Color Efex

Marland State Fair - Animals

Cow Barn

X100, 35mm,  f/2.8, ISO 1250, 1/75.

Chill dude!

X100, 35mm,  f/2.8, ISO 1250, 1/120.

Cow Barn Do.

5D Mk II, with 85 f/1.2 @ f/1.8, 1/1000, ISO 1600.

Cow Barn Kid I

5D Mk II, with 85 f/1.2 @ f/1.8, 1/640, ISO 1600.
Cow Barn Kid II

X100, 35mm,  f/2.8, ISO 1250, 1/30.

From behind

Swine Barn

X100, 35mm,  f/25.6, ISO 1250, 1/50.

Who are the swine men — who can they be?

Maryland State Fair — Horse pull

First of a number from the Maryland State Fair from this evening.  

Low light and a low light elevation intrusive background — buried under a Color Efex Pro Midnight filter with the horses masked out. Some additional burning.

5D Mk II, with 85 f/1.2 @ f/1.8, 1/50, ISO 1600.

No strain releif

This guy acted like an owner — the Jerry Jones of the horse pull league.

5D Mk II, with 85 f/1.2 @ f/1.8, 1/160, ISO 1600.


5D Mk II, with 85 f/1.2 @ f/1.8, 1/250, ISO 1600.

Nothing runs like a Deere

5D Mk II, with 85 f/1.2 @ f/1.8, 1/100, ISO 3200.

Hookin' up

5D Mk II, with 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 @ f/6.3, 1/40, ISO 3200.

The powers that be

Elevation infatuation

Yet one more elevator — this time cement instead of grain.  Fully read in on how they work and completely up to speed on Buffalo.

First attempt with TopazLabs Topaz B&W Effects, pretty much a rip off of Nik's Silver Efex Pro II.  Similar controls but the NIK UI is more elegant and the sliders update on the fly rather than when let go — but with the Nik stuff at 6.5x the price there should be some difference. Sky was a somewhat noisy so destructured in Viveza 2 and Glamour Glowed in Color Efex Pro then masked to isolate the effects. Storage bins dodged and burned.

Likely the last of the Sea Cruise posts for a while.  Canon 7D, EF 24-70 f/2.8 at 30mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 100.

Lazaretto Point Light and Lehigh Cement Elevator - Lower Canton


Cellblock Thirteen, Eastern State Pennitentiary, Philadephia, PA.  The "Punishment Cellblock" — like the others aren't punishment enough.  The camera sees in the dark better than I do so these snapw were pretty much aim it and hope.  

It has pretty much much being a printing party since the new Epson 4900 arrived on Thursday, so I though it would be a good idea to curtail the paper consumption with a quick trip to Philly and the Eastern State Pennitenitiary. It has been cloudy and raining for the last couple of days so the light was good low contrast stuff. This is the third visit for me, prior visits were in August 2006 and March 2010.  I don't recall having seen Cellblock Thirteen before.

First snap shown taken mounted on the Gitzo, 5D MkII with the 24-70 2.8L at f/8.0, ISO 200 at 24mm with a pair of three shot brackets with +2ev exposure comp applied on the second series, I think, it could have been -2ev on the first bracket. Combined in HDR Efex Pro and finished in Color Efex 3.

As usual there were a lot of snaps, click here or either of the snaps to see the gallery.

Same as above except only one three shot bracket at 60mm.

It can always get worse

So Jack called this afternnon to offer kudos on the most recent patent (7,979,303) and we got talking about the B&Ws from the Old Idaho Penn.  He liked the snaps but not the venue.  I told him I had worse, I almost never take photos of or in a cemetary.  I can only think of four times, Arlington National, the Mumma cemetary at Antietam, Oak Hill in Georgetown (from the nearby park) and Congressional Cemetary at Pennsylvania Avenue at the Anacostia in the District.  The Congressional shots were taken on my birthday almost 5 years ago and never processed.  I guess I didn't much like the results.  Mostly maybe becuase I went to get some snaps of the centopaths but I only took 29 snaps total and the centopath snaps were decidely not very compelling.  The colors were worse and I was using the 45 TS-E for one of the first times and that didn't work so well either.  But...

in the spirt of being a contrarian, they got processed today to show it can always get worse — or at least the venue can. Kinda like the piece in today's NY Times Dealbook about the sentencing proceedings in the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading case.  Anyway, four shots from the Congressional Cemetary ca fall 2006, I understand the centopaths have been restored since.  All with a fairly heavy dose of the Color Efex 3 Midnight filter.

Lastly, some centopaths — designed by Benjamin Latrobe


shopping days until Christmas.  Reprocessed snap from in front of the flagship Saks store on Fifth Avenue on Black Friday 2011.  Should probably make that trip again in 2012.   All with HDR Efex Pro, with darkened, de-structurfed, de-contrasted Granny's Attic preset applied to the background masked off the subject, further finishing with Color Efex 3. Suggested by Nik webinar.

A couple of blocks up Fifth.

The other side of the Avenue.

Rock Center

Remember me to Herald Square!

Compact proficiency

Read the post just below this, if you already haven't, to hear the reason for the XZ-1 at the Carrie Furnaces. All taken with the EVF and the new productivity enhancing lens cap.  Anyway didn't know what to expect under really tough conditions.  I think these are stunning snaps — digital cameras have come a long way with these kind of results from a compact, albeit an enthusiast compact.

So what doesn't work so well?  Dynamic range.  While DSLRs can recover lots of highlights, large sensor compacts cannot, in these dark shots any sunlight coming directly in is completely blown out.  Even the passé 10D has a little bit of latitude for highlight recovery.  Solution... make sure the framing is is accomplished to reduce the required demand on dynamic rage. The supply just isn't there.

XZ-1, f/2.2, ISO 640, 1/50, 18.2mm (what ever that means).  Standard one-shot processing.

XZ-1, f/2.2, ISO 640, 1/50, 18.2mm (what ever that means).  Midnight filter in Color Efex 3.

XZ-1, f/2.0, ISO 640, 1/30, 11.8mm (what ever that means).  Standard one-shot processing.

XZ-1, f/2.0, ISO 640, 1/50, 6mm (what ever that means).  Standard one-shot processing.

XZ-1, f/2.0, ISO 640, 1/25, 6mm (what ever that means).  Standard one-shot processing.


The physical curve must have been cracking hot yesterday.  This image had some cropped off the bottom but the rest is exactly as three handheld shots came from the camera.  Framed perfectly, can't recall that happening very often — much less in a handheld sandwich destined bracket.

Rose window, west end of the nave, at the Washington National Cathedral.  Yesterday with the 5D Mk II with the 35mm f/1.4L @ f/2.0 and ISO 800.  Decided to leave the colors in on this, unlike the last post, because the color is coming from the windows not being adulterated by interior lighting.  Otherwise similar recipe of HDR Efex, Exposure 3 faux Velvia 100 and several Color Efex 3 filters.


Complex subject, complex photo, complex processing — some say complex snapper.  Ceiling of the Washington National Cathedral. Snapped yesterday.  Complex subject speaks for itself, the photo is actually a bracketed three image set. The processing is HDR Efex, Exposure 3 faux Velvia, Silver Efex 2 and bunch of Color Efex 3 effects. The ceiling was a mélange of color casts ergo the B&W conversion but the window color needed to stay, so the windows were painted back in via a mask on the Silver Efex Pro layer with a WACOM tablet.

5D Mk II with 35mm f/1.4L @ f/2.0, ISO 800

The road less taken

There were roads to the left and to the right — both low roads.  But why choose the low road when the high road is available and unoccupied.  However, footgear other than Alden 6245F Dark Brown Suede is recommended. Ouch!

My superheterodyne iPad app The Photographers Ephemeris calculates the altitude change as exactly 92 feet. So much much for science and automation, clearly an estimate relative to thirty-somethings.

Taken during an Atlas time out on one of the several Boston Harbor Islands that can be driven to, World's End. At the end of Martin's Lane in Hingham, beware pink and green en-route.  Nice spot except for perfect alignment with 4L and 4R at Logan, across the way on some other Harbor Islands.  XZ-1 with EVF, then NIKed. More snaps to follow.

Nantasket Beach from World's End.  Wow, maybe too many layers, lower, upper lower, lower middle, middle...

Storage is Cheap...

at least the kind most would use to store photos.  Storage to do airline reservations might be $100k per Terabyte but the stuff my snaps live on is about $65 per Terabyte.  So that means it costs around 4¢ for 10 images including backup.  Pretty cheap so why throw them away.  More like why not keep them.  I keep getting better at post processing and I keep getting better using software that is also getting better and the software is getting better a lot faster than I get better.  So snaps that maybe didn't look so good when I took them have the potential to look a lot better a couple of years later.  Kinda like booze, whiskey I think would taste like hell right after it was stuck in the barrel, ten to twenty years later maybe it is a great single malt. Anyway, I was looking a NikSoftware webinar for HDR Efex which I got to replace the difficult to use Photomatix so I went back through the archives and redid some old snaps.  One thrice bracketed series from Fort Delaware in June of '09, and two from August '06; a single shot faux HDR from the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and a set of nine bracketed snaps from the Old Idaho Penitentiary, in Boise.

Snaps post processed in HRD Efex then another pass in Color Efex with Tonal Contrast and then with Glamour Glow.  Final tune up done in Aperture.

Anyway, I think these prove, that old is worth keeping around and old keeps getting better — kinda like stuffed peppers, hey!

Fort Delaware

Old Idaho Pennetentiary

Eastern State Pennetentiary