Current Desktop


This is a section of graffiti off the wall in the marina that surrounds the boat yard. The only new pictures that I have taken this week have been of Moreno, and they are still on the D80. Inspiration for this picture came from Glenn who posted something similar on his site last week.

I didn’t actually take this as a photograph as you will see from the original below. It is a part of a much larger photograph that I took off the beach. It is a testament to the power of Photoshop really, the ability to take a small section of a photograph and turn it into a whole image. That and the fact it was shot in RAW on the D80 of course.

Personally I am pleased with the way this has worked out, specifically the way my ‘eye’ and ‘creativity’ are developing. I have straightened, cropped and enhanced the colours. I have always been an admirer of creative ‘street art’ so long as it isn’t done in a destructive manner. This is tasteful, and adds a nice bright look to what would otherwise be a drab wall.

As ever let me have your thoughts.

Original Photograph



12 thoughts on “Current Desktop

  1. Gary

    I’m afraid I’m really not a fan of graffiti under any circumstances. However, you have managed to produce a nice colourful image here.

    I see two things to comment upon. The first is that I find the net distracting – there are no two ways about it. (However, I realise that it might be a bit impractical to shoot from another location to avoid it.) The other thing that could be improved would be the sharpness of the image – it’s a little “soft” for my liking. Unfortunately, unless you did a lot of masking, the net would also be sharpened and become more distracting. Damned if you do – damned if you don’t… 🙂

  2. Danny

    Neat photo, but Im not sure I could live with it as a desktop. I tend to prefer subtleties of colour that set cocoa windows off nicely and I think that guy’s eye would freak me out after a while :p

  3. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Gary: actually the net is the beach volleyball net so if I had planned to take the photograph and had gone closer (rather than just ‘spotting it’ in the original photograph) it wouldn’t be there. Maybe will take a specific photograph of this at some stage to demonstrate and make sharper.

    @Danny: I can see that! I only keep the photographs as the desktop for a week. It all started as a discipline to make me actually look in more detail at each photograph. Is amazing what you start to ‘see’ after a week in each photograph re improvements for next time. Does look a bit freaky on the 23″ though I admit!

  4. Gary

    I wondered if that might have been a sports net, but thought it was too wide since it extended out of both sides of the original image.

    On this potential reshoot – sans net – it might be interesting to focus on the nearer wall and use as narrow a depth of field (DoF) as you have available (f/4.0 for example) to deliberately allow the back wall to drift out of focus. Then only sharpen the foreground which has both the graffiti – and the texture from the concrete…

    If you’re going to try this, you want to use a lens with a longer focal length (a telephoto lens) rather than a shorter focal length (a wide angle lens). This would mean that you’d stand further back from the subject to produce the same basic composition. If you only have a single zoom lens (such as the popular kit lenses, like the 18-55(?) zoom that came with my EOS 350d) then you’ll simply want to use the 55mm end of the zoom range. This is because the same aperture (f number) produces a different DoF as the focal length varies.

  5. Chris Marshall Post author

    Getting a couple of new lenses is high on the list of priority, once I have the current project funded 😉

    At the moment I only have the the 18mm – 135mm 1:3.5-5.6

    I am thinking of a wide angle and a telephoto. Any suggestions as to best ‘mix’?

  6. Gary

    The lenses I have accumulated since buying the EOS 350d a bit over a year ago are as follows:
    – Canon EF-S 18-55 II USM (standard kit lens)
    – Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
    – Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

    The Sigma telephoto zoom was bought last year and the wide zoom earlier this year. I have used the wide zoom waaaay more than the other lenses. I really like it. Sometimes, you have to watch that you don’t catch your toes in a shot! 🙂

    The ranges I currently have are: 10-20   18-55   70-300

    The next lens I get will probably replace the kit lens. It’s not especially high quality – although until I got a better quality lens against which to compare it, I didn’t really appreciate this, in spite of having been warned. I’ll be looking for something in the middle, but it won’t have to exactly span the 21-69 gap between the two Sigma lenses. Perhaps the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG MACRO with its maximum f2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range could be next. I’m making do for now, so haven’t been looking into this.

    I guess what I’m basically saying is that I, for one, don’t think you need to have continuous coverage (or even overlap) through the zoom range.

  7. Chris Marshall Post author

    I have the same thoughts on the spread of the lenses. When I bought the D80 I specifically went for what I felt would be a good all round lens that would last, as even though I anticipated adding more lenses, I also knew that there would be many times when I just wanted to carry one lens with me. So far I have been very happy with the one that I got.

    As far as a zoom lens goes what is the difference between a Wide-Angle Zoom Lens 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Af-S Zoom and a Zoom lens 14mm f/2.8D ED AF Nikkor which both come in at around $1400? Hopefully that isn’t a naive question!!!

    I am looking at the following Telephoto lenses:

    The 300mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor which goes for around $900 second hand, or $1500 new, or the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor which is around $500 new.

    Early days yet – but always fun to start the `planning process 🙂

  8. Mac Sokulski

    Wouldn’t the 18-135 lens be considered a wide angle? It would be nice if it was a bit faster as in F2.8 or smaller, but other than that if I had this type, I would not be looking for a 17-35 lens. I might be wrong here. Also with the telephoto, a dedicated 300 zoom will make you change lenses more often. I my opinion a 70-300 gives you more option and more freedom, if you want to cary one lens. Again I can be wrong, but that’s my preference.

  9. Chris Marshall Post author

    Well in theory yes, but I don’t feel that the current lens is a wide angle at all! I guess it would make sense to go even lower though as Gary has done with his 10-20.

    Happy with your view on the 70-300, saves me a lot of money 🙂

  10. Gary

    @Chris – yup I think your 18-135 sounds like a good general purpose lens.

    At a quick glance, the two Nikon zooms that you mention seem like quite good lenses. They’re both f/2.8 lenses, which makes them both a bit faster than your “average” lenses. That’ll put the price up a bit. The 14mm is not a zoom lens though – it’s a fixed focal length lens. I guess it would be a case of horses for courses with them.

    In general, I would guess that the 300mm lens is a bit of a specialist lens. Good, for example, for a fairly serious nature watcher (or sports?) though longer would be even better. However, I would think that its strength would also be its limitation. Whatever way you cut it, it’s still a 300mm fixed focal length lens. Whereas the slightly slower 70-300mm lens would have a much wider, general appeal due to its enhanced general versatility.

  11. Gary

    @Mac: is 18mm wide? Yes, until you have tried the 10-20mm! 🙂

    As with any lens, I guess you have to ask yourself whether you can justify or you require a particular focal range… If you’ve never really wanted/needed to “go wider”, then your 18mm will probably suffice.

    Agree with your take on the 70-300mm, as noted above.

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