Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shooting the Oregon Coast

Geeezz, I am slammed and finding the time to post has been tough this month. But as most commercial photographers know, it will slow down at some point. It always does. I just wrapped up my Oregon Coast Digital Workshop and what a blast! I very well had the best group ever. They were enthusiastic and eager to learn and do lots of shooting.

We had fabulous weather: mostly sun and one afternoon of rain and that is it. That is great for the Oregon Coast by the way. We also had two foggy mornings at the Charleston boat harbor which makes perfect conditions for shooting. As I always do in these Art of Digital workshops, we cover photo 101, masking, ACR, optimization, and for fun, some HDR. The boat harbors are great for that technique.

The opening image is the boat harbor and it is the Photomerge collage technique mentioned in a previous post. I then HDR'd it using a program that one student introduced me to. It is ReDynamix by Media Chance and is a Photoshop plugin. Most of these images were created using ReDynamix and its HDR effect, which should really be called the Grunge look using HDR techniques.

You can hardly go wrong with the price, they only want $16 for the plugin. The biggest problem is it only works on 8 bit images and that is a big minus. I played long and hard with it and my opinion is mixed. While is does give a good Grunge look and easily, about the time you start getting that look the noise jumps in. And continuing to push harder gives even more noise to the point of being unusable. I have tried variations of Noise Ninja to attempt to control it and will continue to experiment more.

This image from Bandon where we shot the sunset, uses a favorite technique I like. The idea here is to stop all the way down for the longest exposure and then the waves blur. I generally like to do this 30 minutes to more than hour after sunset. I like the shutter to be open for 30 seconds to allow the water to blur a lot. Here I am at 1/8th second at f22. I open the image in ACR and optimized the image, then made another dodge burn layer and lightened the edges of the waves that essentially are white in the sunlight.

I was very attracted to this float on the bow of this boat and pointed it to my students. Here I used ReDynamix pushing the sliders for 'the look'.

One problem with HDR techniques is the noise that is created in the sky when you start pushing the technique. In this image using ReDyanamix, the sky very quickly goes noisy. One solution I use, although not with this image, is to mask in a separate sky. So I shoot a separate sky and then blend them in layers and each image is processed differently in the software to reduce the noise.

I'm thinking this is an old winch off a fishing trawler and has been sitting here a long time. It is totally rusted out. I found this at the back of someones back yard while scouting for the workshop and stopped and had to shoot it. I used Photomatix for the grunge look, had to do some burning and dodging and sharpening for the final look.

I had not seen this turquoise and blue fishing net before and this big pile made for a great and colorful shot.

This lighthouse was shot with a 15 mm fisheye and I also used the HDR look for it. It got noisy quick so I had to back off. I then added the optimized RAW file and stacked it on top and painted back in some of the lighthouse to look normal. Then used Transform> Skew and some Liquify to straighten the lighthouse which suffered from the fisheye look.

I loved the back of this boat and pointed it to my students as well. A rusting, rotting hulk of a fishing trawler with moss and grass growing on the wooden deck. How could the owner let it literally rot away? It made a great subject!

So it was a great week at the coast with some great people and some fun images to play with on the computer. But now, I am off to a month of great assignments. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like the 5th image on this post the most Charlie, wonderful.