Yesterday, I went around the yard with my iPro macro lens on my iPhone. The depth of field is quite shallow when you’re right on top of an object, which you have to be. It was a good challenge and made me slow down for each shot. I used Snapseed for the edit, where I only used tune image on this first one.
Below is an example of what adding a little drama and center focus can do. The image has more detail and the eye is drawn to the flower more because of the use of center focus on it.
In the local section of yesterday’s paper, there was an article about a musician who had placed 12 pianos along the coastline in San Mateo County. By last Friday, the rangers had removed 5, so I decided I had to make time to go to the beach before they were all gone. You can check out the project’s website here.
In early July, Mauro is planning to deploy twelve pianos at select locations along the beautiful San Mateo coastline. Anyone can come and play a piano by the sea, anytime. He’s inviting some incredible bay area musicians to join him in bringing attention to the fragile state of the world’s oceans, as well as the near extinction of the “personal” piano. Piano manufacturing has dwindled, and the neglect of acoustic pianos has caused thousands of them to end up in landfills. The “Twelve Pianos” project will focus the spotlight on two species with uncertain futures.
I drove out to Poplar beach in Half Moon Bay because the article said there were still 3 pianos out there. The one above was easy to spot from the parking lot. It was covered in plastic, so I had to uncover it to get my shots. There was a father and son at the piano as I approached it. The little guy was playing some music. I bet this is a memory neither of them will forget. How often do you get to play piano at the beach?
I wish I had someone with me to model/play while I took some photos with my Nikon. I do know a few pianists that I’m sure would love a free shoot, including my brother and his wife. I just hope someone has some time in the next few days because this is probably a once in a lifetime shoot.
Both of the images were shot with TrueHDR because using a camera app that only takes one exposure would blow out the sky and you’d miss out on the drama that the clouds were bringing. I also used Snapseed and SimplyHDR to edit.
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?
After an awful hotel experience the night before in Redlands, complete with screaming children bouncing around the room next door beyond 1am, we splurged on a boutique hotel, called Tuscan Springs, that we randomly drove up to in Desert Hot Springs.
I quickly took this photo while we toured the place. We originally were just looking to pay for day use of the hot mineral water spa’s and pool, but it was so relaxing and inviting that we had to stay. Everything about this place said vacation. Each courtyard had chairs, big comfy couches, and even beds. But, I think, when we were told it was adults only (not clothing optional,) we were already sold.
This particular spa was the size of a small pool.
Shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed
The clouds were pretty interesting the other evening. Just for a few moments, the light and the colors of the scene were awesome. I was lucky enough to be there to witness it. Stupid me didn’t wait around for the sunset though. I drove to another part of the coast, chasing a cloud that I was hoping would make for a great shot at sunset. Unfortunately, it evaporated before the sun went down and I was left in the middle of agriculture fields with nothing too exciting going on.
This was shot with TrueHDR. Edited with Snapseed, Tangled FX, and ImageBlender. I liked the Tangled FX version, but wanted to dial it back a bit by using ImageBlender to reduce the opacity of the effect to about 70% just to bring back a hint of realism.
Yes, I’m still here…and alive. The pain has gotten worse since I went on this hike a few days ago. I thought I was feeling fine, so I pushed myself to be active. Now, I’m paying for it.
These ridiculous homes are set back a little ways from a cliff overlooking the ocean. Life must be rough for whoever lives on this gated road.
Shot with ProHDR. Snapseed and SimplyHDR for the edit.
I meant to go out and scout locations for the storm coming in, but I wasn’t feeling too good yesterday. Luckily, my roommate saw this out the window and we went out on the balcony to enjoy the view for 5-10 minutes. I took multiple pictures with the iphone and Nikon (haven’t even looked at those yet.)
I hardly ever settle for just one shot, especially around sunset when the light conditions are changing rapidly. Take lots of pictures and only show the best of the best. I’m thinkin there may need to be some sort of challenge soon where you take at least 100 shots of the same subject. Shannon! Where are you?
These were simple to edit. I shot with camera+ and added some drama to both in Snapseed. That was it. Drama is great for making the clouds more dramatic.