Category Archives: Zion National Park

Smoky Mountain Spring Workshop April 19-22 2015

Every Spring I teach a workshop in the Smoky Mountains to capture images of the park coming out of its winter sleep.

It is always enjoyable seeing images that clients capture during the workshops.

Bob thanks for sending over some of the images that you and Linda shot.

Looking forward to this spring’s workshop and will enjoy seeing the images you capture!

Flour ground in a Smoky Mountain Grist Mill

Flour ground in a Smoky Mountain Grist Mill

Spring Dogwoods in Sparks Lane

Spring Dogwoods in Sparks Lane

Spring Dogwoods at rustic cabin Smoky Mountains

Spring Dogwoods at rustic cabin Smoky Mountains

Bonsai Dogwood Smoky Mountains

Bonsai Dogwood Smoky Mountains

Last Light - Rustic cabins Smoky Mountains

Last Light – Rustic cabins Smoky Mountains

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Gilmore car museum – Lake Michigan Lighthouse workshop Aug 9-12

The hood ornaments of cars has have fascinated me since I was a kid and going to car museums is a fun way to bring back a little nostalgia while I photograph these works of art.

The Gilmore car museum on the west side of Michigan has one of the country’s best collection of antique cars and I am looking fwd to visiting the Gilmore which will be one of the stops on my Lake Michigan lighthouse workshop this August.

Gilmore Car Museum

Gilmore Car Museum

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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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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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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

 

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