2019-02-10: Topic of the Month – Warm

This topic came to me as it is the exact opposite of how I feel right now!  We’ve been in a deep freeze for some time now, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight yet.  So, my Sunday posts for February are going to focus on warm places, warm interactions; anything that makes me feel a bit warmer!

Today, I have some landscape images to share from my travels.  All places where I haven’t spent time shivering!

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

20170425-DSC_0803
The desert near Hoanib Skeleton Coast camp in Namibia.  It’s a truly striking desert landscape, and a place I would recommend to visit.
20170425-P1020514-Edit
Another area near Hoanib, where we stopped for a sundowner.  This was a quick photo I snapped as the sun disappeared behind the hills; glass of wine in one hand and camera in the other.
20170426-P1020738
Where the desert and a lush valley meet.  These pockets of green seem to come out of nowhere when you are flying over the desert, and show that there are habitats capable of supporting lots of life, even within such a hot and dry place.
20170504-P1030087
The Okavango Delta from the air.
20170516-P1030612
A sunrise in the Sabi Sands in South Africa.
DSCF1496
Driving through the desert outside of Palm Springs, California.  Photographic “rules” would say that lines should be leading into the photo, not out of it.  But rules are sometimes made to be broken; I like the unexpected composition.
DSCF1830
One of the beautiful vistas in Joshua Tree National Park.

 

2019-02-04: Monochrome Monday

I’ve been saddened to read about the damage Joshua Tree National Park has sustained recently.  I don’t understand how people can come into such a beautiful place, and tag boulders like these with graffiti, or push over the iconic Joshua trees.  I’m grateful I had a chance to visit the park twice, and both times it was in pristine condition.

20190204_MM.jpg

2019-01-07: Monochrome Monday

Good Morning everyone!  I just have a single image to share today for monochrome Monday, as trying to export this one was an immensely frustrating process.  I’ve been working with the new On1 Photo Raw 2019, and there are some serious export issues with the program.  In reading some online forums, it seems to be an issue that a lot of people are having.

It took me 5 tries to export this image and have it resemble the image on my screen.  The first was incredibly dark, a second version very light, one version everything was tinted red.  I wish I would have saved all these junk exports to share, but I deleted them in frustration.

At this stage, I am actually contemplating switching up my workflow again and going back to Lightroom, as I really don’t like wasting a bunch of time doing things over and over again.  So far there have not been any updates to the program that have addressed these issues.

This image was shot at Joshua Tree National Park in California, back in October.  I was playing around with an infrared filter that I had purchased.  I have much to learn about properly shooting with this filter, but I am happy with the result I got.

20190107_MM.jpg

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

2018-12-16: Luminar’s Sky Enhancer

Last week I decided I would play around with one of the new features in Luminar, a filter called AI Sky Enhancer.  Perhaps the timing wasn’t so good though, as yesterday evening I downloaded the newly release Luminar 3, and with the added library function, I was having a bit of trouble navigating the system (since I haven’t yet looked at any resources on how to use the new software).  Despite a bit of floundering within the libraries function, the actual photo editing and filters layout remains the same, and I was able to complete my self-appointed task.

This first image wasn’t solely about the sky; it’s kind of hard to ignore the leopard in the tree!  I wanted to enhance the natural colours of the sky and bring up some of the shadow areas.  I started with the AI Sky Enhancer and added other filters as needed (which was how I approached all the images).  I’ve included a split screen showing before and after and the edited image for each one I worked on.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 1.02.33 PM

20170507-DSC_3415.jpg

Next up is a photo shot while on a boat on the Boteti River in Botswana.  Shooting into the sun left the sky quite washed out; I am impressed how well I could enhance the sky colour and the clouds with Luminar without it becoming to HDR-like.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 10.29.26 AM

20170502-DSC_1713

The Okavango Delta is an amazing place for sunsets; the colours in the sky are incredibly dramatic from my experience.  With that much colour already, it is easy to take the image a step too far and have it look radioactive.  The AI sky enhancer did a great job accentuating the detail in the clouds, without pumping the colour up to 11.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 12.48.11 PM

20170504-DSC_2020edited

Finally I have included a sunset from the Hoanib desert in Namibia.  There was a lot of airborne dust and sand that evening, so while I did do some noise reduction in the sky to reduce the visible grain, there is definitely still a lot of texture.  This was also shot with my Panasonic camera, which is much noisier than the Nikon I was also shooting with.  Regardless, I am please with the realistic tones, the detail in the clouds and the textures in the desert and the hills.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 4.48.15 PM.jpg

20170425-P1020555.jpg

I’m going to ow have to spend some time familiarizing myself with the layout of the new Luminar software, so I can work using their library function in an efficient manner.

2018-12-09: Artistic Impressions

This week, I felt inspired to play around in Topaz Impressions and create some of my artistic impression images.  Or as I like to say, what I would paint, if I could paint :).

Next week, I am going to try and work with the new AI Sky Enhancer that Luminar just released.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

20170516-DSC_7023 copy-Edit
A young elephant seen on an early morning game drive.
20170507-DSC_3319 copy-Edit
A leopard scanning the horizon at sunset in the Okavango Delta.
20170516-P1030577 copy-1-Edit
A regal lion laying in the tall grass just after sunrise.
20170513-P1030367 copy
A large warthog moving through camp.
20170514-DSC_5752 copy2
A fiery sunset – Africa has the most expressive skies!

Month in Review – November

November’s Topic of the Month – The Night Sky

While I had the opportunity to edit and share images from my night sky workshop in October and some older images as well, I didn’t actually have the chance to get out and shoot the night sky in November, so I guess the topic of the month was a bit of a fail.  There is always another night to get out, and now that we are into the very short days of winter, I don’t have to stay up too late to do so.  Fingers crossed I can get out and get some local images…. maybe even some aurora shots if the stars line up 🙂

What’s new this month?

I’ve come to the realization this month that in 2018 I’ve done some really deep dives into editing in lots of different ways, but I’ve really not spent much time out shooting, which feels like a real missed opportunity, and something that I need to amend moving into 2019.  When I do get out with my camera I quickly get into the zone and find it such an enjoyable activity, that I really need to prioritize it more.

5 favourites – November

What’s coming up next?

I’ve decided not to have a specific topic of the month in December.  The month always slips by in such a whirlwind of activity and family time that I would rather just share when I can, and explore what interests me at a given moment, than trying to fit into a specific topic.  I’m also going to spend some time thinking about topics and projects for 2019, which is coming up so soon.

2018-11-18: The Night Sky

Mother Nature has certainly not been cooperating with my plans to get out and shoot at night.  While I still have images from Joshua Tree that I would like to work through, I thought I would switch it up this week and edit some old images instead.

DSC_0019
This image was shot at Green Lake in Whistler BC.  I was in the area for a multi-day wedding celebration, and set up my camera to take images to create a star trail while I sat around a fire drinking beer and enjoying the company of good friends.  This was done with my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D5100.  I still think I am pretty lucky that I didn’t tumble into the lake when I went to collect my tripod later in the evening 🙂
_DSC0018
I’ve not kept up to date with it recently, but in the past I have tried checking in with a northern lights forecasting site, and if the forecast is good and the weather clear, I’d head out and with my camera and see if I could see anything.  The lights were very faint on this night, but I think the combination of the faint purple glow and the warm tint to the clouds from highway lights in the distance looks pretty.
_DSC0523
The best evening I have viewed northern lights I saw a proton arc form and dissolve over about a half hour period… all from my driveway.  The milky way appears faintly above as well.
_DSC0512 copy
The proton arc as it was forming.
_DSC0493
A beautiful combination of magenta and green.
_DSC0049-Edit
No northern lights in this one, just a starry sky enhanced by some whispy clouds illuminated by the rising moon.

 

2018-11-11: The Night Sky

The weather this week wasn’t conducive to getting out and shooting at night, so I have worked through a few more of my images from Joshua Tree.  When editing, one of the things the workshop instructor mentioned really stuck with me, and that is to really watch the saturation of star images.  I really tried to keep things as natural as possible, although it can be fun to crank things up to 11 and see what happens 🙂  Maybe next week.

DSCF1751
Planes overhead and lots of traffic heading for the park gates after the sun went down.
DSCF1703
The milky way rising over the Joshua trees.
DSCF1726-Edit
What are your thoughts on night sky images in black and white?  I really like them personally, although there is a real risk of the image being way too dark.

While I was shooting with my main camera, I had set up my Panasonic camera on the hood of my car with a gorilla pod, and set it to take a series of images to make into a time lapse later.   It didn’t turn out quite as planned, but I’ve included it here as it shows all the traffic from the parking lot, as well as other photographers.   Since I was doing a time-lapse series, I didn’t have the long exposure noise reduction turned on, and I think the still images from the Panasonic really would have benefitted from having that done in camera.

P1040333 copy.jpg
This was the last shot I captured while my camera was set in time lapse mode.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.