At Lindell and Grand – St. Francis Xavier College Church in Bright Light – St. Louis University

I always love driving up Olive Boulevard from downtown St. Louis over its wide tarmac, ribboning up and down undulating hills, and watching the spire of St. Francis Xavier College Church peak over the horizon with a huge sky above it and then seeing it slowly begin to fill the scene. And, if I have my camera along, I am more than likely to take a picture at the corner of Grand and Lindell–a no-look shot with the camera angled up and stabilized against the open window. Here is one and an earlier one from a different angle and in snow.

Here is the keeper image from today.

I was rather lucky to capture the lens flare when I realized the settings I had on the camera were all wrong for the light and quickly switched the camera to Program and let it pick the settings–there is only so much time at a light, you know :) The shot below is a one I salvaged from all of the highly overexposed images which preceded the keeper and to which I applied the Cyanotype preset in Lightroom 3.

The Magnolia at Dusk – Magnolia liliiflora – Direct Positive Lightroom Preset

As I noted in the post yesterday, this tree is likely to have many pictures taken of it. This is true not only because of its lovely blossoms but also because of its shape. I think you will agree that it is pretty amazing.

Having been pretentious enough to name my house, I am not going to name every blessed thing in and around it, but I do think this tree deserves one. I am thinking Queen followed by something, because she looks rather queenly to me. I will let you know if I come up with anything.

The Direct Positive preset is an interesting one. It brings up the black values and dramatically increases the saturation levels of blue, aqua, purple and a little in green and yellow. I almost always tone the effect way down, but it can make for some intense, striking images.

Matt’s Lomo Effect

We live in amazing times. The difference between the pictures below is the result of applying only one effect which I downloaded from the Internet which was created for my Lightroom photoediting program. In fact, I too could come up with a series of adjustments and then export them as a “preset” and put it on the Internet and share it with other folks.

The effect that Matt has created here, very successfully I should add, is a special one, though. Matt has intimitated some of the effects one may get from using a Lomo camera. These cheap cameras, made in the former Soviet Union, were somewhat unreliable, but also could produce images with high contrast, intense color saturation, cool vignetting and accidental blurring from time to time. My friend, Jeremy Huggins, created some beautiful images with his Lomo. The only one I can find online currently, though, is his entry into my last photo contest (#7 here).

I am not sure how much I will use this effect, and I will likely tinker with it when I do, but I find lomo-style images very appealing.

meshuggah lamp

meshuggah lamp lomo

Name That Album

From time to time I like to play around with images that might serve as band pictures or album art, particularly when my friends are cooperative, which they, very kindly, often are. This shot was taken on a trip to Chicago this past weekend when we were sitting by Lake Michigan. I began manipulating this image by using the “Direct Positive” preset in Adobe Lightroom, which creates vivid colors and high contrast, and then went from there.

I think that the style of this picture could work for either a Sigur Ros or Innocence Mission album. However, if you want to play along at home, feel free to come up with an album and/or fictional band name to accompany the image and include it in a comment.

lake michigan