Salisbury, England – Stonehenge (HDR)

Stonehenge_Talke
I will admit to being a big fan of the show Ancient Aliens. How these ancient cultures built these amazing structures years ago…make me wonder. Stonehenge was on my bucket list and I had to visit it. After seeing it…nothing special. I imagine years ago it was cool to visit when you could walk amongst the rocks. Now they have it roped off and you walk around in a circle to view the structure. Not much excitement. Maybe the Flintstones built it?

This B&W is thanks to my new fav B&W conversion tool…Perfect B&W by onOne Software. NIK has faded away! Download a trail if you want to try it…it is awesome!!!

London, England – Road to Buckingham Palace (HDR)


We are in the middle of the Olympics from London and I wanted to get up one London HDR before the games are over. Not sure if you are a fan of the Olympics….but I love them! Go USA!! I DVR all day and catch up at nite on the games. I have watched some fun competitions – trampoline, judo, fencing, equestrian, handball, field hockey, water polo, archery, and table tennis. Stuff I never get to see! London is a great city!! Just expensive for us from the US. I checked today $1 = 0.63 British pounds. Not so great!!

I give kudos to all these athletes….they are amazing! Water Polo impresses me the most…how do they stay afloat so long? Its like football in the water…a bit brutal!! Enjoy the last few days of London 2012!

Salisbury, England – Stonehenge (HDR)


From the mystical Salisbury, England you can find Stonehenge. I took a bus tour this day from downtown London and it was pretty fun. Unfortunately, you only get (if I recall correctly) about 30-45 minutes at Stonehenge and the bus ride was a few hours long (one way). My time was spent circling the monument looking for the cool pics…while dodging tourists. Is Stonehenge worth the trip? Yes, to mark it off the list. But just like the bus driver stated as we approached and you could see Stonehenge on the horizon…”There you can see the bunch of rocks”. LOL I guess if you drive there every day…that is what you see. Cheers!

London, England – Street Light (HDR) + HDR Tip!


London is amazing and taking photos there is challenging and fun! A tripod while shooting near the river Thames is difficult as the Police will shut you down. So set up, grabs your brackets quickly and move along…maybe you can catch the shot you are looking for! After being hassled on either side of the bridge, I started my walk back to get a close up of Big Ben. This shot is from walking over the Westminster Bridge. I loved the street lights stopped set my gear tip and grabbed the shot! Cheers!

Processing HDR Tip: Software these days is awesome! I have noted a big jump in sharpness of my HDR pics. Let me tell you my secrets!
1) I switched from using Photomatix to HDR Efex Pro. I feel as though HDR Efex Pro is sharper when producing tone mapped photos right out of the gate!
2) I add NIK’s Tonal Contrast filter to my HDR’s. Mask any areas that added additional noise due to the process (especially skies).
3) onOne Software’s Photo Tool 2.6: I use “Portrait Sharpen” filter on every picture! onOne rocks!! I can’t live without onOne. It is my favorite!

That is all! These three steps help sharpen my shots!! Of course start out with a sharp pic from the get go with a tripod!

Talke Photography Settings:

Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 22.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/3.8
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

London Calling in HDR


London rules! Who can resist a photo of Big Ben? Across the street from Big Ben you can fight the people traffic and look up and get this Underground sign/Big Ben combo shot. A little selective color and it becomes fun and different? Cheers! Have a great weekend!