California

Looking up at bamboo

Looking up at bamboo

Japanese Garden, Van Nuys, California.

It was extremely hot at the Japanese Garden when we visited on Monday and there were only a few birds and the plants looked pretty beaten down by the heat. I’d been meaning to try to get some images of the small bamboo grove they have there so these are my first go at it. These are high contrast JPEGs processed in the Ricoh GR. I have the RAWs but I really liked this processing better for these shots.

Looking up at bamboo

Looking up at bamboo

Standoff

Standoff

Venice Beach, California. We took my 99+ year old mother on a “wheelchair” stroll down memory lane. Neither of us had walked along the walkway at Venice Beach in 30 years so it was time to see what it was all about.

To sum: we both loved it. I thought she’d fall asleep but she gawked at all the people, (so did I), the vendors selling crap, and scrunched her nose up every time we walked by someone smoking “medicinal marijuana” or wearing a bit too much patchouli oil.

Time warp for sure.

This was a standoff between a little white robot dog which was bucking and barking and a little white live dog who was, well, bucking and barking at it. A crowd gathered and between the action and the shadows it was crying out for a picture.

Lotus

Lotus

Japanese Garden, Van Nuys, California. We visited this great garden again yesterday. Even though I’m not sure what my now 99 + year old mother can see and hear there, she always wants to go. The lotuses are in bloom although I tend to like the lily pads in their decomposed state better for my kind of photography. Still, there’s nothing like a lotus flower to show off what makes a flower a flower (think sex organs).

Lotus

Succulent test

Succulent 1 (JPEG)

Succulent 1 (JPEG)

Succulent 1 (RAW)

Succulent 1 (RAW)

Santa Monica, California. We took a walk down the palisades park overlooking the Pacific Ocean which my mother thinks is totally boring but I love. We’ve done it many times but I’d never shot the large succulents on the side of the walkway. Edward Weston came to mind as I thought about what these might look like using the Ricoh GR’s high contrast black and white setting.

I have the GR set up to take both RAW and jpeg and have the JPEG set to this high contest grainy filter.

I got the images home, got them into lightroom (all of them, RAWs and JPEGs) and decided to do an experiment.

I cropped them all the same so there were three sets of two images, one RAW/color, one high contrast monochrome (I took more but only kept these).

Then I processed one of the RAWs as high contrast black and whites experimenting with Lightroom’s various presets and tweaking as needed. Then I copied and pasted the settings from that one onto each of the various RAWs, something I do regularly when I want settings across a set.

Then I compared the converted RAWs with the high contrast JPEGs processed in camera.

I like the RAWs better. They’re less stark and the grain is gone (although I can make it again if I want) but there’s a lot more detail/information and I was missing that in these stark high contrast JPEGs.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the high contrast setting and will keep it because it allows me to use it on the LCD to look for light and contrast, but when I want more detail I’ll use the RAW files and process them in Lightroom. No doubt at times I’ll want the look of the JPEG and will use it. It’s nice to have options.

In this series, in case you can’t see it, the high contrast JPEG processed in the Ricoh GR comes first, the same image in RAW processed by me in Lightroom second.

Succulent 2 (JPEG)

Succulent 2 (JPEG)

Succulent 2 (RAW)

Succulent 2 (RAW)

Succulent 3 (JPEG)

Succulent 3 (JPEG)

Succulent 3 (RAW)

Succulent 3 (RAW)