RomanDA Photography: Blog https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog en-us (C) RomanDA Photography Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) Fri, 05 Feb 2021 14:31:00 GMT Fri, 05 Feb 2021 14:31:00 GMT https://www.romandaphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u756232233-o139242223-50.jpg RomanDA Photography: Blog https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog 120 78 THE LITTLE MAN https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2021/2/the-little-man THE LITTLE MAN:

And now for Something very different from me. 

I am entering an essay contest for a local Coffee/Books store.
The PROMPT for the story was "From the outside looking in, you’d never guess what could truly happen at Editions..."
I have had some of my photos/artwork on their walls since the day they opened and my mind went to one in particular.
The image above was the inspiration for the story, it's not exactly as it is in the story, but it is the basis for it.
This photo was printed on metal and was up on their wall for about a year or so.

 

THE LITTLE MAN:
A short story by David Roman

 

From the outside looking in, you’d never guess what could truly happen at Editions…

     Driving by Editions in the sleepy ex-mill town of Kannapolis, NC you would assume it was what it seemed to be, a great place to grab a cup of joe. Maybe find a paperback to read while you enjoy some local artists' work.   You might think that the people working behind the counter were just like the rest of their neighbors, normal folks, selling great coffee and books.  

  That’s what Allen was thinking on that cool late September morning when he walked in to grab his normal order, a Caramel Crème Latte.  He had been coming to Editions for a long while now, well over a year.  He enjoyed the friendly staff, who always made him feel like one of the family.  This Tuesday morning was no different than dozens before, he had time to kill before work, so he was walking around the store checking out the books and some of the artwork hanging from the walls.

  One piece, in particular, was a beautiful metal print of a beach, he wasn’t sure where, but it was a sunset shot and the photographer captured the pier, the fun of the people in the sand, as well as the beauty of nature.  He had seen this print many times but had never really looked closely at it.  For some reason today as he was looking it over, he noticed something he didn’t see before.  Under the pier right where it met the shore was a man, but unlike the other people who looked more like a painting of people, this man was perfectly clear.  You could see him digging in the sand, he had a metal detector, a faded red shovel, and a blue and red striped bucket, he looked like he had already made a small hole.  It was strange that Allen had not noticed this man before, as the man really did look different than the others in the print.  Allen really didn’t think a lot about it, as he moved on to other photos and then realized it was time to head to work.

  It had been a few days since Allen had been inside Editions, he had been using their drive-up window to get his morning dose of sugar and caffeine.    But it was a nice day, he was early for work and the drive-up line was pretty long.  He went in and got his usual, and began his wandering.    Allen again walked by the beach sunset photo, he didn’t think much of it, and as he walked past he had to go back and check it out again.   Something was not right.  It took him a few minutes to realize what it was.  The little man with the metal detector and shovel was not under the pier anymore.  In fact, he was nowhere to be seen in the photo.  This made him question if he had really seen the man before or just imagined it.  

Again, he realized he had to head to work.

    That Saturday he made a special trip to Editions to check this photo out again and to talk to Dawn, the owner about the photo.  It was pretty busy and so he grabbed his usual and asked Dawn when she had a min if she could talk about the photo.  She said it might take a little.  Allen went back to the photo and again checked it all over for this little man.  He was nowhere to be found, but this time, where he had been the first time he saw the man, there was a small mound of sand and a bucket.  Almost like something had been buried in the sand, or someone was stacking the sand up to make a sandcastle.  

     Dawn was able to come by after a few minutes and went to speak with Allen.  He asked her if she had ever noticed a man digging in the sand under the pier.  Dawn said, “I don’t think I have ever seen anyone like that in this photo, but I do know the photographer, he is local and might have some information.”

Allen got the name and email address of the photographer and set about shooting him a quick email.

He asked the photographer if he had noticed this man in the photo, and if so, did he have a better shot of him.

     It was a day or so before the photographer answered back stating that he had no idea what Allen was speaking of.  He included a close up of the pier and where it met the beach.  There was nothing there, no man, no bucket, no pile of sand.  Nothing.     The photographer said he would be glad to meet him at Editions if Allen wanted.  

     They met up the following afternoon.  The photographer, David, brought a printout of the blown-up section of the beach photo.  Clearly, there was no man, no pile of sand, and no shovel.  When they walked over to compare this to the metal print on the wall, they matched perfectly.  What was in the metal print, looked exactly like what was in the blown-up section.   Allen was confused, he swore up and down that he saw the man, the blue and red striped bucket, the shovel.  But David assured him those things were just not there.

     Allen decided it must have been his early morning brain playing tricks on him.  He really didn’t think much about it for the next few months.  Fall moved out and Thanksgiving came and went. Christmas time came and he thought he wanted to find something special for his wife Teresa. She loved the beach and he thought that maybe he would get a smaller print of the beach sunset, the photographer had a lot of sunset photos to choose from, and he was sure he would find the perfect one for his wife.

     He started to look through the photos, most were empty beaches, or lakes, amazing skies, and the colors were beautiful.  After a few minutes of looking, he found a smaller print with another beautiful beach scene, this one was a similar beach location to the metal print where he had seen the little man.   It showed a smaller section of the beach looking out from under the pier, the same pier from the metal print.  He hoped for a minute he would see the little man, but he wasn’t there.

    The print was reasonably priced and he bought it as well as another one of an empty beach scene.  Allen figured he would find a couple of older frames at the Habitat for Humanity Restore Store to mount these prints.

Allen framed them and wrapped them up for his wife for Christmas.

     Christmas morning came and presents were exchanged back and forth with his wife, son, and two daughters.  His wife loved the framed photos, thought they would look great up on the wall in the family room.  His two girls, 6-year-old twins; Cindy and Verna, helped their mom hang the photos just like any 6-year-olds would, by making it ten times harder to do. 

    The holidays came and went like they seem to do, way too fast and getting faster every year.  Allen headed back to work after his holiday break and grabbed his coffee on the way in.   He didn’t have time to spend inside this week.  It was a few weeks later, closer to the beginning of February that he and his wife Teresa went to grab a cup of coffee at Editions and to spend some time in the store just wandering around.

     Teresa was looking through the photos in the stack of smaller prints and found a duplicate of one of the two he had purchased for her.   She called Allen over and showed him the print, telling him “Allen, this looks just like the one you bought me, but it doesn’t have the man in it like the one at home”.  Allen was taken aback, “What?  What do you mean the one at home has a man in it”?  Allen had not looked over the photos since he wrapped them up.

     Teresa told him “The one of the pier has a little man sitting next to a bucket and shovel with one of those, what do you call them, metal detectors”.  Allen told his wife that he wanted to go home and check the photo out for himself.  Allen had never mentioned the little man to her, he thought maybe Dawn had told Teresa and they were playing a game.

     Allen and Teresa arrived home a few minutes later, they went straight to the photos.  Teresa pointed to the one looking down the underneath of the pier and said “See, he’s sitting right there”.  Allen looked and was shocked to see the man sitting under the pier; plain as day.   Allen couldn’t understand it at all, but there he was, sitting just like he had spotted him the very first time, next to a bucket, a shovel, a pile of sand, and a metal detector.  Not knowing what to say, or how this was possible, they both shrugged it off. 

      Later that day Allen emailed the photographer, this time he didn’t ask about the man, he asked where these photos had been taken.  The photographer told him on Pensacola Beach.  The pier there is famous.

     Allen decided then and there to book their summer vacation on Pensacola Beach.  He got a hotel right near the pier.  No, he didn’t think he would be able to find a lone man from a photo from years earlier.  He just wanted to see this place for himself.  His wife and kids loved the idea.  Even with their vacation months off, they would talk about their trip nearly every day.  Asking dad if they might walk on the pier in “moms’ photo”.  

     Time came for their trip; school had let out for the summer and it was time to head to the beach.  They arrived, got their suitcases unpacked, and settled in the hotel.  That evening after supper they all walked along the beach from the hotel up to the pier.  They all felt like they had been there before as the photographer captured it so well.  The weather was beautiful, with the breeze blowing in from the ocean, making the heat of the day fade.

     A few days into their vacation Teresa and the girls were playing in the sand near the surf, while Allen and their son Mark played in the breaking waves.  It was one of the hotter days of the summer, well into the 90s, nearing 100.  It got too warm for the girls and mom so they moved under the pier.  Cindy and Verna were playing in the sand making themselves a sandcastle.  They asked mom to help, she jumped right in to help.  

     As evening came, they all decided to head out for some fish at a local restaurant.  They headed back to the hotel, got showered, and dressed for dinner.  They enjoyed some grouper sandwiches, a local specialty, deciding to go walking on the beach after dinner.  

     While walking hand in hand Allen noticed that Teresa’s wedding ring was missing.  He asked her where it was, she was shocked, she had not even noticed it was missing.  They started to panic, trying to remember when she had seen it last.  It took her awhile but she remembered having it when they had gone out early in the day to the beach.  As they had been up and down the beach and in and out of the surf, they both were upset, thinking they would never see the ring again.   As it was getting late and the sun had already set, they decided to try and look for the ring in the morning.

     Allen had a very fitful night's sleep.  He woke up early and went to the front desk of the hotel and asked if they knew of anyone who had turned in a ring.  The desk clerk told him that unfortunately, no one had turned anything in, but he did know of a man who walked the beach most evenings with his metal detector.  He had not seen the man in a while but said he lived across from the hotel.  Allen decided to take a chance and went to the man’s house.  

     An older woman answered the door.  Allen explained his situation to the woman and she started to get a tear in her eye.   She explained that her husband Herbert had taken ill last summer.  He had to give up his evening walks after suffering a stroke.  She told Allen her Herbert had loved walking the beach, with his metal detector looking for “treasure” as he called it.  Unfortunately, he had passed late last September and she had not had the heart to get rid of his “Treasure hunting tools”.  She told Allen he was welcome to use them to look for the ring.  She said she would go get them.

A few minutes later she came back with a metal detector, a faded red shovel, and a blue and red striped bucket.

Allen stared at them; every item was precisely what the man in the photos had with him.  He stammered “Thank you” and headed toward the beach. 

   With the tools in hand, Allen knew, absolutely knew where to dig.  He went right to the pier, to the spot he had seen so many times in the photos.  He waved the metal detector around listening for the beep.  It took most of an hour and a few false beeps later before he heard a loud ping.   He started to dig, before long he was sifting through the sand, and there it was - his wife’s ring.  As he was standing there, dumbstruck, he saw his wife walking up to him, she stopped about 10 feet away and said to him “You look just like the man in my photo.”   Allen showed her the ring and told her the story of the man who owned the metal detector and tools.  Neither one could quite believe the whole situation was real.  

     Allen took the tools back to the woman and told her they had found the ring.  She smiled and told him Herbert would have loved that his tools helped them find their ring.

The vacation went on and they had a wonderful time, playing in the sun and sand, laughing and eating.  

The vacation ended as all vacations do, too quickly.  

     A few weeks went by before Allen came home one day to see Cindy and Verna standing by the photos of the beach sunsets.   Allen asked them why they were staring at the photos.  

They pointed to the photo and said “Daddy, the little man, and his bucket are gone”.

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2021/2/the-little-man Fri, 05 Feb 2021 14:30:57 GMT
Twirl2020 https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2020/3/twirl2020 I am in a Facebook group:  TWIRL THIS!!
It's a group for doing these kinds of Digital Edits.

I get asked a lot how I do what I do, how do I make the images I make... Etc..

In order to help people out in the group, I have put this little tutorial together.

 

MASTER / INITIAL IMAGE - Load this into Photoshop (we will be using PS for this, but i am assuming you know you to do some basic things, layers, masks, copy layers, mirror, flips)

Master ImageMaster Image

I always work on a 3000x3000 pixel canvas - so i redid my canvas to 3000x3000.

In order to get the "twirl" I wanted I redid the image (copying it, rotating it and stretching it) to look like this:

initial-imageinitial-image

Once I had this, I used an "action" that I built a while back to make this twirl.  If you want more info on the settings for "twirling" visit this blog page

initial-twirlinitial-twirl

You will notice that the twirl kind of follows the way the image was top left to bottom right.

From here you have a lot of option, Make a copy (always 1st) then flip:

twirl-Verticaltwirl-VerticalVERTICAL COPY twirl-horizontaltwirl-horizontalHORIZONTAL COPY

From this I decided I liked the VERTICAL Twirl.  Took it, shrank the layers and rotated them 90 deg.

Layers are set to "LIGHTEN" to allow them to blend better.

Image-1Image-1Twirl rotated and shrunk

To keep the "mirroring" going, I flipped the above image over.

Vert-Before-MaskVert-Before-MaskFlipped

Notice they are not exactly centered into the box, little seperation helps some.

But I dont like the "sharp" edges along the middle.  To fix this, i combined each of these (2) layers to form 2 new layers.
Then I added a "MASK" to each of these layers.

Photoshop Layer Masks Advanced Tips and Tricks
This allows you to "draw" over the images and mask out or keep areas.  I set a rather large brush with 100% hardness to allow the image to "feather" out.

Then I paint around the sharp edges to smooth them out.

See the BEFORE and AFTER below:

BEFORE MASKBEFORE MASK AFTER MASKAFTER MASKAFTER MASK

Look close at the center parts.


Turn off the layers above to play with the left/right items.

To add some more layers to this, rotated and moved around:

twirl-4-vertical-1twirl-4-vertical-1

Mirrored

twirl-4-vertical-2twirl-4-vertical-2

Turning on the origional layers

twirl-5twirl-5 twirl-6twirl-6


Decided I wanted another "Style" of twirl, went back to the same image, did a little different twirl on that. (more rotation mainly)

Rotation-1Rotation-1

For this one I wanted to make this more of a STAR so I added duplicate layers then rotated those see the series below:

Rotation-2Rotation-2 Rotation-3Rotation-3 Rotation-4Rotation-4

Wanted these to be the corners of the image.  

Rotation-second-3Rotation-second-3


Combining these all together:

All-twirls-combinedAll-twirls-combined

I like to add some additional steps here.  First i duplicate this layer and take it into Topaz Labs "GLOW 2" and add a little "Fur and Feathers Glow" - This adds some defination to the lines. (or anyway I like it)

Topaz-Glow-FurFeathersTopaz-Glow-FurFeathers

I have been adding some more things to my images.. I have some "glitter" brushes (not 100% sure where I got them, search google, there are ton out there for free).

This shows just the glitter items, mainly these little stars with some trails.  Every few items are on a new layer, this shows all layers combined.

glitter-flaresglitter-flares

And here is the Final combine image:

FINAL TWIRL
(C) 2020 RomanDA PhotographyFINAL TWIRLFINAL TWIRL (C) 2020 RomanDA Photography

If you enjoyed this, please comment below, or visit my FB page: RomanDA Photography

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) digital editing photoshop twirl https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2020/3/twirl2020 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 21:51:22 GMT
BEST OF 2019 https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2019/12/2019-year-in-review BEST OF 2019

A year where I snapped the shutter button over 22,000 times.  Its crazy to think that I took that many shots.
How do you pick the best shots?  What makes something "the best"?  

  • Do you look at popularity of a shot? 
  • Do you look at what the shot means to others?
  • How about what that shot means to you as a photographer?

I can say this, I have been so proud to know that my work has helped expand the reach of multiple companies, people, events, churches and more.
 


INSPIRE CONF:

This will ALWAYS be an event that means the world to me.  Started by a close friend, this women's conference has grown from a few dozen ladies to (this year) well over 600. It takes a ton of time, energy, and lots and LOTS of running all over the place.

I am always looking for that "one shot" that captures the emotions or moment.
This shot below is one of these shots.  It shows the power and emotion of a room filled with Christian Ladies praising God.

As a photographer we are all about 1 thing.. L I G H T!   When you can capture emotion and light and dark all in one shot, its amazing.
This one took me about 20 angles to get just right.  Love the light streaks and the whole look.  One of my all-time favorite shots!
I am planning on being at the Inspire Conf 2020 with the new camera to take even better shots!
 

 

LindaLinda#inspire2019
.
.
Photo: RomanDA Photography

 


PLAYING WITH THE CIRCUS FOLK

I have had a total blast this year working closely with Cirq-U Circus University.  I was able to shoot multiple events this year for them, along with lots of public appearances.  They are some of the move awesome folks, they give and give and are so upbeat all the time.  

I was also able to capture their first public performance of the "Dragonites" Fire Breathing at the new Cannon Ballers Naming in Kannapolis.

 

I have loved every moment working with everyone at Cirq-u.  So much so, that I have also worked individually with some of their awesome performers.

SCARLET:

KATIE:

 


SANDBOX PROM:

I love love love this one.  Getting to use my talents to help capture this amazing event.  THE SANDBOX locks arms with the community to support the families of children with cancer, a life-altering, rare or terminal illness.  The prom is always one of the most amazing events of the year.  This was my 2nd year shooting this with the team of volunteer photographers.

 
 


CONCERTS:

I was able this year to work with the Independant Tribune shooting some concerts in Kannapolis.  These are always a blast to shoot, but also very challenging, light, people, heat, and more.

 

Sugarcreek in KannapolisSugarcreek in Kannapolis(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography

DO NOT DOWNLOAD
If you want to use for any reason, please message me

Sugarcreek in KannapolisSugarcreek in Kannapolis(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography

DO NOT DOWNLOAD
If you want to use for any reason, please message me
  Rick Springfield - KannapolisRick Springfield - Kannapolis(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography




DO NOT DOWNLOAD
If you want to use for any reason, please message me

Rick Springfield - KannapolisRick Springfield - Kannapolis(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography




DO NOT DOWNLOAD
If you want to use for any reason, please message me

HDR created and tone mapped with easyHDR 3.13.0: [1] 20190720-RDA_8468.tif, [2] 20190720-RDA_8467.tif, [3] 20190720-RDA_8469.tif

Soo many more concert photos up on my FB page.


FUSION CITY CHURCH:

This is my church!  Love capturing what they are doing for their members and the community.

 

I also got to shot some great shots at Lake Community Church, where we have a ton of great friends.\


KANNAPOLIS CRUISE-IN

I have been shooting this event for years and years.  This year, it was plagued by rain, rain and more rain.  It only managed to run a few times this year.  I love shooting there, all the awesome cars, the people are always so nice, and i love the backdrop of Kannapolis.

Kannapolis Cruise-InKannapolis Cruise-In(C) 2019 David Roman - RomanDA Photography

Kannapolis Cruise-in Nov 2019Kannapolis Cruise-in Nov 2019(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography Kannapolis Cruise-InKannapolis Cruise-In(C) 2019 David Roman - RomanDA Photography


OFFICER BAILEY

I have known Office Bailey for most of her life.  We became blackbelts together.  She has always been an amazing young lady, working hard to make a difference in this world.  She got her "Ride" and wanted me to help capture some shots of her.
It was an honer to work with her.


RALEIGH GALEXYCON

I offered up my talents to work with the photography team at GalaxyCon Raleigh.  This was some of the hardest photography work I have ever done.  3 days (10+ hrs each) trying to capture panels, cosplayers, celebs and soo much more.

2019 GalaxyCon Raleigh2019 GalaxyCon RaleighDAVID TENNANT & CATHERINE TATE Q&A


(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography

2019 GalaxyCon Raleigh2019 GalaxyCon RaleighSUMMER GLAU
Angel, Firefly, Arrow

(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography

2019 GalaxyCon Raleigh2019 GalaxyCon RaleighCREATIVE WOMEN ROUNDTABLE
Felicia Day, Lisa Corrao, Emi Lenox, Anne Wheaton


(C) 2019 RomanDA Photography


OTHER COOL THINGS:

This year I was featured in a web-magazine for my work at the Morris Day concert in Kannapolis.
I was also contacted by NIKON USA who will be using the following photo in their social media.

My work is always up for sale at Editions - Coffee and Bookstore in Kannapolis.  Magnets, Canvases, prints and more. Tell Dawn I said Hi!
This year I was able to shoot some great photos of friends, friends trucks, and lots more. 

 

Can't wait to see what 2020 brings!

David Roman - RomanDA Photography

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) 2019 best of review https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2019/12/2019-year-in-review Mon, 23 Dec 2019 03:47:28 GMT
THAT PHOTO https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2019/1/that-photo FROZEN/SNOWY MABRY MILL
Mabry Mill WinterMabry Mill Winter#BlueRidgeParkway #snow #mabbrymill #cold #ice #frozen #building #architecture


Mabry Mill on the Bluew Ridge in VA, all covered in snow, and dang near impossible to get to.

Taken 2 years ago this week. This was one of my most crazy adventures. The story is below if you want to read.

I DID WHAT TODAY??
Ok, this will be a little long, but it’s well worth it.

I LOVE Mabry Mill, I have managed to get up there 4-5 times, but never in the winter. Now I know WHY!

I was driving back from Baltimore and decided to see if I could get to the mill, knowing that there was a good bit of snow in the area. I looked online and all it had written for that section of the Blue Ridge was “Advisory”, no details at all. As I drove up to where I would pull onto the BlueRidge the road was still covered in 6-8” of snow, and there was a flashing sign “ROAD CLOSED”. I looked at my GPS and realized I was 2.2 miles from the mill.

I sat there, for at least 5-10 mins, thinking, do I give up, do I try and hike it, or what? There were tracks in the snow, and there was nothing blocking traffic. I knew my van would not make it to the mill without issues, and the last thing I wanted to do was get it stuck in the middle of nowhere with no cell service.

After a few mins, I decided to go for it. 2.2 miles to the mill, then 2.2 back, plus the fact I would be walking through 6-8” of snow, some packed with ice, some just snow. You need to understand something, I am NOT a hiker, I have issues with both knees (arthritis), and I was not 100% sure this was the best idea.

Let's go over some things.

  • I’m in the middle of nowhere
  • I have no cell service
  • No one knows where I am
  • In 10-15 mins I have not seen a single car
  • Its 20 deg
  • It’s a long walk in good weather for me – longer than I’m used to.
  • It’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses – oh wait that’s from Blues Brothers – lol

So.. I get my camera, my boots, my tripod, gloves, hat, hand warmer, some water, take the one leg of my tripod to use as a walking stick (yep its made that way!), and start out.

The road to the mill is 2.2 miles from where I started, and its full of hills up an down, the ups were hard on the legs, the downs were kind of scary as there was a lot of packed ice patches, and I slide a few times.

After walking forEVER, ok 20 mins, I checked my Fitbit App, and I had walked.. wait for it.. 1.1 miles!
Yeah, I’m old and walk slow, I'm also fat, and that doesn’t help. I stopped for a min, and started to check out some of the prints in the snow, little ones (birds I assumed) then some dear tracks, and even some small paw prints – I guess wolf? Or coyote? Thank you Lord, no Bear prints – but don’t they hibernate?

I started thinking, maybe I should just turn around, pack it in, cut my losses, and head back. There was nothing, no sounds – some wind in the trees, and that’s about it. I started to think, “what if I fell”, “what if there is a bear?” – yeah, I think lots of positive things, when I'm alone in the middle of nowhere on a road where no one is traveling.

BUT, I pushed on, and I made it to the mill, at around 40-45 mins after I left the van. The mill looked awesome, but man there obviously had been a LOT of people walking around. I was in “the zone”, shooting shots I KNOW I wanted to get, To match some of the ones I have at different times of the year.

After 30-45 mins of walking (ok TRUDGING) thru the snow getting shots, I still had not seen a single car or person. At this point, its been almost 2 hrs and I have been 100% alone (well to the best of my knowledge).

Now, I’m tired, been walking in 6-8” of snow for almost 2 hours, non-stop. I really was not looking forward to this trek back. Knowing that the first part was going to be up-hill for at least ¾’s of a mile.
I had said a few prayers on the way there and doubled up on the walk back.

After 20 mins of walking uphill and sliding, my legs were killing me, and I was ready to take a nap. I stopped near the top of another hill and thought I heard something. I took my hood off and listened, and I did hear a noise. It got louder, and then this big old pickup truck came over the hill, and slammed on his breaks to stop right next to me. I was totally shocked. He goes “Do you need a lift?”. I told him “More than you could possibly know”. He tells me he has to make a U-turn, and he would be right back. I continue walking up the hill as he goes down and disappears. After a few mins I was thinking he was just gone, and I had imagined him, and here he comes back up the road. I get in and ask him where he was going. He tells me he saw my van and thought someone might need some help so he wanted to check it out. Isn’t that just amazing? Here I am praying “God send me a ride” and here he is.

I know this is a very long story, But, I am so glad you read it all. Isn’t this awesome! God is with us all the time, sometimes he is just waiting to give us something awesome.

-- If you read the whole thing - please leave me a comment -- thanks!

I am so blessed to be able to capture God’s world. He paints some of the most amazing scenes.
David

 

Mabry Mill WinterMabry Mill Winter#BlueRidgeParkway #snow #mabbrymill #cold #ice #frozen #building #architecture


Mabry Mill on the Bluew Ridge in VA, all covered in snow, and dang near impossible to get to.
Mabry Mill WinterMabry Mill Winter#BlueRidgeParkway #snow #mabbrymill #cold #ice #frozen #building #architecture


Mabry Mill on the Bluew Ridge in VA, all covered in snow, and dang near impossible to get to.
Mabry Mill WinterMabry Mill Winter#BlueRidgeParkway #snow #mabbrymill #cold #ice #frozen #building #architecture


Mabry Mill on the Bluew Ridge in VA, all covered in snow, and dang near impossible to get to.
Mabry Mill WinterMabry Mill Winter#BlueRidgeParkway #snow #mabbrymill #cold #ice #frozen #building #architecture


Mabry Mill on the Bluew Ridge in VA, all covered in snow, and dang near impossible to get to.

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) blueridge frozen ice mabry mill mountain parkway snow winter https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2019/1/that-photo Sat, 19 Jan 2019 23:01:26 GMT
Beauty's Beast! https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2017/8/beautys-beast I decided to take a whole new approach to these "Twirl Photos".


First: I took one of the brushes and made some "lines" using the leaf brush.

Step 2: Using the previous settings in my other blog to "zoom" these lines.

Step 3: TWIRL the zoomed image:

 

Step 4: FLIP this horiz, and "lighten" the layer -- This is when I saw "Beast"

ADDING MORE: Added "shoulders" "Arms" "Body" and more - Each one added a little bit more.

Adding "shoulders" under the "cape"

Adding some "body" 

Adding some "Eyes"

Moving into Topaz GLOW2 to add a little "fur and feathers" to give it a little strength to the lines

ALL Put together!

LIGHTROOM Adjustments


Using a little brush to enhance the Reds and Darken some Orange

 

Thoughts??

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) art beast beauty digital twirl https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2017/8/beautys-beast Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:23:23 GMT
Twirl Photography https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2017/8/twirl-photography I started to play with these a little while back and thought I'd put together a very quick, example of how these work.

SELECT A PHOTO
First, you start with a photo - Fireworks shots seem to work the best, or flowers.

Original PhotoOriginal Photo

LAYER 1 - ZOOM/PIXELATE
Create a dup layer, This will be used to convert the photo from a photo into lines and zoomed lines

  • Mezzotint:
    • Filter 
    • Pixelate
    • Mezzotint
    • Select Medium Lines 
    • OK
  • RADIAL BLUR
    • FILTER
    • Blur
    • Radial Blur
      • Set the amount to 100
      • Blur method to Zoom 
      • Quality to Best
    • OK
    • REPEAT at least 1-2 times (this was 3-4 times)
    • Below is the result:

LAYER 3 (Twirl 1) - TWIRL
Create a dup layer:  The twirl is used to give it this unique rotated look

  • Activate the Twirl 1 layer 
  • Choose Filter 
    • Distort 
    • Twirl
    • Enter an angle value and look at the preview till you get a look you like
    • OK
  • Result:

LAYER 4 (Twirl 2) - TWIRL MIRROR
Create a dup layer:  Now we need a Mirror image of the Twirl

  • Duplicate the Twirl 1 layer (now Twirl 2)
  • EDIT
    • TRANSFORM
    • FLIP HORIZONTAL
  • Change the Layer from NORMAL to LIGHTEN
  • Result:

ADDITIONAL LAYERS:
The following show how I added additional layer with more mirror and flips and even some rotates, its up to you how you want to do things, and how many layers you want to make.
Just play and see how it looks!

TOPAZ - GLOW
One last little thing I did for this image was to take and Duplicate all these layers, and MERGE THEM into 1 layer
Then I take that layer into Toapz Lab's Glow and add some cool "Fur and Feathers" to it, bring it back into PS and changed it to 50% Opacity.

Result:

Would love for you to post your Twirls!

Enjoy,
David

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) editing photography photoshop tutorial twirl https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2017/8/twirl-photography Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:41:09 GMT
Concord City Hall https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2017/1/concord-city-hall Some info behind this shot:

CONCORD CITY HALLCONCORD CITY HALLTOPAZ IMPRESSION 2

Taken from the parking deck across the street.
Had to get creative on using my tripod to get over the 5 foot + wall and not get that wall in my shot.
Used my 10-24mm lens - perfect for these shots.
 

This image is a combination of the following (3) Exposure shots:
BASE IMAGEBASE IMAGE   +2 STEPS (EXPOSURES)+2 STEPS (EXPOSURES) -2 STEPS  (EXPOSURES)-2 STEPS (EXPOSURES)
Camera Model Name : NIKON D7200
Focal Length             : 11.0 mm
Shutter Speed?(s)     : 2 / 0.5 / 8 seconds
Aperture                   : 14.0
ISO                           : 200

These were taken into EasyHDR and combined to form the following shot:

EasyHDR Combined shotEasyHDR Combined shot

From this shot I did a little playing in PS (light/color/etc).  Then moved it into Topaz Impression, and applied a setting i have been using on a lot of my shots (one I made) based on one of the presets (Georgia O'Keefe).

I use this to "smooth" out the harshness of the HDR and (to me) it gives it a little something, not sure what.

 

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) architecture city exposure hdr impression long night topaz https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2017/1/concord-city-hall Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:53:38 GMT
BEAM ME UP https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2016/8/beam-me-up Decided to go out in the super humid and warm night and play a little with some Light Painting.

To do this you need a few things. 

  • Good Tripod
  • Camera that can do long exposures - ie 15-30 seconds at least
  • remote trigger release of some kind
  • light source(s) - flashlight, flash, glow sticks, etc.
  • willing participant(s) - sometimes its nice to have multiple people to help
  • a dark location - sometimes the darker the better
  • patience

 

My son and I went out to a closed road near a lake.  Got the tripod setup, used the flashlight and other lights to locate where to set him up, and to light him so I could get him in focus. We decided to try a "beam up" kind of thing, with him on his phone calling his spaceship to beam him up.

The process would be as follows:

  • Alex would stand as still as possible
  • I had the camera set to a 25 second exposure - iso 100 or so, f3 on the 35mm prime 
  • With a 2 second pause after i remotely fire the trigger
  • Fire the trigger, all lights off
  • Do a quick light on him to make sure he was lit from head to toe - basicly use the flashlight to light him up.
  • I had 2 flashlights - one was a very bright LED and the other was a strange little one that had 3 moveable head with lights.
  • Run around Alex in circles moving the lights from feet to head and above.
  • Check camera see what things looked like
    • mine had noise reduction on - helps a lot - and it takes a while to bring up the image
    • check the image, zoom in, see how in focus things are
  • try again 

Did this a few times - each time can take 5+ mins just to check and setup.  We tried several other shots as well (check them here).

OUT OF CAMERA IMAGE

OUT OF CAMERAOUT OF CAMERANo editing at all

No editing at all on this yet. you can see my ghosts in there, and its a little too bright and needs some more shadows, etc.
You can really see my head/face/glasses on the right next to Alex's head.

 

AFTER LIGHTROOM ADJUSTMENTS

CLEANED UPCLEANED UPSome basic cleanup

Lots of playing in lightroom, darkening areas where my ghosts were, playing with the sliders for highlight, shadow, etc. trying to get it as clean as i could.

 

INITIAL BEAM UP

INITIAL BEAMINGINITIAL BEAMINGCleaned up, but not exactly what I was going for.

Cropped and a little more playing, and a little stamp brush in PS.

FINAL BEAM UP

BEAMINGBEAMING#LightPainting #roco #clouds #startrek #beammeup #toocool @startrek

LOTS more here. 

  • Took a section from the zoomed out photo and added it to the bottom of this cropped section
  • faded it out and Alex's middle with it.  Giving it the look of him beaming out
  • used some brushes to keep his arm/elbow in solid
  • made a duplicate of the orig layer, took it into Topaz Glow added some neon to the lights
  • made another duplicate of the orig layer, took that one into Glow and used Fur and Feathers (25% or so) to give things a little more texture
  • blended them all back together, with a mask & brush
  • back to lightroom for some more highlight/shadow cleanup.

What do you think?  I love trying new things out, seeing how they come out, learning all the time!

Thanks for checking this out.  If you are interested in a shot like this of you let me know!

David

 

 

 

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) fun light lightpainting night portrait son https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2016/8/beam-me-up Sat, 13 Aug 2016 16:23:04 GMT
LEVITATION https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2016/1/levitation I'm no expert photographer, and every year (day actually) I see how much I don't know.  So, you have to get out there and try new things, learn new ways of doing things.  This applies to everything in life.

I had a couple of my friends come help me out with a little "levitation" photography.  

Step 1 - BLANK BACKGROUND

Blank BGBlank BG

You will notice there is nothing really in this image.
I missed the shadow on the left side, but that was easily removed in Photoshop.

Step 2 - Add in the people

SetupSetup the people to look the way you want!

Here you can see how the "levitation" is actually done.  You can see the shadow of the stepladder on the ground as well.
Notice how her legs are, she has to stand on something (right?)

Step 3: Layer it all and mask out what you don't want.

Almost doneLittle more clean up to do

So, this is a pretty close to being done edit.  I removed the shadows (using the mask tool, its pretty simple), also decided to rotate her left leg to give it more of a feel of her being pulled up into the air and not just standing there.

This looked pretty good, but I really didn't like the telephone lines in the background.  Photoshop has a "spot healing" brush that can make these pretty much just go away.

Step 4: Final Image

So, this is the final image, I could have done a lot more - adding some other items, maybe next time ill get some leaves and put them flying around, or something that looks like wind blowing around.

The actual shooting took about 10 mins, and the editing about 30-45 total.
Its a good idea to check your background first and make sure you don't need to remove things, next time I will make sure there is a lot cleaner background.

Thanks to my friends for helping me out!
Follow my work on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RomanDAPhotography/

David

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) levitation photography photoshop https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2016/1/levitation Mon, 04 Jan 2016 13:05:45 GMT
Photo Shoot for Fusion City Church https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/8/photo-shoot-for-fusion-city-church

Check out the entire Photo gallery here.  Would Love to help your church with new photos to use on social media, website, and in print.

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) church city fusion photo shoot https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/8/photo-shoot-for-fusion-city-church Sat, 08 Aug 2015 14:44:21 GMT
TheProcess https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/6/theprocess I always get "did you 'Do something' to that photo"?   My answer is pretty much 99% of the time "Yes".

In some cases I like the look i got when i shot the photo, but in some cases I have something in mind, a mood, or a look, or something.

For the photo of the Gem at Sunset I took the other day, I wanted something super saturated in color, with lots of orange, and the feeling of the wetness of the ground, and more.

I didn't have the time to do as much editing to it as I would have liked, so I spent some time editing a slightly different angle shot.

What I want to show you is my "process", how I get from "OOC - Out of Camera" to Final Image.

If you are not into photography, thats cool, just check each photo and see how it changes from image to image.

If you ARE into photography, read the details on what steps I took to get to that particular image.


Step 1:  OOC - Out Of Camera

This is the shot as it comes out of the camera, with little to no cleanup at all.
Out Of CameraOut Of Camera
You will notice how dark it is and that there is very little color in this.  But this was the shot as I took it. 

 

Step 2:  Lightroom adjustments

With just a little adjustment in Lightroom you can vastly improve your image.  I used "auto" on the Tone, and then tweaked that some till I got the image looking like below:
After Lightroom AdjustmentsAfter Lightroom Adjustments


Step 3:  Photoshop cleanup

Decided to remove some things, like some of the cars, the street signs, fix the distortion of the buildings and straighten things up.


I liked the cleaner look, no bright orange signs, this took a while to "stamp" out the offensive items. LOL

 

Step 4:  Adding some color

So, its not a bad photo at this point, it just isn't the deep dark orange super saturated photo i wanted. so... 
In Lightroom I added some gradient orange fills, 3 or 4 actually. on the sky, on the ground, using V6's ability to Brush out some of these, i removed areas on the buildings and the GEM sign so that it didn't turn everything orange.

After LR GradientsAfter LR Gradients

 

Step 5:  Layering

Still not that "deep" orange I wanted, so into PS we go, duplicated the layer, using "multiply" then made a masking layer and removed a lot of the places where it was just way to dark, then made the whole layer about 65% transparent. Photoshop Layer MaskPhotoshop Layer Mask Combined layers from PSCombined layers from PS
The above image is pretty dang close.  

 

 

Step 6:  Topaz Impression

To kind of "smooth things out" and get rid of some of the noise (junk) in the shot, I took it into Topaz Impression, and played with some of the settings to get the look i wanted (OKeff to start). 

Topaz ImpressionTopaz Impression
Didn't want 100% of this look as it makes it too much of a painting, so I dropped the opacity to 50%. Giving me the image below (with a little Lightroom adjustments).

After TopazAfter Topaz

 

Step 7:  Adding some "light"

Almost there, not bad, but the street lights were not on yet, and I think if we add some "orange" to it (via lightroom's brushes) it would give it a really cool look.  After adding a orange tint to the lights, I took the radial filter and added some orange glow around the lights to give the impression of light emitting from these street lamps.

Before is on the Left / After is on the Right.

Lightroom - adding "LIGHT" to the street lampsLightroom - adding "LIGHT" to the street lamps

 

Step 8:  All done!

Here is the "final" image, after all the above cleanup.  Thoughts? comments? input?

Sunset Gem 2Sunset Gem 2Gem Theater and street at sunset

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this entry.

Please let me know what you think.

David

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) cars evening gem glow lightroom lights orange photoshop street sunset theater https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/6/theprocess Fri, 05 Jun 2015 19:58:37 GMT
Persistants Pays https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/6/persistants-pays One of my favorite places to shoot is The Gem Theater in Kannapolis, NC.   I have probably shot well over 500 photos of the Gem or with it in the frame somehow.  I also love to shoot sunsets and sunrises; there is something about that golden hour, it brings out colors we do not normally get to see.

I have seen the many many shots of "Manhattanhenge" that happens in NYC twice a year, and thought that it would be cool to shoot something like that in my little town of Kannapolis.  This alignment of the sun and street only happens twice a year, and with my schedule I am normally not around.  This time I was home and decided to try and capture this shot.  

 

MONDAY NIGHT

I got up there Monday and the clouds were just so thick there was no real sunset, it just vanished.  

I did get a few cool shots of some clouds, including one great shot of an "Angel". 


Was shooting and looked up to see this awesome formation.  Lasted only a few mins, but was great!

 

TUESDAY NIGHT

So, Tuesday rolls around and its raining even more.  I take a ride over to the loop to see what the sky is going to do.
Its raining and so I just sit and wait in the van.  Of course I was bored and had my camera, so.. Decided to play with some shots I have not tried before.
These are of the rain on the windshield of the van with a Light pole and the Gem's marquee behind them.  What do you think of these??

 

Windshield RaindropsWindshield RaindropsWindshield Raindrops Windshield RaindropsWindshield RaindropsWindshield Raindrops Windshield RaindropsWindshield RaindropsWindshield Raindrops Windshield RaindropsWindshield RaindropsWindshield Raindrops

I was about to give up, it was 8:20 and I think sunset was 8:34 or so, the sky was solid and black toward the setting sun. I drove around to where i could get a better view down the street.  Parked over by the train tracks.  Got out started to walk around. The rain was just a drizzle at this point.  As I got up to the corner I could see a little sliver of sky (or I thought it was sky) under the heavy clouds. 

Little Slice of Sky and SunLittle Slice of Sky and SunLittle Slice of Sky and Sun

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

I had to get out into the middle of the street to get the shot I wanted, lucky its not super busy in Ktown at 8:30 in a Tuesday.  There were a few cars, had to run out, get a few shots then get back to the curb.  Did this a few times.  Got maybe 8 shots, only 1 was close to what i had been looking for.

The sun was just about gone, the clouds were moving back in to close up the hole, and the sky started to glow that amazing orange color.  One of the things I love about sunsets/sunrises is you have no idea whats coming, and the sky can change completely in just a few seconds. 

I managed this amazing shot.  Granted I was hoping for a more dramatic sky and no cars in sight, but, we take what God gives us.
Hope you like it.

Orange GemOrange GemThe sun only sets directly down this street for about 3-4 days a year. Have been trying to get a good shot of it for several years. Waited out the big storms clouds and the rain, the sun came out for about 1-2 mins, then was gone again.

Thanks for visiting, please comment, let me know what you think of this shot, and of my work in general, or if you have any questions.

David

 

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) clouds gem kannapolis ktown ktownhenge orange rain sky street sunset theater https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/6/persistants-pays Wed, 03 Jun 2015 11:12:32 GMT
Cruise-In https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/4/cruise-in April 2015 Kannapolis Cruise-In

Every 2nd Saturday from March to November (Except may) in downtown Kannapolis something magical happens.
Amazing looking cars from all over the area show up and show off!   (Want to see a Video - Click here!)
KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In

Some of these cars are still works in progress
KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In

Some of the car's owner's enjoy adding a little "extra" to their display.

Some of these cars are just amazing looking:

KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In

Even the insides are awesome:

KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In KTown Cruise InKTown Cruise InSome shots from the Kannapolis Cruise-In

Was a great day, 70's and beautiful.  Don't forget there are more of these June-Nov!  Don't Miss out!

 


 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) carolina cars classic cruise-in kannapoils north https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/4/cruise-in Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:21:39 GMT
1st Day of Spring https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/1st-day-of-spring Spring!  

We have all been waiting for it to get here.  It's been a LONG winter, lots of cold and nasty weather.  Lots of people have been waiting to get their shorts on and head to the beach.   

I happened to be in the Baltimore area on the 1st day of spring.  It had been an up and down week weather wise, not too cold (for Baltimore). So, when the weather guys said that on the 1st day of spring there was a chance of snow, I was thinking, "yeah right".  Well, the 1st day of spring arrived (well not really till 6??pm), and I looked out the hotel room at 5:30 am, didnt see anything but some wet roads.  Got a shower got dressed, looked out the window and was shocked to see a good dusting of snow on the ground, and a bunch more coming down.

Had to get to the plant I was working at that day, and by the time I got breakfast and out of the hotel, there was already 1/2 to 1" of snow on the ground.  Got to the plant and to work.  Was working for about 2 hrs while the snow just kept coming down.  Got a call from my co-worker (who happens to be my brother) asking me to bring some parts over to the plant he was working at.  So, got in the van and drove across Baltimore, snow was getting pretty thick in places, the main roads were not bad, but the side roads were starting to look like this.

Snowy roadSnowy roadRoad leading to the plant.

  This was the road leading to the plant I was going to.  It's a little plant way back in a very out of the way area.

Dropped off the parts, and they really didn't need me, so I decided to head back to the other plant.  Told them, I was going to take the "back roads" to try and get some snow shots along the rural roads.  Was hoping for something like a red barn in the snow, or who knows.

The plant I was leaving is behind (yes behind) a youth detention facility, with some out buildings, and trees.  I passed this one, and had to stop and get a shot.

Snow Covered TreesSnow Covered Trees

The field behind it and the heavy wet snow just made this look too cool.

Got about 2 miles down the road and came across this really awesome looking red barn in the snow. Exactly what I had been looking for.  Now, its not like you can just stop and take a shot on a 2 lane road.  There were very few turn-offs so, ended up pulling into a driveway, and walking back (in the snow) got a few different shots, this one below turned out the best.

Long Red Snow BarnLong Red Snow BarnBarn in the snow on the first day of spring.

It's a good idea that they paint these things red, or it would have just vanished.

Drove down this same rural road and came across a few more amazing barns (click to see in gallery/purchase a copy!).

Snow BarnSnow BarnBarn in the snow on the first day of spring. Buy LocalBuy LocalBarn in the snow on the first day of spring. Snowy BarnsSnowy BarnsBarns in the snow on the first day of spring.

All of these were just amazing finds.  Some were REALLY hard to get off the road to shoot.  It was still snowing like mad (you can see the snow falling in a few of these).  

 

Past a little stream, pulled off into a little area for the "park" (not sure what park was there as all i saw was this little stream).  Walked around trying to get a good angle on the stream.  

Calm StreamCalm Stream

I'm a sucker for reflections (LOVE THEM!) the water was not a smooth as I would have liked, but it was snowing, and a little windy too.  Like the feel of the above shot.  You can almost feel the cold.

Drove past this one farm, and noticed this little pond, with a dock of some kind in the middle.  Had to make a u-turn to get back to where it was, and pull into their driveway, but i think it was worth it.

Broken DockBroken DockBroken dock on a pond

This is actually (3) shots joined in Photoshop to get one long panorama. 

You never know when you will get an opportunity to get shots unlike the norm.  Take advantage of them!

 

Even with all these stops I only spent about 45-60 mins more driving back (I call that my lunch break).  

Hope you enjoyed this.  Would love to get your comments and feedback.

David

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) barns red snow spring trees water winter https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/1st-day-of-spring Sun, 22 Mar 2015 13:26:46 GMT
Murrays Mill https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/murrays-mill1 Murray's Mill

Even though it was still cold (30's) it seemed to be warming up from earlier in the morning.  But, the water didn't help with the cold.  

We were shooting "Long Exposure" shots, that means the shutter is open for 1,2,3 or more seconds.  To do this in anything other than very dark conditions you need a Neutral Density Filter on the camera's lens.  This is like a pair of sunglasses for your camera.  They come in a lot of different #'s of the shade.  From 2-10 or more. I was using (2) of these. a 4 - kind of not as dark as sunglasses, and an 8 - very dark, to allow me to take what would have been a 1/300th of a second shot and slow it down to 2 seconds, without it being just a white image.

Roy and I moved around trying to get a good angle on the mill and the water. 

Murray's MillMurray's MillStill not the right angle Murray's MillMurray's MillJust not the right angle

These angles just didn't work for me. 

Decided to move the tripod (have to use a tripod to do 2-3 second shots, or you would have nothing but a blur) out into the stream. 

Standing on a rock, and having the camera about 1 foot or so from the water, was able to get this 2 second shot.

Murray's MillMurray's MillMuch better angle, like the rock in the foreground

The thing I love about water and long exposure shots is how it "smooths" everything out.  If you notice the white streaks, those are just bubbles moving along with the water. So, in 2 seconds they have moved about 1-2 feet.  

Here is a closeup of the mill wheel and water, to give you an idea of how this smoothing looks up-close.

Murray's MillMurray's Millclose up of the water and wheel

It almost looks like writing on the water.  The mill wheel was not moving r it would have been a blur too.  In this case it helped a lot with the look of the shot. 

One thing I was not happy with was the sky, it was overcast and cloudy.  This helps when shooting these long exposure shots, but it doesnt do much for the appeal of the image.  So, with a little help from photoshop i used a stock sky (just an image of the sky i received with another editing program) and inserted it into the photo, but putting it "under" the image, and erasing the parts of the image where i wanted the sky to show through.  Its not a perfect thing, but it does look a lot better than the orig. (Right?)

Murray's MillMurray's MillColor balanced, cleaned up some, then added a new sky

You might not have caught i, but i also used a blue tinted "brush" to change the color of the water in the reflection to match the blue of the sky.

Little things like this get noticed.  It also helps to sell the idea that the sky really was blue. 

--

I liked this look, but it just didn't "pop" for me.  If you have noticed I like oversaturated looks (lots of color) and more of a painting style.
Took the image into Topaz Glow and added some "fur and feathers" (yea its strange but it seems to work for me) to the image.  Never use 100% of the effect, more like 20-25 at most as it will distort things a lot after that level.

After some playing with settings, I applied the effect and imported it back into Lightroom. once there i always check the white balance, and tweak the color, brightness, etc., till i get the look i want.  

Missing the MarkMissing the MarkThe water is not running the mill its shooting past it.

Final Image: (you can click the image above and purchase a print)

Here is a close up of the same close-up from above, allows you to see the difference from the orig.

Murray's MillMurray's Millclose up of the water and wheel with the Topaz effect

What do you think?

Do you like these kinds of posts?

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

David

 

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) cold long exposure mill smooth splash stream water wheel winter https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/murrays-mill1 Fri, 06 Mar 2015 11:44:13 GMT
Mill House https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/mill-house Old Mill House

Walking around Murray's Mill, checking out one of the old houses.  This will be a breakdown of my process from beginning to end.

I started with the tripod setup and the camera set to do a (3) shot HDR.  Normal / 2 stops down / 2 stops up.

Here are those (3) shots.

Orig PhotoOrig PhotoOOC (Out of camera) shot

Original Shot

HDR-LightHDR-Light2 Step Lighter Exposure for HDR

Light Shot - (2) Stops UP

HDR-DARKHDR-DARK2 Step Darker Exposure for HDR

Dark Shot (2) Stops Down.

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These are merged together in a program called Photomatix, the result is an image with more uniform brightness and shadows.  Allowing you to see more details in the image.

HDR MergedHDR Merged(3) Shot HDR Merged Shot

After HDRAfter HDRHDR with some lightroom adjustments

AFTER HDR Import back into Lightroom, with a little LR adjustments for color (or less), some brightness, contrast, etc. 

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Wanted a different look for this, more like an old painting, or charcoal look.  Took it into Topaz Impression, with Charcoal III preset, made some tweaks to the defaults.

You can see on the right some other preset options you can choose from.

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Once back into Lightroom, I decided i wanted the trees to be a little darker, so I used LR's Adjustment brush to "paint" a darker shadow and exposure onto the trees (the green shows what i painted).

LightRoom - Adjustment BrushLightRoom - Adjustment BrushUsing the Adjustment Brush to darken the trees

Once this was done, wanted to put a little more emphasis on the outlines of the trees and house.  Took it into PS and duplicated the Layer called it Sketch.   Took this into Topaz Glow, and selected a Sketch Preset, tweaked that some.  Brought this back into Lightroom (turned off the main photo so you can see just the "sketch" layer).  Dropped the opacity of this layer to about 40%, merged them back to lightroom.

Topaz Glow SketchTopaz Glow SketchUsed this as an overlay to darken the edges on the house and trees

Once this was back in lightroom, I made a few more adjustments to light, shadow, etc.   To end up here:

Final Mill House ImageFinal Mill House ImageAfter all the edits

This whole process took me about 20-30 mins.  But I like the final image look. 

What do you think?  Questions on the steps? Do you like this kind of post?  I'm still learning here what to post, and how.

Thanks!

David

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) edit glow house impression mill old process topaz trees woods https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/mill-house Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:27:38 GMT
Covered Bridge https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/covered-bridge Never Know what you will find.

My photo buddy Roy and I decided to take a ride up to the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge in Claremont, North Carolina. [map]

On our way up we were coming out of Statesville along Hwy 70 just before Hwy 10 we passed this wild looking old building, and had to turn around and go back.

We grabbed a few shots, not sure if anyone was around, or if someone would come out and start yelling at us, or who knows what.  Some of the things we have to deal with as photographers.

Love old buildings and things like this are just great to shoot.

 

Covered Bridge

Left shooting at the old building and headed the few miles up the road to the Covered Bridge. As we pulled in, Roy goes "well, this isn't the bridge i was thinking about".  As I had never been there before and had looked it up on google maps (do this a LOT as its a great way to see what a place looks like before spending time driving there) we decided to check it out anyway.  We parked in a pretty wet parking area, got out and realized it was still pretty darn cold out there (20's to 30 or so). We walked along a little stream to where the covered bridge is located.  Well, it was pretty underwhelming.  They have fenced all around the area so there was no way to get down to the stream to shoot backwards to the bridge.  We about gave up, but decided we were here, lets see what we can get.

The Fence was ugly, the bridge was very bland, just brown, in a sea of brown bare trees.  We found a gate and were able to get a shot from down a little ways toward the stream below.  Still didn't really like the look, was just kind of blah.

With the tripod setup, decided to do a (3) shot HDR (High Dynamic Range) Shot.  The camera takes (3) Different photos with different exposure. One normal, one 2 steps down (dark) and one 2 steps up (bright). (The image above is the "normal" shot).  The tripod is important, as you need to minimize camera movement.

I take these (3) photos into a program called Photomatix, from there you can do all kinds of things to the image.  Some can be VERY strange.  But using this to add some depth to the image was what I was after.

You will see (or not) that there is more depth of light, brighter in the foreground items, etc.

Still was NOT happy with this image, I wanted to shoot a typical Red Covered bridge.  In Lightroom, you can take and add a color tint with a brush.  Did this to the bridge to get a better look.

Almost there, I liked the red, but I wanted a little more of a painting look.  Took the photo into Topaz Glow to add a little effect to the image. Used "fur and feathers" as it seems to be the one preset i like the most.  It gives the trees some punch, and adds details to the edges of items.

Covered BridgeCovered BridgeCovered Bridge

I think this worked.  Still not super exciting, but I like the red bridge look.  Here is another angle, using pretty much the same technique as above.

Snowcovered BridgeSnowcovered BridgeJust a little snow left on the ground by a covered bridge

For this one I wanted a little more snow than what was actually there. Used PS to go in and clone the existing snow to expand its reach just a little.

As you can see getting the shot is just the beginning.  Where you take the image from there is up to you.

 

Always take one more shot!

As we were packing up to head out, I was shooting back through the bridge, trying to get a feeling for the inside of the bridge.

The look was just kind of blah.  But as I was taking this, Roy started walking toward me and I snapped a quick shot.

I liked this, having something (or someone) in the photo changed the whole look.  I asked him to stop there for a min, and took another (3) shot HDR image.  Took and made some changes to the image with several different editing programs.  I wanted it to be Black and White as the color of the wood was just distracting from the overall feeling.

IN FROM THE LIGHTIN FROM THE LIGHTA freind of mine walking into the covered bridge

I zoomed in a little to get things centered a little better.  I liked how Roy was off center from the image as i hate centered images.  I work with the "rule of thirds" a lot. 

So, what do you think?  Comments? Questions? Problems? 

 

 

 

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) bridge building covered decay old. woods https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/covered-bridge Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:21:58 GMT
Winter's Day https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/winters-day A Cold Winters Day in NC

Went out with a fellow photographer to see what we could shoot.  We were hoping for some ice, or snow, but as we live in the south, it’s not always that easy to come by.  

 

Over the DamOver the Damwater rushing over the dam Water over the dam

We started off at a local town (Mcadenville, NC), hoping to shoot some ice covered water or rocks at the spillway next to an old mill.

We were only able to shoot from a nearby bridge, as the area around the stream and spillway was posted with no trespassing signs.  Didn't feel like going to jail that cold morning.

Was in the very low 20's with a wind that made your teeth chatter, and hands hurt.  We took a bunch of photos using our ND (Neutral Density) Filters.  These allow you to use a slower shutter and get what we like to call a “smooth water” effect.  This makes the water look like its more fluid than a normal fasts shutter that stops the water in mid-fall.   After 20-30 mins we were too cold to keep at it here, so we packed up and headed off.

 

 

Into the woods

We drove to Kings Mountain state park trying again for an “ice over the dam” shots.   We took a wrong turn and ended up going down a little side road (more like dirt path).  At the bottom of which was a little brick bridge and stream.  We stopped to check it out and saw that parts of the stream were iced over.  Hoping to get some good shots we took off down into the woods and out onto a little island (we were not sure it was even solid till my friend stepped on it).  Shooing up and down the little stream, I was not really happy with the shots.  Then I happened to lower my camera down to my knees and noticed at that angle I could see the bridge’s reflection in the water.  Lowering it more I could see even more.  I ended up with my camera sitting on some ice at the edge of this little mound of dirt (island) to get the shot below.

Cold Hard ReflectionCold Hard ReflectionThe reflection under the ice of a bridge overpass

If you look close at the bottom of the above photo you can see some of the ice and rocks the camera was sitting on top of. 

Have not tried blogging like this before, Will see if anyone reads this or comments on it, before i decide if I will continue.

Hope you enjoyed my little blog post.

David

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Info@RomanDAPhotography.com (RomanDA Photography) ice reflections snow water winter https://www.romandaphotography.com/blog/2015/3/winters-day Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:10:20 GMT