Category Archives: Smokey Mountain Photographic Workshop

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.

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Cottonwood reflections on the Virgin River, Zion National Park

After our last morning shoot and discussion of the trip over breakfast everyone headed home or off to capture more images. I headed back out to the Valley of Fire to spend a few days capture images and taking advantage of the rare opportunity to spend time in the desert reflecting before heading home. After teaching a workshop there is nothing more relaxing for me than to capture images and watch the light in great locations that I have shared with new and old friends. Our deserts in the southwest are perfect locations for reflection and to clear our heads of the distractions that come at us through work and the media.

Cottonwood Reflections on the Virgin River in Zion - processed with Lightroom and Topaz Clarity

Cottonwood Reflections on the Virgin River in Zion – processed with Lightroom and Topaz Clarity

I am not sure if anyone driving with me to locations noticed but I never had the radio on to distract us from the beauty of the landscape and the conversations about the images we were capturing and getting to knowing each other.

Cottonwood Reflections on the Virgin River in Zion - unprocessed

Cottonwood Reflections on the Virgin River in Zion – unprocessed

This is not to say that I do not enjoy music or want to be informed about the events going on in the world but sometimes I like a break to enjoy the wonderful locations and the people who travel to these locations with me. As I am putting my thoughts down I am listening to a great music station out of Springdale NC http://wncw.org/listen-live  88.7 The reason that I like this station is that is plays an eclectic mix of music. If I hear a song that I like it may be a month or two before I get to hear it again.

I had a great time out west and hope that everyone made it home safely! Paul

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Smokey Mountain Photo Workshop – Ogle Cabin

The Ogle Cabin is a Photographers paradise. Martha Jane Huskey Ogle, her children and several other family members arrived in a remote locale of the Great Smoky Mountains inEast Tennessee called White Oak Flats in 1807. It was their wish to honor her recently deceased husband, William and settle in the “land of paradise” he had found for them. That paradise  the Ogle Cabin in Gatlinburg which  is one of my all time favorite locations in the Smokey Mountains to work with clients.

Photoshop CS 5.5 - Camera Raw 6.6

Photoshop CS 5.5 – Camera Raw 6.6

After I opened the Canon CR file in Camera Raw 6.6 I made minor adjustments in the Basic Pallet. In the White Balance drop down menu I selected Auto Temperature 4850 Tint +30 and adjusted the  Fill Light to 30

Basic Processing in Camera Raw 6.6

Basic Processing in Camera Raw 6.6

This image opened out of Camera Raw 6.6 would look good if you haven’t  seen the image finished using Nik Software.

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete - Film Efex - Kodak Portra 400 VC

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete – Film Efex – Kodak Portra 400 VC

Using Color Efex Pro 3.0 I selected Film Efex 3.0 and selected Kodak Portra 400VC from the drop down Menu.

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete - Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete – Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Using Color Efex Pro 3.0 I selected Film Efex 3.0 and selected Kodak Portra 400VC from the drop down Menu.

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete - Tonal Contrast

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete – Tonal Contrast

Next with Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete I used Tonal Contrast

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete - Remove Color Cast

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete – Remove Color Cast

Next with Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete  I used Remove Color Cast and using 50% Opacity in the Blend Modes

Ogle Cabin Finished using Nik Software

Ogle Cabin Finished using Nik Software


Smokey Mountains Photographic Workshop

Clingmans dome - Rim Frost

Clingmans dome - Rim Frost

On Monday,  April 23 on the first full day of the Smokey Mountain workshop there was rime ice that made the narrow winding switchbacks mountain roads to Clingmans dome too treacherous for driving and the road was closed for most of the day. Fortunately after 4pm the road to Clingmans dome was reopened and we were able to capture some fabulous images. I have traveled through the Smokey mountains for the last 20 years on my way home from the southern art fair circuited and this is the first I was able to capture Rime Ice sometimes known as hoar frost

Mount Le Conte

Mount Le Conte

The summit of Mount Le Conte to the east of 441 was covered in rime ice. Sunlight played on the landscape like a painters brush as it dappled the trees on the mountain with light as we photographed. It is always a wonderful experience watching when nature presents us with her handiwork.   

 


Greenbrier – Smokey Mountain National Park

 Just north and east of Gatlinburg there is an amazing area in the great smoky national park called Greenbrier. The rock formations in Greenbrier look like the formations you would find on the Moon.  It is an amazing place to photograph especially after a fresh rain.  The crevices fill with water and create wonderful reflection pools of the surrounding trees. I like to visit this area in the late afternoon when the light is being blocked by the surrounding hills and trees.  You can get some amazing reflections on the water lying in small pools between the rocks

Greenbrier Moonscape - Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee
Greenbrier Moonscape – Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee

I came in at a low angle and Captured my images at F16 through F32 so my depth of field would not only keep the rocks and small reflection pools in the foreground in focus but also keep the waterfalls and trees in the background in focus.

Greenbrier - Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee
Greenbrier – Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee

Image number 16, 17 and 18 in the Smokey Mountain gallery were photographed in the Greenbrier area.

Greenbrier - Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee
Greenbrier – Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee

I selected my camera White Balance for Auto and selected my Camera Profile for Neutral in Adobe Camera Raw and then opened the images into Photoshop CS 5 so I could do my adjustments using Nik software. With these single images I found that running them through the Nik HDR program game me amazing contrast that I couldn’t achieve with any other tools I had used.


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