Archive for 2009

Working With What You’ve Got

Friday, October 16th, 2009


“If you can’t fix it, feature it.”

– Gerald M. Weinberg
The Secrets of Consulting

I ran across this quote during my career as a consultant in software engineering, but it has actually had more relevance to my photography. We’re in Acadia National Park this week. On the way here, I had visions of misty costal scenes and warm morning light on the costal cliffs. What I had this morning was a nor’easter on its way in. Clearly, I couldn’t fix that so I decided to feature it. I wanted to produce an image that captured the feel of the ominous skies and the pounding, wind-driven waves crashing against the rocks. The image above was processed from a single, well-exposed file. After processing it in Lightroom, I went to Photoshop and added a Curves Adjustment Layer with a mask to darken just the sky.

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Teton Reflections

Sunday, October 4th, 2009


We recently returned from a week of photographing in the Tetons. It had been eight or nine years since I was at Schwabacher’s Landing to photograph the classic reflection of the Grand Teton. The changes were incredible!  The beaver dam that created the reflecting pool is taller so the water level in the reflecting pool is much higher. It’s high enough to encroach on the trees along the far shore as well as submerge some great places to set up a tripod. The trees are also much taller. In addition, there are now two newer beaver dams below the original one.

Change is inevitable and it often brings new opportunities. In this case, the pond created by the lowest beaver dam captures some great reflections of the Teton Range. The image above is from the channel upstream from the usual spot. The higher water level has widened the channel and there are some great reflections along that channel as well.

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Canyon Spirits

Monday, September 21st, 2009


One of the things I enjoy most about Photoshop is the ability to explore images – to ask “What would happen if …?” Recently, I wondered what would happen if I constructed a mirror montage using one of my slot canyon abstractions. After duplicating and flipping the image, I began to cycle through the blending modes. When I selected “Difference” the result was magical. Exciting new shapes and colors appeared. As I explored more of these montages, it seemed to me that these shapes and colors captured the spirit of both the canyon country and the people who live there, so I named the images “Canyon Spirits.” Not all of my slot canyon abstractions contained canyon spirits, but may of them did. I’ve posted some of my favorites in a new gallery under my portfolio. Click here to see more Canyon Spirits.

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