The Deck – Week 43

Oloneo just extended their current Beta version of their software to December, and I remembered that I had wanted to experiment with a single image in their software and see what lighting possibilities there were, so this week I chose a photograph that I had wanted to do some minor lighting adjustments and colour saturations to.  As Oloneo can work directly with the RAW file I actually got quite a lot of noise in the process, and I then used some noise reduction before uploading.

As a stand-alone RAW processor it is not bad at all, nowhere close to Lightroom, but then nothing is.  I like the slider controls and I would recommend it for HDR work, and if you like experimenting, it has a unique “Relighting” HDR feature, for controlled shooting conditions, check out their site if you get the chance.

I only took 86 photos this week, but for the small number I had a slightly hard time choosing one, I think it is just because of my experimenting in Oloneo that I chose this one  🙂

This was taken at Diamond (village) on the East Bank of Demerara, the cane fields are in bloom, the sun was about to go into its daily descent for sunset and some of the clouds were reflecting the sun’s glow nicely.  Oloneo stripped out the EXIF information from the file, I hope they fix that in the final version.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Diamond Fields 7505. Canon T1i, 1/40sec f/4.5 ISO200 10mm

 

 

An Exhibition

 

From the gtvibes.com website

I seriously doubt that I should classify it as an exhibition, but failing to find another name for it, that’s what it was in essence.  There are a series of events held under the patronage of the local tobacco company, the Demerara Tobacco Company, where they associate their premium brand of cigarettes, Dunhill, with various forms of art, featuring local artists.  I understand that prior to the event at which I was involved, there was one where they showcased a local painter, some of his finished work as well as one he was working on at the event itself.

The event planners had shortlisted a few up-coming local photographers, you know, the ones who aren’t famous locally as yet, and we were invited to a meeting to discuss the event.  At the end of the meeting they had decided that this would most likely be the first photographic exhibition event they were doing and since both Nikhil and I had a “portfolio” each to choose from, they would like it if we did the event.  Our portfolios were originally sent to the event planners by another photographer (he’s the Professional one) Dwayne Hackett, so a big thanks to him.

At first we were flattered, and then we were panicked, as we had to choose (together with a representative from the sponsors) and print the images by the next day.

Amazingly we managed to do it all, and even helped to mount the images, with LOTS of help from the guys who work with me at the sign company (DD Signs), without their help it would not have come off, definitely not!

The event itself was….  not too bad.  It was held in the Blue Lagoon Bar at the Hotel Tower, we had to contend with lots of music from a separate event outside, the portable AC units were not doing the job of cooling the room, and we were asked to wear formal attire (I think the last time I wore a suit before that was to my sister’s wedding).  The attendance was poor, but that might have been a good thing for two very nervous photographers, we had less chance of embarrassing ourselves  🙂

We had our cameras, but they were mostly there to identify us as “The Photographers”, and I don’t think either of us took much more than a few token photographs.

For our regular readers, we decided that since we didn’t bother to actually take photographs of our photographs on display, we’d link a few here on the blog post 🙂

Nikhil’s Set

My Set

And here’s one taken by another up-and-coming photographer on the scene, Troy Parboo, in it we are graced by the presence of Ms.  Shannon de Haas, another of the short-listed photographers.

Michael, Shannon and Nikhil

It may not have been the ideal coming out party for a photographer, but it was exposure, none-the-less  🙂

Thanks for all the encouragement and well wishes folks.

The Deck – Week 42

I almost didn’t get to sort out this last week’s photos, and I may have already used my best image for that last post  🙂

This week’s image has a little novelty, a small moon in the background.  While this week’s image may not be too special, today is special for myself and Nikhil, we were both chosen as “Featured Local Photographers” for an event being held by the Demerara Tobacco Company as part of the Dunhill Experience, so a few of our images will be on display at a semi-private event and we are expected to be there to discuss our photography with the guests.  This is a first for me, my fifteen minutes of fame (or shame, if I can’t put two words together correctly).  Wish me luck, I am not too worried about my friend Nikhil, he’s a lawyer, he’s faced worse people  🙂  I think that they will feature other photographers at later events, so we’re like the opening act  🙂

Anyway, here’s the photo of the Susamacher Methodist Church  🙂

Late Afternoon @ Better Hope

Recently I have taken to “not” reviewing my images until Friday morning, when I would choose my photograph for the 2010 Deck collection on the main site.  But this week I broke from the norm to attempt another HDR (High Dynamic Range) image.  I went with Nikhil out to get his daily photograph, and we turned down the dividing road between the villages of Better Hope and Vryheid’s Lust, I wasn’t much inspired by the things I saw, but the sky was very nice, and I thought that a wide-angle HDR would turn out nicely.  I had also just downloaded my trial version of Nik HDR Efex Pro and I wanted to try it out.

I have blogged about how I normally process my HDR images before, so this post is more about showing the results of trying the new software from Nik.  I was impressed with the similarity it has to the other Nik software I’ve tried (like the Nik SIlver Efex) and it is easy and intuitive to use.  I did not try to learn too much on this first try, just played with the basic settings to see how it stacked up against Dynamic HDR from Mediachance.

I think the resulting image speaks for itself, both Nik HDR Efex Pro and Dynamic HDR were able to help me to portray the variety of tones that I saw, in this case I was facing the slate afternoon sun, so the image has a lot more detail than a standard shot of the sky which rendered the buildings in the foreground as mostly silhouettes.

Take a look and let me know what you think  🙂  If you click on the image the site has it a bit larger.

 

 

3 Image HDR, processed using Nik HDR Efex Pro

 

The Lunatic

Do you see the humanoid looking speck at the top of that hill?

That’s my brother Andre, also known as The Lunatic.  Always willing to go the extra mile or the extra climb for that perfect photograph,  We were already on top of a hill and could see a nice view and a good distance, but Andre just had to go for a higher vantage point.

That’s my brother for you!  When he was a teenager he rode from Georgetown to Lethem, he will tell you that he actually didn’t start riding until Linden, but that’s like saying the glass if fifteen-sixteenths full and not full all the way.  Anyone who has travelled the trail in recent years knows that its rough, well that trail didn’t exist in that state when he rode it, it was rougher, with steeper hills and swamps.

He is the kind of person who will run towards the tornado to get a good shot, instead of running for cover like the rest of us,  he will hang off the edge of cliffs looking at waterfalls, and jump out of a moving vehicle on a precarious hillside just because he sees a photo opportunity, leaving the rest of us panicking in the vehicle, worrying more about him than ourselves.

When Andre makes up his mind to do something, he’ll move mountains to do it, and accomplish it with style and a smile on his face.

Why am I saying all these things about him now?  Men in our family generally don’t express that much emotion to each other, we acknowledge things like pride and love with a nod of the head and a small smile.  Andre is the second member of our family to migrate this year, Joan married and migrated a few months back, none of the family have done so before, and the feelings are bitter-sweet.  We are happy for them and wish them well in their lives, a future that is unsure as always, but sure to be filled with many things new and wondrous, yet we are sad that we are losing them, it is hard to say goodbye to someone who has been a part of your life for all of memorable time.

When this blog-post goes live, I will be at the airport saying goodbye to my brother, my friend.  Vaya con dios!  Hasta la vista!

The Deck – Week 41

This week was fairly good as photography goes, I took a lot of photographs, 311 of which I’ve downloaded, the remainder were from a wedding that I was helping my bother Andre out at.

Choosing an image for this week’s deck proved more difficult than I would have thought, but that is mainly because the image I wanted to use, I decided to relegate to another blog-post for tomorrow.  The image I eventually decided upon was chose for the unusual perspective, at least for me, I am usually more of an angular person when it comes to the direction from which I generally point the camera, Nikhil is usually the one who goes for “head-on” views.

I had the Sigma 10-20mm Wide angle lens on my camera, and I thought that the image would look good from a head-on view facing the horizon, unfortunately the shoreline and the horizon were not exactly parallel at this point, but I think I got the image to where I wanted it 🙂

This was taken along the seawall somewhere between Montrose and Le Resouvenir on the East Coast of Demerara.

 

Moored at Montrose
Moored at Montrose

 

September Monochromes

I decided on the name before I realised that I have one that was actually taken in October, but since I am unable to come up with a new creative sounding name, it remains as September Monochromes.

I want to start off with a Sepia image, it’s not necessarily a great image, but I liked the elements; seashore, people – young and not-so-young, and a fishing rod.

 

Afternoon After-school

 

The next is the first of the Black and White images, it is one that I recently entered into a DP Review challenge called Clouds, I was experimenting with a borrowed Canon 80-200mm lens and most of the images came out very low contrast, so like the Sepia one above, most of the rest I’ve rendered in monochrome.  This one came out much better than expected, I had to give it a title for the challenge, so that’s how the title came to be.

 

Sail-winds and Silhouettes
Sail-winds and Silhouettes

 

Along the seashore, you are sure to find a coconut washed ashore by the waves, this one was partway up a concrete sloped walkway on the seawall, maybe washed there but probably kicked there by some youngster.

 

Coconut
Coconut

 

The final image is the one taken in October, after our Robbery ordeal and we daringly went right back to the Kingston Promenade, I like the clouds in the sky and thought that the lighthouse silhouetted against it would look nice  🙂

They were doing some renovation work to the lighthouse, so you might notice the scaffolding on the sides of it there.