I shot this using Hueless from the top of Fort Point. I hadn’t seen the bridge from this angle before, and now it might be one of my favorite points of view. It’s a completely different experience. You get a better sense of just how large the structure actually is. Maybe I’ll make it back another day for a sunrise, or sunset.
I’ll be on the road for the better part of the next 3 weeks, save for a few days next week. I get to go to the central coast this weekend for my nephew’s 3rd birthday party. Then, next weekend, I’ll be heading to Oregon for some r&r, plus plenty of photography. If anyone wants to meet up to shoot, I may be all over, from southern Oregon, to the coast, to Eugene, and maybe to Crater Lake.
While I’m on the road, I’ll be able to test out the new product iLuv has sent me, the car mount for the Selfy case. No more holding my phone and looking at google maps while I drive…I mean letting my copilot give me directions. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it works out.
The edit on this one was simple. I used Snapseed to level the horizon, crop, and make a couple basic adjustments. Then, I used iColorama for a very slight color treatment. I think it lifted the shadows, more than anything.
I had a great day yesterday. I finally found time to finish an interview for an iPhoneography website and I was asked to write up a tutorial for the topaz labs newsletter. Yay for more exposure. Even more importantly, I was able to focus and get some work done, instead of micromanaging my grandmother’s life. It felt like a day off even though I worked past 9pm.
Now, about today’s shot from Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, CA. I thought I would also share the before picture below so you can see what I started with. I had a hard time deciding how to edit this one. Sometimes, if you don’t previsualize what the final image will be, it can be a challenge making a very average photo stand out. As you can see, the original was flat and lacked pop. I tried a number of my painting apps because I thought this one would work as a painterly image. Wrong.
I knew I wanted to bring more drama to the image, so I made some edits in Snapseed and tried the drama filter. It just didn’t work for me on this one, so I canceled it and just saved the other edits. Next, I used SimplyHDR to pull out detail and add a very subtle vignette. It still didn’t seem done, so I saved the image and imported it into Tadaa where I used the HD clarity filter and the Sylt filter at a lower opacity. The result was more of a film look that had the pop I was looking for.
What do you think about the difference between the before and after shots?
Our campsite at Limekiln was maybe 250 feet from the ocean. The night we checked in, we had hoped to do some night photography on the little beach there. That idea was quickly squashed by a group of drunks with flashlights that wanted to know what we were doing. Drunks + Flashlights + Long Exposures = Ruined photos. Now that I think about it, we were probably the only sober people in the camp. If you ever go to Big Sur, be prepared to cross paths with foreigners and weirdos.
The next morning, I think we all spent a little alone time on this peaceful beach. My friend pointed out that there was a face in the rocks so I had to go back to camp and grab my gear for a few photos. When some large waves crashed against the rocks, the ocean spray looked like smoke being blown out of the mouth. It was pretty cool, but it only happened a few times before I got my camera.
From this spot, the stream is flowing into the ocean from the bottom left corner. There were lots of cool rocks of various colors. They probably don’t show up too well in this iphone shot, however.
Shot with camera+ and a simple edit with Snapseed. There wasn’t much to do with this one.
Yesterday was a challenging day and by the time the golden hour started I decided I needed to just jump in my car and catch the sunset somewhere. The problem was I didn’t know where I was going. Normally thats how I operate, but not at sunset because there is only so much time before the light is gone.
I cruised by the beaches, but didn’t feel like shooting there AGAIN (trust me, it does get old.) I headed inland to San Luis Obispo with an idea in my mind that I’d find a rural spot with a field against the mountains. It was a little tougher than I expected to find something like that in good light.
As I was driving, that little voice in my head said “Turn around!” So I flipped a u-turn and pulled off on some random road and drove back a little ways to find an open field just before the sun went down. This would be a great spot for a portrait session if it wasn’t on private property.
Both images were shot with ProHDR and I made only minimal edits in Snapseed. In the second image, the sun had stopped shining on the field, which meant a slightly slower shutter speed was used. Thats why the wind through the grass gave it a cool painterly effect that you can see better if you click on the image and zoom in.
I walked across Guadalupe yesterday with my phone to get a better feel for the town. Its a different experience than driving through because that takes all of 2 minutes. Half of the stores on the main drag were for rent and of the ones that were still operating, 80% only had Spanish on the signs in the windows.
I stopped at the cemetery to get a few pictures of the cool angels on headstones. Unfortunately, it was totally the wrong time of day. The light was not cooperating at all.
On the way back through town I saw three classic cars that have definitely seen better days. They were parked in front of an office for a car repair business. The angle of the sun and the rail in front of the cars prevented me from getting a great angle. I didn’t want my shadow cast on the car, but I still wanted to try and make the image work from a less flattering perspective.
When I see old, rusty objects, I want to bring out a lot of the grit and detail. It really makes the image pop to me. Normally I’d use ProHDR to start that workflow, but because of the quality of the light and lack of tripod, I chose to use camera+. Then I used the clarity filter, which is great for making your image pop, and I finished up by adding some drama in Snapseed.
I’ll be working on reviews for a couple of HDR apps today, and I think I’ll run this image through them to see how they handle it.
It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.
This is at a beach out by Guadalupe, CA, which is a small migrant town where a lot of field workers live. Its a neat place because its in the middle of nowhere and it feels like you’re in Mexico. I’ll have to snap a few pics of the town next time because it has some character.
This was shot with ProHDR and edited with Snapseed.