Smoking Lightbulbs and Super Mushrooms

While sifting through my Google Buzz updates this past weekend I stumbled across an extremely cool link from PetaPixel. It was a photo of the smoke from an exposed incandescent lightbulb that had been Photoshopped to look like a 1UP mushroom from Super Mario Bros…extremely cool! The ingenious photographer who produced this image is Jon Beard. You can find his website here, his 1UP Mushroom photo here, and here’s a link to an instructional video he posted on how he set up for the shot. I was so inspired by this photo that I stopped on the way home from work to pick up all the necessary ingredients to try this on my own. It was pretty easy to set up and shoot and it was a ton of fun to see the results as I went through the 8 lightbulbs I bought and destroyed. I decided to pay homage (well, maybe just play copycat) to the great image Jon Beard produced by creating one of the red Super Mushrooms from Super Mario Bros. Here’s the result:

Canon EOS 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L, 102mm, F 5.6, ISO 200, 1/640 sec

I’m super pleased with how it turned out! Let me know what you think. And again…many thanks to Jon Beard for the great image and the inspiration…YOU ROCK!

**UPDATE** As per a request, here’s the original before I did any editing:

Rob - March 23, 2010 - 2:34 pm

Shit thats cool…. You should do more stuff like this… Possibly even get one of those super slow mo cameras that can do a gajillion frames per second you know… and take psycho videos of blenders and shit… yaah.. remember that show on discover? they just took crazy shit and filmed it in super slow mo.. like lighters in a blender…

Rob - March 23, 2010 - 2:35 pm

Ah and upload the original photo… to see what you’ve photoshopped.. id like to see what it looked like before the photo editiing.

yycofee - March 23, 2010 - 2:42 pm

Ask and ye shall receive.

Rob - March 23, 2010 - 3:21 pm

Thats crazy man… And now that you’ve got a bunch of broken lightbulbs… You’re set if you ever decide to start smoking crystal meth..

Anderson Apartments

It’s been about a week and a half since my last photo post/upload and I’m feeling like a bit of a slacker. Last weekend I had the brainwave to take some shots of my car in the parkade of my downtown work building, but after what was a somewhat lackluster car wash it appears as though those photos are going to need some significant TLC in post-production before they see the light of day. I did however, visit a colleagues apartment last Friday night after the annual company bonspiel (curling tournament). Despite the significant amount of booze in my system I seemed to remember that the building was almost 100 years old and had plenty of character, so on Monday I made sure to ask my colleague if I could make another visit to his apartment building to take some photos of the amazing foyer. I made the trip back to the Anderson Apartments just off of 17th Ave SW on St. Patrick’s Day and took photos to my heart’s content. Apparently my memory hadn’t failed me because when I walked into the building I was just as impressed as I was the week before. Imported Italian marble covers the foyer and the stairs leading up to it and there is an unbelievable brass cage elevator that is still in working order (we took an impressively smooth ride up to the top floor). Below is one of my favorites from the visit.

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 11, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

This is a 3 exposure HDR (-2,0,+2) tonemapped in Photomatix with some final tweaks in Lightroom. The white balance is a little off because of the two different light sources…incandescent bulbs in the lobby and natural sunlight streaming in through the stairway window, but I kind of like the contrast between the yellow and orange in the lobby and the slight blue cast coming from the stairs. I’m really glad that I was able to stumble across this historic Calgary building. If I didn’t know someone who lived there I would never have found it…thanks Raj! As always, comments and critiques are more than welcome.

steph_tabaldo - March 19, 2010 - 1:03 am

Your pics are inspiring me to pick up my camera again!

yycofee - March 19, 2010 - 8:48 am

Glad to help :)

The Fiery Gates of Elgin Village

Last week while walking back to my place from the liquor store I looked to my left and saw a fantastic sunset painting the clouds all kinds of pinks and purples. I jogged the rest of the way home (as quickly as one can with a case of beer in tow) and immediately went to collect my camera gear to try and capture the amazing sunset. I had a hilltop spot in mind in the next community over (Elgin), but by the time I jumped in my car and drove the few blocks it took to get there the sunset was gone. SO disappointing! I was determined to get some shots of these arches on the hilltop so I made sure to keep my eye out for some dramatic clouds the following evening. Here’s what I came up with:

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 11, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

This is a 3 exposure HDR (-2,0,+2) tonemapped in Photomatix, original sky from the -2 exposure masked in using Photoshop, a bit of noise reduction in Photoshop, and some final tweaks in Lightroom. I left a bit of a blue cast because I liked the contrast between the blue stone and the fiery sunset. I’m still working on my HDR processing, so let me know what you think!

joeandrews - March 10, 2010 - 7:06 am

Stunning hdr. Very nice work with this, the colors are spectacular!

steph_tabaldo - March 19, 2010 - 1:00 am

Just amazing.

yycofee - March 19, 2010 - 8:47 am

Thanks Steph!

Calgary Skyline from Prince’s Island Park

While on my downtown photowalk a couple weekends ago I made my way over to Prince’s Island Park and took a few shots there. It was a relatively cold morning at about -8 celsius and I wasn’t wearing the ideal footwear for tromping though the snow (slip on loafers were not a good choice) but I couldn’t resist this frost covered bench with the city skyline punctuated by a sunburst. The original crop of this image included a tree in the background on the far right of the frame but I was forced to crop it out when masking in the sky from one of the original images. I’m still working on the whole Photoshop masking process, and this one didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted…but I gotta keep trying if I’m gonna learn, right?

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 16, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

This is a 3 exposure HDR image (-2,0,+2) tonemapped in Photomatix, original sky masked in from the -2 exposure with some final tweaks in Lightroom. Any critiques are more than welcome!

rob - March 4, 2010 - 5:55 pm

Wow.. awesome picture mofo…

Thats wicked bad ass..

An Aging Semi and Layer Masks

I live in the far southeast quadrant of Calgary in a relatively new community called New Brighton. One of the major arteries that runs through the southeast is 52nd Avenue and I find myself on this stretch of road at least a couple times a week. Two weeks ago on my way to play a round of disc golf I spotted this really cool looking wrecked and abandoned semi-truck/trailer and thought it would make a fantastic HDR photo. I took a day off work this past Tuesday and took this photo:

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 12mm, F 16, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

It’s nice being a little further north during the winter because the sun stays relatively low in the sky for most of the day. This photo was taken around 11am and the sun was still low enough for me to get it well into the frame. I’ve always been a fan of sunbursts, so I made sure to stop the aperture down (this is f/16) to make sure I got that effect.

This photo is my first attempt at using a layer mask in Photoshop…I should probably have already known how to do that, but I try to do most of my post-processing in Lightroom exclusively. Anyway…after running my three exposures (-2,0,+2) through Photomatix, I found that the sky looked a little dirty and was a bit noisier than I would have liked, so I masked in the sky from the original 0ev RAW file. Turned out pretty well I think, and I learned a valuable new skill! As always, critique and comments are more than welcome.

rob - February 25, 2010 - 4:35 pm

I really like this…

You should see if you can lighten the glow around the trailer a little while keeping it the same on the truck… its burning my eyes..
.
But regardless im no critic… This is fucking rad man… This is probably one of my favorite pictures.. if it wasnt for that building in the background it would look like the fucking desert man…. february in calgary… looks like the desert.. whoda thunk…?

Heather - February 25, 2010 - 4:39 pm

It looks awesome, Heath. I’m really enjoying your photos. This photo is sweet: I feel like you have captured a picture of a real live Transformer. :) If it got up and started chasing Shia LaBouf, I just wouldn’t be surprised. Keep up the great work.

yycofee - February 25, 2010 - 5:11 pm

That’s actually a very valid criticism Rob. The “halo” effect around the truck is actually due to some careless masking on my part…guess I should go back and clean it up!

But thanks for the comment, I’m really happy with how this one turned out.

yycofee - February 25, 2010 - 5:13 pm

LOL…thanks Heather! I probably would have peed my pants if that thing came to life…

Toby - February 26, 2010 - 5:59 pm

Love the photos. Do you use a tripod when taking the HDR photos?

yycofee - February 26, 2010 - 7:16 pm

Thanks Toby! And yes, tripod for sure when bracketing the photos for HDR processing. For a while you feel like a bit of a wiener carrying your tripod around all over the place…but that feeling quickly fades :)

mzdeitz - April 24, 2010 - 1:21 am

ummmm…okay this is weird. I was kinda searching for pics of abandoned places around/close to Calgary to possibly check out with my camera this weekend. I somehow came across your picture. Someone has claimed it as theirs!
Check it out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12354961@N05/4392853636

What a mofo.

Visual plagiarism. Already famous Heath. 😉

mzdeitz - April 24, 2010 - 1:32 am

Oh and this is how i found it: http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/abandoned,calgary

yycofee - April 24, 2010 - 7:13 am

Crazy! Thanks for letting me know Steph…the bastard didn’t even link back to my page to give me credit. Just sent him a message…we’ll see what happens. Worst part is, the photo has had about 7 times as many views on his Flickr page than on mine!

mzdeitz - April 24, 2010 - 12:05 pm

Yeah i don’t think he had any intention of linking back to you. His profile is all about how he likes to take pics of graffiti around Calgary..

As for the hits, look at it this way – your image got way more hits than any of his shitty ass pictures as he even commented on it getting so many. 😉

A Frozen Lake Louise « yycofee - May 7, 2010 - 7:11 am

[…] to this image with text on the bottom indicating that I produced the image. I recently had my abandoned semi-truck photo downloaded in full-resolution by the graffiti artist who’s work is on the truck. He then […]