Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lighting Effects

Pictures taken this week in different lighting conditions using the Leica D-Lux 4.
A field of wild flowers shot from under the tree line and looking toward the hills. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 2.7 and Topaz filter Adjust 4.

A darkened sky highlighted with Nik Software Color Effect Pro to give the look of night time with moonlight accentuating the highlights.

A tree lined and sunlit country road processed with Nik Software's glamor glow filter adding warmth to the picture.

A sunlit meadow with contrasting shadows was converted from color using Nik Software Silver Effect Pro to give this photo a nice antique look.
All of these pictures were taken with the purpose to highlight shadows and color contrasts to hopefully make them more interesting to the viewer. The use of filters in the processing of these pictures was used only accentuate those highlights.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pic's of the week 2

Pictures taken this week with the Leica M-9 and Leica D-Lux 4.

This first picture says it all. All signs lead to where ?

Antique store. 
All photos taken with the M-9, using no flash only using available light and are cropped in Adobe CS4.
Hats and one interesting face.
Pedal car - I love the quality of the colors captured.
Old photographs again all these photos were captured using available light.
Now some shots taken with D-Lux 4 !
Fence Line - Processed with Nik Software Viveza 2.
Old Horse Shed - Processed in Adobe CS4

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Road Show

On Tuesday April 20th I attended the Leica North American Road Show for the Leica M-9 in San Francisco California. There were about 30 other attendees who ranged from people who were making the switch to Leica from DSLR cameras to professional photographers and everything in between.
The road show was hosted by Leica and they had their west coast distributor and there USA representative from New York handling the presentation.  It covered the M-9 from top to bottom starting with the controls on the outside of the camera body to software shooting and set up menus. A number of the attendees had brought their own M-9s and Leica supplied the others with cameras and lenses they had brought with them for the hands on portion of the seminar.
Everyone was encouraged to follow along with their camera through set-up, trouble shooting and hands on focusing practice. It seems that the biggest adjustment for people is to get a grip on how to focus a range finder camera quickly and accurately.
One of the hints during the focusing session was to start your focusing from the infinity position rather than the close focus position. I found that for me this really helped in the accuracy and the speed of focus. They went over the use of Hyper Focal and Zone focusing systems which was helpful.
There was also a very good demonstration of street photography by Chris Weeks if you are unfamiliar with his work do yourself a favor and check out his website.
They also had every lens available for the M-9 for the attendees to look at and try. Probably the only time I will get my hands on a $10,000.00 lens. If you have the opportunity to attend one of the road shows I think you will find it well worth the time. Especially if you are interested in purchasing a M-9.

  Attendees getting their questions answered.
Working on the menus and camera set up.
Focus slide demo the lights are out and I took this photo without flash.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Comparison photographs processed with different filters allow you to detail a picture to better tell your story. Today's pictures were processed with Topaz Labs Filters Detail 2, Adjust 4 and its newest release Clean 3. All photos were taken with a Leica M-9 with a 35 mm lens on Saturday April 17th.
This first image is cropped from the original with no editing applied.
Image two has been adjusted with Topaz Detail 2.
Image three is image number two which has been adjusted further with Topaz Adjust 4 to give a even more dramatic effect.

Image taken at the local Apple store they are always busy. Image was adjusted with Topaz Detail 2 using the Lithograph filter.
The same image adjusted with Topaz Adjust 4 applying the Psychedelic filter.
A crop of the above image with Topaz Clean 3 filter Curly Smooth applied. I hope these examples all show a slightly different story and encourage you to try them for yourself.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quick Shots

Sharing a a couple of quick shots from this week.
 Old tractor that is still in use even thou it may have seen better times. 
(Leica D-Lux 4)
 The blue skies have returned after a weekend of rain. 
(Leica M-9)
Fast running water taken hand held at 1/8 sec. 
(Leica D-Lux 4.)
Working truck still going strong despite its heavy use. 
(Leica D-Lux 4)
Here are the owners of said truck hard at work with a beautiful back drop. 
(Leica D-Lux 4)
A black white landscape to end with taken on a overcast morning with some sun light breaking through the cloud cover to light up flowers and grasses. 
(Leica D-Lux 4)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Not a Locomotive

Fresh pics from today's walk taken with the Leica D-Lux 4 using the high quality jpg setting.
From the the first shot you might say that a locomotive is heading my way, but no it is a old Chevy truck I found parked in the local school parking lot. I just had to get some shots of this classic pick-up truck which looks like it has been stored outdoors in the dirt. It still comes up beautiful to my eye and I hope you enjoy these pictures.

Bright red with black trim this truck really pops.
What a massive grill this is what it may have looked like if one had taken the photo when the truck was brand new. Photo was converted from color with Nik Software Silver Efex Pro.
Peering into the cab through the rear window reflections and all.
Note the split front windshield when this truck was designed they didn't know how to curve the glass to make it one piece.
 If you look real closely you maybe able to see my dogs and my reflection in the chrome bumper. Post processing of all these pictures was in Adobe Lightroom Beta 2, Adobe CS4 and Topaz Filters.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pic's of the week

In the future I will be trying to put up some of my pic's of the week. This week I have chosen to feature some pictures taken with the Leica M-9. Next weeks pictures will be from the Leica D-Lux 4.
I just ordered and received a SteadePod a device to use in lieu of a tripod. I hope to have some demo shots and my experience in using this tool posted in the near future.

 Just had to add this picture taken right at the shoreline. 
Leica M-9, Adobe Lightroom 2.6

A wind swept tree on the Northern California Coast taken this week. 
Leica M-9, Adobe Lightroom 2.6 and Adobe CS4.

 Easter Tulips. 
Leica M-9 and Topaz Detail 2 filter.

Saturday ride through the valley a illusion of speed. 
Leica M-9 Topaz Adjust 4 filter.

 Just for fun ! 
Leica M-9 Topaz Adjust 4 filter.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fading Light

Photographs taken with the Leica M-9 with fading light accenting these shots. Even though these photographs were taken in the late morning with the use of Topaz Adjust 4 filter I was able to give them the appearance of being taken much later in the day.
Photo number one is of a horse waiting for his carrots to be delivered. Heavy shadows along with brighter sun light accent this picture.
In picture number two this unusual rock faced building has the look of a old world castle. Remaining light is reflected off the rocks for a unusual look.
Picture number three is of a now still dormant vineyard accented by the green grass growing between the rows of vines.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Weekly Pics

On this holiday weekend just a few pictures from the past week.
Stone garden coming to life. (Leica D-Lux 4)
Entranced by the music video. (Leica M-9)
Sunset after the last rain. (Leica M-9)
Reflections on Windy Hill Pond (Leica D-Lux 4)

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Visualization what we see and what we capture in a picture may be many different things. Today I saw a bunch of flowers laying on a log and they had obviously seen better days. In my my minds eye I thought that they told a story that I wanted to capture. Here are the steps I took to transform a image into what my minds eye saw.
This is the image as it came straight from the Leica D-Lux 4 camera and was downloaded into Adobe Lightroom 3.0 beta 2.
Here the image is after cropping and tonal adjustment in Adobe CS4 to brighten and to add contrast to the image.
This version of the image is the result of adding a glamor glow effect in Nik Software Color Efex Pro. Softening and adding highlights to the picture.
This version of the image is after adding another effect in Nik Software Color Efex Pro called Lighten - Darken Center. It allows you to adjust the light on your image where you want it. In this photo I have used it to darken the area around the flowers and stems.
For another different look I processed the photo to show it as a black and white image once again in Nik Software using Silver Efex Pro.
My minds eye had seen something not so readily apparent to the casual observer. That even thou these once vibrant flowers had out lived their use to someone and had been discarded as trash. They still have a natural beauty that is worth recognizing and collecting as a prized photograph.
If you like this type of post where I show how I arrived at a final image or images, please let me know by posting a comment. Thanks for taking a look at my blog.