Texas State Capitol In HDR

On our recent trip to Texas we spent an afternoon at the Texas State Capitol with our Nephews. The light wasn't great for "straight up" photography so I shot a lot of bracketed images and then ran through Google/Nik Software's excellent HDR Efex Pro software. I've been happy witht many of the results, including this one of the North side of the Capitol: A slightly over the top HDR image of the North end of the Texas State Capitol


As you can see the details are a bit exaggerated but I like the overall result. The HDR processing brought out a lot of the reflections in the capitol windows as well as in the skylight at the bottom of the frame. Underneath that skylight is a Texas Sized underground office building. I took some shots of the capitol building from below the skylight that I have yet to process so keep your fingers crossed that I have some keepers! :-) If you also notice, I got the Texas State Flag flapping nicely in the breeze. I didn't notice that until I got the images in Lightroom and started working on them.

Pittsburgh In Black and White: Gateway Station

We were in Pittsburgh for a visit over the Labor Day holiday and I managed to make it out to the city with my trusty Rolleicord to make a few images. I managed to get through one roll of film in the camera as well as a roll of 35mm film in my old Olympus XA. I developed the film from the Rollei and just got a few scanned in. Here's one that I like:

What appealed to me about this image is all the glass, aluminum and concrete. There were lots of shapes and lines going on in the frame and, as a bonus, NO PEOPLE! I had to wait a couple of minutes for somebody to clear out of the structure and when they did I quickly made the image before someone else wandered into the scene and ruined it. Now, I like people and all but I don't like them in these types of shots. I want the architecture, light and shadows to do the talking.

I ahve to go through most of the rest of the frames from this roll as well as develop the 35mm roll from the Olympus XA so hopefully there are a few more good frames waiting to be revealed.........


Architecture Photos-Rolleicord Film vs Canon Digital-Three Columns And Stairs

Our office building has some neat features that I figured would look pretty good in black and white. Back in early October, I took a photo of the space between two of the buildings with my Canon S95 and converted it to B&W using Silver Efex Pro. Here's that digital Image: When I got my Rolleicord I immediately knew that I wanted to re-take that photo using black and white film to see how it came out. I went out to the building on a Saturday and tried to replicate the shot from my digital camera as best as I could. I recently got back the negatives from the lab and here is the result:


As you can see, the perspective isn't quite the same as with the S95. That's because the Rolleicord shoots a square frame and as well uses a 75mm lens (about 49mm on a 35mm camera). I used Ilford HP5 Plus film (400 ISO) and mounted the camera on my tripod.

As far as "post-processing" goes, here's what I did:

I scanned the developed negative at 2400 dpi and at 16 bit gray using my CanoScan 9000f. The resulting file was 51 megs. I imported the image into Lightroom and tweaked the contrast, highlights and shadows a little to get the reflections in the building windows to come out a little better. I also had to clean up a few dust bunnies that somehow made it onto the negative.

Overall I'm very happy with the final result. I need to get better at using the scanner and at doing adjustments in Lightroom but that will come with time. I will pobably also go back and re-shoot this image again to see how it comes out with me doing the developing, instead of a commercial lab.

Which image do you like better, the digital image from my S95 or the scanned film image from the Rolleicord? Let me know, I'm interested to see what everyone thinks.

Happy Shooting!

Day 22-Prepare To Be Assimilated

Here's an image from today's shoot at the Georgian Terrace Hotel that I think looks like something from 2001 A Space Odyssey or Star Trek The Next Generation where the Borg pay a visit: Day 22-Prepare To Be Assimilated

There were about 60-70 photographers who descended on the classic Georgian Terrace Hotel today as part of the Decatur Digital Photography Meetup, one of the photography groups I belong to.For those of you not familiar with the Georgian Terrace, it is a classic Atlanta hotel that originally opened in 1911. It has some interesting architecture, including a neat staircase, lots of what I would describe as "art deco" styling and this nifty atrium. It has been the sight of the 1939 "Gone With The Wind" Gala as well home to concerts by Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen in the 1970's. In other words, a lot of history.

It was a fun afternoon and I got a few good shots, some of which I may see what I can do as far as HDR goes. Stay tuned for some more images from this hotel as I get time to go through them.