Have a Seat

•October 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Image of the Day – Monday, October 5, 2009

Park Bench on the Louisiana State Capital Grounds

Park Bench on the Louisiana State Capital Grounds

Friday past after getting off work at noon myself and a friend went to the downtown area of Baton Rouge to take a short photowalk at the two state capital buildings in Baton Rouge. This image was taken on the grounds of the newer of the two houses of government and we still refer to them as the “new” and “old” capitals. The grounds around the “new” capital (built in 1932) are beautiful and this scene is taken on the grounds to the east of the capital building.

Walking from the capital towards the old armory nearby I came across this simple scene. A sidewalk with park benches on either side facing each other and painted in a dark, shiny green. There were still a few bright yellow day lilies in bloom and the dark green against the yellow caught my eye.

I used a Nikon 18-135mm lens zoomed all the way to 135mm to shoot this picture at f/5.6 to create as narrow a depth of field as I could get. The bench was a few feet removed from the day lilies so I was able to get the look I wanted despite f/5.6 not being the narrowest depth of field I could have managed (I had a 50mm f/1.8 with me).

There was little post-processing involved here – conversion from RAW to JPG, a little dabbling with a curves layer and a touch of dodging and that was it.

The Love Birds & Lucky 100

•October 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Image of the Day – Friday, October 2, 2009

Niko and his girlfriend Caitlin (sp)

Niko and his girlfriend Caitlin (sp)

Today’s image is my 100th post since starting this blog. Congratulations to me. If you’ve been following along through the first hundred posts you’ll know it’s not easy to get a good photograph of my youngest son, Niko. He’s one of those that wants to hide or cover his face whenever a camera is pointed his way. As it turns out his girlfriend is the same way. This time they got tricked. My friend Leonard has a new Nikon D60 and yesterday evening after our workout we were in the front yard playing with his new Nikon. It prompted me to go pick up my camera.

I attempted to take a picture of Niko and Caitlin and, of course, they covered their faces. When they saw I’d moved the camera down from my face they let their guard down and that’s when Leonard got this shot of the two young love birds. It was around sunset when this shot was taken and looks like Leonard shot with a high ISO from the noise in the image. All I did was crop this picture a bit and didn’t manipulate the image in any other way.

Jazz in Red

•October 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Image of the Day – Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sax Player in a small Bourbon Street Bar

Sax Player in a small Bourbon Street Bar

A few weeks ago I’d gotten off work and went to New Orleans to do some shooting. I was in the French Quarter for quite a while and made my way in and out of different bars and clubs along the way. I was enjoying the lighting I was able to shoot in using my new 50mm f/1.8 lens. At some point in the evening I stumbled into a small bar and found this fellow. He was part of a duo in a small bar. I mean a really small place. If you sat at the bar and turned around in your seat there they were playing jazz. Right there, up close and personal.

I only got a few good pictures of the duo as they weren’t very camera friendly as I recall. I would have shot more but of them but for that. They were pretty arrogant as well so that’s often a real deal killer to any kind of good shots of musicians… or anyone else for that matter. I did, however, get a few good shots under some very bad lighting conditions and today’s image is one of them.

This was shot with my Nikon D80 using a 50mm lens at f/1.8 and ISO 3200. Even such extreme settings still required a 1/25th shutter speed. Like I said, it was a very dark little bar but I was able to get the shot with a reasonable degree of clarity and detail.

Dirty Hands

•September 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Image of the Day – Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Me in the Backyard Long, Long Ago

Me in the Backyard Long, Long Ago

I almost decided to not only use this picture as a blog entry today I almost decided to never use this as a blog entry. But what the heck? Why not have a sense of humor about things. Naturally I have no idea what’s on my hand that’s gotten my attention but I’m sure it didn’t keep my attention long – few things ever have. There is, however, no shortage of evidence as to what mysterious yuck is on my hand.

There’s the trash can behind me in the photo with the lid clearly removed and at least one something from the trash can removed and duly dropped to the ground. There’s a dog in the background. I don’t know anything about that dog but it does seem to appear in more than one photograph from this time frame which I’d estimate as no later than early 1960.

There’s the dirty wagon and the thought of no telling what’s been in and on that wagon and the worst thought of all is the drooping diaper – maybe my butt itched. Who knows.

The rickety old steps and large fan in the side of the house where an air condition might ought to be remind me of a beginning more humble than I can really recall. I don’t know where the house in this photo is located but if my Aunt sees this in the next few days maybe she could ask my uncle and I’ll update if he remembers.

Photographer, camera type, film type, processing, date and location all unknown other than the location is probably Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I did a touch of cropping with Photoshop, applied the Garmon-Holbert conversion method which I now have as an action and a quick pass with Noiseware Pro and a quick save is all that was done to this image from its original scan.


•September 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Image of the Day – Monday, September 28, 2009

Mom and Shannon Up To No Good

Mom and Shannon Up To No Good

My mother had a habit of getting the biggest kick from picking on kids. It didn’t matter if it was her child, grandchild or the child of someone else – she’d pick on them. I have no idea where my mom got that habit from and worse still is I have it too! Not nearly to the degree my mother liked it but I love to mess with a kid – especially when they’re at a gullible age.

In today’s photograph I see my daughter sitting in her Honey’s lap and I see the look on my mother’s face and I know just what’s going on here. With book in hand Shannon no doubt wanted Honey to read her a story. There’s little doubt in my mind that my mother concocted some far fetched story that Shannon knew wasn’t right. I know that face. I know that look. I know that feigned glance of innocence. No doubt mom was up to her old tricks again when this photo was taken.

Why this picture is in black and white I have no idea as I didn’t convert it to black and white. A little adjustment in contrast with Photoshop and here you have it – the picture is old and was scanned so it did need some contrast work. I think I’m going to pick on the first kid I come across today in memory of my mother.

Water Flowers

•September 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

Image of the Day – Sunday, September 27, 2009

Water Flowers at the Botanical Garden in City Park - New Orleans

Water Flowers at the Botanical Garden in City Park - New Orleans

For some insane reason I chose today to instead of watching the LSU vs Mississippi State football game to go on a scheduled photowalk with my camera club. It’s only fair given I organized the photowalk. As it turns out I think most people wanted to stay at home and watch the game instead and only 4, including myself, bothered to get their butts up out of chairs and fulfill their word to attend. (We have an RSVP application setup on our website and many answered “yes”). Lesson learned. Never miss an LSU football game for a bunch of folks who don’t care one way or the other and whose word is no good.

On the upside I did have a good time and got some nice shots today. This one used for today’s image was a water flower (I have no idea what it is) in a pond at the front of the conservatory in the botanical garden at City Park in New Orleans. If you’ve never been to City Park (I hadn’t) consider it – it’s a very nice place with lots to see and do and one could easily spend an afternoon doing lots and still doing nothing.

Gorman & The Grand Canyon

•September 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Image of the Day – Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lys at the Grand Canyon in February, 2008

Lys at the Grand Canyon in February, 2008

Such a shame this image is so small here because the detail is striking. I recently discovered a new Photoshop technique called the “Gorman-Holbert Conversion Method” that works great when turning color images into black and white.

First things first – this is a picture of Lys on our tenth wedding anniversary which we spent at the Grand Canyon along the south rim. Auto touring the Grand Canyon the day after a fairly substantial snow fall we were treated to something we hadn’t expected – the Grand Canyon on the snow. Thankfully we’d planned on cold and were dressed for the weather.

The process I mentioned is a neat one and I’ve already created an action on Photoshop so I can use it often. You can learn more about the Gorman-Holbert Conversion Method here.