sculpture

The Bread Line

The Bread Line

The Bread Line

Out To Lunch

After a week-long visit to Hilton Head South Carolina, it's good to be back home. We thoroughly enjoyed the time away and although I was unable to do everything I had in mind, I feel refreshed and energized.  I want to thank everyone for their visits, comments and RTs during the past weeks, as my online presence has been less than normal. It is now time to get back in the groove and continue to work on the many projects I established for myself at the beginning of the year.

Today's image is titled Out To Lunch, and is a sculpture created by J. Seward Johnson, the American Artist known for his bronze works, many of them painted. If you have been to any of the major American cities you have likely seen Mr. Johnson's life-sized works of art.

Out To Lunch has been seen in several places including California, Missouri and New Jersey. The image featured here was taken on Hilton Head Island (SC).

Out To Lunch
Out To Lunch

Click image to enlarge or purchase ~

Difficult to see from this vantage point, but this young man is grasping what appears to be a hamburger in his right hand while reading a book during his lunch break. There are many photographs of this particular piece, most of which are the tourist shots taken from a standing position and straight on from the front. I chose this angle to show a different view and to give more prominence to the book.

Processing

I used the beta version of the soon to be released Topaz Clarity,  a powerful plugin that allows you to cleanly enhance contrast and clarity in your images. I am impressed with this product so far. This is my first usage of it but I'll have a Clarity specific post up soon. Here is a look at the interface, which will be familiar to current Topaz users.

Topaz Labs' Clarity Interface
Topaz Labs' Clarity Interface

After running this through Topaz Clarity (Beta) and selecting the Clouds II preset, I added a slight background blur in Photoshop and called it a day.

Thanks so much for clicking by! :-)

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM

Luxor

Welcome back, I hope you enjoyed a great weekend. Sports fan should be really enjoying the Olympic Games in London, they have been outstanding and it is a wonderful experience for those making those "Olympic Moments".

In the previous post I highlighted a hotel in the desert and today that theme continues. The Luxor is yet another beautiful example of architecture and like so many of the buildings on the strip, has been photographed in practically every way imaginable. So therein lies the challenge, coming up with something different, something that does not have "tourist shot" stamped upon it.

Many visitors to tourist attractions generally photograph the entire scene in a single frame, or at least a good portion of it. There is certainly nothing wrong with that but if you want something a bit different, you may have to go for a tighter shot and make an element or two the main focus of your image.

Luxor Las Vegas
Luxor Las Vegas

Click image to enlarge or purchase

Luxor LR4 Adjustments
Luxor LR4 Adjustments

For this image the Sphinx and the Pyramid were used to tell the story. Across the bottom are the tracks for the monorail system which I chose to leave in as a bottom frame of sorts.

The image was taken about 45 minutes after sunrise and completely processed in Lightroom 4. Since the building faces east it soon fell under harsh lighting conditions.

Adjustments to the white balance ("WB") and "Presence" sliders provided most of the work, and lesser adjustments to the "Blacks" and "Hue" sliders were also made, rendering quite a different image than the one I started with.

As a user of LR 3 I found that tool to be adequate but nothing spectacular. It never really became my go-to package for photo management and image development. Perhaps I never dove in deeply enough. Lightroom 4 on the other hand, (be sure to upgrade to 4.1) has some marked improvements and truly feels like a digital darkroom. I have been quite happy with this product, I must say. ;-)

Do you use Lightroom 4 and if so, what are your experiences?

The Hug

Standing in the soft light of a setting sun we find the warm embrace of a couple in bronze.  Everyone needs a hug, even if you're a sculpture. The sculpture below is entitled "The Hug" and was created by Jimilu Mason, who grew up in Washington D.C. It stands on a sidewalk in Columbia Maryland (outside of The Columbia Association) and is dedicated to the late  Mort Hoppenfeld (Columbia's Chief designer). On a plaque nearby it is stated about Mort Hoppenfeld ..." whose plans and designs for Columbia embrace all people" , making "The Hug" a fitting symbol of his vision.

Enjoy!

The Hug
The Hug

Thanks for visiting!

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM