Category Archives: Structures

Great Memories

“The Columns” – Sylvan Theater, University of Washington Campus

A couple of weeks ago, I spent several hours walking around the University of Washington campus.  I had not been there for about 15 years.  How much things have changed.  My old hangout, the EEB (Electrical Engineering Building) has been completely remodeled and enlarged with a large new section for Computer Science..  When I was there, Computer Science was just a small part of the EE Department.  Now it is its own Department with over 1300 students.

During class breaks, I use to go to the Sylvan Theater and the Columns just behind the EEB.  It was a wonderful peaceful place to sit and wonder about what the future would bring,  The Sylvan Theater was just about the same as I recall it was 50 years ago.  However, there were several students there with hard hats, surveying equipment, and tape measures.  They were taking measurements to design a new courtyard to replace a good part of the grass.  I feel a little sorrow to see my old memories change.  But I guess it is for the best.  Those memories are great ones!

 

Looking Back in History

160329_Flume and HillsideCanon 7D MkII, EF 100-400L @ 105mm, f/11, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

Looking out my office window, this is what I see.  The wood flume brings our irrigation water down from the upper Naches River.  The flume is around 100 years old and adds charm to our countryside.  Next year they plan to replace it with a pipeline because of the high maintenance.  It breaks my heart to see our history dismantled for progress.

During the next year, I will explore the flume’s path along our neighboring hill side.

St. Augustine Lighthouse With a Little Swirl

150207_St Augustine Lighthouse by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 44mm, f/11, 1/320 sec, ISO 250

Does this look a little familiar?  Sometimes one gets lucky.  This image is a multiple exposure of the St. Augustine lighthouse combined with a B&W version of yesterday’s post.  I thought that that the unknown swirl image posted yesterday would make a good texture background for something.  I combined it with an image taken just a few frames earlier.  Magic happens sometimes.

Lesson Learned:  Take what each moment brings you and cherish it.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

141222_Longwood Center Consrevatory by © 2014 Karl Graf. Longwood Gardens Conservatory

Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 26.5mm, f/11, 1/10 sec, ISO 400

Now that I have finished the Fonthill Tile Tour, I can finally start to get into the Christmas blogging spirit.  All the outgoing presents are wrapped and sent out.  Some of my Christmas cards are out, others are still in process.  I will be very late this year.

A week ago I was able to get out to Longwood Gardens with a good friend for a little Christmas photography excursion.  It was a great day, but my creative juices weren’t really flowing.  However, I was able to just step back and enjoy.  This image took me forever to capture.  People were walking in front of the far end of the water fountain.  I waited, waited and waited.  It seemed like forever, but I finally got a very short window of just a few seconds to snap this image.  It was worth the wait.

Fall at Fonthill 2

141031_Fonthill Castle by Karl Graf. 141031_Fonthill Castle by Karl Graf. 141031_Fonthill Castle by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkIII, EF24-70 2.8L @ 27mm, f/10, ISO 200 – 3 image HDR

Yesterday was another beautiful fall day in Bucks County, PA.  Late in the afternoon I saw some white billowy clouds coming across the sky.  I rushed over to Fonthill Castle and caught about 15 minutes of late afternoon warm sunlight.  What attracted me the most on this image were the long shadows casting themselves on the lawn and the castle walls.  It was worth the jaunt for the 15 minutes of nice sunlight.

Fall at Fonthill

141019_Fonthill Fall by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkIII, EF24-70 f/2.8 @ 62mm, f/20, 1/15 sec, ISO 400

The trees around Fonthill Castle are turning toward their fall brilliance.  For the last couple of days I have been going to the castle to catch late afternoon and early morning light as it illuminates the castle walls.  This image is a combination of a 0, +1, and -1 exposure blended together.  The normal exposure is the base.  The +1 exposure was used to lighten the right side of the castle that was in the shade.  The -1 exposure was used to tone down a few hot spots on the castle tower.  These were blended together using layers and masks in Photoshop.  A little tonal contrast in NIK Color EFEX pro was used to finish the image off.  I first worked with HDR, but could not come up with a realistic looking image.

Sheard’s Mill Covered Bridge

141018_Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge by . Fuji X-T1, FX18-55 @ 55mm, f/20, 3.7 sec, ISO 200

This was one of the last shots of the day.  Sometimes they are some of the best, at least for me.  The hay rake provided a strong near field compositional element.  Most images of this bridge are taken from directly on or perpendicular to the bridge.  I wanted to get something a little different and catch some of the fall color.

Knechts Covered Bridge

Knechts Covered Bridge by . Fuji X-T1, FX18-55 @ 20mm. f/22, 1/10 sec, ISO 400

Knechts Covered Bridge is one of my favorites.  It is somewhat hidden off the meandering country roads on what seems to be a single lane remote road.  The simplicity of the structure is marred with bright caution and height limit signs.  I took the liberty of removing them from the image with Photoshop.  If you look close you can see the remnants on the left stone abutment and below the bridge name placard.

Cabin Run Covered Bridge

141016_Cabin Run Covered Bridge by . Fuji X-T1, EF18-55mm @ 18mm, f/22, 0.5 sec, ISO 400

I was not too creative and made several mistakes with this image.  So there are several lessons here.  First, as I was walking along the rocks, I hit a slippery area and tumbled down on my knees and elbows.  I made sure the camera was safe.  After the fall, I lost my focus and interest and only took a few images.  Lesson 1:  if something happens, take the time to regain composure and then start again.  I knew that I had an extreme dynamic range between the sky and the shadows on the bridge and ground.  I did not take enough exposures to generate a blended image or HDR.  Lesson 2:  Take my time to capture the image and lighting that I am looking for.  I put on a cheap polarizer on my lens.  It leaves a little flare from time to time.  I had discovered this before and still put the filter on.  Lesson 3:  Don’t put anything but good filters over good optics.  No filter is better than one that even degrades the image a little.  Anyway, this post is a good example of what not to do.

 

Loux Covered Bridge

Loux Covered Bridge by . Fuji X-T1, FX55-200mm @ 55mm, f/11, 1/9 sec, ISO 1600

Fall days are a wonderful time to drive around rural Bucks County, PA and enjoy the iconic covered bridges.  During the last few days, a friend and I spent late afternoons exploring around the area.  For this image of the Loux Covered Bridge, I focused on a composition that did not include bright road signs and caught some of the fall color.