Duluth Sunrise

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to Duluth for a few days of hiking and relaxation.  The weather was rain one day and nice the rest.  The second morning there I ran down to Canal Park for sunrise images.  It was a pretty quiet morning, very few people out around the lighthouse.  But the seagulls were everywhere, as usual.  A few of them rested on the streetlamps leading to the lighthouse, and I was able to silhouette them against the brightening sky.

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Mini Badge

I was able to spend a little time today photographing some of the details on my car.  It is a Mini Cooper, and I have always liked the simplicity of the Mini Badge.  I quickly locked onto the composition, as I liked how the lines of the grill added some light and angled lines to the image.  My problems was with the flash.  After struggling with using direct flash in a stripbox, I decided to add the grid, and bounce it off the ceiling of the garage.  This gave a nice indirect, soft light source, but kept the light pattern a little thin, allowing it to fall off quickly.  It took me a few shots to get it set properly, but once it was set, I was happy with the final results.

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A friend asked me if I was interested in photographing at rodeo in the local convention center last week.  While I normally don’t do much for action photography, I thought it would be interesting to try.  Below are a few images I have worked through.

I will say the 5D mark 2 did a fine job tracking the action, but I found it best to use AI Servo mode with only the center point.  It seemed to do a better job of tracking compared to using the other points.  This could be me just not familiar or comfortable enough using AI Servo and tracking action in the frame.

I did have to push to 3200 ISO, due to the f/4 limitation on the lens I was using.  My faster lenses would have helped push down the ISO, but would have been too short for the action.

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Quick trip to Duluth

I took a quick trip to the North Shore for some winter shooting.  I expected more snow, which was pretty scarce.  The first night was spent shooting sunset on the Blatnik Bridge, and then some random shooting around Canal Park.  The next morning was spent at Split Rock Lighthouse, hoping for a good sunrise.

Both times out were pretty cold, double digit below zero, and 10-15mph winds.

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Bar in HDR

The bowling alley in town moved into a new building about a year ago or so now.  During winters, some friends and I will use the golf simulator that is located in their bar area.  The last few times, the liquor bottles have caught my attention.  They all sit on a shelf which is lit from the bottom, allowing the light to shine through the bottles.  Yesterday, while using the simulator, I asked the bartender if I could photograph the bar.  She got the owner’s approval, so this morning I ran over right at opening.

Due to the lighting on the bottles, the only way I knew I could get the results I was looking for was to do an HDR.  I ended up with 11 shots in one stop increments to make this HDR image.  I used Nik HDR Efex Pro to merge the images and process it, then used Photoshop for some minor cleanup, sharpening and adding a vignette to darken the edges.  The final touch was to use Nik Color Efex Pro’s Glamor Glow to add a slight amount of glow to the bottles.

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