Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Urban

A few weeks back, right before the digital photography class I was teaching was about to start, there was a sudden power outage in the room. Try has he may, the building maintenance “guy” was unable to fix the problem so I simply moved my class to the lobby of the building. While it’s not the most lovely of places, the suspended ceiling just happened to be covered with more than a dozen strands of colorful garlands made up of origami paper cranes. Neat! 🙂

“Soarin’ ” (Origami Paper Crane Garland) Nikon D300, 120mm, F/5.3, 1/160s, ISO 3200, Built-in Fill-Flash w/Gary Fong “Puffer” Diffuser, -1.0 EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Infrared Film Soft” Filter w/Selective Toning & Vignette

Not one to miss an opportunity for intriguing subject matter, I instructed my students to shoot the birds (with their cameras, of course 😉 ) and look for angles and patterns that create interesting compositions. I also joined in the fun, playing around with different camera settings and switching back and forth between shooting in color as well as in black and white.

Those shots remained completely forgotten until today when I came upon them while scanning through my media cards. Turns out, I preferred the compositions I’d taken in color except for the stained drop ceiling tiles in the background (which I thought would have faded away with the shallow DOF I was using). 

So, I popped on over to Nik Silver Efex Pro to see if one of the trusty black and white filters could diffuse that not-so-great background and perhaps, bump up the contrast to make these birds really sing. A few clicks later and that’s an affirmative on the background and the contrast but now, I missed the color. 😦

Hmmmm, lemme think. Welllll, it was the orange bird who caught my attention in the first place soooooo let’s give him the spotlight and see if that does the trick.

Click, click, click – Boom! One fun abstract image! 🙂

As promised, here are the revelations as to what the images I posted yesterday in Abstract Reality actually are! Everyone had really, really good guesses! I was very impressed! 🙂

First image: Grill Cover Tear

“Fissure” (Grill Cover Tear)

I focussed in tight on that top corner and then converted the image to b&w. Boy, this thing is really in sad shape, huh? 😉

Second image: Rusty Metal Wing of Hummingbird Garden Stake

“Wired” (Rusty Metal Wing of Hummingbird Garden Stake)

I composed this image using just the wing of the hummingbird garden stake. Because the leaf-strewn ground color was so close to the warm colors of the wing I decided to desaturate the entire image and then selectively bring back those wonderful rusted tones of the metal. Works for me! 😉

Third image: Rusty Saw Blade on Dirty Grill Cover

“Rusted” (Rusty Saw Blade on Dirty Grill Cover)

Yep, nothing more than a very rusty saw blade on a very dirty grill cover. Can’t fake this kind of texture! 🙂

Fourth image: Grill Cover Mesh Panel

“Grilled” (Grill Cover Mesh Panel)

Okay, I admit it, this one really wasn’t fair but Scott never said we had to play fair. 😉 Inverting the colors on the mesh part of the grill cover with the very reflective stainless steel behind gave this abstract a sequin-ish look (I really liked that guess, Kiwi! 🙂 )

Fifth image: Star Suncatcher

“Inprismed” (Star Suncatcher)

Going in close on the center portion of a bevelled-glass star suncatcher made for an interesting abstract. Except for the blue center, the glass is actually clear and gains its colors by reflecting all that is around it (green/blue tones from the evergreen trees close by and warm tones from the leaves and cedar mulch that lay below). My, that 105mm lens gives a lovely shallow depth of field at such a close range, doesn’t it? 😉

Sixth image: The Inside of a Sunflower Bird Bath

“Rosebud” (The Inside of a Sunflower Bird Bath)

I figured most would guess this one! (Does it make up for the grill cover mesh image? 😉 ) The inside of my sunflower bird bath has such interesting patterns and textures. Small red buds from the tree overhead added just that tiny pop of needed color.

Seventh image: Water Bottle with Reflection

“I.C.U.” (Water Bottle with Reflection)

My trusty Cool Gear water bottle! LOVE that it is orange and hot pink! (Yeah, sometimes I’m really such a girl). This thing is GIANT and is with me pretty much at all times when home. One evening, it was sitting on my desk when I noticed the light from the monitor was creating an eerie glow as well as a very cool miniature reflection of the bottom ring in the water line above. I played with many different compostions and angles and ended up liking how this one looks cyborgish.

The eighth imagewas fairly obvious: One Red Sneaker, Two White Pant Legs, Three Black Rails

“One Red, Two White, Three Black” (One Red Sneaker, Two White Pant Legs, Three Black Rails)

A pair of legs (if I recall, belonging to a man) wearing white pants and red sneakers. This shot was taken pretty much by accident while watching a parade in the Magic Kingdom and aside from a slight levels adjustment, is straight out of the camera.

So, there you have it, folks! Thanks so much for playing! 😀

I totally forgot I photographed some signage for the park series! What a find on this crazy weather day. (So far we’ve had sun, showers, more sun, clouds, rain, HAIL (!), more rain and now it is sunny but very windy and chilly – geesh!).

“Grate Sign” (Park Dept Sign) Playground Series (#20) Nikon D300, 62mm, F/4.8, 1/320s, +0.3EV, ISO 200, ‘Old West’ Toning Action

Anyways, I digress… 😉

“Hours of Play” (Park Hours Sign) Playground Series (#21), Nikon D300, 65mm, F/5, 1/640s, ISO 200, ‘Old West’ Toning Action

I really didn’t think much of it at the time when I shot these – it was merely a ‘while I’m here’ sort of thing. Now, I’m so glad I did as I think they will help to paint a complete picture of the childhood playground experience! 😀

“Linked In” (Purple Finch, Female) Nikon D300, 1000mm (600mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/100s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Silver Efex Pro ‘Full Spectum’ Filter

In my opinion, good observation is one of the best skills a photographer can develop, especially in the unpredictable world of wildlife photography.

Take this unusual capture of a female Purple Finch for example…you simply can NOT plan for shots like this!

Now in this case, having a large lens already set up helped, but even so, when my radar goes off, I know time is of the essence and I must manuever quickly in order to be successful. 

Four clicks was all I got and ONE was all I needed! 🙂

%d bloggers like this: