Austin, Texas – Thunderdome (HDR)

Austin, Texas HDR
From Austin, TX the State Capitol Building is one of the best locations to shoot HDR downtown. I have posted quite a few from here….but this one I gave a little extra punch thanks to the new Plugin call “Analog Efex Pro” from Nik. If you don’t have it…check it out….very cool filters!!! Enjoy!

San Francisco, CA – City Hall (HDR)

SF City Hall Interior HDR  Talke
While in SF I wanted to grab a photo exterior photos of the City Hall. While waiting for the sun to set I took a stroll inside to check out its interior. Wow! Very nice for HDR’ing! They were prepping for a big party and had it all lit up and set for a wonderful evening for a lucky group of people!

Vanderpool, TX – Lost Maples State Park (HDR)


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!!!

The past weekend we took the drive to Lost Maples. It is famous for great fall color in Texas. I had seen the pictures and it looked amazing. From Austin it is about a 3 hour drive…whew! Some interesting looking country on the way. For the last 1 hour to 45 minutes drive near the park…no cell service. You are deep into the boonies! The park charges $6 for admittance. A quick 3 minute drive from the entrance and you are at the parking lot near the river trail. I brought my std DSLR camera and IR camera. Ready for some color!!

In our area of Austin, we do get some color change, but it is kinda dull. To see bright reds and yellows…would be nice! Down the trial about 1/4 mile I saw some super color! Sweet! I grabbed some shots and kept walking…more trees and more pics! I kept walking and noticed the river was barely there (we have had small amounts of rain for months in Texas). Then after a 1/4 mile trail walk…it seemed the color stopped. We walked another 1/2 mile…nothing. Hmmm. We decided to head back and grab more shots of the tress we had seen. I was not too impressed with Lost Maples…at least this season. The lack of rain could possibly have had a big effect on the fall colors. I was hoping for some river reflection shots, but no luck. I did happen to take a few HDR’s and IR shots. So it was worth the visit. I’d like to head back next year…as long as we get some rain…hopefully!

For the photographers out there…this shot had no saturation added to the red/yellow leaves! It was pretty impressive color!!!!!

Talke Photography Settings:

Lens: Nikon 12-14 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 CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Coloro Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Laguna Beach, CA – Infrared


From on my favorite locations in the US…Laguna Beach, CA. Picturesque coastline, great restaurants and wonderful art galleries! At Main Beach you can find a spots to enjoy the sun on the beach or play a game of volleyball or basketball on the beach as well. This shot was taken while walking down the beach from the Montage Spa & Resort…the best spot in Laguna with amazing views out the back of the hotel! I processed the glow effect with the new onOne’s Photo Suite 6…Perfect Effects 3!

Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
Infrared Conversion: D70S modified by LifePixel
Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 48.0mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/60 sec
Aperture: f/16
Gear: Hand Held
Post Process: Adobe CS5, onOne Software Perfect Effects 3, Silver Efex Pro 2

Taos, New Mexico – Pixel Bender Infrared

From the plains of Taos, New Mexico…here is an Infrared photo with the Pixel Bender effect put on it!  Hope you can try this cool free plug-in from Adobe!  CS5 is needed.  Not sure if you can use CS4.  You may have to be a techie to figure that one out.  It creates this neat painterly look.  Can’t beat a free plug in!!!   Check it out here….Pixel Bender

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 35.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/180 sec
  • Aperture:  f/13
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Silver Efex Pro, onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6, Viveza, Pixel Bender

San Antonio, Texas – Sunset Station (HDR)

During my visit to San Antonio to attend Imaging USA…I mentioned to Chris that we stop by Sunset Station.  It is just minutes from downtown.  We arrived early so we could not get into the restaurant to shoot the famous stair shot.  Next time.  I had seen that they have this old train out front and the sun was just coming out from the clouds, so I set my tripod low and grabbed this angle.  I thought a little texture, gritty noise and  a hue change might suit the photo.  It was the only photo I took of the train.  Not bad. I have some other ideas for this location next visit!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 F/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 13.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 7 exposures (+3 to -3)
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6, Nik Silver Efex Pro, Textures

 

NIK HDR Efex Pro – settings

I have had quite a few people ask what settings I am using in NIK’s HDR Efex Pro.   You can use whatever works for you…my choice fav filter is

03 Realistic (Strong)

This filter choice makes the photo a little dark, so it needs brightening. I then play with the “Whites” slider and “Exposure”.

I then continue with more post processing to finalize the photo. I’ll add a new HDR Tutorial for HDR Efex Pro in the next few weeks and will add it here. Have fun!

NIK HDR Efex Pro vs. Photomatix 4.0 (Round 3 of 3)

NIK HDR Efex Pro version

Photomatix 4.0 version

OK, after 2 rounds NIK is up 2-0.  This is the last and final round.  I found a tough sky/halo shot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.    Please note, again I used basically the same steps for each processed shot.   Yes, the Photomatix shot can be improved, but I wanted to compare apples to apples.

NIK is amazing!  It kinda makes Photomatix looks like a piece of old junk.   Check out the overall light/shadow difference….

a) NIK handled the sky nicely…while Photomatix looks messy!

b) The Eiffel Tower’s upper section on the NIK looks nice…the Photomatix struggles to even the light flow and is dark and lifeless.

c) The light on the main big tree in the NIK version is fluid and eye pleasing…while Photomatix struggles with the top section light in that tree

d) The green tones above are softer in NIK.  Photomatix must always be desaturated.

Of course NIK is not perfect. I see a slight halo on the lower left side of the tower.  Any photo can be broken down in many many pcs…but in a quick overall visual decision….it is an easy victory for NIK.  Looks like my Photomatix will be collecting dust until they improve it.   This is great news for us HDR artists!  Competition fuels quality and it can only help us!

I have been asked what settings I use for my NIK HDR Efex Pro….I’ll go into that next week!  Let me get some more play with the software and then I can give you some firm scoops!  Have fun!