I received this beautiful gift yesterday morning. The combination of a brilliant sunrise reflecting off beautiful lenticular clouds … I couldn’t ask for a better way to start the day. It inspired me to get out and spend several hours walking around my yard taking remnants of the fall colors with my macro lens. It was a wonderful morning, full of discovery and exploration!
The soft early morning light highlighted this scene. The maple tree, grasses, and pine shrub appear very soft. I enhanced the softness in post processing. The image was exposed to highlight the soft leaves of the Japanese maple. The background was in shade which created a nice dark contrast to the light maple. The image warms me all over.
Continuing with Dave duChemin’s course, I found this raking light on a gazebo roof in the Seattle Japanese Garden. The sun had just broken over the ridge of the adjacent Washington Arboretum. The soft light raking across the roof lasted for just a few moments before the direct sunlight engulfed the roof. I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent several hours walking around the University of Washington campus. I had not been there for about 15 years. How much things have changed. My old hangout, the EEB (Electrical Engineering Building) has been completely remodeled and enlarged with a large new section for Computer Science.. When I was there, Computer Science was just a small part of the EE Department. Now it is its own Department with over 1300 students.
During class breaks, I use to go to the Sylvan Theater and the Columns just behind the EEB. It was a wonderful peaceful place to sit and wonder about what the future would bring, The Sylvan Theater was just about the same as I recall it was 50 years ago. However, there were several students there with hard hats, surveying equipment, and tape measures. They were taking measurements to design a new courtyard to replace a good part of the grass. I feel a little sorrow to see my old memories change. But I guess it is for the best. Those memories are great ones!
Happy Thanksgiving to all! We have so very much to be thankful for including this beautiful fall day a couple of weeks ago. Each day is a gift to be lived and enjoyed to its fullest.
This was taken in our back yard in the early morning as the sun was breaking the horizon and shining on a little fresh frost on the ground. I liked how the sparkle from the sunlit frost made small globes of light. I then walked around to get something interesting to put in front. This backlit maple was just what I was looking for. It was a moment to be thankful for.
Yesterday was another beautiful fall day in Bucks County, PA. Late in the afternoon I saw some white billowy clouds coming across the sky. I rushed over to Fonthill Castle and caught about 15 minutes of late afternoon warm sunlight. What attracted me the most on this image were the long shadows casting themselves on the lawn and the castle walls. It was worth the jaunt for the 15 minutes of nice sunlight.
The trees around Fonthill Castle are turning toward their fall brilliance. For the last couple of days I have been going to the castle to catch late afternoon and early morning light as it illuminates the castle walls. This image is a combination of a 0, +1, and -1 exposure blended together. The normal exposure is the base. The +1 exposure was used to lighten the right side of the castle that was in the shade. The -1 exposure was used to tone down a few hot spots on the castle tower. These were blended together using layers and masks in Photoshop. A little tonal contrast in NIK Color EFEX pro was used to finish the image off. I first worked with HDR, but could not come up with a realistic looking image.
This was one of the last shots of the day. Sometimes they are some of the best, at least for me. The hay rake provided a strong near field compositional element. Most images of this bridge are taken from directly on or perpendicular to the bridge. I wanted to get something a little different and catch some of the fall color.
Knechts Covered Bridge is one of my favorites. It is somewhat hidden off the meandering country roads on what seems to be a single lane remote road. The simplicity of the structure is marred with bright caution and height limit signs. I took the liberty of removing them from the image with Photoshop. If you look close you can see the remnants on the left stone abutment and below the bridge name placard.
I was not too creative and made several mistakes with this image. So there are several lessons here. First, as I was walking along the rocks, I hit a slippery area and tumbled down on my knees and elbows. I made sure the camera was safe. After the fall, I lost my focus and interest and only took a few images. Lesson 1: if something happens, take the time to regain composure and then start again. I knew that I had an extreme dynamic range between the sky and the shadows on the bridge and ground. I did not take enough exposures to generate a blended image or HDR. Lesson 2: Take my time to capture the image and lighting that I am looking for. I put on a cheap polarizer on my lens. It leaves a little flare from time to time. I had discovered this before and still put the filter on. Lesson 3: Don’t put anything but good filters over good optics. No filter is better than one that even degrades the image a little. Anyway, this post is a good example of what not to do.