Stopping In Wisconsin To Get Some Cheese

Last week on my way to Milwaukee to photograph the Xavier basketball team I stopped to make a couple of pictures on the side of the road. It is good to get out and stretch your legs from time to time while traveling. I usually have to get to where I am going so I don’t have time to do this. I budgeted extra time on this trip though as I would have to drive through Chicago. I really wanted to go and photograph a lighthouse in Milwaukee like my friend Trevor Mahlmann, but I realized that I wouldn’t have the time to do it. These roadside cheese signs are pretty cool too. Something you don’t see much outside of Wisconsin.

Using The 24-70mm Lens

I can’t remember the last time that I made a photo outside of a sporting event with my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I usually take my 24-105mm lens out when I am going to make photos like this. I don’t need the extra stop of light usually, and I get a little more lens that way. Here I had the 24-70mm mounted on my camera for the basketball game so I just went with it. This is still a great lens that I just don’t use as much as I should.

The Week In Photos

I have been so caught up in showing photos from the past this week that I have not really talked about my Week In Photos post from last week. You can find that here. It has a little basketball in it along with the last bit of Christmas for the year. I felt that I had a really good week to close the year out on. Take a look and let me know what you think.


The Neon Sign of O’Rear’s Pastry Shop

This is a photo that I made a couple of years ago. It was during my photo 365 project, and I would look for anything interesting to photograph. I always liked this sign as it had many different colors that looked great at night. When I made this image I knew that I should have been there earlier during blue hour. As it was I jumped out of the car, made the image, and then hopped back into the car. I always said that I would go back at the right time to make this image again. That is the problem with saying that you will come back to photograph a location. Things can change quickly. The sign looks nothing like this now, and I won’t have a second chance. I am happy with how this photo turned out though. I thought that it was fitting to post this image today after my post above about Thomas Hawk and his love for neon signs.

Editing This Photo in Lightroom 5

As I said above this was a quick capture. This was not a well thought out picture with the perfect conditions present. This was a three shot HDR image that was processed in Photomatix 4. I then took the 32 bit image back into Lightroom. Back in Lightroom I started off by using the HDR Look preset by Matt Kloskowski. From there I adjusted the vibrance, highlights, exposure, and contrast to get the look that I wanted. In the end I liked the final image.

Photo Sale!

This image and all of my others on my website here are now 50% off until Labor Day. I thought that after the long winter that we endured a photo sale was in order. If you like the photo above just click on it, and you will be taken directly to the image on SmugMug. If you just want to browse my online portfolio you can click on the link below. Just enter the code ‘summer’ at the checkout for your savings.

50% Off

Photo of the Day

In the past when I visited Chicago I would include all of the landmarks in their entirety. For this last trip I wanted to get some details of some of the smaller buildings. While walking in the Loop I saw these two signs on the building. I liked how they looked, and thought that the textures would work very well in black and white. Sometimes the most mundane sites make the best pictures. I think that these older signs really made for a nice photo.

Technical Data

For this photo I wanted a gritty look with lots of contrast. I used a preset in Lightroom called HDR in black and white to start off. I then actually added a little more contrast and blacks using the sliders. This actually was a very easy photo to edit.

Photo of the Day

Here is another photo from 2006. I had just purchased my Canon Rebel, and I decided to spend part of the winter going around the southern part of the country making pictures with it. All I knew was that I made good pictures in this TV mode. I later found out that it was shutter priority mode. Sometimes it worked while other times it did not. Here is one time in a dark room when I seemed to luck out and it worked. In Graceland they have a sign that reminded me of Elvis’ comeback special. I thought that it would make a good picture, and now here it makes the blog seven years later.

Technical Data

Once again a jpeg from the Rebel is used here. Without killing the picture I walked a fine line between improving it, and having it all fall apart. I spent some time on the sliders here trying to make sure that everything looked good. In the end I think that I improved a decent picture from a great trip.

Photo of the Day

Today I thought that I would post a photo from my trip to New York City. I took the trip in 2008, but I really found the city to be very photogenic resulting in many picture opportunities. Of course I had to make a picture of the studios where Saturday Night Live is filmed. Growing up it was a favorite show of mine so seeing where it all happened was very cool.

Technical Data

As I said before I took this photo in 2008. I really had no idea what I was doing with my camera, but that didn’t stop me from making pictures. Many of them like this one I didn’t like at the time. Using the tools in Lightroom though I was able to make it the way that it should have been. This is more of a snapshot, but I like it enough to post on this blog today.


Throwback Photo

This is a photo from near my hotel (Bally’s) in Las Vegas looking towards the Paris hotel next door. I loved everything about this hotel from the scaled down Eiffel Tower to the nice balloon shaped sign out front. Using a point and shoot makes a shot like this tough though. I really had to focus on staying still to get it. In the end it turned out. I have often wondered how my dSLR would do on the strip. It is not as concealed as my point and shoot was, but I think that I would have had a blast with it.

Technical Data

Here is a good luck at things that I used to do because I was limited by my equipment. My old point and shoot cameras would not capture the entire scene. I had to improvise. I would take to pictures trying to line them up as best as possible up and down. From there I would run them through my panoramic program in Microsoft Photo Suite 2006. In fact I only quit using this program last year because I liked it so much. I now know that I have better programs to use, but my limited pano work is still done with this program. Almost seven years after I initially edited the photo I ran it through Lightroom to add a few highlights to it. Even with an old jpeg Lightroom let me bring it to life a little more. You really have to be careful though not to overdue it, and break apart the picture. This one when zoomed in all the way is really not very sharp. Too much tinkering would have ruined it. I think that I walked the fine line pretty well here.

Photo of the Day

Yesterday I posted a sports photo. It is amazing to me how badly those go over on this blog. Most people that are subscribed apparently just like my landscape work. I was very happy with that shot though, and I wanted to show it off a bit. Today I will go another direction, and post yet another shot from our vacation this past July. I loved how the light was bouncing all around with the bumper cars. Capturing this handheld though was another matter. I like the way that it turned out, but of course I had to introduce noise to the image to get everything how I wanted it. I do like the scene though, and it is one that has stuck with me since we came home.

Technical Data

I had to really walk a fine line in Lightroom here to show the picture how I saw it, and to keep with reality. I also had to use Lightroom to get rid of some of the noise that I brought in with my high ISO. I really had fun with this one tweaking the sliders to get the shot just where I wanted it. At the end of the day I am happy with my result, and that is all that should matter.

Photo of the Day

When we were in Ocean City this summer I really was having fun trying new things with all of the interesting subjects on and around the boardwalk. I actually sat in front of this ride a few times to get the perfect shot. I don’t know that I got it, but I will be going back next summer so maybe I will then. I was with a group of people having fun so a tripod was not in the cards so I had to get this shot handheld. I really think I might have to pick night to take the tripod next year. In the end I think that I got a pretty good shot, and this is one of my favorites from the trip.

Technical Data

I really had fun processing this one. I knew when I shot it that it would be over-processed. I actually shot this for HDR, but I ended up using a single frame and processing it in Lightroom. I basically sat in front of the computer for a while trying out some things on the sliders. I wanted a look that made real life seem boring. I think that I accomplished that. With the tripod next year I can have the shutter open longer to get a better blur of the cars. Maybe I can rope the area off as well to keep people from standing in my shot.

iPhone Photo

Today is the first day that I will feature a shot from my iPhone 5 on this blog. I took it Tuesday night as the show Rock of Ages was starting on the campus of Purdue. I really wanted to see what the camera on the phone could do in this low light situation. I really think that it did great on everything but the guitar player that was in the spotlight at the time. In all fairness that was a high range of light to capture.

Technical Data

I did bring this shot into Lightroom to see what I could do to it. I really only upped the vibrance and clarity to punch it up a bit.