Tag Archives: Topaz Clarity

Join us for a Spring Day in the Country Photo Workshop to hone camera and processing skills.

May 14, 2016  $75 Limit 8

Farmhouse Lilacs

Farmhouse Lilacs

Now that spring has arrived in Michigan there are a lot of photographers who want to dust off their cameras and spend a time honing their camera and processing skills,  while capturing some great spring images. On May 14, 2016, I will be spending the day shooting and going over image processing in the countryside near my home in Chelsea, Michigan.

We will start the day at 9 a.m. with coffee, while going over camera functions, in Chelsea at the old farm house where I live and work. Then we will head out for some close up work. My neighbors raise horses and they have two Friesian foals that we will spend time with.

After a lunch break, we will go over image processing on the images we have shot, then head out for an afternoon shoot.

In the afternoon we will spend time at the Waterloo Farm Museum, where we will spend some of the afternoon shooting the buildings and some close up images. After a couple of hours at Waterloo, we will go back to work on image processing to wind down the day.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Tuscan Photographic Workshop Tour June 18 – June 23 2016

Florence is a terrific place to start an Italian adventure. It was built by the Romans and transformed by the Renaissance into one on the great art capitals of the world. There are still a couple of places left on the Tuscan workshop.

Duomo Florence

Duomo Florence

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Our first stop in Tuscany will be San Gimignano, a small walled village an hour north and Siena, it is famous for its medieval architecture and towers that rise above of all the surrounding buildings offering an impressive view of the city from the surrounding valley.

After our morning shoot in San Gimignano, we will be heading to Siena to explore this wonderful medieval village where Leonardo da Vinci enjoyed spending time.

After Siena we will be staying in the Val d’Orcia which is the wheat belt of Tuscany. The Val d’Orcia is an hour south of Siena with the Bagno Vignoni on its west side and the ancient Roman village of Pienza on its east. In the Heart of the Tuscan region we’ll be capturing images, with time set aside to soak in the hot mineral waters of the Bagno, a little wine tasting, and a cooking class for anyone who is interested. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop’s Lightroom and Topaz and Nik Software plug-ins to help improve your processing skills.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Perspective using Photoshop’s Transform tool – Charleston’s Spring Wisteria

It doesn’t matter how many times I walk the historic streets of the Battery in Charleston, there is always one window or doorway that stands out a little more than the rest. This historic window on Meeting is always beautiful, and this year I was able to capture it with the perfectly blooming wisteria transforming it.

Wisteria Window - Battery Park, Charleston

Wisteria Window – Battery Park, Charleston

Using the transform tool I was able to change the perspective of this window. To boost the color and contrast I used Topaz Clarity.

Wisteria Window - Battery Park, Charleston

Wisteria Window – Battery Park, Charleston

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products

 

 

 

 

 

 


Reclaimed Trees by the Sea – Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

Composition is what makes an image great. How everything is placed in an image depends on where you place your camera.

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

 Ansel Adams

Reclaimed by the Sea - Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

Reclaimed by the Sea – Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

The images of the trees reclaimed by the surf that we will capture during next spring’s Charleston workshop at the Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation will be amazing. There is no shell collecting on the beach which makes this pristine beach one-of-a-kind!

In the darkroom when we needed to bring out shadow areas we would make a variety of wands to dodge the shadow areas. When we needed to bring down the highlights we would expose the sky a second and sometimes a third time while fanning and feathering the edge between the sky and ground with cardboard sheets to give detail to the overexposed areas.

To bring the shadows out and the highlights down I blending 3 HDR files in Lightroom which brought detail into the shadows and highlights. To make the image pop I used Clarity my favorite Topaz software plugin.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Charleston’s Gas Lights

Charleston is always a great place to capture images and soak up some of our country’s history.

Charleston's Gas Lights

Charleston’s Gas Lights brought into sharp focus by focus stacking two images

I have photographed the gas light in Charleston before, but this spring everything lined up and I produced a new favorite. It doesn’t matter how long you have been shooting, sometime a small change happens and you see things a little differently. That little difference gives you the image you have been wanting to capture. I have a favorite shooting spot a few steps away that I like to take clients to, and while I was there I finally saw this composition. The clients that I travel with often give me input which alters my perception of the environment and locations where I am shooting. The more I listen the better my images and composition have become.

Chuck and his wife Jenny joined me for the Spring 2016 Charleston workshop and they spent time looking at some of the local artist at the market and the gas light paintings and photographs of Charleston. Their enthusiasm for the wonderful gaslights brought my attention back to this composition.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Here Be Dragons – Southwest Photo Workshop

In the mid 70’s I was a navigator for the Navy and we still had an old chart that actually had “Here Be Dragons” labeled on it. Even though it was more for fun that someone had left an old chart in the chart drawer, it still sparked the fantasy that there may still be a sleeping dragon somewhere in the world.

Sleeping Dragon - Southwest workshop

Sleeping Dragon – Southwest workshop

When I finally found a sleeping dragon, it reaffirmed that there is still magic in the world. In November I will be revisiting him during the Southwest workshop to see what his fire will do to the sky at sunset.

This is a two shot HDR Panoramic processed in Lightroom. After merging the images I popped the contrast and color using Topaz Clarity.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Devil’s Fire – Southwest workshop

Getting in and out of the Devil’s Fire was quite an experience. You have to travel on 30 miles of bad road before going off-road for another 20. There were a couple of spots when, although I did not say it, I was thinking “Oh Shit this could be a long walk back!”. My friend W. Steve Johnson and I made it in and out twice and we captured some spectacular images. I look forward to sharing this unique place with clients on our upcoming southwest trips.

Beggars Banquet - Nevada

Beggars Banquet – Nevada

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


The Great White Throne – Zion National Park

“Leaving on a Jet Plane” always runs in my mind the morning of a trip. This time I am on the way to our great southwest where I well to be spending time with good friends and family while capturing great images.

Angels Landing - Zion National Park

The Great White Throne – Zion National Park

Click here to receive $30 off Topaz DeNoise 6

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake is off US 395, the main north-south route in California, just east of the Sierra Nevada range. Much of its length has phenomenal views of the snow covered mountains nearby.

4 Image Pano Mono Lake

4 Image Pano Mono Lake

I spent some time photographing the Tufa around Mono Lake, but my favorite shot from the area is this Panoramic that I shot from high above the lake.

While photographing there last fall, I stayed in the small town of Lee Vining. Located on the west shore of Mono Lake, it is close to the Tioga Road which leads into Yosemite National Park. Mono Lake is a large, shallow, alkaline lake which is impressive enough from a distance, but close up has the added interest of unusual Tufa pinnacles. These calcium carbonate spires have been deposited over thousands of years around underwater springs, and are now exposed because the lake level has fallen in recent times.

Southwest Photographic Workshop Tour
March 13 – March 17, 2016
$695/ Limited to 8 Students

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products.


Sierra Nevadas – March 13 – March 17, 2016

Photography has become a way of life for me that has always been changing. In the early days, it was usually just me, on a hillside, waiting for the light to change and learning how to take a moment and breath it all in. Now it is more about sharing the hillsides and what I have learned with a few others. Last night was a fun evening; I gave a presentation for the Mid Michigan Photo Club in East Lansing on Lightroom workflow and some luminosity masking. It was a nice change from my solo days on hilltops and in the darkroom.

Sierra's north of Bishop

Sierra’s north of Bishop

I had bracketed this image to create an HDR +2, 0, -2 but only used the 0 exposure with a curves mask on Lights 3 channel I had created to bring down the highlights.

Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products.

Southwest Photographic Workshop Tour
March 13 – March 17, 2016
$695/ Limited to 8 Students


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