I finally was able to catch a sunset at the beach last night. We’re getting our June gloom foggy weather already, which means sunsets are usually ruined. Lucky for me, last night the fog stayed off the coast just far enough.
This particular sunset wasn’t anything too amazing. I felt like I should use a few apps to make it look more beautiful in my eyes. First, I shot with TrueHDR. If you’re new to my blog, I use TrueHDR a lot because often times it makes for a more realistic image by combining two exposures. Next, I used Snapseed to brighten a little, add contrast, and bump up the saturation slightly. Then, I used TangledFX for the painterly/fibrous look. Finally, I used Snapseed again because I felt like the image needed more contrast and saturation.
After playing in the desert again recently, we escaped the heat and headed to the coast. It was overcast and a little chilly in Santa Monica, which makes for dull photos. I tried to spice this one up with a number of apps, but it still doesn’t pop too much.
Shot with camera+. Edited with Snapseed at first to add saturation,contrast, and to crop. Then TouchRetouch was used to remove a distracting element. Aquarella was used for the conversion to a painterly image. Snapseed was used again to add more contrast and saturation.
Sometimes, if a photo doesn’t work, its because you need to be closer to your subject so it fills the frame. In the photo above, I was most interested in the clover at the bottom with balls of water on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t move in closer for the better shot. I don’t even know how much closer I could have gone with my iPhone. What I ended up with was a lot of extra space that doesn’t add to the image in this case.
To improve the image, I cropped very tight with Snapseed. Then, I used Tangled FX for the painterly edit.
On another note, I’ll be heading out of town again tomorrow. This time, I’m going to the bay area for an engagement session. Hopefully, I’ll remember to take some photos with the iPhone during it.
After an awful hotel experience the night before in Redlands, complete with screaming children bouncing around the room next door beyond 1am, we splurged on a boutique hotel, called Tuscan Springs, that we randomly drove up to in Desert Hot Springs.
I quickly took this photo while we toured the place. We originally were just looking to pay for day use of the hot mineral water spa’s and pool, but it was so relaxing and inviting that we had to stay. Everything about this place said vacation. Each courtyard had chairs, big comfy couches, and even beds. But, I think, when we were told it was adults only (not clothing optional,) we were already sold.
This particular spa was the size of a small pool.
Shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed
I went for a lovely horseback ride on the beach and through some dunes last weekend. While we were cruising along the beach, having our picture taken by lots of random tourists, we saw about a dozen ducks playing in the waves. I’ve lived near the ocean for almost 8 years now and I’ve never seen ducks at the beach before.
Not only were they at the beach, but they appeared to be on dates. They were all paired up male-female like the two pictured above. It was pretty funny watching one duck follow the other around.
Taking photos from a moving horse is really hard, but I was happy enough with this one.
Shot with the default camera app and edited with Snapseed.
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 was shot out in Sacramento a couple of months ago. We stopped in Old Sac, for a break, on our way from Oregon to the central coast. There’s a high concentration of candy shops within a few blocks of each other. That’s mainly what I remember. That and the cool architecture of the old, haunted buildings.
I don’t really remember the apps used. I think it was TrueHDR for the camera. I’m not sure if I edited with another app.
May this photo bring you some peace today
This was shot the same morning of my recent sunrise photo that I posted from my Nikon. I can’t quite figure out what that little cloud is. Maybe a hornet? I though it made the scene a little more interesting, along with the colors.
I hope you’re enjoying this photo from the comfort of your desk as you sip your coffee today. Good morning!
This is the kind of place I could hang out at for hours. Under some big trees. Next to some water. Away from civilization. With good company and my camera. I guess I’m just a simple man
This was a trail at limekiln state park that I hadn’t checked out before. There were a few awesome spots for photos along the creek. I’m sure I’ll be posting those sometime soon. I’ve edited an image from my Nikon, but I’m letting it sit for a while so I can look at it again with fresh eyes. I think I might want to start over from scratch and go over every pixel to make it perfect because it has a lot of potential.
This was shot with camera+ and edited with SimplyHDR.
Normally, when I go to Julia Pfeiffer Burns in Big Sur, I, like everyone else, hike the short trail to McWay Falls. This time, we had a little time, so we hiked the other direction and found this little waterfall on a hike through the woods.
It was a tricky spot with big, ugly logs just below the frame, and really harsh highlights from sun beams poking through the trees. I think we both made it work though.
I think if I wanted to make the image even better, I would use TouchRetouch to remove the twig from the bottom of the frame, but I don’t have time to go back and do that. I have tons of editing to do already!
Shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed. The drama filter did a great job of bringing detail back into this image.
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.
I shot this out in Morgan Hill, California a few weeks back. I seem to have a lot of photos to edit on my phone and my mac. I got around to this one a week or two ago and gave it the painterly effect with AutoPainter. I couldn’t tell you which effect I used because my memory is bad.
I picked up AutoPainter recently when it was available for free. Unfortunately, its not free anymore. Oops, I should have mentioned it at the time.
I have all these apps that turn photos into paintings. Maybe I should take up painting already.
The clouds were pretty interesting the other evening. Just for a few moments, the light and the colors of the scene were awesome. I was lucky enough to be there to witness it. Stupid me didn’t wait around for the sunset though. I drove to another part of the coast, chasing a cloud that I was hoping would make for a great shot at sunset. Unfortunately, it evaporated before the sun went down and I was left in the middle of agriculture fields with nothing too exciting going on.
This was shot with TrueHDR. Edited with Snapseed, Tangled FX, and ImageBlender. I liked the Tangled FX version, but wanted to dial it back a bit by using ImageBlender to reduce the opacity of the effect to about 70% just to bring back a hint of realism.
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