[Photo] Fourth of July

Gotta get those coals white hot,

and celebrate freedom with steak and potatoes, and a Mexican Coke.

Because just one barbecue is not enough.

And you're not celebrating freedom without a kid in a Captain America mask...and a piñata.

Two celebrations are better than one.

Hope you all had a fantastic, safe Fourth of July!

[Photo] A Nighttime Composite

Oh dear, it sure has been a very long time since I've last posted. I'm extremely sorry about that. I've been quite busy as of late, but there's no time for excuses...off to the content!

Here's my first composite image I made about a month ago. Pretty cool eh? How did I do it? What's the story behind it? Let's find out!

So...during finals week, I had an itching to make some photos, but not just any photos; I wanted to try something new. I had been thinking about composites and I love long exposures and strobism, so I thought, "Why not mash them all up together?" I went ahead and called some of my friends in the midst of cramming for a quick shoot at night. Who needs to study, right? I'm sure it was a great study break for them anyway.

First, I started off with the base image - a long exposure. Then I brought one person into the frame, trying my best to remember everyone's location as to not overlap anyone, grabbed a shot, moved them out, and brought the next person in. I repeated this for each person. For the individual shots, I decided to shy away from using a long exposure and just hit them with a strobe. My reasoning behind this was to avoid any possible ghosting. Yes, flash freezes things in a long exposure, but with enough movement, ghosting occurs. This brought about a problem.

There was a stark difference in exposures between the people and the background image. My initial thoughts were to cut everyone out and paste them onto the base image, but because of the lack of shadow details, it would be near impossible to get a clean cutout. So I resorted to a very "rustic" cutout (you can tell I enjoy cooking). Even though it didn't turn out to be what I originally intended, I like the way the cutouts look. They definitely pop out and there is a definite contrast between the background and the individuals.

So there you have it. I'm hoping to start making content more consistently once again. Keep me to my word! Pester me if you have to!

[Photo] Mt. Soledad Long Exposures

I apologize for my lack of posts as of late. It's been midterm season, so things have been a bit crazy. Thankfully, everything is starting to calm down again, so I have time for new content! Anyway, let's get to my first post-hiatus post. Back in December, I took a road trip down to San Diego with some friends. The main purpose behind it was food (posts on that to come soon), but in between eating, we took a digestion break up at Mt. Soledad. That night, the fog was rolling in and it looked beautiful. I immediately thought, "long exposures!" Here are the results from that night.

Here's a view South of Mt. Soledad. You can see the 5 Freeway illuminated by cars. This one is actually an HDR photo. In fact, it was probably my first ever HDR photo. I'm not a big fan of HDR photos, but I thought I would take the opportunity to try it out for once. It doesn't look as hideous as most HDRs tend to be.

Here's a Southeast view from the Mountain. The silky fog was covering everything around San Diego that night.

Finally, this is the cross that sits on the top of Mt. Soledad. There are usually tons of tourists sitting around it, but people tend to clear out once darkness sets in.