Stones for Alice

In September 2009 our beloved cat, Alice, passed away. She was fortunate to have lived at least nine lives having made it to the ripe old age of 24 1/2. Alice was with us since she was a wee kitten so for nearly a quarter of a century she graced us with her ever sweet and sociable presence. These are the stones that mark the spot where we buried her in the back yard.

Stones for Alice

I blended in a black and white layer (Nik Silver Efex) and overlayed the merged layers with the original, unaltered layer using the “color” menu selection in the layer palette.

Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM at 300mm. 1/80 second at f/5.6. Tripod.

Canon T2i remembering Alice.

Open at night

This is the front entrance to the local Catholic church. I’m not the religious type, but I can appreciate the architecture–and in this case, the available light. The outside light is from street lamps and the inside is from tungsten sources (I think). No Photoshop tricks here, just a straight black and white conversion and a bit of cropping on the sides.

Church entrance doors at night

Lens: Canon EFS 15-85mm at 28mm. ISO 800 (it was almost totally dark out and the 15-85 is a slow lens), f/5.0, 1/4 sec (handheld and not breathing 😉 ). Black and white conversion: Nik Silver Efex.

Canon T2i peering in at night.

Iron and rust

Day off play with the G11 and Photoshop. The image is of the bottom of our unused patio fire pit. I’m also posting the original to show the difference from capture to post. I used a variety of Photoshop layering “tricks” for dramatic effect. First, I converted the image to black and white using the Nik Silver Efex plugin. In Niks I boosted both the contrast and structure to pump up the details. I then added some vignetting (a current addiction) to push the visual focus toward the center of the image. Once I had the Nik layer, I duplicated the original layer, move it above the Nik layer and set it to “overlayed” at 100%. This move radically pumps up the color and contrast. I merged the overlayed layer into the Nik layer and then used the Photoshop “Shadow/Highlight” image adjustment filter to pump up the shadow detail. I did a little extra stuff on each of the moves, but figure those are “to taste.”

Iron fire pit enhanced

Below is the straight from the camera shot. All I did to it was resize to fit the blog format.

Iron fire pit from camera

BTW, It took a lot longer to make this blog post than it did to create the image.

Canon G11 playing in the yard.

For good luck

Rain rain rain. Chilly and wet February days in Northern California are good for staying inside and keeping dry. For indoor fun, I decided to create a little scene on the dining room table and take some shots. We have a bunch of these ceramic carp (symbols of “good luck”) around the house. I chose the two pinkish ones that live on our fireplace mantel for my little scene.

Pink ceramic carp

Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm at 95mm. 1/5 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400. Natural lighting from the windows, white balance on “cloudy”. To get the moody look, I converted the image to black and white in Nik Silver Efex then “overlayed” the Nik layer with the original image at 100%.

Canon T2i getting lucky.