Tuesday, September 29, 2009

HDR Skies

I will admit it, I have started using photoshop.  And it does make me feel dirty.  But there are uses one can make of it ;0)

And example of this is in dealing with 'sky halos' in the HDR shots I have been taking, see two shots below:

I basically selected the sky/halo and cut it out, scaled it up sufficiently and then 'slide it' back behind the dune to hide the halo.  And voulior.  No halos to spoil the image that acts like a giant beacon to say "look at this, its a HDR photo".  I guess the old idea that the camear never lies isn't quite true.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Three Part 2

With just days to go before the deadline I spotted the below new 'three' opportunity.

Shot was taken out of our office window in Abu Dhabi, which enjoys a pretty impressive view across Al Batten Marina.  Sorry chaps if you sit in a portacabin with no windows, or a tower block in Bur Dubai with a view of nothing but a metro station construction.

A few others that are also the view out of the window but not 'three' related, but still shots I'd like to share, even if only to rub it in to those sat in Staines.......in the rain.......

Three from Muscat - Richards Efforts

Hi All,

Here are three from the Souq in Muscat, very photogenic and not a Dubai plastic souq but almost the real deal.

Aladin's Lamp

105mm Macro,
1/30s, AP Mode
ISO200, any more and it's grainy
Also hand on a 100mm held hence it's a bit soft :-(

Sadly Ramadan so no meed or other beveage.
105mm Macro,
1/15s, AP Mode
ISO200, any more and it's grainy

Following from Pauls :-) all in camera no PP, hence want a nifty fifty.
105mm Macro,
1/8s, AP Mode
ISO200, any more and it's grainy
Also hand held on a 100mm inside at 1/8 hence it's a very soft :-(

Need to get a nifty fifty would have been great for these.

Hmm another lens to add to the wish list !

Here is another three from Muscat but from my more normal enviroment.

Found Nemo

17-70mm @33mm
1/60 sec
ISO 100
Twin off camera strobes.

When I get time I'll also post more wet and dry photos, however trust these meet the THREE criteria this month ;-)
The rest of you a few days left so get snapping, or start working on your excuses (and the "I've done it and it's in the camera" excuse will not be accepted ;-)

Comments, critique and abuse as always welcome.

Richard B.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Off Topic - HDR

Hi all,

Here is my first real attempt at an HDR shot. What do you think?

I recon it looks better cropped, but my housemate recons not. Any suggestions?

Tech Details :

focal length : 18mm (27 equiv)
Aperture : 3.5
exposure times : 1/20th, 1/5th and 0.8 seconds
ISO 200

I used qtpfsgui to do the HDR and tone mapping. (fatal algorithm with pregamma 1, alpha 0.644, beta 0.934, saturation 0.47, noiseredux 0)
I then used the gimp to create a black and white version and manually mask the black and white layer to reveal the colour version below. I like the albert hall and the push chair in colour, but I think making the ghost of the girl on the non-cropped version colour may have been over doing it :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sarah's pics

These pics are travel oriented. We've waited 3 years for the metro, so today we had our big day out on the new trains. Very clean, but a surprising lack of seats. First, though, we had to wait for, you guessed it, 3 minutes.

1/100, f7.1, ISO-640, 70mm

There are three 3s in the above picture, but one is backwards.

While you are waiting, you can stare at the ceiling. If you count the number of slots, it is divisible by three. Try it.

Staring at the ceiling
1/125s, f7.1, ISO-640, 30mm

For the Metro virgins out there, it is designed to take as much walking out of the experience a possible. So there are travellators. There are about three in each direction at MOE station.

3 steps
1/30s, f2.8, ISO-640, 40mm

And here's a shot of the trusses holding the overpasses together.

1/1000s, f2.8, ISO-640, 70mm

Nick's pics

I've took a slightly approach to this exercise. First, I thought I'd shoot at 3:00. In the morning. Long shutter speeds down by the Creek, that sort of thing.

But 3:00 in the morning?? I thought I'd scout out the location at 3:00 in the afternoon first, hitting the Creek and Bastakiya. Had some pretty serious fogging problems, but once it cleared I discovered that a few specs of crap on the lens had cleared as well.

Friday 3:00pm
1/25s, f22, ISO-100, 24mm

But then, being down at Bastakiya actively shooting bred more inspiration, and I was seeing 3 everywhere. As follows:

3 distances
1/125, f9, ISO-100, 24mm

3 spout things
1/2000s, f2.8, ISO-100, 70mm

3 negatives
1/200, f9, ISO-100, 24mm
I was thinking about darkening up the darks in GIMP (I'm too cheap for Photoshop). And I don't really know what I'm doing when post processing so prefer to strive for the right look at the camera, rather than at the desk.

3 shadows
1/20s, f14, ISO-100, 70mm
I'm not entirely convinced by this one, but Sarah talked it up so here it is. It's been rotated through 90°, but that's hardly post processing. And I should have cropped the top a tiny bit, but couldn't be arsed.

3 things things sticking out of a building
1/20s, f14, ISO-100, 70mm

Here's one more. It's off topic but I thought I'd share anyway.

1/320s, f9, ISO-100, 50mm

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three. Part Two

Remember this?

Well, following Richard's suggestion, here it is again, only this time with some Gaussian Blur. And also some Australian Beer, but let's not go into that.

Now I'm not sure which version I prefer. I think I may have overdone it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Three - The iPhone Challenge

After some abuse from Mr B I thought I rise to the bait.
Here is my rendition of Steven's "Three" shot with my iPhone sat at my desk.

Thank god for bokeh or you'd see really how dirty my keyboard is !

Promise to try and take a proper photo as well.

Richard B.


Well folks, its not the most inspired offering, certainly not as cool as Bob's, but at least I have it done and out of the way now. If I think up anything else before the end of the month I'll upload but in meantime here it is:

I had thought of doing a shot with all the EXIF data at 3 (ie f3.2, fl=3mm, t=3sec) but then I realised there would only be Richard who would realise ;0) Also, that's set of settings would be pretty expensive camera kit and pretty challenging to use.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mii Mii Mii

Here is my first attempt at "three".
3 of me in one picture!

It was only a quickie while I was wondering what to do for the subject, I just happened to be in the bathroom (not with my camera you depraved people)

Ive got ideas for a few portrait shots that Ill try to shoe-horn into this subject once ive figured out how to make a dark cage that I can put someone in (no... Im not joking).

Tech Specs :

Focal Length : 18mm (27mm equiv) from kit 18-70mm lense
Exposure Time : 1/20th
Aperture : f/3.5
ISO : 400

No thought went into the setup of the camera at all. I just set it to aperture priority and used the widest my lense would do ( I just wanted the hand mirror out of focus). I even forgot to change it from the default ISO 400.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


It seems I could use my own back-catalogue again. This picture was submitted for 'Light', it could have been submitted again for 'Movement' and yet again for 'Three'.

Resisting the temptation, I grabbed the opportunity to take a few photos while in Muscat last weekend. Three are reproduced here for your delight or abuse. I trust I'm allowed to submit more this month, should the opportunity arise?

Concrete Dolphins
Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200 at 36mm

Definitely an obvious candidate for 'Three'. There are numerous concrete statues along the corniche in Muscat. Al Bahri Road, N23 37.27' E058 33.78' if anyone's particularly interested.

The enormous shutter speed was to allow a large aperture and thus throw the background out of focus. I also did a little post-processing here and there to increase the blue of the sky slightly, plus the usual cropping and reduction to 800 pixels high. The top dolphin is a bit dark, but I didn't want to blow out the highlight on the left dolphin. My attempts at dodging and burning were less than impressive, and are not reproduced here!

Corniche by night
Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200 at 62mm

Taken in pretty much the same location as the Dolphins, only later and looking in the opposite direction. I took loads of these, trying to get the full moon just above the fort. Having failed to bring my tripod, all were hand-held or propped against walls, and most attempts were horribly blurred, incorrectly exposed or both.

I played around with ASA 1600 as well as ASA 200, but got a lot of noise on the images. The photo presented above is the best of the bunch, cut to portrait in order to emphasise the fort and the moon rather than the row of shops reflected in the sea. Usual cropping and image reduction, and I also had to go over the sky and clone out various random pinpricks of noise. They look like stars, but are single spots of cyan or magenta...

It would have been nice to get some features on the moon's disc, but I failed to capture anything on any image.

What about 'Three'? Count the antennae on the fort.

Junk shop
Nikon D70s
Nikkor 18-200 at 65mm

This place was a veritable Aladdin's cave of Arabian-inspired rubbish, somewhere in the covered souq. There are three khanjars, which gives me the excuse for the photograph. (There are also three scorpions in shot, but that isn't why I took the photo.) I shot with available light and with flash; the version without flash looked more pleasing, so that one makes the cut.

A more general shot of the shop front is shown below, just to give you an insight into Clutter: Professional Edition...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Three - September Assignement, due 30 Sept

Hi All,

Resounding success last month, even Imogen well done, so onwards now.

As Colin was so fast last month, shock horror, I thought I'd let him pick this month and 30 was the lucky number.

Therefore topic is "Three" or "3" if you'd prefer.
The number, three of something etc.. you get the idea, let your creative juices flow.

Have fun a look forward to seeing results.

p.s. All teachers just because term has started there are still no excuses.
p.p.s. I'm sure all the Post Process is done on a recent wedding so looking forward to another entrant this month.

Richard B.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Guys and Girls

I know this is late posted but the shots were taken before the deadline but Imogen was unable to upload due to the incompetence of Du so they had to wait until I got to work today.

Shots are taken during a netball match Imogen and I were asked to go along a shoot for the team's freindly match against the team of HMS Kent which was visiting Dubai.

I personally think Imogen did pretty damn well given teh crappy light given off by flood lights and the high ISO's were were having to work with to be able to get the long enough exposures to get the motion blur but at the same tiem hold the camera still enough to still hold the backgroudns reasonably steady.