PS Challenge – September 24, 2017

Today’s PS Challenge image comes from Sonora Pass, a little over 9,000 feet elevation. My friend, Larry Burton, and I drove CA 108 to check on the fall colors the day before the snow flew and closed the road. We were amazed by the number of waterfalls still flowing and how green the vegetation still was. We also found flowers a little higher in elevation!

I like this color version of the image…

…but I was feeling my inner Ansel Adams as I was editing…

This Stemless Goldenweed is under several feet of snow now. I’m glad we got there when we did!


PS Challenge – July 16, 2017

It’s Bonus Day! While driving up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, my lovely bride and I marveled at the beauty and number of the wildflowers along the road. I stopped several times to take pictures. These two close ups are among my favorites. Both images were bracketed exposures, merged and processed in Adobe Camera Raw and processed in PhotoShop.


I think this is a Sierra Lily (or at least that’s what my Sierra Nevada Wildflowers book tells me).

The Paintbrush is gorgeous anywhere.

Working on getting closer!

Recall that I started an exploration into macro and close up photography a couple months ago, and posted Up Close and Personal on June 6.  I’ve continued this exploration, introducing a couple new techniques into my process.  The challenges I described in my previous post are still there, but I’m getting a little more comfortable with the solutions.  In the last couple weeks, I’ve started using my flash off-camera to better control how I highlight the subjects, and I’m experimenting with diffusers and reflectors to help control the light as well.  As always, the first time I tried the flash I got excellent results.  Subsequent efforts have been a little more challenging – the result of thinking about what I was doing and not just doing it.  Since I described the technical stuff a few weeks ago, let’s get right to the pictures!


This is a Day Lily in our front yard, and was one of my first images using flash. The flash really brought out the colors and helped with sharpness.


I took a drive up CA 4 to Ebbett’s Pass last week. This Sunflower was along the road…


…and this Sunflower was in the same little patch, but had some wildlife wandering around.


My lovely bride is very happy that this Hydrangea is finally blooming. Another of my initial flash images.


This Anderson Thistle was near those Sunflowers. Many regard this as a noxious weed, and rightfully so, but it can sure make a pretty picture.


I love how this Prickly Poppy turned out. For some, I took the processing a little too far. I did it on purpose to bring out the details in the stigma, styles, pistils, anthers, and filaments, and the lines in the petals. (Oh yeah, I love my wildflower book.)


This is a bloom on a Butterfly plant that appeared beside my Shop Building a couple years ago. As you’ll see in the next couple images, I had a little fun with this plant.


Another bloom from the Butterfly plant. The flash was under the bloom and I rotated the image to make it appear a little more natural.


And I got real wild with this one. I desaturated (removed all the color) everything but the yellows and oranges in the center of the flowers. It’s a technique I’ve always wanted to try. Did it work well in this image? Probably not, but the experience of doing it made it worth the effort.


I think this is a Black-Eyed Susan. Could it be the inspiration for archery targets?


Another view of the Hydrangea.


This is a pod cluster on the Heavenly Bamboo in front of my Shop Building. We were a little unsure when we planted this, but it is a beautiful plant and tough as nails! I used the flash on this, too.

I have another new technique for macro and close up – watch for it in my next blog!  Meanwhile, just Enjoy!  PHOTOROGR