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.)


(First try…)


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.


This is the image run through GIMPressionist.


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, #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.


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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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.


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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Themes 2014-2015: #27 Musical

This post is my fifth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #27 Musical.


I do most of my work at home. But several times a year I head off to visit the corporate mothership in Carrollton, Texas. Besides getting face time with my colleagues, I’ve been staying with my good friend Marc Nowell. Marc is the drummer in a band, The Hydros. They get together to jam once a week or so, and when I’m in town and one of these session is on, I go and take photos.

The jam house is on its own in the midst of Trinity River bottomland, the better to not annoy the neighbors. Think man cave scaled up to four to five man band size and loaded with rock and roll musical instruments. They prefer the lighting turned down, just as it would be in a bar or stage venue. This makes it a bit challenging to get photos, but I’ve been at it since around 2006, so I have some strategies. The best one so far has been to use a camera with extended sensitivity, the Nikon D600. Most of these photos were taken with that camera. A couple of them, though, are taken with a Panasonic GF2 camera with the Navitar 50mm f/0.95 lens at or nearly wide open.









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Themes 2014-2015: #32 Painting with Light

This post is my fourth entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #32 Painting with Light.

I’m working on a small scale. My “canvas” is a piece of white foam-core board. I’m using a Panasonic GF2 camera, ISO 100, and a Navitar 50mm f/0.95 lens at about f/11, distance of about two foot. My light source is a laser. I’ve worked out a means of obtaining virtually unlimited different patterns, which has an obvious up side (lots of different photos are possible) and a not-so-obvious down side (it would be virtually impossible to return to a particular pattern once I’ve moved on). For the moment, I’m concentrating on these as an end in themselves. A future project will be to turn these into masks and combine them with textures in CorelDraw.


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Themes 2014-2015: #6 Bridge

This post is my second entry for the LWRDPC 52-Week Theme Photo Challenge, and my theme selection is #6 Bridge. The bridge photo is of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning the mouth of Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg to Manatee County on the south side.


The Sunshine Skyway lights up at night. This is about a 10 second exposure with the camera moving about 65 MPH, resulting in a wavery light display that I dub the “aurora caelum via”.

Technical photography data: Panasonic GF2 camera at ISO 100, auto white balance, with Olympus 14-43 f/3.5-5.6 lens, 14mm, f/18.

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