Happy 2015!

Happy 2015 to everyone!  I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year’s celebration.  May joy, prosperity and health be with you this year.

We always have a nice spread on new years eve and here it is:

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Don’t worry, we did not eat it all.  There is plenty left over for the days and weeks to come.

I used my X-Pro1 and the 35mm for the two photos here.  I shot the first one at f/2.8 and the one below was done at f/1.4.

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I’m looking forward to adding more content to my blog in 2015 and most importantly, i am looking forward to taking more photos and learning as i go along.

Thanks for looking.

© d7100shooter.wordpress.com, All Rights Reserved

Montreal As Seen From Mount Royal

I have not been to the top of Mount Royal for quite some time now.  Of all days to go, i had to pick today, a holiday.  Oh brother.

However, my timing was not all that bad.  Since we arrived just before lunch, we were able to find parking all the way up at the last parking lot.

Our car is at the far back, right.

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Everyone had taken the spots in the first two parking lots because they are near to Beaver Lake.  When we left, there was not one parking spot to be had in any of the parking lots, until we left.

We headed up to the look-out first.  If you ever come to Montreal, you have to head up to the look-out on Mount Royal.  There is no other spot where you can get such a perspective of the city.  This is what you get to see:

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It was nice to be able to see the mountains out there on the horizon.  Tells me that it was a fairly clear day.

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One of the other attractions on Mount Royal, is the big steel cross.  It lights up at night and is a “beacon” in the night when flying into Montreal.

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Very nice dynamic range from the x-trans sensor with this photo below.

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The cross is not the only steel structure on the mountain.  There are also various antennas.

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If it were not for these antennas, i would not be watching the Habs game right now.

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If you walk the whole road at the top of the mountain, you can find some breaks in the trees and get views like this:

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Oratoire St. Joseph

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I would say that this is the Norh-East part of Montreal

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In my next post, i will show you some of the nature and wild life that you can see.

Happy shooting!

Messing About In Photoshop: Infrared Effect

For the last couple of weeks, i have been looking into Infrared photography.  I love the effect it has on landscapes.  With this kind of photography, you have three choices:

1) Get your camera converted into an infrared camera (you will never be able to shoot color with it again).

2) Get an infrared filter.  These are not that expensive and for around $80, you can get a very good one.

3) Use photoshop to simulate the effect.

Option 1 is out of the question for me.  Therefore, i have been looking at option 2 for the last couple of days.

You would think that finding a 52mm IR filter would be easy with all the camera stores here in Montreal.  Not so.

I looked everywhere and i was not able to find one.  I guess i will just have to resort to shopping online…. again.  Not good for the shops around here when Henry’s is getting my business.

Until i get an IR filter, i have resorted to option 3: use photoshop to simulate the effect.

Turning the photo itself into an “infrared” photo in Photoshop is not that hard at all.  It is when you get into the color channels where things get a bit tedious.

Here is the tutorial that i followed: (http://lensvid.com/photo-editing/photoshop-elements-tutorial-how-to-create-an-infrared-effect/)

The first step, is to turn your photo into a grey scale photo.  From there, you have a choice of applying an “infrared” effect.

Once you apply the “infrared” effect, that is when you start playing around with the color channels, layers, etc.  Again, kind of tedious in my opinion since i don’t like sitting in front of the computer for to long.

Here is the photo that i used for this little project:

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This photo was taken last year while apple picking.  After putting it through Photoshop and applying the “infrared” effect to it, this is what i came up with:

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Yeah, it’s a bit of a mess, but not so bad for the first time around.

With the technique i learnt for Photoshop Elements, the process seems to leave color in the middle of the photo.  From there, the “infrared” effect seems to radiate outwards.

I am sure i can get better results if i practice more; though, in all honesty, i would much prefer getting an actual IR filter, then processing the photo.  The results would be more evenly balanced i believe.

On the other hand, if you are just going to use the black & white version of the “infrared” effect in Photoshop, it is quite nice and the result is really not indistinguishable from a photo taken with an actual IR filter.

I learnt something new today and that is what it is all about, learning.  Honestly, i will leave this Photoshop technique for those who have time and patience.  If i want a nice IR photo in black & white, the effect can be applied in Photoshop quite quickly.  A colored version is a different story.

Time to shop for an IR filter.

Happy shooting!

 

The Ice Hotel, Quebec City, Quebec

I have posted photos of the ice hotel before, but apparently the hotel changes every year.  Therefore, since it does change each year, there is new photo ops each year.

The general layout of the hotel and it’s size seemed to be the same, but they had changed the theme for the ice slide.

Honestly, i would never pay money to stay in this thing.  I just don’t get the appeal.

Photos taken with XP1 & 35mm.

Uhhhh, yeah, a bit of a FUBAR on the custom white balance with these two photos.  Though, in a way, they kind of have an old “film” look.  Okay, i really can’t save them by propping them up:

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Mmmmmm, beeeerr………..

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This is the new theme in the slide area: “Frozen”, the movie.

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Thanks for looking.

© d7100shooter.wordpress.com, All Rights Reserved

In & Around Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City is a great place to just take a slow, relaxing walk.  There are all sorts of little shops and restaurants to discover.  Be prepared though and have some good walking shoes/boots.

The City is quite hilly and you will feel the effects of this geographical feature after walking around a while.  If you are going to venture to the lower part of the city, you have the option of taking the stairs or the funicular.  If you end up taking the steps, you will at least burn all the calories that you gained from all the great food to be had.

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Thanks for looking.

© d7100shooter.wordpress.com, All Rights Reserved

Quebec City From High Up

Going up to the observation platform on top of the Education Ministry is a must.  On a clear day, you can see for miles in all directions.

If you tour around the city to certain locations, you will be able to see them from this perch, 31 floors up.  Of course, don’t forget to bring your camera.

If you are going to take photos, my advice is to set you lens to the smallest aperture (biggest f number) in order to get everything in focus.  The glass is kept relatively clean, so no worries about seeing dirty glass on your photos.

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Thanks for looking.

© d7100shooter.wordpress.com, All Rights Reserved

Pères Missionnaires du Sacré-Coeur, Quebec City, Quebec

While in Quebec City, my quest was to visit more of the churches there and take photos of the interiors.  However, my quest was not all that fruitful since most of the churches were closed.

After coming across two closed churches, this one little church was the last one before we headed back home for the day.  It is not very grandiose like some i have come across and it is quite small inside as well.

The church itself is nestled in between some buildings and the building to it’s right, seems to be some sort of monastery that is accessible from the church.

There was not much to photograph inside the church, but the stained glass certainly caught my eye.

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Thanks for looking.

© d7100shooter.wordpress.com, All Rights Reserved

Notre Dame Basilica, Quebec City, Quebec: Part II

As part of out little trip up to Quebec City for my Daughter’s March break, we stopped at Notre Dame Basilica again.

The last time we were there, they were renovating the interior of the church and half of it was blocked off.  This time around, we were able to see the whole interior.

This is probably one of the churches that i like photographing the most.  The reason why, is because the walls and ceiling are painted with a cream colored paint, reflecting the light so well; therefore, using the natural light that is coming in to effectively illuminate the scene.

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The Big “Owe”, AKA: The Olympic Stadium

I was told by somebody, ahem, Asawa…. that there were some Penguins outside of the Biodome after 5pm this evening.  So, we all moseyed on down to the Big “Owe”; yes, that big white elephant in the East end of Montreal.

For God’s sake, i don’t know how many times the media has told us that the Olympic Stadium has finally been paid off.  Just the other week was the last time i heard it.  Over the past 10 years, i have heard at least two reports about having paid it off.  So, my question is, have we paid off this goddamn thing already??  Only in Quebec.

Of course, when we got to where the Penguins were supposed to be, there were no Penguins.  I am assuming that they were all deep in a fish dinner comma.  Oh well, it did not stop me from taking out the camera to take some photos, even of the ground – you will see which one that is.

Below photos taken with X-Pro1/35mm.

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