It’s been quite a while since I have shared a photo from our trip to Costa Rica. I have been trying to learn some new Photoshop techniques and holding off on editing anything from Costa Rica until I learned a few new tricks. I think this one came out pretty great. I didn’t use HDR on this one. This was actually processed using a single exposure in Photoshop. I was able to get enough light information within a single RAW file. I’m starting to learn that not all images need to use multiple exposures. It’s nice to have the extras as a back-up, but if they’re not needed, then don’t use them!
El Jobo Bay, where Dreams Las Mareas was situated, was a very secluded area of Costa Rica. These rocks were great for use of a foreground in the image. The tricky part of it was they weren’t always visible with the tide! Some nights during sunset, the rocks would be completely covered, while others, much like the night this was taken, were exposed.
I met up with my Dad, Brook Ward and Brook’s son, Blair for a morning of photography in some abandoned churches around Pittsburgh. This was probably my favorite abandoned church to photograph. The dome really added some neat characteristics not often seen in many abandoned places. It was also really great because there was a lot of light coming through all of the broken windows. Often when you go into abandoned buildings, it is dark and difficult to get enough light. While it’s fun and eerie being in dark abandoned places, it’s much easier when there is light.
I wanted to get something different than the images I’ve seen of this church and capture as much of the inside that I could. I’ve never taken a successful vertorama before and thought this was the perfect time to try. If you’re not familiar, a vertorama is a vertical panorama!
This still isn’t the craziest shot from the shoot a few Saturdays ago with fellow Pittsburgh photographer JP Diroll. I’ll share those soon. I met up with JP Diroll because the Fort Pitt Tunnel outbound lanes were closed down for the weekend and I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity. It ended up being a washout, but that didn’t stop us from shooting through the wet and rain. Two of the lanes on the Fort Pitt Bridge were closed and that gave us plenty of time and opportunities to explore the bridge. No HDR was done here. This was processed with 4 exposures, manually blended in Photoshop for the dynamic range. Kind of looks like Gotham City from Batman, doesn’t it?
Last weekend was full of photographic adventures. I got the opportunity to use my camera three days in a row; which never happens. I even came home with at least one useable image per outing, which is even a bigger plus! We drove out to my wife’s grandparent’s house in Monessen last Sunday afternoon. On our way back home, I was watching the cloud formations thinking it might be a great sunset. Since driving to Monessen is a bit of a hike, I didn’t feel like going into the city, so when we got home, I ran inside to grab my gear and quickly drove to Phipps Conservatory. I made it just in time for sunset. I almost didn’t go because I was tired of being in the car… I am glad that I decided to go!
I had the opportunity to meet up with fellow Pittsburgh photographer JP Diroll yesterday morning. If you get the opportunity, please go check out his Pittsburgh photography. This guy has some serious talent! Him and I have been talking about getting together to shoot now for about five years now and we finally made it happen. I texted him Friday and asked if he wanted to meet up for a slightly crazy photo walk on Saturday morning (more on that later).
This was the final image that I took of the morning. Most of the time, when it rains, the city just looks gloomy and drab. For some reason, the city looked almost black & white with the fog, clouds and rain. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I did not process this as a black & white image with selective coloring on the bridge! The city actually looked like this. I didn’t intend for this shot, but it was my favorite of the morning.
This was the final photo that I snapped before calling it quits after getting soaking wet last Sunday morning with Jay Cassidy. I drove by this building when I first got into photography and and set up for a symmetrical shot just like this one. It somehow became my most popular image a little over five years ago. Countless times I have driven by this building and have attempted to reproduce that first image, but they never compared. I think the lighting was finally perfect on that rainy morning last week, giving me a perfect blue hour. Just for comparison, see the original version here.