DAVE BECKERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG

Photographs of New York ’cause that’s where I live

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Month: September, 2008

Guarding Bryant Park

15 September, 2008 (15:43) | 1 comment

Where the night guard stays.  And I thought my apartment was small.

bryant-park-guard-1723-copy Guarding Bryant Park



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Bryant Park - William Earl Dodge

15 September, 2008 (14:27) | No comments

statue-bryant-park-1703 Bryant Park - William Earl Dodge

Infrared flash.  Ah, this time I was smart and jotted down who this was. It was still drizzling and the paper got sort of soggy but I’m pretty sure it says Dodge on it.

And although I thought I was slightly crazy wandering around midtown or anywhere in the middle of the night - I did end up with some good shots.



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Street Singers

15 September, 2008 (10:43) | No comments

Backlit plus infrared flash.

street-singers-1211-copy Street Singers

street-singers-1229-copy Street Singers



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San Remos and CP Lake

15 September, 2008 (09:43) | No comments

San Remos Buildings and Lake



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Flautist - Infrared

14 September, 2008 (15:02) | 2 comments

Times Square Shuttle platform.

My favorite use of the modified XT is with the infrared flash (modded by BeyondVisible.com).  This has been much easier to work with than when I was using the flash with HIE.

flautist-ir-06911 Flautist - Infrared



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Fruitstand - Infrared

14 September, 2008 (13:31) | 2 comments

fruit-stand-0450-copy Fruitstand - Infrared

It’s taken me a while to get around to it, but I’ve made a Lightroom preset that creates this interpretation from the Lifepixel converted XT RAW file.  It uses one of the custom DNG profiles I made and a bunch of LR tweaks.  I’m pretty happy with it so far.  It does have a tendency to blow out highlights, but that can be easily corrected with one of the graduation filters, or by dropping the exposure a bit.  But it’s a very good starting point.



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Contact Sheet (Two Kids)

14 September, 2008 (09:12) | 2 comments

contact sheet

Here’s one of those examples where I never did quite get “the shot” that I had in mind, but it gives you some idea of how I was going about it.  I suppose that I was hoping that both kids would be turned to face me at the same time, and that the two nannies would get closer together and maybe something magical would happen, at least in terms of symmetry… expressions… something.

People kept walking into the shot.  The kids were squirming this way and that.  And nothing really did fall into place.  Even if it had, I’m not sure it would have been a great shot, but it’s a good example of what goes on when you are trying to make something happen.

Most of my better shots - are just quick snaps with maybe one or two lesser shots around them.

I suspect that most good photographers are a lot like prospectors.  They know that 90% of the time they are going to return empty-handed.  But when they make that one great strike, it makes the rest of the failures worthwhile.



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A Time to Relax

13 September, 2008 (20:25) | 1 comment

I remember a time when our gadgets were friends - and there were ads that showed scenes of happy men and women working on the beach with their gadgets.  Now, the gadgets have taken over and become surrogate bosses.  It seems, as I look around that instead of giving us freedom - they’ve managed to keep us more enslaved then ever.  One gadget to relax with, another to make us more efficient.   Rather than giving us the promised freedom, they’ve put us on an invisible leash.  The machines always win out in the end.

keyboards-8337 A Time to Relax



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The Online Photographer

13 September, 2008 (16:17) | 3 comments

Thanks to Bruce Robbins I’ve been featured on The Online Photographer and have my 15 seconds of fame.



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Respect

12 September, 2008 (18:35) | No comments

Photographers in New York are always treated with respect and admiration.

respect-7858-copy Respect



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Night Crossing

12 September, 2008 (15:44) | 3 comments

night-crossing-7179 Night Crossing



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Oil Cap and Leaf

12 September, 2008 (10:27) | 2 comments

oilcap-rain-3228-copy Oil Cap and Leaf

And slowly I fall back to my old ways…  As you can see, I’ve taken another pretty serious crack at breaking the color barrier.  This has been my second prolonged jump into the color world, and I’ve gone through hundreds of old shots, trying very hard to do them in color, but except for some of the color infrared shots, I don’t think I’ve made much progress.

So it was very nice to put the 40D back around my neck after so much walking around with the XT IR camera and begin shooting with b&w in mind.  What can I say - maybe you can’t teach an old dog too many new tricks.



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Lightroom Killer Tips

12 September, 2008 (08:36) | No comments

Lightroom Killer Tips is a great site, with lots of good instructional videos.

As mentioned, I’ve been using the Camera Calibration tab a lot lately, and one of the great tips that LRKT had recently was to setup presets with each Calibration Profile that you use.  What this gives you is the ability to roll the mouse over each camera preset and see the results in the navigator.

Here’s a link to the LR preset video.

This way you don’t have to select each preset to see what the results will be.

On a similar note, when you are searching for a starting white balance, once you’ve selected the white balance tool (just hit W) you can roll over the image and see the results in the navigator.  When I began playing with white balance, I was confused by the term “neutral area.”  Did they mean that the balance should be taken off something “white,” or “gray.”  Turns out that neutral means that all three channels (RGB) are pretty close in value.  Also, that white is not the way to go.  Usually something gray is a good place to start, but I was surprised to find that by rolling over various areas, it wasn’t always the gray area that gave the most pleasing results.

Anyway - just wanted to give a nod to the Killer Tips site as it has been very helpful to me as I’m learning color processing.



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Violin in Garbage

11 September, 2008 (18:25) | No comments

violin-5789-copy Violin in Garbage

Do you ever just walk down the street looking at the garbage.  Wonder what the story is behind this.  I didn’t open the case, it was left open.  Little myseries.  Scribbled inside:  Margaret C.  55-1-11 th are N something.

I’ll leave out her last name.  And the last word is too crinkled on the paper to read but it starts with the letter N.  The numbers could be her date of birth, or the day she bought the instrument?  It’s strange.  The writing seems to be in crayon.

The violin is on a bag of empty baby formula cans.  Wasn’t there once something called the ashcan school of art?



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