Category Archives: Color Effex Pro

Live Oaks and Azaleas – Charleston, South Carolina

My families roots are in the South and when I think of my vacations visiting the Carolinas I think of surreal Live Oaks that I used to climb as a child. In the early spring mornings when I am out photographing these beautiful trees dripping with Spanish Moss and accented with colorful azaleas I feel as though I could be in a different time.

These wonderful trees have an fairy tail look to them. They grow along the Atlantic coast from southeast Virginia to Florida and west to the gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana and are part of southern charm.   

Live Oak – Charleston, South Carolina

Live Oak – Charleston, South Carolina

I processed this image of this live oak using Photoshop CS6 and Film Efex Modern in Nik software Color Efex Pro


Life is a dance – Great Egrets mating dance

Last week I spent time photographing birds and the photographic techniques necessary to capture them in flight. Fortunately I had spent some time years ago photographing children who move even faster than birds in flight. I captured a quite a few nice images but there were one or two that were different than the normal birding images and stood out from the others.

Life is a dance

Life is a dance

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Petroglyphs – Slot Canyon Photo Workshop

Long before photographers started recording images to document their world ancient civilizations were recording their world with Petroglyphs. These ancient carvings left by ancient artists are also called rock engravings and are created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading.

Petroglyphs – Slot Canyon Workshop

Petroglyphs – Slot Canyon Workshop

The Valley of Fire north of Vegas where we will be spending time capturing images during this Novembers slot canyons workshop has amazing Petroglyphs carved into the canyon walls that we will be photographing.

Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are often associated with prehistoric peoples. The word Petroglyphs comes from the Greek words petro meaning “stone”, and glyphein meaning “to carve”.

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Charleston’s Wrought Iron Gates and Doorway

Old Charleston is known for its wonderful doorways and wrought Iron. During this springs Charleston workshop “28 March – 2 April” we will be spending time capturing images in the Battery Park area of Old Charleston which has the some of our nation’s best wrought iron gates and doorways.

Timing makes all the difference between a Good Image and a Great Image. Capturing this image at sunset as the natural light faded and the lights on either side of the door give a warm glow to the stucco and doorway makes this entryway inviting.

Charleston Wrought Iron Gates and Doorway

Charleston Wrought Iron Gates and Doorway

To enhance this image even more I used Nik Software Color Efex Pro to give the home warmer tones and also brought out the warming tones of the houselights.

Nik Software Color Efex Pro

Nik Software Color Efex Pro

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Angels Wings – Snow Canyon, Utah

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.

Angle Wings in flight

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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Slot Canyon Photographic Workshop

“From time to time everybody needs a little bit of desert.”
Sven Hedin, Swedish geographer and explorer.

I just returned home from photographing in the southwest where I will be conducting in November. I spent my time photographing several canyons in Nevada Utah and Arizona. These images were photographed on Navajo land within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation where I have arraigned for one of the Navajo guides to take us onto tribal land to capture the beauty of several of the canyons. The workshop will start  will be visiting Valley of fire Two of the slot canyons we will be photographing are Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí or “spiral rock arches.”

Heart Light, Arizona

Heart Light, Arizona

In the desert there are places where the sands constantly flow and over time the flowing sands and water form wonderful sculptures.

Sands of Time

Sands of Time

Both of these images were processed using Photoshop CS6 and Pro Nix software Film Effects in Color Efex. Both images were captured at F-16 with 15 and 20 second time exposures which allowed me to have everything in focus.


Window Boxes and Crape Myrtle – Charleston Photographic Workshop

When I am out capturing images I always look for something that stands out something that sets it the image apart. Last year at sunrise we caught the first rays of morning light casting shadows across these three wonderful flowerboxes. The composition of these three well planted flower boxes with the Crape Merle drawing your eye through to image and then the strong light casting shadows of the ivy leading you out of the image. The Wrought Iron casting the straight lines and swirls on the top center of the image was a gift.

Window Boxes and Crape Myrtle – Charleston Photographic Workshop

Window Boxes and Crape Myrtle – Charleston Photographic Workshop

During the Charleston workshops we spend time in the Battery Park area famous for its stately antebellum homes. Named for a civil-war coastal defense artillery battery at the site, it stretches along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula, bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which meet here to form Charleston harbor.

Land was a premium in the Battery Park area. The wealthy could afford small gardens but most of the homes used every inch of land and built up to the sidewalk. These homes often have the wonderful window boxes. Each spring I look forward to seeing what the owners of this historic home will be planting in this set of three window boxes.


Auld Lang Syne – From Negative to Digital

This New Years day I decided to pull out one of my binders of 6x7cm negatives and scanned this old negative for the first time. This does not mean that I had not yet printed this image. To the contrary I have printed it many time before but only in the darkroom, one of my oldest friends. Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns always come to mind at this time of year.The title of the Scottish tune translates to “times gone by” and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten.

Basic scan of 6x7 neg with Epson V750

Basic scan of 6×7 neg with Epson V750

New Years Eve I was studying Lightroom 4 to start using it’s Cataloging process for filing and processing my images. Waking up to a the new year I  am look fwd to a year filled with teaching photographic workshops, capturing images and displaying at art fairs. In two weeks I will be flying out to capture images in Zion and Bryce Canyon with my brother Robert James and Craig Osterloh a talented western photographer and friend http://www.craigosterlohphotography.com/  

Image processed through Photoshop & Nik Software

Image processed through Photoshop & Nik Software

This image was captured on Kodak VPS film and scanned with my epson  V 750 negative scanner. Which was state of the art 10 years ago when I purchased it. After scanning the image I opened the image in Photoshop CS6 and then using Tonal Contrast in Color Efex Pro and then Vivesa 2 by Nik software to enhance the image.

Auld Lang Syne performed live by Sissel as part of a Happy New Year video greeting card at you tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxSqMbsHeJ8 This clip features some beautiful scenery and of course a wonderful rendition of a timeless song.  May each New Year be better than the last for you!


Exposure adjustments using Blend Modes

To make Exposure adjustments using Blend Modes you first make a layer. When you make a duplicate or copy layer it opens in Normal Mode and has an Opacity of 100% in the layers pallet. Normal Mode does not change the appearance of the image. In the Layers Pallet Layer 1 automatically becomes an active layer and the Blend Modes become active and you are able to change the Blend Mode and Opacity of this layer.

Duplicate Layer-Normal Blend mode

Duplicate Layer-Normal Blend mode

I find blend modes the most effective way to make exposure adjustments. In the Layers Pallet to the right of the word normal lick on the arrows and a menu pops up, scroll through each Blend Mode in the menu to see how they affect the image. The two I use to affect exposure are Screen and Multiply.

Make a selection in Blend Mode

Make a selection in Blend Mode

I selected Screen mode to lighten the image, this will usually make the image to light but by clicking on the arrow next to 100% and moving the slider to 25% for this images, I lighten the image to the exposure I want.

Blend Mode - Screen 25%

Blend Mode – Screen 25%

 

I selected Multiply mode to darken the image, this will usually make the image to dark but by clicking on the arrow next to 100% and moving the slider to 25% for this images I darken the image to the exposure I wanted.

Blend mode - Multiply 25%

Blend mode – Multiply 25%


Award Winning Nighttime images of Rome and Pisa without Post Processing

Congratulations to Robert Perry from Cleveland who captured these two night images during the October 2012 Italian Photo workshop. The Lakewood Photographic Society competition was for nighttime photography. Robert had a busy work schedule after returning and entered thes two images as they came out of the camera without any post processing and won a first and third place in his local Camera Clubs competition.

1st place image in nighttime photography.

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

In the digital age where everyone uses software to process images there are a lot of people who think that software can fix any image and make it an award winner, this is seldom the case. Why not capture each image using good composition and proper exposure that can win awards without processing and then if there is time use the software in Photoshop and Nik Software to make them into even better images.

3rd place image in nighttime photography

Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy

Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy


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