Tag Archives: blue

Simply Religious

Simply Religious

Brian Auer | 02/09/2008 | La Jolla, CA | 75mm * f/2.0 * 1/8000s * ISO100
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This church in La Jolla, California caught my eye for its stunning white simplicity. The clear blue sky also helped to compliment the building and its elegance. I was on a photowalk, and we had just started down the road toward the beach and everybody was excited to get shooting. And so, I framed the building to include mostly sky while leaving a good portion of the church (and its surroundings) left to the imagination. I took two shots with different compositions of this church top, and this one turned out best.

Simply Religious Post-Processing

  1. Unprocessed RAW
    This one turned out a little overexposed. I shot it at f/2 with my 50mm lens and it pushed my shutter speed up to 1/8000, maxing it out. I probably should have set the f-number to at least f/2.8.
  2. Processed RAW
    Mainly I just recovered the highlights and darkened the overall image, getting it ready for Photoshop.
  3. LAB Saturation
    I saw that the blues were a little muddy, so I ran it through my LAB Saturation Photoshop Action and brought out the color while adding a bit of contrast.
  4. Clone & Sharpen
    Somehow I sort of forgot to deal with the little bit of brickwork on the bottom edge, so I took that out with the patch tool. Then I sharpened it up a bit.
  5. Curves Adjustment
    I wasn’t totally happy with the tones and colors, so I added a curves adjustment to bring up the highlights and push the shadows down. I left the blending mode to “Normal” so the blues would get a little punch too.

Enjoy!

Field of Yellow

Field of Yellow

Brian Auer | 04/13/2008 | La Jolla, CA | 15mm * f/8.0 * 1/160s * ISO100
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This one was taken along the shores of La Jolla, California. I was out with my wife this weekend and we decided to take a short trip down the Pacific Coast Highway from Carlsbad to La Jolla. The shores of La Jolla are some of the most scenic in the area — lots of small cliffs and sandstone formations, caves, vegetation, tide pools, etc. I shot this scene with my Sigma 10-20mm lens at the widest focal length of 10mm. I’ve been ignoring that lens for a while, so I put it on the camera and left it there all day… well, I had my film camera with me too so I wasn’t completely limited on focal length.

Field of Yellow Post-Processing

  1. Unprocessed RAW
    Here’s what the unprocessed RAW image looked like — pretty dull and a little washed out.
  2. Processed RAW
    I cooled the white balance slightly, increased the contrast, increased the vibrance and saturation, and added a few other minor tweaks to the exposure settings.
  3. LAB Saturation
    I used my LAB Saturation Photoshop Action to bring the colors out a little better. This helped to remove some of the muddy haze in the sky.
  4. Dodge
    Selective dodging around the green of the waves and on the left side of the flowers at the bottom of the frame.
  5. Burn
    Selective burning in the sky and on the right side of the flowers to add more balance.

Enjoy!

Wide Open

Wide Open

Brian Auer | 02/23/2008 | San Diego, CA | 15mm * f/6.3 * 1/1000s * ISO100
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When the wind is just right, the skies above Black’s Beach team with para gliders and hang gliders. This particular shot was taken at a 10mm focal length (15mm full-frame equivalent) as I stood very near the edge of a 300 foot sand cliff above the Pacific Ocean. The gliders ride the updrafts as the wind comes off the ocean and shoots straight up along the face of the cliff. These thrill seekers can ride these winds for extended periods of time and never lose altitude. The Gliderport is located on the Torrey Pines State Reserve, nestled between the beach towns of La Jolla and Del Mar. La Jolla can be seen in the background of this photo as it extends out into the ocean to form a point. And those little dots on the sand below… those are people.

Wide Open 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. Not too shabby, but it needed some work on a few areas. I decided to keep the color on this one because of the sky in the upper portion of the image.
  2. Basic Adjustments
    I set the white balance to a temperature of 5500 and a tint of +8. Then I brought the exposure to -.5, set the recovery to 100, no fill light, blacks at 13, brightness at +14, contrast at +35, clarity at 35, vibrance at +17, and saturation at +7. Do note that a lot of these settings weren’t made in this order — there’s a lot of back-and-forth between these settings and the settings on the other two panels I used.
  3. Tone Curve Adjustment
    I set a “strong contrast” on the point curve, and added some extra contrast on the parametric curve with highlights set to -28, lights at +26, darks at -13, and shadows at -4.
  4. Vignette and Sharpen
    In the detail panel, I set the sharpening to an amount of 50 and a radius of 1.5. In the lens corrections panel, I added some positive vignette. So instead of darkening the corners, I lightened them to even out the image and brighten the foreground. At 10mm, my lens tends to produce a slight amount of vignette, so I punched up the value in ACR to +50 with a midpoint of 0. I lost some contrast in the clouds (which I over-contrasted just for this reason), but I gained a whole lot of brightness in the lower left corner.

Enjoy!

February Challenge Recap

February Challenge

The February “Colors” Challenge is officially done and over. This was a really neat project because it made me focus on a specific color as the main subject rather than just some object, person, or scene. Each color has its different quirks, both in capturing and post-processing, so it was good to explore those things and learn about them.

My biggest benefit from participating in the February Challenge is that it’s given me a new appreciation for black & white. After a week or two of shooting and processing nothing but color, I started getting really frustrated that I couldn’t turn some of the photos black & white. Luckily we had a photowalk in the middle of the month, so I really cranked out the black & white photos from that. I think I’d probably feel the same about color if I were forced to shoot nothing but black & white — I need both to be satisfied.

Here are my photos from the entire challenge:

CLEAR

Glass Flower

Liquid IceShot Glass Mirror

Clear was kind of fun and challenging. I guess most people wouldn’t consider it a color, but we tend to speak of it as if it were. In my first shot, I was going for the wild color display since clear takes on whatever color happens to be behind it. In the next two shots, I wanted to capture more of a traditional clear “color” by removing anything colorful from the surroundings. After finishing the whole project, I’ve got to say that clear was the most difficult color to capture — so I’m glad the first week was a short one!

YELLOW

Yellow Tail

Piña RefrescoTonkaMAG 30Peppers and PeanutsPedestrian CrossingChinese Art

Yellow was also a fussy color to deal with. There aren’t a lot of things out there that are yellow, and the things that are yellow tend to be somewhere between green and orange. I get the feeling that nobody can agree on what yellow looks like. The Legos I shot for the Tonka Truck picture were from several different sets. Not only was yellow the least available color of all the blocks, but each brand had a different yellow.

RED

Red Glass

Silver on Red22 LanesHappy Little Men

After picking two slightly difficult colors, I decided to go with something a little more friendly. Red was kind of fun to shoot, and it seemed to be more readily available than yellow. One lesson I did learn about red is that the tail lights in traffic are far less bright than the headlights. My long exposure traffic shot barely registers the red lights, and there was about the same amount of traffic on either side of the road. If somebody knows the secret to getting the tail lights to stand out more in these types of shots, I’m all ears.

GREEN

Cabbage

StickersGuacGlide

I was initially going to avoid green because it’s the most abundant color out there. I gave in though — I couldn’t keep passing up all that green just for the sake of being stubborn. One good place I found to shoot green: the produce section at the grocery store. I think the employees at the local grocery store are over me by now. I’ve been in there about a dozen times with my camera.

BLUE

Powering Down

I would have like to shoot more blue photos, but I just started winding down at the end of the green week. My goal was to shoot a photo every day, but I ended up missing one day during green. Then blue came along and I just kind of stopped picking up the camera. Oh well, too late now.

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 9 – Pedestrian Crossing

Pedestrian Crossing

WEEK 2 = YELLOW

This photo (and those shown below) came from our recent La Jolla photowalk. I totally overworked the colors on this image and it was completely on purpose, but I like the way it ended up. I’ll be uploading quite a few photos to Flickr over the course of this week, so keep your eyes on my stuff over there if you’re interested in seeing how the day turned out. You can also follow the photos from everybody else, as long as they’re tagged with “photowalking020908“. Honestly, with all this color stuff for the February Challenge, you can expect to see a lot of my photowalk images turning out black & white.

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 8 – Peppers and Peanuts

Peppers and Peanuts

WEEK 2 = YELLOW

Some colorful handmade decorations at my Grandfather’s house. Not sure what it’s supposed to signify, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with Chinese culture.

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 1 – Glass Flower

Glass Flower

WEEK 1 = CLEAR

The February Challenge is all about color – you pick a color each week and document those colors. So my first color will be my favorite color… clear. It’s a great color because it takes on the color from the things around it. So it’s every color and no color all at the same time!

Now I realize that many of you may think that clear is not a color, but ask yourself this… what color are your windows? What color are your glass dishes? What color is water (assuming it’s clean)? How about diamonds? My wife hates the fact that I insist clear be my favorite color, so this week is dedicated to her.

This particular image is an abstract of a CLEAR glass candy dish lid positioned on top of a purple DVD-R with an orange background (a shirt). The DVD served to reflect some nice rainbow colors that you can see in the refraction of the CLEAR glass.

So is anybody else joining in with the February Challenge?

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