Chimney and Shingle Roof

On April 23, 2014, in North Carolina, by admin


Chimney and Shingle Roof

Chimney and Shingle Roof (click to enlarge)

I took this image at the principal keeper’s quarters at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  This is actually part of a much larger, totally uninteresting image.  I just happened to shoot it while waiting for my wife to finish a tour of the double keeper’s quarters next door.  Just for giggles, when we returned home I started using Photoshop’s Crop tool to try and find the “image within the image”.

Notice that there are few, if any, lines in the shingles or the chimney parallel to any edge of the image.  I think the closest parallel line is the front edge of the chimney.  As I moved around the Crop tool in Photoshop, it really looked like the edges of the Crop tool were askew.  I had to check several times to make sure I had not hit some hidden, little used, option on the Crop  tool and that the edges of the tool were truly square to each other.

Look closer at the image above.  Does the lower left corner appear to be closer to the title text than the lower right corner?  It sure appears that way to me, but I know each corner is the same height from the text.  This is a pretty good optical illusion for a throwaway image.

Location: N35 15 04.67 W075 31 45.47

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Wright Brothers Monument

On April 22, 2014, in North Carolina, Photography Tips, by admin
Wright Brothers Monument

Wright Brothers Monument (click to enlarge)

Above is an original image of a small part of the Wright Brothers Monument in Kill Devil Hills, NC.  A quick glance shows that there is just so much wrong with this image.  First off, note all of the “dead” space above the text that reads Wilbur.  The empty stones and sky add nothing to the image.  Also note what appears to be three air vents in the stonework, these just distract the eye. Finally, notice the cut off text along the bottom edge.

Below is the finished image.  Cropping the image got rid of one air vent, the dead space above Wilbur, and the cut off text at the bottom.  Photoshop’s Content Aware fill feature got rid of the two remaining air vents.  The middle air vent in the original image was particularly troublesome.  I just could not get that seam between the stones to look right after filling in the air vent.  I ended up copying the seam just to the left and using that over the top edge of the air vent (this is the horizontalish seam intersecting the top edge of the image between the I and L in Wilbur).

Another adjustment was the selective use of black and white.  I selected just the monument and opened the image in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.  I converted the monument to black and white and saved the image back to Photoshop.  I was looking for that Wizard of Oz transition from black and white to color.  Once the Wright Brothers flew their first flight, it was like they touched down in a completely new world, just like Dorothy landing on the Wicked Witch.

Wright Brothers Monument

Wright Brothers Monument (click to enlarge)

Now, there are two things that I would change about the modified image.  First, some clouds would make that plain blue sky much more interesting.  Having no control over the weather, I was stuck with with the image I had.  Second, notice that in the original image the bust is in deep shadows.  My wife recently had hip surgery, so she was not up to climbing the hill to the monument.  I went up the hill with only my camera and tripod for a quick look.  I wish I had also brought my Cowboy Studios reflector so that I could have lit up the bust.  I was able to lighten it somewhat in Photoshop, but using the reflector in the original image would be so much better.

Lesson learned, always carry all tools of the trade, even if you are just planning to take a quick look.

Location: N36 00 50.90 W075 40 02.43

Bodie Island Lighthouse

On April 21, 2014, in North Carolina, Photoshop Tips, by admin
Bodie Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Bodie Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras National Seashore (click to enlarge)

This is a “panoramic” image of Bodie Island Lighthouse I made using my Really Right Stuff PG-02 Pro Omni-Pivot Package.  Using Photoshop, I stitched together seven images to create one very large image.  The native resolution of my Nikon D300 is 18 inches by 12 inches.  By stitching together seven images, I end up with an image that is 42 inches tall by 18 inches wide (there must be some overlap between images so that Photoshop can do the stitching, that is why the image is only 42 inches tall).

Click on the image, and them click on the image again to enlarge it.  You will get an idea of how tall this image really is as you scroll, and scroll, and scroll down.  By stitching together several images I get a much higher level of resolution than if I had just blown up a typical 18 inch by 12 inch image.

Location: N35 49 06.73 W075 33 48.28