This weekend, I got alerted to a potentially amazing sunset in southern Oregon. I’ve been wanting to go shoot at this location for months now, but I’ve been putting it off until the conditions were favorable. It’s a little over an hour away, so I’d hate to drive out there and not come back with the shot I had in mind.
Well, I still didn’t leave with the shot that I had envisioned, but thats ok. This outing provided me with more material for an article I’m writing. I want to explore the idea of how our expectations limit creativity. Stay tuned for that!
I’ll share more about this outing in the article, and in another post here, if I share my Nikon versions.
About the shot
This was taken with my iPhone 5s using the default camera app. I didn’t edit the image at all.
It might not look like it, but that’s Shannon hard at work during sunrise. I made a deal with the fine people of Colonial Pines on Airbnb, for a discount on our cabin in exchange for some professional images of their property and their view of the lake. This was just an iPhone shot, I won’t be able to edit the Nikon shots for another 10 days.
If you’re a good photographer, you can message people on Airbnb to see if they’re interested in that kind of a deal. Even if they aren’t, you still might get offered a discount, which happened for me at another place.
We ended up shooting the sunrise on two of the days we were there. One was a foggy, moody morning, and the other was what you see above. Both were nice in their own ways, but pretty sunrises are what people want to see when browsing properties.
This really was a peaceful place. I’m sure it’s a little more hectic in the summer, but it was great for us, while we were exploring New Hampshire. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a cozy little cabin on a lake?
Shot with the default camera and edited with Snapseed. Nothing fancy.
I’m not even going to attempt to spell the real name out here, but for short, this place is called Lake Chaubunagungamaug. It just rolls off the tongue. Below is my original shot. Nice enough, but nothing spectacular.
One of the first things that came to mind for this shot was to try editing with Circular. I zoomed in a little bit, inverted the image, added a second repetition, and rotated until I liked the composition. Then, I added some colorful clouds, for interest. I took the image to Snapseed after all that to add a touch of saturation and contrast. That was it, done.
I wasn’t crazy about this lake. It was hard to find access to the shoreline and the colors weren’t peaking yet. Also, I couldn’t believe they normally charge $30 to enter the small park that my cousin and I found.
I’d never heard of this lake before, or the open space preserve it was located in. I was just out exploring along Skyline (35,) in the Palo Alto area. It was very peaceful (only saw one other person,) had a good variety of flowers in bloom, and was full of trees. One of the trails even went right alongside a christmas tree farm.
This was shot with the default camera app. Edited with Litely, which is an app I just grabbed last night. I like the subtle effects it adds. I also used Romantic Photo, and ImageBlender to reduce to the opacity of the effect of Romantic Photo.
Here is a shot of one of the flowers I saw out there too.
Snapseed and Mextures for the edit of this one.
Sometimes, if you don’t hold the photo perfectly still while using an HDR app, like TrueHDR in this case, the image loses sharpness and is slightly off. In this image, the trees weren’t lined up properly, and I found it distracting at the top of the treeline.
Instead of just deleting the image, I thought I would salvage it by turning it into a painting. I have quite a few apps that can do the trick in less than a minute, but this time I wanted to actually take some time to work on it myself, so I used PhotoViva. With PhotoViva, you can choose your brush, angle, size of the brush, and make each stroke on your own. Or, you can choose the brush and let the app do the heavy lifting…or finger swiping.
Today, I’d also like to take a moment to thank Emil over at iphonephotographyschool.com for adding me to his list of The World’s Best iPhoneography Websites. I’ve put up a link to his fine website over on the right side of my blog now so you can find it easily.
On the drive back from Ashland, I stopped at Lake Shasta to stretch my legs and take a few photos. The lake was really low, which made for some cool cracks in the dirt. I even set up my Nikon on a tripod for some self portraits, but I haven’t checked to see how those turned out yet.
The above photo wasn’t doing a whole lot for me. I like drama in my photos or something a little more interesting than the norm. I tried a mirror image and liked the composition. If I wasn’t too lazy to go back and edit it some more, I’d add a vignette, but I have stuff to catch up on after being away for 6 days.
Shot with camera+. Edited with Snapseed and mirrored with CameraProFX. There are plenty of apps that you can create symmetrical photos with. I just happened to try CameraProFX because I downloaded it recently and wanted to see what it had to offer. I didn’t see anything that made me feel like I need to keep it on my iPhone.
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.