Friday, January 15, 2010

Elevated Guitarist

I spotted this performer at a local restaurant call Potbelly yesterday. Performers really will perform anywhere won't they? :-)

Technical Stuff: I took bracketed exposures of this shot with the intention of using Photomatix Pro (one of my favorite tools in my toolbox) to create an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image but found, at least for this test, that Photomatix won't handle the large file sizes produced by a Canon 5D Mark II. As a result I had to do the best I could converting the shot manually to HDR using layers in Photoshop CS4. Hopefully I can find a work-around for this problem (let me know if you know one) because it is definitely a problem if your favorite camera doesn't play nicely with your favorite software!

Update on Technical Stuff: I was able to download an upgrade version of Photomatix Pro that handled the big file sizes produced by the Canon 5D Mark II just fine. Unfortunately it didn't help with this image because the +2, 0, -2 bracketed exposures I took weren't enough to handle the dark areas and the blown out window in this interior shot. Lesson learned: probably should have exposed on the window instead of the guitarist! :-)

Title: "Elevated Guitarist"

Shot data: 1/125s f/4.0 at 40.0mm iso640
Camera / Lens: Canon 5D Mark II / Canon 24-105mm L zoom
Post-processing: Adobe Camera Raw > Photoshop CS4 > Topaz Adjust plugin > Red Paw Media Beautifier plugin


Cindi said...

While I like a lot about this shot, I don't really like seeing the people below and the blown out scene outside the restaurant. For me, the guitarist and the railing are the real interesting subjects. I realize that if you had stood up the railing probably would have cut right through the guitarist's face, but zooming in would have isolated him. Or maybe another angle, more directly in front of him would be somthing I might have tried. Your approach to what you wanted from the scene is just different than what I might have tried. Good luck with getting all your software and new camera to work together. Maybe there is a new version or update of Photomatix?

Barry Armer said...

Thanks Cindi!

I really wanted this shot to be about the location of the performer. I found it interesting that the eatery took advantage of it's high ceiling and built a small platform for performers to use.


Doug Haass said...

I can kind of see where Cindi is coming from with this shot. My eyes don't even go to the guy up top until I've seen everything on the first floor, especially the bright outside light.

I also understand your intention was for that not to be so obvious by using Photomatix to even it all out. I'm just not sure that would still allow the musician to be your main subject.

Shirley Pearce said...

The first thing I see is the white post and then the people which look amazing and I"m trying to figure out if it's that topaz adjust filter you use!! I don't think you can tell the story of the guitar man without the below scene. The below gives DOF for the above. I like it and can appreciate the effort on the blown out scene! Nice.

Shirley Pearce said...

P.S. I got that fancy 5D Mark II for Christmas and still haven't had a chance to get out with it. If I don't hurry, someone may return it without my knowledge!!

Barry Armer said...

Thanks Doug and Shirley!

Shirley - Yes, Topaz Adjust is probably responsible for the "look" on the people in the shot. Some of the presets have this effect by increasing contrast. I have to tone it down with the opacity slider somethimes to try and keep it real. As far as your new 5D goes I think it's some kind of sin to not use a new camera so you need to get out there and save yourself! :-)