Category Archives: Software

The Boatwright’s Shop


These places are good for the soul. There’s the comfort of holding well worn hand tools and the smells of sawn cedar and freshly applied varnish. And in the Winter, there’s a small wood burning stove for warmth.

This is not HDR.  The original OOC is here:

WP DSC_9366

It was shot in RAW and the exposure was metered on the spars hanging from the beams. Initial processing was in Lightroom for exposure balance and cropping. Then in Photoshop, 90% of the work was done with Nik Software’s ProContrast and TonalContrast.

The Cinnamon Peeler

On a photo excursion in the Sri Lankan countryside, I came upon this woodsman’s home in the middle of a small cinnamon holding. Cinnamon is cultivated over nearly all of the island and grows as a small tree or shrub. The trunk is cut down and the outer bark rubbed away. Then men like this one carefully slit and remove the inner bark in long curling strips. After it’s dried, it is processed into the powder or sticks that we use. The remaining wood is used for for firewood, fencing, etc. From a tree growing by the path, we’ll sometimes pluck a leaf and chew the stem for a refreshing cinnamon taste.

The next time you are baking with cinnamon, think about these fellows for a moment. Too seldom do we contemplate how our food is grown and gathered for us. At Buddhist retreats, during the one meal each day, we are instructed to hold each forkful of food for a moment and call to mind all the lives of all the hands that have touched it on its way to us.

This photo was processed in Photoshop using the free Out Of Bounds action created by Panos Efstathiadis.

When All Else Fails

Perhaps I should rename this Blog as this is the third time I’ve posted about Pixel Bender. I think there is a potential danger in overusing this effect, much like HDR.  Nevertheless ….

When I set out to capture an image, I almost always have in mind to produce a photo of magazine quality.  But often ‘operator error’ or extreme conditions result in an image with otherwise ‘good bones’ that just can’t be coerced into yielding a fine photograph. If it is ‘operator error’ and I know it, I can try to recompose and shoot again. But with 70 year old eyes and the small playback screen on my D70, I often don’t know if I got what I wanted until I get back to my PC. (I’ve upgraded to a D7000 since this post was originally published)

While some of my favorite subjects are stray bits of light falling on unique objects, sometimes light can be a difficult oponent. For example, high in the mountains sunlight can be too harsh except for brief periods at the start and end of the day which doesn’t leave much time to find and capture interesting subjects. Continue reading When All Else Fails