638 – In The Grove

Oh Goodness, I’m hopelessly behind. These are some of the images of Saturday.

Two of them are experiments in B&W conversion, and I think that the process is simple and works well. Basically the idea is to use the new B&W conversion layer in CS3, use its presets (high-contrast red, high-contrast blue, maximum black, maximum white, …), just concentrate on parts of the image, limit the conversion with masks, and overlay another filter for another part, again masked, until everything is B&W.

In both images the upper part uses the high-contrast red preset, while the lower part uses high-contrast blue, and in case of the farmhouse there is even some maximum black in between. Finally I have applied toning with a gradient map and overlayed some blur, restricting blending to parts of the tonal range. Hmm … that’s probably stuff for a tutorial.

The two B&W images and the Image of the Day were taken with the Sigma 70/2.8 Macro. I love this short telephoto lens and, funnily enough, I even seem to dream in this kind of images. Just as I woke up (it’s Tuesday, 5:59 as I write this), I saw an image before my eyes, and I know, when I ever want to take it, I’ll use this lens. The image faded as my conscious mind set in, and thankfully I managed to remember it. It was a bedroom window or rather a door to a terrace, shot as a vertical across the bed, focus was on the bed, there were flowers on the bed and in the background I saw a person, very much out of focus, just recognizable, probably opening the door.

The composition was very vertical in the upper part, parallel lines, the person being one of them, occupying the left half of the upper two thirds, the right half being the lines of the door frame and some curtains. The flowers in the foreground lay asymmetrically, higher on the right side. Just as I was trying to analyze this image (or at least to not forget it), an image of a yacht harbor flashed up. Boats and masts, a similar composition, divided in asymmetric halves in the upper part, the lower part holding it together in a balanced way.

What that means? No idea. Things like that don’t happen regularly to me. In fact they normally don’t happen at all. Seems like a rather interesting kind of inspiration to me 🙂

Let me leave you with one final image of Saturday. We were dining on the terrace of a restaurant, and just after the main course, I turned my back, looked across the street and saw this spectacular evening scene. I took some images with the Sigma 10-20, some with the 70/2.8, but what I like most is this fisheye image. Landscapes with a fisheye? Sure. Just keep the horizon in the middle and it will be straight. Of course you don’t only get a spectacularly big sky, you’ll also get a lot of boring foreground (at least here it was boring) but that’s easy to fix with a crop from below.

The Song of the Day is “I had A Dream” from Ray Charles’ 1958 album “Yes, Indeed!!“. A video is supplied with the lyrics. Admittedly it’s not Ray Charles, but it’s not shabby either. So who are Bob and Clive??