Sunday, October 24, 2010

ABC Wednesday: O! What is it?

O! What is it? Can you tell?  Grace took this series of photos.

Now, let me back out a little bit, can you tell what it is now?  Still can not!!

How about back out more, almost getting it?

Now, let us back all the way out, see the shadow down under the aqueduct.  It was photographed at Pitigliano, Tuscany.

Now. let us show you the entire village.  We were there for a whole day and took some amazing photos.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ABC Wednesday: Natural and Unnatural

This shot was taken at Tuscania during our tour at Southern Tuscany, Italy.  This is a highly difficult scene to photograph due to the very contrasty lighting condition.  However, it is amazing how the modern digital camera can do.  This is the most Natural look of the scene, taken using my D700 then worked in Nikon Capture NX2 to lighten the shadow and darken the highlight.

This one is an HDR image using three different shots with three different exposures.  The images were merged and tone mapped by Photomatix Pro.  This is the most Natural looking imaging that I can get from the HDR.  Actually for me, to get a natural looking image from the HDR is much more difficult than to create the more dramatic HDR image.

As I said that I was not too good at HDR and on how to use the Photomatix Pro.  After seeing a partner in the photo tour on how he used the Photomatix Pro, I realize my program was very much outdated.  After back to the US, I updated my program and it now consists of several presets that I can choose from as a starting point of manipulating the HDR image.  This is the "default" setting that I worked a little bit more with Capture NX2 for contrast and saturation.

This one is from "Painterly" preset.  It got this more Unnatural look, almost like a painting.

This one is from "B&W" preset.  Either the Natural look or the Unnatural look, I like them all.  Which one do you prefer?

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ABC Wednesday: M is for Milan

Last two weeks, Grace and I were traveling in Italy.  The first part of the trip was at southern Tuscany participating in the photographic workshop of David Hoptman.  The latter part of the trip was spent in Milan.  Grace was in a conference and I got the chance to walk around Milan and practice what I have learned from the workshop.  This is the famous Plazza del Duomo with Duomo di Milano on the right and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on the left.

This is the view of the plaza at night.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a glass covered huge shopping mall that has all the famous European brands and many roadside restaurants.  In the center, the right side is Louis Vuitton and on the left is Prada.  However, a word of caution, all the roadside restaurants around the area only serve microwave version of pasta and risotto, and twice as expensive as the authentic version in southern Tuscany.  For the name brands, the better way to do is to shop around Via Monte Napoleone.

This is the Basilica Di San Carol Al Corso on the way to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II when I walked from Duomo to the area of Via Monte Napoleone.  It was great fun to mingle with the well dressed Milanese people and watch Ferarri, etc. drove on the cobblestone paved streets.

This is the famous Teatro alla Scala at night.  It is not as an impressive building as the Paris Opera.  It can be reached easily from the Duomo through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.  We have the chance to hear a concert by José Carreras during our stay in Milan.  It was a fantastic experience.

This is the Castello Sforzesco view from Via Dante.  The castle was first constructed in the 14th century.  It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times in the history and the latest was the allied bombardment in 1943.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.


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