Photography and HDR digital art by Michael Steighner
Welcome to my blog!
As a lighting designer for over 25 years, I have helped create an incredible array of environments. Lighting, a crucial part of any event, helps enhance the mood while creating a logical path for eye to follow. It is with this approach that I speak as a digital photographer and image maker.
(well, thats all I have for now. Check back soon for more profound words....LOL)
Knowing that I will soon be out in the desert and capturing a few more “night sky” and “astrophotograpy” images soon (not sure why I used the quotes by the way), I decided to share a partial failure with you. Seems like the brain was not is full gear as I set up for what I thought was going to be a “tack sharp” (there he goes again!) image with minimal star blur.
Must have been the general spookiness of the night or perhaps the sounds the I thought I kept hearing off in the distance near the arches that had my mind off track. Seems my camera focus and settings really could have used a tweak here. Like I said, I’m heading back soon so lets see if I learned anything
Actually, it’s not too bad now that I look at it
And by the way, now that I am back in the safety of my candle lit studio and am exploring this image a bit more, it seems like there WAS someone off in the distance. I thought I heard something! Can you find them?
I guess I could have used content aware fill to remove them right?
Here is a quick video about how to do just that
Quick Tip Tuesday – Removing unwanted people from your photo with content aware
“Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of.” ― Ken Robinson
Figured I would dig into my archive of images from my last trip to Las Vegas for tonights post as my thoughts are with the folks at Kelby Media Group. I am sure by now, setup is well underway for Photoshop World. The biannual conference is about to kick off out there this week and it looks like some of my favorite artists and teachers will be there again to share their tips and tricks. For those in the creative world we live in, it is in essence, the Super Bowl of digital imaging and photographic education. As my schedule didn’t allow me to attend this year, it does seem like I was there just last year.
Wait a minute, it WAS last year
During a break from some of the intense training one late afternoon, I captured this one along the strip. Although for the most part, I can be found bracketing for my HDR images, I did take a few snaps out there. This one is one of them. A few adjustments in Lightroom and whalla!
So if you can’t make it to Vegas (like me this year), nothing beats staying up to speed with the online classes with Kelby One. You can sign up by the month or by the year (for a better rate!) Worth every penny!
Check them out below
Warning……geeky stuff to follow!
Now for something COMPLETELY different…….
So incidentally, I STILL seem to be having a bit of a challenge with my RSS feed and how it comes out in feed burner. For example, I posted a video and several links from my post last night on Adam the concert photographer. If you viewed the post here on the blog, I am sure you saw it. If you saw it from the feed, there is a good chance that you did not even see anything past the YouTube embed.
The post just seemed to abrubtly end!
So lets try this again!
First off, here is a link (not an embed) to the video I shared last night. As this is not an embed, I am sure that the following will still be seen (I hope!)
And then, here is the “other places to find him” section as I always do…..
Instead of doing a regular embed, I am testing out using a “short code” way of embedding the video into the post. With any luck, the video below will actually show up in the RSS feed as well. Just in case, here is the link to it as its a pretty good video from the dude who I quoted at the beginning of this post (man, that seems like YEARS ago doesn’t it?)
“Creative activity is not a superimposed, extraneous task against which the body, or brain protests, but an orchestration of … joyful doing.” – Gyorgy Kepes
So I’ve had my eye on the art that Adam shares ever since a few posts started popping up on Lindsey Stirling’s feed a couple of months ago. (remember, I shared a post about her here before). He was the photographer that was capturing some pretty amazing behind the scenes images of the talented Lindsey and here band while touring throughout the US. As is her style, she openly gives credit to all that are around here. Come to think of it, I think she has put a few other creatives on my radar as well. Thanks Lindsey
It really is pretty cool when people cross promote each other isn’t it? One of the many beautiful things that has come out of this interconnected web we live in
Anyway, Adam Elemakias is a talented concert and musical artist photographer based in San Diego (although he is quite frequently on the road). He has a unique style and seems to be pretty good at infusing himself with the many bands, acts, and musical talent he travels with.
From my own observation, photographing people successfully is one part technique but more importantly, one part connection. I’m not sure how he does it, but from the images he shares, he seems to be about to break down those personal walls and really “connect” with the artist.
You can see it in his work!
As always, I shared a few other links to absorb his creative work and social shares below.
“I am sure the next step will be the electronic image, and I hope I shall live to see it. I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop.” – Ansel Adams
I decided to scope out our exit strategy from the Latin Quarter first thing in the morning by filing up on a quick espresso from the local cafe and taking a quick stroll up a few blocks to see if the taxi stand that I googled was in fact there. The last thing we needed to do was wander aimlessly looking for a taxi on a day that was going to consist of hours of train travel. Plus, it was just a beautiful morning…..(you can almost hear the birds chirping right through the picture can’t you?)
Of course, I took the camera and sticks along for the morning journey
You see, for me, leaving a place while solo traveling usually means grabbing the pack and a small bag and just heading out the door. Most likely that trip out the door would have been to the first Metro Station. Easy to navigate as a solo male for sure. As this trip had a couple other people on board, (special people in my life I must say), a train to catch, and what can only be described as an excessive amount of luggage that no sane man would ever want to oversee the navigation through 3 metro changes and several staircases……the taxi was OBVIOUSLY the best option.
The trip to make sure that the taxi station was in fact where it was SUPPOSED to be was kind of an insurance plan for a stressless day of travel before it unfolded. (and a great excuse for a solo morning stroll)
Man, I really do love Paris
I played a little with this one. My initial plan was to take all of the color out and process that way. After a couple layer masks and blending strokes to see what a little color did to the far distant buildings, I decided to take it a bit further.
The foreground detail actually had me wanting to try something different. It was too gritty and really distracted my eyes as I tried to figure out how to direct the viewers eyes through the image. I then popped a copy of the image into a Topaz filter I liked and have used quite a bit before and found exactly what I was looking for!
If you haven’t tried these plugins yet, I highly recommend taking them for a ride!
I’ll do a few videos soon on the youtube channel about them, but until then, check them out here or the banner below to get started exploring!
“You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself.” – Frederick Terral
As the season is right around the corner, its almost time to dust off a few hundred lighting fixtures and get back to lighting events with the team! Still amazes me that I can actually make a living while doing what for the most part feels like play. With the ballroom our canvas and the lighting fixture our paintbrush (that doesn’t sound TOO stupid does it?”), we helped transform this amazing space into what you see here.
More to come from this world of event illumination soon!
So about this blog…..
It’s been nice having a little time to get caught up this summer! I know I have personally taken some recent blocks of time to get creative, finish and edit my first online course, and work on a few personal projects, …… this blog being one of them. The behind the scenes inner workings of a WordPress site like this can get a little bit challenging from time to time. One step forward, two steps back…you get the idea. But to enjoy the process and the art of the journey….thats what its all about
That being said, I am tweaking the RSS feed of this site a little. I noticed the other day that there are quite a few people signed up to receive these posts that way, myself being one of them (just to monitor the feed). I noticed a while back that when I upload my images at the size that the blog template likes (it resizes automatically for Apple retina displays and the 900px wide template here), the image that came out on the RSS feed was HUGE! And lately, although I usually place a link to the video I am sharing after the video as the video was never embedding or showing up in the RSS feed, recently those links have been missing as well. For example, I shared a couple videos in last nights post and they never made it to the feed email I got this morning…..and neither did the links!
Now, coincidenlty, I have started using another plug in that resizes the main images I share and crunches (now thats a harsh word) down to about 500px wide, so not sure if that has anything to do with it or not. It resized them quite nicely last night though……the pictures that is. The videos however continue to be a challenge……
MAN is this a boring post! Sorry…..
It started out as one about creativity and enjoying the process of sharing your art.
I guess taking those 3 steps back into all of the never ending tech madness is what is needed to enjoy those 2 creative steps forward right?
I guess you can apply that to just about any creative endeavor right?
So anyway, make sure and subscribe to the newsletter! You know, the one I have YET to deliver! Again, I have taken a couple steps back on that too, but about to take the first one ahead……
(all right Mike, thats enough for tonight…..you’re rambling!)
Oh yeah, one more thing. Here are the 2 links below for those videos I shared last night (again). I’ll then embed them again right after that just to see if my little tweaks let them show up in the RSS feed. If you can’t see them at all, make sure and head back to the blog to see them!