Raindrops on Autumn Leaves

Raindrops

Well, first of all kudos to Canon for finally getting with the program on mirrorless. Not only did they start marketing a telephoto lens in North America, they have introduced an updated version of the EOS M. I haven’t yet sprung for the new body (dubbed the EOS M3) but I jumped on the telephoto lens for my original EOS M and have been running around testing it out on autumn leaves and I am pretty happy with the results, all of which have been handheld. ┬áImagine what I could do with the upgraded body…hmmm. First I need to invest in a telephoto lens for the Fujifilm, and then Tamron has a new medium telephoto that would look good on the 7D…. so many ways to spend my money.

Anyway I found these leaves with raindrops in Lithia Park at the Japanese Gardens which, as of Wednesday were all decked out in stunning colors. The leaves are falling fast though so get there soon.

I made a break from my usual post processing routine and did this one mostly in Lightroom. I cropped in some and even rotated a little to get more of a diagonal line on the branch. I added clarity, vibrance and a touch of saturation. Then needed some noise reduction since I was shooting at high ISO. Finally some sharpening and then I took it into Photoshop for some spot healing and a little darkening around the edges and on the right side to bring out the leaf on the left.

Pelican

Pelican_portrait2

I didn’t have a chance to get out and shoot this week and it is probably just as well since I am way behind in post processing of my Klamath Basin images. This one is from August. I have hundreds of shots of pelicans out swimming in the lake but when I zoomed in to check sharpness on this one I thought it would make a great intimate portrait if I cropped in a lot. Love that diagonal line of the pelican’s beak.

In post I did the usual. Detail, saturation, darken edges, a little noise reduction and some final sharpening. On this one I also added a border for a little more visual interest.

Red Tail Hawk

Hawk

It was back to the Klamath Basin this week and the stars of the show this month were the hawks. On the second day there it was cloudy and there were hawks roosting in every tree and on many a sign post. But this one was taken on the first day when there was more blue in the sky. I love the way he is just hanging on by a few toes. I learned a new trick for identifying a Red Tail Hawk in my bird class. Though they come in many color configurations, they always have the dark belly bad which shows up well here.

In post processing I first cropped to a vertical. It is kind of a miracle that this one came out sharp in the first place as I was shooting hand held out the passenger side from the driver’s seat so I couldn’t take advantage of my bean bag. Long story short, it would have been nearly impossible to shoot this vertically in that situation.

I brightened it up a little using levels in Photoshop. Then into Color Efex Pro for detail, saturation (brilliance/warmth) and a little highlighting on the center and darkening on the edges. It looked a little noisy to me so I took it through Topaz DeNoise then used smart sharpen in Photoshop to recover some of the sharpness that was lost in the denoise process.

I’m behind the curve on my Klamath basin blog so look for a couple of catch up posts at http://jeannehoadley.com/Klamath by the end of next week.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn_Leaves

I went looking for fall color in Lithia Park yesterday and was a little disappointed. It seemed the trees were either past prime or not there yet. I will have to keep looking. As I recall it was November last year when I found the Japanese Garden awash with color. There were a few leaves in the little stream offering some nice color and texture. I did the usual in post, a little detail, saturation and highlighting the main subject.

Grapes

grapes

So, on my mission to find my 2nd Great-grandfather’s grave in Lower Lake, CA last week I suddenly realized I was only 30 miles from the Napa Valley. While I should have planned better to spend a whole day photographing there I couldn’t resist the temptation to at least poke my nose into the north end of the Valley. Most of the grapes had been harvested, of course, but there were a few clusters left for show near one of the winery parking lots. Backlighting from the sun gave some of the grapes a stained glass look.

I actually had to do a lot of work in post processing because of the backlighting and some very distracting spectral highlights. A combination of cropping, content-aware fill, and clone stamping got me to this point.  I also did my usual tricks in Color Efex Pro; detail, saturation, and brightening the center while darkening the edges.

Grunge Abstract

Grunge_Abstract

It’s always fun to roam the back alleys of small towns to find the old buildings with patches on patches and with a little graffiti thrown in it makes for a pretty interesting image. I tried this one rotated in all directions and finally ended up back where I started. The colors were a little dull so I took it into Topaz Restyle for a makeover. So many good options! Bur I ended up choosing dingy attic. I wanted to add a grunge texture but I see I have have not yet uploaded my textures to the new laptop. Always takes a few outings to get the bugs worked out.

Meadowlark

Meadowlark

It was back to the Klamath Basin again this week. I was particularly struck with the detail in the feathers of this bird though it’s colors have definitely fades since spring. I also like the way the autumnal foliage blurred into a beautiful tan background.

In post processing I cropped in some, added detail and saturation and a little highlight on the bird. And as always finished with some sharpening.

Milkweed

Milkweed2

Well, I’m now the proud owner of a Canon 7D Mark II. I took the Mark I out for a spin on Tuesday, turned it on and nothing happened. “Oh, must be a dead battery. Good thing I have a spare in my pocket.” Switched out the battery and still nothing. Well, red flags were going up all over at this point but I was still hoping I had forgotten to charge both batteries, though it seemed unlikely.

So, I went home and charged one battery and sure enough when I put it in the camera nothing happened. It was not until this point I noticed the message on the LCD screen saying “Camera cannot communicate with battery.” So, I went upstairs to the office and typed that into google. Turns out this is not an uncommon problem with the 7D (Mark I only I HOPE). It seems there is a screw that comes loose and causes the camera to loose communication with the battery. The camera still works, it just can’t report on battery life. And there is some risk that the screw now rattling around inside the camera could cause the circuit board to short out.

I did find a U Tube video telling me how to fix the problem and I got as far as taking all the screws out of the bottom plate but I couldn’t figure out how to get the plastic plate off without breaking it so I decided that since I had been planning to upgrade to the Mark II soon anyway, I might as well go ahead and order it and use the Mark I for backup.

Had it not been Yom Kippur I would have had the new camera the next day but as it was B&H got it to me by Friday which was still pretty impressive, and they paid for shipping. I headed back to North Mountain Park this morning and found the milkweek seeds still near peak from a photographer’s point of view.

Many of the switches and buttons are the same on the Mark II as the Mark I but it does have a few more bells and whistles which I will have to study up on. At least I figured out how to turn off the annoying beep that just about drove me crazy this morning.

Sea Lions

Sea_Lions

Well, I’ve been busy as a bird dog this week. I just started teaching Introduction to Digital Photography for seniors through a life long learning program. Hence, no new captures but still some nice images from the coast. I used the longest lens I own for this one and still cropped some. But I like the variety of poses and expressions and some rocks and water for environment.

In post I did not have to do much. A little detail and saturation and darkened the corners ever so slightly.

Dahlia

Dahlia2

Sorry I didn’t get an image posted last week but it was my birthday and I was out shooting. One of the places I love to go for flowers is Shore Acres near Charleston, Oregon. Unfortunately the staff has gotten huffy and planted little hedges around all the flower beds thus making it nearly impossible to get close enough to the flowers to do macro photography. I got out my telephoto lens and did what I could but it was disappointing not to be able to do the kind of close macro abstracts I like. Still, it is hard to go wrong with a dahlia.

Post processing brought in detail and saturation and lightened up the center while darkening the edges.