Category Archives: Nik software

Southwest Workshop – New Moon

When I have been out west shooting in the past, I have always focused on the first light and the last light of the day. For me, the magic has always happened at sunrise and sunsets. This November’s workshop will be a little different, I am going to be out shooting in Dark Sky areas during a new moon. This means that the skies will be darker and the stars will be brighter and I can pick shooting times when the Milky Way will be visible in the sky without any natural or manmade light pollution. Shooting in a dark sky area with a new moon will be a treat for this seasoned photographer.

I captured this image in Death Valley while camping with my friend Craig Osterloh.

Sands of Time- Death Valley

Orion the Hunter – Death Valley

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Southwest Jack O’ Lantern-Valley of Fire

The Southwest workshop is only a few weeks away and I have been going over images getting ready for the shoot. On this fall day I hope everyone is out enjoying corn fields turned into mazes and spending time in the apple orchards.  One of my favorite fall activities has been to find the perfect pumkin to carve my Jack O’ Lantern and with Halloween just around the corner this image popped out at me.

Southwest Jack O' Lantern-Valley of Fire

Southwest Jack O’ Lantern-Valley of Fire

The Southwest doesn’t have corn fields and apple orchards but it does have some of the best Jack O’ Lanterns formed by a millennium of wind and rain.

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Saint James Court Art Show

I am looking forward to Saint James Court Art show this weekend! This will be my last outdoor art fair of the season. After the show I will have a little more time to work with images, as well as get the house and yard ready for winter. Soon I will be heading out to spend time capturing fall colors in the Smoky Mountains and Zion National Park along the Virgin River. The Show season goes fast and I will miss seeing everyone. Thank You All for making it another wonderful year at the shows!

Cottonwoods along the Virgin River

Cottonwoods along the Virgin River

 


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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Mystical Light Rays in Antelope Canyon

Nature often offers us elegance that takes us out of ourselves and into places of amazing beauty. While in the Southwest I am alway delighted by the shapes that wind and rain have formed over the millennium and I am looking forward to my next trip.

Ray of light Antelope Canyon horizontal

Ray of light Antelope Canyon

When capturing images and looking at compositions it is always important to consider cropping  and to try to compose the image both vertically and horizontally.

Ray of light Antelope Canyon Vertical

Ray of light Antelope Canyon Vertical

 

 

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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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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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