Palm Springs, California (HDR)

Palm Springs CA HDR

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

Summer is coming to an end as school is starting all over the US soon.  So why not post a nice relaxing picture form Palm Springs (Indian Wells), CA!   This is one of a series I shot this morning back in March…including my favorite IR shot to date!  Now with this shot, I felt that a realistic HDR might be better.   I turned down the strength to make it more realistic while still having a HDR feel to it.   I only use a realistic HDR process around 5% of the time, but when its used, its very nice.  Almost looks like a standard photo….with a little touch to it!    But with HDR’s the fun part is your can make it look however you wish!  Realistic or artistic!   Is it really fall soon?  Cold weather is too realistic for me!!

Maria Sharapova – Palm Springs, CA

Sharapova 07 copy

NIKON D300, Nikon 70-200 VR, TC-14EII Teleconverter

One of our favorite sports is tennis.   Not only to play, but also to watch.   As it is the best time of year for tennis – the French Open and Wimbledon are coming up in the next few weeks.   My favorite women’s tennis player is Maria Sharapova.   She has beauty and a drive to win unlike any other player I have ever seen.   That winning attitude has made her go far in life.   She had been injured over the past year and missed alot of action.   We were lucky to see her only tournment play this year in Indian Wells.  She is now back playing this past week in Poland and I’m sure will regain her form soon!  

Our family tries to go to a match every year.   This past year we went to the Indian Wells (Palm Springs, CA) tournament in March.   Per my previous post on Rafael Nadal…this is the best tournament to visit!  Beautiful Palm Springs in March is lovely!   Not only to you get close to the players, but you can watch them practive from only a few feet away!   I had rented through a dream lens of mine – the Nikon 18-200 VR F/2.8.   This lens was amazing!  What does amazing cost??  $1900.00 just for this lens.   But what it can do blew me away.   I added a teleconverter to the lens and this added another 100mm of action to my camera.  As you can tell by the picture above…so close!  I was about 30 feet away from Sharapova to get this shot.

It was my first time shooting with such a big lens and using it in conjunction with sports.  So I had a learning process.  This shot is solid, but needs a little EV+ kick.  I will learn next time to work better with shadows.  I also took this hand held.  With so many people around it was difficult to manuever such a lens.  If you click on the link above you can see how big this lens is.  I’d estimate with my camera body, teleconverter, lens and the hood – the length of this outfit was around 18-20 inches!  Wow!  I overheard a few people around me say “that guy is getting great shots!”  Hopefully I will get this lens this year.  If not, I may rent it again for some baseball action.

We met Sharapova later the next day.  She was signing autographs and my 4 year old gave her a flower and Maria thanked her signed a poster for her and laughed  “hey isnt this poster bigger than you?”  Thank you to Maria…she was so nice to us!    Hope you think this photo is an “Ace”!

Palm Springs, CA IR (Infrared)

Palm Springs IR #2

NIKON D70S ( Life Pixel Modified Infrared), Nikon 18-70, Lightroom 2.0

I was having fun post processing my recent IR photos.  I wanted to see if I could get different color looks.  This is version 2 of the blue hue version post I did earlier.  That version is cool…this one is HOT!  LOL  A nice effect!  The cool version I post processed in CS3.  This hot one was post processed in Lightroom 2.0.  I just played with the hues and this is what I came out with.  I was reading the book by David Busch “Digital Infrared Pro Secrets”  (nice read for IR introduction) and I see all the different styles of photos included and it makes me want to improve my post processing skills.  I dont think he had any scoops on the style above, that was my own experimentation.  Still lots to learn…but it sure is fun!  Hope you enjoy!  Heading out today for a Texas Wildflower hunt…hope to have some pics in a day or so!   (Life Pixel IR Conversion Web Site)

Peter Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D70S – Converted to IR (LifePixel)
Tripod using Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ball Head
Really Right Stuff Contest Page: Water Photo Contest

Indian Wells, CA – HDR

Indian Wells HDR

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

Here is another lovely picture from our trip to Palm Springs.  Indian Wells is a small town next to Palm Springs.  This is actually the town that holds the tennis tournament we visit.  So we decided this past trip to stay at the hotel that has shuttle service to the tournament….Marriott Esmeralda….that way we do not have to worry about parking.   We were there 3 nights.  It is a nice hotel…not too expensive.  Many of the European tennis players that were at the tournament were staying there also due to the close proximity to the courts.   At nite it was fun to walk around with the tennis pros!  Some were even on our AM elevator rides, walking by us at the pool…you would look over and say to yourself…isnt that ????   And it was!  Made the trip fun!

While walking around poolside that afternoon…I wanted to capture some photos of the surrounding landscape.   I took some shots of flowers, palm trees…and this shot.   I saw the colors, afternoon sun and shadows…and luckily some puffy clouds in the distance.  I thought HDR!  This was made with 5 exposures, then processed in Photomatix….touch up in Lightroom 2.0.  My usual method.   For HDR’s you can use 3 exposures or 5.  I have found that 5 exposures gives you that more realistic shot.   This picture was taken also hand held.  It was about 85 degrees that day…I figured the sunbathers poolside didnt want to see my tripod block any sunlight! 

We really enojoy Palm Springs.  Its a great place to relax and enjoy.  You can play golf, tennis, relax and enjoy the wonderful restaurants at nite in the surrounding towns.  Visit if you can!

Palm Springs, California – IR Photo

Palm Springs IR

NIKON D70S  (modified IR by Life Pixel), Nikon 18-70, Photoshop

Here is a pretty cool shot I took this morning.  I’m sure you are wondering how it was done?  It is an IR (Infrared) Photo.   This was in my first downloads on my trial run for the IR camera I just had convereted.   So this process is all new to me!   Seemed very easy!

Many cameras can be converted to IR or if not can be used with an IR filter.   I had heard it was better to have the camera converted to IR as you get to look at the end result on your view finder.  If you use a filter…like a Hoya R72…it does not show the picture.  With this in mind I recently sent out my old Nikon D70s out to a place called LifePixel.  In about 10 days, the camera came back looking the same…but the filter was changed internally to IR.  Go to Life Pixel for more details.  You can read FAQ’s, etc… about the process.

I had studied IR photos in the past year and always wanted to give it a try!  I had read that pictures that look good are ones that have sky, trees and water.  This shot has all three…got lucky this morning.  This shot was handheld with the kit lens that came with my D70s.   I took about 20 pictures early this morning around 7:30 AM.  The sun was bright and the sky was crystal clear.  For an IR photo..sunlight or strong light is necessary or the shot will not come out properly.

I opened the orignal shot in Photoshop CS3 (any photoshop will do!) it looks redish.  I did a little processing and made the sky and water blue…took me only 3 mins and this is the final shot!   I’m impressed with the artistic look of the shot.  This is a very different style of photography.  I’m sure some may like it and and some may not.  I am one that thinks its kinda neat. 

I’d enjoy your feedback on IR photography.  As these are my first photos today…I am curious to see what kind of pictures can be taken?  Buildings, ocean shots, people?  Not sure?  I’ll post any good ones here.  With standard photogrpahy (portraits, lanndscapes, etc..), HDR and now IR…it makes taking pictures exciting!  Feel free to email any questions about my IR setup…I’ll try to help out as much as possible.  Enjoy!  I’ll post a normal shot form Palm Springs in a few days.