Yikes — was in town feeding some cats, and it’s raining… not in a hard, showery kind of way, but in a cold, wet, miserable, relentlessly dripping kind of way. Looking in the shop windows you see a lot of mannequins wearing light cotton summer togs, and it makes you feel even colder than you were to start with. They should withdraw the summer clothes and put autumn gear on their racks! Beachwear’s just a mockery when the weather’s like this.
We went for coffee, which tasted horrible, but I was charmed when I noticed the neon-lit coffee logo on the wall reflected in mine, sharp and clear as glass. Those of us who enjoy taking photos should take our cameras into coffee shops and see what we come up with! Preferably not using flash. And if you buy a foamy cappuccino, you probably won’t notice any kind of reflection…
When we got home, I noticed to my horror that my T-shirt was on inside-out; I had been sitting in the coffee shop like that… admittedly in a quiet, dark corner, and probably nobody noticed. All the same…! I pointed it out to Mum, and she said she noticed, but thought I’d done it deliberately! It looked very nice, she said, and completely in keeping with the current fashions.
Anyway, I had some photos building up to put on my blog, and was annoyed when the ISP started telling us we would run out soon… I had to wait. The first one is nothing much… just me chasing clouds again. It was taken about 10 minutes before the thunderstorm hit.
It’s a single frame; I edited the Raw image to bring the trees out of shadow.
You can click on the pictures to view slightly larger sizes. The next one I’m pleased with… it’s an HDR merge of four separate shots I took out of the window during the thunderstorm!
Individually, the photos that go to make up the rainy hedge are poor snapshots — you can see strong reflections on the windows. (The white, shimmering form of my little old iMac was quite distinct!) I wasn’t using a tripod, so every shot was framed differently, with the camera waving around. One shot was overexposed. In short, they’re the kind of pictures most sane people delete right away, if they even bothered to take them in the first place.
But I was bored and waiting for something else to happen, so I scooped up the five JPEGs and told my HDR program (Photomatix) to merge and tone-map them, matching the features… I figured it would be a horrible mess, but when you’re bored, you will try anything! I was surprised at the result. A bit grainy, but that’s par for the course when using JPEGs at similar exposure settings (they’re supposed to vary, and Raw images are better).
I took the HDR picture into Photoshop Elements because the whole picture was flat and busy, and managed to work a little shade into it and reduce some of the grain… anyway, I like this. I’m surprised there wasn’t more ghosting and spotting, and I’m also surprised that the window reflections have pretty much disappeared.
iPhoto on the iMac keeps dropping hints that I should allow it to scoop up all of my photos from the camera card, but I took a dislike to iPhoto and have been using Adobe Bridge instead. Every time I start up my iMac, iPhoto grabs all the photos and waits hopefully for me to load them, and I just shut it down. I’m cruel. (Have now changed the settings to put it to sleep).