Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Posts Tagged ‘lighting’

Into the Night

Posted by Ben on September 10, 2010

Wow, the last few weeks have really flown by.  I’ve been pretty busy, and unfortunately haven’t had a whole lot of time for photography or blogging.  Classes have been going well, though I’ve got a lot of work in most of them already.  My colloquium this semester is on photography.  Each week we’ll have a sort of prompt to go out and photograph.  This is the one I took for this week’s class, whose prompt was “architecture.”  This is a photo of Burruss Hall on campus.  I went out Monday night after the disappointing end to the football game.  I set up my tripod in front of the building and set the exposure to about 13 seconds.  There was a little bit of editing to this shot, straightening it and darkening it a bit.  I really like the way the lights ended up in this shot, and the way the building seems to fade into the darkness at the top.


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Out of the Darkness

Posted by Ben on April 5, 2010

This past Saturday, I had originally planned to go hiking with some friends.  Unfortunately, plans ended up falling through and we had to cancel the hike.  Instead, I decided to go for another drive through the back roads of Virginia.  This time I went north and east instead of south and west.  I did not do quite as good of a job of picking paved roads to drive on as I have in the past, but I had a good time.  As I was driving down state road 621, I passed by a small pond to the right of the road with an old mill building right beside the mill.  I didn’t notice the hole in the wall with the exposed gears until it was too late to stop.  Luckily, I was able to find a place a little ways down the road to pull in and turn around.  I found a grassy patch on the side of the road just barely big enough for me to pull off into and park.  You can clearly see where the old water wheel would have been.  I thought the gears inside the building were really cool, though I wasn’t able to get a picture that showed them in good detail without completely washing out the exterior, especially the rocks…or so I thought.

Later, when I made it back to the dorm, after some pretty rough roads up near Mountain Lake, I was playing around with this shot in Photoshop, looking at all of the “artistic” filters available.  As I was working my way through them, this one really stood out:

This is the “Bas Relief” filter.  While it is definitely a cool effect, what really caught my eye was that it picked up the smaller gear inside the building, as well as some of the woodwork back there.  It meant that it actually captured the smaller gear in the shot, you just couldn’t see it in the final version.  This gave me the idea to play with the “Shadows/Highlights” options for the original.  Sure enough, the recommended settings in Photoshop brought out that gear from the shadows.  The image definitely picks up somewhat of an unrealistic look to it, but I think it’s pretty cool.


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Warmer Days

Posted by Ben on February 14, 2010

Anyone in Blacksburg now could tell you that this picture has to be at least a few weeks old.  This one was taken a few days before our first major snow of the semester, back when you could still see the ground.  I think I’ve mentioned before that the sunset light here during the winter casts a really nice reddish/orange tint over everything.  This picture was taken from the duckpond end of the drillfield looking towards Torg bridge and the pylons.  I’ve realized that while sunsets can be exceptionally pretty, if you focus solely on them, you may be missing amazing colors elsewhere.

I really like the nice warm colors in this picture, on the ground, on the buildings, and in the clouds.  The polarizing filter also helped to get some of the blue from the sky as well.  I really like the reflections off the windows on the left as well.

I ended up having a great time Friday night.  I think the dance, and hanging out with all of the people there, was just what the doctor had ordered after a long, stressful week.  Assuming I can get my car out of the parking lot on Tuesday, I’ll be flying down to Ft. Worth, TX for an interview with Lockheed Martin on Wednesday.  Hopefully they won’t end up with 3 feet of snow.

In very unrelated news, sometime while I was out dancing Friday night, I hit 4000 views on this blog.  So thanks to everyone for staying with me!

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Posted by Ben on September 21, 2009


This photo shows the late-day sun shining through some tall grasses along the edge of the duckpond.  I was walking by these plants when the sun suddenly came out from behind a cloud and lit them up.  The illuminated plants themselves are really cool, but I also like the contrast between the streak of brightness running from the top right to the bottom left and the darker areas in the top left and bottom right.  I think it also helped having a fairly solid, dark background to the shot that was out of focus and blurry.  Though you can make out a tree trunk in the background near the left side of the picture.  The little bit of light coming in from the top left corner almost makes me think this picture comes from more of a steamy jungle setting than a relatively cool evening in Blacksburg.  I also like that all of the plant stalks are leaning to the same side, as if they were reaching out toward the light.

Sorry again for the long time between photos, I’ve been stressed out about a lot of school-related things over the past couple of weeks.  However, I’ve made a couple of changes that I think should help settle things down again.


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