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.
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’m still here, just not compelled to share iphone photos at the moment. WordPress has been odd lately. Somehow, I’m getting more views when I don’t post anything haha.
I’m experimenting with painting in photoshop right now. I’m watching old Bob Ross videos on youtube because he makes painting look so easy. I tried on the iphone, but it was a little challenging since I didn’t have all the tools I wanted.
I don’t care if you’re drawing with chalk on the sidewalk or sculpting with playdoh (my playdoh skills are awesome btw,) getting immersed in other creative activities is a good way to push your creativity.
There are two long exposure apps available for free right now. Figures that would happen after Nick and Shannon’s long exposure collaboration ended! Slow Shutter Cam is one I’ve used a few times that works well. I can recommend that one. The other is Slow Shutter Plus and it looks ok except for the ridiculously low res saves. 640×480 on the iphone4, 852×640 on the 4s.
Slow Shutter Cam is free today. I use it for my long exposures and recommend it if you’re looking for an app that can give you that silky water look. You should definitely use a tripod or set the camera on something for best results. Here are some examples of what I’ve done with this app.
Lately I’ve seen my friends posting about how they’re getting snow, hail, and rain, so I thought I owed it to them to go out to the beach and watch the sunset last night. The tripod and I nearly got taken out by a wave when I first started shooting on the shore. Luckily I saw it out of the corner of my eye when I was looking at my phone. I was able to grab the tripod and jump back onto some rocks just in time.
The first two images were created with Slow Shutter, which allows you to do long exposures, and edited in Snapseed. You really need a tripod to get long exposures as sharp as possible. I do use a tripod, but I don’t have a case to mount it on their properly. I just hold my iPhone as still as I can against the tripod. I think I need to break down and get some real equipment for better results because they could be sharper.
The third image was created with ProHDr, edited with Snapseed for the drama and selective adjustments. Finally, I used Filterstorm to tonemap the water and apply a curves layer to the sky in an attempt to lighten it up a bit. I like Filterstorm, but it takes so long to save an image. This one took about 2 minutes.
This was taken with an app called Slow Shutter. There’s another free app out there that I saw recently that looks pretty identical to it.
I don’t know if this is my favorite shot from this location, which is the dam in Lithia park, but I wanted to share a long exposure image today. I may end up sharing a couple more very similar images with different edits after I have a chance to look at them on my Mac.
As with most of my images this was edited in Snapseed.