We spent most of last Saturday at Rock Creek near Beatrice, Nebraska. Some people dressed up as Pioneers and were doing various things in the low tech lifestyle of the pioneers. Here is a lady spinning yarn into rope, and a kid trying on his stilts.
And another fellow who kindly agreed to pose with his cooking pots. Also, this gentleman gave us a ride around.
To tell the truth, I wasn't that interested in pioneer lifestyle. I was more interested in testing my new Cokin Blue/Yellow polarizer. This thing is truly amazing. The first picture is without any filter, straight out of camera.
Rather plain, eh? Then, I slapped on the Blue/yellow polarizer, and applied a small turn to it. Here is what I got.
A lot more interesting, no? But it reeked artificial. So, I imported this to Lightroom, and I did the following. White balance eyedropper on the signboard in the back. That made it a bit more natural, but it brought up ugly blue fringing around the leaves of the big trees. To deal with that, I went to split toning. Selected shadows, moved the hue slider to select yellow and then moved the saturation slider to 70. That took care of the blue fringe. Then, I went to the general exposure adjustments. First thing I did was to increase the blacks to about 15, it started looking the way I wanted, but it was still a bit yellow overall. Then I clicked on the color tab, selected yellow, increased luminance to 30, cut down the saturation till a bit of green emerged in the grass. Then I clicked the green tab, decreased luminance to -30 and increased saturation to 50. Here is the result.
A lot more interesting, what do you think? I did not do anything about the vignetting, it just went away with just a bit of zooming of the lens. After a bit of looking at this, the yellow cast started bugging me. So, I opened it in viveza, clicked on the yellow grass and reduced saturation. What do you think?
Gary took us to this event in Topeka. It was kind of him. We left Omaha before daybreak, and returned early evening. Here are some of my exploits from the day :-)
Here are some sponsor ads that caught my eye :-) These were taken before the race began.
The contestants had put up tents and were checking out their cars. People crowded around for a peek. So did I :-)
Well, they were not into vices, the sign said "services", but given the loud noise and the amount of smoke, you'd have to wonder :-) Is there a pattern of lines and forms in the engine? Think so. I took this picture after they turned off the engine. Phew.
They also had radio-controlled cars. There I found a good picture. Ok, not that technically good. But I liked it :-)
Then we went to the gallery. This is how it looked.
The gallery across from us.
I tried to get a good panning shot, but it was not easy :-( Here is one of my better efforts. Unfortunately, I did not catch the front of that car.
There were other photographers around, in better locations than us. Here is one of them with his big glass. 800mm? Notice he carries a second body as well.
A bit of fireworks, much anticipated by the crowds, and equally disliked by the contestants.
There were crews finessing the track. One was sprikling water (?) and the other was doing something with rubber.
It was a long day, and some people put their feet up.
I proved to myself that I was not quite ready for the day. Have to go back there again. See ya!
I spent about 2 hours at the event, in bright sunlight. Of 130 pictures, 15 were somewhat presentable. Here are those. A few were slightly cropped, and all were increased in contrast trying to reduce the glare. All in Lightroom, because I wanted to do them quickly :-)
The first picture demonstrates how a photographer is different from all others. These battery cars are making the line of division. We Indians call it the Laxman rekha (line drawn by Laxman). And the photographer is Rich. You can go to his website.
I liked the colors of the Harvard car, and how they appeared to be a wee bit more involved in the rally.
And these are the trophies they were hoping for.
Photographers waiting to capture the "decisive moment" :-)
Photographing the competition...
Those who did not compete were more relaxed.
Preparing to eat....