Street Photography, Kinston, North Carolina

The Boiler Room

“The Boiler Room” is the second restaurant founded and operated by acclaimed chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight. Their first, “The Chef and the Farmer” was the catalyst that has led to the rebirth of Kinston, a small city in southeastern North Carolina. The entrance to “The Boiler Room” is via the alley shown above. It gives the restaurant a gritty, blue collar feel.  Howard’s Peabody Award Winning television series,  “A Chef’s Life”, is on PBS.

Mother Earth Brewing Tap Room

Mother Earth is another major player in Kinston’s second coming.  Entrepreneur Stephen Hill has turned Mother Earth into a powerhouse in the craft brewing industry.  He’s also behind the second coming of a major section of Kinston with two hotels, a motel and several homes to his credit.  The rub off has been amazing with an array of eateries, shops, galleries and now in the works, a vodka distillery.

I do a fair amount of street photography in Eastern North Carolina, most of it is stock for Getty Images.  My usual practice is to shoot street scenes in black and white ,  but I decided on color for this batch because of the richness of the textures, tones, and hues involved.  I used a Nikon D800E and a D750.  More next time.  Thanks for the look and have a great week ahead.

Reprocessing old RAW Files

I wrenched my lower back this past week.  I wasn’t trying to lift a car or anything, just bending over in a chair to tie my shoe.  I was greeted with the awful muted pop!  I knew what happened as soon as I felt it.  I’ve had the problem with my lower back for a long time.  I won’t bore you with all the whys etc.  It all  comes down to sitting….. too long!  Sitting too long at the computer processing photographs and writing….another book.   Any orthopedist will tell you, sitting is never good for the back. Ever!

I had to stop sitting so much.  It required some lifestyle changes.  I got my old oak, adjustable drafting table out of the barn here on the farm and refinished it.  It now serves as my desk.  And,  I bought one of those standing pads and a good  pair of walking shoes with a large “toe box.”  Mine are New Balance 877’s. They are working wonders for me.  ( I am not paid by New Balance to endorse their shoes.)   I wear a back brace often during the day and I am doing lower lumbar exercises every morning and afternoon and my wife and I bought a new firm mattress.  I have good days and bad days but overall, I get the idea things are improving.

I know this is a photography blog.  Stay with me.  I’m getting to it.

So what to do when you can’t go roaming for that perfect shot?  You work on old files.  Since I converted to digital photography in 2009, I have shot everything in RAW.  Nikon’s version of that is called NEF. Raw is, for lack of a better term, a digital negative.  It captures everything the camera sees.  It does not condense or compress any of the data.  The downside is, shooting and keeping raw files requires an enormous amount of space.  These files are BIG.  I have five external drives devoted to storing these things as well as on line storage in the so-called cloud.  These files require processing or conversion before posting or printing.  It’s sort of like developing  film in the old days.  I use the conversion program in Photoshop Elements.

Going back and reworking old gems allowed me to take advantage of software tools that either were not around or I did not know about about at the time of the original conversion.  This past week, I’ve been reprocessing shots are from the summer of 2011 taken on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, one of my favorite places for photography.

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Sea Oates at Duck Posted to Flickr August 9, 2014  Blogged. Facebook

My reason for going back and reworking these shots was to remove camera shake (I had taken these handheld with no tripod. Now I know better) and to use the haze reduction tool.  You’ll have to take my word for it that the sharpness and clarity of these two views are remarkable improvements over the originals.

So if you don’t shoot your images in the RAW format your camera has, think about it.  External drives and on-line storage are  pretty cheap. Flickr is free!   You’ll have the benefit of seeing just about everything your camera has recorded and, you’ll have something to take your mind off an aching back….for a while.   Thanks for the read, have a good week and stop sitting so much!

Sour Grass

Sour Grass as it is more widely known, is actually Wild Sorrel; a short lived perennial that dots fields and open spaces every Spring along the Eastern United States.  Distinguished by its reddish pink color, it is edible to a point point with an acidic, sour taste.  It offers a marvelous foreground enhancement when photographing otherwise barren fields prior to Spring planting.

Shot with a Nikon D800E Camera using an 18mm Nikkor Lens,  I used my usual set up for sunrise photography: Manual program, Spot metering, taking my exposure reading away from the Sun in the blue sky, f/22 for 1/320th of a second, Auto White Balance, ISO 400. No Filters.  I shoot everything in Nikon’s RAW Format (NEF) and I use Photoshop Elements to convert the image to jpeg.  Ah yes, I also use a tripod for all landscape shots: A SLIK Pro 5000X.  Thank you for the look-in and have a great week.

Flags of Spring

Japanese Maple with bright red Formosa Azalea flowers in the background.  

                                                        Nikon D7100, Center Weight Metering, Shutter Priority, f5.6, 1/400, Auto

                                                         White Balance, ISO 400

Cherry Blossoms. 

Nikon D7100, Shutter Priority, Center Weight Metering, f/7.1, 1/640, Auto

White Balance, ISO 400

 

The wind off the ocean is pretty much constant here so most of my flower shots

are done in Shutter Priority.

Thanks for the visit. Blue skies and green lights in the week ahead.  See you

next time.

Dogwood Festival

The Dogwoods went into hibernation during the week and half freeze but blossomed with the return of warmer temperatures.  Within a week the flags of Spring were on full display.

 

 

These are wild dogwoods that have popped up on the farm over the years.  Attempts to transplant them to suit one’s own landscaping plan are iffy.  Wild things don’t like to be tamed.  And it seems the wild ones are less prone to the myriad of diseases that plague hybrids.  Wild or hybrid, they are very photogenic.

These were taken with a Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens on a Nikon D750 Camera.  Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.

An Azalea Affair

It was a short season, the annual festival of azalea blooms that charm the south.  It was the schizophrenic weather that did them in, reducing the vibrant flowers to drooping puddles of faded color.  But not all met their demise..  It gave thought to the possibility that old doesn’t always equate to impending doom.  Maybe 60 year old azaleas are made of sterner stuff.  Witness these giant Formosa Azaleas that weathered three days of 20 degree nights.

As you may have gathered, I have changed my mind about ditching this blog. Sort of!  The fancy custom address is gone but I figured if 60 year old Azaleas can carry on, this 72 year old shooter can.  See you after the next frost, maybe before.   

 

Photo Of The Week: Up Close & Personal

A few splotches of color returned to the landscape this week. Not that we’ve been living in a totally drab world; the Sasanquas and Camellias have been showing their glory  since late October.  Now the Daffodils and Japanese Quince have joined the chorus.

The occasion prompted some lens changes.  The 60 mm and 105 mm macro lenses were clicked into place as I waded into the Daffodil patch and the huge, very prickly Japanese Quince.   It was a nice preview of what’s to come in a few months.  Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead. _dsc8649_dsc8592-1