2017: End of Year Photos

It’s been a fabulous photography year for me. I learned a lot of new things, my post-processing workflow has improved, and I acquired a new camera, which I’m still in awe of and trying to figure out. I also bought several new graphic programs, and I play in them a lot. 🙂

I considered doing a “best of,” but art is subjective. I’m always surprised at how people react to my photos. Ones I think are fabulous sometimes don’t get a second glance. Others draw raves. So I’ll just choose from my pool of unposted pics and let the likes fall where they will. 🙂  Continue reading

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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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