Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sunset 03a May 15 2012 Cloud Dragon.jpg

Here's a zoomed way way back shot of the cloud dragon I posted a few days ago. The dragon cloud is middle far left of the image. The cool result of parallel micro-wind streams hitting the perfect cloud at just the right time. God painting with light.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chasing A Sunset May 15 2012.jpg

Thanks, in no small part I think, to the recent multiple moments of space history that the May 22 2012 launch of the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station has delivered my HDR artistic muse has taken full control of my post production moments. I've been a space geek since the pre-landing-on-the-moon-days and happily set my alarm for a 2:30 am berthing of a what only a few days earlier was an earth bound space faring dragon. A zero-tolerance-for-error hookup to the most complex structure humanity has ever built.

Intellectually processing the 'OMG that's so incredible' feeling as a private space craft (in my life-time no less!!) berths with the ISS at 17,500 MPH 200 miles over the Andes mountains at 3:00 in the morning required a right brain creative balance. Refining, tweaking, re-tweaking and publishing a lone earthbound seagull chasing the sunset over Vancouver's English Bay was perfect.

I love the 21st century.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cloud Dragon 01a May 15 2012

A week before SpaceX launched their second Dragon capsule into orbit and 10 days before it docked with the International Space Station (a historic first up there with the landing on the moon) this cloud dragon appeared over English Bay Vancouver. A cool cloud in a loose mood.

Friday, May 25, 2012

English Bay BWHDR Stairs 01a May 18 2012

Here's one of my favorite composition spots along the near-city part of the the Stanley Park seawall. (The geo-tag on this photo is accurate to roughly 5m.) A shot made all the more cultured thanks to the refined glow that is infra-red light.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

English Bay HDR SunDogs May 18 2012 DSC_4432BAnd8more_tonemapped.jpg

Same shot as just previous only in 32 bit color scrunched into the 8 bits of color our crappy computer monitors put out. Sigh.

English Bay BWHDR SunDogs May 18 2012.jpg

Here's a moment (complete with both sun-dogs no less) over English Bay Vancouver where theology and science agree. Yes. The sun is in fact the giver of all life on this planet. Here's a shot of our closest star looking all sexy in High Dynamic Range black 'n white style.

Vancouver Seawall IRHDR May 15 2012 02a

The West End Vancouver section of the Seawall walk/bike paths just as it connects with Beach and Thurlow. A nice and sunny day in what turned out to be a nice and sunny week.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sunset Beach & The Burrard St. Bridge Vancouver Apr 20 2012

I love this shot. I'm going to get a 24"x36" copy of this and put it on the wall above my TV. Pure IR.

West End HDR Fish Eye May 12 2012 00a

West End HDR Fish Eye May 12 2012 05a

I love this shot. Since a High Dynamic Range image is itself a collection of images it naturally follows that the images have to happen over time. A very short period of time mind you but still over a discrete period of time. With the new HDR software (I use Photomatix Pro) you can tell the software areas that move (over time) and areas that don't. It then adjusts its computed image accordingly. If you then go one step further and purposely NOT tell it about certain parts that you know do actually move ... it's a nice fugue. Sort of a 21st century motion pan shot.

West End HDR Fish Eye May 12 2012 04a

An eagle eye perspective on English Bay Vancouver a few minutes post sunset May 12 2012. Summer's early.

West End HDR Fish Eye May 12 2012 03a

Thurlow and Drake looking south towards English Bay. And yes, the bottom left corner of this shot totally confuses the visual / spatial part of my brain. I've stopped trying to figure it out and now mostly just go with it. :)

West End HDR Fish Eye May 12 2012 01a

Time to play with the expensive lens. :) An hour before high-noon in Vancouver here's the 179' view from the edge of the shadows just north of 1011 Beach and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre.

English Bay HDR May 09 2012 02a

Clouds - we grow 'em big on the west coast.

Burrard St. Bridge Looking South - West End HDR May 06 2012 11a

Built between 1930 and 1932 the Burrard Street Bridge connects downtown Vancouver to the Kitsilano residential area. Recently redesigned to support bike traffic with one southbound lane and the eastern sidewalk devoted exclusively to two-wheeled transportation.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Entrance to False Creek Vancouver - West End HDR May 06 2012 10a

It's been a mostly soggy spring for us here in Vancouver so when that great yellow ball of warmth and good feelings (something which most call 'the sun') appears we all get busy all at once. It's great to watch and be a part of and it's like I live in two cities - a wet one with perhaps 50,000 people in it and then a dry one with 2.3 million, all going for a walk or bike or cruise, all at once. Very cute. :)

Here's the view from one the observation balcony on the Burrard Street Bridge on a sunny and bustling Sunday May 6 2012. In the foreground is Vanier Park and the 'Bard on the Beach' summer home being assembled. In the background is English, the far western tip of West Van and the start of the Sunshine Coast.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

West End HDR May 06 2012 06a

Sunset Beach, West End Vancouver. I love the detail near the ferry terminal at the bottom of this shot. Light turned into molten gold.

West End HDR May 06 2012 05a

The corner of Beach and Thurlow with the Vancouver Aquatic Centre and its mutant trees from Venus foilage in the foreground. .... Looking all '60s and such thanks to high dynamic range. Once you go HDR you never go back.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

West End HDR May 06 2012 01a.jpg

I'd like to nominate the Vancouver city workers who came up with the epic idea of promoting gardening in what used to be ugly mounds of mud for the prize of "Awesome Vancouveritte(s) of the decade". Over the past few years citizen run gardens like this have been popping up all over Vancouver and personally I love them. Big time. They add color, fresh air and turn what would be a urban dead-zones (in this case the area underneath the Burrard Street Bridge) into a pleasant oasis. Two green thumbs up!

What I find even more impressive is how each garden I see smacks the urban-cynic in me up-side-the-head. At first I figured the evil anarchists that haunt the urban night would trash something so pretty simple because it's pretty. As it's turned out though (knock on concrete) I've yet to see any evidence of major trashing to any of the urban gardens I stroll past. Proof yet again that deep down inside, even in Vancouver, the vast majority of us are pretty decent people.

Mid Winter West Coast Sunset - Feb 02 2012 03a HDR

Feb 02 2012 03a HDR.jpg by VancouverDoug
Feb 02 2012 03a HDR.jpg, a photo by VancouverDoug on Flickr.

Contrary to popular belief we do get a bit of sunshine during the winter here in Vancouver. Here's a mid-winter sunset looking out across the Straight of Georgia which separates the British Columbia mainland from Vancouver Islands. In the foreground is the Kitsilano region of Vancouver. In the background are Galiano and Mayne Islands which are just off the coast of Vancouver Island.

Friday, May 04, 2012

West End IRHDR 09a Apr 20 2012.jpg

The corner of Beach and Thurlow in Vancouver's West End.

This angle is special to me in that I took a shot from this angle with my first (finally) successful roll of Kodak's IR Film. We've come so far since that earlier shot I took 15 years back. Digital photography let's you get feedback from your shot instantly. You can look at it. You could not do this with 35mm film. Personally I totally love digital photography over the 20th century tech.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Sunset Beach HDR 09a Apr 30 2012.jpg

Can't see the forest for the jungle.

I sort of like the depth of field in this photo but know another 3cm or so front and back would have been awesome. Sigh. Since this was an HDR shoot speed of shot was a priority. Getting all five shots in under 500 ms would minimize motion in the series. On a windy day that meant 1/30s as the slowest shutter speed.

This in turn meant big aperture's (f/5.6 or so) and thus low depth of field. Grrr.

Maybe I should compare the downside of getting noise with a higher ISO vs the bigger depth of field. I used ISO 200 for these and the software I use could most likely handle any noise reduction up to ISO 640. Hmmmm.

Sunset Beach HDR 07a Apr 30 2012

While the holiday is still many months away it's never to early to replenish the Christmas Greeting Card stock. :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sunset Beach HDR 06a Apr 30 2012.jpg

Is it just me or is that not the creature that tried to kill Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Predator? ..... What? .... He's a flower now? ;)

Sunset Beach HDR 04a Apr 30 2012.jpg

I'm really warming to this series on a tech-art level. A nice fugue.
I shot these, on a blustery day on Sunset Beach in Vancouver as a 5 frame HDR series. Given the winds there was a near certainty that the shots would not align. High Dynamic Range software (Photomatix) to the rescue. The software allows me to tell the processing engine which areas of the image are full of movement. It can then set a better baseline for what should move and what should not and adjust the image as it see's fit. Digital stabilization taken to the next level.
The cooler part though is that what this feature really allows me as an artist is to use time (5 shots over 750ms or so) as a temporal palette. I can tell the software which parts are movement intense and which aren't. I could for example flag one section of the image as the absolute center of attention since it does not move. Quite cool when you think about it.
In this shot parts are in perfect focus while others are anything but. Hi Def Motion.