They’re Waiting For You In The Chapel

What do they want?

When you take a bus tour you don’t have control over the itinerary or the weather. We had eaten lunch at a country inn between Stratford-on-Avon and Oxford. A few snowflakes drifted down upon us as we boarded our bus to Oxford, and on the way over the hills it began to snow in earnest. Our tour guide was herself a bit flabbergasted, saying that she had never seen snow in that region in mid April (2006). It was very pretty seeing the English countryside with a dusting of snow, but of course any photos would be taken through the windows of a moving bus. D’Oh!

It was raining upon arrival in Oxford. We were led around to the usual university sites including the Latin Chapel of Christ Church Cathedral. It was dark and if the chapel was dry, we were damp ourselves. With fellow tourists meandering about, it was nearly impossible to get a clean shot of anything. I grabbed this shot since I could at least get the whole window without any heads in it, but just as I did, everyone seemed to turn to face me. I’ve never been able to figure out what to do with this shot until now.

The faces of my fellow bus-tourists were dark, but in processing I played that to my advantage. I stumbled around with various methods including making a luminance selection and jumping that to its own layer. I then proceeded to segregate out the stained glass to which a full-on 100% radial blur centered in the upper left area was applied. That layer was set to Linear Dodge blend mode, and some other burning of the lower third of the frame was done to hide the tourists’ bodies while leaving their now-ghostly faces visible.

#Travel #England #Oxford +UK Photography Community

John B Tefertiller’s photo on Google+

Tower Bridge In Black And White

Playing with DXO Filmpack 3.

A week or so ago I posted a version of this shot to the +UK Photography Community _!!!!!! BLUE SKIES + FABULOUS WEATHER SPOTTED IN THE UK !!!!!_ event album. I disclosed then that I had removed a small boat (lower left corner) and 'fixed' the reflection of the North Tower. In looking for a candidate photo to play with my new DxO Labs filters, I saw an opportunity with this scene.

The previous post ( ) was processed using an older Camera Raw version, so besides playing with the filters, it was a chance to see if I couldn't clean things up better with newer tools. That done, I first used DxO Viewpoint to reduce, but not remove altogether, the keystone effect that resulted from photographing the bridge from this vantage point. I think that came out rather natural looking.

After that I took the picture into DxO FilmPack3 and chose the Fuji Neopan Acros 100 filter. I couldn't tell you if my life depended on it whether this resembles a frame shot on that film; I just liked the way it converted the scene into black and white.

#Travel #TowerBridge #London #LondonUK #BlackAndWhite #Monochrome



Thanksgiving Turkeys

I think they were looking for revenge!

So, we were done with Thanksgiving dinner when somebody looked out the front window. "Hey! There's turkeys in the front yard!" We all came to the window and peered out. There was a . . . flock? . . . of turkeys who then migrated to the roof. After a few minutes they flew down into a busy street where they stopped traffic while we and some of the drivers took photos.

Who would'a thunk? Turkeys on Thanksgiving!


Return From The Cold War

A view of Orford, Suffolk from a WW2 landing craft.

In April 2006 a friend and I were given a private tour of radio broadcast facilities on Orford Ness, a slender peninsula that is cut off from the rest of Great Britain at high tides. The site was used by by Anglo/American forces from WW2 until the 1980s, and was the location of the once-secret Project Cobra Mist over-the-horizon radar undertaking in the 1960s and 1970s. There are a lot of interesting artifacts from Cold War operations, but it is slowly reverting back to its natural wetland state, and is a protected wildlife sanctuary. We were shuttled over and back on a WW2 landing craft from which this photo was was taken on the return trip. The town of Orford is also the location of Orford Castle, built in the year 1100, and open for tourists daily.

The slightly illustrative look of this posting comes from playing around with a Photoshop color lookup adjustment layer set to "blacklight poster" and set to darken blend mode, with transparency adjusted to 33%.

#Travel #England #Orford #Suffolk +UK Photography Community


Yuyuan Garden

I would love a less pressured visit.

Our last day in Shanghai in April 2009, we took a ride on the Shanghai Maglev Train that goes to one of the airports, reaching a speed of 430 kph (267 mph), the fastest I've ever traveled on the ground. Afterward we were taken into a shopping district where the Yuyuan Gardens (also known simply as Yu Gardens) are located. It was a fairly busy place, but I managed this shot without any people in it.

I've also been playing around again with Russell Brown's Photoshop extension, Adobe Paper Textures. Since you aren't given a choice of time-of-day for taking tourist photos, some interesting and beautiful locations become washed out and boring. In cases such as this, you do what you can with vignetting and textures to try to highlight the beauty of the place.

#Travel #China #Shanghai #Yuyuan #textureblendphotography


A Reshare For NightPhotographyFriday

This is a restaurant in Beijing where, according to our tour guide, the Chinese government hosts foreign dignitaries. The main attraction (if the colorful neon doesn't do it) is Peking Duck. It was delicious!

This was our first meal after arriving in Beijing, and set our dietary expectations for the trip. We were disappointed most of the time.

+Night Photography Friday is curated by +Mark Hammon and +Steve Passlow
#nightphotographyfriday #nightphotography #Travel #China #Beijing