Sunday, December 17, 2006

Picture Onslaught: Winter and Festivities in Coventry

Winter could be a very depressing season. It is always cold and gloomy -making everyone prefer to hibernate indoors- and the day is extremely short. The sun sets at around 3.40pm meaning that on a weekend such as today, by the time we have all got out of bed and showered, it is already almost dark!

At 3.40pm, it was already almost dawn.

The family tends to stay indoors during weekdays when I'm occupied with work so every weekend, I always try to get take the family out to stretch their legs and get fresh air. It is very fortunate that today was sunny and bright; a marked change from the last 2 weeks gloom, rain and cold. Our destination this weekend was a walk from Swanswell park (above) to the city centre (below).

If the colours seem a bit garish that's because thanks to Rosli's recent visit, I've just discovered to hue/saturation tool in Photoshop. Today I've been tweaking the colours in my photos to death. One particularly unsuccessful attempt was this one:

I'm still finding it difficult to make my Photoshopped images look realistic, hopefully another visit to Rosli's would remedy that.

Above are pictures of the family on the blue bridge heading towards the Whittle Arch, which I've photographed again and again. This time Puan Mama Sarah is juxtaposed against the arches, just to give an impression of size difference.

At night is when the magic starts; the city suddenly jolts to life with a myriad of different colours from the Christmas lights.

Sarah indulged on several rides around town - even Amar braved one on a tractor. Just look at Sarah's delighted expressions! The atmosphere during this time of year is brilliant (unless it's rainy and cold).

It was really nice to bring the family out to absorb the atmosphere of the festivities, and believe it or not, all the pictures above were taken between 3 and 5 p.m. Talk about short day eh? After 5 p.m it gets so dark that we all tend to lock ourselves indoors and think about sleep. I'm already looking forward to next weekend ... hopefully, it'd be as sunny as today.


pycnogenol said...

Oh how I just LOVE the gathering and cuddling together in front of the TV munching tid bits in winter, wathing perhaps "Stars in their eyes" or even silly silly "Blind Date" hosted by Cilla Black.

Now that my children are all grown up and scattered all over Mynn, our get-togethers are a luxury. Usahkan nak 'cuddle', bila Pycno pegang tangan pun, ada yang marah: "Tak payah lah Ayah!!"

Sian Pycno. :( So, enjoy the moment while you can....;)

OK said...

Dear Min,

I have been trying for ages to put in a comment on the blog, but for some reason have not been able to until today..

Anyway, I would like to say thank you to Rosli and friends for helping you out with the photos, they are improving more and more every time. Technical portion aside, I still think composition is the most important thing to get right and I think yours are great.

On the winter front,I am looking forward to my 10 days rest starting this friday, for Hari Raya and New Years celebration.

I am already looking forward to raiding Low Yat and the Book stores to satisfy my needs for gadgets and books.

Maybe go to Berjaya Megamall (there is a Sony shop there) hehehe.

Currently I am looking into buyong the SDF-1 for my collection for the new house... yeeesss... hehehe... for those who can remember that far back will remember SDF-1 with fond memories..

until next time then...

Rosli said...

aahh mynn...plenty of opportunity to test out first and second curtain up any??

ikelah said...

treak....jangan tak tweak but dont tweak excessively, nanti jadi plastic-like.

i just think some are under exposed with poor contrast. is the lighting bad?

mynn said...

regarding tweaking, i still need lots of experience to see what works and what doesnt. hopefully will improve with time. however, i think rosli just has an eye for art as all his photos look realistic despite being photoshopped!

re: the poor contrast & underexposed photos - heh heh heh - i blame the kids! the kids were tired of walking & the cold and were crying, so i had to take all the photos quickly with little time to tweak the histogram. unfortunately with my camera, shooting in "P" mode doesnt guarantee perfect results. (by the way rosli, tak guna P as much as before dah). also, nowadays I shoot using the "faithful" setting meaning that the colour, contrast, sharpness etc are all set to "0". i was thinking of photoshopping the colour, contrast and sharpness - but i guess my skills are still not up to scratch :)

darn it, i was thinking of second curtain flash as well - especially on the rides. but the rides lasts barely 1 minute, and i was lost in the sea of menus on how to set second curtain flash! argh ... but i tried ...

hey long time, man. if it's difficult to leave a comment - just do what i do : sign in as "other" or "anonymous". so how are you guys doing, lama tak dengar. as for us, we are also looking forward to our xmas-->new years holiday. among what im doing is going to belfast, ireland to help azim. then going back to coventry to spend time with the family & friends.

happy shopping ok - what else are you planning to get? dont forget unboxing pictures hahaha.

you know what pycno, we love to cuddle amar too. right now at the age of 3, Sarah is already sick of us hugging her and just the other day i was wondering when amar will start hating it too. like Anne puts as the title of her blog; among the best thing in the world is holding a baby in your arms.

dith said...

Uh oh...someone is missing cradling a baby in his better get ready Nisak!!!

Rosli said...

kwang kwang kuang!! mynn wants a new baby in the house hahahahaha..

mynn said...

eh tak lah, not until amar is at least 3 years old!

tau tak adobe photoshop CS3 dah keluar beta. have a read of the features here.

anne said...

hehe... wah lao. tetiba got special mention pulak. which got me inspired me to write a short entry about the so-called title of my blog. Mynn, just so u know, i'm beginning to read your photography entries. hehe, valuable lessons here- though half the time i don't have an inkling wht you're talking about!

Rosli said...

CS3 hahahha..i think i'll wait until the full version is released on Torrentreactor :D

mynn said...

the photo entries are meant to be skimmed for fast viewing and don't worry about the text so much anne:) even i dont understand what i write most of the time.

hesh, selamba je!! negara ni boleh kena tangkap kalau cakap pasal piracy tau. internet address boleh dikesan. jaga2. having said that, CS3 looks very222 promising, cant wait to "see" the full product - new interface, new fetures, faster. cant wait!!

rosli said...

hmm...i cant wait to "see" it as the way..what the hell is it?? PS3's rival?? :P

Rosli said...

mynn: honestly at the moment, i think you got enuff good lenses. Instead of buying another sigma why dont you invest on a strobe lights and softboxes hehehe lagi seronok! aku pun buleh tumpang sekaki huahahahah! Gurau je..Nisak jgn marah ye hehe

rosli said...

mynn: HDR tu aku buat with only one file aje but i under and over exposed the original file in pshop and tone map guna Photomatix Pro. Apparently HDR plug-ins dalam pshop is not as good.