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August in Thailand and Cambodia

As you can probably tell, I had a thing for Thailand and Cambodia.

These shots were taken in Koh Tao, Bangkok, Sihanoukville in Cambodia, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

I was carrying everything I owned in my Jansport Odyssey, a 39-liter King of Backpacks. While other backpacks ripped and fell apart, the Jansport is with me to this day. For the first few months of my travels, it held everything.

This included my:

  • Canon 60D
  • ASUS 14-inch laptop
  • 2-3 changes of clothes
  • My Kodak Zi8
  • An electronic Japanese-English dictionary
  • 2-3 notebooks
  • My travel tripod
  • A poncho & raincover for my backpack
  • And much, much more

It always blew my mind to see people carting around giant body bags and stuffing them into the local tuk tuks.

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Back to Southeast Asia

For certain other reasons, I had decided to remove my current operating system from my laptop and replace it with Ubuntu. This meant transitioning to GIMP and a new work method. There were a few bugs and hassles to overcome: for example, I couldn’t plug my Canon directly into my PC via USB. Ubuntu wouldn’t recognize it, so I had to remove the SD card, put that into my Kodak, then plug that in and manually move the files over.

But, fortunately, Ubuntu’s Shotwell photo manager could read RAW files and I could edit JPG files in GIMP, so that’s how I decided to work for the next however long.

Editing files in GIMP proved to be a good learning experience, since I had to start afresh and teach myself new editing techniques. Using a completely different photo editor with a completely different workflow is a good way to learn new tricks and get yourself out of old habits.

That being said, Shotwell doesn’t have the nearly same functionality as Camera RAW.

In order to pop lights and dark darks, I had to use Shotwell’s built-in slider/histogram, which is similar to the Photoshop levels function. There was a saturation slider and a couple others, but no contrast or any of the other fancy controls that RAW has. Without access to contrast or any of Camera RAW’s fancy features, I ended up sacrificing many lights and darks to achieve some effects.

Inside GIMP it’s possible to access more features, but I didn’t have any experience with it and it took me a while to get the hang of it. While GIMP is an excellent free tool, it’s just not as robust as Photoshop.

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Wanderlust Strikes Again

Time to hit the road once more.

I can feel the wanderlust in my bones.

These photos are from a road trip to San Francisco.

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Bring on the Cats

The neighborhood stray cat pack’s been driven away by the apartment building’s renovations.

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2013 Moves Along

Peralta Trailhead and some fun with HDR toning,

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More Crazy Weather

It sleeted for five minutes in Tempe.

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For the Love of Rain Part 4

Sunday I finally got it.

What I wanted was to freeze time as much as possible, by reducing the exposure time as much as possible, so for some of these shots I pushed the ISO all the way up to 6400, which resulted in two shots that have exposure times of 1/8000th of a second, and others that range between that value and 1/4000th of a second. Those are the ones where you can see the drops frozen in mid-splash.

The first two are the ones with the shortest exposure times.

There’s little to no blur from the water’s motion.

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For the Love of Rain Part 3

It rains only a few times a year in Tempe, and this was one of those times. The whole weekend was covered in clouds, and down poured more rain in one morning than I’ve seen in almost a year. It was awesome.

These pictures are from Saturday.

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Explorations in HDR Toning

Now begins the next phase of my photographic journey: HDR toning. I’m already a big fan of surrealism and creative photographic effects, and that’s what HDR does best.

These shots were taken around Tempe after Halloween. As you can see, I’m having fun with my new High Definition Range tools.

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