Spring Fever

Over the last few days here, when it hasn't been raining, the weather has been off the charts good.  That has brought on a huge case of Spring Fever for me.

I have a few trips upcoming to focus on the plants and animals coming to life again, but I'm also super stoked about our upcoming Smoky Mountains workshop.  With all the rain the area has been receiving the rivers and streams should really be flowing this year.

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16 @ 1.3 seconds

This is an image from The Roaring Fork Motor Trail.  It is always a hot spot for nice flowing water against the green, mossy rocks.  Using a circular polarizer not only helps to reduce glare and reflections, but also helps to boost contrast, which makes the greens pop a little more, too.

This image was made with my Sony A7R, LA-EA4 Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.

The Barber Shop

One of the favorite locations when we walk around downtown Apalachicola, FL is the old barber shop.  It is definitely a place time has forgotten.  I typically shoot this scene every year.  We walk by when the shop is closed and shoot directly through the window.  This works out really well for several reasons but mainly no one is inside, so you can focus on the building, which is what you want in the first place.  Secondly, if you shoot from inside back out many times you end up capturing this cool, old building with a 2014 model car parked outside, which ruins the scene totally for me.

A few small things change here from year to year.  This year the barber was also making and selling Martin Birdhouses and he had one right up front on the bench.  This hasn't been something that has been there in the past, so I was excited to include that in my frame.  Other than that and a sign or two missing, it's pretty much the same.

We got to spend some time talking to the barber and a few of his family members the day before and they shared quite a bit of history of the place, which was very cool!

So, I shot this scene with my Canon 7D and Tamron 16-300mm Lens (excellent walk around lens) mounted on my Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT tripod.  I simply positioned the lens placed directly against the front glass of the barber shop window.  This is important, because if you aren't pressed right up against the window, you will most likely get reflections in your shot that you do not want.  Once I got the lens where I wanted it, I positioned the tripod so that the lens wouldn't move then I fired off 4 or 5 bracketed shots.

I then processed this as a HDR shot using Photomatix Pro, did some tweaking in Lightroom and finsihed off in OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 9.  There are a few presets in the OnOne Photo suite that I love for HDR shots.  The first is one called Kryptonite.  It really punches the colors and details while blurring the edges.  The next one is called Just Enough Darkness.  Like you would think, this darkens the image quite a bit.  I typically will dial this effect back quite a bit, but it really adds a mood to the images and it works great for HDR shots.  Here is an image processed using both presets.

ISO 100, 16mm, F/8 at varying shutter speeds

ISO 100, 16mm, F/8 at varying shutter speeds

So, I couldn't decide which way I wanted to process this, so I thought "Let's go with a lot of color, or not much at all.".  So, I took the image back into OnOne and used the Perfect Black and White 9.  This time I processed it to retain just a very small amount of color.

ISO 100, 16mm, F/8 at varying shutter speeds

ISO 100, 16mm, F/8 at varying shutter speeds

Since, I couldn't decide I thought I'd share both.  Maybe you can help me decide.