(Olympus E-3, 7-14mm at 7mm (2x crop factor), ISO 100, Exposure 1/250 sec @f/8.0)
The image above shows Two Lads Winery located on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, Michigan. The tall glass area is the tasting room which has a wonderful view of the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay. The grounds around the building were rather plain and gave the image more of a snapshot look. Ideally I would have liked to take this shot just after sunset, but when you are on vacation you shoot what you can when you can.
For processing I did a couple of different things. First, I cropped the image to eliminate much of the grassy area below the building. I was using a very wide angle lens and I wanted to keep the camera level. As a result, I got more ground in the picture that I really wanted, but I figured I would crop it out later. I also made a minor curves correction to improve contrast. I then decided to try a technique that I like to use for certain shots which involves using the Topaz Simplify plugin. Basically I make whatever other corrections I want to make to the image and then I create a new layer and edit that layer with the plugin. I like to use the BuzSim preset which does a nice job on grass, stone and other similar surfaces. I then use a layer mask to apply the effect only to parts of the image, leaving the building alone. Sometimes I’ll reduce the opacity of the Simplify layer as well to get a blending of original and processed. You can see the difference the filter made by looking at out of camera version of the image below:
If you are ever in the Traverse City area and you enjoy good wine, I highly recommend you check out Two Lads (and other fine wineries in the area). Michigan wines have come a long way from many years ago and many win top medals and wine competitions. The Traverse City area in particular produces some high quality red and white wines. Check ’em out.
Copyright © 2009-2010 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.