I wish I could tell you that I saw this while I was shooting in the field. I also wish I could tell you that I saw it when I got home and went through my images on my computer over 3 years ago. And I wish I could say that I saw it in the 10+ times that I’ve gone back through that folder of images since then. Nope.
Actually, a month ago, I saw this golden heart, while in meditation. It wasn’t until I was going through unprocessed images a couple of weeks ago that I finally saw it. I stopped dead in my tracks and immediately remembered the vision I’d had. Apparently, I wasn’t able to see it until I was meant to. I don’t understand how I could have missed something so amazing for so long. Funny how that works sometimes.
I was nominated for a 5 day black and white photo challenge by Meri Walker. I just finished up a 7 day nature photo challenge…thanks a lot Shannon. Normally, I don’t care for these challenges, but they’re helping me be more productive. I’m not going to inconvenience, or pressure anyone by nominating them. If you’d like to do a 5 day black and white challenge, go for it.
For the first day of the bw challenge I posted a Nikon shot, but since I was nominated by a mobile master, I decided the rest should be iPhone only.
This was shot out in Inverness, CA with my iPhone 5s and edited with Snapseed.
I’m finally home, after 10 days in CA. Yesterday, about an hour before sunset, I kept finding myself staring at the sky more than the road. I was keeping an eye on the height of the clouds, and the position of the sun, so I could best predict what kind of sunset it would be. The way things were set up, I knew it was either going to be a killer sunset, or a dud. All I needed was an opening on the horizon, which was behind the mountain.
I eventually trusted my gut and pulled off the 5 to find something like a beat up farmhouse to use in my foreground. I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere and a foreground of empty farmland would have wasted the sunset that was about to unfold. As I got off the freeway, I liked the way the mountains looked int he distance. I thought I might be able to drive for 20-30 minutes to get close enough for them to have an impact in the image.
Lucky for me, on my way toward the mountains, some water along a crossroad caught my eye. I immediately stopped in the middle of the road and turned around. The water turned out to be a rice paddy, which was perfect for reflections.
About 10 minutes after I set up my camera, I started to see some color show up. Thats when I knew I had the conditions I needed. As time went on, the color stretched across the whole valley. It was great because I could easily see what colors were going to end up over the rice paddy, which is the direction I was shooting with my Nikon. The deep pinks in the east slowly inched over the rice paddy and I got exactly what I expected. I wish all sunsets could be this predictable.
The photo above is an unedited iPhone shot. The pano at the top of the post has been edited in Snapseed and then touched up slightly in photoshop to brighten it a bit more and add a little contrast. It really looks great large, though I don’t know if you can view it larger on my blog anymore.
I’ve been down in California for over a week now. Most of the sunsets have been uneventful. A couple of days ago I decided to go down to the beach anyways, to take in whatever materialized.
Skies like this don’t motivate me to shoot at sunset. However, clear skies are good for astrophotography, which I’ve been doing a bit of the past 2 nights. Last night I did something totally new and challenging. I had a model that wanted to pose nude on a beach under the milky way. I was really nervous about being able to make the images work, because I didn’t think there would be enough light to freeze the model in the image, but I managed to improvise with a flashlight and got some good shots.
Back to this photo, on that particular day, I ended up playing with some apps, trying to compare HDR apps with the new relight app that I was given a promo code for the other day. The best shot I got (above) was taken with ProHDRX. Thats not to say its the best app. I need to do serious test shots on a tripod, instead of handheld. I have a bunch of stuff to do when I get back to Oregon, so I hope I remember to compare those apps soon.
Shot with the iPro super wide angle lens using ProHDRX. Edited with Snapseed.
I’ve been going through the archives, looking for more images that I think would work well with a painterly edit. This one seemed perfect. I’ve found the key to a good painterly image is a strong composition and vibrant colors.
It doesn’t even matter if the image is completely in focus. This one below of a cute chipmunk was one where the focus missed. I’d have never shared the original, but the painterly route saved it. I still liked the image because of the colors and composition, so I used an adjustment brush in lightroom to try and add sharpness, contrast, and clarity on the little guy, before using Topaz Impressions. Then I used ColorEfex Pro 4 to add a little something extra.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but there are a lot of new followers to this blog, so I’ll say it again. You can salvage your out of focus, slightly blurry, iphone photos with a painterly app. Nobody will ever know you messed up, and they’ll think you’re just being creative haha.
(Just to avoid any confusion, the photos in this post were taken with my Nikon D7000.)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with good light.
I was going through the archives yesterday, and found this one from about 4 years ago.
The original sky was garbage, which is probably why I never edited it. I decided to grab a sky from one of my other images to make this shot work better.
Silver Efex Pro 2 did most of the heavy lifting, and I made a few other small adjustments. If you like creating black and whites on your desktop, I highly recommend SEP2.
I’m happy to say my book is finally finished. I ended up doing more than I originally anticipated, since I learned a bit about using InDesign. This was going to be a straight text PDF, but I added links to relevant maps and websites, which should make your trip to Big Sur easier. I may even add more info to it still.
A Guide To The Big Sur Coast features:
- Maps to locations that can be challenging to find.
- Descriptions of what you might find at the locations.
- Tips for being prepared in Big Sur.
- Some Big Sur photos that I haven’t shared anywhere before.
If you want a copy for free, be sure to sign up for my newsletter ASAP. I’m going to start charging for this book on April 15th. If you like it, tell your friends! Feedback is always welcome too.
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