Wednesday, October 30, 2013

An Overlook(ed) Photo

While eating breakfast this morning, I looked over the bunch of pictures that I shot at Coopers Rock on Sunday.  One that I had previously overlooked seemed promising.

I had framed a picture of the view from behind the overlook.  Shooting from a tripod I got off three shots at 1/200, 1/400, and 1/800 second at an f/3.2 aperture.   These were processed by NIK's HDR Efex Pro 2, using the "deep" preset.  Added a little bit more processing with ColorFX Pro 2.

Can't find much to complain about with this shot.  This has perhaps the best foliage colors of the Coopers Rock shots that I had taken.  The composition is nice, with the fir tree in the foreground providing a crisp framing effect.  Lines from the overlook walkway form a small triangle at the bottom.  A beautiful blue sky with puffy clouds is not too overdone by the HDR effect.  You can hardly see the sightseers on the overlook.

That'll do, pig.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Macro Monday

A brief trip up to Coopers Rock on Sunday gave me some macro opportunities.

If there was a do-over on this shot, I'd move that leaf stem away from obscuring the acorn.. I was concentrating on getting a nice shot of the puffballs but didn't appreciate how the acorns added to the composition.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria)

Milkweed seeds.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Woodburn Hall

I snapped this picture of Woodburn Hall yesterday morning (8:15 a.m., as you can see by the clock), while on my way there to do a demo on Office 365.

Sunrise was at 7:34 a.m., so this time is technically within the "golden hour."    You can see the lovely effect that the morning sun has on the clock tower.   I tried to use the sycamore tree to frame the shot, but it fell a bit short of my desire.

See the tower behind and to the left of the clock tower in the above picture?  That was my vantage point several hours later when I took the following shot at 10:50 a.m.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Morning, Morgantown

I was back in the tower of Woodburn Hall this morning.  This time, I came prepared.

This one is an HDR composite of three shots taken at 17 mm focal length.  You're looking up the river (South), towards the Lock & Dam and the Wharf District.

This is another HDR series taken at 55 mm.  Same view.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Obsessive Tweaking

It's hard to leave well enough alone. I couldn't fight the urge to re-work the original image of the Mountain Lair from the previous posting.  All of those vertical and horizontal lines gave way to tell-tale lens distortion. While I addressed some of that previously, I had neglected to notice that Oglebay Hall in the lower left was also showing signs of pillowing.

So, I started all over again.  This latest attempt also adds a variety of adjustments and filters to bring out additional detail.

Still not being able to leave well enough alone, I ran the finished version through a Topaz Simplify (BuzSim) filter.  It's not too bad in its own right:

Friday, October 11, 2013

A nice place to reflect

This is a shot of the WVU Mountain Lair taken from the side.  The reflective glass in the center is showing Stewart Hall, which is behind me.   I love the way that the Lair reflects Stewart Hall in the background, the framing provided by the trees, and the play of vertical and horizontal lines. I just wish it was sharper (shot at 1/30 sec exporsure, hand-held).

Monday, October 7, 2013

Looking Out - part 2

The two views posted previously in Looking Out from the Inside didn't require much post processing.  This one did:

This is another iPad 2 camera shot taken from the tower window in Woodburn Hall.  It's looking out over the lower part of the downtown campus, showing the old field house -- Stansbury Hall -- in the center-right.  There's a nice view of the PRT campus station and tracks heading down to the Walnut Street station.  That's the Westover bridge spanning the middle, with the Morgantown lock & dam just visible at the head of the river.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Looking Out from the Inside

WVU's Woodburn Hall has been the subject for a number of my postings.  This time, I had the pleasure of completely turning around my perspective.  Instead of photographing the outside of the building from different angles, I got the chance to look out from the top of one of its towers.

After taking part of a faculty orientation session to a forthcoming migration to the Office 365 email system, I got an unexpected invitation to see the view from one of the towers.  Naturally, I jumped at the chance, but I just had my iPad 2 with me.  Well, as they say, the best camera is the one that you have with you.

I loaded the JPEG files into PhotoShop and cleaned them up a little bit.  For this shot, I also used a Topaz Labs Detail 2 filter to bring out a bit of the color.  The results are not unpleasant.  That's WVU's Life Sciences Building in the lower left.

Here's a view in the opposite direction, looking out over the rooftop of Martin Hall.