I’ve been playing some catch up with editing photos. Not that they weren’t edited previously, but it’s always, always worth revisiting them with fresh eyes. I made so many changes to images that I already thought were just right. You can get so involved in fixing bits of the image that you lose (no pun intended here) the bigger picture. I found and corrected several examples of this.

One particular favourite image from the set was this one:

Five bracketed shots merged in Lightroom to ensure some semblance of decent exposure throughout. Bigger on black here. Picturesque.

There are at least one or two others which I really like from my recent expeditions, but they are part of a project I’m doing, and I’m not sure that it would be right to share them on here just yet (or maybe, in fact, ever).

The one above doesn’t have any such restrictions, as far as I’m concerned. Those mountains are fair game to anyone with a camera (or, in this case, a drone) and it’s really not my fault if they choose to be so very striking when I’m trying to take specific photos of specific stuff.

I mean, honestly, who could resist?

Can we just agree…

…that today was rather hard work, but also very rewarding?

Got some amazing shots (IMHO), and met some really interesting people.
What’s not to like?

Bigger version here…. (113.3MP!)

Pano play

Photography homework this week for the boy was to use a freeware manual panorama maker (Hugin) to manually make a panorama.

I like the approach of the photography teacher: they have lessons on hardware and software, then they get to go away and try what they have learned. But not everyone wants to (or can afford to) go down the route of paid-for editing software, and so they are learning how to use freeware like GIMP and… well… Hugin.
They also have critique sessions, where they can – as a group – praise others’ work and suggest ways to improve. It’s a great way to work and they’re a very positive, enthusiastic group.

Hugin is free, and it does what it says it will, but it is cumbersome and time-consuming. Simply as a comparison, we took the same photos, fed them into Lightroom and pressed the magic Panorama button.

Here’s the result:

You can have a look at the full 63MP version here.

This isn’t perfect, but given that it was a last minute dot com effort from a bridge near his school, with the light fading and after he had been hiking all day in a Scouting competition, I think it’s pretty good.

The Hugin version was not as good and took longer to make, but as I mentioned, it was free.

And while we’re on about photography, I found myself waiting outside a coffee shop this morning, waiting for it to open. Wandering into the park opposite, I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera along: the mist was subduing all of the colours aside from the bright yellows and oranges of the American Sweetgums. Fortunately, I had my phone, but this quite nice image could have been really nice.

Always have your camera with you.
That’s something else they should be teaching the kids.

What’s the story?

I mentioned the City Nature Challenge in yesterday’s post.

It finished today, and so we had a last minute flurry to get all our photos and data uploaded. I don’t think we broke any records – we had too much other stuff to do to manage that – but it was fun to get out and about for just a couple of hours and learn something about the biodiversity of the local area. Some birds, some insects, a mammal and a lot of plants.

Sadly, one of my favourite photos from the weekend was this:

Sadly, because it’s Purple Morning Glory, (Ipomoea indica).
Yes, it’s very pretty, but it’s also a nasty invasive plant. Category NEMBA 1b, no less:

An invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed. Any form or trade or planting is strictly prohibited.

I did none of this. No trade, no planting, but equally, no removal or destruction. I just snapped it in the late afternoon autumn sunshine.

That’s not to say that I won’t pop back and try and kill it a bit later in the week. But (again, sadly) this stuff was all over the upper Liesbeek River. Pulling out one small plant really isn’t going to make a lot of difference.

Homework can be cool

One of the assignments for my son’s photography lessons this term was to take a sunset photo. And where better to do this than at the Southern Tip?

That’s why we spent a couple of evenings over the weekend at Rasper Punt. The first one wasn’t ever so successful, thanks to a sudden bank of cloud diving in on us, but conditions – while not perfect – were certainly better on Easter Sunday.

He had a very set idea of what he wanted to achieve and while I was there to offer hints and tips, he wanted to experiment, so I left him sitting in the bushes, went along the beach and togged a bit myself.

Like I said, nothing spectacular, but it was just nice to be out and about on a pleasant evening. And a couple of extra shots for the Adobe Stock library along with it. Double bonus.

I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to share what he got, once it’s been edited and is ready for submission. But if I can, I will. #NoRBOSS