I went out on an adventure to the eastern part of the county a couple of days ago. I’ve never been out that way before, so I didn’t know what to expect. First, we drove to a wildflower hotspot in Santa Margarita where there was no trace of any wildflowers being there this year. I know the peak was a month or two ago, but I thought there might at least be a few flowers and some grass. Not this time. It was all brown. All I found was a couple of tiny flowers in a dry creek bed.
After that disappointing find, we headed to Soda Lake. Before we left, I googled the lake and saw some cool pictures. When we pulled up, we were greeted by a massive salt crust in the shape of a lake. It was cool, but not what I had envisioned. The white lake bed was so bright that the camera’s sensor couldn’t handle the dynamic range of the scene. The sky ended up being very dark.
We walked out on the dried up lake because we drove all that way. Some of it was powdery and some was crunchy. I felt like I was walking on the moon. If you stood still, you sank into the ground another inch or two. It was a funny feeling.
I got some cool shots with my Nikon too. Hopefully, I’ll find some time to share those soon. I was able to capture one of the white dust devils (twisters) out on the lake.
This image was shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed. I included the before image below so you can see what I started with. I had to brighten it up and straighten the horizon. I chose to use the tilt shift filter on this one to bring the focus more to the dead bush in the foreground.
It was cold and the snow was deep. We didn’t bring any snow gear on this trip because we thought we were going to be on the coast the whole time. That didn’t stop us. I was knee deep in snow at some points.
The whole time I was looking at Wizard Island, I was thinking of my oreo truffles. I know you see it too.
Both images were shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed.
I was just driving around in the mountains and saw this pond on the side of the road. I stopped to get a few shots because I love random scenes like this. Believe it or not, you can find lots of good backdrops for portraits just off the side of the road, wherever you live.
Shot with ProHDR. Edited with Snapseed and PhotoArtistaOil.
How high your awareness level is determines how much meaning you get from your world. Photography can teach you to improve your awareness level.
I believe photography has increased my awareness level tremendously. I’m constantly noticing details and light that I wouldn’t have just a few years ago. Now that I’m starting to paint on top of my photos, I’m noticing even more detail in colors.
While driving this dirt road, I saw a few pelicans out of the corner of my eye at Upper Klamath Lake. I hit the brakes hard and backed up until I had this view and shot straight from the car. I did shoot this guy with my D7000 at first with my zoom lens. Then I thought I’d get a shot with the iphone. I actually really like both pictures. You should click on the one above to see it larger.
I believe I shot this with camera+ and then edited with PhotoToaster.
Heres the Nikon shot.
Yesterday I went exploring southern Oregon between Ashland and Klamath Falls. There are a lot of lakes in the mountains here. Tons of trails and dirt roads too. My little SVT Focus probably isn’t too happy that we were offroading yesterday. Its slightly lowered with low profile tires.
A friendly redneck came up to me and told me I need to get me a truck and a gun. After he patted his pistol in his pocket a few times, he started asking me about my camera, and I thought for sure I was about to lose my camera haha. Turns out he was a really nice guy. He also told me about some mountain lakes and trails I need to check out. I should talk to more locals about places a photographer needs to go.
The top photo was shot with ProHDR and edited with Snapseed. The one below was shot with camera+ and I used the clarity slider, which I’m not sure I like now. The second version of that shot was edited with ShockMyPic. You can see the difference in the clouds.
I didn’t love this shot after taking it. I didn’t really like anything I shot at this location, but I thought I’d try to create something decent. Thats really not a good approach to photography. Don’t go out and snap mediocre pictures with the hope that you can turn them into something cool in post processing.
Even after the editing, I’m not excited about this one, but I did experiment with new techniques. I shot this with ProHDR, edited with filterstorm and lenslight. I sucked detail out of the image by reducing noise a couple of times in filterstorm, which gave it a slight painterly look. Then I added some light and bokeh with lenslight.
Not crazy about it, but its better than what I started with.
This image was taken with ProHDR, but I didn’t think the app did a great job of blending the exposures. I didn’t want to trash the image, so I used PhotoViva to paint this myself with a few brushes. I have to say that I’m enjoying this app more and more. I find it easy to get immersed in the creative process when you have to make each brushstroke.
While the above image looks nice, I wanted to try something different, so I took the painting into Snapseed to see what would happen by working my magic. I added a little drama (#2), made a selective adjustment, added some warmth and ambience. It certainly adds more life to the image/painting…oh, lets just call it art. I like discovering new workflows and seeing the different outcomes.
Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts.
I went out to Oso Flaco Lake again. I think I could watch the sunset here once a week and never get bored. It was just me and a handful of people fishing on the lake…just how I like it.
ProHDR and Snapseed used.
Heres a tilt shift from Oso Flaco Lake last night while I was watching the sunset. I thought the tilt shift would work because the ducks were providing an interesting foreground element. You have to click on this one to do it justice.
Camera+ to take the photo and Snapseed used for the edit and tilt shift. I cropped it quite a bit for a more pleasing composition.
Today’s image was taken with ProHDR and edited with PhotoLake.
There are a couple of things I wanted to mention in this post. Since wordpress has been a surprisingly good way of getting exposure, I started a separate blog yesterday for my DSLR photography. I should be picking up a Nikon D7000 and getting back to shooting with a real camera again very soon. You can follow me here.
Not only am I going to share my photos, but I’d also like to try something different (we’ll see how it goes.) I’m going to offer to edit some of your photos for free. All you have to do is submit a high quality jpeg, or for best results, the RAW file. I’m not going to steal your images or sell them as my own, I’m a photographer, not a thief. I just want to share my vision of how I’d edit an image. I’ll even share a link to your blog or website when I share the final product. All I ask in return is that if you share my edited image, you give me credit and a link back.
The other thing I wanted to mention was the voting is still open for the square off contest. You can vote again even if you voted the first time I posted about this. I was thinking if I actually win one of the canvas prints I would give it away to one of my lucky followers. So go vote!
The weather was amazing yesterday. Somehow 58 degrees felt like 75. I finally had a free day to do whatever I wanted, so I chose to wander aimlessly. I ended up out at Emigrant Lake. There are some hiking trails with nice views before you get to the paid entrance. I’ll share some more photos today or tomorrow once I edit them.
I’m still not completely satisfied with this first image. It looks a little too blue to me even after I added warmth. Sometimes when you can’t get the color to cooperate, you gotta go black and white. Thats probably what I should have done, but I’m moving on to the next image now.
I think this first one was taken with ProHDR. I cropped in really tight to get a more interesting composition, but in doing so I think some detail was lost. I also lost some detail when I reduced noise and did tone mapping with FilterStorm, but I prefer more of a painting look than a grainy look. I also did some basic editing in Snapseed as usual.
The wind was relentlessly blowing on the lake and you can tell by the ripples. Luckily I was using my tripod to keep steady. This photo was taken with ProHDR and had very minimal editing in Snapseed.
Its a shame most people don’t have enough free time to enjoy sunsets like this more often.
I’m heading to the Sacramento area today to visit my grandfather and cut the long drive to Oregon into 2 5.5 hour drives. I do have another post scheduled for tomorrow so you get your daily dose of iphoneography.
Today I’ll leave you with some simple, but important, advice on how to become a better photographer. Shoot more, show less. Starting now.
What I mean is, take a lot of pictures. Hundreds a week if you can. The light can change from moment to moment, so take multiple shots of the same scene. Try different angles and camera orientations.
Right now I’m taking around 500 pictures a month with my iphone, which is about what I’d do in a week with my Nikon. This is the most important part though, don’t show off all of your pictures. Right now I’m only sharing my top 8-10% of my iphone images if you do the math. With my Nikon its more like my top 1-2% get seen.
Be an editor and pick the images that you think should be in an exhibit or a magazine and share those. The more you play the role of editor the better your photographic eye will get.
This is another from my original iPhone. I went out to Crater Lake with some friends but we ended up getting there right as the sun was starting to set. I’ll definitely have to go back and shoot again one day. The reason we were late was because we stopped to get pie at Beckies restaurant along the way because it was suppose to be really good. The huckleberry pie was amazing!
If you’d like to see a similar shot with my Nikon go here
More from Oso Flaco lake.
I love how the setting sun turned the lake into a rainbow.