Category Archives: Crape Myrtle

A Photographers View of Charleston – eBook

I have finished an eBook of images from Charleston using the Topaz Labs software. I am using it as a promotional giveaway to help promote Topaz software and my workshops and would be grateful if you share it with your friends.

To download “A Photographer’s View of Charleston” click on the link below

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fa00odinw6cg967/A%20
Photographers%20View%20of%20Charleston.pdf?dl=0
A Photographers View of Charleston

A Photographers View of Charleston

Charleston is an American treasure, rich in our early history. This beautiful city shows visitors what southern charm and grace were like in the colonies. When you photograph the streets around Battery Park, you capture images of homes and churches that were built before the signing on the Declaration of Independence. Stroll through my collection of favorite images in this eBook.

Topaz Labs software plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom were used to give my images the finishing touches that make them sing and make you will feel like you are there.

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Charleston spring location workshop March 29 – April 2

On cold winter nights like this I find my thoughts wandering to the warm shooting locations that I have planned for this spring. In late March and early April Charleston emerges from its winter sleep and explodes in vibrant color. Hope you are able to join me Charleston for early an early spring location shoot in some of Americas best gardens.

Southern Charm - Charleston Spring

Southern Charm – Charleston Spring

In lightroom 5.7 I used the Develop module to for a few basic adjustments and then exported Southern Charm into Topaz Clarity to make this image pop.

Southern Charm - Charleston Spring - Raw adj. in lightroom

Southern Charm – Charleston Spring – Raw adj. in lightroom

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Charleston’s Spring Photo Workshop

This morning Charlie W and I worked on a early morning reflection image he captured during last spring’s workshop in Charleston. Charlie’s composition and exposure were great and we only needed to spend a few minutes working in Lightroom 5.7 to make the image sing.

Live Oaks Charleston processed in Lightroom

Live Oaks Charleston processed in Lightroom

On this cold winter night I am looking forward to capturing images and working with clients in late March and early April when Charleston’s spring colors explode.

Live Oaks Charleston unprocessed

Live Oaks Charleston unprocessed


Charleston Churches-Charleston Photographic Workshop

The churches in and around Charlestons  are some of the oldest in our country and the photographic opportunities are amazing. I found the ruins of this old church during my last visit to Charleston and am looking forward to spend more time photographing the grounds during next springs photographic location workshop.

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

 To process this image I used the Deep 1 preset in Nik software HDR Efex Pro 2

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

All images need a little post processing. If an image is exposed properly it can be turned into a great image you can hang on your wall in a few minutes. This is the unprocessed raw CR2 file that took me 10 minutes to process.

Canon Raw CR2 file

Canon Raw CR2 file

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Sunset at Foley Beach – South Carolina

Over the last 20 years I have been able to spend a week or two capturing images in Charleston on my way home from the Florida art shows and each time I find something new to photograph or something old that stands out for me.

Foley Beach Pier Processed using Topaz Clarity and Topaz Clarity

Foley Beach Pier Processed using Topaz Clarity and Topaz Clarity

This year the light at sunset at Foley beach pier was exceptional. There is always something special about capturing an ocean pier at sunset but there was a little nicer glow and I enjoyed the motion of the water in the longer exposures at the end of the day.

Foley Beach unprocessed

Foley Beach unprocessed

To process this image I used Topaz Clarity and Detail to make the image look as close to how I had remembered it.


Sunset on the Ashley River

Pick your location for sunset. When you are composing your images walk around and enjoy the area where you are capturing images. Check out the angles and enjoy each location and plan out where you will want to be at sunset. There were compositions I wanted to capture in the gardens close to the Ashley River and had noticed Wild Roses in bloom along the water’s edge that I wanted to capture at sunset.

Sunset on the Ashley River

Sunset on the Ashley River

This hedge of Wild Roses went on for over 50 yards and it was easy to find a section for the foreground that flowed nicely.  Often the best light of sunsets only lasts 10 to 15 minutes when the setting sun lights up the clouds.

Sunset on the Ashley River, Unprocessed

Sunset on the Ashley River, Unprocessed

To process this image I used the white picker in CS6 camera raw and then use Topaz Clarity to enhance the Colors and Contrast.

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Dark Shadows- Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is one of my favorite places to teach and from late March through early April is a great time to catch the spring bloom. On the way in to Charleston last night I was able to check out a new location that friend suggested I photograph. The old Sheldon Church framed by live oaks and Spanish Moss has a haunting feel. I have been capturing images in Charleston for 20 years and there is always something new to photograph.

Sheldon Church, Charleston

Sheldon Church, Charleston

After capturing this image I used Photoshop to Clone and Heal the ramp and a few other distracting objects before turning it into a black and white in Topaz BW Effects 2 to create the shadows, highlights and great textures.

Sheldon Church-Raw Image

Sheldon Church-Raw Image

The raw unprocessed image give me a nice starting point.

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Charleston Doors

Charleston if full of wonderful wrought iron gates and textured walls from america’s early history.  These gates and walls invite you to spend time photographing them.

After capturing this image I used Topaz BW Effects 2 to create the shadows, highlights and great textures in this Black and White image.

Gated Charleston

Gated Charleston

This raw unprocessed image is a nice image  until you see it along side the processed black and white.

Charleston Doors

Charleston Doors


Black and White of Three Windows of Charleston

An old traveling and photography friend from my Navy days liked the three window image from Charleston that I posted a couple of days ago and asked if it would look good in Black and White. This image casts some wonderful shadows created by the Morning Sun and I think it does look better as a Black and White than it did in color.

Three Windows. Charleston-Silver Efex Pro

Three Windows. Charleston-Silver Efex Pro

To process this image I used Silver Efex Pro 2 part of the Nik Software suite makes this image pop the way the old B&W films would and for this image I used the following settings shown in the screen capture. Green filter, Kodak 100 TMAX Pro, Copper Toner 16, Burn All Edges Image Border-Off.

Silver Efex Pro 2 work flow

Silver Efex Pro 2 work flow

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Charleston Windows – Capturing Highlights and Shadows

Most of the images that I display at the art fair are captured in the time between sunrise and sunset when the light is soft and has that ethereal feel to it. Often when the sun has crested the horizon just after the soft light in the morning or in the few minutes just before sunset the sun rays will create wonderful shadows and highlights. When the sun is creating this play between highlight and shadows is a great time to capture images.

Three Windows of Charleston processed with Topaz software

Three Windows of Charleston processed with Topaz software

The image below is the Raw unprocessed image.

Three Windows of Charleston-Raw unprocessed image

Three Windows of Charleston-Raw unprocessed image

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