Santa Ana, CA – Old Orange County Courthouse (HDR)

Santa Ana Courthouse (HDR)
The past week in SoCal it was nearly cloudy and rainy everyday. Very strange. I tried to get out and HDR as much as possible. I woke up early Sunday and the clouds were just about to pass through. I took the short drive to Santa Ana to see the Old Courthouse for the first time before the sun came out. A cool building…brick is perfect for HDR. The front view is nice…but unfortunately there is this BIG flagpole right in the middle. Not good for photos…it would look like a line as the flag is outta the wide angle shot. Whats a photog to do? Grab an angle pic! I’m just getting started HDR’ing around Orange County. Still have LA and San Diego to add to the list as well! Some cool spots coming in future posts!!

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Pasadena, CA – City Hall (HDR)

Pasadena City Hall (HDR)
Pasadena is a famous city in California. It is know for the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl. My favorite spot is Old Town Pasadena.

Here is some info from the web: Old Town Pasadena spans 21 blocks downtown. It boasts upscale retail shops and a wide variety of restaurants, nightclubs, outdoor cafés, pubs, and comedy clubs. “One Colorado” features renovated historic architecture that attracted the new retail stores and restaurants. This development filled vacant buildings and was the impetus of the revitalization of Old Town on Colorado Boulevard. Paseo Colorado is an upscale shopping mall designed to be a modern urban village. An open-air mall that covers three city blocks.

It is a wonderful place to eat, shop and photograph. Here you can also find the City Hall. A beautiful building as you can see above. Look for more pics soon! Enjoy!

Peter Talke Photography Settings:

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 17.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
Aperture: f/11
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS6, HDR Efex Pro, onOne Photo Tool 2.6

Inside a Nikon Lens

Nikon Lens
If you are a photographer and wonder why some lenses are more expensive than others…its the glass. Fast glass will include better quality optics and usually more elements. This equals a higher cost. Will you get better quality photos with better lenses? Simple answer, yes. My bag contains a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. If I compare that to my Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6….not even a battle. Years ago, I started only buying fast glass. This does slow my purchasing, but the wait is worth it. Next on my list is the Nikon 85mm f/1.4.

The photo above is courtesy of “N Photo” magazine. A magazine that is for Nikon owners and it has wonderful pics and nice info for beginners to experts. You can download the iTunes app here N Photo. And check if it is still valid…you might get one issue for free!

San Clemente, CA – Pier (HDR)

San Clemente Pier HDR
While shooting our XMas card in San Clemente at the Pier, we finished early and I took a few HDR’s of the pier at sunset. I’m thinking of making a run of SoCal pier shots over the next year or so and possibly making a photo e-book? I’m a big fan of piers in HDR’s. Might make a cool coffee table book in my studio one day??

This shot above was a different angle and a “Photoshop Action” to give it the tone. I have learned to enjoy actions. If you use NIK or onOne…relatively about the same output…but there are so many more actions out there! Google “Photoshop Actions”…you can buy some cool ones and find some for free!

Peter Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 22.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
Aperture: f/22
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS6, HDR Efex Pro, Photoshop Action

Yorba Linda, CA – YLHS Basketball Court (HDR)

Yorba Linda High School
Looking for a cool subject to shoot in HDR? Look no further than your local HS Basketball court! I was up one night to HDR the court for backgrounds and took this shot up in the stands using my wide angle.

If any of you shoot in HDR…you know any location in white is always difficult. The tone mapping makes the shot dirty looking. Always work a bit extra to make the whites cleaner looking! I like to keep the HDR look…so my technique is to highlight the white areas using the magic wand (Photoshop) and lower the yellow hue (the hue comes from the gym lights) to make it look whiter and use levels to assist the dirtiness. I want to keep some grit, but just make it nicer.

Go out and support your local high school basketball teams and while there, grab a few HDRs! Go Mustangs!!!

Houston, Texas – Hilton Hotel (HDR)

Houston, TX Hilton Hotel
Not often do you get multiple HDR’s from a hotel stay! I have posted quite a few pics from this visit. If you had read my previous posts. It was an early 4:30 AM wake up to snag these HDR’s. It was me and the cleaners walking around the hotel lobby. Kudos Houston Hilton….not only a nice hotel, but also great for photographers!!

Peter Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 12.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
Aperture: f/7.1
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS6, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Albuquerque, NM – Rio Grande Botanic Garden (IR)

Albuquerque Infrared 01
Just on the outskirts of Albuquerque you can find the Rio Grande Botanic Garden. It is a wonderful place to visit while in Albuquerque. Here you can find and Aquarium, the botanical garden, and a zoo. They now call it a BioPark. It brings back memories of a movie I liked called Bio Dome! Yes, I admit to enjoying that flick! Have fun!