Posts tagged “mask

Pool Monster

Pool Monster 70mm, f/13, 1/125s, fill flash

My son leaping out of the water pretending to be a monster.  I love how the motion makes his hands look like claws.  And the mask?  Well, nothing needs to be said.

It was in the middle of a bright sunny afternoon — terrible time for photographs.  I used a flash so that I could dial down the ambient a bit.  We took several shots like this, using a fast-ish shutter speed but not so fast that it froze all motion.  In post I processed things pretty heavily in Lightroom — lots of contrast and clarity.


Take Me Out To The Ballgame

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/7162405578/in/photostream

Fenway Park in HDR, 17mm, f/13, 3-exp, ISO 100

Here’s another view of Fenway Park which I processed as an HDR.  I took a bunch of pictures around the place a few weeks ago and am only now getting around to looking at most of them.  The back of the scoreboard provides a nice main subject IMO.  Ideally I would have gotten the foreground people at full height (i.e. head-to-toe) in these shots but my lens wasn’t capable of that at this tripod height (and I didn’t like the perspective with the tripod all the way down near the ground). I took lots of exposures (range of 7-9 stops…can’t remember) but only used three of them for this image.  Why only three?  Because I don’t mind a few blown-out highlights where “appropriate” and I certainly don’t mind shadows without detail.  In fact, my number one criticism of HDRs is that many people process them in a way which brings out far too much detail in the shadows and eliminates too many of the blacks.

Processing…After running the three exposures through Nik HDR Efex Pro I brought the image into Photoshop with the three original exposures.  I only ended up using two exposures: One for partially blending in the sky to help keep the colors reasonable-ish and the other one was masked in for the street and people (after an exposure tweak).  As always I used several masked curves adjustment layers (in luminosity blend mode because this image had plenty of color saturation already).  The jet contrail bugs me but I’d make a mess of it if I tried to clone it out.  Since I was standing below the sign and using a wide-angle lens the perspective (tilt on the sides) was rather extreme.  A quick free transform was used to stretch out the top corners of the image somewhat.  I didn’t attempt to eliminate all the distortion of course.  After this type of stretching with a free transform, the height of things (the people in particular) gets a bit squashed so I used a reverse crop and another free transform to stretch the image vertically and bring the people back to normal.  Maybe I’ll do a poor-man’s tutorial (the only kind I have the skills for) showing those steps in an upcoming post.


Multiples

The shot above didn’t turn out quite as cool as I’d hoped but it’s fun nonetheless.  While out on a photo walk on the University of Texas campus I set up my camera on my tripod as the photographer crowd gathered on the steps of the UT Tower.  As people milled around I captured shots in a semi-regular cadence.  My idea was to capture people in different positions and mask them together in Photoshop.  When I uploaded my photos to my computer it turned out that I really didn’t capture enough frames.  For example, look at the guy in the red jacket.  He probably wandered all around the scene but in reality I only capture him in a few spots.  There are a couple of people who did appear in widely varied positions around the scene.

The photo above was captured at the base of the UT Tower, a prominent 307-foot building on the University of Texas campus.  A couple other views of the UT Tower are shown below.


Alamodome Reflections In HDR

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6541443041/in/photostream

Alamodome Reflections 70mm, f/2.8, ISO 250

Most people who like to do HDRs are suckers for reflections.  I’m no exception and when my children and I walked into San Antonio’s Alamodome for the NCAA volleyball championship I saw these shiny floors and decided to fire off some brackets.  I set up the camera to fire 3 brackets (the max on Canon) with the auto timer and set the camera on the floor.  It would’ve been nearly impossible to change the settings without moving the camera so I didn’t even try.  I took another set of brackets with more crowds in the picture but the motion was too great to process reasonably.

I ran this through Photomatix and then brought the tonemapped image into Photoshop along with the brightest exposure.  I used a few adjustment layers on the bright exposure to semi-match it to what I wanted to fix — the people in the hallway and a few other areas where ghosting had caused some weirdness in the tonemapped image.  After blending those areas in, I went to work on the result with a half-dozen other adjustment layers (mostly curves).  There are some missing people-parts but I don’t really mind as it gives a sense of motion and the work to clone in new pieces wouldn’t be worth it.


Sky Interrupted

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5469837521/

Sky Interrupted (10mm, f/13, 1/125s)

I decided to process something different today. This shot of the “bean” — more properly known as the Cloud Gate in Chicago’s Millenium Park — is unique to me because of the way it interrupts the sky. It almost appears as if some weird time/space warp is going on. I also liked the gradients in the sky and the sky’s reflection in the bean. The original exposures were taken during our family’s annual trip to downtown Chicago last fall.

This image is a 2-exposure handheld HDR which was tonemapped in Photomatix then brought into Photoshop for masking and curves. Lots of masking and curves…and a little sharpening thrown in as well. The people were moving which presented some challenges…lots of masking. I did not add any saturation or other color mods other than what curves does.

I mentioned the gradients in the sky and it may appear that those are an artifact of the tonemapping step. Us HDR fanatics have all seen (and processed) images with various kinds of halos around objects. However, the original exposures contained these gradients/halos as well (one of the original exposures is shown below).

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5470424900/in/photostream/

Original Exposure