Mother Nature is the artist. I just collect the memories…


Photo Manipulations

Yea…I haven’t had a lot of time to get out and shoot photos.  So, as usual, I’ve been playing around in Photoshop, manipulating photos, and coming up with brand new looks for some of my older shots.  Hope you enjoy them!

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Looking Back…

You know me by now… when I haven’t got the time to get out and shoot, I go back through older photos, looking for new perspectives.  So…here you go!

White Mountain Portrait

Bishop Range Eastern Sierra--3shot Pano

And a little manipulation a a shot I took in 2009…

Alcatraz Guard Tower

Thanks for taking the time to look!

Digital Manipulations

This is a relatively new outlet for me.  Everyone has sat in front of their computer and played around with Photoshop.  I have, at least.  In that process, I’ve learned how to use a lot of very important tools for “developing” my digital files into high quality photographs.  This is a necessity, as a photographer.

One thing that has always simultaneously intrigued and eluded me, is the ability that some people have to create something totally new, and never-before-seen through Photoshop.  My first steps towards this creative outlet is using textures, layers, and brushes to create something completely different from the original photograph I started with.  I really don’t know if these are “good” or not.  I’m not skilled or experienced enough to be a proper judge, so I’ll leave that up to you folks.  Feel free to leave comments with tips, tricks, ideas, or advice…

I don’t know.  It’s fun, it occupies my mind, and if it makes me a little more adept and familiar with the tools in Photoshop, I suppose it serves a greater purpose.  But…is it any good?  You tell me…

Thanks for looking!

More Birds

April is an absolutely incredible month this year.  I am SWAMPED with tasks, commitments, chores, and work.  The Shop is moving to a new location, the herp club has commitments to wildlife and government agencies every weekend, and my 21 year old son is coming to visit…for the first time…since he was 2…  Anyhow…

With all the work, stress, and outside commitments in my life right now, there hasn’t been much time to get out and take pictures.  But, since I got my new 70-300mm lens, I decided to get a couple birdfeeders and put them in strategic locations throughout the yard.  So at least I have some bird photo opportunities…

Some kind of Chickadee...I think...

House Finch...the majority population 'round here...

House Finch, approaching strategic feeder #1

A different House Finch, actively feeding at strategic feeder #1

Yellow Headed Blackbird

I’m no good with bird identification, and I don;t own a guidebook, so if any of you bird lovers out there see these as labled wrong or misidentified, please feel free to comment or drop a line to let me know.  I don;t mind being corrected, so please don;t hesitate to offer expertise where I have none…

I also played around with textures again.  This time I used Photoshop brushes to create the texture.  These brushes were again provided by Shadowhouse Creations.  Any of you photographers with even a small interest in textur layers should definitely check that site out.  This guy is giving away some absolutely outstanding work, with very few considerations being asked for.  The man is talented and generous.  Anyhow…


I honestly enjoyed working with the brushes much more than the texture layers.  More control, precise placement, and an infinite amount of variability.  Very neat, and really quite fun.  You should try it…

Thanks for taking the time to look!

Manipulations and Textures

This is a whole new world to me.  I’ve seen texture overlays on a lot of work.  Some of it is excellent, some of it is…well…less than so.  I finally decided to play around and give textures a day in court for myself…

Brutal World

Old West Sunset

Stone Intensity

It’s kind of fun.  I don’t know how much more I will be playing with texture layers and such, but it’s an interesting way to present a completely different look from what I normally produce, so I’ll play around with it here and there, I’m sure…

Anyone that would like to leave a comment with advice, tips, tricks, etc, please feel free to do so.  Thanks for taking the time to look!

P.S. For anyone wondering, I got the textures from Shadowhouse Creations.  Excellent library of free textures.

The Orton Effect

The Orton effect was first used by Michael Orton.  Using color slide film, he would take 2 shots of the same subject, one over-exposed and blurry, the other in focus.  He would then sandwich these two slides together and the effect would have a very surreal, almost dream-like quality to them.  I have heard it referred to as “painterly”, “artistic”, and “dreamy”.  Whatever you choose to call it…it’s pretty cool.

It can easily be applied digitally with today’s editing software…

Creating the above image was really quite simple.  I use Corel’s Paint SHop Pro Photo 12, so this “tutorial” may not be helpful to those of you that use Photoshop…

The first step is basic processing of the base image.  I make brightness/contrast, high pass sharpen, and clarify adjustments to get a solid base image to start with.  Than I copy this image, and paste it as a new layer.

I make the top layer invisible, so I can see the bottom layer, and increase the brightness a bit, than apply a Gaussian Blur.  I typically use a 15-25 pixel radius, but I have used higher.  Be warned…you CAN overdo it.

Once my bottom layer is nice and blurry, I switch to my top layer, and increase the sharpness using High Pass Sharpen once again.  Than I decrease the opacity of the top layer, until I can see the blurry layer underneath.  Than it’s a matter of taste, adjusting the opacity of the top layer to achieve the desired amount of blur and “halo” from the blurred bottom layer.

Once I have the desired amount of blur and sharpness, I flatten the image, and continue processing, as necessary.  For the top image, the processing ended at merging the layers.  For the above image, I boosted contrast a touch and clarify just a bit after merging to bring out some of that texture in the rocks.

And that’s really all there is to it.  Play around with it.  I have found that the images most suited to the Orton effect seem to be those with lots of leaves, trees, or water.  These tend to make a really neat dream-scene using this effect.

I hope you enjoyed this, and Thanks for reading!

Trying Something New

So…I picked up a photography magazine the other day.  Can’t remember which one, but it’s around here somewhere…  Anyhow…  It had this article on creating a really neat optical illusion.  You take a normal photograph, and make it look as though the viewer is looking at a miniaturized model of whatever your subject is.  So I tried it out…

Desert Diorama

Desert Diorama

Tiny Sabrina

Tiny Sabrina

Paradise and Tom

Paradise, CA and Mt. Tom

I don’t know…it’s pretty neat.  I suspect it will be over used and become cliche fairly quickly, but…it’s a neat trick, and can make an interesting image from something you might not otherwise even process.

Let me know what you think, and if you want to know how…I’llbe happy to explain.  Or I can find the magazine and tell you what it was.  Wish I could remember…

Thanks for reading!