Mallard

Mallard

I’ve been working on a book of my favorite images from 2016 (of which only one will be printed). I already have 16 pages and I’m only on February. Yikes! Anyway, I came across this one this morning and went Wow. I guess I had passed over it previously because I was intent on capturing Wood Ducks but this Mallard turned out beautifully. I love the soft colors of the reflections in the pond and the perfect mirror image of the duck. I also love the drops of water on the duck and the detail in his feathers. Just Wow.

In post processing I gave it come clarity and vibrance and just a touch of saturation. Also a little sharpening and I boosted the exposure a little.

Red Tailed Hawk

Hawk

Rarely do I get this close to a Hawk without it flying away. This one seemed more curious than scared. I could wish it had been sitting on a fence post or tree but you take what you can get. At first glance I thought this was not a Red tail but after looking more closely I could see that though its chest is not as light as some it does have the distinctive darker vest and a look at my bird books confirmed that this has to be a Red tail.

I did some heavy cropping and converted from horizontal to vertical. I may have gone a little too close on the turn wheel and its shadow.  I tried shooting vertical from the car blind but it just didn’t work too well and with wildlife you don’t have the luxury to mess around. I can’t tell you how many “Gone birds” I have photographed in my life.  Anyway, just a little vibrance and saturation and some sharpening for the final image.

Leaf with Raindrop

LeafwDrop

The Japanese Garden in Ashland’s Lithia Park was in full glory this week. But I found myself fascinated with the raindrops lingering on the ends of the leaves. I did one sweep through the Garden with a wide angle lens then went back to the car and got the new 180mm macro which won the day with this image of Japanese maple leaves with a raindrop and a beautiful soft yet colorful background.

Mushrooms with leaf

Mushroom3

Well, I guess it is a good thing when I am too busy photographing to post the image of the week. I spent a long weekend at a photo workshop in Olympic National Park. The fall color was stunning but the rain didn’t let up for too long at a time. I found myself drawn to the mushrooms which were present in all colors shapes and well, mostly small, sizes.

This one was right along the edge of the road near a steep bank so it was all I could do to get a shot framed and some serious cropping ensued. I added a little saturation, some sharpening and darkened the edges.

Black Eyed Susan

BlackeyedSusan

I’ve been working on ways to blend images and add text. In this one I took and image of some black-eyed susans and added a texture layer. I still wasn’t satisfied but in some of the blending modes the flowers went monochrome and that looked interesting to me so I made a sepia tone layer and blended it in as a sort of border. I liked the look and added some simple text just naming the flowers.

Milkweed seeds

Milkweed2

I almost waited to long to get down to North Mountain Park to photograph the milkweed seeds this year. But there were still a few worthy of my attention and this was my favorite of the lot. I cropped it ever so slightly to maximize focus on the seeds and pod. I added detail and saturation in Color efex pro but was still not happy so went back in Photoshop and added vibrance and a smart sharpen layer.

Breaker

Breaker_color

Well, I missed the image of the week altogether last week and I’m running late this week. I guess that means my life is full. Took my Mom to the coast to celebrate her 84th birthday last week. We enjoyed pretty good weather but there was a storm lurking offshore so we also got some pretty good wave action. It took a few tries but I caught this one just at the critical point. Just added some saturation and sharpening in post. I also tried this one in black and white but I liked the color version better.

Glendalough – County Wicklow,Ireland

GlendaloughBack when I lived in Missoula, Montana I took some classes at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. They had a sort of mantra “No, white skies!” In Ireland with it’s almost always cloudy skies this proved to be a challenge. In this image I had almost the holy grail of ancient site photography: A round tower, a celtic cross and the ruins of an old church all in one photo and the tower was framed in a window. Doesn’t get much better than that compositionally. But the sky in the upper corner was a very flat white. So, I turned to Topaz Texture Effects to help me out. I actually found several looks I liked but most were more monotone and I was grooving on the orange color of the lichens so I chose this one which gave me some color in the sky and a kind of crusty look which suited the old ruins well. And, of course, a nice purplely blue sky with texture

Street Musician – Galway

Street MusiciansConcertina_man are everywhere in the cities of Ireland. Everything from tin whistles to rock bands I shot this in Galway but then he turned up again in Cork. The instrument is called a concertina. He also had dancing puppets. I liked his feather.

I don’t do a lot of portraits but this fellow definitely had a unique look that cried out for photographing.

I like the way he is framed by the arch but I wish I had gotten the whole instrument in the frame. Cloudy skies in Ireland meant high ISOs so denoising and sharpening have been routine in post processing.

St. Kevin’s Church

I don’t know if St_Kevins_TEanyone noticed but I was so busy keeping up with my travel blog that I did not get an image of the week posted. I am only just starting to shift gears from documenting my trip to creating art so here is an early attempt that was shot last week in Glendalough, County Wicklow, Ireland. There is a lot worthy of photographing in Ireland and being tied to a tour bus is not the best way to go about it. But, I fear I would not be able to drive on the left side of the road and I’m a little too old for hitchhiking so short of hiring a driver I’m not sure how to make it happen.

In any case, I liked the colors of the mountains and the field in this one. I tried it as an impressionist painting but I liked a little more realism so ended up with a texture effect that gave it a border and helped to emphasize the stone church.