This one is from my Nikon D7000. There were lots of these dust devils out on Soda Lake when we were there. It was surreal.
I used the new Topaz Clarity plugin on this one. I was really amazed at the clarity in the hills in the background compared to the original. I can see myself using this plugin quite a bit now. Go download the free trial here.
This was a challenging sunset shoot for me for a couple of reasons. #1 It was very, very windy. #2 I forgot to charge my batteries before this trip and by the time we made it to Joshua Tree, they were both flashing at me because they were nearly dead. I had to set up a shot ahead of time, turn the camera on, take the photo, and turn it off immediately, just to conserve the battery.
Lesson learned. Always double check the batteries before leaving on a trip and bring the charger even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
I really didn’t expect much of a sunset because of the mountains to the west. I’m used to wide open ocean for the sunset, so anticipating what the scene would look like in the dessert was a challenge. I didn’t think there would be any color in the sky. I was totally wrong. Not only did the sky behind me in this shot turn pink, but the land had a salmon colored glow to it. It was cool to see even if I didn’t get any incredible photos of it. I still have to edit a few of those and see if I like them.
Shot with my Nikon D7000 on a tripod. Edited with Photoshop CS6, Topaz Software, and Nik Software.
I finally have some time to post again! I’ve been really busy editing photos from the recent engagement shoot. Here are a few good ones that I gave a more artistic edit. There are more on my facebook page too. Also, if you or anyone you know is getting married, I not only do engagement sessions, but weddings too. I’m willing to travel to you, so contact me!
After working on people photos for over a week, I’m dying to work on some landscapes
These were all shot with my Nikon D7000.
Bixby Bridge is a spot that almost everyone stops to take a picture of when they go to Big Sur. Shooting popular spots can be a challenge these days because so many people have already been there with their phone or digital camera and shared the image online. I think after we’ve all seen the same shot a number of times it gets ingrained in our brain and we end up recreating it without even realizing it.
There are also times where there are only one or two vantage points to shoot something from. How are we supposed to be creative with so few options??? Try shooting at night
This was shot with my Nikon D7000 on a tripod. I only took 3 photos because it was cold and we were tired. The first shot was very out of focus. Its a challenge to compose and focus at night, so I was very surprised to get this photo so quickly. I used plugins from Topaz and Nik to clean the image up in PS CS6.
To answer your question, yes, the water was that blue.
This is one from my trip with Shannon to Big Sur, CA. We camped at Limekiln State Park, where this was shot. Early on, there is a fork in the trail. To the left is the waterfall and limekiln. This is off to the right. I hadn’t gone that way before, so this was a wonderful find.
I took the easy way out on this shot, but it still came out great. Instead of hopping across some rocks and onto a log like Shannon, I stuck my tripod in the creek from the bank and used the LCD to set up the shot.
In other news, I was recently asked by Topaz Labs to share some photos for their online gallery and be a guest blogger, so I think I’ll be sharing how I edited this lovely shot with their plugins.
This is a sunrise I shot last week with my Nikon. It seemed uneventful and I wasn’t too excited about the location. The beach gets old when you live by it! Luckily, the colors turned out really nice and brought the photo to life.
When editing my Nikon shots in Photoshop, I like to use Nik Software’s plugins (along with other plugins.) The reason I bring this up today is it was just announced that the entire collection has dropped in price from $499 to $149. That seems like a steal and probably wouldn’t have happened had Google not bought Nik. There’s a free trial if you don’t already have the collection.
If you’re worried that these plugins might be too complicated, there are lots of training videos on their website to help you out.
Since this one was well received on 500px, I thought I would share it with you all here. I’m sure the popularity has nothing to do with adding a girl to a landscape, or in this case a seascape. I will admit that its an idea I’ve had for a while now, girls and landscapes, but just hasn’t materialized yet. Models tend to be flaky, you know.
Lucky for me, I had Shannon (Seeing Spots Photography) with me out at Sand Dollar Beach near Big Sur, so I was able to snap a few shots of her during the beautiful sunset.
If you’re on 500px, please add me and I’ll be happy to do the same . My page is here. If you’re not familiar with 500px, its the photo sharing site photographers use when they’ve evolved beyond Flickr. I don’t mean that in a bad way, or an I’m better than Flickr way. Flickr is great for what it is, which is more for hobbyists and people just beginning to explore photography. 500px is a more experienced community inhabited by a stunning amount of talented photographers. Go check it out and see for yourself.
Shot with my Nikon D7000. Edited with magic dust
Ok I have a few minutes to kill before I hit the road again. That means you get to see one of my images from the last trip. This was shot with my Nikon D7000.
Thats not a small bridge, its a huge redwood. This was just on a random trail off of the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway in northern CA.
First, let me say that this image definitely looks better larger. You can see it in fullscreen on my fb page (be sure to like it while you’re there.)
I was driving some backroads in Morgan Hill when I came upon a cool scene that I had to shoot. While I was shooting that scene, I saw pelicans fly over and land in the water. I figured I would try to snap a few pics of them with my Nikon, not expecting anything too special. I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with the results though.
I also wanted to promote Shannon’s fb page and blog today. She’s the brains and talent behind Seeing Spots Photography. I’m happy to say that, in just a few days, she will be flying almost 3000 miles to come shoot some cool locations with me. That means you get to see how landscape photographers from opposite coasts approach the same scenes and you’ll also get to see what our creative minds can come up with together.
We’ll be going to Joshua Tree (her suggestion,) Big Sur (my suggestions,) and whatever else we can squeeze into this weekend. I’m excited to finally meet Shannon so we can talk shop and throw around ideas for some future endeavors. I’m sure this trip will be a nice creative kick in the butt for both of us. And I promise I won’t let her leave CA without a ton of awesome new content to share with you all.
Another shot from the D7000. I’m just throwing this up quickly so I have something to share today. I have “homework” to do. Best Buy wants me to write some tips for their mobile blog for taking better photos with your iPhone and I want to finish this app review for Aquarella today.
You can all take your seats in front of the tv today. I think I’ll take these instead
Last night I thought about getting up early for sunrise. I guess that thought was enough for my internal alarm clock to set itself for 5am. Since I tend to wake in pain these days, I figured I’d get up instead of laying there uncomfortably.
This was shot with my Nikon D7000. I did take some with the iPhone4, I just haven’t got around to editing them because I was more excited about the cool shots I got with the DSLR.
Along Highway 1 heading north towards Big Sur, there are a few turnouts with signs for trails. They all look pretty nondescript. The Salmon Creek Trail actually has waterfalls just a short hike from where you park. I’d never been before and was pleasantly surprised.
No, the leaves weren’t actually red. I’ve seen other photographers change the leaves to this shade of red before, and love the effect. This was my first attempt at it, and it was quite easy with Color Efex Pro 4. The Indian Summer filter is so much simpler than trying to mess with adjustment layers, which I also tried.
There were quite a few steps in this edit, and it all began with a single RAW file turned into 5 different jpg’s and processed with Photomatix.
To see a much larger version of this, you can go to my facebook page and look at it in fullscreen. I think this is the first time ever that the fb version looks best.
Shot with my Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm lens 1 second exposure.
I was looking through the images from this shoot again a few days ago and found another that I liked. If you’ve ever wondered how the heck I edit my images in photoshop, I’ll let you behind the curtain on this one. I made a blog post over on my website that will take you through the steps. Before & After
If you follow me on facebook, you’ve seen these photos. If you don’t follow me, you should change that because I’ve been really bad about blogging. Here’s my fb page.
This shoot with Monica and her horse, Troy, was a lot of fun. I’ve never taken photos of horses before, so this was totally new to me. We worked out a sweet deal where she said she will give me riding lessons in exchange for this shoot.
Since we got to the beach almost 2 hours before sunset, there was plenty of time to shoot and relax. While we waited for the light to get a little better, Monica talked me into climbing up on Troy and she walked me along the beach for a while. If you ever want to feel like a celebrity, ride a horse on the beach. Everyone stares at you and takes your picture!
I didn’t tweak the colors in these shots. It was just a magical sunset.
They went way out into the waves. I saw the water go over the horse’s back at one point. As you can imagine, Monica was drenched from head to toe by the end of our shoot.