This is another angle on “Mitch The Witch II” that was featured in an earlier post. As described in the earlier post, “Mitch The Witch II” has had a colorful history and is still flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum. I’ve started playing with the HDR Pro filter in Photoshop CS6 and used it on this image, I am liking the results I am getting with this, but I have also recently upgraded to HDR Efex Pro 2 and am liking those results also.
Prints of this and other aircraft are available here: http://goo.gl/zZohQ .
Mitch the Witch II’s current home is the Palm Springs Air Museum, where it is a part of the collection that is still flown. The B-25 manufactured by North American Aviation was a medium bomber developed in 1940 and deployed in 1941; 9,984 B-25’s were eventually built. The B-25 first gained fame as the bomber used in the 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25Bs led by the legendary Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On Saturday, 28 July 1945, at 0940 (while flying in thick fog), a USAAF B-25D crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. 14 people were killed — 11 in the building, along with Colonel William Smith and the other two occupants of the bomber. Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent with the elevator. It was partly because of this incident that Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 aircraft (though the planes that hit the towers on September 11, 2001 had significantly higher masses and were traveling at substantially higher speeds). (Source: Wikipedia.)
North American B-25J Mitchell, N8163H Mitch the Witch II was delivered to the Army Air Corps as 44-86747. It is restored as B-25C 42-87293. Its construction number is 108-47501. After the war, it was converted to a TB-25N trainer. The Air Force retired it in 1958 and stored it at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Alton C. Mosley of Fairbanks, Alaska gave it its current registration on May 4, 1959. In July 1959 it was converted to a fire fighting tanker with a 2,000-gallon retardent tank. Merric Inc of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in April 1961 and sold it to RJD Corporation of Fairbanks in February 1965. Aero Retardant of Fairbanks bought it in April 1967 and operated it as tanker #7. Noel M. Wien of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in February 1977 ands sold it to the Planes of Fame Air Museum of Chino, California in 1978. Robert Pond and Planes Of Fame East of Spring Park, Minnesota bought it in March 1986. It has been part of the collection of the Palm Springs Air Museum since 1997. It flew as the Ruptured Duck in the movie Pearl Harbor. (Source: Air & Space.)
This is the Vought F4U Corsair that is in the collection of the Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, California. The Corsair was the first United States single engine fighter aircraft to exceed 400 miles per hour. Between 1940 and 1952 12,571 Corsairs were produced. During the World War II the Corsair flown by the United States Navy and Marine Corps out flew the Japanese Zero and had a kill ratio of 11:1 against enemy aircraft. The Corsair was armed with .30 and .50 caliber machine guns, carried bombs and rockets. Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington and his “Black Sheep” squadron flew the Corsair and Boyington was credited with 22 enemy kills in the Corsair. This artifact, like others in the Palm Springs Air Museum is airworthy and is still periodically flown.
During post processing I used the Photoshop Content-Aware Fill and Clone tools to remove distracting elements and re-build part of the lower right quadrant of the image. I also used Topaz Adjust to get more punch out of the colors and to soften out the noticeable grain that resulted from the high ISO.
The Rock Yard is an outdoor performance area at the Fantasy Springs Casino & Resort in the low desert at Indio, California. The resort’s pool is behind the line of palm trees in the background, and the pool deck gets very crowded during the day. This adjacent area is a comprised of architectural elements, landscaping and a mix of comfortable chairs and lounges generously scattered throughout, it is never crowded during the day and is a very calming and inviting place to relax in the early morning or late afternoon. On weekend evenings live bands perform on the Rock Yard stage and guests can sit on the benches on the lawn, at the cocktail “rails” and at tables on patios or an overhead deck adjacent to three restaurants and enjoy the music.
This HDR image was captured at 6:30 P.M. in late May as the sun was on its way past the western horizon. The building tower and the palm trees in the background were the only elements that were in direct sunlight, everything else in the image was in open shade. The yellow-ish color cast to the part of the building that is in direct sunlight and the color cast on the palm trees in the background are a result of color temperature of setting sun light. I am not happy with the halo-ing in the sky and tried every trick I knew in an attempt to mitigate it in post processing, but was not successful. I think that if I had captured more than three brackets I might have had at least one or two brackets with an even toned sky, but I was shooting hand-held, and three brackets in camera (without tripod and without my Promote Control) is all I could get.
Something else I am noticing as I post this in the WordPress hosted blog is that the color and brightness seems to be off when I preview this blog post, it does not match what I am seeing when I display the image on my laptop from within Lightroom from the DNG file or when I display a JPG of the image from my laptop’s desktop. After I post this in the blog I will put it up on G+ and see how it looks there.
Update: I have the image up on G+ and the color and brightness are still off. I am thinking it is an issue of the default color setting I use with Lightroom which is ProPhotoSRGB which is unsupportable on the Internet. I made a decision to use ProPhoto because I always wanted the greatest color range available to my images when they are printed, but have never before today noticed a significant difference between rendering images directly from a file on my laptop or rendering images brought back to the laptop from the Internet. This has me concerned because all the images in my sales gallery are ProPhotoSRGB JPG files to ensure the best color image when prints are ordered, what would a buyer’s reaction be if he ordered a print and when he received it compared it to the image he saw on the Internet and realizes the images are different?
Update #2: The image is now uploaded to my sales gallery which is hosted by SmugMug and I was pleased to see that it is reproduced there exactly as I see it when I am looking at it directly on my laptop. This leads me to believe that both WordPress and G+ might be altering the color and brightness of my images when they display them, this is quite distressing.
Update #3: I have taken James Brandon’s advice in his comment and re-worked the image in Photoshop, but not by just masking in the most even of the
original frames, but also increasing the blue channel saturation of that frame. A final vibrance and brightness adjustment to the blended image in Lightroom and I have a more acceptable final image. The new final image is above, and the original image is off to the right.
It also appears that WordPress is handling my image the way I intended, and that may be because I specifically saved the file in sRGB format. I have since changed my Lightroom default to sRGB.