Friday, April 30, 2010


Taking a break from the Utah stuff, I'm still working on processing images from the Lauren and Chelsea shoot from several weeks ago. This was one of the first images I shot that day -- maybe even the first. We were trying to do some backlight, and when I first saw this on my LCD screen I remember thinking how bright the background was and how I quickly changed the lighting. But as I look at it now, it's really not that objectionable -- kind of a nice flow of light from the side and slightly behind from left to right. Wish I would have shot more with this lighting ratio. Monchrome conversion was done with Nik Silver Efex. Nikon D200 at 85mm, f/2.8 at 1/250 sec, Larry's Elinchrome providing the main light source from the left and behind Lauren.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Monument Valley Panorama

From the floor of Monument Valley, Utah -- this is a four frame panorama. The photos were shot vertically handheld and merged together with Photoshop's photomerge utility. I think back to several years ago and how difficult it was to get proper alignment of a pano even shooting with a tripod, and now it seems so easy. Colors tweaked slightly in Photoshop, but no brushes were used and no animals were harmed in the making of this sky. It is 100% natural.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deadhorse HDR

More than one person has made a comment about the stream photo I posted earlier in the week. They were surprised that with all the grand landscapes I saw and photographed that was the first I chose to post -- I guess it was a purely random choice. As a photographer you like to get into those small intimate shots before you tackle the big vistas. And as I look over my photos from this trip, I realize how easy it is to get caught up shooting static landscapes without much flow and thought to the composition. I tried to break myself of that with the photo above. It's from Deadhorse Point -- a Utah state park, very close to Canyonlands National Park in Moab. This one stood out to me because I think there are some interesting compositional elements and flow through the image -- the twisted tree, arcing stone wall, canyon plateaus and walls, and the La Sal Mountains on the horizon. Five bracketed images merged together with Photomatix Pro, base exposure shot at f/11, 1/320 sec at 22mm; a few tweaks and some sharpening added in Photoshop.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Zion Stream

Just returned from 10 days in Utah -- traveling and photographing the parks in the area. This is the first of many to come -- a stream in Zion National Park along the Riverside Walk Trail. Nikon D200, 85mm, f/22, 1/10 sec; enhanced with some masks and selective color adjustments in Photoshop.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chelsea #2

Here's another image of Chelsea from the shoot last weekend -- again from the same series where I somehow became fixated with this highlight in the background. Instead of shooting around it, I included it. Probably not the greatest decision I ever made. So, I've been experimenting with ways to mediate it. After a retouch on Chelsea, I began incorporating some bokeh textures with blend modes, photo filter adjustment layers and of course a nice soft mask as it blends into the hair.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lauren #2

I don't think there will be many versions of this shot. I really like the color here -- another shot of Lauren from the photo shoot a week ago. Nikon D200 at 175mm, 1/125 sec at f/5.6. Light from Larry's Elinchrome high and above camera right. Another point of emphasis for me this year is really concentrating on placement of focus points on critical areas. And in this shot, I really locked in on Lauren's eyes. Probably not visible on screen resolution here, but you could enlarge this on the side of a bus, and it would be absolutely tack sharp.

Chelsea - version 3

Same shot of Chelsea -- this time with some texture and toning to help diminish the highlight above her shoulder. By doing that, however, the backlight on the hair becomes very prominent ... just another variation.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chelsea in Color

Color version of the Chelsea image from yesterday. Comments welcome regarding which you prefer -- sepia or color.