Monday, October 31, 2011

Reykjanesskagi panorama III

Technical information: The three panoramas in this series form one big panorama, not quite 360° because I left out the portion with the sun in it. I was unable to put them all together in one very wide panorama due to technical reasons (i.e. they came out banana shaped). However, I think each can be enjoyed on its own. Each photo is stitched together from three images, using Canon PhotoStitch 3.1.

Click on the photo to go to the flickr page to see the images in more sizes or leave a comment.

The previous two photos were posted last Monday and the Monday before that.

Photo text:
This image fits to the left of the one I posted last Monday. The triangular mountain Keilir is a small volcanic cone, situated not far from Reykjavík and clearly visible from there. It can be reached by taking a very bad gravel road through the lava fields and then hiking up to the mountain along a path that winds through the lava field. The hike up the mountain is steep and gravelly but even out of shape persons like myself can do it without overstraining themselves.

I was actually photographing the clouds, but the feeling of emptiness issuing from the moss-covered lava field is incredible and I wanted to show that as well. One stitch is rather obvius, but I felt it was necessary to put it together like this to show the lava field and the cloudscape in relation to the mountain. BTW, the horizon is this shape not because of the stitching (which sometimes turns straight lines into banana shapes) but because I was standing on top of a small hill, higher than the lava flow.


Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Photoshop lesson: Digital Orton effect using a flower photo

This is a nice flower photo, but hardly outstanding:

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

The original photo was okay, but I was feeling creative, so I applied the digital Orton effect, and this was the result:

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430, altered in Photoshop

Here is how, using Photoshop:
In my experience the Orton technique almost always works well with flowers, but try it on other subjects like landscapes, animals or people to get some interesting and sometimes wacky effects.
  • Open the image you plan to use. Make a copy of the image with Image>Duplicate. Close the original (I never work with originals when I’m playing around in Photoshop).
  • Open the dialog box under Image>Apply Image. Choose “Screen” from the menu of choices and set the opacity to 100%. This simulates overexposure.
  • Now make a copy of this image with Image>Duplicate.
  • Open the dialog box for gaussian blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur). Play around with the Radius setting in this until you get an effect you like. Usually you will get the best results in the range of 15 to 50 – the higher the number the blurrier the photo gets, but blurrier is not always better.
  • Choose the “Move” tool from the toolbar and, holding down the “Shift” key on the keyboard, drag the blurry image on top of the other one and align them. Then release the mouse and “Shift” buttons.
  • Open the layers palette (press F7). Choose “Layers” to open a menu og blending modes and choose “Multiply”.
  • Finally, flatten the image (Ctrl+E), and voilà! You have a digital Orton image.
Here are instructions with photos.

Here is another example:

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430, altered in Photoshop

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunset with ship

Sunset over Reykjavík harbour, with flying-saucer clouds and container ship, photographed from the Sólfar.

Close-up with lens flare:



From a distance:

Digital photos, Canon PowerShot A430

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birds in flight

Sea-birds silhouetted against the sea.
This is one of those photos that could be used as low-key website backgrounds.
From my scanned photos

Monday, October 24, 2011

Reykjanesskagi panorama II

Technical information: The three panoramas in this series form one big panorama, not quite 360° because I left out the portion with the sun in it. I was unable to put them all together in one very wide panorama due to technical reasons (i.e. they came out banana shaped). However, I think each can be enjoyed on its own. Each photo is stitched together from three images, using Canon PhotoStitch 3.1.

Click on the photo to go to the flickr page to see the images in more sizes or leave a comment.

The first in the series was posted last Monday and the third will post next Monday.

Photo text:
Looking left from the previous photo, this road branches off from the main highway between Keflavík and Reykjavík and leads to a small geothermal works out in the middle of a lava field. Off this road there branches a (currently closed) road that leads to the mountain Keilir (The Cone). I love the sense of openness in the landscape.

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Feeding frenzy

They tought they were going to get food, poor babies.
Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A1100

Friday, October 21, 2011

Building reflection

Taken at a building site near where I used to work. The sky was overcast and the original turned out flat, so I played with the settings in Photoshop to get this.

I cropped away the building, leaving only the reflection, then increased the saturation and contrast and brightened and sharpened it.


Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430, altered in Photoshop

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Handmade

A hand-carved fastening (if you know the English name for this, please leave a comment and tell me).
Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Old Rusty and friends

Oops! Looks like I again posted a link to a photo on flickr and then deleted the photo. No matter - here are some replacements: 

I came across this old Chevrolet on a drive in Vatnsnes this summer. 
It made a perfect subject for tonemapping:



This is the original:


Two more, from different angles:





Also there was this old Fordson tractor:


And finally what my father thinks is the remains of an old U.S. army truck, but he didn't recognise the brand:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Reykjanesskagi panorama I

Technical information: The three panoramas in this series form one big panorama, not quite 360° because I left out the portion with the sun in it. I was unable to put them all together in one very wide panorama due to technical reasons (i.e. they came out banana shaped). However, I think each can be enjoyed on its own. Each photo is stitched together from three images, using Canon PhotoStitch 3.1.
Click on the photo to go to the flickr page to see the images in more sizes or leave a comment.

I will post the second one next Monday and the third on the Monday after that.

Photo text:
Icelanders have an irresistable urge to build cairns. Sometimes they mark a road or path, sometimes (like here) an interesting place to stop, and occasionally it is considered good luck for travellers to place a rock on them before going on. Consequently, they can grow to huge proportions. This one is just a baby.

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wet bumblebee

The bees are all hibernating by now, but since I am not trying to reflect the seasons accurately, here is a photo series of a bumble bee I came across on a walk a few years ago.

I was walking past a huge rose bush just after a rain shower when I spotted a rather damp bumblebee recovering from getting soaked by sipping on some nectar. Usually they buzz so fast from one flower to the next that you can get one photo at the max, but this one was feeling under the weather and I was able to get several shots of her. These are the two best:





Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Friday, October 14, 2011

Playing with HDR

Technical information:
I processed the following HDR images with a trial edition of Photomatix. Some were made from up to three separate images with different exposures, while others were faked by taking one image and imitating over- and underexposure in Photoshop before tonemapping.

Camera: Canon PowerShot A430.

About the location and photos:
The farm in the photos is situated right by Highway 1 in Borgarfjörður, not far from Bifröst. The main house appears to be used as a summer-house, but the outbuildings and the old farm-house in the first photo are in a state of decay. Some time or other I will stop by again on one of my trips between north and south and try to get similar photos, a) in summer and b), with dramatic clouds. I think this house could be made to look extremely creepy with dark, brooding clouds in the background.



This is an old concrete trough that was used for dipping sheep:

Piping of some kind, now used as an end-post for a fence:

An ancient easy-chair, now decayed and almost skeletal:



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jellyfish montage

I applaud the genius who thought up the jellyfish displays at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
They are all marvellous, and this one in particular is hypnotic: 

A photo-mosaic, made with fd's flickr toys.
Digital photos, Canon PowerShot A430

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gossiping

These two were sitting on a bench on the Laugavegur. What caught my eye about them was that they were dressed as if for winter while it was actually rather warm and sunny outside. 

The colour original was rather flat, but by desaturating it and heightening the contrasts I got this:
Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430, altered in Photoshop

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kobbi the African grey

Kobbi (nickname for Jakob) is an African grey parrot who lives in Blómaval, a popular garden centre in Reykjavík. You can often hear him whistling when you visit the shop, and he loves to have his head scratched through the bars, although he has been known to bite.

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Stamens

After I got my Canon PowerShot A430, which has a very good macro program, I went through what I call my "Georgia O'Keeffe flower period", producing shot after close-up shot of flowers in bloom.

No flower was safe. I photographed everything from the humble daisy to the showy rhododendron. Some I was happy with as they were, while others I processed in various ways in Photoshop. I haven't posted many of these shots here up to now, since I have tended to post my art photos on flickr, but it occurred to me that they fit perfectly under the "etc." category. Since winter is here and it's cold and the flowers have all either died or stopped blossoming, I decided to add a bit of colour to the blog by posting a weekly flower photo until I run out of them. Some are sensuous close-ups like the one below, while others are taken from farther away and meant to show the shape and colours of the flowers.

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Marmalade cat

A friendly marmalade cat I met in Ribe, Denmark. I think he wanted to go home with me. 
You can see my reflection in the window behind him.
From my scanned photos

Friday, October 07, 2011

Reflections

Oops!  Seems like I tried to post a photo that I had deleted from flickr. Here is a replacement:

A skylight in Perlan reflects the diners in the restaurant below:
Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A nice, long chat

Two girls having a chat on the steps leading down to the pond in front of the Nordic House in Reykjavík. The upside-down reflection of the Hallgrímskirkja church adds a touch of surrealism.

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Layout change

This blog has changed direction a bit since I first started posting on it and has become almost exclusively a photoblog. In the interest of showing the photos to better advantage I decided to remove the sidebar altogether, as it tends to overlap with the larger photos I post when viewed on a small screen. The information previously posted in the sidebar (monthly archive, labels and the followers list) is now at the bottom of the blog. Additionally, I switched to cloud view for the labels and the archive is now in a drop-down menu.

I wanted to make the main area of the blog - the posts themselves - wider so I can post larger photos. I enlarged the photo in the last post to its full size so you can see the difference. The larger photos will not all start posting right away - I have the blog pretty much planned out until the end of the year with automatic posting set up and uploading larger versions of the photos would simply be too much work - but little by little you will begin to see larger photos, although not as large as the one below because I want them to be visible in whole on an average laptop screen.

One wary eye

Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430

Sunday, October 02, 2011

In clover

I love the scent of blossoming clover and I always miss it in the winter.

From my scanned photos

Saturday, October 01, 2011