One of the more recent additions to Lightroom is the “Transform” function, in particular the perspective correction tool. I find myself making use of this tool a lot, as it “corrects” photos where I’m forced to shoot from an angle – side to side and up to down – and making them look normal. I don’t generally use it to “cheat” but rather I like to use it when I don’t have a choice about where to stand.
I’ve been going back through some old unprocessed photos and came across a group of sunrise photos from 2010 in Belhaven, North Carolina. One of the distinguishing features of the harbor in Belhaven is a break wall that separates the harbor from the larger Pungo River. The break wall is a well-recognized landmark of this area, but the problem I always have with it is that it doesn’t run perpendicular to the places I photograph from. As a result, there is always a perspective mismatch between the horizon line and the line of the breakwall. They never looked right when I processed them, so I’ve always been hesitant to use them for anything. Until now.
Looking at this photos, I wondered if the perspective correction in Lightroom could be used to “fix” the position of the breakwall so it looked “right” in my photos. Lo and behold, it does! There is a little bit of falloff in focus in the areas that are actually father away, but it’s hardly noticeable. And yes, I could have done this a long time ago in Photoshop. But that misses my point. And of course, someone who lives there and is used to the view would likely recognize the change immediately. But for most folks, they wouldn’t notice the difference.
I’ve attached a couple of photos as examples, including one “before & after composite. I think it turns a photo that never looked quite right into one that looks pretty good for all but the pickiest few among us. And chances are they don’t read this blog! 🙂
As much as Kathy & I like to explore new places, there is a certain comfort in the familiarity of places we return to often. Such is the case with our recent visit to Belhaven, in eastern North Carolina. Whenever we visit that area, we return to places like Swan Quarter, perhaps best known as the location of the ferry to Ocracoke Island, but also the location of a number of fishing companies and their boats. Englehard is also the location of an inlet that houses a number of fishing boats. Lake Mattamuskeet is the location of a number of interesting places and the photographs that can be made there.
While I rarely return with anything truly new, it is a good place to go and look for things I haven’t seen previously. Storms wash away old piles of debris and sometimes bring in new subject matter. Businesses come and go and sometimes the change in decor can mean new material. Sometimes returning to a place with fresh eyes can mean new opportunities.
This is another collection of photos from the Leica D-Lux 7 that I took on our recent visit there. I’ve got a few more batches that I’ll post once I’ve worked out the words to go along with them!
Making a slight diversion from working on and posting about Italy photos….
I first heard the term “stochastic photography” in a post by Ctein on The Online Photographer way back in 2010. It’s sort of a refined version of pointing your camera at something, taking a boatload of pictures and hoping some of them come out in a way that is pleasing or that somehow meet the intention of what you were trying to capture. As in “I’ll know it when I see it.” I don’t always remember to use that technique, although I often recognize situations where it might be appropriate. Sometimes I even have my camera with me. While I don’t generally care to make my photographs “about the technique, ” sometimes the technique helps to define the photographs. Post-visualization perhaps, rather than pre-visualization?
Kathy & I spent 4th of July week out in eastern NC, in New Bern and Belhaven. One morning we stopped at the Bell Island Pier, which is a fishing pier within the Swan Quarter National Wildlife Refuge, near Swan Quarter, NC. It was a beautiful day, with towering cumulus clouds and a deep blue sky. I noticed the reflections of the sky in the water and decided to see what I could get.
Over the course of about 4 minutes I fired off a little more than 100 shots. It’s a little hard to tell which ones are “successful” but I’ve put together a little collection of a few that I liked. The ones that “feel right” to me have a nice balance of light and dark, color and no color, with an interesting pattern. I may decide later on that there are others I like or some that I don’t like, but that’s part of the fun!
I don’t usually go looking for Christmas-themed photos, but sometimes they just manage to find me. 😉 This was shot in Belhaven, NC last year. And when I shot it I commented that it would be my Christmas wallpaper for this year. And so it is!
We’re headed for Belhaven again this coming weekend. There’s no telling what photographs might find me while we’re there. Might even be another Christmas scene. 😉
Kathy & I spent some time at the NC coast in early July, visiting Belhaven, Washington and Ocracoke. While I took my camera with me, it seemed like whenever I saw something interesting all I had with me was my phone. Out of a total of 93 photos, 77 were taken with my phone and only 16 with my camera. These are all from my phone.
Kathy & I like to get out of town on weekends, especially taking advantage of some long holiday weekends to stretch our meager PTO (Paid Time Off) allotment. We did just that over July 4th, visiting (most of) our friends in Belhaven and Washington, NC. The towns were dressed up in their patriotic best, and we even managed to take in a parade. I’m saving the parade photos for another post and possibly even my SoFoBoMo project, but here are a few random photos from the weekend.
With temperatures in the mid to upper 90s here in Charlotte we’ll be taking off again this weekend. The mountains are calling, as they say…. 🙂
I was looking at my desktop the other day, and realized that I wanted something “Christmas-y” instead of the one I had been using. I thought I had used this image before as a wallpaper, but as it turns out I never did. So here you go!
Believe it or not, this photo was taken back in January 2010 in Belhaven, NC. I included it on my paper calendar for that year, and it was such a hit in town that the woman who owns the house and dock where this photo was taken bought calendars to give out to her friends! As a Thank You I took her a print of this photo. Hopefully she is enjoying that print. And she gave me her permission to photograph from this dock whenever I’m in town, which I try to do whenever we are in Belhaven. The tree isn’t there any more, but it’s a great place for sunrise at certain times of the year. I think we’re due for a return visit!
Kathy & I want to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2016!