Photo of the Day

While in Ocean City, Maryland last year I made the short trip over the border into Deleware. I had made a silly goal at the beginning of the year to make pictures in 13 states. I made that goal, but it seemed very forced. It did get me into Deleware though which I may not have done without the goal. Just over the border is this great little lighthouse. In fact as I took this photo I think that my feet may have been in Maryland. I liked this simple house with the lighthouse looming over it. This is a beautiful scene that like many historical landmarks has to be photographed just so. A trailer park is just out of view on the right, and the front of the house here was littered with power lines. I will talk more about that in the section below.

Technical Data

I first took three pictures on the scene bracketed at -2, 0, and +2. Back at home I ran those three images through Photomatix to fuse them together. I then sent the 32 bit file back to Lightroom so that I could use the sliders there. I used a Matt Kloskowski preset called HDR in Lightroom (medium) on the image to start. From there it was a task to massage the sliders to get the look that I wanted. When I had the image close to where I wanted it I opened it up in Photoshop. There I took out the six power lines that ran directly through the image. Normally I would not have even taken this shot because of the power lines. Here I took it because I liked the angle, but also to test out the content aware tool in Lightroom. I was not let down as it made the lines disappear without a trace. I really have fallen in love with this part of the program. Shots that were too cluttered to take are not very doable. I then took the photo into Perfect Effects 4 by On One Software. I wanted to see what the program could do for me. I applied one of the glow effects called “Orton Hears a Who” to the photo. I only ran it at about 20% opacity, but it did make the picture look better for me. After that I posted this image here last August. While going back and looking at some old photos I still thought that the sky looked a little off. I wondered what it would look like in black and white. I used a James Brandon preset called black and white high contrast on the image. It gave me the look that I wanted. I tweaked the sliders just a bit, but this is that photo. I thought that it gave the photo a look that shows the age of the lighthouse.

Photo Sale!

This photo can be yours. From now until Labor Day I have decided to place all of my prints on sale. All you need to do is to enter the coupon code ‘summer’ at the checkout of my SmugMug page here to get 50% off all of the prints that I sell. You can also click on the image to be taken directly to this photo to purchase it. Now is the time to buy if you have a print in mind.

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Photo of the Day

I took this photo in 2006 as I was making my way to Purdue’s bowl game in Orlando. I made a couple of stops along the way that had some sort of a historical significance. The picture above was taken just outside of Plains, Georgia at the farm that Jimmy Carter grew up on. The building is the store where the family sold their goods from. I loved the way that it looked with the windmill in the background. This is a simple picture, but one that I like from the trip.

Technical Data

I thought that this photo should have some type of an older look to it. Inside of Lightroom I added a Sepia tone to the photo. I also got rid of many of the spots that showed up because my sensor was dirty. From there I opened up the file in Perfect Effects by On One Software. I tried a couple of filters to see how they looked, but this one seemed fitting to me. It is called Tin Type Dirty, and it creates a vintage photo look. I normally don’t like to do things like this, but it seemed appropriate here.

Photo of the Day

I posted one picture of this lighthouse already, but this one might just be my favorite. From what I can tell I might have just been standing in Maryland while I took this picture of this Delaware lighthouse. This is a picture that I would normally have not taken in the past. I will get into that more later. This is a nice little lighthouse that was a pleasure to make photos of. Sometimes it is the small little trips that are the most fun. I did not spend much time here at the lighthouse, but it is a great memory from a very fun vacation.

Technical Data

This is where the fun starts. I have been having fun doing minimal processing to my images. This one however is very different. I first took three pictures on the scene bracketed at -2, 0, and +2. Back at home I ran those three images through Photomatix to fuse them together. I then sent the 32 bit file back to Lightroom so that I could use the sliders there. I used a Matt Kloskowski preset called HDR in Lightroom (medium) on the image to start. From there it was a task to massage the sliders to get the look that I wanted. When I had the image close to where I wanted it I opened it up in Photoshop. There I took out the six power lines that ran directly through the image. Normally I would not have even taken this shot because of the power lines. Here I took it because I liked the angle, but also to test out the content aware tool in Lightroom. I was not let down as it made the lines disappear without a trace. I really have fallen in love with this part of the program. Shots that were too cluttered to take are not very doable. I then took the photo into Perfect Effects 4 by On One Software. I wanted to see what the program could do for me. I applied one of the glow effects called “Orton Hears a Who” to the photo. I only ran it at about 20% opacity, but it did make the picture look better for me. That is all that was done here. I think I only left out two programs that I could have used. Maybe I can work those in next time.

Ricky Carmichael during his victory lap at Red Bud on July 1, 2007

Sports Photo of the Day

Since I am going to my first supercross in a while tonight I thought today’s sports picture could at least have a rider in it. I took this just after the main at Red Bud in 2007. Ricky Carmichael was one of the best if not the best rider that I have ever seen. I started watching racing during the reign of Jeremy McGrath. McGrath dominated the sport at the time. Who could be better than that? Ricky could. His nickname was the Goat. You would think that it was a bad thing, but it actually stood for Greatest of All Time. He really took over the sport, and the only thing that could slow him down was injury. In 2007 when this picture was taken Ricky was running a very limited outdoor schedule while pursuing a stock car career. The new up and comer was James Stewart who appeared to have Ricky bested on the day. That was not to be, and Ricky could walk away from Red Bud one last time as the champion. He stopped right in front of us to salute the crowd, and I was lucky enough to get this picture.

Technical Data

This shot is always one that I have liked, but the shadow on his face kept it from being great in my mind. I started off processing this photo by trying to get rid of that. As it turns out the only good way to avoid the shadow was to be in a different spot. Anything that I did in Lightroom looked too fake. I decided to try out a couple of filters in a couple of plug ins to see what they could do for me. By accident I stumbled across the Kryptonite filter in Perfect Effects 4 by On One Software. It really gave the photo a cool look that I really liked. I sent the photo back to Lightroom to do a couple of things to it. I really wanted some more texture on the bike so I used the brush in Lightroom and added some clarity to Ricky’s suit and the bike. I think that it makes it pop even more that way. From there though I was done. I think that I found a new preset that I really like, and made this picture one that could finally make the blog.

iPhone Photo

This should be an iPhone photo today, but in order to keep with the Presidential theme I had to go back a bit to an older Blackberry Storm picture. I took this in the spring of 2010 while in Houston to see the Boiler basketball team play. As usual I try and see some historical sites along with my sports endeavors. While in Texas I went to both the Lyndon Johnson and the George H.W. Bush Presidential museums. I liked them both, and really had a good time there. While driving around on our last day I saw this statue looking towards the downtown area of Houston. After a quick illegal parking maneuver I was in position to get a couple of shots. I liked making pictures from the front, but I also liked this view from behind. In the end this was my favorite shot from the rushed double parked shoot.

Technical Data

I started playing with some new software with this shot. I downloaded On One Software’s Perfect Photo Suite 7 for a free trial a couple of nights ago. I did not have time to play with it right away, but I decided to give it a shot. I am new to the software, but right now it looks like an altered version of my Topaz Labs Suite that I own. The jury is still far from out here as I have some more research to do with a much higher quality photo than this. I decided to be quick and dirty here, and just go into the Perfect Effects 4 portion of the suite to add a quick effect. Of course had I known that I would have liked the black and white version so much I just would have opened up the black and white portion of the photo. I chose the coffee effect for the photo, and I liked the results the best. I may have to open up some higher res photos inside of the software to see exactly what it could do. I liked a lot of the effects. but the low pixels led to a lot of noise with most of them. I see a lot of potential here.

edit: After posting the picture I did end up opening the shot back up in Perfect B&W 1. I think that this portion of the software could well be worth the price of the suite. I really like how some of the effects looked. Once again I was seeing a lot of grain, and that was due to using a cell phone picture. I may have to figure something out to utilize this software a bit better in the future.