Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spot Removal and LR4 Adjustments

A friend of mine asked me a couple of questions the other day about using the new version of Lightroom 4 (LR4), and since we're thousands of miles and many time zones apart I decided to help via the blog and YouTube. Hopefully some of this may help others too, so here goes!

There are two videos here... the first one talks about Spot Removal. The second talks about using the Adjustment Brush. Both use a couple of photos in the Lightroom library. The idea will be to clean up the spots first on a reference image and then use that to Sync a target. Then we'll continue on the target with brush adjustments.

Both videos are best viewed full screen at 720p HD.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kamehameha Day Parade 2012

It was parade time again this past weekend, and one of my favorite photo ops of the year.  The colors and the joy on faces everywhere makes this day an annual favorite.  This year the weather was perfect once again and I shot everything with one of my best lenses, an 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom.  It is the "fast" nature of any f/2.8 lens when shot close to wide open that yields photos with a crisp clean subject and creamy backgrounds. In photo terms, that background cream is known as bokeh.

You can find the images here and many more of the festivities at my PBase photo site.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Blown Away

Go ahead and laugh at this right out loud. I did.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Skating the Cup

The season is over.  Tonite the Los Angeles Kings hockey club won an improbable Stanley Cup championship for the first time in their 45-yr history.  Improbable because they came into the playoffs as an 8th seed, yet on their way to the finals they easily disposed of a #1 seed (Vancouver) in 5 games, a #2 seed (St Louis) in 4 games, and a #3 seed (Phoenix) in 5 games.  They won the cup with a 16-4 record including an amazing 10 of 11 games on the road.

It looked like it would be an easy run to the cup when the Kings won the first 3 games in a race of the best out of 7 against New Jersey, but the Devils were not done when they won Game 4 in LA and again in NJ in Game 5 to force a Game 6 back in LA today.  Game 7 became unnecessary when the Kings blew NJ out of the house with a 6-1 win today.

Skating the Cup is tradition in hockey, and a goal of anyone who plays the game seriously.  It's that rare opportunity to raise the most hallowed trophy in sport above your head and take it for a spin around the rink.  It's 35# of precious sterling silver engraved with the names of the greatest players to ever strap on a pair of ice skates and risk their body for the fastest sport played.

Congratulations to the LA Kings!  Congratulations also to Jonathan Quick, this year's Conn Smyth winner as most valuable player in the playoffs.  For all of you, enjoy the summer, and enjoy your upcoming day with the cup... another tradition unique to this professional sport.  You deserved it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


EXIF:  1/500s f/11 at 300mm iso1600.

Every once in a while I still enjoy a little astronomy... no where near as much as I once did, but when something like today's transit of Venus across the sun happens I need to find a way to be a part of it. No one will get to see this happen again for another 105 years!

Years ago I bought a small Questar telescope. Its mirror was only 3.5" diameter but it was perfect for planetary astronomy. What I used it for most however was for watching and tracking the movement of sunspots because of the handy little built in solar filter it had. It was the perfect rig to set up in the backyard on weekend and just observe. I used it more for sunspots than anything else.

One of my early observations with it included at night watching Io transit the face of Jupiter. I didn't even know it was going to happen but as I noticed Io getting closer to one edge it began casting a shadow on the face of the planet. Over the course of the evening I watched the tiny speck of Io's light go out, the shadow transit, then disappear, and then Io pop out the other side. It made an impression.

Watching Venus move over the face of the sun today was no less impressive. I made this image in the middle of my workday hand held with a Nikon D3 DLSR and a home made solar filter taped (draped is a better word) over the lens. Nothing fancy... just good old backyard astronomy. Something must have gotten a little wonky on the second image. I'm just happy they all came out as sharp as they did.

You'll surely see better images on television or in the magazines, but there's nothing like seeing something like this with your own eyeballs. That quality simply can't be beat whether you record it somehow or not.