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

Posts tagged “randomness

Been A While…

Wow.  It’s been quite some time.  A lot has happened.  Initially, I was unemployed for a little bit, and anyone that has ever been there knows that priorities change.  The internet had to go.  Time was spent looking for a job, pounding the pavement, rather than walking the streets looking for photographs waiting to be taken.  Money got tight, gas prices rose, and activity in my life ran down to a minimum.

But I’m back.  I’m working, making money, and putting my camera back in hand, and priorities back in line.  So by way of a re-introduction, here’s just a few random shots that have helped pass the time…

Zayne and Great Basin Gophersnake

Spike and Andee

My son and his girlfriend hunting for petroglyphs in the Volcanic Tablelands.

Goldfinch

Zayne enjoying Hot Ditch. Natural reflection from the water cured backlight shadows nicely.

Random front yard flower

1982 Shovelhead Custom Rigid. She will be mine. VERY soon…

So…yea…just a few shots to say, I’m back.  And things are getting better.  Thanks for stopping by!!

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One of My First Shots

A long time ago, or so it seems, I took the plunge and invested in a mid-range DSLR camera.  My best friend John was thrilled.  Within 2-3 days of getting my box in the mail, John took me to one of his favorite locations in The Alabama Hills to try it out.   Those first few images were rightly crap.  Poor composition, no subjective connection, and only moderately acceptable exposures.  But on that first day, I learned and re-learned some fascinating aspects of photography that were forgotten in the maze of years.

I went back through the files from that first day, and actually found one that was fairly reasonable.  So I took it into Photoshop CS4, and reprocessed the original file…

Southern Inyo Mountains

I was feeling a little nostalgic, and missing my recently deceased best friend, John.  I’m always gonna miss him, but he will always guide my feet and my exposures in this gorgeous little valley that we both loved so much.  Thinking back on that first day shooting, I couldn’t help but process this one with a little sense of nostalgia, and an antique flare of it’s own.  It was only a few years ago, but it really does seem like a lifetime…

Thanks so much for taking the time to look!


Backyard Macros

So…I’m in the process of moving out of my tiny-ass apartment, and in to a large house.  For the past 4 years, my daughter and I have shared a 2-bedroom apartment with a room mate, which means I have been sleeping on the couch for longer than I care to remember.  We are finally moving in to a large 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house with my girlfriend and her daughter.  What a fantastic change!

However…this leaves me very little time to go out and shoot.  So…backyard “wilderness” will have to suffice…

Western Longnose-Rhinocheilus lecontei

Make A Wish

Looking at the world through a Fly's Eyes

The Nucleus

One more great aspect of our new house…PLENTY of open habitat to explore.  I haven’t walked around too much to explore the property in depth, but I know there are about 1,000 acres or so of public land surrounding us.  I also know that I received 3 different rattlesnake removal calls from this area last year, and all 3 were very nice Panamint Rattlers.  Rarely are removal calls actually for rattlesnakes.  Most of the time, they are big gophersnakes, occasionally a kingsnake, and even a few garter snakes.  But in this area, they have all been actual rattlers, and that makes me very happy, contrary to what one might think, considering there are 2 young girls running around.  But my daughter is well trained in identification, and my girlfriend’s daughter is quickly learning…

Thanks for taking the time to look!


Someone Likes My Stuff…

Check out this blog page–

http://www.photography-colleges.org/50-amazing-nature-photography-bloggers/

I’ve been getting hits from this place for a few weeks now.  Someone actually liked my stuff enough to list it among the top 50 nature photography blogs currently active. 

Wow.  That is incredibly flattering.  Thank you SO much to whomever researched and compiled the list for including my little corner of the photographic blog-o-sphere.  Very flattering, indeed…


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!


Bishop City Park

I went to the park with Annette and Rose today.  It was a pretty nice day, and Rose is quite the camera-ham, though she pretends otherwise at first…

Reflection of Change

Pond at the Park

Thanksgiving Cottonwoods

Rosie Posie

Rosie

Thanks for coming along!


Round Valley Relic

The storm clouds rolling in while taking my daughter to school this morning were simply incredible.  I was racking my brain the whole way to school and back home, trying to figure out where I could go, close by, and get some decent shots.  Than I remembered this old, rusted, gutted, half of a car out behind Kaylee’s mom’s house…

Round Valley Relic1

Color Relic1

And my favorite shot of the morning…

Round Valley Relic2

I really like this last shot.  I actually took 3 exposures from this angle, intending to make an HDR photo merge, but when I got the files uploaded, I realized I didn’t need it, so I discarded the other 2 files, and processed this one as normal.  I think it came out fairly decent.

I will be going back here, after a nice dusting of fresh snow hits Round Valley…

Thanks for looking!


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!