Themes 2014-2015, #41 Single Color on Black and White

This post is my ninth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #41 Single Color on Black and White.

(This is a second go at the image. See notes below.)

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(First try…)

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This is a portrait of Beka, our six-year-old female mini-dachshund. This was taken at the TailWaggers agility trials at the Turner Center in Arcadia, Florida. The Turner Center’s large covered arena gets a layer of clay for rodeos and the like, and while it is set up that way, dog clubs rent it out for agility trials. The interior lighting is pretty strange artificial light, and low level to boot, which ended up with a pretty striking orange cast in my shots. I was thinking about the “single color on B&W” theme and how pretty much everything I’ve seen so far for this theme has used the color as the main feature of interest, and I wanted to see if I could make it work to utilize color as background instead. The fact that it covers a diagonal is what helps this out, I think.

Beka sometimes gets a bit suspicious of things out of the ordinary, and this shot captured her with an expression she often gets in that mood. Advice I’ve received from many sources over the years is that so long as the eyes are in focus, lack of focus elsewhere is forgivable. I think this could be an archetypal image to test that claim.

Technical photography data: Panasonic GF2 camera, Navitar 50mm f/0.95 lens @ f/0.95, ISO 800, 1/60th second exposure. Post-processing in GIMP: levels, lasso mask with feathering, invert mask, desaturate, invert mask, gaussian blur (64 pixels), and scale (Sinc/Lanczos).

Update: I thought folks might be interested in seeing the original and another derivative.

First, this is the image with levels, some color correction, and scaled.

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This is the image run through GIMPressionist.

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Looking over the image again today, I got the impression that the “desaturate” operation left the image overall too dark. Looking into it, I found that GIMP can get to a grayscale image in different ways, and the one offering the most control appears to be via the Channel Mixer. I had to add plugins to GIMP to get it, but that resulted in the image that is now up top. I also used discrete clicks to position points defining the “lasso” mask of color rather than just click-and-drag drawing.

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Themes 2014-2015, #49 Two of Us

This post is my eighth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #49 Two of Us.

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My father, my sister, and I went to Gainesville for the season opener for the UF Gators football team. We were in the stadium nearly an hour early, and we could see the threatening storm clouds off to the southeast. We were there when the first delay was announced due to lightning within eight miles of the stadium. We never saw any football that evening, but we spent a chunk of time under the stands in the stadium with many of our fellow Gator fans.

I took the picture above simply as a representation of our huddled masses yearning to see some college football, but the bit of communication going on between the guy and gal in the picture made it all about them.

Technical photography stuff: Nikon D600, Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI lens, probably somewhere near ISO 2500 and f/5.6, maybe 1/30th of a second.

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Themes 2014-2015, #20 Interpretation of Art

This post is my seventh entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #20, Interpretation of Art.

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For me, this pattern gave me a strong sense of pareidolia. The wear pattern in this luggage carousel at DFW Airport reminded me of the figure in Edvard Munch’s Skrik (The Scream). Add the generic angst from that to the existential despair of being stuck behind the metal of a luggage carousel, forever, and that’s the photo. At least for me. Your mileage may vary.

Tehcnical photography stuff: Panasonic GF2 camera, Navitar 50mm f/0.95 (I don’t think I’m going to get tired of writing that spec), probably around ISO 400 and f/2.8 or so.

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Mirage

I was driving home on SR 674 east of Wimauma when I noticed this nice mirage. It’s just a simple refraction of light through hot air over the asphalt. I remember being fascinated by this mirage as a child, where no matter how often we approached the apparent “water” on the road, it always receded before us.

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Blog Theme

I switched a few weeks ago to the Touchfolio theme. It offers galleries that get first-class treatment on visiting the blog, and has very nice mobile navigation and display.

However, various forums indicate that Touchfolio is likely abandonware, the author has moved on to doing other things. I’m likely to keep it until some incompatibility with a WordPress upgrade manifests.

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Themes 2014-2015: #1, At a Distance

This post is my sixth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #1 At a Distance.

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My father attended University of Florida, and later so did I. Family outings to the Gator football games have long been a tradition, and we have season tickets for seats up in section 13, row 61. That puts us at about the north 20 yard line, a ways back and up from the sidelines of the football field. My sister, my father, and I trekked up to Gainesville to see the Gators play the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Gators put up 65 points and denied the Eagles any.

Sometimes I’ve been able to take my best lens in, the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8, but the gate staff have been getting progressively pickier about length of lens, and the stadium rules permit them to deny entry to a camera sporting a lens longer than six inches. So for this game, I took gear that easily fit into the regulations, a Panasonic GF2 camera with a Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 lens. The camera is about 2010 vintage, and the lens was likely manufactured in the late 1960s. This made things fairly old school in operation, with manual focusing and operating the lens aperture essentially as preset (via use of a Nikon G adapter to Micro Four-Thirds, providing its own ring to adjust aperture). The field of view of the 135mm lens on the M43 camera is equivalent to a 270mm lens on a 35mm film camera. As the light faded, I edged the ISO up and eased the f-stop back from f/8 to f/4, aiming to keep the shutter speed at 1/500th or better.

I seemed to have a field day for catching errors. I have pretty good photos of pass interference and a couple of incomplete passes. The one in the far end zone was pretty heart-stopping, and the missed catch near the sideline just struck me as being humorous.

Back during my time at UF, I got to take photos from the sidelines as a photographer for the Independent Florida Alligator newspaper. I don’t have a sideline pass anymore, but I still enjoy getting photos of the Gators doing their thing. One thing being so high in the stands does for me is keep me from worrying about a couple of three-hundred pound guys running into me at speed, which is something you do worry about when working the sidelines.

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