Photo Editing Software…and Rocky Mountain National Park!

In previous blogs, I’ve talked about the ways photography has changed due to the transition from film to digital photography.  The basic principles of controlling and recording light have not changed, but editing processes have changed dramatically.  Like many photographers, I work to get the best possible image in camera but further processing on the computer is essential to my success as a photographer.  Thankfully, there are really smart people who have developed great software to make this part of photography easier.  I use Adobe’s Photoshop (PS) CC (Creative Cloud – yes, I pay my access fee every month!) and Camera RAW (ACR) as my primary software.  I also purchased Corel’s Paint Shop Pro X7 when it was cheap (PSP X8 had just come out) and work it every now and then, but PS and ACR remain my go to software.

As those smart guys at Adobe make their products better and easier to use, and I learn how to use the features I have along with the new stuff, I try to produce better images.  Recently, the Adobe CC guys announced a new feature in Lightroom (LR), a sister software to PS.  As background, I prefer PS to LR because I can use layers in PS.  ACR and LR use similar menus and controls for processing, so I’m not missing out on those features.  LR manages files which PS does not do, however, I use Adobe Bridge for my file management.

Back to the cool new tool in LR – Boundary Warp.  If I create a panorama in LR, Boundary Warp allows me to adjust the image without having to crop and lose content.  Regardless of how well I shoot a series of images to merge into a panorama, there is always inconsistency in the edges requiring cropping and/or filling.  Boundary Warp minimizes data loss and is very cool, from my perspective.  I processed several panoramas using both PS and LR to determine if one is preferable to the other, but I’ll let you be the judge in the images below.

Oh yeah, LR now has a High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature in PhotoMerge, but I prefer PhotoMatix Pro for my HDR images.

Today’s images come from the day I spent in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), located in north central Colorado, last month.  I entered RMNP from the east side (US Highway 36 from Estes Park CO).  After a quick stop in the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center for some shopping and a stamp in my national parks passport book, I proceeded into RMNP and that portion of US 34 known as Trail Ridge Road.  Trail Ridge Road is only open in the summer months, as its 12,000 foot (+/-) elevation makes for a very snowy road in the winter months.

I came across a flock of turkeys, but failed to get a decent image of them.  I drove by this beautiful vista.


I believe the peaks to be (left to right) Mt. Wuh, Stones Peak, and Terra Tomah Mtn, with Tombstone Ridge in the middle ground.  This panorama was created and edited in Lightroom, using the Boundary Warp feature.


Here’s the same view processed in Photoshop.

The differences in brightness, contrast, and color are my adjustments and experimentation.  I manually cropped the LR version to a standard 5:1 ratio panorama, the same as the PS version.  What’s important to note is that there doesn’t appear to be geometric distortion from the Boundary Warp, however, there is more foreground in the PS version (check the tree line) which indicates a larger availability of data in the LR image.  Based on my totally non-scientific experiment, I opine that the use of PS versus LR for panoramas is a matter of personal preference at the moment.

Back to pictures.


I believe these peaks to be Mt. Chiquita (l) and Mt. Chapin. This is a panorama merged in PS.


For comparison, I shot this image using a wide angle lens. For this view, either shooting method works fine.


This is a panorama of Sundance Mtn. While I was at this location, I visited with a very nice young lady who was shooting with her Canon T2i and a Canon 100-400 zoom lens. We had a nice discussion about lenses and photography.


One of my favorite shots on the day. This is an HDR. When I shot this, the flowers in the foreground were in deep shadow and HDR allowed me to bring them into the light, so to speak. The wind was blowing at 12,000 feet, as you might imagine, so there is a touch of movement in the flowers. A few minutes later, the clouds moved off but the wind came up. The flowers in the full light images were blurry due to the wind.


If you’re an Elk in the mountains on a hot summer day, how do you keep cool? They’re on a snow bank enjoying the cool. They were probably 1/2-3/4 mile away.


And these Elk were using the trees to keep cool, again, 1/2-3/4 mile away.


I believe these peaks to be (l-r) Stones Peak (the sharp pointed one), Sprague Mtn, Nakai Peak, Mt Julian, and Terra Tomah Mtn. This is a panorama merged in PS.


I came around a corner with lots of people looking up a hill, watching this Bear. He was a couple hundred feet away and cared less about the crowd at the bottom of the hill. I parked and came back for this shot, the best of what he gave us before disappearing behind the trees.


When he disappeared, the crowd dissipated. I hung around to see if he would make another appearance, and made a few images of the flowers and landscape.


Beautiful mountain flowers.


I made this image with my trusty mobile phone. Every now and then, it makes a nice image. Note the wildlife.


I believe the center mountain to be Terra Tomah Mtn, with Jackstraw Mtn on the immediate right. This is another panorama merged in LR using Boundary Warp.


Same view from a PS merge.  I see a subtle difference in the foreground, especially on the right side, but not enough to conclusively say one is better than the other.  Both images are stunning!  oh yeah, the LR image is cropped to 5:1 ratio and the PS is at 3:1.


I was making a series of images for a panorama when I caught movement out of the bottom corner of my eye. This Marmot, also called a Rock Chuck, was very busy and unfazed by all the people just 30 feet away.


The rocks were alive with these North American Pika. About the size of a Guinea Pig, these little fuzzballs were busy working on nests for the coming winter.

I have established a page dedicated to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Visit the page to see more images from this part of my trip.

Since I got home, I’ve spent some time in the yard with my flowers, so I’ll close with them.  Enjoy – PHOTOROGR


One of the Rose blooms in the backyard.


My favorite Candy Tuft. The sun was going down and lighting up the side of the bloom.

Up Close and Personal…


Desert flower!

Well, my exploration into Close Up and Macro Photography has begun in a big way!  Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun!

Rob Sheppard begins his book on Macro Photography this way, “…This truly is a different world for most people and most photographers.  When you and your camera get in close to things, what you discover can be amazing, unique, and remarkable.  We simply don’t usually spend time looking at most things around us with a close-up point of view.”  A few pages later, Rob describes this paradox, “By going small, you can go big, very big.  How is that possible?  By getting in close to the small things, that smaller majority, we actually see more of the beauty of the world.  The world becomes a bigger place!”

Not only am I developing a new view of the world, I’m developing a new set of photography skills as well.  Depth of field (DOF) is very different when you’re working in close.  Shoot a landscape at a small aperture opening and DOF goes for miles.  Shoot a flower at a small aperture and DOF is measured in centimeters and fractions of inches.  Hand held shooting is possible, but keep your expectations low.  The definition of ‘good light’ takes on a whole new meaning, however.  For example, mid-day light is very harsh and unforgiving to the landscape photographer and gives me fits when shooting wildlife.  Go for the small subjects, and mid-day light can be your friend.  For me, Macro and Close Up brings a new set of challenges, but it reinforces the same basic photography concepts by forcing me to use them in a different way.

Enough technical talk for now – let’s get to some pictures!


I found this little fella’ working our new Catmint in the backyard.


My lovely bride likes it cropped a lot closer…thoughts?


This is a Macro of a Rose in our backyard. I gotta say, I’m putting fewer miles on the PHOTORANGER since the flowers in the yard are blooming!


Red Hot Poker just starting to bloom. When it’s fully bloomed, the tips are red and the rest of the bloom is yellow. This is one of my favorite plants!


We found this California Poppy at Topaz Lake. One of my few successful hand held macro shots!


On the Thornless Hawthorne in our backyard. These flowers are gone now.


When I started being serious about Macro, I rented a Macro lens and went looking for subjects. I drove Monitor Pass and found these beautiful flowers. Don’t ask me what they are – they’re just pretty!


This is a Peony from our back yard. I made multiple exposures and merged them in Photomatix. With our flowers, that’s always dangerous because the wind moves everything. I got lucky this time!


I found this Peony at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park.


Not a Macro – a Close Up! This is a headlight on a 1927 Willys Knight that I saw at a car show over the weekend. This is an HDR image processed in Photomatix.

Well, it hasn’t all been Macros and Close Ups.  I took a ride with my old retired guy ATV group the other day.  We drove east of Carson City to Silver Springs, then south towards Fort Churchill.  Just south of Buckland Station, we turned left into the high desert and unloaded the ATVs.  A short 11 miles later, we arrived at Hooten Well and took a break.


This is a panorama looking west towards Cleaver Peak. The desert is green, but it was a very hot and dusty ride!


Cleaver Peak with remains of one of the stone structures in the foreground.

Our ultimate destination was Salt Cave.  Native Americans used them for shelter and decorated the ceilings.


…and I had to shoot them in Macro…yes, I need to work on my DOF and focusing…

My plan is to continue to be up close and personal for a while, with the occasional landscape and panorama.  HDR is a great tool, and I’m getting more comfortable with it.

For my LinkedIn friends, please consider endorsing me for Digital Photography.  Thanks in advance!

Until next time – Enjoy!  PHOTOROGR

I’ve slowed down a little – could you tell?

There’s nothing like a three week break between posts to demonstrate how much I’ve slowed down in my shooting.  Just to be clear, though, it’s only my shooting that has slowed down!  I’m spending more time studying new techniques and continuing work with those I’ve already added to my ‘toolkit.’  Also, it is Spring so I have to spend a little more time at home working on the yard and taking care of business in general.

I’ve continued my exploration of in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR), as you will see below.  As explained in a previous post, HDR is the process of combining multiple exposures to utilize the best parts of each image for best detail from shadows and highlights.  After figuring out the settings, it works much better than I originally thought.  I noted an interesting part of the in-camera process the other day.  While reviewing several sets of exposures, I saw that the camera floated the ISO setting to obtain the underexposed image.  When I manually create multiple exposures, I usually float my shutter speed to create the over- and under-exposures.  I never adjust the aperture because of the impact to depth of field.  In addition, I’ve been exploring the Nik Efex filters and the variety of options available in Photomatix Pro.  I made these pictures at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park, with the Sierras as the background.  They will demonstrate better than words.


In-camera HDR with minor adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). Another problem with in-camera HDR is that the file is in JPEG format, which limits post-processing options.


This image was made from the same set of exposures as the one above. I combined the exposures in Photomatix Pro with additional processing in Nik. I received feedback from another photographer, telling me I needed to change my camera settings to minimize noise and also be careful of chromatic aberration. I’ll discuss these topics in future posts.


This in-camera HDR was processed in ACR.


Also in-camera and processed in ACR.


I should have shifted a touch to the left to keep Jobs Peak from hiding behind the wheel spoke.

My lovely bride and I are members of the Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch, and I’ve been working with the Curator on some note cards for them to sell.  Here’s a couple of the options we are discussing.


I took this image several years ago when I didn’t know what I was doing photographically. There are those who will argue that I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ll leave that alone for now. This image was shot in low resolution JPEG format at the wrong time of day, but I was able to work it enough to make this image – formatted for a large note card.


Just for grins, I made it monochrome and applied a sepia filter. This will probably not make the cut for the final note cards.


Better light and better angle. Jobs Peak is visible in the left side of the picture.  This one will be on the note cards.

The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park teamed up with the Carson Valley Arts Council for an event called Something in the Wind.  A kite group from Oregon came down and put on a wonderful event.  The wind cooperated, sometimes just a little too much.  Here’s a little of the color from the two day event.


These spinners were on poles – very fun and beautiful.


Can you tell we had good wind? The spinners came down soon after I made this image.


Lots of colorful flags, too!


And then there were the kite fliers – all shapes and sizes! This little guy worked his kite pretty hard.


The bubbles were quite the hit on Sunday!


Kites are very beautiful these days!  A far cry from newspaper and sticks that we used.


The kite folks put these in the air and tethered them, and they flew all day!


This young man walked by my booth and proudly announced that he just turned 7 and he got this box kite for his birthday! I enjoyed seeing a father and son spending time together.

I stopped by my favorite Owl venue and captured this Barn Owl!


Looks like a young one by the puffy feathers. I shot this handheld, so it’s not the best focus (camera shake from me and my hands – the low light and long shutter speed also contributed).  A cutie nonetheless.

The nice wet winter brought lots of flowers to the desert.


This is the introduction for my next shooting technique – Macro Photography! Stay tuned!


The mountains west of the Carson Valley.


Shot from the road, looking up hill. But the flowers are gorgeous!

I’m really looking forward to my exploration into the world of Close-up and Macro Photography.  Thanks for looking at this blog.


What a Rush!!!!!

This week has been wonderful.  While Shooting the West ( was awesome, the days before and since were equally wonderful.

I was in the final stages of building my STW presentation and needed a little break, so I decided to try something new – flowers overlaid on a textured background.  I’ve played with the technique before, but not with a specific goal in mind.  I had some textures in a folder, and the flowers from my backyard this Spring were great candidates.  To make a long story short, the results are wonderful and I will be making them into note cards and prints.  I’m thinking about canvas prints, too, but we’ll see.  Here they are!BLND3950-TXTR0250-a-w




I drove to Winnmeucca last Thursday.   I took my time and enjoyed the drive.  A couple months ago, I got my US 50 Survival Guide from the Nevada Commission on Tourism, so I planned to get a couple stamps while I was on the road.  The Dayton Chamber of Commerce was closed, but Fernley’s was open so I got my first stamp!  For the uninitiated, the US 50 Survival Guide is designed to promote travel on the Loneliest Road in America.  When I get 5 stamps, I qualify for my US 50 Survivor certificate and sticker for my car!

While on the road, I got a call from a senior center in Carson City.  They were hosting a fundraiser for wild horse adoption, and wondered if I would bring some wild horse pictures to display and sell.  The fundraiser was on Tuesday, so I would have to work quick when I got home on Sunday.  I agreed and put it on my calendar.

I got to Winnemucca in good time, so I stopped by the Convention Center to check in and coordinate my presentation with the audio-visual tech.  He downloaded my file and everything worked, so that was one less thing to worry about.  I bumped into a friend who was finishing his workshops, so we grabbed our cameras and headed for the Humboldt River for a few pictures before dinner.  All we found were small birds, so we visited the local Museum.  I encourage you to stop in when you visit Winnemucca – the Museum is great!

Dinner with more friends at the Martin, a local Basque restaurant.  It was a busy night so we had a wait, but it was worth it!  I had pork ribs that were wonderful!

Friday morning and Shooting the West kicked off for me.  I enjoyed seeing old friends, making new ones, and meeting people that are friends on Facebook.  The presentations were great, with diverse subjects and beautiful images.  The keynote speaker was Drew Gurian, who discussed his work as a photographer in New York City.  Other presentations included ranch photography, large format photography, and a wildlife photography presentation, along with presentation of awards for the Range Outback Photo Contest.  I had a great conversation with  the Canon representative, who showed me how to use the in-camera HDR feature on my 7D Mark II.  An interesting process, worthy of a few pixels sometime.  (See my blog ‘An Amazing Week for Me’ on March 29, 2016, for a discussion on High Dynamic Range photography).

My presentation was Saturday afternoon, but I wasn’t worried.  I had practiced and I was ready.  I paid close attention to the morning presenters.  I was almost sold on mirrorless cameras until the presenter told us about the negatives – short battery life and very susceptible to getting dirty when changing lenses.  I enjoyed the presentation on photo workshops and tours, but started to get a little nervous as my start time got closer.  Finally, it was my turn.  I took the stage and, of course, the AV tech ran into difficulty starting my presentation.  I knew it would happen, but I only had 15 minutes and a couple jokes.  He resolved things quickly and I began.  Don’t ask me what I said – I have no idea, and I only had to rush a little at the end.  I got great feedback from everyone afterwards, so I feel good about it.

Sunday morning, and I’m off to the car show and air show at the airport.  Here’s a little of what I saw!


I forgot the year, but this is a Hupmobile.


You see the darndest things at a car show. The guy on the left was showing this home-built camp trailer, towed by his Model A.


There were several military vehicles there. This is a beautiful Willys Jeep.


The local tractor club was showing, too. I always enjoy an old Ford tractor.


I didn’t get close enough to see if it was armed or not!

After the car/plane show, I headed east to Battle Mountain to have lunch with an old Air Force friend and his wife.  On the way, I decided to try that in-camera HDR feature.


This is the in-camera image. It’s nice, but a little off from what I like in an HDR image.


Using the bracketed exposures, I merged them in Photomatix with a little nicer result.


Another in-camera image. Notice the ‘ghosting’ or multiple images of the car on the right side of the image. When using this feature, I will have to be careful to ensure that nothing moves, since the camera aligns the bracketed exposures, but doesn’t account for ghosting.


Here’s the merge I did in Photomatix. Bottom line – in-camera HDR could be useful in the right place at the right time, but it will not replace my existing HDR workflow.

On Monday, I got ready for the fundraiser on Tuesday.  The money raised will support the Nevada Discovery Ride (  This August, Samantha Szesciorka and her horse, Sage, will undertake a 1,000 mile journey to encourage wild horse adoption.  The weather was excellent and I met many nice people – sales were good, too!  Samantha is very nice, and I wish her well on her ride.

Okay, that’s it for this post.  I’m taking a little time and working on the yard (I finally mowed the lawn this morning!), but I will be showing at Something in the Wind at the Dangberg Ranch on May 14 and 15.  Come on by and see the kites – make sure you say hello!


Just don’t forget the basics…

In the last several blogs, I’ve talked about new shooting and editing techniques and all the fun I’ve been having.  These past few weeks have been truly amazing for me, up until a couple nights ago.  I was reading one of my books on High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography – the chapter on tripods – and a I came on a little ‘Tip’ sidebar that said, “Rather counterintuitively, using a tripod in conjunction with image stabilization can result in unsharp images, so it is advisable to turn stabilization off whenever your camera is tripod-mounted.”

For a little quick background, many lens manufacturers build their lenses to correct for small movements and shakes, resulting in sharper pictures.  Each manufacturer calls it something different (Canon says image stabilization and Tamron uses vibration control, for example), but they all accomplish the same thing.  The problem is that when a camera is mounted on a tripod (versus handheld), these small movements and shakes don’t occur, so the lens panics (figuratively, not literally) and introduces some shake so the image stabilization system has something to do.  It’s kind of like those overprotective parents in movies and TV shows that obsess over their children’s first date or outing with friends – inventing problems that aren’t occurring.  It makes for a humorous story line, but it doesn’t make good pictures.  The lesson: turn off the image stabilization (if the lens has it) when using a tripod!

Is this new information to me?  No!  It’s a basic action in photography, the same as turning on the charging the battery, turning on the camera, taking the lens cap off, or putting a memory card in the camera.  Have I been doing it?  Well, no.  I have been concentrating so hard on the neutral density filters and camera settings, getting a good composition, and remembering the cable release to reduce camera shake on the tripod.  I haven’t been turning off the image stabilization on my lenses! Silly me!  The biggest problem has been blending the different exposures in HDR software, where I was seeing lots of ‘ghosting’ or blurred portions in the final image.  I attributed it to wind blowing the tree branches or the differences in water flow, never thinking about that dadburned image stabilization.  So, lesson learned and reminder to take care of the basics!  Will I forget again?  Yes!  After all, I’m still learning.

For this week’s images, I’ll start with my recent trip to Glen Alpine Falls, on Taylor Creek upstream from Fallen Leaf Lake which feeds into Lake Tahoe.  With all the snow the Sierras received this year, the Falls are running strong and are very beautiful.  If you want to go see them, take CA 89 along the west shore of Lake Tahoe, a few miles south of Emerald Bay, and turn west on the road to Fallen Leaf Lake.  The Falls are on the far west end of the Lake.  I had to park at the fire station and hike about a quarter mile up a hill – an easy hike and well worth it!  I had rented a Canon 10-22 Wide Angle Lens from Gordon’s Photo Service (, to try something different from my lenses.  It was fun to use that lens – with the short focal length and the natural distortion on the edges of the images, I had to adjust my shooting style – especially to create the panoramas.


Glen Alpine Falls – 5 exposures, HDR processed in Photomatix and Photoshop.


For this image of the Falls, I stitched together 4 images to create a panorama. I used the wide angle lens turned 90 degrees (long axis vertical), with a 4 stop neutral density filter to slow the water for the picture, merging in Photoshop.


This is Taylor Creek, downstream of the Falls. I made 5 exposures and blended them in Photomatix to bring out the beautiful colors in the rocks.

With Spring, our trees are flowering!


A macro of the flowers on a Perfect Purple tree in our backyard!


These flowers are on our Pear tree – hopefully, the bees will come and we will have Pears this year!


With all the moisture we’ve had this Winter, the desert is full of color. I’ve never noticed these desert plants before, but they are blooming all over the Carson Valley! This one is just up the road from our house!

I haven’t forgotten the wildlife in our area, although the Raptors are mostly gone.  Here’s a few:


My education in bird identification continues. I was very excited to see this, thinking I had something exotic like a female Canvasback Duck. Turns out, it’s just a Mutt Duck. Apparently, Mallards aren’t very selective when they mate, giving us birds like this. It is, however, very pretty – for a Mutt!


I drove past a Western Meadowlark a couple months ago, so when I saw this one I was determined to get the picture. I posted this to the ‘Yep I’m from Wyoming’ page on Facebook and, at last count, I was well over 130 likes! For those of you unfamiliar with my home state – the Western Meadowlark is the Wyoming State Bird!


These Owlets live in the Carson Valley, and share the nest with Mom, Dad, and two siblings.


This Great Horned Owl was on a branch over the nest, with 2-3 Owlets in the nest. Not sure if it was just the wind, or if the kids were acting up that day, but I love the look on its face.


This Quail was running around my backyard, but stopped long enough for me to get this picture!

I’ll close with a few scenery shots.


This is an abandoned ranch house in Hope Valley, just across the border in California.


This waterfall is on CA 89, on the west end of Emerald Bay.


The Carson Valley is one of the ‘go to’ places for soaring. These two gliders were in the sky over my house. They weren’t as close as it appears in this image.


My lovely bride asked for a short drive last Sunday, and we happened on this scene along Waterloo Lane in the Carson Valley.

Shooting the West ( is only a couple weeks away!  I’m putting the finishing touches on my presentation and am very excited to be a part of this great event this year.  If you’re near Winnemucca in a couple weeks – stop by the Convention Center and see the pictures!  This Sunday is April 17, the day the Ford Mustang was introduced at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.  It’s National Mustang Day, so I’ll be driving the Bullitt to celebrate.


An AMAZING Week for Me!

I have had an absolutely amazing week since my last post.  First, I won both categories of the Eagles & Agriculture Photo Contest this year!


This Eagle eating a rabbit won ‘Best Birding’ photo. I made this image in December, when my lovely bride and I drove up on this scene just a few blocks from our home.


Last May, I was invited to join other photographers to record this group of cowgirls moving a herd along Genoa Lane.  This image won the ‘Best Agriculture/Wildlife’ category.

I am both honored and humbled to win.  I stopped by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce offices to see the other images.  Holy Cow!!!  What a great group of submissions this year.

My exploration into long exposures of water expanded a little, with the addition of some new software called Photomatix Pro.  This software uses bracketed exposures to produce High Dynamic Range (HDR) images.  In my last blog, I discussed exposure (controlling the light striking the sensor in the camera body).  ‘Bracketing exposure’ means finding the right exposure for a given image and making additional images of the same scene by overexposing and underexposing.  HDR software then combines the different exposures by selecting the best parts of each to create an exciting photograph.  For example, in a landscape, the underexposed images give the best skies but renders the shadow areas black and without detail.  Conversely, the overexposed images give great detail in the shadows but loses detail in the highlights.  HDR allows the pixelist (see how I got my title in here!!!) to use the best light to make a great image.  Some cameras will make the HDR image for you, or you can combine them using HDR software on the computer.


Here’s a landscape that I shot a couple years ago near Kernville CA. I used three images at different exposures to make this one. Set exposure to capture the sky and you don’t see the rich color in the rocks. Set exposure for the rocks and you see a bright white sky with no detail in the clouds.


Another HDR near Kernville. Yes, it was chilly and we got wet a couple times that day!


A waterfall on the Kern River in HDR.


This image of the Church at Bodie CA was made from two exposures, merged in Photomatix.  I need to go back to Bodie so I can get  shot that doesn’t cut off the steeple, and to make other images, too.

Learning this new software has been a lot of fun.  As you might imagine, I can get a little crazy in the processing.


I made this image of a wagon on one of the local ranches in January. I’ve been trying to process the image to fit my vision for a couple months. This is nice, but it doesn’t convey the feeling I wanted to share.


When I processed the image in Photomatix, I found what I was looking for. One of my photo mentors thinks it’s over done, and I respect that. My lovely bride thinks I should crop it differently. Bottom line – there’s no right or wrong. What’s that old saying? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Please recall this image from last Fall. I photographed this bird condo in Walker CA.


I revisited the image to explore the boundaries and capabilities of Photomatix. The result is over done, but kind of fun. Again – the eye of the beholder.


West Fork of the Carson River in Hope Valley. This HDR image was made from 5 exposures, and is a traditional processing.


The same HDR image, with a little fun. I went here because I was struggling with ‘ghosting,’ a problem when the images don’t align exactly (like the wind blowing the tree branches). The processing I chose here masks the ghosting a little. It’s a fun interpretation of the scene.


Simple HDR from 3 exposures. With this image, I was more about the flowing water. I gotta say, however, that I hope there’s still water flowing when the vegetation leafs out to add a little color.


I processed this image in HDR, then decided to play with monochrome. Absent color from the vegetation, I like the effect.


The HDR in this image is right on the edge of going too far, but I like it.

And I haven’t been on the edge all week.  We had a nice sunny day, and the birds and bees were visiting the yard.


This Lesser Goldfinch Hen challenged my very limited identification skills.


I was in the backyard enjoying the warm when I spied this butterfly on our Flowering Plum tree. I got the camera and made a few shots, but couldn’t help noticing the buzzing sounds…


…and several of these guys were working their magic. They’re harder to take pictures of than I thought.


My favorite image from the day. A large aperture opening gave a very shallow depth of field (the flowers in the foreground are blurry as are those in the background). The black and yellow against the vivid pink just hit the spot for me!

Well, that’s it for this week.  As you can see, it really was an amazing week!  Until next time – Enjoy!  PHOTOROGR