Adobe Black & White Chester County Coatesville Creeks Hibernia Park Ice Photo Journal Photography Water

Ice, Snow and Water

A revisit of some recently Posted images, but moved into a Black and White presentation.

What do you think?

Please leave your thoughts below in the comments!

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Adobe Black & White Chester County Digital Painting Nature Nik Software Pastures Photo Journal Photo Manipulation Photography West Chester

Stylized Hay Bales

Folks that live in Chester County, or anywhere hay is harvested, have seen bale after bale just lying in fields.

So on this rainy day, I decided to take a second look at some of my images in my collection…

I am going to have to keep this technique in mind for future use!

If you are interested in how I processed these images, please let me know!

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Adobe Black & White Chester County clouds Fields Nature Nik Software Pastures Photo Journal Photography Software Water West Chester

Stroud Preserve Springtime in B&W

Some images taken during a recent spring time walk around Stroud Preserve.

All images were shot in ‘traditional’ HDR bracket fashion, and processed into a ‘raw’ combined HDR file.

Normally, I use Adobe Photoshop to do my B&W conversion, but since the Google/Nik Software upgrade, I now had a chance to play with Silver Efex Pro 2.

Photoshop is great for doing a straight conversion via the native B&W menu, but to explore other options, quickly, and then build on them, Silver Efex Pro is the answer.

I still used Photoshop to tweak the final files, but I ended up in a different place than I originally envisioned.

So, what do you think?

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Black & White Chester County Downingtown Drawdown HDR Lakes Long Exposure Marsh Creek State Park Nature Photo Essay Photo Journal Tone Mapping Water Weather

South of the Boat Ramp (Day 5)

I parked in nearly in the same spot as I did some ten days ago, when I was exploring the northern side of the boating launch on that foggy morning.

Today, there is more activity and the temperature is finally starting to reflect that it is late December…

While gathering my gear, I saw several people walking, some dogs running, and once I was ready, I headed toward south-east, along the shoreline.

Swimming Hole 01
Swimming Hole 01

As I walk in the sand, I know, just to my right, there is a very well-worn path that I have walked countless times before, but today, it is difficult to even recognize the “beach” where I have been many times before.

Looking at Rental Complex (North-East)
Looking at Rental Complex (North-East)

It was one of my easier walks to the end of the blunted point, that almost points due south, where I was once again greeted with more wood pilings (Woodhenge) sticking out of the lake’s bed.

In the mouth of the Cove
In the mouth of the Cove

From there, I started into the cove, and I knew from previous walks along the dirt path, off to might right, that I was entering a heavy vegetation area, but once again, walking the shoreline made it look so different, and I did not expect it to drop off so quickly.

Deep in the Cove Looking East
Deep in the Cove Looking East

Finally, I reached the end of the cove, or at least as I was far as I was willing to go.

I was not having to have another mud adventure!

Empty Ramp
Empty Ramp

Walking back, I took this final capture, knowing I had to get back to the real world, and do some holiday shopping.

Tech Notes

  • Canon XTi  ISO100  f16-f22 with a ND 3.0 filter
  • HDR Capture with 3-4 captures between 15-120 seconds (raw)
  • HDR Processing – Lightroom 4.3 > Photoshop CS5 > HDR Efex Pro 2 > Viveza 2
  • B&W Processing – Photoshop CS5 > Lightroom 4.3

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Chester County Covered Bridges Filters HDR Long Exposure Nature Photo Journal Photography Rivers Streams Water

Looking for water

It has been very dry in Chester County for a while now, and when it did rain last night, I had thoughts of where to find some water to finally take pictures of in the area.

Early in the morning, I put my photography gear in the car, along with drinks and snacks and I was off.

By the time I finished my quick errands around town, it was overcast, 85°F+ with slightly high humidity, and I knew I really wanted to play with my new 10-stop neutral density filter, and I knew my first stop.

Downingtown Dam

The Downingtown Dam, which is just west of the center of town, along Rt. 282/Creek Road was my first stop.

I parked in the little spot near the road, packed up my vest, grabbed my tripod, and was off along the little path through the woods.

120727 Downingtown Damn HDR 06
120727 Downingtown Damn HDR 06

Tech Note – The Downingtown Dam image is a HDR collection of (3) three images taken at 180 sec, 120 sec and 60 sec (f22 ISO100), combined in Photoshop, with Tone Mapping done with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.

I had been there a day or two earlier with my kids, when we took advantage of the swimming area just above the damn, and I also knew I could get a good measurement of what to expect further up-stream for possible later shoots.

The water level was definitely higher, my guest 2-3 inches, and most of the concrete on the damn was cover, with places blocked by small branches.

On the downside of the damn, it was still easy to cross the river with all the bare rocks still visible, and I quickly situated myself on the one large concrete slab near the middle.

As I setup, and looked around, I knew I was not going to get much, but I pushed on with the session.

During my time, I did finally get an exposure into the 4 minute range with the sun nearly right over head, but still not slow enough for somethings I want to do.

After about 45 minutes of shooting, I headed back to the car, and headed further upstream.

I stopped at several more places along Creek Road, checking the water levels. On several occasions, I had to deliberate, if it was worth the walk through thick poison ivy and oak, for a mediocre shoot.

When I reached the west side of Glenmoore, I turned around, and headed back on a GPS drive to my next adventure.

Sheeder-Hall Covered Bridge

I first photographed the Sheeder-Hall Covered Bridge back in 2010, and lately, I have been reviewing my images, with a desire to try again.

In Chester County, there are many wonderful, scenic roads, and Pughtown Road, off of Rt 100 (Pottstown Pike) is one of them, and along the way, one will find Hollow Road, on which Sheeder-Hall Covered Bridge can be found. The best place to park, in the little area on French Creek Road.

Sheeder-Hall (1850) - Looking Downstream
Sheeder-Hall (1850) – Looking Downstream

Tech Note – A series of (5) shots ranging from 1/15th to 1 second (f25 ISO100), combined in Photoshop, with Tone Mapping done with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.

Once again, I got my vest and tripod out, and headed down one of the little paths that lead to the downstream side of the bridge.

I waded into the water, and took some more documentary style images, looking upstream, and then headed back to capture some more interior shoots.

Eventually, I crossed the bridge, took some more shoots and headed back, and as I did, I turned, and saw this view. The traffic was lite, so doing the required multiple exposures for HDR work was easy, and then I was done for this session.

Rapps Dam Covered Bridge

Rapps Dam Covered Bridge in Phoenixville was another bridge that I photographed back in 2010, and since that time, Rapps has been restored, and I finally got a chance to visit to see the new construction!

120727 Rapps Covered Bridge hdr 12 - Under the Bridge
Rapps Covered Bridge hdr 12 – Under the Bridge

Tech Note – The Underneath shoot was another series of (7) HDR shoots, taken between 1 second and 60 seconds at f22 ISO100. Combined in Photoshop and tweaked with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.

When one is walking near the bridge, you can still smell the fresh new wood, combined with a pitch smell as you walk underneath.

120727 Rapps Covered Bridge hdr 18
Rapps Dam Covered Bridge hdr 18 – Looking Upstream

Tech Note – The Underneath shoot was another series of (6) HDR shoots, taken between 8 seconds and 180 seconds at f22 ISO100. Combined in Photoshop and tweaked with Nik Software HDR Efex 2.

It is very easy to see that the renovations that started on January 17 2011, were a success when the bridge reopened on Monday, November 21, 2011.

PennDOT took 10 months to replace the 4 steel support beams, remove and replace the cedar roof and redwood timber and siding, along the 106-foot span. The project cost $1,527,257, which was paid for by state funds, and was managed by Bi-State Construction of Easton, PA. The last time the bridge was reconstructed was in 1978.

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2014 April 29

Apparently, an 18-wheeler decided to take on Rapps Dam… Guess who won…

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