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Photo: Muddy Truck

Muddy Truck

Someone did some off-road driving recently. I saw this truck while walking… Almost looks like the owner sprayed mud on it.

It was about to rain anyway, so all the mud is surely gone. :smile:

Happy Halloween everyone! Don’t worship death. Sorry I don’t have a pumpkin photo for you… Well, here are pumpkins I photographed 4 years ago.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/60, F2.8, 50mm, ISO100, 2009-10-16T16:39:15-04, 20091016-203915rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Chihuahua Power

Chihuahua Power

One of my neighbors takes his dogs for a walk every day. This is the black and brown chihuahua. I’m not sure if he was looking at me or my camera but he stayed a good distance back so I could snap his picture.

Coming out of the camera this was too dark, so I brightened the exposure in my RAW editor before importing the file into Photoshop.

Be sure to import your RAW photos into Photoshop in 16-bit color Adobe or ProPhoto RGB is you’re going to do substantial color or contrast edits. With 16 bits per channel, Photoshop has 65,536 discrete color values (2^16) to work with in each channel (red/green/blue). The standard 8 bits per channel only gives 256 discrete values (2^8), which makes color banding more likely after large edits. In Adobe Camera Raw 5.0 you can click the blue text at the bottom to change bit-depth and colorspaces.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/800, F2.8, 50mm, ISO200, 2009-10-16T16:35:58-04, 20091016-203558rxt

Location: Nelson Ave., Ormond Beach, FL  32174

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Piano: The Broken-Chord Waltz

This is a new composition I’ve been working on for the past week. It’s very basic: it’s in the key of C with no black notes at all. But I think I came up with a good tune that’s fun to listen to and to play.

The song is mostly broken C, F, and G chords with a small A minor section and some interesting melodies and embellishments.

Download synthesized MP3 (2:35, 2.5MB)
Download sheet music (PDF, 3 pg., 30KB)
Download MIDI sequence (2:35, 7KB)

The MP3 above is synthesized. I can play this on the piano but I don’t have a good microphone. Call me if you want me to play it for you. :cool:

Photo: Driving Sunset

Driving Sunset

I shot this sunset from the backseat while my friend was driving. This is on West International Speedway Boulevard right near Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA.

On the left is the rear-view mirror and at the bottom you see the windshield wipers. That’s why I’m titling this Driving Sunset.

I cloned out a big electronic sign at the bottom-right. It was the college’s sign, but it was bright blue and annoying. You can still see the clone marks if you brighten the photo considerably, but no one will notice normally.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/500, F3.2, 50mm, ISO100, 2009-10-15T18:53:32-04, 20091015-225332rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Golden Evening

Golden Evening

A beautiful golden sunset right before sundown.

I shot this right down my street. There were power lines blocking the way, so I walked in someone’s yard to cut them out of the shot. Some woman yelled “get off my property” at me as I was shooting this, so I tripped the shutter quickly and then walked off.

I put contrast at +100% in Adobe Camera Raw 5.0 and then used the curves tool to push it even further. Even though I pushed the exposure bias down to -1.33, I think I was in the wrong metering mode so the clouds in the middle are over-exposed: they are at (255,255,255) (8-bit) and there is no detail there. Nothing I can do about that… It’s not a big problem in this photo because you expect the sun to be bright.

I pushed a lot of stuff to black with the curves tool, such as the trees and houses below. They aren’t important… no reason for you to see them.

There is a lot of black and empty space in this image. You can do that. The subject does not have to be big and in the center. In fact, it’s often more interesting to make the subject small. In this case, the subject is the sunset and the periphery is the dark clouds at the top.

Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/640, F7.1, 55mm, ISO100, 2009-10-10T18:33:25-04, 20091010-223325rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Peaceful Neighborhood

Peaceful Neighborhood

I shot this on an evening walk in my neighborhood. The sunset and white car paired well in my eyes.

I brightened the car and darkened the sunset in Photoshop for balance. The car was much darker than the sunset, but I was able to bring the colors out since I always shoot RAW. The files are 10MB each, which is a lot bigger than JPEGs, but it’s worth it for creative flexibility.

This was my first outing with the XTi kit lens in a long time. Because it’s EF-S and goes down to 18mm, it has a much wider field of view than my EF 28-135mm lens, which I enjoyed.

Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/60, F3.5, 18mm, ISO100, 2009-10-10T18:31:03-04, 20091010-223103rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Billowing Clouds

Billowing Clouds

Puffy clouds over a road around noon-time. I just took this through the windshield while my Dad was driving, which reduces contrast. In Photoshop I punched up the contrast while making sure not to white out the clouds.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/640, F6.3, 38mm, ISO100, 2009-10-10T16:04:22-04, 20091010-200422rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: The Protector

The Protector

Minnie Pearl, my uncle’s dog. She’s about 10 years old and has gone through a lot, but she is fiercely loyal. She barks at me every time I go near her. Minnie is watching her master attentively in this shot.

I took this from a distance. Since I have a Canon Rebel XTi with an APC-size sensor (1.6 crop factor), this photo has a 195mm field of view when compared to full-frame or 35mm film photography. My lens was at 122mm, according to the metadata.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/320, F5.6, 122mm, ISO800, 2009-10-10T12:55:17-04, 20091010-165517rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Foggy Country

Foggy Country

The foggy country! This is across the field on LPGA blvd. when driving toward the intersection with U.S. 17-92 in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA.

There is a Bud Light beer truck off in the distance. You can make out the letters on the high-res version.

I thought of leaving this in color but the drab colors weren’t adding much to the photo… it looks much better in black and white. I also enhanced the fog (dodge tool in Photoshop) and added some contrast.

I took this from our van while my father was driving. My Twitter readers may know that I just started driving this week; I’m just on parking lots and back-roads now until I get a feel for driving. My learner’s license lasts until my 27th birthday in 2018. :shocked:

I haven’t been posting photos recently, but I just scheduled 12 for the next 12 days so keep coming back to visit!

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/250, F3.5, 35mm, ISO800, 2009-10-10T07:14:46-04, 20091010-111446rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Maternity Portraits of Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

On 2009-09-30 I shot some studio portraits for my friend Anita Cohen at Daytona State College, of her pregnant daughter Jacquelyn and her daughter’s husband Shaughn. Even though I’ve been a photographer since I was 13 (5 years), this was my first time working formally. Thanks to Prof. Joe Vance for letting me use the photography studio at Daytona State College even though I’m not in the photography program (I’m a computer science student).

Jacquelyn is due to have Shaughn Brady Jr. at the beginning of Nov. 2009. Sadly, Shaughn has to return to Iraq for his second tour in Apr. 2010, so he’ll miss his son’s growth from the age of five months to over a year. Here, he is wearing his camouflaged U.S. Army uniform. He’s a driver rather than front-line infantry. I hope he stays safe and doesn’t have to kill anyone.

We had a white background. Anita helped me figure out how to set up the hot lights and deflectors. I used one incandescent light (warm a.k.a. yellowish) on the left and one fluorescent light (cool a.k.a. bluish) on the right, which worked well. While some maternity photographers exaggerate the size of the woman’s belly or emphasize deep, brooding poses, I did not do that here. I prefer realistic, upbeat portraits showing love and joy.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Shaughn kissing his wife’s belly. I wasn’t sure about Jacquelyn’s facial expression, but I think Shaughn’s outfit balances the discipline of the army with the love he has for his wife and first son.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

The only portrait of Jacquelyn and Shaughn I used the flash on. This is a conventional rather than artistic portrait, but portraiture is about the people in the portraits, and not necessarily innovation of the medium.

Shaughn is covering a red birthmark above Jacquelyn’s belly button. On the first portrait I edited it out, but on the second it was easier to leave it. I like to remove most blemishes to make people look how they’re supposed to look. My goal is to discreetly present an idealized version of reality. I don’t want laymen to say “this is Photoshopped!” Photographers will always say it, but non-photographers should not notice. However, depending on the angle and lighting in can be hard to clone out blemishes, so I have to balance art vs. time. I don’t air-brush; I either remove blemishes well or I don’t remove them at all. In my portfolio I have done difficult edits requiring hours of work (i.e. removing twigs, power lines, and houses), but elsewhere I re-shoot or leave it.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Our couple standing together, with Jacquelyn showing her tattoo saying “Shaughn” in cursive with a Hibiscus flower. The tattoo is for her husband and her son. I like it.

Jacquelyn

Anita (Jacquelyn’s Mom) calls this the “Marilyn Monroe” shot, in the style of an actress from the 1940s and ’50s famous for poses like this. For all the portraits, Anita wrapped the green sheet around Jacquelyn. Underneath Jacquelyn had a blue bathing suit on. Unfortunately that came through here (on her hip), but we didn’t notice it at the time. It’s not a big deal.

I shot all these portraits using my Canon Rebel XTi with my EF 50mm F1.4 prime lens in RAW mode. I edited in Adobe Camera RAW 5.0 (vignetting and color) and Adobe Photoshop CS4 (spot-editing), which is industry standard. I brightened the photos and made the colors warmer by shifting to a white balance with a higher Kelvin temperature, because I used automatic white balance in camera which was too blue.

Incidentally, a Daytona State College photography student asked to shoot Shaughn while he was in the lobby, but Anita shouted out “he’s already taken!” :grin:

Big thanks to Anita for making a $100 donation to my photography fund. I opened a checking account recently and deposited it there. I will use it for whatever photography or non-photography purchases I need to make in the next months, or bills.

I give well wishes and lots of love to Anita, Jacquelyn, and Shaughn, and I want the United States to leave Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other country we occupy, as soon as possible, never to return. :smile:

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