Photos: 12.3.17

I’ve been experimenting with the various filters I own, and right now I’m enamored with the Topaz Simplify program. It produces some interesting effects while saturating color, which y’all know I love. 🙂 I’m combining Simplify with the Orton effect to simply drench the photo in color.

This is a good example. The background was put through multiple processes, some of which are listed above, and then the cedar waxwing was masked back at 100%. The reason why I treated the background was due to it being just plain ugly. Now it’s a suitable frame for the bird. #Canon

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Photos: 11.26.17

This hidden pond is just the place fairy creatures might hang out. I expected to see one at any moment. The water is black because the ancient overhanging trees keep out the light. There is a quiet buzz of tiny insects in the air. An unseen bird cautiously emits a few clear notes, then falls silent. There’s magic here. Can you feel it? 

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Coffee Shop: Before and After

I love before/after shots, don’t you? It’s fun. (I love makeover shows, too, though often I prefer the before look.)

I recently acquired a new program called Aurora HDR, 2018 (A18). Previous releases were made for Macs, but this one also offers a version for PCs. I decided to give it a try.

For those of you who don’t know: HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, meaning you can get pictures with more depth if you take a series of photos at different exposures and combine them. A18 excels at the combining. PS CS6 can also “merge to HDR” and does a pretty good job of it, but tests I did in both programs shows A18 is better.

First thing I discovered is that I pretty much hate all the presets. I stopped using them the first day. None of them delivered the look I wanted. Fortunately, A18 offers lots of sliders, so you can play to your heart’s content.

Second thing I discovered is Photoshop isn’t going away anytime soon. If I assemble an HDR in A18, then move it to PS, I can do my final tweaking there, plus use my Topaz filters. Between the three programs, I get exactly what I want.  Continue reading

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Photos: 11.4.17

We’ll start with birds. I take a lot of pictures of them, because I think they’re beautiful and interesting, and they’re certainly varied in size, shape, and color.

A mourning dove. Ordinary, common, yet has such grace and style. Picture taken in early morning light, so it’s a little red. 

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Photos: 11.1.17

I’m back! I have more pics, too.

Yesterday, I went to Harn’s Marsh, where I saw almost no wildlife. My friend, who still lives on the canal, says the birds aren’t back there either. Hurricane Irma really did a number on them. 😦

I did see a handful of birds, though, and I took photos with both cameras, the Sony and the Canon. I can get all the gear into one bag as long as I carry the Sony with the long lens attached. 😉 The weather was outstanding, too. Low dew point and a comfortable seventy-five degrees. The sun was gentle and felt great.  Continue reading

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