Vienna, Austria – City Hall

From one of my favorite little cities in the world…Vienna, Austria…here is a photo of the City Hall (Rathaus) from a distance.  I have not been here in years and I miss it much.  The Ringstrasse (city loop) is one great place to catch the local trains around the city.  So many great spots to see and enjoy!  At certain times of the year…right in front of the Rathaus you can find a market or shops!  Gotta love city life!

Some info from the web:  The Rathaus is a building in Vienna which serves as the seat both of the mayor and city council of the city of Vienna. The town hall also serves, in personal union, as Governor and Assembly (Landtag) of the State of Vienna, a state with the Austrian federal system. he Rathaus was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt in the Gothic style, and built between 1872 and 1883. On the top of the tower is the Rathausmann, one of the symbols of Vienna. Facing the Rathaus is a large park, the Rathauspark. The Rathaus also accommodates the historic ‘Wiener Rathauskeller’ restaurant. The traditional restaurant consists of several baroque halls, offering small traditional Viennese delicacies to grand gala buffets. Recently finished renovations (2000) include the re-opening of the neo-baroque Salon Ziehrer and the redesigned Lanner-Lehar Hall with wall and ceiling murals by GermanTrompe-l’œil artist Rainer Maria Latzke.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 170.0 mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Exposure:  1/1640
  • Aperture:  f/6.3
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

Johnson City, Texas – Bluebonnets

It is spring in Texas…this means wildflower season!  At this time of year hopefully you can find bluebonnets all over.  Unfortunately, this year in Austin they are hard to find!  Sometimes when we do not get enough rain..or this year it may have been too cold near spring..it can affect the amount of flowers.  We can see small patches near our house here and there…but not enough to take the traditional family shot with.  On Saturday we decided to take a drive to Fredericksburg, then up to the Willow City Loop.  The Willow City Loop is a 13 mile scenic drive through the hill country canyon area that is a hot spot to see wildflowers.  We made the drive (my first time) and saw only a few small patches…so sad!    During our drive up through Johnson City…we did see our biggest patch yet and on the drive back…we stopped and took a few pics!  They are lovely flowers and this shot was done up with the Pixel Bender plug-in for CS5.  Its free and I love using it on flowers and landscape…this is the oilpaint option.  Enjoy spring wherever you may be…hope some flowers are popping up!!

Rome, Italy – Trevi Fountain (HDR)

Here is the real Trevi Fountain in the amazing Rome, Italy!  A super Place 2 Explore!!   Rome is truly stunning!  If you have already or  plan to visit…one week in just Rome is perfect!  So many things to see and the food is unreal!  I was in a few years back and wanted to see the Trevi Fountain.  I took a cab from my hotel just to get here.  In Rome…everything seems to be about a 10 minute taxi ride.   It was a Sunday afternoon…this means lots of people hanging out.  I walked up and just grabbed a few shots.  This was taken before my HDR days…converted with a single raw.

You can see the grand scale of the fountain compared to the one in Vegas.  Such a beautiful place!  I’d like to plan a vacation here in a few years.  Then take a train up to Florence & Venice.  Italy is one stunning country!!  Molto Bello!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 18.0 mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Exposure:  1/100 second – Single RAW HDR (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/16.0
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

Las Vegas, Nevada – Trevi Fountain (HDR)

I wish I had a week in Las Vegas just to take photos.  I bet you can spend a day in each hotel and have tons of sweet HDR’s!  While walking down the strip you pass by Caesars Palace.  Here you can find a smaller replica of Trevi Fountain.   It is not exact, but pretty cool.  Now brings up a battle of fountains in HDR!  Of course the original can’t be beat.  You will notice some differences…I have an HDR of the real Trevi Fountain coming on tomorrows post…a little different shot, but the same processing!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 29.0 mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Exposure:  1/60 second – Single RAW HDR (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/14
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6, 2 textures

Austin, Texas – Introducing Super Color Infrared by LifePixel!!

I just received my new Nikon D70s (bought on Ebay used)…then had it converted with the  LifePixel “Super Color”  filter.  My current Nikon D70S is the “Enhanced Color” version.  Now I have two IR cameras!  The shot above was my first shot ever with the new filter.  It surely has some super color!!   Below is the comparison of the Enhanced Color version….

Both were with the Nikon D70S, Nikon 12-24 lens, f/11, S 1/250 second.   I processed the Enhanced version as I would normally see it.  After I had my version complete…I tried to play with the Hue/Saturation to see if I could match the “Super Color” version.   I did get somewhat close…but it lacked in the pop or extra kick of color.  So it just looked flat.  I have only a very small amount of experience with this new Super Color…so I will get more details up soon.  I have seen other color styles that will look cool.  I’ll get a few more shots in this weekend.  As always….a learning curve is needed!  I guess now I will have to pack and carry 3 cameras…ouch!!  =))

SXSW Portrait Session w/Doa

Per my previous post…I thought about it after a few comments and decided to keep Places 2 Explore as is!  I have now started the Talke Photography Blog. Here you will find posts on Portraits – Events – Sports.  These type of photos will be found there!  Bookmark it now!  I still have to update the look and feel on the new blog.   Places 2 Explore will now be for landscape shots and professional sporting events after today!   Enjoy!!

Recently during SXSW I met up with my good friends Steve Wampler and Alex Suarez for a mini photowalk model shoot with the amazing Doa!  Doa was awesome!!!  We had a great time at lunch this day and walked around to various locations and grabbed many shots while fighting the crowds.  I was shooting standard pics and also some in Infrared.  I’ll post those IR portraits one day soon….very cool!!

In my desire to become a portrait photographer…shoots like this are such a great experience.  I just need more experience working with the subjects.   That will come in time.  So I think about my future plans and over the last few years I have added a few shooting styles to my abilities..HDR, IR, Texturing, etc…   To really excel in portraiture you need to stand out.  Most everyone can take a portrait shot that is decent.  But you need that extra kick to have people want you to photograph them.  So I am working on incorporating all my past skills into such pics.

The above shot is just basic Photoshop and layers.  Took about 10 minutes!  A cool and different look!   To use the old saying  …why be ordinary? …be extraordinary!!   Have fun!  The original shot is below…

NEWS: Name Change for Places 2 Explore?

I have been thinking the past few days of changing the blog title from “Places 2 Explore” to “Talke Photography”.   If you are anyone you know is a photographer…a brand name is important.  My regular web site is all set.  I just need to think about this blog.  It is just an idea…and I know change is always tough at first.  The future business name will be all about Talke Photography…so it may be best.   I’d love have your feedback.   Please post in the comments below.

Oh yeah…and if you ever took a guess at pro-nouncing my last name…most everyone will say “Talk – e” …the proper way is “Tal-Key” …Tal as in talcum Power.  =)))  Thanks!  Pete