In a continuation of my processing experiments I made a little something that ended up making me think of graphic novels. I usually try my best to not have any preconceived set of parameters for my photos, rather I try to let them lead me where they want to go. I have been working on this photo for some time honestly. The coloring really was giving me trouble. This is actually shot at sunset and the sky is a nice blue and purple, but the lights of the palace grounds are in full blaze making a heavy hue of tungsten. I processed the photo twice for each color temperature, but still couldn’t get things feeling right. I ended up trying black and white which I really liked but then started playing with selective color, something I generally dislike. In this particular instance I think it came out very fun!
There is quite a bit riding on the weather…photographically speaking. You generally have only a limited time at a location, and if you have a completely blue sky or a really dull grey one, you tend to get boring pictures. Sure there are ways to fake interesting clouds, but I don’t do that. I take what mother nature gives me and try to work on it from that vantage point. Not every shot will be great, but hopefully you always come away with something you find helps you learn. Other days, as in life, you get a bounty of great clouds. When that happen…collect as much as you can and be thankful!
I have shared my love of train stations in the past. This one is perhaps one of the oldest and coolest of the bunch I have photographed so far. It was built for the 1900 Exposition, over the years, the station because unsuitable for modern trains. It went through a number of lives, then in 1970 it was slated for demolition. WHAT!
Luckily for everyone a very smart person in the government ruled against demolition and it was decided the old train station would make a wonderful museum. I can’t image the wonderful architectural treasures we have lost…Orsay is a testament to what can happen to these treasures when they are given modern jobs.
Angels and Demons
I am not sure what this guy (woman?) is supposed to be honestly. I used to be decent at various myths, but I am at a loss with this one. Somehow he was important enough to display in the gardens surrounding the palace at Versailles. I still don’t know what it is about this planter that caught my interest. Perhaps its the way he is perched like a handle on this pot atop the head of some other mythological creature that caught my eye. Regardless, he (or she) is forever captured for all to see.
It is truly staggering how much funding monarchs have. The Palace at Versailles is the perfect example of the excesses of power; its beauty and seductiveness as well as its darker side. The site was originally a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, then was later expanded by the same monarch to a château. Major construction bringing the palace up to the scope it enjoys today didn’t occur till the reign of Louis XIV and was accomplished in multiple stages (or building campaigns). It is an incredibly overwhelming complex of palaces. If you are in Paris, I highly recommend this day trip. Enjoy the wonderful romp though France’s decadent past! As a side note, yes that is actually gold (leaf) on the roof. If you find that impressive, you should see the inner gate!
Walking down Rue Cler in Pairs, there are quite a number of shops that have wonderful little surprises sitting on the sidewalk for you to explore. This is one such vendor that had a bucket of roses in a multitude of colors. The funny thing is a really wanted to do this one in black and white despite all the wonderful color. I usually saturate the bee-Jesus out of my photographs, but for some reason I felt like exploring the texture and tones in this photo. I always feel like a need to do more black and white, I just get caught up in my love of color.
This is a three shot (-2, 0, +2) HDR, combined in Photomatix enhanced in Lightroom. I then exported to Photoshop and use Nik (color efx pro, and silver efx) I then saved and did all the finish work in Lightroom.
The world famous Mouiln Rouge in Paris is a cabaret built in 1889 and is known to we Americans as the place that made the cancan famous. It is located near Montmartre though I believe it is technically in Pagalle, a section of the city know for its more lurid nature. We though perhaps it was better to avoid some parts of the Quartier at night, but honestly I think Times Square back in the 90’s was more of an event. The shows can get sort of expensive at Moulin Rouge (Red Windmill literally translated) and there wasn’t anything we particularly wanted to see though from the photo you can see we missed Les Petits Chevaux du Moulin Rouge (The Small Horses of Moulin Rouge)…oh well maybe next time.
This is a three bracket exposure (-2, 0, +2) taken on a gorillapod. The brackets were combined in Photomatix, cleaned up in Photoshop, enhanced with Nik Software, and finished in Lightroom. Total processing time was around 1 hour.
I went crazy photographing at the Louvre courtyard…I just couldn’t seem to get enough photos of those I.M. Pei pyramids. Most of the french consider them to be a blight on the beauty of the Louvre Palace, and to tell you the truth I have never understood what a modern sculpture is doing on precipice of an old art museum. It seems like these would be better suited for Centre Pompidou, but what do I know.
This is a three shot bracket (-2, 0, +2) combined in Photomatix. All other adjustments were done in Lightroom 4.
I really enjoy photographing at night. There is just something magical about a city when the sun goes down; the whole place lights up with a certain glow. We spent quite a bit of time in the are of Paris around Notre Dame and I took several other photos I am proud of down here in the evening. I was ultimately unhappy with the first Seine photo I released which I call lovingly Big Yellow Bus, Down By the River. Why oh why did I not Photoshop that thing out…I will never know. Perhaps one day I will revisit that photo, but for now it serves, as many of my older photos do, as a teaching tool. I really feel like I caught the passion of the Seine in this version.
This is a three shot bracket (-2, 0, +2) shot on with the camera on a Joby Gorillapod. The brackets were combined in photomatix and exported to Photoshop for editing. You have to be careful with city skies at night as they can turn a really unnatural color when photographed. I remembered the sky being Midnight Blue and color corrected in Photoshop to memory. Final work was done in Lightroom.
Pamela pointed out something recently without really meaning to…”You really like ceilings don’t you?” Well…yes I do, some people completely forget to look up when they visit stunning places. There is SO much to look at and so many people to navigate around, often we forget to look up (or behind us) for a different view. Next time you happen to be somewhere cool stop and take a look at the ceiling. Many times if there was a serious craftsman involved, you will be amazed at what you see.
This shot was actually done on the exit when we visited the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I sat down on a bench and looked up to find the most wonderful carvings of flowers on the bottom side of the Arc. I took a picture from where I sat.
This is a three shot handheld bracket (-2, 0, +2) combined in Photomatix, edited in photoshop, Nik software and finished in Lightroom. The photo was desaturated to begin with and I removed a good deal of the saturation as I found it distracting, leaving about half as I think it added depth and character, balancing the color to how I remember it in my head.