Sunday, December 27, 2009

Horse: color to black & white

I'm still having fun taking color photographs and converting them to black and white. The process shows what a different statement the picture makes. Today I'm featuring a photo I took the other day of a horse that we visit regularly.
In the color version you see the interesting coat color with its interesting tones and subtle color changes. The photo was processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.0 Beta which is a free download from Adobe. You can try and use this version until the final version is released.

In the black and white version you are more drawn to the eye and the pattern of spots in his coat along with the soft black on his nose. The biggest difference so me is the strong contrast that make the spots in his coat jump out at you. Each of the photographs make their own statement and that is what has intrigued me with the process  The photo was transformed to black and white using Silver Efex Pro.
I have a suggestion of another blog that I read regularly Steve Huff is a professional photographer who not only takes wonderful pictures but does testing on the latest Leica, Nikon, Cannon cameras and accessories. Take a look and you will go back on a regular basis to see whats new and how to use it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

HDR Photography

High Dynamic Range is one of the new selections available in the latest firmware update. Today I'm sharing a few of the pictures I took using this selection available in the scene mode. You have three choices Natural, Art and Black and White. I chose the art and black and white. No other filters were used the photos where processed in Adobe Lighroom 2.6.
Unfortunately while using this mode you can only save the photographs in jpg and not raw. Still I think that you get some very usable pictures especially for use on the web. The photo to the right brought out all the strong colors and sharpness.

Horses and Pasture highlighted by strong colors.

Black and White HDR shows strong contrast.

Excellent color and tonality.
Here now is a short video showing some more of the pictures taken in HDR.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Firmware

Leica has announced the availability of a new firmware update. This link will take you to the page that will allow you to download the software, pdf instructions and the pdf description of all the new and updated functions.
Highlights include 1 to 1 aspect ratio, white balance enhancements, exposure compensation, lens resume, red eye removal, message display and user name record. I have just updated my camera and will discuss these additions in a later blog.
Today I'm sharing some crops and macro shots that I took on Friday and Saturday. The first shot is a crop of a mushroom hidden among the garden plants.

The next two pictures are a close up of the center of a orchid. Scary looking and beautiful all at the same time. The color rendition shows the color changes that occur as the flower nears the end of its life cycle.

The black and white version of the photograph was done in a antique style that has a softness to it and does not show the ravages of fleeting life.

Just for fun I'm adding this high resolution photograph of a lone leaf with rain drops on it. Mouse click on the (+) in the upper right corner to see it full screen. If the image does not appear click the center button just to the left of the (+) button.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Season

Today we put up our tree and ornaments. This made think what type of pictures could I take and share with you.  Well as you can see I used a Christmas ornament as a model and then played with the image a little.

The color version has strong details and warm colors around the eyes and nose.

The black and white close up shows the same contrasts with some stronger details. Enjoy the holidays and have fun taking pictures.