Category Archives: Topaz Labs

Reclaimed Trees by the Sea – Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

Composition is what makes an image great. How everything is placed in an image depends on where you place your camera.

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

 Ansel Adams

Reclaimed by the Sea - Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

Reclaimed by the Sea – Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

The images of the trees reclaimed by the surf that we will capture during next spring’s Charleston workshop at the Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation will be amazing. There is no shell collecting on the beach which makes this pristine beach one-of-a-kind!

In the darkroom when we needed to bring out shadow areas we would make a variety of wands to dodge the shadow areas. When we needed to bring down the highlights we would expose the sky a second and sometimes a third time while fanning and feathering the edge between the sky and ground with cardboard sheets to give detail to the overexposed areas.

To bring the shadows out and the highlights down I blending 3 HDR files in Lightroom which brought detail into the shadows and highlights. To make the image pop I used Clarity my favorite Topaz software plugin.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Charleston’s Gas Lights

Charleston is always a great place to capture images and soak up some of our country’s history.

Charleston's Gas Lights

Charleston’s Gas Lights brought into sharp focus by focus stacking two images

I have photographed the gas light in Charleston before, but this spring everything lined up and I produced a new favorite. It doesn’t matter how long you have been shooting, sometime a small change happens and you see things a little differently. That little difference gives you the image you have been wanting to capture. I have a favorite shooting spot a few steps away that I like to take clients to, and while I was there I finally saw this composition. The clients that I travel with often give me input which alters my perception of the environment and locations where I am shooting. The more I listen the better my images and composition have become.

Chuck and his wife Jenny joined me for the Spring 2016 Charleston workshop and they spent time looking at some of the local artist at the market and the gas light paintings and photographs of Charleston. Their enthusiasm for the wonderful gaslights brought my attention back to this composition.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Charleston Church Steeples – April 3 – April 7, 2016

This beautiful city is known as the “Holy City” because of the abundance of churches on the city skyline. As they approached Charleston from the sea, the colonial sailors could see 20 church steeples. Charleston boasts over 400 places of worship of many different denominations throughout the city, religion is deeply embedded in this city’s rich culture.

This Steepled church in the historic Battery Park section of Charleston is one of my favorite to take clients to during the blue light hour.

Charleston Steeple - Battery Park

Charleston Steeple – Battery Park

Charleston Photographic Workshop Tour
April 3 – April 7, 2016
$695/ Limited to 8 Students

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products.


I Hope you ring in the New Year with peace and joy in your heart!!

I hate to leave 2015 behind, it has been a year filled with family, new and old friends, travel and wonderful new images. Whether your New Year’s Eve is filled with City Lights or Quiet Meditation, I hope you ring in the New Year with peace and joy in your heart!!

Heaven and Earth - Valley of Fire

Heaven and Earth – Valley of Fire

City Lights - Las Vegas

City Lights – Las Vegas

From December 17th through December 31st, Topaz is offering 35% off of the ENTIRE Topaz store. Whether you want to achieve stunning photo enhancements or apply artistic effects, this unique collection has you covered.

To receive the 35% discount.


Tomorrow I Fly to Venice!!

Tomorrow I fly to Venice to settle in before the workshop starts. It will be wonderful walking the old familiar streets and checking out where the scaffolding has been taken down and where it has been moved to. Venice is in constant repair and there are images that I have waited patiently for the renovations to be completed before I can capture them. For this image of Santa Maria della Salute I waited patiently for close to 10 years before the renovations were finished and the scaffolding was taken down. It was worth the wait!!

Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

Photography has given me an appreciation of the moments that I spend waiting for the exceptional light that each day gives us.

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here

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San Gimignano – After Hours

Early in the morning and later in the evening the ancient cities have very little foot traffic and are wonderful time to capture images. After our sunset shot of San Gimignano we went into town for a nice dinner and on our walk back to our hotel the piazza was empty which gave everyone the opportunity to capture great images of this piazza which is usually crowed.

San Gimignano processed with Topaz Clarity

San Gimignano processed with Topaz Clarity

When I am teaching on location my main focus is making sure that everyone in capturing great images and learning their camera. Going to great locations makes my job easy and having so many wonderful people travel with me has enriched the time that I spend traveling.

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here
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Santa Maria della Salute on the Venice Lagoon

My friends at Topaz labs added one of my images of the Venice lagoon in their Clarity Gallery

Santa Maria della Salute on the Lagoon

Santa Maria della Salute on the Lagoon

http://gallery.topazlabs.com/Photography/Topaz-Clarity/i-3Xc24mB/A

It is always fun having your images spotlighted.

April 28 through May 2 I will be teaching in Venice and revisiting some of my favorite locations with clients. I still have 2 spots open for the adventurous photographer.

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here

To Save 15% on any of the Topaz product Click Here

Topaz ReStyle is $20 off its original price of $59.99 (reducing the price to $39.99) coupon code ‘FEBRESTYLE’  click here

 


Engine #1225 The Polar Express is on its way North

Yesterday I was able to capture a few images of the Polar Express as it headed to the North Pole. What a great day spent with a good friend and photographer Thomas Nighswander and as we waited for this Magical steam engine on its way north from Owosso Michigan. I have been wanting to capture images of Steam engines but there never seems to be enough time and old engine #1225 is a great one to start my Steam Engine series.

Polar Express Topaz Adjust HDR

Polar Express Topaz B&W Effects 2 and Adjust HDR

It is a hard call deciding if I like the image as traditional Black and White or with a Sepia tone added to it. I used the HDR pallet in Topaz Adjust 5 to process both Black and Whites.

Polar Express Topaz B&W Effects 2 and Adjust HDR

Polar Express Topaz B&W Effects 2 and Adjust HDR

Topaz has a new program called Glow that I ran this program through. It is not my normal way to process an image but it is a lot of fun. It gave the Polar Express a truly magical look as it heads to the North Pole.

Polar Express - Topaz Glow

Polar Express – Topaz Glow

For anyone with children or anyone with the heart of a child I recommend taking a ride on this wonderful old steam engine. The Real Polar Express will be will be departing for the North Pole!!

Glow can be used as a stand-alone or a plugin to transform your photos from dull to dazzling. Containing more than 70 unconventional and quirky filters, you can infuse your images with neon, graphic, liquid and other electrifying effects.

Take advantage of the introductory price of $49.99 (regularly $69.99).
Use the coupon code ‘INTROGLOW’ and buy Click Here

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Sunrise in the UP of Michigan – Revisiting a Mirror Lake

My mornings on location can bring amazing results. Earlier in the week we visited this lake hoping to capture mirror reflections at sunrise but the winds had kicked up making the lake choppy and even though that morning was beautiful I had to revisit this lake to capture this soft fog and mirrored sunrise.

Often clients and friends ask why I revisit these beautiful places? My answer often brings a smile when I tell them that I revisit these beautiful locations to capture them under the right lighting and weather locations. When I revisit an area like Pictured Rocks I will always explore and scout out new locations to shoot but there are locations that I will go back to every time I am in an area.

Sunrise in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Sunrise in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The unprocessed image of this misty morning on this mirror lake is pretty sweet but processing this image with Lightroom and Topaz Clarity brings the feel and look closer to what we actually saw that morning.

Sunrise in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Raw image

Sunrise in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Raw image

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Memorial Falls – Pictured Rocks

The Munising Pictured Rocks area is great area to explore waterfall falls. When exploring the water falls it is fun to climb around and explore all angles. When exploring Memorial falls it was fun climbing in behind the falls and shooting out to capture some of the yellows in the fall colors.

Memorial Falls - Pictured Rocks

Memorial Falls – Pictured Rocks

The image below where I am shooting into the fall is the typical image you see of Memorial falls. It is a nice image but does not have the character of the image above where I am shooting out of the falls.

Memorial Falls - Munising Michigan

Memorial Falls – Munising Michigan

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