kivus
  • Sometimes I get into a rut with my photography. I go hard on one style and forget about others, or I forget a certain tool in my toolbox all together. When I was going through my images, deciding what belonged on the front page, I was skipping over those images that were not HDR shots. I have been spending so much of my time focused on my HDR work that I was forgetting about some of my better standard shots. I already told the story of racing to get the Portland Headlight, so I will not re-hash that here. While some of my other shots of the lighthouse were much more focused on the lighthouse itself, this shot is more of an “environmental portrait” of the lighthouse. I took this shot long after the park ranger said we had to leave (and had to run both to this spot and then back to the car in order to get it), but I think the ends ultimately justify the means. Originally posted at: http://johnkivus.com/2010/09/21/light-on-the-edge

  • Though I spent about three and a half days in Florida last weekend, I only spent one afternoon / evening at the Disney Parks as a whole. I originally thought about going only to the Magic Kingdom, but I could not resist spending some time at the International Food and Wine Festival that was occurring at Epcot (the fact that I decided to also spend time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be be ignored at this point). This picture is of the garden at the China Pavilion in Epcot. I have no idea how I managed to get this shot without a single person walking into the frame. I guess people were too busy sampling all the food and wine. Originally avialable at: http://johnkivus.com/2010/10/18/pavilion-garden/

  • When I was planning my trip to Maine, one thing I really wanted to do was be at the Portland Head Light at sunset one evening. After dinner at Mabel’s Lobster Claw in Kennebunkport, we headed up the coast to try to get to the lighthouse. Of course, in a fit of excellent luck, a car essentially spontaneously combusted on the turnpike, causing a major traffic jam. After a little “creative driving”, we managed to make it to the lighthouse about 10 minutes before they were planning to shut the gate. On the plus side, the park ranger seemed more concerned about getting us to leave than the fact I was climbing on some huge rock to take this shot. Originally available at http://johnkivus.com/2010/08/23/lighting-the-way/

  • My family and I took a trip to New Bern, NC recently. Though I had never been to that area, my mother and father had spent a day there on a vacation a year ago and she had been looking forward to going back. I was thinking it would be similar in ambience to a place like Wilmington, with places to eat down by the water. Strangely, the only place to eat by the water is a local HIlton, though there are rumors you can view the water from the roof of Captain Ratty’s in town. My father and I wanted to go to the Captain Ratty’s route, however, my mother decided she would rather eat at the hotel. That meant my father and I were outvoted. After the meal we took a walk down by the water and I took advantage of any docks that didn’t have their “keep out” signs up. This image is actually an HDR that I took with my zipshot tripod while standing just off one of the docks. I had liked the shot originally (I personally love the look of HDR water, especially having applying the Tonal Contrast Filter from Color Efex Pro), however, when taking multiple exposures manually (as I’ve said before, my camera doesn’t do autobracketing for RAW files), it means that it takes about 20-30 seconds to fire off all my images. This was particularly problematic for me on this shot because it meant the boats were moving slightly in each image. In Photomatix, this meant that my final image had this little bit of autofocus / blurring around the boats and dock. It was hardly noticeable, but if you looked at the image for awhile, then your eyes would really start to correct it and you’d almost get a headache. Now, I don’t pretend to be a photographic master by any stretch of the imagination, however, I know I don’t want my images to give people headaches. Thankfully, the new Photoshop CS5 HDR processing’s anti-ghosting capabilities fixed that problem and I was left with a shot that hopefully is not headache inducing. [ Available at http://johnkivus.com/2010/05/16/harbor-view/ ]