Practice

160725_JapaneseMaple_AntiqueFuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 18mm, f/8.0, 1/550 sec, ISO 800

My photography has not been very creative lately.  When I get this way, I like to walk around and just practice.  I do not have high expectations and just stop to photograph what catches my eye.  I usually do not carry a tripod with me during these practice shoots.  I use them as a scouting inspiration/exploration endeavor to come back and shoot at a better time.  This image was taken in mid-day light at the Washington Arboretum Japanese Garden in Seattle.  I spent 2 to 3 hours just walking around and enjoying the beautiful garden.  I shot for less than an hour.

Once home, I just started playing around with different processing techniques on a few images. Again, more practice.  This was one of the images that caught my eye.  The original image was full of bright yellows, greens, and some oranges.  I almost did not even try black and white processing.  I wasn’t happy with the standard B&W images either, so I decided to experiment (play) some more.  This sepia with a reverse vignette was the result.

Star Gazing

160714_Milky WayMilky Way in Central Oregon

The skies were clear and dark with a new moon.  We were out in a remote area in Central Oregon near the Prineville Reservoir. The skies were brilliant with stars shining everywhere.  I had not been in such a site since I was in Boy Scouts over 50 years ago.  I stared, stared, and stared, totally engrossed in the beauty and the enormity of the heavens above me.  I dreamed about all the possibilities out there for other forms of life.  It was a wonderful, amazing night that I will never forget.

 

Badlands: Yellow Hills

160619_Badlands Yellow HillsFuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 105mm, f/11, 1/340 sec, ISO 400

Along the northwest section of the park drive, yellow hills and green valleys provided a change in color contrast of the landscape.  This post concludes my quick trip through the badlands.  Some day I hope to go back and explore the area at a more leisurely pace.

Badlands Sunrise

160614_Badlands SunriseFuji X-T1, XF10-24mm @24mm. f/22. 1/13 sec, ISO 1600

The sky was very dark and covered with clouds. The landscape was very dark and covered with shadows.  Then for a few seconds the sun popped out in a small gap in the clouds.  The landscape opened up its arms for me to enjoy.  The three hour drive starting at 3:00 AM to catch the sunrise was worth it!

Badlands National Park

160604_Badlands 2Fuji X-T1, EF 18-135mm @ 31mm, f/16, 1/110 sec, ISO 800

I walked down into the basin of the Badlands and looked up to see the towering, eroded hills behind me.  I processed this image to separate the foreground from the background by adding a touch of NIK’s Color EFEX Pro graduated fog to the background.  I should have shot this image at a wider aperture to produce a natural effect.  Lesson Learned:  Take my time, work the image from different settings and exposures to create the effects that bring out specific elements of the subject.

Badlands National Park – Burns Basin

160602_Badlands 1Fuji X-T1, EF18-135mm @ 18mm, f/11, 1/175 sec, ISO 400

During a 2,880 mile, 4 day drive from Philadelphia to Washington State, I made one stop to photograph the Badlands National Park.  The Badlands has been on my photography “bucket list” for years.  I got up early at 3:00 AM and drove 200 miles to catch the sunrise at the park.  I spent only 5 hours driving and taking short walks to capture the typical sights.  It was more of a quick scouting expedition rather than a planned photo shoot.  I will be back!

The light was rather poor, even at sunrise.  But that did not alter my enjoyment of the park.  I anticipated that I would end up processing the images in B&W, so I focused my shooting on trying to capture tonal contrasts.  During the next few days I will post additional Badlands National Park photos.

Dogwood Impasto

160421_Dogwood ImpastoMultiple Exposure:  Dogwood Blooms and Asphalt Pavement

I got a little bored shooting in the garden.  Nothing was “Popping” for me.  So I thought I would have a little fun with multiple exposures.  This image is a combination of a Pink Dogwood branch and a texture photo of a section of asphalt pavement.  Magic happens.

To finish it off I decided to experiment a little with Topaz Impression.  Here I used the Impasto I preset.  Something a little different.