Category Archives: Fire Wave

Captuing the night sky will be part of the Southwest workshop November 7-11 2015

I had a short window of time during the 2014 Zion workshop to capture a few star images last year. During the 2015 Southwest workshop November 7-11 the moon will not be out at night and we will have dark skies which will be perfect for capturing the star filled western skies.

Zion nights Southwest photo workshops

Zion nights Southwest photo workshops

While on location some of the fun in an image is caused by people interacting with the environment. The foreground of this image was lit by the interior lights of a car while a family had their evening meal while enjoying the night sky. The interior lights from their car lit up the foreground hills in my 30sec exposure.

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Antelope Slot Canyon – Southwest Photo Workshop

Yesterday I had the opportunity to work with JBrad Lewis on a few of the images he captured during my Novembers Southwest workshop. We used Adobe Lightroom developed module to process his image. Lightroom has a fantastic develop module and its cataloging system to organize my workflow is amazing and over the last year it has become my starting point for working on images. Lightroom’s lets you work with a thumbnail of your images instead of the full image storing metadata of the changes and making my workflow lighting fast. When I work with my images in CS6 program the larger files slow me down. Not having to wait for files to open saves me time to go out and do a little more shooting.

Antelope Canyon - Southwest Workshop

Antelope Canyon – Southwest Workshop

The unprocessed image looks good out of the camera but a few Lightroom adjustments makes it a award winning image.

Antelope Canyon Raw unprocessed image

Antelope Canyon Raw unprocessed image

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Highlight recovery in Photoshop Elements 13

Last week was the first time I had the opportunity to work with the new Photoshop Elements 13 and I was impressed by its highlight recovery. Debbie B. captured this wonderful image in Lower Antelope canyon during the Southwest workshop .

Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon Processed

If you have worked in any of the Photoshop develop modules you can work in any of the other Photoshop develop modules. They are all laid out similarly. Debbie B. emailed me this great composition that she had captured during the Southwest workshop and I walked her through the steps to process her image. The highlight recovery in Elements 13 is far superior to the highlights I have been able to recover in CS6 and Lightroom 5.7. Adobe keeps surprising me with their software magic!

Lower Antelope unprocessed

Lower Antelope unprocessed

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Take advantage of the introductory price of $49.99 (regularly $69.99).
Use the coupon code ‘INTROGLOW’ to buy click here

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.

 


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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National Parks location workshop tours

The 4th of July is a great day to have fun with family and friends and plan trips to our great National Parks. My images below capture the beauty of Grand Canyon and remind me of the visual treasures the parks hold for us to photograph. I have scheduled two workshops this fall in our National Parks, hope you can join us.

The Great Smoky Mountains Workshop tour October 26-29 2014

Southwest Slot Canyon Workshop tour Nov. 8-14 2014.

Hope you can join me in one of our national parks!

Shadow Lands, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Shadow Lands, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Both Topaz and Nix software can work magic on your image. Today Ihave spent a little time today working on images of the Grand Canyon that are in my Panoramic Gallery. The Topaz software that I used to finish these images makes a huge improvement over the original processing in Photoshop CS3 used just a few years ago.

Tapestry of Light, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Tapestry of Light, South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Raw image with a few adjustments

Raw image with a few adjustments

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Temple of Sinawava – Zion National Park

One of the best part of teaching is seeing the enthusiasm and creativity of my clients. After returning home from the slot canyon workshop Robert Perry entered one of his images in a photo contest the Cleveland area. The image bob captured in Zion titled Temple of Sinawava tied for First Place for “colorful fall” category. Bob has been on several location shoots with me and has returned with several award winning images.

Temple of Sinawava - Zion National Park

Temple of Sinawava – Zion National Park

Bob has emailed me several of his images from the trip and my favorite is the self portrait he captured in Antelope Canyon.

Bob Parry  - Self Portrait of a Photographer

Bob Parry – Self Portrait of a Photographer

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Topaz Clarity and Highlight Recovery in Lightroom

In 2006 I captured 6 images with my Canon 20D and used autopano pro to stitch them together and process what I thought was an amazing image of Hopi Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  When I look at what I can do with the new software the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song come to mind “Times They Are A-Changin‘”

Dawn of a new day - Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

Dawn of a new day – Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

This is the image processed in 2006 with all the latest technology available.

Original image processed in 2006

Original image processed in 2006

When processing new images with the new software available in Topaz and Lightroom I think of images I need to revisit. In this image I was able to bring back the highlight in the sun’s rays bursting through the storm clouds with the Highlight recovery tool in Lightroom. In the early versions of Adobe I was not able to bring back the highlights. Using the Shadow Recovery tool I was also able to bring out more detail in the shadow area.

Highlight and Shadows recovered in Lightroom

Highlight and Shadows recovered in Lightroom

Then to add the finishing touches I used Topaz Clarity to bring back the mood of the stormy October morning that I shared with fellow photographer Darren Plant and my brother Robert.

Dawn of a new day - Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

Dawn of a new day – Hopi Point, South Rim Grand Canyon

The reason I decided to teach workshops is that I have found that these mornings have more meaning to me when shared.

“A journey shared is a journey remembered”

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