The trees were on fire with red and orange tones behind the businesses on Second Street in Pomona California.
Please click on the image to view it in high resolution.
We are still at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum this week, and as we started last week off with a vintage piece of fire fighting apparatus, this week starts with a view of SAN B’DINO HOSE No. 1, a horse drawn truck for transporting the fire hose to the fire.
As with the majority of my images, the three frames that make up this image were shot hand-held. The camera raw images were converted to DNG in Lightroom and then processed with Nik Software’s HDR Efrex Pro using a custom preset that I had previously devised. This composited the three images together and tone mapped the result. I used a custom preset in HDR Exfex Pro that I had previously devised, and the composite image only required very minimal “tweaking”. The image was then moved in to Photo Shop and a duplicate background layer was created which then had a Gaussian blur applied. I then masked out the fire truck, removing the blur from the truck. A duplicate layer was created and then processed in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3, the entire image, except the masked out truck, was modified by applying Color Efex Pro’s Midnight-Bright Sepia filter. There was minor fine tuning along the way, and I spent some time magnifying the image and cleaning up edges of masking that overlapped, or underlapped.
I thoroughly enjoyed post processing this image and I think it has a nice, vintage feel to it, yet retains great clarity and detail on the truck.
Please click on the image to view it in high resolution.
This old boxcar is resting on the western edge of Heritage Square, hard by the Pasadena Freeway (the nation’s first freeway) in Los Angeles. As an example of great minds thinking alike I captured this image at about the same time that Van Sutherland captured a similar image, two time zones away. Van titled his image “Character” and you will find it on his blog Exile Imaging. Van’s version is more realistic than my interpretation, my excuse is that he had a better weathered subject than I did, covered with some great peeling paint, so I had to rely more upon slight of hand to make my surfaces more interesting.
A little change up this week from street life to a emphasis on color. This tree stands on Wheeler Avenue in La Verne, California, backed up by the San Gabriel Mountains. The image was captured in the late afternoon at 5:46 P.M. on May 21. I really like how the sun plays on the mountains during this time of day, the mountains are oriented on an east-west axis, and when the sun is getting low the light really delineates the contours of the south facing slopes. This always fascinates me as we parallel the face of the mountains when we drive along I-210 during this time of day.
After conversion from NEF to DNG in Lightroom, I tone mapped in Nik’s HDR Effects Pro working off of a preset furnished by Jason P. O’Dell, selectively dodging in, upping the contrast and structure in various areas of the tree using control points, slightly darkening the foliage to the left and right of the tree; using Nik Color Efex Pro, applied the Kodak Ultra Color 400UC film effect. In Photoshop I removed a distracting palm tree, light standard and electrical utility box that stood adjacent to the tree and attempted to mitigate the slight halo-ing effect by color masking in layers, but to no avail. Back in Lightroom I sharpened and did a little noise reduction, and exported the TIFF file that was created by HDR Efex Pro to a JPG file.
Although it looks like a storm is brewing in this image, those are actually the last vestiges of a storm that blew in the previous few days from the Pacific and headed east over Southern California. The view of the Pasadena City Hall is from the southwest corner of Holly Street and Garfield Avenue, the Jackie Robinson memorial was directly behind me.
Behind the shrubs in the front of the building is a subterranean walkway (open to the sky, below the first floor windows) that circles the entire building perimeter (running under the front steps). As we were capturing these images I was accosted by one of the local homeless people, noticing the camera on the tripod she wanted to know if we were with the news media. I told her “no, I just enjoy taking pictures”. Shen then informed me about the “moat” around city hall, going on to say the city filled it with water and stocked it with piranhas. (The reality is that the “moat” is the walkway in front of the basement level windows of the building, which allows natural light to come through to the basement.) I thanked her, she continued on her way and I continued with my photography.
I have been thinking about the subjects of my photography recently and realize that I am attracted to images of objects or scenes created by the hand of Mother Nature and by the hand of man. Judy and I have made a conscious decision to capture scenery, including lots of trees, in the natural world, we are also both attracted to motor vehicles and I have an interest in aircraft and architecture. In a more documentary and historical preservation sense my eye is attracted to images or scenes that depict humans experiencing life, interacting in their contemporary environment, and scenes (with or without living subjects) depicting contemporary life and life in an earlier time. This is what you can expect to see unfolding in this blog, and hopefully, it will all be telling an interesting story.
This was my first image created with the assistance of my Promote Control, which calculated and instructed the camera to fire off five brackets at f/11 from .6 second to 1/400 second. Utilizing this new tool has been a learning experience and it took me a while to figure out that I had to slow down the Promote Control to 2,000 milliseconds in order to not overwhelm the D80 .