Photographing “City Center” in Las Vegas

I was in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago for Photoshop World and had the opportunity to go to the new resort “City Center”. This complex has over seven buildings and I believe three hotels, art galleries, a huge mall and condos. The architecture was incredible, and is probably the nicest casino in Las Vegas at this moment. I had a chance to walk around with my camera and photograph a few images before they kicked me out. This happens a lot, especially in malls and in casinos in Vegas, but I did get a lot of great shots that I would like to show you.


Some of these are just straight photographs and others are HDR images. I could not use a tripod, so all these images are handheld shot at 1600 ISO and processed in Lightroom. I don’t believe that the City Center Mall has a straight wall in the place, at night they have blue lights lighting up the ceiling that are really cool to photograph. I found this colorful ice sculpture, and the neat thing about it was as each ice pillars melted and became smaller the floor in the reflecting pool would open up and the pillar would go underneath the water and refreeze, as that happened a new ice pillar would get laser etched and pop up to take its place.


I love this photograph of the bar with all the organic would cut outs, that was one of the neat things about the casino and hotel was all the organic details throughout the building. If you go to Las Vegas make sure you give yourself a little time just to walk around City Center and take a look at this unique architecture. The best time to really see everything is at night, believe me you won’t regret it.

New Video Monday

In this tutorial you we see how easy it is to convert your color image to a great black & white photo in a very short time. I did not put this in the video, but if you select the images you have converted and them hold down the shift key and select a group of photos, you can then click on the sync button and all the photos will be converted all to black & white.

New Video Monday

It’s New Video Monday! This is my new blogging schedule: on Monday’s blog will be  “New Tutorials”, Wednesday’s blog will deal with photography and Photoshop or whatever I think is cool. Lastly it is “Photo News Friday”, and I bet you can guess what day that is on, hint it’s Friday.

The first new video is on Adobe’s plug-in for Photoshop called “Pixel Bender”. This is a neat filter that can give your photos an oil painting look. It’s easy to use and may open up some new creative avenues for you.

Photo News Friday

Canon U.S.A. Announces New EOS 7DSV (Studio Version) DSLR Camera

Canon’s new “Locking” EOS 7D Studio Version DSLR allows administrators to disable unwanted features and settings thus providing professional studio operators the comfort of knowing the end result will be both reliable and repeatable. The camera has four different “lock” levels allowing administrators to enable the appropriate level of camera functionality for any studio operation.

For additional information visit www.usa.canon.com/

onOne Software Announces Free Pro Series Webinar Schedule

Acclaimed photographers and Photoshop Gurus will be hosting the live hour-long sessions, enabling participants to submit questions during the sessions. Topics will include lifestyle, landscape, portraiture, travel and HDR photography, with new sessions being added regularly. Attendees who attend will not only be inspired by the amazing photography of the speakers but will also learn valuable tips and techniques on using onOne Software products.

To register for the webinars visit: www.ononesoftware.com/webinars

The Cole/Marr Photography Workshops Expands to Two Facilities Boise Idaho & Bonners Ferry Idaho

The Cole/Marr Photography Workshops of Boise, Idaho announces the opening of their Kootenai Valley North Idaho Facility. Located at the base of the famed Selkirk mountains, this cozy lodge celebrates the Kootenai River, the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Smith Creek, and the Boundary Creek National Wildlife Rufuges, and the Nature Conservancy’s Ball Creek Preserve.

Photo workshops are presented in classroom studies as well as in the field hands on photo workshops. There are bears, eagles, elk, moose, waterfowl, swans, waterfalls, mountain and valley landscapes and much more. Go towww.cmphotoworkshops.com for fall workshop dates and pricing.

Sinar Photography AG Introduces the Sinar p-slr

Sinar Photography AG introduces the Sinar p-slr, the professional attachment for 35mm SLR cameras to Sinar view cameras.
The Sinar p-slr was designed especially for photographers who would like to combine the convenience of digital single lens reflex cameras with the advantages and quality characteristics of a Sinar view camera. Exact control of perspectives and selective sharpness – the most important creative tools in photography – can be set and evaluated precisely on a view camera.

And now, Sinar has made these advantages available to the users of 35 mm SLR cameras. The well thought-out solution brings a significant enhancement to the image quality of 35mm cameras. Photographers can now integrate the high-resolution digital Rodenstock lenses into their slr systems. The Sinar p-slr continues with the Sinar legacy, offering photographers modular systems that are in keeping with the latest trends of the market. This upgrade will be available as of August 2010.

For additional information visit www.bronimaging.com

Tyndall Air Force Base

I just recently completed a photo assignment for architectural firm PBS&J, where the project was located in the panhandle of Florida, at an Air Force Base in Panama City called Tyndall. I also photographed at an Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, but as it is a home for special operations for the Air Force I was told if I show any of the photographs I would have to kill you afterwards. I would like to show you some of photographs I took of the Fitness Center at Tyndall.


Almost all these images were photographed using available light and HDR photography. This job presented some challenges as they were getting ready for the ribbon-cutting the next day, everyone was cleaning, running around and in general it was organized chaos. Because of time constraints and so many people around that were out of my control in all the shots, I decided that using lights was out of the question. In most cases I was trying to blend natural light with tungsten or fluorescent lights. Most of the corrections for this were done in Photoshop using Curve Adjustment layers and mask.


Besides all the people, we had monsoon rain showers off and on all day long and I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to get the exterior photographs I needed. Luckily, after about 3:30 in the afternoon the clouds broke up a little and I was able to shoot the exteriors. The twilight shot is made up of nine different exposures, I had to use that many exposures because of the reflective nature of the metal on the front of the building. I had to add grass on both sides of the building as there was just a small amount in the front, and I decided the clouds were distracting in the sky, so using Content Aware Fill I took the clouds out leaving a clean blue sky.

This was my first time working on a military base, but not around military people, and as always, it was a pleasure and honor to work around these brave and honorable people.

Before

After HDR and Photoshop

I’m Just A Junk Yard Photographer!

I photographed in a junkyard! Yes, a junkyard and I had a great time. A fellow photographer and instructor from the Morean Art Center, Chuck Vosberg, set up a photo walk inside a auto junkyard. This was quite an experience as it was 93° outside and in the sun with a lot of Florida humidity, get the idea, it was really, really hot. We photographed for about two hours and probably lost 4 pounds of water in that time.

I was really excited about photographing in the junkyard, as I have been looking for textures to use in a photographic project I’ve been working on. Broken glass, wheels, rims and engines gave me a lot of the repetition and textures that I was looking for. I also found an old fire truck, and had a happy surprise finding a fireman’s hat sitting on the seat. I photographed it a couple ways as I’m going to try to use Photoshop’s hyper focus and see if I get the whole thing sharpe from front to back. But, it looks really cool and HDR two. There was his building that housed all the engines that were for sale, thank goodness I brought my tripod as I had some exposures going as long as 30 seconds.

Here’s some of the photos from the junkyard.

TAPPA Photo Safari

This past weekend Lee Burgess and myself led a photo safari for TAPPA in historic Ybor City. Lee is a commercial and fashion photographer in Clearwater, Florida and he was showing us some of his approaches to photographing models. We got one of the design students from the International Academy of Art and Design to furnish some of her design clothing for the model and Lee also supplied a slightly more racy outfit.

Now as you may know I am not a fashion photographer, so I made a few mistakes as I photographed Ashley. I learned that I have to set my ISO higher so that I could use a faster shutter speed and actually capture actually the model without any movement. When you have over 20 photographers trying to take photos of a model you have to shoot quickly and then get out of the way, get stomped on, just kidding about getting stomped on, everybody was very courteous of each other.

I decided since I do a lot of HDR that I would convert some of these single images into HDR and then paint back in the model for a little bit more of a grungy look. I’ll used use Nik software’s Silver Efex Pro and added a black-and-white copy of the HDR image, placing the image on top of the HDR image and change the blending mode to Soft Light. Doing this gives the image a little bit more depth and feel that I just couldn’t get using just HDR only. I then stacked my original image on top of the other layers and painted back in the model’s face and wherever skin was exposed, but leaving the nylons alone on her leg.

Here are a few images from the photo shoot, and I want to thank Lee for all his help.