Archive for the ‘Non-HDR’ Category

LA Architecture: Bonaventure Hotel / Bradbury Building

I went on a downtown field trip with my Art History class last semester. It’s a good thing we didn’t do anything that charged admission because 4-hour parking managed to rack up a healthy $20 charge… but I made the most of it and used the opportunity to scout locations for a 4×5 project in another class.

It's a maze in there. Later that week I took the 4x5 to shoot a similar angle. I got what I needed but got so lost in there the only exit I could find was on the opposite side of the building.

We met in the lobby of the Bradbury Building and it didn’t take long to realize why it was worth visiting! It’s been used in TONS of films over the years and, inspired by the recent scene in The Artist, I set to work on combining the set I’d taken.

The stacked stairs at the far end of the atrium should look familiar. You can't shoot something in this building and not include them: Los Angeles CA

Venice Beach: Not!

Last week I was in the real Venice, which is a beautiful, but dying, city. I say dying because every time I’ve gone there it has seemed fragile and fake. Although buoyed up by the heavy tourist industry, it lacks the life imparted by a real native p

opulation, and it still is literally sinking (sorry, couldn’t resist the puns…) Venice has many beautiful things (especially St. Mark’s Cathedral) but to see them you have to fight through a crowd of other camera-toting tourists (who sometimes lack picture taking etiquette, in my opinion). Anyways, I had a fun time there and took many pictures, but found little that I thought would make a good HDR. Luckily, I got bored at one point and took this of what I thought would be nothing.

A peek down one of the many beautiful canals of Venice

Although I only shot a few HDR brackets, I took a gondola ride (for the first time!) which was pretty fun and took me near some really pretty back alleys/canals:

Everyone should ride a gondola at least once. Actually, just exactly once, it was really expensive...

Rome Again

Although I’ve spent more than a week in Siena, I still have more HDRs from Rome to post and nothing I’m happy with from Siena yet. Siena is quite beautiful, but either I haven’t had my camera or the pictures I have shot have not come out well. However, I did shoot some fun 30 sec exposures last night on the Piazza del Campo (where it seems like all of Siena comes out to every night, to talk, eat gelato, or just hang out).

This one I shot at the Trevi fountains in Rome, where it seems like everything is made out of marble.

Statues in the Trevi Fountain

The west entrance of the Piazza del Campo in Siena

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

So, due to circumstances beyond my control (laziness) I did not leave the Atlanta area to shoot… but I did get in my car and go to one of the best locations around for macro work. Because I was so focused on macroing everything I only had a chance to grab a few quick HDRs at the end when I found a stone wall to set my camera on… I did not want to be encumbered by my large tripod when I knew I would not need it for the macro stuff. I want to go back when I get my Trek Tek T-Pod, one of the better mini tripods I’ve ever used. Giacomo picked one up for his trip to Italy and I used it a bit before he left, its sturdy, extends fairly high for a mini, and can compress to easily fit in your pocket or backpack. Having one of those on me at all times will make getting the occasional HDR while I’m out with the macro an easy thing to do. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens recently underwent a large renovation, and as such I was only able to explore a small portion of what is there, but we now have a family membership so I can go back soon, by myself, and take all the time in the world to get the shots. Still, I managed to get a decent HDR and some really cool macro stuff, most of which I will put on my non-HDR blog tomorrow but I wanted to share the especially cool image of the dragonfly on here because, well, you can see his multifaceted eyes! I remember Giacomo spending 30 minutes trying to get a dragonfly shot out in his back yard, with the 70-200 on his 50D… He called me today from Italy and I said, “so remember you trying to get that shot of the dragonfly by your pond? well, today I was at the Botanical garden with my macro and…” at which point he interrupted me to say, “I don’t even want to know how that story ends.” To be fair though, the dragonflies he was trying to shoot were in constant motion, and I was lucky enough to find this guy sitting still while his buddies were flying all over the place.

Quick HDR I managed to grab at the Botanical Gardens in the midst of all the macro mayhem.

Full resolution shot of the dragonfly at the Gardens.

A 100% crop of the above image. Gotta love 21mp + the sharpest lens canon makes 🙂

Sunset in Kennesaw

My new macro has not left the 5D since I got it, which has prevented me from taking new HDRs… but this one, from the wedding earlier this summer out in Kennesaw, was already processed and is one of my favorite shots so I decided it was time to put it up. Something about the light here really worked for HDR, and I love the way the sun peeks over the house and through the trees, and is reflected in the windows. I have been shooting a bunch of macro stuff, and am readying a huge post to put up on the new area of this site that I’ve created but I am having HTTP Errors when uploading pictures that are currently preventing me from completing the post… hopefully an upgrade from PHP4 to PHP5 tomorrow will fix the issue. I’m too tired to deal with it right now! I am experimenting with HDR macros, but for now, here’s the shot from Kennesaw.

HDR at work in Kennesaw, GA

The Bridge to Nowhere

I have been fascinated by this bridge for as long as I can remember; it has remained in the exact same, half-broken state for probably decades. I have collected many different views of it over time and I recently returned there to do some HDR. I have always wanted to get up the nerve to climb up in there but somehow common sense always gets the better of me… The first picture is one I did back in sophomore year of high school, when I was just discovering all of these areas of Atlanta. I have always loved shooting at night, and to some extent HDR photography is the logical conclusion of low-light shooting; it gives you the same sort of surreal lighting effects that you get with ultra-long shutterspeeds at night, but you get detail back in your highlights and shadows! The second shot is of the same bridge, just at a different angle, 4 years later, and using 5 bracketed images to generate an HDR. I still love night photography, but have recently been so happy with HDR that I have taken a break from shooting in the dead of night.

The Lake St Bridge, from a long-exposure I shot in high school with the 30D. This is not an HDR.

HDR Shot of the same bridge, 4 years later, 5 shot bracket with the 5D Mk II