2019-03-04: Monochrome Monday

This is one of a few images that I took while playing around with an infrared filter that I bought during my trip to California last October.  I only spent a brief amount of time reading about shooting with one of these filters before getting out and trying it, and as such, forgot about a few things, such as setting a custom white balance before starting shooting.  Even though I didn’t follow through with all the steps that you should be doing, I am still happy with the results; editing just took a bit longer than it would have otherwise.

I am excited for spring to arrive and have the chance to get the filter out and work with it some more.  I don’t think infrared images of snowy fields and trees would have much impact!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead.

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Some of the beautiful boulders in Joshua Tree National Park.  California, October 2018. 

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.

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The desert near Hoanib Skeleton Coast camp in Namibia.  It’s a truly striking desert landscape, and a place I would recommend to visit.
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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.
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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.
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The Okavango Delta from the air.
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A sunrise in the Sabi Sands in South Africa.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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.

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Planes overhead and lots of traffic heading for the park gates after the sun went down.
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The milky way rising over the Joshua trees.
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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.

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

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

2018-11-05: Monochrome Monday

For this week I worked on a few images from my time in California.   Compared to my trips to Africa, I took relatively few photos, but I have a good number that I am interested in playing around with to see what happens.

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I spent a lot of time outside relaxing with my camera nearby in case any interesting birds popped into the yard, but found myself also being drawn to the beautiful shapes of the palm fronds.

One of the things I picked up while away was an infrared filter for my camera, and I took it out and started playing around in Joshua Tree when my photo workshop was over.  I have so much to learn about all the nuances of infrared photography, but even without doing the proper things, like setting a custom white balance, I am still happy with what I was able to come up with when converting the images to black and white.

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I wish I would have written down which of the stops through the park this was; I was drawn to the wonderful boulders and all the desert plants and cacti that surrounded them.

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2018-04-04: The Night Sky

I decided on the topic of the night sky for November, mostly because I spent an evening during my holiday at Joshua Tree National Park at a night sky photography workshop, and I have images I want to work through.  Also, November may have some potential for night sky photos at home (since it isn’t too bitterly cold yet, and night is falling quite early, which is good for an early bird like me).

Just getting to the workshop proved to be quite an adventure.  The night before, a rare thunderstorm rolled through the desert with heavy rain, and there were a lot of road closures due to small local mudslides.  In the town of Joshua Tree, the main highway through town had over 6 feet of mud (and a buried Mini Cooper car) in the middle of the highway.  When setting off in the morning, I headed toward the Cottonwood gate, planning to head up to the Oasis visitors centre through the park, but that gate turned out to be closed (and would remain so for several days to get everything cleaned up). Then there was a substantial backtrack to get back on the interstate and head to the other gate in Twentynine Palms, but through there I encountered more detours and terrible road conditions.  I made it there in the end, albeit rather late and after the class had already started.

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I headed back Sunday morning for the second part of the workshop, by then the main highway through the town of Joshua Tree had reopened.  These are just some of the huge piles of mud that had been plowed along the side of the road.

Despite the crazy weather the night before, and threats of potential storms during the day of the workshop, the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful, with clear skies and just a few wispy clouds leftover.  Besides the driving conditions to get to the park, the other downside to the weather was as the evening cooled, there was a lot of moisture still in the air, causing dew to form.  I wasn’t worried about my camera (some of the people that were local, and not used to the moisture that I am, were quite alarmed) but it did mean that images started to appear soft and fuzzy later in the evening.  Everyone packed up by about 9:30, because by that point it became impossible to get any clear images.  Looking through my images, I can see a definite deterioration in sharpness as the evening draws on, but I still like the images from later in the evening, despite the softness.

Here are a few of the shots I have edited so far.  I haven’t broken the habit of working in multiple editors, so I have images done in all of my programs.

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We were set up in a day-use only part of the park, so there were a lot of people packing up to leave as we were setting up and taking images.  The headlights and taillights of the vehicles provided some light painting on the foreground (though not always hitting all the areas I would have liked!)  Edited in On1 Photo Raw.
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A joshua tree illuminated by car headlights, edited in Luminar.
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People moving to and fro with headlamps and flashlights.  Image edited with Topaz Studio.
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The last image I took in the evening, with the milky way faintly decorating the sky and a plane moving through the scene.