20051229

*

Can't think of a meaningful title... If you follow photofriday.org you are probably tired of depth-of-field shots. I am in the mood for something abstract though...

The picture is one of the very last for the day, exiting the Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan (home of Japan's largest Buddha). I have many shots from inside the temple but they tend to be quite busy and none really captured the experience. Once outside, I just couldn't walk away from this...

20051228

B&W view from waterfront

The last picture I considered posting from Flickr meetup earlier this month. I was not so sure about this one but material from the last few days is a little too predictable...

20051227

Christmas!

20051224

Not many pictures I shot at Christmas Eve (or Christmas day). I did fill the flash card but honestly I think I was busy having good time. And I filled the card a little too soon. Right after it was over and before I realized that I didn't bring a spare there was a shot that would make a day. That is if I managed to have it in focus and at the right moment, which could very well not happen ;) Note to self: for kids and parties, RAW is not your friend.

Speaking of RAW... 5D writes some new RAW format (with CR2 extension). Picasa couldn't handle it until I upgraded from build 27.54 to 27.66 ("Check for upgrades online" was not useful here - it said I am up to date but upgrade actually helped).

RAW pictures from 5D offer some new fun (but you pay for it - 13 meg files are not faster). The camera's picture modes (Standard, Landscape, Portrait, etc.) can be applied at conversion time. I find the settings sensible - quite similar to different brands of slide film. Like having a time machine to choose film for pictures already made...

The picture: I think I had the lens on manual focus for a few shots. But the result was interesting here (I think)... So far EXIF data is lost in conversion from RAW so:
ISO 3200
Lens: EF 50mm/1.8
F 2.0
1/50s

20051222

kids make mess...

... and 5D rocks! This is one of the first test shots (in fact #18 for the camera) and I don't have a good superwideangle picture yet which would show off the biggest advantage. This is cropped from the middle of a 28-mm frame (full frame!) - about as much as a 1.6 sensor would take and even less for square crop. But it is still 2x2 thousand pixels. And it is ISO 1600!

Off to take more pictures over the holidays. Will post something wide-angle soon.

20051221

Italian bicycle

I don't know if the bicycle is actually Italian but the picture is from Cinque terre, Italy, autumn of 1998. Yes, I am having hard time finding what I want to post from recent pictures so why not get something from archives?

I remember little technical details about this shot, other than obvious (shot on film with Canon EOS A2, lens was either Canon 28-105 EF or Sigma 18-35). Cropped and added saturation and contrast with Picasa.

20051215

saturday afternoon in a wooden boat

Some pictures are great pictures. They have perfect light, colors, composition, everything. Some pictures just tell a story. Somehow the story pictures never get perfect. Perhaps they even shouldn't. I wish I had more shots to choose from... but would I choose the perfect shot over great time on a lake?

20051212

monorail study

The shot is made with the least appropriate 12 mm lens - but no time to change... The picture is heavily cropped as the result. Then to spice it I've added contrast, warmer light and glow.

Picture from Seattle Flickr meetup this Saturday.

20051211

tree reflection

It is not a tree of course, it just reminds me the conic shape of a "holiday" tree :)

I am not as much into reflection shots as it might look like (this is the 3rd one this year). I didn't expect much to come out of this one but when I got the big picture I discovered funkiest patterns that I haven't noticed originally (I should have, then I'd tried harder to get away from the rope).

Not much editing done here, just cropping and pushing the contrast towards wild side.

Picture from Seattle Flickr meetup this Saturday.

20051205

pagoda

Mark’s picture of Space Needle reminded me of a picture of a different tower (the 5-story pagoda in Kyoto) which I took with an intention of doing something of similar nature. The original is not that interesting - the day was overcast and the shot is pretty much gray. I guess the fact that I like the result better than the original doesn't mean I have actually improved it. Perhaps I just became attached to the image while tweaking;)

How it's done:
  • All tuning done in Picasa (yes, I am not beyond cheap tricks; but also I find that adjusting overall tone of the image is much, much easier in Picasa than in Photoshop. In fact I tried to reproduce the same effect in Photoshop and eventually gave up...)

  • The original is very gray (all within second quarter of the histogram, with white sky being a spike at the far right)

  • I added a fill light, highlights and shadow. I like playing with fill+shadow more than highlights - it brings out mid-tone colors

  • I then added some graduated tint to get upper half not too light

  • Plus more saturation

  • And finally even more shadow...

20051202

through the glass

inside one of Gaudi's famous houses in Barcelona, this is a view into inside space through the wavy glass (is "wavy" a real word for this kind of glass?)