Piper Snow Ball

Piper Snow Ball by mypixelizedview
Piper Snow Ball, a photo by mypixelizedview on Flickr.

I have been practicing with Black and White (And a touch of color toning) in my photos recently and wanted to share this shot of Piper carrying one of her toys in the snow this winter. This was shot in January with my Canon T3i using my canon 50mm 1.8 lens.

The shot itself has these settings:
Canon T3i, 50mm, 1/2000 sec, f/3.5

What do you guys think?

Staring at a Black and White Page

First things first, I need your help.  I’m trying to figure out if my monitor’s brightness is too high, and it for some reason doesn’t have a “factory reset button”.  So I’m posting two pictures, the first one looks correctly exposed to me, the second looks too bright.  I move them to another monitor, and the first looks too dark.  Can you guys just leave a comment to let me know if the first photo is too dark, or the second is too light for you?  I would really appreciate the help.  And now to the normal blog post:

So, as I mentioned, there are a lot of certifications that are expected of me in a very short amount of time for my new job.  What comes with certifications?  Studying, staring at a bunch of text on a white page.  In light of the fact that I am being forced to stare at a bunch of black and white only, I’m bringing forth a black and white photo to share the love.

This is the tiger at our local zoo in black and white.  She’s really a beautiful creature, and I loved photographing her, so here’s me sharing her beauty.  I hope I did her justice.

Canon T3i – EX 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens: ISO 320, 150mm, f/5.0, 1/200 sec

And here’s the lighter version.


And while I’m at it, I decided to just try out the sunset tree shot I did earlier in black and white.  After some editing, I found that I enjoyed the clouds a lot this way, so I’d share it too.  Nothing special, just another black and white shot.

Mysterious Lake at Sunset

So, it rained all day, it was miserable, and it was cold this weekend and snapped up to warm today during the rain and it finally quit a short while before heading home.  All of this led to a very foggy ride home from work.  I cross this little bridge over a lake/river (what’s smaller than a river but isn’t a creek?) and it was billowing steam up on my way home.  So I got home, let out Piper and grabbed my camera and tripod.  It was already getting pretty dark, so I knew I’d need the tripod to take a shot at all, and I headed over to this small body of water.  I had to climb down a pretty treacherous hillock to get there, it was still wet and muddy and there wasn’t any stable footing to be had.

I finally found a place where I had semi level ground, and I started looking around me for a good shot, I wasn’t going to get the one I wanted, which was down the lake with the fog, there was a veritable mini-cliff in front of me that dropped off right into the water.  Not a good place for your camera to be (not to mention the signs warning that after heavy rain, the water would contain sewage, stay out!)  So I had maybe a 30 foot long table of ground to work with.  I finally found a spot that I felt gave me a nice frame of branches (since most everywhere else was essentially a wall of branches) worked on my angles a bit, and found this large tree that I found interesting.

What really got me about it, was that no matter how in focus I got it, the tree was obscured by the fog, the other thing that got me about it, was that the colors at night were SO VIBRANT.  You can see the sun setting just a bit in the back with the purple to blue (It was almost completely gone) as well as the slight shine of oncoming traffic up on the street, to the right you have almost an aqua color as the blue sky reflects off the green grass, and the slow moving river gives a nice mysterious reflection of the tree.  This has to be one of my favorite shots I’ve taken since I started taking up photography and I couldn’t be happier with it.

I hope you guys like it as much as I do, I will say up front, that the colors came out pretty close to this naturally, I took up the saturation to about 15 and the vibrance to 10.  Other than that, the colors are as you see them.

ISO 100, 18mm, f/8.0, 30 seconds

I also took another shot, as I came up the road to this spot, there was a nice bend that I enjoyed.  It was a bit drab out, it was before the sun set, so I decide to do a bracketed photo and do an HDR with it.  I only used a +- 1 on the bracket, so the range isn’t too high, but I get a nice beautiful histogram bell curve, so I think I covered the gambit.  I’m quite pleased with the composition of this shot, and the HDR result, I have two to show you.

The initial shot was ISO 100, 18mm, f/8.0 and 10 seconds.  The -1 was 5 seconds and the +1 was 20 seconds.  Here’s the first HDR I made.  I worked a bit with the “Painter” default in photomatix, because I liked the colors in it.

*****Edit: I’ve decided to add an extra crop in here, I had to recreate the photo from scratch, so I hope I kept it close, but I was not liking the business of the weeds on the far left, so I cropped it down a bit.  I may decide that I like the original better, but I’m adding it in as a piece of variety for everyone.*****

For the second shot, I’ve always heard that HDR can make some pretty stunning black and white photos, so I took it and did an enhanced black and white, as photomatix calls it, then brought it back into light room and did a split tone with a slight blue for the shadows and a slight auburn for the highlights with this result.

I hope you guys enjoyed my trip into the mystery forest near my house.  What are your suggestions or thoughts?