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. 

2019-02-25: Monochrome Monday

The amazing Okavango Delta, from the air, is the image I have selected for my monochrome Monday post this week.  It is such an amazing and beautiful location, and one that absolutely needs to be experienced from the land, the air and the water to truly get an appreciation for the magic of the place.  Definitely a destination I hope to return to again.

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2019-02-24: Topic of the Month – Warm

When I woke up this morning, it was -28C; decidedly not warm here.  But the sun is shining, and bundled up, Spencer and I managed a couple of nice walks today.  It still doesn’t feel like spring is around the corner; but hopefully that will change soon.

Last week, I flagged several landscape images from my travels for editing throughout the week, and while working on them, I realized that not only do they all fit into the theme of being taken in warm places, but they were all taken on the fly.  If I asked guides to stop every time I saw something interesting, we certainly wouldn’t get very far, so I have become rather comfortable with snapping away out of a moving vehicle.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes, not so much.

I hope you enjoy my selection of images this week.

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The Hoanib riverbed off in the distance.  The shear drop off is the bank of the river, showing just how much water has been through the area at times.  When we were visiting, there were only a few small pools, and it had been an exceptionally generous wet season.  Namibia, April 2017.
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As the day heats up, the wind in the desert picks up, causing sand storms to whip through.  Hoanbia Camp, Namibia. April 017.
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One of the beautiful desert vistas near Hoanib Camp.
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Palm trees are a symbol of a warm climate to me.  I love the shape of the leaves, and how they stand out against the sky.  This was just before sunset while heading back to Leroo La Tau camp on the Boteti Rover.  Botswana, May 2017.
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The Baines Baobabs standing tall in the midday heat.  Nxai Pans National park, Botswana. 
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A beautiful sunrise in the Sabi Sands.  The chill of the early morning burnt off in short order once the sun was up.  South Africa, May 2017.

 

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.

2018-12-16: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.