Yorba Linda, CA – Black Gold Golf Club (HDR)

Black&Gold_Talke
We had an amazing week of sunsets here in SoCal this past week. We don’t get a ton each year…but when we do, they are spectacular! Days like this I wish I lived at the beach…but we live 30 minutes inland. A storm was due in the next day and I knew we had one more sweet sunset coming our way! I took the few minute drive over the the golf course and set up and waited. I don’t play a lot of golf, but enjoy the beauty of courses. The building in the back is the clubhouse. The sun was setting and created a sweet orange glow! Enjoy the view!

Newport Beach, CA – Sunset

Balboa Sunset SW+Talke
We have been enjoying Friday nights at Balboa (Newport Beach)…we head down and rent bikes to ride along the beach paths and last nite we took the 1 mile ride to the Wedge to watch the surfers. We wanted to get back to the pier for sunset….as we were peddling back I saw the sun fading fast and pulled my bike over to grab this photo near the pier. SoCal at its best!!

London, England – Street Light (HDR) + HDR Tip!


London is amazing and taking photos there is challenging and fun! A tripod while shooting near the river Thames is difficult as the Police will shut you down. So set up, grabs your brackets quickly and move along…maybe you can catch the shot you are looking for! After being hassled on either side of the bridge, I started my walk back to get a close up of Big Ben. This shot is from walking over the Westminster Bridge. I loved the street lights stopped set my gear tip and grabbed the shot! Cheers!

Processing HDR Tip: Software these days is awesome! I have noted a big jump in sharpness of my HDR pics. Let me tell you my secrets!
1) I switched from using Photomatix to HDR Efex Pro. I feel as though HDR Efex Pro is sharper when producing tone mapped photos right out of the gate!
2) I add NIK’s Tonal Contrast filter to my HDR’s. Mask any areas that added additional noise due to the process (especially skies).
3) onOne Software’s Photo Tool 2.6: I use “Portrait Sharpen” filter on every picture! onOne rocks!! I can’t live without onOne. It is my favorite!

That is all! These three steps help sharpen my shots!! Of course start out with a sharp pic from the get go with a tripod!

Talke Photography Settings:

Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 22.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/3.8
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Orlando, Florida – Sunset Silhouette

For some reason I love just about any silhouette photo.  Especially if its sunset with a cool sky!  This was taken at the parking lot from Downtown Disney.  I was walking from the car and looked up and decided to take the photo!  The great thing about photography…you can take pics anywhere!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/125 second
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • Gear:  Hand held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

Prague, Czech Republic – Sunset on Prague Castle (HDR)

This photo makes me want to go back to Prauge right now!  I posted another sunset shot a little bit ago from a different angle. This one has a little more kick to it.  It captured more of the pink sky.  Did I get lucky this nite! My last post mentioned how I arrived at this location at sunset.   I just went back this past week and processed a few more photos (still tons to go!)…this gem was one of them.   In the background is the Prague Castle and this shot is from Old Town at the Astronomical Clock Tower.  I am looking forward to heading back to Prague again this year!  Such an amazing place!   Dekuju Praha!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 F3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 55.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4.8
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro

Prague, Czech Republic – Sunset in Old Town (HDR)

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

Here is a nice sunset shot from Prague a few weeks back.  As per my first post from Prague..it was my first visit ever to the amazing city! I had a list of spots of shots I wanted to take in my limited time in the city…Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, etc…  My plan was to get the Charles Bridge in HDR at sunset.  But as it was offseason, the bridge was under heavy construction.  Just about every shot was filled with construction covers.   As I walked over the bridge back into the city from Prague Castle…I was a bit bummed.   I took a few shots, but nothing worthy of posting.  I kept on walking and arrived into Old Town about 20 minutes later and just missed the Old Town Astronomical Clock Display…a sight for anyone visiting to see.   Ouch…was I missing everything??  One of those days.

I looked up and saw some pink in the sky…the sun was setting!   I was walking amongst the buildings and peeked through an opening to see how the view was….not good.   I remembered at the clock tower people were buying tickets…quickly without having any idea…I ran up to the ticket guy and asked if there was a viewing site at the top of the tower?  He said yes!  …Perfect!  Not sure how much it cost…$8??  I didn’t care at this time!  All I could think was how many stairs I had to run up!  Was this day fun or what?

I turned the corner and there was an elevator!!!!   Sweet!  I arrived and had to only walk 1 flight of stairs.  All around the top of the clock tower was a wonderful view of the city.  Doubly sweet!  The sun was just dipping and I sadly bumped some tourists out of the way and set up my tripod in this 4 foot small walk way.  Add my tripod fully open and me…this equals about 3 1/2 feet of aisle blocking material.  OK…maybe 4 feet!   I felt bad for all that tried to pass…they were stuck for a few minutes.  I apologize to them now…sorry!   The Prague Castle was to the right…but the light was not right for a sunset shot there…I panned and overlooked old town and the mountains.  The sky was  orange & pink and amazing!  Quite interesting colors in this shot!   A picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes a fun story!  I do not think I will ever forget this shot.  A fun one to get!  Enjoy!

Orlando, FL – Summer Sunset

Favorites 08a

NIKON D70S, Nikon 18-200 VR

Summer time is almost here!  Hope its warming up where you are!  Its already 97-98 degrees everyday here already in Texas.   Here is a nice hot summer sunset shot from Orlando to get you ready! Always a great view when it looks like the sky is on fire!   I remember looking out the window this day and running to get my camera!  Spur of the moment shots are always memorable!  This photo makes me think of that old Fixx song – Red Skies at Night!    Am I dating myself with that comment?  Have fun!!