Blog - Mark Kirkpatrick

Sept 26 2015

I got to spend another week enjoying the Reno Air Races. This is a great place to capture photos of airplanes that would otherwise be hard to find. This year was exceptionally exciting for me because I was invited to go out to the pylons. Out there I got an opportunity to take some pictures of my favorite airplanes going five hundred miles an hour just two hundred feet away, very exciting! I've been going to the races sense the 70’s and this is the first time I got to go out to the pylons. My photo collection has thousands of pictures of the bottom of these airplanes as they go around the home pylon having been taken from the pits or the stands, but this year I managed to get pictures of the tops.

Grim Reaper

I find the best time for taking pictures is actually before the races officially start; much fewer people to deal with and all the planes and pilots are there for qualifying. I ventured out before sunrise early in the week trying to scope out good places to take some pictures and got this one. Later in the week there was all kinds of people and junk in the back ground to contend with.

Sept 6, 2015

Took a couple of days off to go to San Francisco to try and reproduce a panorama I had made back in the 70’s using film. It was a nice clear night but the wind was blowing 20-30 mph. This post is mainly about the beauty of digital photography and what can be done in Photoshop. When I took the pictures they looked fine on the back of the camera, but when I got back to the hotel they were all blurry. I was using a good tripod and trying to shield the camera from the wind with my jacket but apparently that didn't help. If this had been film the negatives would have been more or less useless. I'm sure I'll be going back to shoot the sense again to get some better images, but I still wanted something to show for the weekend so I spent some time in Photoshop trying to fix them. Most photographer say you should never share anything but your best work but I think it's helpful to share our mistakes. I always shoot in Raw and unlike shooting in JPG the files that comes out of the camera are usually pretty dull, but the important thing is all the information is there. The picture right out of the camera is pretty boring, but change a few sliders and things start to look a lot better. This is after applying white balance and saturation adjustments. I also used two of the sharpening masks in Photoshop which worked amazingly will. I then added a reflection to the photo to add some interest in the water. The water that night was anything but smooth and even trying a long exposure to smooth it out didn't help.

San Francisco Skyline
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