Archive for the ‘Tucker’s Favorites’ Category

Favicons and Freedom… Parkway

First, if your eyes are good, you might be able to see our teeny new “favicon” that I finally got around to making. Essentially, it is a 16×16 pixel .ico file that nearly every website has these days that shows up next to the URL. It’s really simple right now but I am hoping that the one of us who is in Italy (he will go unnamed) will get around to making it better, as I know he gets really into this kind of thing… I kinda like it though. It’s nice to have something.

I must have been here a thousand times and posted what seems like a thousand pictures from this location… but it just so happens that on the times I’ve been there with my camera, a convergence of line, graffiti, clouds, and sunlight have come together to make some of the most “wow” inducing HDR’s I’ve yet to make. These were the first I’d done at exactly midday, lighting conditions that are normally disdained by photographers as being too “harsh.” I have come to discover that all this means is “too high contrast to capture in one image…” that sounds like a problem HDR can fix! And it does. I may get around to shooting some tonight, my family is going to a dinner party up the street and I am bringing my camera so who knows what will happen. Just in case I end up getting back really late, I thought I’d post before I left.

Yet another view of the Freedom Parkway Bridge and its accompanying graffiti.

View of the new developments below the bike trail, right near my house.

The eagle eyed among you (ie, those who live nearby…) might notice the brown brick building in the middle of the frame is the same one depicted in an earlier post. I love returning to places to capture them from different angles, in different lights, and at different times of day.

Graffiti, Storms, and Site Bugs

A multitude of things have kept me from going out and shooting these past few days. First came the arrival of my macro, then came two job interviews, then came these huge rainstorms, and now I have lots of fun PHP bugs on top of that… :/ I got it

back to the point where I can upload images but it is still not working entirely correctly and for some reason half of the time the imported images won’t retain their correct rotations. Mucho headaches have ensued, and I’m not really sure what is causing my “out of memory” errors… for some reason the images still manage to be uploaded even though it claims otherwise, so I will hobble along like this for another few days until I can figure out the cause of all of this (hopefully something really simple and stupid and therefore easy to fix).

This shot was taken on Edgewood Avenue, where you will find, surprise, lots of graffiti and abandoned buildings. If you haven’t realized by now, I love shooting locations like this. I like preserving these locations in photographs as I have watched many of them transform before my eyes from grungy places that you would not want to visit at night to condos, lofts, and nice retail establishments. Again, I have been taking advantage of the incredible storms we have had lately and the clouds have given me some of the best skies I’ve seen here in a while. There was a fence surrounding this site to prevent trespassers (you can see some of it to the far left) and there was a small hole in it that allowed me to get this shot without having to shoot through the fence, which is never a good thing. However, it somewhat limited my composition… I hope to go shooting outside of Atlanta this weekend but we will see what happens.

Dark clouds predict the coming storm over graffiti on Edgewood

Hmm… seems I should eat my words, as the upload worked error-free from my PC running Windows 7! I hate it when things are “Windows only” because of how much of a Mac fan I am… and I know this particular problem is not platform specific, there’s just some configuration file somewhere that needs to be edited. I would much rather be doing this from my Macbook Pro… in the meantime though, I can make my posts from here and try to find a fix on the Mac side of things.

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

More of Freedom Parkway

Biking or walking, I can’t seem to stay away from this location. Every time I go there I seem to find a slightly new angle, with totally different light. This was taken right before a huge storm rolled in and forced me to retreat.

Also — I am working on a new section of this site, for my non-HDR photography. I just got the blog up today, so there is still tons to do, but if you want to check it out occasionally it is located at  I will make an effort to update it daily as well, although as I am probably about to begin an internship and a job… no idea how much time I will have.

On the sidebar there is now a link to a small overview of the HDR process… if you are not familiar with it, and don’t want a hugely technical how-to but would rather just know what is going on, head over there and check it out! It will hopefully help clarify what the 3 of us are up to with these crazy pictures. We are working on a much more in-depth tutorial as well, but that is taking longer….

Bike or walk? Freedom Parkway is great either way.

Monastery of the Holy Spirit

For Cistercian monks who choose a life of solitude and silent worship, Conyers, GA is probably one of the best locations I can think of to simply “get away from it all.” Mostly because, to put it mildly, there ain’t much there. These monks have built a beautifully simple place to live through the years, and make a point of welcoming photographers as they even have a special retreat program geared toward photography! Not sure exactly what that would entail, but it is interesting nonetheless. I had the interior of the church entirely to myself and went up to the balcony to get this shot. Not quite as grand as some of the cathedrals elsewhere in the world (as I’m sure Giacomo is currently seeing…) but it is the first church I’ve ever been able to get a tripod inside to do some HDR, and the stained glass made some pretty light. They also had a banzai farm outside, along with a huge bakery and kitchen devoted entirely to the making of fudge. Reclusive monks who wake at 3:45am, worship, grow small trees, and make rich sweets… it was very interesting.

Interior of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA

Closeup of the stained glass windows inside Holy Spirit Monastery

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

Night Light in the Back Alleys of Inman Park

I decided to see what I could find in walking distance of my house, and the light and clouds ended up being so cooperative that I shot 6GB of images before it got dark! That amounts to something like 60 HDR shots to process… I have done a few alre

ady and will post them up as I do more. I walked over to Krog street, and then down behind the bike trail for this particular shot, up onto the bike trail, and down under the bridge where there were people making tents. I don’t even know what street this shot was taken from, but it’s an angle that I have never really seen despite living so close. Sometimes it pays to explore what’s nearby, especially when the changing weather brings great clouds such as these. I am trying a new technique, 6 shot bracketing, which effectively gives me ±3 stops of light. I do this in manual mode, sliding the 3 shots of bracketing down to what would be -3, for 2 dark shots and one neutral, and then another bracket is taken up at what would be +3. It is much more time consuming and limits your shots because nothing can really be moving due to the time it takes to adjust camera settings in between the brackets, but it allows a bit more light and that is always good. You end up with 5 usable exposures, since 2 are duplicates taken at ±0ev. I will continue to experiment with this method and see if it’s really worth the extra time, and disk space.

Abandoned buildings mixed with new establishments in the alleyways of Inman Park