Orlando, FL – Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

NIKON D70S, Nikon 18-70

This shot was taken in my front yard when we lived in Orlando a few years ago.  One of my favorite butterfly shots to date.  Monarch’s are the best known butterflies in North America.  Even in your yard you can find great pics.  I saw this little guy fluttering around outside and grabbed my camera.  Luckily he wasn’t shy!   Most butterflies will fly away as you get near.  He looks like a grizzled veteran, so maybe he was ok with posing due to previous experience?  Butterflies are great subjects if you can get them in the right spot.  It just take patience.    I didnt have my macro lens back then, so I used the standard Nikon kit lens for this shot.  Enjoy!

London, England

London, England

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, Photoshop

Here is a classic photo from London.  I thought a little split color/black&white would work nicely.  It is one the the most viewed pictures on my standard website Talke Photography.  Simple and easy to do!   I just filled out on my facebook my top 5 favortie cities I have visited yesterday.  They were 1. Paris  2. London 3. New York City  4. Vienna (Austria) 5. Tokyo.   London is wonderful!   So much to do and see!  I’ll be there in a few weeks and will do my first attempts at HDR and IR shots in London!   I am eager to do some HDR’s of Big Ben.  I’ve got a plan to try one at sunset across the river with the bridge and Parilment building included.  Hope to post it here in a few weeks.  IR shots of London will be interesting.  Maybe a nice shot of the Tower Bridge with clouds in the background?  I’ll go into more detail about London soon.   Cheers!

Laguna Beach, CA – HDR

laguna Beach, CA  - HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

Here is a nice shot from one of my favorite places to visit – Laguna Beach!   It is so beautiful!  Whats funny is that we went a few months ago and since I had not traveled this past month, I was going through my older pics last nite and saw that I had yet to process my HDR’s from Laguna!   This was my first one processed and I will get to the rest later tonite.  If you read my last post on Laguna – this shot is from the Montage Spa and Resort.  If you are in Orange County make sure you stop by to visit.  Walk the grounds and the beach in the back of the hotel…the views are amazing!!!!    Since Laguna is beachside, it can get chilly at nite…even in the summer.   This location offers some wonderful views of the sunset!!   The Montage is right on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).   Laguna is an artsy town, so you will find many shops that have paintings and hand crafted items.    Walking downtown is a fun experience  and the main beach has a famous basketball court that overlooks the ocean.

I took this shot hand held while walking around with 5 exposures and post processed in Photomatix and some touchup in Photoshop.  If you look over the bushes inthe middle of the picture you can see a hole in cliff.  Just beyond that area there is a beach to walk on.  Probably the most photographed family portrait area in SoCal!   I think when we were there this day I saw about 5 families gettting their portraits done.   Maybe I will be one of those photographers in the future??   Let me know and I will meet you there!   Enjoy!

Orlando, FL – Discovery Cove

Orlando - Discovery Cove

NIKON D70S, Nikon 18-200 VR

When we lived in Orlando a few years back our family came into town and wanted to visit Discovery Cove.  I must admit I really never knew anything about it.  I logged onto the web site DiscoveryCove.com and read up on it.  Looked great!  If you are planning to take a vacation to Orlando and love the theme parks – this one is wonderful!  We went in mid summer (which is best) – bring your swimsuit!  One of the most amazing things to do here is to swim with the dolphins.  I had never done this before and was not sure what to expect.  You walk into the dolphin pool (6 people at a time) with a trainer and they teach you about dolphins and one comes up to you and you get to touch and see one up close.  Then after 30 minutes – each person takes a turn and you get to ride a dolphin!  Hold on tight to his dorsal fin and he gives you a ride for about 40 yards!   Unreal!!!   They have photographers and videographers there to document it all and you can purchase the pics/vids afterwards.  FUN!  (If I can recall its best to make a reservation for your visit – check the site for rates)

But that is not all…not only is the park not too full (they limit the park to only 1000 people per day) – its easy to grab food anytime and its delicious!  Then you can hit various other parts of the park;  the sting ray pool – you walk in waste deep into the pool with the rays swimming around your feet (very sureal), Explorer’s Aviary (some beautiful birds), tropical reef (grab a snorkel and swim with tons of fish all around), Wind-Away River (float through a winding river and enjoy the scenery) and Serenity Pool (a freshwater pool with a little beach).

It was a great experience that I will never forget!  I’ll post a few pics from here again in the future.  We arrived at 9 Am and left around 4 PM – a perfect day!  Hope you have a chance to visit one day!

San Francisco, CA – Broadway Pier (Infrared)

SF Broadway Pier IR

NIKON D70S (Modified IR by LifePixel), Nikon 18-70, Color Efex Pro 3.0

Now back to the photos!  I am trying all kinds of stuff with IR photography.  Just like standard photos, IR offers an infinite amount of post processing options. ..but only a select few look ok.  With this shot I worked up my standard settings for IR and liked the picture alot.  The normal IR version is also on my website under the IR section – click here to see it Talke Photography.   But sometimes I like to try different filters.  I can do that thanks to Color Efex Pro 3.0!  The whole bunch of NIK Software products are my favs!   I use them all!   I found this filter gave the shot a very different feel.   The Transamerica building with the odd sky in the background is my fav part!   Then the shimmer of light on the bay – post processing can be lots of fun!    I am heading to London, Brussels, Munich and Paris soon – so it will be my first IR shots in Europe!  Cant wait!   If you are thinking about IR photography as an option – go for it!  Its wonderful!!!!   The LifePixel site link is noted above!   Have fun!

HDR Tutorial Update

Thanks so much to everyone visitng my blog!  It is growing fast!!!   Just about 3 months old and nearly 15K hits!  I appreciate all of your comments and feedback!   As I have noted in the past posts – HDR seems to be the most searched item on this blog and even my standard website.   As thanks I will be posting an HDR tutorial soon (my methods and thoughts)!  I have begun working on it and will post it here on my blog and also will have copy to email as a PDF.   If anyone wants an early copy (be my guinea pig) on how it looks – please send me an email at ptalke@talkephotography.com.   I would like some feedback before I post it.  I hope to have a prelimary copy ready by next Monday.   Post date for the tutorial on this blog is estimated June 1st!

The second most searched subject is IR Photography!  Check back in a few months…I will post an IR Tutorial as well!   Maybe I should write a guide book for HDR and IR???  Hmmm…food for thought!  Have fun!

iPhoneHDR.com

iPhone 02iPhone + High Dynamic Range = iPhoneHDR    Do you own an iPhone/iPod Touch and want some free high quality backgrounds/wallpapers?  Talke Photography has submitted 13  HDR photos for use on iPhoneHDR.com!  You can download any of my submitted HDR’s right now!  File size is only 480×320 (small enough not to take up much space on your iPhone/iPod Touch).   iPhoneHDR offers over 5 catagories to choose from and over 100+ different wallpapers!   All wallpapers are completely free and for personal use only.  

It is a great pleasure to work with iPhoneHDR!  Check out their web site by clicking here  iPhoneHDR.com  On the left you can see how my HDR of Times Square looks as a wallpaper.  To find my HDR’s – on the home page click on the “Submitted” header up top!  Look for the Talke Photography photos.   Open up the photo – right click – and save the file on to your computer.  Its that easy!  Check back for frequent content updates on iPhone HDR!   I may submit more HDR’s in the future! 

You can also follow iPhoneHDR on Twitter!   And dont forget Talke Photography is also on Facebook and Twitter (Links are to the right on the home page to join)!    Enjoy!

Austin, Texas – Field of Dreams – HDR

Baseball filed - Rainbow

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

This picture was taken last nite in my local town. A matter of perfect timing.  We had some storms come through Austin the last day or so and the sky was looking good for a late evening shot.  I had planned earlier in the day to hopefully try an HDR of the baseball field.  I wanted to see how it would turn out.  We first went to get yogurt and after finishing drove back to the ball field.  As we pulled up – we looked up and saw the  rainbow!  What timing!  Funny that a few days ago when it was raining and the sun came out – I thought to myself – how would an HDR of a rainbow look?   Now I had my chance! 

I brought my wide angle lens as I wanted to get more of the field in the shot and took a bunch of pics.  This was 5 exposures on a tripod with a cable release.  Post processed in Photomatix.   I like how the rainbow is cut off from the end of the clouds.  If we had some corn fields in the background – it would be a field of dreams.  Build it and they will come!

Paris, France – Eiffel Tower

La Eiffel Tower

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Here is a close up photo of the Eiffel Tower.   If you have been reading my blog – it is one of my most favortie sights to see in this world!  I’d say it is also one of the most photographed sights in the world as well.   I’ve walked around the tower many times looking for different angles and views.   Sometimes a close up shot works.   What is interesting about this picture is the names on the side of the tower.  I had no idea they were they until I processed this shot!    There are seventy-two names under the first balcony on each side of the tower.  They are scientists, engineers and other notable people that helped Gustave Eiffel with the tower. 

I touched up this shot with a filter from Color Efex Pro 3.0 to give it the brownish hue.  I’ll be back in Paris soon!  I am looking forward to eating my traditional crepe filled with whipped creme and chocolate right next to the tower at this cute little stand by the carousel across the street.  Enjoy!

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, Color Efex Pro 3.0

It was my first visit to Berlin last summer.  I had only a Sunday late afternoon to see the sights.  I must say it is one of Germnay’s most beautiful cities!   When I arrived via taxi from hauptbahnhof (train station) I saw lots of trailers down one street.  When I checked in they told me that Tom Cruise was filming the movie Valkyrie.  A movie based upon actual events that was about a plot to assassinate Hitler during the height of WWII.  It is out on DVD now…I hope to see it soon.   Unfortunately, I didnt get to see Tom cruising the streets.

I took a hop-on-hop-off tour bus and enjoed the sightseeing from the top of the bus.  Some sights to see in Berlin are;   the Berlin Wall (some sections are still standing), Checkpoint Charlie (famous former border crossing  point), Fernsehturm TV Tower, Alexanderplatz, Berliner Dom and much more!    The photo above is of the Protestant Cathedral.  I added a little filter effect in Color Efex Pro 3.0 to give it a cool feel.   I walked around the shops and restaurants around Checkpoint Charlie and had a wonderful stay.  The people were very friendly and there were many tourists. 

I hope to get back to Berlin again one day.  Wunderbar!!! (wonderful in German)  Its not just another brick in the wall!