Toronto, Canada – Union Station HDR

Toronto, Canada - Union Station HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

I have been traveling alot recently and just got back froma trip to the North East.  I visited one great little city…Toronto, Canada.  I didn’t have much time to take tons of photos…just took a few I was looking for.  This shot was my main goal.  I have been enjoying HDR shots of train stations.  This is Union Station located near the Rogers Centre and the CN Tower.   This location is where Union Station and the Metro Convention Center (South Building) meet.  There is a walkway that opens into this great view! 

I set my tripod and dodged the people with my cable release in hand and took 5 exposures.   The angle and color were perfect for an HDR.  Added to it… the light at the end of the tunnel effect…lucky timing!  The remainder of the staion is just ok, maybe at night it may be better?  I’ll post some details on Toronto with another photo tomorrow.   Until then!


Paris, France – Eiffel Tower B&W

Eiffel Tower B&W

NIKON D300, Nikon12-24, Photoshop

A solid Black & White photo is always enjoyable!  For some reason, black & white photos have a certain feeling, maybe sometimes more than a color photo due to the fact that you are viewing it in only two colors…so it makes you focus on the photo itself.   How many times have I seen a B&W photo and said… that it is cool…so simple…I like it!  Such a style can be inspiring.

This was an easy one to accomplish.  I visit the Eiffel Tower often and am always looking for something different.   Using a wide anlge lens and laying down on the ground at the base of the tower…gives this great angle!   Add in a black an white stamp filter in Photoshop and this is the outcome.  Simple and to the point.  

I never shoot in black in white as it creates limits.  Software can easily convert in numerous black and white styles.  Nik Software Silver Efex Pro is one great piece of black and white product!   I’d like to do more b&w…maybe I will have a swing this way for a bit in the future.  That is the fun of photography…so many styles and so little time!  Enjoy!

Baseball – New York Yankees

Baseball - Hideki Matsui

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

It is almost August and in the US this means the playoff races begin in Major League Baseball.   These days sports are a business, so if your team has the money, you can win championships.  In the American League its always the Yankees and Red Sox battling it out.   I do enjoy the matchups!   Two teams filled with great rosters!  Occassionaly a cinderella story team like the Tampa Rays will somehow make it in….like last year.

I am a Pittsburgh Pirates fan…we have had 17 staright seasons of losing baseball.  Maybe one day while I am alive my Bucs will be that Cinderella team??   Doubtful!  But I can have hope!  Most of my family and friends are Yankee fans…so I will give them their due…they have another solid team this year.  So lets see how October plays out in 2009?? 

This photo is from Spring Training in Florida this past year.  It was just a standard photo and I added a motion blur in Photoshop (very easy to do) around Hikedi Matsui to give his running out of the batters box a little flair. Another photo tomorrow…1-2-3 strikes I’m out!

Milan, Italy – The Galleria

Milan, Italky - Galleria

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

I just had some pizza and it brought back a memory of my favorate pizza in the world!  Any pizza from Italy!   LOL  I will not make it to Italy this year and usually get to Milan once a year.   From my last post Milan is not the most beautiful city in Italy…but it is known for the best shopping at the Galleria!   A bit expensive for my taste…but a nice place to visit if you are ever in Milan. 

Here is a shot I took hand held from about 2 years ago.  I gave it the sepia look to make that old world feel.  Look at all those people shopping!  Other than the Duomo and the Galleria…oh yes, the painting “The Last Supper”…move on to the next city…Pisa and/or Florence are close!   Not sure if you can find a Pizza Hut in Italy!  Enjoy!

San Francsico, CA – Ferry Building

San Franciscio, CA - Ferry Bldg at nite

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Here is a photo of the Ferry Building at nite in San Francisco, CA.    I was eager to try a nite shot here and walked around for while trying to find the right angle this one evening.   I walked down a  quiet pier and set my tripod and cable release up for this long exposure.  I tried a few settings and this one worked the best!   The exposure was 10 seconds at f/11.   Such long exposures add additonal light to the photo and also can create nice silky water!    I do prefer taking blue hour photos…if I can recall this shot was taken around 10 PM.    Night shots can be tricky….just keep trying different settings and see what works best!   Don’t forget…with a DSLR…bring your tripod for after dark photos!   Enjoy your nite!

London, England – Trafalgar Square (HDR)

London, England - Lion HDR

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

Here is an HDR photo taken at Trafalgar Square early one morning a few weeks back.   It was quiet at the square and I wanted to somehow fit Big Ben into the picture.  It such a nice view from Trafalgar to look down the street and see such an icon.  I took this with my standard tripod, cable release and 5 exposures.   The lens did a great job creating a bit of bokeh (background blur) with the buildings.  

I saw a few more HDR books at my local Barnes & Noble today.   This great style of photography is growing indeed!!   One was $40.00 (HDR Photography Photo Workshop – Pete Carr).  Way too much inside and looked kinda average.  To me when I get a book on photography, I want and easy technical read and some great photos!   The photos I see from such a book should inspire….no luck here!   In my HDR Tutorial I mention my favorite book that got me started with HDR.   Enjoy!

Photomatix 3.2 Update – Now available!

LogoPhotomatix  For those of you using HDRSoft’s Photomatix ….you can now log onto their website and download the new updated version of Photomatix 3.2.   Some new changes are  1. New Smoothing Algorithm  2. New Highlight and Shadow Smoothness behavior   3. New Preview size options  4. Multi Processor Utilization  5. Improved alignment      Also looks visually updated.  Go get your update today if you are into HDR processing!    Dont forget the 15% discount for anyone buying Photomatix…use code “Places2Explore”.   Happy HDR’ing!