Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jose at Work

I got a job photographing the folks at my day job, selling furniture. Today I shot the warehouse crew and wanted to do something unique. Jose, the warehouse manager, is the master of all he surveys. I wanted to show how he manages so much inventory in two warehouses. I love racks stacked 30 feet to the ceiling filled with furniture. So we posed Jose in between the racks. While he was posing, he was taking calls on his cell phone, so I decided to leave it in the photo.

I lit the scene with three speedlights, a la the Strobist. I recently purchsed two Lumipro LP160s. I used them along with my Canon 580 EX II. For this shot, I used my Canon 5D MK II set at 5.6, ISO 100 and shutter at 1/125. The 580 EX II was on the camera with a Coco Flash ring flash adaptor as a fill. One LP160 is on the camera left for the primary light with a shoot through umbrella. I used the handy slave setting. One more LP160 is behind the subject shooting up to light the racks. The feet of the stand were edited out in photoshop.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Windmills - HDR or Photoshop

I guess I have become somewhat of a Photomatix addict lately. It is easy to shoot the three shots at +/- 2 stops and combine them. Usually you get a great result. For my windmill shots, there were a few problems with this formula. 1) the windmills were moving, so I got ghosting for the different positions of the blades in the three shots when they were combined. 2) The shots were taken in pretty intense afternoon sun so shadows were very deep. I tried this shot both ways with Photomatix and then just with editing in Photoshop. I prefer the photoshop image above. I pulled in the whites and blacks and increased the contrast. I masked out the barn so it didn't get so black. Then I painted back in the trailer to increase the red. Next I boosted the taturation in the whole image and brightened up the car and tractor. Below is the Photomatix image and the bottom is the original shot at ISO 800, focal length 90MM, f/5.6 1/1000 sec. with my Cannon 5D Mark II using my 70-200MM, f2.8 lens.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gas Station Route 66

We found this loverly abandoned gas station along old Route 66 in Santa Rosa, NM. The sky was beautiful with clouds. I shot three exposures at ISO 250 f/9.0 and a focal length of 24mm on my Canon 24-105 f4 lens. The first was at 1/320 sec, second at 1/1250 and third at 1/80. I set the camera on continuous shoot for he three shots and hand held it. I combined the three shots to form an HDR image using Promatix. In Photoshop, I increased the contrast using a levels adjustment. I then boosted the saturation a little using the Hue/Saturation adjustment. The original is below.

You can see more shots from my road trip at


This photo was taken under the stairs in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. It looks up at their very nice spiral staircase. The original color version of this did not have the high contrast. There were lots of reflections under the stairs. You can still see them in the middle set of stairs. I increased the black and the contrast to reduce the reflections and then finally painted in black using the clone stamp to get rid of the rest. I like the lines and the black white contrast.

This was taken with my 5D Mark II and no flash. ISO was boosted to 2000 because of the low light but it did not hurt the resolution in my opinion. i used my zoom lens at 45 mm, 1/40 sec and aperture at f/9.0. Original shot is below.