Category Archives: IL

Toy Soldiers

In my home suburb, Arlington Heights, they display holiday lights and scenes. This year they put up toy soldiers that made you think of The Nutcracker.

This was shot a few weeks ago during the morning blue hour and while it was snowing lightly. I really enjoyed these guys. They didn’t display them last year. The textures on his face is cool, and the glittery garland compared to the snow is a nice touch.

In my home suburb, Arlington Heights, they display holiday lights and scenes. This year they put up toy soldiers that made you think of The Nutcracker.
In my home suburb, Arlington Heights, they display holiday lights and scenes. This year they put up toy soldiers that made you think of The Nutcracker.

Just a word on editing. Some photographers insist on making snow always look white. I agree to this up to a point. In this case it really was blue hour. Where the sky is blue, and everything gets a blue tint to it. So, yes, the snow really does look blue in some cases. The soldiers are the subject, anyways, not the snow.

Frozen Waterfall in St. Louis Canyon

St. Louis Canyon in Starved Rock State Park, IL is probably about as interesting as geology gets in northern Illinois. There are sand stone canyons here with little waterfalls that eventually feed into the Illinois River. In the winter, they freeze over, of course. This makes for a really interesting contrast of textures between the rock and the ice.

This is an impressive state park and I hope to return several times this year.

St Louis Canyon water fall freezes in the winter to form a majestic frozen wall.
St Louis Canyon water fall freezes in the winter to form a majestic frozen wall.

In this photo I did a lot of texture enhancement with photoshop and ON1 Perfect Effects 8. I also added a little bit of a glow with that program, too. When I took the photo, I tried to get as high and to the left as possible and I was hoping to capture the lines and details in the rock.

I hope you enjoy!

http://fullperspectivephotos.com
http://fullperspectivephotos.smugmug.com

There was snow once…

There was snow once…

What a difference a year makes. A year ago, we were moaning and groaning about the terrible winter we were having. Now, we don’t seem to be living that badly. This picture is from a few weeks ago when we did get snow. It seemed winter could still be WINTER.
Snowy Suburban life
But I am going to Starved Rock in Utica, IL this weekend. I’m hoping to get some ice waterfalls. The warm weather makes me doubt…

I plan on traveling there with my mom. We’ll be leaving from her house waaaay before sunrise.

I also hope to record some video, too. We’ll see how that experiment goes.

I’m also rethinking this blog, it’s format, purpose, and reach. I think I’ll be adding a we bit more to it over the next month.

Chicago Skyline on liquid lights at night. (Redone)

I redid my Chicago Skyline photo from the Planetarium! This was, in my opinion, a significant improvement on the first one I did for many reasons. Not the least of which was the feedback and new skills learned in The Arcanum. This photo was taken on a relatively cool evening and Lake Michigan was still shaking off the last vestiges of ice on March 20, 2014. The thin sheen of flexible and floating ice is primarily the reason why the reflection looks like this. This was also the weekend after Saint Patrick’s Day. That’s the reason why some of the lights are green.

 

Chicago on Liquid Lights

 

I wish I was posting more to the blog lately. I’ve been getting a lot more information about photography while in the Arcanum. It is certainly informing my artistic choices. I recently had a review with my Mentor (they call it a “Master”, but I think to those not part of The Arcanum, it’s better understood as a Mentor).

 

I’ve basically learned that if I’m going to continue down this road of the ultra large panorama that I have to be committed to examining a lot more detail. I think this will give me a larger hurdle to jump than I previously thought. But it won’t keep me from trying! I’ve got a few more ideas to photograph. I got a couple in the works. There will be more to come. I know I keep saying that. But there will be.

 

Further processing notes about the photo:

 

This particular photo was stitched from 4 (but mostly 3) landscape positioned frames of the City. They were all 10 second exposures. I rotate the camera about one third through the frame for better stitching. When I processed the photos, the first thing I did was cool the color temperature down a bit so that I can bring out all the different colors of the lights. Then I used Microsoft Image Composite Editor to stitch the frames but to also save as a layered PSD file. Before I saved it though, I changed the stitching method and made the horizon level. (The original had a curved horizon!) I brought it into Photoshop and from there I did my final edits.

 

Please click on the photo to view it in Smugmug in super high resolution! This photo was made to be printed large on a 3×1 print. I recently changed printers with Smugmug to Bay Photo to accommodate this.