When I am out capturing images I am always looking for textures and patterns in nature and in the structures man has built into the natural world. In January I was out photographing some of the National parks and canyons Nevada Utah and Arizona with my friend Craig Osterloh. While we were in route back to Valley of Fire in Nevada Craig wanted to show me Snow Canyon near his home in Lake George, Utah. I wasn’t sure what I would find but this wonderful canyon was full flowing textures in the sandstone. While we were photographing the last rays of the day Craig and I were both fascinated by the textured lines in the sandstone which we thought looked like Angels Wings flowing through the Sandstone. Using a just a little imagination I see the outline of the two wings in the center bordered by many wings flying together.
This Sandstone formation looks like a group of Angels in flight
I used Photoshop CS6 and the in Color Efex Pro I used Film Effects and Darken Lighten Center to process this image.
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Sepia Lovers – Venice Carnival
Sepia Lovers - Venice Carnival
Venice Carnival was first started in the 1300′s as a celebration leading up to Lent where nobles and commoners mingled freely while disguised by there masks. Today’s Carnival carries on the tradition where wonderful costumed characters mingle in complete anonymity. For the costumed characters who attend Carnival it must be a wonderful experience to have a few days of anonymity in a world where everyone knows to much about everyone with just a click of a button.
During the workshop I stayed in a lovely Pensione by the Academia bridge. The single room rate ran a little under a $100. It had it’s own semi private piazza where you could have your breakfasts outdoor on nice days after the morning shoots. For the carnival workshop some of the clients stayed at the Regina & Europa which is a 5 star on the grand canal a 5 min walk from my Pensione.
With this Image I did very little work to the image in Adobe Camera Raw. The only adjustment I made was in Camera Calibration where I selected Camera Neutral.
Adobe Camera Raw - Camera Calebration - Camera Neutral
Last fall I spent 2 weeks teaching Photographic Workshops in the Chianti area of Tuscany, Italy. We stayed at a Agriturismo that was an working vineyard south of Florence, each day we started with a sunrise shoot then head back to the Agriturismo for breakfast. After breakfast we would explore nearby villages for more images and a little shopping. I find that my best images are normally captured at sunrise and sunset except when you are lucky enough to have scattered showers thought the day. When everything is drenched from a fresh rain it enhances the colors. If you are luck enough to have partial overcast, as in this image, your colors are not washed out from the bright sunlight. The mix of blue sky and clouds helped to give this image it’s finishing touch.
Raw CR2 File
Siena Farmhouse – CR2 Raw image
This histogram looks good but the image looks a little dark. In the Basics Pallet, I start with the Exposure slider by moving the slider to +0.20 to brighten the image. This changes the Histogram by shifting the information to the left and created a little clipping in the highlights. To compensate for the clipping, I shifter the Recovery slider to 11 which shifted the highlighted area back to the right and eliminates the clipping.
The next step is to adjust for White Balance, this can be done by manually adjusting the Temperature and Tint sliders or using the dropdown menu. Using the dropdown menu to check the presets, with this image I liked the Daylight preset of 5500 Kelvin and +10, this added the warmth you normal see during daylight hours.
The next adjustment I made was Clarity which adjusts midtone contrast. This is a wonderful adjustment which brought out crisper detail in this vineyard image. With the Vibrance slider I added +40 to bring out the saturation in the midtones. I love this adjustment, it adds a much subtler saturation than you can achieve with the Saturation slider. In this case it enhanced the blues in the sky and richened the tones throughout the image.
Siena Farmhouse – Camera Raw 6.1 Elements 9 Basic Pallet
The next adjustment I made was in the Camera Calibration pallet, to bring out the colors in this fall vineyard image. Using the Camera Profile dropdown menu I selected Camera Landscape, to bring out all the colors I remembered seeing in this wonderful image near Siena in Tuscany.
Siena Farmhouse – Camera Calibration – Camera Landscape
The Last adjustment I made was in the Detail Pallet. Right click on your screen and bring the image to 100%. By bringing the image to 100% you will be able to see the effect the sharpening is having on the image. On this image I set the Sharpening Amount at 100 with the pixel Radius at 1.1 and the Detail at 25, which are the setting I use 90% of the time. With most images I find that if I set the Amount between 75 and 150 with the pixel Radius between .75 and 1.5 and the Detail amount at 25, I achieve my best results.
Siena Farmhouse – Detail Pallet – Sharpening
With just a few minuets of processing in Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 in Elements 9 we have a printable image that will bring out the beauty of this Siena Farmhouse.
Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 - Elements 9 - Siena Farmhouse
I will work with this image for several more hours to bring out the colors and clone out antennas and other distractions but for all practical purposes this image is ready for printing.