Writing with Light

Posts tagged “Photomatix

Old Jaffa Arches

Old Jaffa is a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and alleyways with stone archways that lead the visitor to beautiful galleries and delightful middle eastern eateries.

I was actually looking for a gallery I had heard about and made a wrong turn and came upon this green lit scene.  I shot 3 brackets at +2, 0, -2 and processed the brackets in Photomatix. I then brought it back into lightroom and did minor adjustments to shadows & highlights.

Click on the image to see it in high resolution (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Old Jaffa, Israel, archway, stones, green light, travel


Red Truck Grunge

Happy Monday Everyone. I hope that those that got hit by all the snowstorms this weekend have managed to shovel themselves out. We got about 10cm on Saturday and we finally got the driveway cleared yesterday.

I was processing some more images from my Rockwood Autoyard shoot (boy am I behind in processing) and I came across this image of a dilapidated red pick-up truck. When I first saw it I knew it was the perfect candidate for some HDR work. This was a 3 exposures processed in Photomatix and then in Photoshop and Topaz Clarity to give it an additional subtle pop.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Rockwood Autoyard, Ontario, Rockwood, truck, red, grunge, HDR, forest, pickup


A Typical Day in Venice

I love Venice Beach…actually I love people watching on Venice Beach.  I hope that for those that had an extra long weekend it was filled with lots of family time and good food and that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I’ll be sharing some images from Venice Beach this week. This 3 mile stretch of beach in L.A. is home to street performers, bodybuilders, rollerbladers, skateboarders, graffiti artists, fortune tellers, funky shops and lots of tourists. It’s a great day to spend an afternoon and if the boardwalk gets to be too much then find a spot on the sand and enjoy the ocean breeze and the beautiful view of the pacific.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Venice Beach, California, boardwalk, storefront, crowds, people, graffiti, fun in the sun, message parlour,


Super Hero Hall of Fame

This past summer while strolling through Westwood Village in L.A. my husband and I spotted a Soda Pop & Candy Store called Rocket Fizz. We walked in and I just about kicked myself for not having my tripod with me…sometimes you just need to give your back a break.  I was really like a kid in a candy store…OK…maybe not a kid but definitely in a candy store. It was retro, it had candy and comic books and soda pop and while my husband was admiring the vintage collection of comic books and all that soda I was trying to figure out the best angles to shoot and what settings I should be using to get the best shot. Enjoy and no you can’t eat the lollipops 🙂

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Rocket Fizz, Los Angeles, Westwood, California, candy store, comic books, super heroes, root beer, pop, HDR, retro, lollipop


Surf Shack

Welcome to surf week. I had a blast on the beach in Malibu photographing all the surfers.  I’ll start the week of with a look at the Surf Shack. This haven for all things surfing is located directly across the street from the beach on top of a fish restaurant. I loved the look of this place and knew it would be perfect for a HDR image.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Malibu, California, surf, surf shack, hang ten, travel photography, HDR,


Eat Lotsa Lobster

In my last post I posted an image of Stearns Wharf at sunset. I think I mentioned that I was standing behind a restaurant near the end of the pier to take that picture. I thought it only appropriate to show you the restaurant in question, The Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. This is a HDR (3 bracketed images) processed in Photomatix. I decided not to “de-ghost” the flag as I wanted it to be fluttering in the wind.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Santa Barbara, California, pier, wharf, Stearns Wharf, restaurant, seafood, lobster, HDR, travel photography


Under the Hood

As promised here’s a shot from the Rockwood Autoyard of an actual vehicle in all its grungy goodness. This was 3 bracketed exposures merged in Photomatix. I used Topaz DeNoise to clean up a bit of noise as a results of the HDR.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Rockwood Autoyard, Ontario, tires, truck, hood, rust, HDR, windshield


The Roman Pool at Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle was designed by architect Julie Morgan between 1919 and 1947 for William Randolph Hearst. The castle is located on the central California coast in San Simeon and is a national and state historical landmark. William Randolph Hearst died in 1951 and in 1957 the Hearst Corporation donated the estate to the State of California. Hearst Castle boasts 56 rooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, an indoor and outdoor pool and sits on 126 acres.

The Roman Pool, the indoor pool, was built between 1927 and 1934. The pool is decorated with square mosaic glass tiles in blue, orange and clear and is adorned by statues of Roman gods and goddesses.

This was difficult to shoot as it was very dark in the pool and I didn’t have a tripod with me. I set my camera’s ISO to 3200 and bracketed all my exposures but some were just not as successful as I had hoped. Even with the high ISO the exposures were long and some of my images were a bit shaky so the images didn’t line up properly in Photomatix. The fist image was a single exposure but I was able to bring out the detail using Lucis.  The 2nd and 3rd images were indeed bracketed (I was able to steady myself by the railing) and processed with Photomatix.

Click on the images to enlarge (hey really do look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Hearst Castle, Roman Pool, San Simeon, California, indoor pool, water, reflections, travel photography

Hearst Castle, Roman Pool, San Simeon, California, indoor pool, water, reflections, travel photography

Hearst Castle, Roman Pool, San Simeon, California, indoor pool, water, reflections, travel photography


Weekly Photo Challenge – Color and a Few Thank You’s

I shot this image last summer while driving through Maine. We were on our way from Bar Harbor to Portland when we spotted this flea market and decided to stop and have a look around. There was a treasure trove of vintage and collectible items that just begged to be photographed.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print

Maine, flea market, vintage, collectable, travel photography

Over the last few months I’ve been honoured to receive multiple blogging awards. Time seems to have gotten away from me but I didn’t want to leave these long overdue thank you’s any longer. These are the wards I was nominated for and the wonderful bloggers who nominated me. Please take sometime and visit these excellent sites.

Blog of the Year 2012 Award

Motion Photography

Dream Lenz

Photography Art Plus

Wind Against The Current

The Sunshine Award

CIGUDEG Pleais Bilong Tu Mi

The Great Zambini

The Adventurous Blogger Award

Get Set And Go

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Timeless Treasure

Olivia Wolfe – The Road Less Traveled

The Beautiful Blogger Award

Shawn Jones – Writing without Hinges


The Royal Promenade

So you thought the bridge was the heartbeat of a ship like the Navigator of the Seas…wrong. The Royal Promenade with its shops and bars and eateries is where its at.  Nightly entertainment and well planned store sales ( 🙂 ) keep this place hopping. The Royal Promenade is located on deck 5. I shot this image from (I believe) deck 6. This was a bracketed exposure, tonemapped in Photomatix and then brought in to Photoshop for some minot adjusts.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Navigator of the Seas, royal promenade, cruise, ocean, interior HDR,


Let Me Entertain You….

Here’s another view of the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto. In yesterday’s post I gave you a little bit of the history on this beautiful theatre (you can see the post here) but didn’t give you any shooting information…sorry.

Knowing that I’d be shooting inside this theatre and having been here before (as a theatre patron not as a photographer) I knew that I would need a fairly wide angle lens. I rented the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens and I fell in love. I loved the versatility of this lens and have now added another item onto my wish list.

Due to union rules we couldn’t turn on any stage lights so the only lighting available were the house lights. A tripod was a must and 90% of the images that I took were bracketed.  Today’s image was 3 separate exposures of 30 sec, 1.3 sec and 30 sec.  With both yesterday’s image and todays I adjusted the white balance in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) before tone mapping the brackets in Photomatix. I then brought the tonemapped image into Photoshop and used Topaz Detail to bring out some of the finer details in the scene. Don’t forget you get a 15% discount on all Topaz products by using the code ELPHOTO.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

theatre, Winter Garden, Toronto, interior, stage, balcony


The Pool Deck at Sunset

Well I don’t know about you but Toronto was hit with one of the worst snowstorms it’s seen in years this past Friday. I know that our neighbours to the east, both here in Canada and in the U.S. were hit just as bad and in some cases worst. I hope everyone stayed safe and snug indoors.

Of course when the cold and snow hits my thoughts often meander over to warmer destinations and as I’m still working through my images from our recent cruise I couldn’t help but think that I would really rather be on the pool deck of the Navigator of the Seas then shovelling my drive way.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Navigator of the Seas, pool deck, sunset, cruise, bar, ocean


Grand Dining

One of the nicest things about being on a cruise is the dining experience, especially when you have dinner in the main dining room. The service is excellent, the food is delicious, the wine sublime and our week onboard the Navigator of the Sea was no exception. When we stepped into the dining room I felt as if I was walking into the dinner scene from Hello Dolly. Our waiter, Stefan was exceptional and tended to our every need. Actually I knew I was in trouble when on our first evening I couldn’t decide between two desserts. Stefan looked at me and said…”that’s not a problem…I’ll bring both.” Oy!

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

dining room, cruise, ship, navigator of the sea, interior


Back to the Diner

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I decided to give myself a break from posting this weekend and just relax with family and friends. Sometimes its nice to be away from the computer and give yourself permission to not stress about posting.

Here’s another view of the Lake Effect Diner that we visited the last time we were in Buffalo.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print. All prints & products in my gallery are 20% off for the holidays. use discount code Thanks2012 in the gallery.

diner, retro, Lake Effects Diner, Buffalo, New York, HDR


A Cool Place To Eat

A couple of months ago I headed down to Buffalo with my family and thanks to Guy Fieri (of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives) we tried the Lake Effect Diner. This diner is circa 1952 and was originally located in Wayne, Pennsylvania. It was saved from demolition and moved to Buffalo in 2001 where it was renovated and equipped with a state of the art kitchen. I love old diners and the best part of all of this…(Guy was right) the food was excellent.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better or to Purchase a Print.

Lake Effects Diner, Buffalo, New York, diner, retro, vintage


Towards the Water

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was in Montreal over the weekend for a family function and I did manage to grab some shots while I was there but I’ll share those with you a little later in the week.

In the mean time here’s an image from my jaunt to Muskoka a couple of weeks ago. This was taken while exploring the town of Huntsville.

Click on the image to enlarge or To Purchase a Print.

Muskoka, Huntsville, alleyway, fall, lake,


Weekly Photo Challenge – Big

This sculpture is located in the courtyard of the Pitti Palace in Florence and it was “Big!”

Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy, travel photography, sculpture

Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy, travel photography, sculpture

You can see the original post for the weekly photo challenge here.


Back to the Niagara Apothecary & Topaz DeNoise

I was going to post another fall foliage image today but realized that I’d forgotten to publish this post and wanted to get it out before the discount on Topaz DeNoise expired. (let me get to that in a minute).

Last month I posted an image from the Niagara Apothecary (you can see the original post here.) and I finally got around to processing some more images from that trip. Sorry but I’m a little bit backlogged. When I shot these I didn’t have my tripod with me so I pushed the ISO to 1000 and while my Canon 7D does a good job of handling noise when I merged my brackets in Photomatix it magnified the amount of noise as is usually the case.

This is image was 3 brackets merged in Photomatix which I then brought in to Photoshop where I adjusted levels and applied a touch of contrast. Click on the images to enlarge and really see the difference.

Niagara, apothecary, niagara on the lake, Ontario, wine country,

without Topaz DeNoise

Niagara, apothecary, niagara on the lake, Ontario, wine country,

With Topaz DeNoise

The following images were also run through Topaz DeNoise. Topaz Labs is having a special 30% off savings on Topaz DeNoise until October 12, 2012 (which is why I wanted to let you know about it) Just enter coupon code “NoiseFree” at checkout.

Niagara, apothecary, niagara on the lake, Ontario, wine country,

Niagara, apothecary, niagara on the lake, Ontario, wine country,

This last image was processed in much the same way but I really wasn’t pleased with the way Photomatix handled the exterior so I masked in the exterior from one of the original brackets and then applied DeNoise.

Niagara, apothecary, niagara on the lake, Ontario, wine country,

You can visit my gallery to purchase prints of any of these images.


Exciting News & A Bit of Ancient History

I was away from home this weekend attending a landscape photography workshop on the Bruce Peninsula here in Ontario. Aside from the very early mornings and less than ideal weather on the first day it was a fantastic experience. I will tell you more about it a little later in the week and post some images once I can sit down and process them.

Before heading out for a four drive on Friday to meet the group I received some very exciting news. The kind folks at the Travel Supermarket announced the overall winners of their Capture the Colour competition and I came in second overall. You can see their post announcing the winners here. Needless to say I was a little stunned and over the moon. Here was my submission / blog post for Capture the Colour. Thank you once again to Susanne from Buntscheck blog and Ingrid form Cosy Travels of the Viking and his Kitten for the nominations.

Now on to today’s image… (this is the ancient history part)…The Roman Coliseum.

Click to enlarge (it really looks better).

Rome, Italy, Coliseum, ancient ruins,


Painted Houses

Before I tell you a little bit about today’s image I just wanted to let you all know how very excited I am. A couple of weeks ago I entered Travel Supermarket’s Capture the Colour competition (you can see the blog post here). I found out last week that one of my images, “An Italian Vignette” won 2nd prize in the yellow category.

I was also quite excited that the image that won 1st prize in the Blue category was taken by one of the photographers that I nominated, Adam Allegro.  You can see all the winners on Travel Supermarket’s site here.

Now on to today’s image. This row of painted houses can be found in Portland, Maine. I didn’t go searching for this street. I actually didn’t even know it existed. This was on of those time when you’re driving along, minding your own business when all of a sudden you yell to your better half…”stop the car.” Needless to say my husband stopped. I had actually passed this street heading to Portland Head Lighthouse at about 4:30 that morning but it was too dark to see anything. We were returning to the lighthouse that afternoon and lucky this time I didn’t miss it.

I took 3 exposures and processed them in Photomatix and then ran the image through Topaz Adjust to give it a bit of an extra boost. (Don’t forget you can use the code ELPHOTO to get 15% off all Topaz products.)  The bulk of the work on this image was when I brought it back into Photoshop. There were electrical wires all through the images which took close to an hour of work to remove.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

painted houses, Portland, Maine, row houses, street scene


The Skipper

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on The Margaret Todd here’s a shot of our very relaxed skipper at the helm (is that what it’s called or have I been watching too much Star Trek?) of the Margaret Todd.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

schooner, windjammer, Margaret Todd, Bar Harbor, Maine, travel photography


Hidden Away

I was up Haliburton, Ontario about a month ago when we were having that glorious weather in Toronto. In wasn’t quite as warm in cottage country but the snow was on its way out and you could smell spring in the air. We stopped to have lunch at a lovely Inn on Eagle Lake, and of course I had to explore the property. Down by the lake was this little boat house with these row boats lying on their sides just waiting for the lake to thaw.

You can click on the image to view a larger version or to purchase a print.


Brooklyn Bridge

Project 52 Entry #39

We were in New York last week for a family function in Long Island and was able to spend a couple of days in Manhattan. While we had a wonderful time, my visit was greeted with a dull grey sky the whole time we were there…not great for photography, but didn’t stop me from walking the streets of this great city. I’ve been to New York so many times (here’s a little tidbit you may not know…I’m a Musical Theatre nut and actually have a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a major in Drama…ahhh the truth comes out.) but I’ve never photographed the Brooklyn Bridge. I contacted Mark Garbowski before I left to get some tips on where the best place to photograph the bridge from. Mark is a NYC photographer whose blog, Too Much Glass is filled with amazing images of New York. If you haven’t done so already you should check out his site. He suggested that I head down to the South Street Seaport which is where this image was taken.

With the sky being overcast and grey on not too much definition in the clouds I felt that this image worked better in a sepia tone.

Click on the image for a larger more detailed view.


Standing Tall in Rome

Project 52 Entry #38

A quick post today  as its shaping up to be a busy one. This was taken this past summer in Rome. This is the view walking out of the Roman Forum and Palantine Hill. Actually the view standing pretty much anywhere is quite spectacular.  I was revisiting these shots and realized that I hadn’t really posted any from this incredible part of Rome. There’s some more that I’ll be sharing in the next little while.

Click to see a larger more detailed view.