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Stepping Stones To Coney Island

These rocks almost look as if they lead completely across the water so that you could walk from this beach on Staten Island all the way to Coney Island in Brooklyn, which you can see straight ahead.  This image is from a photo excursion almost a year ago, last Columbus Day, to Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island with my friend Jon.  We spent a fair amount of time shooting from a scenic overlook, then explored the fort a bit by car; when we saw a dirt road branch off towards the water we took a chance and were rewarded by finding this beach.  It was an overcast cloudy morning, which muted the light and really hurt some shots, but created other rewards in different images.

I spent longer than usual yesterday  working on this image.   I applied new techniques to an somewhat old image taken with what is now, for me, old equipment.  Various techniques and filters were selectively applied to parts of the image.  For example, I added a layer to which I applied the Lucis Pro filter, but the only place it shows through is the break in the water.

Click on the image to view somewhat larger.  For best results and full detail, click here to view in my Phanfare catalog.  Then there are 2 steps to a full screen view: first click “Maximize Image” on the right, then click “Full Screen” on the floating menu on the bottom of the screen.  Phanfare does a great job with its full screen display.  It is gorgeous, especially so on a nice hi-res monitor if you have the good fortune to have one.

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  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Wyden Kivowitz and Pat O'Brien, Mark Garbowski. Mark Garbowski said: today's #HDR "Stepping Stones to Coney Island" #beach #statenisland #brooklyn [...]ReplyCancel

  • Mike OlbinskiSeptember 13, 2010 - 8:48 am

    A beautiful scene Mark, well shot and composed.ReplyCancel

  • Jim DenhamSeptember 13, 2010 - 2:39 pm

    Really nice image Mark. Love the connection of the foreground and background! Well done!ReplyCancel

  • JonSeptember 26, 2010 - 9:29 pm

    Really nice post. Looks way better than it did when we were there!ReplyCancel

  • Hector GarzaJune 28, 2011 - 10:28 am

    The joys of LinkWithin. This one appeared while I was commenting on the Monopoly Guy photo.
    This incredible photo has a faint apocalyptic feeling. It reminds me when the Father and the Boy reach the beach near the end of the book The Road; they found the beach… I found my new wallpaper.ReplyCancel

    • MarkJune 28, 2011 - 12:21 pm

      Thanks so much Hector. I’m glad you found this and enjoyed it. It’s always extra fun to get a comment on an older post and image.ReplyCancel

Old Stones

The is Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This is my second published image of the temple.  The first is here, with a bit of background on the temple included.  For this shot I chose to emphasize the detail on the stones, and to do so I used a technique I just learned from Justin Balog via Scott Wyden.  In the technique, you use Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, a tool for black and white images, to add detail to color images.  Click over to Scott’s site and then to Justin’s for the details. The big take-away for me was to set the blending method for two layers – one layer with the black and white Silver Efex Pro effects, and the other layer in color – to Luminosity.  I still need to learn more about the Luminosity blend but apparently it allows you to mix the contrast and detail of a black and white photo with a color image and retain the color.  As suggested in the video, I painted in the Silver Efex Pro effects to only a portion of the image, specifically the temple stones.

To finish up, I added yet more contrast to the entire image using a Curves adjustment in Aperture.  I’m not yet veery familiar with the Curves tool, but I know the s-curve  trick for adding contrast, and believe this method is superior to Aperture’s Contrast slider.

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  • Jim DenhamSeptember 12, 2010 - 8:39 am

    Awesome shot Mark. The detail certainly comes out in the stones! Well done.ReplyCancel

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Denham and Jacques, Mark Garbowski. Mark Garbowski said: for today's #HDR I've got Old Stones (not Keith and Mick) #museum #dendur #temple [...]ReplyCancel

  • James HoweSeptember 12, 2010 - 11:57 am

    Nice shot, really like the detail. When I was there this place was crawling with people, how did you manage to get a shot with no people?ReplyCancel

    • markSeptember 12, 2010 - 12:18 pm

      Thanks James. It was about 9;30 am on a very cold weekday in February. The museum wasn’t exactly empty, but a lot less crowded than most times, and I got lucky that this room had nobody in it but the security guards. They were real cooperative. Without me asking, when they saw me shooting they would either duck behind something or move far to the side.ReplyCancel

No Smoking Or Loitering, But Have A Drink [B&W Edition]

So as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m skipping the usual Saturday installment of Bus Stop Friday in order to re-align the numbering of both the Bus Stops and Crosswalks series. To fill today’s space, I’m fulfilling a request made by my photo friend Timo for a black and white version of this image.

The day I posted the color version was extremely busy for me, so I had no time to write.  I was on a photo walk when I noticed the beer bottle in the corner of the doorway.  As I knelt down to capture the shot, however, I realized that its scale was so small, even when I only captured the lower portion of the doors.  I didn’t think it would be much of an image for a moment, but I prepared to fire off some hand held brackets anyway and decide later.  Then I noticed the sign, and figured I did have something there after all.

Some Notes on Field Composition

I think I spend a lot less time composing in the field than a lot of my photographer friends do.  It’s all done on the fly, and quickly.  If I spend more than 10 seconds looking through the eyepiece I get bored.  I do spend a lot of time thinking about composition when I’m not taking pictures, and I think a lot of my thoughts are internalized and sit just below conscious level.  There are lots of times when I capture elements of a photo aligned just so, and I’m quite literally surprised at it when I load the image on my computer.  To be clear, my point is not that I have some inherent skill, but rather that the time I send thinking about composition when I’m not in the field gets so ingrained in my head that I end up working on a quick, intuitive way when I am in the field.   This mirrors how I work in other areas of my life – when I write something for work I often do most of the composing away from my desk and computer, so that when I do start typing it often feels like I’m taking dictation from myself.  My point, if there is one, is to figure out how you work and proceed accordingly.  Figure out a method that works for you and run with it.

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  • Jim DenhamSeptember 11, 2010 - 9:56 am

    Great post Mark. The B&W really does offer a different feel than the color image. Many of the components seem a bit more noticeable, but I can’t help liking the color version better.

    I feel our processes are similar, but I’m afraid my hastiness is a bit more visible! Great post.ReplyCancel

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brian Matiash, Jim Denham and Pat O'Brien, Mark Garbowski. Mark Garbowski said: my daily photo is a #BW version of an older image by request of @FotoGrafZahl #brooklyn #HDR #blackandwhite [...]ReplyCancel

  • TimoSeptember 11, 2010 - 4:32 pm

    Hi Mark!

    Wow, it’s awesome you really did the bw version as well! :-)
    It really has a different feel, but I can’t decide which one I like more. They are both great, each picture has its very own mood/atmosphere – well done!



Bus Stop No. 50

Bus Stop No. 50

Bus Stop No. 50

Fifty bus stop shots.  With the crosswalk series currently at 49, the next one published will be the hundredth in the combined series.  I like big round numbers, and if I had sponsors or something I’d run a contest and give something away.  So I’ll just post what are a couple of my favorites and leave it at that. to mark the occasion.  Also, I’m just compulsive enough to prefer that the 100 images be made up of 50 Bus Stops and 50 Crosswalks, so this week I’ll skip the Saturday Bus Stop and post another image in its place.  I’ll also skip the Wednesday Crosswalk photo next week to keep things even.  Thanks for viewing my little project.

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Thank You

Red Mercedes 250 SL

Red Mercedes 250 SL

This is one of those “I nearly didn’t notice this shot” stories.  I was busy taking shots of the establishment with the Liquor Store sign (more on that at a later date) and was about to move on when I noticed the car.  Now I’m not a car guy, but I’m not blind and I’m not stupid.  Vintage red Mercedes sports cars are not left sitting around on the street all that much for me to take pictures of them, so I turned around and took a couple of shots from the front.  I was not loving them all that much – maybe I’ll salvage them later – so I went to the back where I saw a much better background for the shot and I had the idea to drop my tripod height down.  All the while I was sort of mentally sending out thanks to the owner of the car for leaving it out for me to play with.

In post, all I did was open On-One’s Focal Point, which not only added the bokeh, but also the vignette and the glowing effect in the rest of the image.

According to Wikipedia, the 250 SL was basically a one year model – 1967, and apparently they did not make very many of them.  This one was in very nice condition.  And it’s red.

UPDATE: At the request of Dave in the comments to this post, I finally did post an image with a front view of the car in this post.

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  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kira , Mark Garbowski. Mark Garbowski said: today's #HDR is a classic red #mercedes sports car in #tribeca [...]ReplyCancel

  • Mike OlbinskiSeptember 9, 2010 - 9:48 am

    WOW Mark, this is awesome my friend!ReplyCancel

  • DARYL (BUTCH) BUTCHERSeptember 9, 2010 - 1:51 pm

    Nice. At one time I had a friend that owned a real-live blue 300SL. He would just toss me the keys anytime I wanted it. Now, that was NICE. At the same time I was driving a brand new Series 1 E-Type roadster. That wasn’t too shoddy either.

    I changed the blog name this morning to ProPhoto3 has been SUPER responsive and helpful. And thanks for your encouragement and patience. ButchReplyCancel

  • TimoSeptember 9, 2010 - 7:37 pm

    Hi Mark,

    very good picture, I like the treatment a lot!
    It’s something different and it really fits here. Well done!



  • Dave HillDecember 9, 2010 - 3:00 am

    Love your work and would be pleased to see the pics of the Mercedes you took from the front!ReplyCancel

  • 250 SL – By Request » Too Much GlassDecember 16, 2010 - 8:15 am

    [...] months ago I posted a rear view photo of a Mercedes 250SL, explaining that I was not too excited about the front view shots that I took, but noting that I [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] pretty sure this car is the cousin of the red 250 SL classic Mercedes I featured here and here, but I forgot to make a note of exactly what model this is, so I cannot be specific. It [...]ReplyCancel

  • The Grey Man Doesn't Stop To ReflectOctober 12, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    [...] store. This is the third time it’s shown up here on the blog. The previous appearances are here and here. [...]ReplyCancel

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