Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gates of Cordoba

Gates of Cordoba, late afternoon

This one was a bit of a project. I tried to get this shot with a single exposure the 1st time we visited Cordoba and was unhappy with the result because the contrast was just too great for a single exposure. So when we went back to Cordoba several years later I knew what I wanted to do. I revisited this spot and shot several bracketed sequences for HDR.

7 shot HDR sequence processed with Unified Color’s 32 Float & Photoshop/Lightroom. I also used Tony Kuyper’s techniques for selectively adjusting tone and color, especially in the foreground (originally in deep shadow). This one pleases me.

Av de la Constitucion, Seville

evening tram, Ave. de la Constitucion, Seville.

My 15 minutes: B&H Photo published this photo of mine on their Facebook page.

I used a 2-stop neutral density filter to slow the exposure way down and blur the tram. Exposed for 2.5 seconds at F25.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge sunset

Brooklyn Bridge twilight

This is a favorite image reworked to the best of my current abilities (still learning). 7 shot bracketed sequence of exposures, merged to HDR with Photoshop CS5, tone mapped with Unified Color’s 32 Float, various adjustments in Photoshop and Lightroom. I used Tony Kuyper’s Triple Play and Luminosity Painting. I’ve worked really hard on this and it’s finally looking like something I can be pleased with.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Alhambra dawn

Alhambra golden dawn_HDR2

This is a 7-shot bracketed HDR sequence processed with Photomatix. I was trying to recreate the tones and colors I saw that morning standing all by myself in the Mirador San Nicolas, as the sun came up over my left shoulder and the light began to touch the Alhambra.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flamenca mural, Seville

flamenca mural

Barrio Santa Criz, Seville. Near Real Alcazar.

HDR. Five bracketed exposures, merged & tone mapped with HDR Express, various tweaks in PS, including Tony Kuyper’s Triple Play technique.

I found this HDR sequence quite challenging and was frustrated with prior processing attempts, but this one is more pleasing to me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photoshop protests

after UC Davis police Pepper Spray peaceful student protesters. More here.

My contribution:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Night Photography Tutorials

Here’s an hour-long tutorial by Harold Davis

And here is a set of three excellent video tutorials on night photography by Craig Tanner at The Mindful Eye (note: free site registration required).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Image detail

A new article on DPR (Digital Photography Review) on various ways to emphasize image detail.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I’ve added several recent images to my ongoing photo project on dads.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Painted Masks in Photoshop

Tony Kuyper has a superb series of more advanced Photoshop tutorials. He just posted a new tutorial on creating masks which target image adjustments to particular areas of specific tonal ranges. As usual, Tony’s explanations are extremely clear and easy to follow. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

SLR Lounge: a wealth of useful information

at the SLR Lounge, including tutorials on shooting technique, post-production (i.e., editing and adjusting images with software), reviews, and other photography-related information.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

HL sunset clouds - HDR

HL sunset clouds - HDR, originally uploaded by Ralfraz Ruck.

Hall of Languages, Syracuse University. 5-shot HDR sequence processed with HDR Efex Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New George Jardine tutorials on the way

George did some excellent video tutorials on Lightroom, and I learned a lot from them. He is a superb photographer and a natural teacher. He is working on a new tutorial series on the Lightroom-Photoshop interface and how to use the two together in an integrated workflow. I’m looking forward to seeing these when they’re ready mid-summer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Farbspiel’s HDR Cookbook

Klaus Hermann (Farbspiel) maintains a blog on High Dynamic Range imaging called HDR Cookbook — chock full of tips & tricks & interesting info about making HDR images. Klaus’ own images are posted on his Flickr page. Remarkable work.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Camera Sim

A slick simulation to illustrate how camera settings will affect depth of field, motion blur, etc.

lights on Brooklyn Bridge

lights on Brooklyn Bridge, originally uploaded by Ralfraz Ruck.

A reworked HDR sequence originally shot in February 2009.

evening tram, Ave. de la Constitucion, Seville.

One of my faves. Shot with a 3-stop neutral density filter to enable the longer exposure (2.5 seconds). The framing of the carriage by the moving tram lights was serendipity.

There was some (by my standards) complicated post-processing in this image. It’s actually a composite of two different raw conversions — one very dark to try to recover some of the information in the very bright highlights where the spotlights are. I used a layer mask to blend in the info from the dark conversion in the spotlight areas. I also used Tony Kuyper’s Triple Play technique to darken the sky, lighten the shadows a bit, and bring out some more detail. Lots of other fiddles and diddles to get this result. I like it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo Nerd, Dweeb, or Dork?

On a really good day, I aspire to be a photo nerd, but I’m probably just a dork.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Portrait of Anna on prom night

This was my 1st attempt at a portrait using multiple speedlights. There is one on the camera for fill and catchlights, and another to the right of the camera providing the main light. I like the effect.

Wow: Time Lapse Video in HDR

24 Hours of Neon from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

VERY cool time lapse photography

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Triple Play Photoshop Actions for Tone, Contrast, Detail

I'm learning how to use Tony Kuyper's "Triple Play" photoshop technique. It uses luminosity masks to precisely adjust specific tonal ranges in an image, to adjust overall contrast, and to enhance local contrast.
I'm enjoying learning how to use these tools, and Tony's tutorials are superbly clear (he's a natural teacher).

After installing Tony's Photoshop Actions, I used Adobe Configurator to create a custom panel within Photoshop, so the Triple Play actions are easily accessible, along with the most commonly associated photoshop tools and commands, and can be activated with just a couple of clicks. I've made similar custom panels for lumiosity masking & painting, dodging and burning using neutral fill layers and blend modes, and various smart filters that I use more frequently. Kind of slick.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chapel of Vera Cruz and Alcazar of Segovia, dusk

A 7-shot bracketed sequence merged to HDR in PS CS5, and then tonemapped with Hdr Efex Pro. I dialed down the exposure a bit to replicate the feeling of the scene at dusk.

Spirit of Power

Spirit of Power, originally uploaded by Ralfraz Ruck.

Another recently reprocessed HDR of the coolest building in Central New York.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Photokit Sharpener 2.0

I tried out this newly updated software and really liked it. It’s easy to use, has many sophisticated features beneath the hood of an uncomplicated GUI, and I was able to get some very satisfying results with a few steps.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Alhambra touched by first light

Another reprocessed HDR sequence using HDR Efex Pro and various tweaks in Photoshop and Lightroom.

The Alhambra is an amazing piece of social and architectural history. Amidst this historic splendor, the only permanent residents now are cats.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nikon School

So Nikon School came to Syracuse last October, and I’d always wanted to go, so I signed up for their more advanced seminar. It wasn’t cheap, but I figured there wouldn’t be lots of other opportunities to do this in my home town, without adding in additional travel expenses and so on.

It was a day-long seminar, hosted in tag-team fashion by a couple of well-known professional photographers - Reed Hoffman and Michael Schwarz. As you would expect, their presentations were polished and entertaining, and they covered a very broad range of digital-photography related topics, but none of them in as great a depth as I might have liked. I did learn a couple of things, but mostly it was a refresher on a lot of stuff I had learned already by reading books and frequenting online photo forums, etc. I don’t regret going at all, but I think it would have been more useful earlier on my learning curve. For someone relatively new to digital photography, it would have been a gold mine of information.

The audience was disproportionately white guys in late middle age with a pretty good spread going and a peculiar “business casual” kind of fashion sense. A bit odd to see myself among that kind of peer group (“are these my homies now?”). But it was entertaining, and nice to spend a day thinking about nothing but photography.

Beautiful, terrible, and astonishing images from 2010

Big Pictures of 2010

between mountain and sky: David Kaplan’s amazing HDR panoramas of the swiss alps at night

David Kaplan’s Flickr page