This is part of the rolling stock of the Fillmore & Western Railway, alongside the Fillmore Depot, ready to roll on another short excursion. A special hat tip goes out to Dave Wilson for his tip on reducing halos that result in the skies of HDR images. I had come across the same tip in a tutorial I was viewing recently, and after Dave reminded me of it, I tried it out, on this past Monday’s image and this one. Thank you Dave, for coaching me forward one more step in the development of my HDR skills.
As the sun was getting low over Fillmore City Hall the shadows grew longer and the moon began rising in the eastern sky when I captured the brackets for this image.. The scene might suggest that the seat of government in Fillmore has stood the test of time, that would, however, be an incorrect conclusion. Fillmore was first settled around the time that the city’s grid was first laid out in 1887, incorporation occurred in 1914. While the appearance of this photograph would suggest that the Fillmore City Hall may have been erected at about the time of incorporation, in reality, this is the sixth incarnation of the Fillmore City Hall and it was built in 1997.
To arrive at this final image I combined and tone mapped three bracketed exposures using HDR Efex Pro. I used a combination of Viveza and Photoshop to adjust exposure and tone, and an adjustment layer in Photoshop to replace the halo’ed sky that resulted after the HDR process. The original color tones were too garish to my taste and inaccurate to boot, I used the Color Efex Pro Duplex filter to alter the color tones and the Color Efex Pro Vignette Blur filter to soften the focus on the edges of the image. Lightroom was used for final sharpening.
This was another image that I had worked over quite a bit, and only over time was I able to control my urges to produce a “punchy” image, and arrive at a more subtle interpretation and final vision. I really think that it does help to put aside my images after first processing them, and resist the urge to publish them immediately, so that over time I will find my way back to the images, and a different, and hopefully, better perspective. Deliberation is the key to producing memorable images.
This was apparently someone’s “Kodak Moment” when her companions were studying the vending machine. The scene was in the dark cavernous space that is the Studio Walk at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and is about as exciting as shopping at the MGM Grand gets. This is the kind of human tableau that attracts my eye, a candid glimpse of some people interacting with each other and their environment. I like how the blown out lighting of the inside of the vending machine helps define the human figures in front of it, especially how you can see some of the light reflected off of the fellow on the left.
With the high ISO the original HDR image had a lot of grainy noise in the blacks, I was able to minimize that with a combination of using a Control Point with Nik Viveza to darken the three individual figures in the center, combined with tweaking the Lightroom noise filter settings. The overall processing also softened all of the edges.
Some Housekeeping Notes: You will find some new tabs at the top of this page. One of them links to the new Wayne Frost Photography Facebook site that I launched this week, if you are a Facebooker I’d love to have you stop bye. You will find a link to my portfolio there, and you can also share your own images on the page or start or join a discussion. I have also reconfigured the waynefrost.com web site which is hosted by SmugMug and you can always go there for direct access to my portfolio.
Victoria’s Secret anchoring (or providing the foundation for) the stores at the corner of Main Street and City Center Drive at The Shoppes, Chino Hills, California. Killing some time while waiting, and then deciding not to take in a movie, we took a few shots of the stores, people and decorative lighting at The Shoppes at Chino Hills, which is the baby brother of Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. There is more to see and photograph at Victoria Gardens, but neither of us was feeling like a 20 minute drive to get there.
A tripod was not used, instead all images were captured using my new monopod. Tripod legs always interfere with the power chair, and if using a tripod I can’t get myself close enough to the camera mounted on the tripod to see through the view finder, the monopod fits between my knees, right in front of the chair. Exposure times were 1/8, .7 and 3 seconds for this HDR image. Look closely and you will see a hint of ghosting on the street right in front of Victoria’s Secret, a car was passing through the T-intersection. I did try to out wait the motor vehicles passing by, and the pedestrians to avoid as much ghosting as possible.
As noted above, Nik HDR Efex Pro was used for the HDR processing and tone mapping, exposure and contrast adjustments were made using the Nik Control Point tool in selected areas of the image (sky, palm trees, Victoria store front, various other store facades).