Monday Image – Sunset Stroll

I took my big glass, my Nikkor 14-24mm wide angle lens, with my Nikon D700 down to the beach at sunset yesterday. Unfortunately there weren’t enough clouds to provide a lot of drama (darn those clear New Mexico skies! ūüôā ) but I had fun shooting anyway.

We weren’t the only ones on the beach. Caught this shot of a couple taking a stroll with their dog.

ElephantButteSP_20181028_053 tpz

Click on the photo to view larger on my Flickr site.

Processed this one in Paint Shop Pro X9, using the Topaz Adjust plug-in.

Have a great week, everyone!

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Friday Foto – Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico

Here’s another image I shot this week on the dry lake bed at Elephant Butte Lake State Park near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The exposed gray branches, lit by the midday sun, contrast nicely with the dark brown sand and work really well for black and white processing.

ElephantButteSP_20181024_030 bw

Click on the photo to view larger on my Flickr site.

Feels good to be exploring the world with my Nikon 700 again. This was minimally processed in Paint Shop Pro X9.

I’m planning to post here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for as long as I’m inspired to do so. You can also see my earlier stuff on my Flickr page.

 

Natural Zen in Sepia

Today was kind of strange. ¬†It was Christmas Eve Eve, and a Friday at that, so it was a day that I really didn’t expect to get much work done. ¬†But, adding to the weirdness of the day, my work laptop somehow acquired a virus, so it’s been out of commission since day before yesterday. ¬†I spent hours on Skype with our helpdesk yesterday trying to get my system up and running, to no avail. ¬†So today they’re shipping me a replacement laptop, which should arrive early next week.

There wasn’t much I could do today, other than check my email (using my own personal computer) and respond as necessary–and I only received two emails that required responses. ¬†By lunchtime I was ready to get out of the house and away from the computer. ¬†So even though it was a gray, overcast day, I decided to do a little shooting. ¬†I’ve been wanting to take some Zen-inspired photos to have framed for my home office, and I thought today would be the perfect time to do that.

Andy went with me on the excursion, and we drove out to Elvis Presley Lake, just north of where we live. ¬†We had not been there yet, so we weren’t sure what to expect in the way of photo ops. ¬†We found a nice lake with camping spots, picnic tables, boat ramps and fishing piers, and very nice bath and shower facilities.

I wanted to get some shots using very shallow depth of field, so I used my 50mm prime lens. ¬†We found a spot where there were some downed trees near the water’s edge, and I took a few shots before the cold wind literally drove us back to the car. ¬†Here are three that I processed this afternoon, using Paintshop Photo Pro X4 and Topaz Black & White Effects using the Sepia presets. ¬†I sized these to be 5 x 7’s, and I’m going to have them mounted in 8 x 10 or 8.5 x 11 frames to go in my office. ¬†I used similar processing on each one as I want them to be displayed as ¬†a set:

Pine Log in Sepia

Grass in Sepia

Pine Cone in Sepia

After warming up for just a minute, we walked over the hill where the wind was a little less biting, and took some shots of the boat docks and the fishing pier. There was a large sign on the pier that said “No Swimming”. Just a few yards from the entrance to the pier, I found this lying on the bed of pine needles, and couldn’t resist grabbing a quick photo to be processed in Topaz Adjust. ¬†Needless to say, this image will NOT be joining the others on my office wall, but I did find the photo to be oddly compelling:

Goggles

 

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The Payoff for Getting Up Early

Several of my photographer buddies from work decided to do an early morning photowalk in Tempe, Arizona this past Saturday morning. ¬†The plan was to meet at the Starbucks on Mill Avenue between 6:00 and 6:15 AM. ¬†Since it’s a 35 minute drive for me to get there, I had to get up at an ungodly hour (for a Saturday). ¬†It was so tempting to just bail on the guys, but I thought it would be a great chance to compare notes with other non-professionals, plus get some good sunrise shots on Tempe Town Lake.

There were four of us (not too many, not too few), and we had a great time exploring the area on the south side of the Lake from before dawn until after the sun rose. ¬†I’ll be posting more shots from our photowalk, but I’ll start with this one:

Tempe Town Lake Just Before Dawn

To the right is the Mill Avenue bridge which carries vehicle traffic. To the left you can see the light trails created from the passing of the light rail train as it traveled over the Lake. The boats are just waiting for the sun to come up to start taking passengers.

You can see more shots from our photowalk in the set that I’ve posted on Flickr, called Tempe Photowalk 2011.01.15. I’ve just started processing, so more images will be added to the set soon. I’ll be posting a few more on this blog as well.

This was my first photowalk, and I’d like to thank Ed Brice for organizing things for us, and Adam Schmid and Kurt Neurauter for lots of great tips and good humor. I had a blast and look forward to more of these excursions!

Lake Mohawk at Sunrise

On the first morning I was at Lake Mohawk (last Friday), I got up fairly early and walked down the road “a piece”, as they say, to the south end of the levee where I set up my tripod to get some shots of the lake at sunrise.¬† I was hoping that there would be a good bit of fog on the lake, but I think I got out there just a little bit too late, so there was just a hint of mist left.¬† I took several series of bracketed shots, intending to process them as HDR images, but as it turned out, the breeze was blowing pretty good that morning, so the foilage produced a lot of ghosting on the HDR’s.

So I went through the individual shots and pulled out some to process on their own, and I don’t think they turned out too bad:

These were all processed in PaintShop Pro X3 from the raw NEF files.¬† The larger versions look better, and can be seen on my Flickr page in the Lake Mohawk set.¬† Hope you’ll visit there and let me know how you like these shots as well as the ones I posted earlier.

Also, just want to remind you that I have a separate project in the works at 365Project.org.¬† That’s where I’m posting one photograph every day, taken with my Blackberry Tour.¬† It’s actually a fun little project, and I’d encourage everyone to join in and post those candid shots taken with your cell phone!¬† Or, if you don’t want to post your own shots, feel free to follow me on my project!

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Slight Change In Perspective

Still working on the photos that I took last weekend in North Mississippi.¬† Late in the afternoon on the last day I was there, I took my camera to a spot on the east end of Lake Mohawk, where there was a pier that was partially submerged.¬† From one basic position, I just pointed the camera in several different directions left and right, taking series of bracketed shots for HDR processing.¬† It’s amazing how just a slight turn to the right or left produced such a difference in lighting and color temperature.

I have six different shots that I’m working on from this one spot by the lake.¬† Each shot is an HDR composite of three bracketed exposures (-2.0/0.0/+2.0), combined in Photomatix and then processed further in Paintshop Pro X3.¬† The first three are shown below, but they look much better in the large version which you can see on my Flickr page here.

I have three more that I’ve already run through Photomatix, but I haven’t finished with the tweaking yet.¬† I should have those posted by the weekend.

I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and follow along as I look for the beautiful, interesting and unusual sights all around us.

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