Florence, Italy. It is now lined by gold and silver shops. It was originally lined by butcher shops. I suppose that gave them the ability to toss the offal into the river (Florence is upriver from Pisa and the two areas did not exactly get along in those days, so…). Nobody knows when the bridge was originally built, but it was first mentioned in 996 A.D. That bridge was destryed in a 1117 flood and another was then swept away in another flood in 1335. The current bridge was built in 1345. It was the only bridge spared in Florence in World War II, but the end shops were destroyed to block access. It was damaged in a horrible flood in 1966 that destroyed many works of art in Florence, so parts of the bridge were rebuilt then.

It is said that the word bankrupt originated on the Ponte Vecchio when a shopkeeper could not pay his bills and the Roman soldiers broke (rocco) his table (banco) to keep him from doing any further business, producing bancorocco – broken table. Others say bankruptcy came from bancarotta – broken bank, but that is less fun, isn’t it?

I have finished putting my Italy picture book together and am now sending it to a printer. I have no experience with printing a book before. It is fairly inexpensive so I am going to try the one I want to use the most first, Blurb, and if I am not satisfied with the quality of the printing then I will try my second choice, MPIX. The cost is similar, but there are other features of BLURB I prefer, like being able to make the book available to anyone to buy a copy without my getting involved in the process. With MPIX I have to give permissions for others to buy the book or prints from it. Been there and don’t want to do that.

The software was fairly intuitive for both, with Blurb being a bit easier to use, but MPIX providing more options for background layouts, etc. Both can be as easy as loading your photos, sorting their order,  and saying make me a book and letting it do it all for you, but that wouldn’t be very creative, would it?

Like any craft project, now that I’ve done this first one I have a million ideas for others. I can see that the Blurb software is going to be very handy for laying out a travel journal, with the ability to plop in relevant photographs and having the text wrap around it. Stop me before I commit booking as a verb.

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio