Take A Step Back

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Where I’ve been

I’m very sorry I haven’t posted my “1 photo a day” routine. I haven’t had access to all of my equipment and can’t currently afford to keep my Adobe Cloud subscription going.

Take A Step Back

I took this at a very good friend’s house in Pennsylvania. Each year these plants pop up, even with their yard maintainance. They must be very hearty plants.

I had taken a series of photos like this in different locations that, to me, inspire urban decay or a sense of nature taking back the planet. It’s also reminiscent of post-apocalyptic stories like The Last of Us or Revolution.

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Pink Blossoms

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I currently can’t afford my Lightroom subscription, but I did find what may turn out to be a suitable alternative open-source program called LightZone.

It will take a few photos, I think, until I can start really judging how I feel about its capabilities and output.

For instance: this flower photo I edited in LightZone. I’m not sure if it was my ISO or if LightZone was really rough on the image, but there’s a fair amount of grain in this photo. I still think it’s a great photo, but I’m not sure if that’s the program or how much of it might be the program.

Bee Mine

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About all-in-focus insect photography

There’s a multi-photograph technique that you can use to edit stunning macro photographs.

Essentially the method is using multiple photographs, each at different focus points and layering them to achieve one photo where the subject is completely in focus.

It can be tough to get so close to a Grasshopper, Bee or tiny row of flowers and get much in focus. The closer I get the shorter the focal range I have. I can sometimes get a head in stunning detail, but the back or wings if even slightly farther away from the lens will be blurry.

I haven’t learned the exact process yet, but if you take a series of photos to capture the head in focus in one, the abdomen in another and the wings in yet another(just as an example), you can then combine them on your computer and mix them so only the in-focus parts come through – thus achieving an entire picture that is all in focus.

Until then, I very much love trying to capture tiny life like Mr. Bee here.

Painted Field

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This is what happens when you boost vibrance, saturation, clarity and luminance on an early morning field of Goldenrod.

I decided to have some fun and just play with some extreme settings. At first I just wanted to draw out more color from the sky, but then I saw I was getting an oil-painting quality out of the weeds and kept going – adjusting for an overall pleasant look to that end.

I kind of like it. It’s not typically what I would choose to do and I almost didn’t pick this photograph to upload at all, but decided I liked it enough to include it.

Melting Morning Dew

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Back from vacation

I ended up on an extended vacation of about 10 days. I would have like to have taken my mobile photo lab to continue to post daily, but in a way, it was nice to take a true vacation. I enjoyed seeing many old friends of mine, but am also glad to be back to take and post more photos.

Frozen dew thawing in the morning light

This was take at the Springfield Bog in Ohio. This was on my latest trip before sunrise. That day was cold enough that everything was covered in dew that froze ovenight. It was really cool to see everything coated in frozen droplets of water.

Power Line Silhouette

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Those tricky sunrise and sunset photos

I have captured some great sunrise photos, but my ratio of good to bad is far from my liking. And sunset photos? Part of my brain just doesn’t “get it” yet.

But one thing I have found I love is a nice contrast and silhouette shot.

This was taken at Springfield Bog in Ohio.

The sun hadn’t quite rounded the hill yet and the power line I once bemoaned became my subject. If you look closely, you’ll see three tiny birds sitting in a row on the left side of the photo, on the line.

I’m going to add 2 versions of this to my SmugMug: the one above and a skinny version(mimicking a panoramic shot).

Red Tailed Hawk

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Venturing on to Photoshop and landscapes

I’ve started researching and teaching myself how to use Photoshop and make some fancy landscape photo edits. The results run the gamut from just adding a bit more color to sweeping, artistic renderings that almost resemble paintings. I don’t quite know what I’ll end up enjoying the most, but I can’t wait to learn!

Red Tailed Hawk

I took another trip with my Cousin to Quail Hollow in Ohio. We first tried to park in the Mansion parking lot, but it was full. We turned around, and just started out when I saw a lady walking down a gravel road, but noticed something on her arm. Upon closer look I realized it was a big bird.

My Cousin immediately put the car in park and the lady knew what to expect when two people were approaching her with cameras at the ready.

She was very nice and let us snap a number of photos.

I actually didn’t know this, but Quail Hollow houses a number of birds of prey and during certain times one can actually go view them. I will really enjoy doing that in the future, but I think the better photos will always be had oustide without wiring and pen walls showing up in the photos.