Tagged: photographic style

Early in Downtown Hanover on a Rainy Saturday

I have been working on extending my photography.  Ideally I would like to extend it towards new subjects, but short of that I have been working on extending the times I photograph.  That is why you have been seeing a few more pictures taken before the sun rises.  I took the above pictures in downtown Hanover, PA in the rain and in the early morning darkness.

I have gotten to the point where I am comfortable with my camera settings and the image quality for this type of light; but I still need to work on finding suitable compositions.  I also would like to “get closer” and create some more expressionistic or abstract images in this type of light.  This will require occasionally getting out of the car and walking about in the dark and wet and cold in the off hours.  So far, while working on camera settings, etc. I have mostly taken the pictures from inside the car.

I liked the images of the people going through the market door; therefore, I am thinking of getting more similar pictures and creating a series of them.

All was Quiet

It was 49 degrees F. and raining lightly; i.e., an ideal time for me to try to make some pictures in a style that is growing on me.  I went out this morning between 6 and 7 am to work on my technique, etc.  An added benefit was that it was quiet with no one else out where I live.  The pool and the exercise rooms were empty, but the lights were on.  I guess that these pictures are telling me that the rest of the people living here have more sense that I and were still snug in their beds.

For those who are curious, I used my weather resistant Pentax K-3 with the 18 – 135 mm lens.  All of the pictures were taken at an ISO of 6400 at apertures of 4.5 or 5.6; i.e., wide open for this lens at the focal lengths I used.  I was also using a -1 dialed in for exposures and took all the images in raw format and then tweaked the WB and noise reduction in development.

Nature’s Art

This was the view from my seat at the table looking out one window as I was eating supper last Saturday.  I used a long zoom lens to collapse the perspective and focus on the colors.  I was seeing the reflection from one window on and through another.  I looked again at the same time the next day and saw nothing like this.  That is another common theme with my pictures this week.  I will never be able to repeat any of them since they all depend upon the light intensity and direction and colors of the light and plants, etc.  Nature never repeats exactly the same.


Feeding my Muse


No explanation necessary.  I just enjoy the small things in life as long as they contain color, light, reflections and/or shadows and lean toward abstractions.  They are abstract only in the sense that I only show a small portion of the subject.

I reached the bottom photographically and decided that the only way to recover was to seek out opportunities that feed my inner being with images that I like.

I will be showing you some different perspectives this week as I create some images that I enjoy.  All of the images will be taken relatively close up with a telephoto lens.

Shadows of the Past … Making New Look Old


Since a lot of people still live in the past, I thought that I would try some new things with some new software that I obtained.  The software essentially lets you put all the flaws back into your picture that they have spent decades designing out of new cameras and lenses and lets you age the picture to look like an old print that has suffered a lot of abuse.

This wasn’t the best photo to try it on, but since a lot of people around here live in the shadows of the past, I grabbed the first new photo that I had with shadows.  I will probably try some more of the features with some B&W pictures later.  I might even develop a new project called “Shadows of the Past.”

Reality 101

I have stewed for years about how to show my pictures of Hanover, PA.  As you have noted if you have followed my blog for the last two years, I have tried various ways of developing them using various styles of B&W, antiquing, color, etc.  Since I got the Fujifilm X-E1 camera I have finished them primarily as they look in Adobe’s LR5 basic process as shown above.  I have done this as I marveled at the details and colors of the Fujifilm X-E1 camera.  I still haven’t decided, but if I settle on this process, I might refer to it as “reality,” especially since the Fujifilm X cameras do it so well.

The house with the peeling paint might be one of the extreme cases but it isn’t unique.  There are a lot of houses in Hanover that need painting.  It would take a lot to repair this house, prep it for painting, and then paint it with several coats.  The sad thing is that it isn’t likely to happen due to the cost.  Eventually they fall down if we are lucky.  Many just stand vacant for years and years.

Getting back to how would I prefer to show my pictures of Hanover, there are other issues that I have.  I find that the kind of pictures I least like to take are what I refer to as “snap shots”.  These are pictures that others are likely to take and are meant to be perfect reproductions of the scene as interpreted by the camera.  In the past, cameras and lenses were different but in today’s computer age they are all getting more alike and thus so are pictures.  If one is making a record of how the scene looked to the camera at that time, then the above images do the job.  The details are sharp and the colors are great, but I find that it is a harsh treatment of the scenes.

I also like a toned monochrome style such as shown below.  I think that it does more to record the emotions that I feel when I see such scenes.  At some point I need to decide how I wish to portray my Hanover images, but I will hold off until I decide if I’m going to make a book with some of them.  In the meantime, I will keep treating each picture differently as I feel they should look … at least to me on that day.  I can always redo them later if I feel differently.

PS … below is how the sky really looked this morning.  There is no doubt that these kind of pictures work best in color.  But, most using a camera in auto mode would not record it to look this way.  To get the colors to match requires manually setting the exposure.  In this light I also had to manually focus on the horizon.


Photographing Clouds

The above are daylight images of clouds, including the one with the moon, converted into B&W.

Lately I am finding it harder and harder to see things I wish to photograph.  A primary reason is that I haven’t been going to new places and I have gotten tired of photographing the same things over and over.  I have always been attracted to changes and now about all that changes are the clouds and the weather, and it isn’t always photogenic.  For example, this morning we have a clear blue sky, and nothing else.

Some Pictures Just Work Better in B&W


It has been hot and I haven’t been out much nor have I thought of anything to photograph; so I have used my time to research cameras and lenses and to work on seeing what I can do with older pictures that I have taken.

The above picture originally had a solid blue sky with a mix of various colored bricks in the buildings and I never liked it much.  I don’t think I have shown it before, but I may have.  I ran across it while I was looking through older pictures to try to figure out what was the best focal length lens for me to use whenever I get around to going back to town to make some more pictures.  For those who might be interested, the effective 35mm of the Fujifilm X100 worked nicely for this picture.

I like this style for this picture since it emphasizes the texture of the bricks and the old character of the building without over-whelming the viewer with the vivid colors of the sky and bricks.

You can read more about our old buildings and the C. Moul & Co, by clicking here.

PS … you may have noticed that a while back I disabled the “like button” at the end of my articles since I never learned much from the like clicks.  If you like, or don’t like, something in particular about an article or picture, you can comment.

Antique Monochrome Picture Style

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Since several viewers liked my treatment of the reenactment pictures and since I intend to use that or a similar treatment for some other pictures, I have tried various approaches to achieve a look I prefer.  During my experimenting I have worked on some other, older pictures that I took.

While it looks like I took the first picture back in prehistoric times, I actually took it about 6 years ago in Costa Rica.  I used a Canon S3I camera with a small sensor and took the picture as a jpeg.  I have always liked this picture but at the same time it has befuddled me.  Look at the direction the smoke and clouds roll off the top of the active volcano in the center foreground and then look at how the clouds, or smoke, roll off of the one in the right background.  In the foreground, the clouds and smoke seem to roll off and down in both directions while on the background mountain it looks like smoke rolling up and blowing to your right.

The other picture of a street in downtown Hanover was taken in raw format with a better camera and larger sensor.  To my surprise, I find it harder to get the antique look with the better camera using raw format.  I used the Fujifilm X100 camera to get the second picture.  It appears that it would be a lot easier to just use a cheaper small sensor camera and take the pictures in jpeg format if this was the only way I were going to use the pictures.  Since I’m not willing to forgo the other advantages of large sensors and raw format, I need to work a little harder to get the look.

If you decide to use small jpeg pictures rather than raw formats for this style, I suggest that you first do some experimenting on the same composition since the vast differences in the above compositions along with sensor size make it hard to really assess this effect.  To really test this effect and rule out other factors I would take pictures of the same subject at the same time in both jpegs and raw formats.

For those of you trying to duplicate this look, I started with the NIK preset for antique in Silver Efex Pro2.  Since I wanted a deeper black and brighter white than normal old antique, faded pictures, I have played with the black and white areas.  I have also been trying various schemes to get the grain that I like by switching back and forth between LR5 and Silver Efex Pro and using both to add grain and make adjustments.

I find that I like monochrome pictures so I intend to keep working on various monochrome styles for my own work.  At the same time I realize that some pictures work better in color and that most of my viewers prefer color, so I will continue showing both color and monochrome pictures in various styles depending on the subject and mood I’m trying to show.