Tag Archives: black

The Place To Be

The Place To Be

Brian Auer | 02/09/2008 | La Jolla, CA | 19mm * f/4.5 * 1/400s * ISO100
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This shot was taken during the La Jolla photowalk in early February. At the time, I found the scene to be very interesting — the hut, the birds, the people, and the ocean in the background really seemed to work together in this candid shot. I kept things fairly well centered because of the strong symmetry already present in the hut. The Birds and the people served to break up that symmetry in isolated areas, so I didn’t feel I needed to break it up even more. Lucky for me, I also left some extra room at the top of the frame, which served as a nice backdrop for some heavy vignette.

The Place To Be Post-Processing

All of the following post-processing steps were done with Adobe Camera Raw — no Photoshop was used on this photo.

  1. Untouched RAW Image
    This is what the image looked like straight out of the camera. It could probably work as a color image too, but I wanted to go colorless.
  2. Black & White Conversion
    Before doing anything, I switched to grayscale. I pushed the red, orange, yellow, green, and aqua to negative compensation while the blues, purples and magentas were pushed in the positive direction.
  3. Basic Adjustments
    I left the white balance set at a temperature of 5800 and a tint of +3. I left the exposure, recovery, and clarity set to zero, while I boosted the fill light to 46, bumped the blacks up to 36, dropped the brightness to 16, and pushed up the contrast to 52.
  4. Tone Curve Adjustment
    Using the parametric tone curve, I set the highlights to +41, lights to +39, darks to -44, and shadows to -76. This gave me the strong contrast I was after, and I actually pushed a bunch of the highlights and shadows off the histogram.
  5. Vignette and Sharpen
    In the lens correction menu, I set the vignette to an amount of -76 with a midpoint of 19 — and this gave me the strong frame around the hut while filling in some of that sky. As a last step, I set the sharpening under the detail menu to an amount of 50 with a radius of 1.5 pixels.

Enjoy!

February Challenge: Day 12 – 22 Lanes

22 Lanes

WEEK 3 = RED

Long exposure of traffic on Interstate 5 where it splits into the 5 and 805. Can you believe that there are 22 lanes at this point and it’s backed up during rush hour every day?

I’ve never done one of these long-exposure traffic shots before. It turns out that the white lights are much brighter than the red ones. Plus there wasn’t much traffic, so it probably could’ve turned out better. Here are a few others from that night as I was messing around with different amounts of focus and shutter speed:

14 Point Star 8 Point Star Octogons Short Exposure Moderate Exposure Long Exposure

To see the rest of my February Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.

February Challenge: Day 10 – Chinese Art

Chinese Art

WEEK 2 = YELLOW

And that concludes week 2 of the February Challenge for me. Still have no idea what color I’m doing for week 3, and I only have about an hour or two left before the clock strikes midnight.

To see the rest of my February Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.

February Challenge: Day 7 – MAG 30

MAG 30

WEEK 2 = YELLOW

Section of my downhill mountain bike with a focus on the yellow rim and tire logos. The bike is an older Cannondale Super V 4000. In it’s hayday, it was the bike used by professional racers — and even by today’s standards, it’s not half bad.

This is my baby (the one that’s not a camera). She’s a little rough around the edges, but I love her anyways. It breaks my heart that I’ve been too busy to get out and ride over the last several years. From about the age of 17 to 20 I was riding every week and racing full seasons. Since then, I’ve been tapering off to not much riding at all.

Downhill mountain biking/racing was my main hobby until I found photography. Since that time, I’ve been riding less often and shooting more often. One of my main goals for this summer is to get back up on the mountain a handful of times and put some time on the saddle… I didn’t even ride it this last summer.

To see the rest of my February Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.

February Challenge: Day 2 – Liquid Ice

Liquid Ice

WEEK 1 = CLEAR

Ice cube on a glossy black plate as it melts into a small puddle of water.

I’m kind of bending the rules on the project… this is actually a grayscale image. The photo was pretty much black and white anyways, and it had some extra impact by going grayscale. I’m going to justify it being ok because my color of the week is clear — so this trick probably won’t work when I choose a "real" color.

My buddy “the_wolf_brigade” justified it well: Clear is like the chameleon of colours, so I wouldn’t say it’s cheating to increase the saturation of the clear tones… :D

To see the rest of my February Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.

December Challenge: Day 19 – Robert Lawson

Robert Lawson

Robert is one of the Engineering Managers at Quartus Engineering, where I work as a mechanical engineer. He’s not my manager though — he works on the analysis side of the business (the dark side), whereas I work on the design side. That’s OK, I still like him. He was also involved with the Formula SAE program in college (as was I), and he still has a bit of an infatuation with fast cars and auto racing. Here are some FSAE event photos from 2004 (which is the last one I actually participated in).

I took this photo pretty much from the vantage point of my desk just outside of Robert’s office. I noticed that his window acted as a decent mirror after it got dark outside, so I asked him if I could take his photo. He said “Sure, what do I do?” I says “Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t mind me.” So this is what Robert does for about 50% of is day, and the other 50% is spent talking on the phone with customers and whatnot.

To see the rest of my December Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.

December Challenge: Day 18 – Rex Auer

Rex Auer

I already shot one of Rex, but I didn’t get much of his face in the photo the last time. That one was more about the masked figure and his shadow than anything else. This one is a little more about my son Rex.

I shot this at ISO 3200 with the intent of converting to black and white. All that “grain” in this shot was grown right in the camera. The nice thing about using a high ISO (in addition to looking decent in b/w) is that you can shoot little hams like Rex in low light without waiting for the flash to catch up. I took about 80 shots of him within a 10 minute window.

To see the rest of my December Challenge photos, check the “Challenge” category here on the blog or visit my Flickr Set.