Category Archives: Virgin River

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

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

 


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

 

 

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

Black Friday sale on the Topaz Suite from November 28th through December 1st $249.99 Click Here 


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

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

To save 50% on the Topaz Suite now $365.49 Click Here


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

To Save 15% on any of the Topaz Click Here

To save 15% on the Nik collection Click Here

Save 50% on the Topaz Suite now $379.99 Click Here


The Watchman in Zion National Park

The Watchman is one of the great locations to shoot in Zion National Park. On the brisk fall morning that I captured this image the wind was whipping through the prairie grasses and creating a nice motion blur in the foreground and the rising sun was setting the sky on fire. Shooting manually at F/11 there were a variety of time exposures and ISO combinations that I tried and this exposure at 1/15th of a second at ISO 1600 is the one I liked the most.  There is nice motion in the foreground without losing all of the detail.

Watchman - Zion National Park

Watchman – Zion National Park

After a little exposure and highlight adjustments in Camera Raw I processed this image using Topaz Clarity, then Tonal Contrast in Nik Software. At this point the image looked great but the sky looked a little grainy so I selected the sky and used Topaz DeNoise to remove the grain.

Watchman - Zion National Park - Raw Image

Watchman – Zion National Park – Raw Image

 

To Save 15% on any of the Topaz Click Here

Create paintings, sketches, watercolors, cartoons, and more with Topaz Simplify 50% off until Feb 28 Click Here

To save 15% on the Nik collection Click Here 

 


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”

To save 15% on Topaz products click here 

To check locations and dates for this year’s Italian and other Location Workshops click here


%d bloggers like this: