Friday, March 27, 2009


I have been experimenting with photoshop technique for mirroring images. The image here is the first one I have created. I also applied what is know as a digital sandwich to give it a bit of punch. Tony Sweet's blog ( has a video right now that shows the steps involved in mirroring. It is quite easy. Here is another one. Notice the interesting patterns in the middle.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why HDR?

As you probably have noticed I have used HDR on several occasions now. I am slowing getting a sense of when to use HDR and when not to. Besides the obvious high contrast situation where the sky in a landscape would be blow out without some intervention - split ND filter, double processed RAW or multiple manually merged images - HDR when processed with Photomatrix has other advantages. First, if there is a lot of detail in a subject, the detail enhancer can really bring that out. For example, the tractor picture I published in an earlier blog. Or the image included here. As you can see there is a lot of stuff that grows on the trees in Oregon besides leaves. Generally I have not found straight photography does it justice, but HDR brings it out nicely. When shooting interiors, HDR is good for keeping hot spots from burring out - sun on a rug as shown in the second image. Finally HDR is good when you have an image that includes both interior and exterior subject material as seen in my earlier blog post on covered bridges.

I am sure I will find other good reasons for HDR, but these are a few.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Revisiting old images

As part of my continuing skill improvement I am taking another BetterPhoto course. This time from William Neil. As I was preparing my initial photographs for review I went back to a set of images I took at Glacier NP this past year. As I was going over the images, I found the ones that hadn't really captured my attention in the past. There are probably several reasons for this. One, I can look at them with fresh eyes and two, I can now better visualize them with some additional post processing and/or a different treatment all together. The first example shows a color version of a storm rolling in at Glacier. It is pretty much in its RAW form with only standard settings. Clearly I exposed this image for the bright highlight in the sky. After some processing in Lightroom (burning in the sky highlight and dodging the mountain plus sepia toning) the image ended up feeling much more powerful and conveys the ominous feeling I felt at the time. There are several more images from Glacier I will be revisiting. They should be showing up on my website down the road.
Conclusion: It pays to revisit older images with new eyes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring has Sprung

I have been sick for a few days with the bug that has been going around. I am finally starting to feel better today. As I walked around the house I noticed the bouquet of daffodils my wife sat on a cube in a room we recently painted. The daffodil's were stunning against the blue paint. Needless to say I had to take several photos. The image included here is the one I first saw in my mind as I walked by.

I have included another shot I took on Monday at lunch before I was sick. This last image has had some diffusion applied to accentuate the pink buds that are ready to blossom. As you can see, spring has sprung on the northwest. Hopefully it is coming your way soon if it hasn't already!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good Enough

Probably the biggest question we all struggle with when contemplating a career in photography is, "Am I good enough?". While this question is important and we should all be working to improve our work, both technically and creatively, the bigger question is whether we have the gumption to get out there and market our work. As I have been taking classes with different photographers I have been critiquing there work, sales channels and markets. While some photographers work is unique and spectacular other's work is just solid, but they all seem to be able to make a living. How good a living I can't know. While some skill level must be attained, the key is getting out there and trying to sell your work. This is what I must do in the coming months. My success or lack of it will in the end answer the initial question, "Am I good enough?".

Image: I had noticed a week or two ago that the local buffalo farm looks pretty good at sunrise on a foggy morning - at other times of the day the setting along the highway is just not that picturesque. So a couple days ago I noticed the conditions were right and drove by the farm. This is my favorite image. Notice the buffalo cooperated and formed a nice repition of three into the fog.