Poor Mans HDR

This technique is good for fixing up an image if you do not have software that can do single frame high dynamic range processing. As an example here is a picture I took outside of Payson, AZ:
I took this picture on a tripod with the flash set to rear sync. The picture is not particularly bad, the sunset is nice but a little bright. The background behind us is almost completely black.

Step one - in Photoshop press Control J to create a duplicate image.
Step two - on the menu bar select Image/adjustments/desaturate.
you should now have 2 layers, one that looks like the picture above and the other that looks like this:
Step three - with the desaturated layer selected on the menu bar select image/adjustments/invert.
Step four - with the second layer selected change the blending mode to soft light.
Your image will now look like this:
The image is "technically" perfectly exposed but doesn't look quite right.

Step five - with the second layer selected from the menu bar choose Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur. Move the slider all the way to the right. Click OK.

Your Second layer will look sorta like this:
Your completed picture would then look like this:
Notice that the Sunset has been slightly darkened and the dark background has been brought out. My wife and I have also been ever so slightly darkened as well.

You can now Merge the layers down, convert to 8 bit, and save as a jpeg if you want.

This technique works best on 8 bit jpeg's. It works ok on some 16 bit pictures.

To automate this process you can create an "Action" and assign it a function key, on my computer I have f2 set to do this. Consult your Photoshop help on how to create an Action.

Pure Gold

Let's see more of this!


Photography Road Trip

Yesterday Chris, Mike, and I went on a road trip early in the morning. We left at 06:00 in the general direction of US60 east. We went through Superior, and Stopped off the side of the road a couple of miles east of the Queen Creek Tunnel.
The temperature outside was 30 degrees. We took some pictures of the Brush and a fence covered in frost.
None of these pictures I took are sellable as they are not completely in focus. We froze our asses off, and went back to the tunnel to take some more pics. I tried to do some light trail pictures but it was too bright for that. I did take a picture of an old water generating plant near the tunnel.
We then drove on to globe, sight seeing along the way for anything worth taking a picture of. We found an old Diner by the side of the road and took some pics of it.
Some where between Claypool and Globe I took some pics of a train.
I had to remove the road name before I could upload them to Dreamstime. The road name was Toledo, Peoria, & Western.

While in Globe we found a restaurant called "Chalo's Casa De Reynoso".
We got there just as the doors were opened. The Chips were crispy but not tough. The Salsa was very flavorful, nice and spicy. The hot sauce strangely was as spicy as the salsa but had not much flavor. Chris and Mike ordered 3 cheese enchiladas and a cheese crisp each. I ordered a Cheese enchilada, Beef enchilada, and a Taco. The portions were large for the price we paid. The cheese enchilada was excellent. The cheese was completely melted and the enchilada sauce was very flavourful. The beef enchilada was filled with what I would call red chili burro filling. Good but little spice. The taco was excellent the tortilla was perfectly crisp and the filing was very finely shredded beef, with just the right amount of spice. The service was cheerful and friendly. The bill not including tip was $32.00 and change. While waiting to pay the bill another person in line told us that the owners had another restaurant at 3138 S. Mill, in Tempe. We will have to check that out later.

After that we headed back to town. We stopped at the Bullion Plaza Museum. Admission is free. There is a reason for this. It looked like a yard sale inside. We saw the entire museum in about 10 minutes. Before leaving Mike engaged the two older ladies in conversation and because of this it took us another 20 minutes to leave.

We did a little bit more site seeing and went home.


Hunting for Nothing

Today we went to the FMR again. When we arrived the sun had not yet risen, and there was no fog this time. The moon was full so I took some pics, only one turned out really good. I had to work some magic to get the moon to look correct and have the picture properly lit.
The previous 3 pictures I submitted 2 weeks ago were not accepted, for reasons I figured they wouldn't be. They were over processed. Oh well they look cool anyways.

We drove a bit further in to avoid any atv'ers, although there weren't many out this weekend. On the walk out I saw not one single cotton tail or jack rabbit. Chris shot a Quayle, Mike didn't see any rabbits either. I did come across the trailer we found out there before. I also found an unreadable sign on a pole more than half a mile from the nearest dirt road. Chris found a place where someone excavated a hole recently for some unknown reason. He also found a large plywood target that was setup on the side of a hill.
We hiked to a small mountain/large hill and hiked up to see what was on the side of it. From below it looked like someone had built a small platform or building out of flat rocks, but when we got up there we found it was just a volcanic outcrop of cracked rocks.

On the way back I stopped to drink some water. I put my rifle over my shoulder, took my water out of my fanny pack, and at that moment a large cottontail broke from cover. I never even got a chance to shoot at it. The same thing happened to Chris earlier in the day. About a quarter of the way back I stopped to take a breather, Chris was to the NNE of me and fired his shotgun at something. That caused a Jack Rabbit in the brush ahead of me to break. I shot at it several times but my rifle stove piped and it got away.

When we got back to the vehicle Chris and Mike took some pics, and we went home.

Each of us hiked about 4.2 to 4.3 miles.


Bacon Tasting Part VII


Another let down. The other day I tried "Vande Rose Farms Applewood Smoked Bacon". As reviewed by the Grateful palate, and other sites. This bacon was raved about.

Here is the The Grateful palates review:

"Ranger Danny's Tasting Notes: My favorite. Lovely appearance, exquisite balance, remarkable meat. All this needs is a fork and knife. 4 oinks. Ranger David's Tasting Notes: One of the best bacons ever! Taste and balance are tremendous. It all starts with with a great pig, man."

Here is the review from this article:

"Tasters raved that this bacon — which scored a distinct few notches higher than the rest of the lineup — has it all: “Nice balance of sweetness to salt, great deep complex ham flavor, very meaty,” with a “faint fruity taste, sweet and salty.” Extra-big slices and “genuine” smoke flavor were big hits with our tasters."

Now my review:

This a dry cured bacon. Rubbed with brown sugar, salt, pepper, etc., then smoked (so they say). I found this bacon to be almost completely devoid of smoke flavor/smell. The bacon was a bit on the salty side, the texture of the meat was close to that of tender beef jerky (a bit dry), and had a mild ham flavor. The fat had a sweet flavor to it, and there was a LOT of fat on the cuts I got. The fat was extremely tender and almost creamy (not chewy at all). This was the only bacon I have ordered (so far) to come in a retail package like store bought bacon. If it wasn't for this packaging I would have thought my bacon had been switch for some inferior store brand. This is awfully pricey stuff for .75 lbs of bacon, that's right, for about $14.00 you get 12 oz. of bacon. That makes this bacon $18.66 per pound. This is bacon for some poor little rich kid that "don't like strong flavors, or smells". Meh!

Need more proof check here.