People of Prague #3

Over the years I have developed my technique for photographing people without looking through the viewfinder. In the 1970’s I first became aware of The Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Although it really has nothing to do with the observer effect it does help to mathematically corroborate that principle. Simply stated the act of observing something changes that thing. I knew when I pointed my camera at people their behavior would change.

I thought to not have people react to me I had to photograph them in a stealth mode. First I employed telephoto lenses but since going digital I have began shooing without looking through the viewfinder. Wasting bits and pixels is a lot different than wasting film. I set the camera to a wide angle and select automatic focus and exposure. I get a lot of crap but then I also get shots like this one which make it all worthwhile. Next a mirror-less camera because people do react to the shutter noise if they are close enough.

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People of Prague #3

People of Prague #3

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The NIK Collection from Google

A photographer friend and former student of mine and I were discussing HDR. I have started to use auto bracketing and the new HDR merge feature of Lightroom on some images. I am generally pleased with the results.There is almost no ghosting with tripod shots. I also did hand held shots with a VR lens and the ghosting correction option worked perfectly. See Yesterday’s post

My friend suggested I try the NIK filter collection plug-in from Google which I have since installed and am really amazed with the options offered by this product. I have just started to experiment with it and so far I am wowed! I cannot yet comment on all the features but compare the two images below.

The first was done with standard editing using saturation, highlight and monochrome tools on Lightroom. The second using one of the many editing pallets from the HIK Silver plugin for Lightroom.

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Standard Editing Monochrome

Standard Editing Monochrome

NIK Silver Tool

NIK Silver Tool

New Lightroom HDR Merge

I don’t normally write reviews on equipment or techniques. There are many people who do it much better than I do. I did write a series of technical How To articles for eHow a few years back but when they stopped paying me, I stopped writing them. Since then I have been more concerned with creativity than technology.

I have been disappointed on how difficult it has been to create HDR images. I don’t travel that much with a tripod which has been a prerequisite to do these sorts of images. I have tried HDR plug ins but have been disappointed with the results. GIMP made a pretty good plug in but the images were usually noisy or ghosted beyond repair. However, today I tried the new Merge Photo tool on the new Lightroom.

I took this picture, edited and posted it in less that 30 minutes without a tripod! I used auto bracketing on the Nikon 5200 with three images one f-stop apart. Easy to use with a great how to video on YouTube that takes four minutes to watch. Once again Adobe products continue to amaze. Wait why do I need Photoshop again? Oh yah its bundled with Lightroom.

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Lightroom HDR

Lightroom HDR

Sunblock

There is a short period of time after the sun rises when the sky still has brilliant color but the sun is already to bright to photograph. The challenge is to find an object to partially block the rising sun to allow you to continue shooting.

This thatched beach hut in Cancun Mexico provided a perfect sunblock and a beautiful sky.

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Sun Block

Miss Lily’s Close Up

Flowers are great from a distance but to really see them sometimes a close up view is the best thing. This was shot on a Nikon D5200 with a Nikon 300mm Lens at ISO 3200. The shutter speed was 150 and aperture was f22. The lighting was indirect and the result is you can really appreciate the texture of the bloom.

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Mis Lily's Close Up

Flower with a Beard!

Each year Iris puts on a show and each year there are more and more in the garden so we divide them up and create other Iris pockets. They are usually called bearded iris because they seem to have a face with a beard. This was taken on a Nikon D3100 with a 50mm-300mm Nikon Lens at 240mm at f11 for 1/160th of a second at an ISO of 400. You can buy a print of this one by clicking here.

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Flower with a Beard

Flower with a Beard

Perfect Flare

When shooting directly into the sun you can get an unwanted reflection off the lens elements within the lens. This is known as lens flare. Sometimes you can’t see these in the viewfinder and when shooting sunsets it is best to frequently slightly change your angle to assure you capture an image without flares. (https://imageryphoto.net/2014/01/29/pirate-sunset/)

I could have tried for days to create this flare without success. It almost looks as if a spotlight is on this couple watching the sunset.

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Perfect Flare

Perfect Flare