Temple of Heaven: Cloning and Sky Swap

I was looking through old photos tonight and stumbled upon one that I had taken at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China from 2010. I wanted to practice cloning, so I removed as many people as I could from the photo. The original appears at the end of the post. I also swapped out the dull, gray morning sky.

Camera: Nikon D50
Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/250

temple-of-heaven_0008-original

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Blue Angels Flyover During Super Bowl 50

During Super Bowl 50, I was on the side of a mountain with a view of Moffett Field and Levi’s Stadium. I wasn’t sure which direction the Blue Angels would come from, but from my vantage point, I was fairly confident that I could spot their arrival.

The more pressing problem was the atmospheric haze. Nearby objects were crystal clear. However, objects (like Levi’s Stadium) that were located further away were not. Here is the original photo.

Super Bowl 50

I had just upgraded to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, which added the de-haze feature, so I was eager to return home and test the function. From the original, I was able to restore the colors and contrast, and salvage the situation. Sometimes you just have to shoot regardless of the circumstances and hope for the best in post-processing. I think this latest edit is an improvement on my first attempt.

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Super Bowl 50 Blue Angels Photos

The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers competed in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. I was 15 miles away on the side of a mountain overlooking Silicon Valley.

Levi's Stadium

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II and AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III
ISO: 360
Focal Length: 600mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

Fortunately, 30 minutes before the start of the Super Bowl, the Blue Angels flew over Silicon Valley. Nothing better than a test run before the real deal…for them, as well as for me. 600mm was a bit too close since I wanted to see the Blue Angels in their surroundings, so I removed the teleconverter and waited and waited and waited.
[click to continue…]

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Piazzale Michelangelo Revisited

If you are fortunate enough to live in Florence, you can make multiple trips to Piazzale Michelangelo to witness the gorgeous sunset. The best that I can do is dig through three-year-old JPEGs and experiment with different post-processing workflows.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 44mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter: 1.3s

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Nazca Lines: Whale

Visiting the Nazca lines is not the most pleasant experience. On board a small plane, we headed out on our aerial tour. Now to see these lines, our pilots would sharply roll the plane left or right so that the passengers would get a clear, downward view of the geoglyphs on the ground. The end result is that about a third of the passengers developed motion sickness. This is truly unfortunate because the geoglyphs are quite amazing. It really requires some talent to construct objects of this scale.

Nazca Whale

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 320
Focal Length: 48mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

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A Testament to Man

While soaring along the coast of Peru, I could spot the plots of cultivated land squeezed into whatever area that the ingenuity of man permits. Meandering through the fields is the outline of what once was a river. Maybe it will return in a wetter season. However, on that day, it was nothing more than a thick line of dry sand etched into the landscape.

Flight Over Peru

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 320
Focal Length: 72mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

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Waxing Gibbous Moon

I’m looking back at some older photos and experimenting with different post-processing techniques. I had taken this waxing gibbous moon photo last year on May 12, 2015. For comparison, this photo of a 97% waxing gibbous moon was taken a day later. This most recent edit looks much sharper.

Full Moon

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The Last Day of the Year

On the last day of the year, I headed up to the hills for a sunrise photography session above Silicon Valley. Shoreline Amphitheatre, which is surrounded by the Google campus, is easily identifiable in the bottom of the photograph. Along the rolling hills in the background, wind turbines transform the winds into clean energy.

Mountain View, CA

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 200mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/20s

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Looking Up From the Base of the Eiffel Tower

From the base of the Eiffel Tower, the secrets of this iconic Parisian landmark are revealed. Up close, I can see the iron skeleton that supports the Eiffel Tower. Some parts are purely utilitarian, while others, like the scalloped border that accents the arches, add a decorative flair. Within the staunch legs, the challenging stairs channel climbers up to the higher observation decks of the Eiffel Tower. The climb is not too difficult, and lets you avoid the long wait for the more convenient elevator.

Eiffel Tower

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 17mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/80s

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Louvre Museum

I’m revisiting some photos that I had taken at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. I regret that I had taken these as JPG instead of RAW. However, I could still make some adjustments, which I like better than an earlier edit.

Louvre Paris France

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 29mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter: 1/6s

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