Friday, July 31, 2009

Sunflowers

This past winter, Mr Jack Riepe, of the Twistedroads Blog fame; had lamented several times to me the lack of greenery in my shots of Colorado during the winter.

Now that we've gone through the year's wettest month, the surrounding countryside along my commute road has greened up considerably. I've been watching sunflowers grow taller and taller along the side of the road and today thought there were tall enough to take pictures.

I spotted a small dirt trail leading off from Powhaton Road, bordering a farmer's field, which held promising stands of sunflowers. I moved slowly along this trail, till I found a suitable spot and took several shots.

However, shooting into a bright sky with a dark background, is tricky. Had to do some retouching using the services of picnik.com, an online version of photoshop as it were:


I then, with some effort, turned Brigitta around on the trail and started heading out back to pavement. I stopped a couple of times more for more pictures and the best one I could manipulate is this one:


I think I'll try these shots again with bright sunlight overhead the next time and see how they turn out.

Oh, and you'll have noticed the gray skies overhead? Yep, got caught in some light rain as I neared the house. It's all good.

So there you go Mr Jack Riepe, I hope you like them. Dammit. : )

Update: Gail of sheridesabeemer.com, photoshop guru and beemer rider, cleaned up the unsightly power lines and towers in the first picture. I had included them since I thought they added some "flow"; but as you can see below....it's better without them:


By the way, I don't know about you all, but the picture above reminded me of this painting:

Christina's World, by Andrew Wyeth
(yes, I flipped the picture to fit the posting)
Or is it just me?

7 comments:

bobskoot said...

Charlie6:

It seems that you like to take a lot of photos either backlit or with higher than normal dynamic range. A photoshop wiz such as Steve can explain it better than me but in general terms you take 3 or more shots at different exposures and "blend" the best parts of each, into one photo . Or you could dodge and burn using photoshop

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging

I don't think we have any sunflower fields here, but lots of grass with dandilions

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Charlie6 said...

bobskoot, yeah sometimes the angles just aren't right you know? I try to keep the sun at my back for best effect.

As to blending best portions of multiple shots into one....I've got to learn to do that.

Steve Williams said...

Very nice field to be riding through. Looks great!

HDR photography requires a tripod so it's only for the really committed riders. I don't think I have ever done one with riding pictures.

I do make extensive use of adjustment layers in Photoshop CS3 to "interpret" the image the way I remember it. Or more honestly, to cover up my goofs and errors...

What I want to see is Brigitta with Lupines in the background -- all in an alpine setting.

And for good measure put yourself in there so we can see who we're dealing with!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Charlie6 said...

Steve,

Lupines? As in wolves? All I've seen is coyotes....and little ones at that.

As to pics of me...see a few posts back....LINK

re HDR, did some research....does not look to difficult but my Photoshop Elements software does not do that.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Domingo):

Thank you very much for humoring me and seeking out a photo that caters to my sense of greenery. I did prefer the picture that had the power pylons removed. I like my nature unelectrified.

The painting that you like is Christina's World, by Andrw Wyeth. The Brandywine museum is one of the largest collection of Wyeth paintings in the country, and it's about 20 minutes from where I'm sitting. This is because the Wyeth's used to live around here. Jaime Wyeth would occasionally show up for breakfast in "Hanks's Place," the diner across the street.

Is it my imagination, or do you have that painting flipped. As I remember it, Christina shoul be facing the other way.

Fondest regards,
Jack "reep" Toad
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

Jack

thanks for the info, and yes, I flipped the picture to better fit my posting.....

glad you liked it.

dom

Sojourner rides said...

The photos are great-I'm a city gal. I'm partial to those powerlines--different strokes for different folks. Yes, an amzing likeness to Wyeth's painting. V. Cool!