Pansies

Pansies

I’m so happy to see flowers showing up everywhere. These pansies were in a planter by a store. The background was pretty busy and boring so I thought a texture might help. It did but the transition between the pansies and the background was still rough so I took it into Topaz Impression and applied a Georgia O’Keefe filter which brought me to something I feel pretty good about. Of course, if it were a real painting I would have the yellow flower facing into the frame, and purple. Oh well.

Orchards in bloom

Orchards

I showed my favorite picture from this week on the Klamath Basin blog (http://jeannehoadley.com/Klamath). It was the white Pelican in case you were wondering. But I felt I needed to come up with something new. I was afraid I had missed the peak of the pear blossoms but there are still plenty of them out there. My challenge with this image was flat lighting and clouding skies. but I did like the composition.

So, I took it into Color efex pro and did the usual magic (detail, brilliance/warmth, darken/lighten center)) and I still wasn’t happy with it. So I gave it a Film Efex Vintage filter and that gave it more of the look I wanted. I also added a border. Some images just need a border. I still think I need to go back on a sunnier day closer to sunset but I could hang this one on my wall so it passes muster.

Tulip with texture

Tulip_texture_muse2

I didn’t have time to get out and shoot this week but I did play around a little with textures. This tulip from the studio last year had a background that was too bright so I did a little processing adding detail and brightness then overlaid a texture from French Kiss which I had blurred out using a Gaussian blur filter. A little experimentation with blending modes and opacity and it came out looking pretty good.

Western Scrub Jay

Scrub_Jay

So, having committed to a project shooting in the Klamath Basin every month for a year, I decided I needed a longer telephoto lens. After a lot of research and angst I opted for the Tamron 150-600mm. You can read more about my thought process at http://jeannehoadley.com/Klamath.

I just got the lens yesterday so have only had one chance to take it out for a test drive. I found a few birds to shoot in Ashland’s North Mountain Park, including this Western Scrub Jay who chose to park himself at the very top of a 30 foot tall tree. I was maybe 50-100 feet from the base of the tree. I did crop the image some for a better composition but overall I have to say I am pretty impressed with the performance of this lens, given the cost.

The image was way underexposed out of the camera due to the bright sky but a little work in Photoshop fixed it right up. Detail and saturation were also added in Color Efex Pro. I may take it a step further and add a textured background to give it the look of a classic botanical.

Spring Impression

Spring_Impression

The weather was grey and I was a little depressed the other day so I took the Fuji down to the park and just started playing. Intentionally moving the camera, zooming during exposure, etc. Then I went home and started playing on the computer. This was the result.

What I did here was to take a straight shot of a blossoming tree and overlay it with one that I had zoomed during exposure. I didn’t write down all the steps so I don’t know that I could recreate if for you but there was some blending of the two images, some detail and saturation added in color efex pro. And a treatment in Topaz Impression.

What I love about this image is that it just screams spring is busting out.  Probably not for everyone but it passes the “Would I hang it on my wall?” test.

Bald Eagle

Bald_Eagle2

I guess I saw more bald eagles this week than in the rest of my life put together. It turns out that the largest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 can be found practically in my backyard, less than two hours from home, in the Klamath Basin. Eagles come from the north for the winter so it’s best to catch them between November and February but a few stick around all year.

This guy was found at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. I took the picture from my car on the auto tour route using a 100-400mm zoom handheld.  Not the ideal situation but the eye is tack sharp so hey, if it works, it works.  I did crop some to get in a little closer. I added a little detail and saturation in post and a slight highlight around the bird.

Iris Blooming

Iris_Blooming

Seems like forever since the NANPA Summit in San Diego but it was just this past Sunday that I wandered around the hotel grounds looking for some macro opportunities.  I found this Iris just poised to burst into bloom and loved the delicate patterns.

This was shot with the Fujifilm XT-1 with 18-135mm zoom and a 500D closeup filter. Post processing was about as usual, detail, brilliance warmth and a little lightening of the center and darkening of the edges.

Fern

Fern2

Well, the trip to the San Diego zoo has to be considered a complete bust. It seemed like all the animals were asleep or inaccessible for one reason or another and then, of course, I ran out of steam way before I had gotten my $48.00 worth. But then this week after sitting at the North American Nature Photography Association Summit listening to photographer after photographer talking about taking weeks or months to get one good shot in the wild I didn’t feel quite so bad.  At least I can show you some photos of sleeping animals.

But in the end I actually liked my plant photos better and this shot of a fern was my favorite. A little exposure adjustment, some detail and saturation and voila art. One thing I have enjoyed about the conference is also hearing photographer after photographer assure me that it is ok to use the software tools to create art.  So here you go.

Giraffes

Giraffes

The other day I did a webinar with a photographer/artist who it turned out was using alot of the same software I use to create painterly images of wildlife. I can’t say I learned anything new from her but I did get permission to carry on with what I am doing.

For this image I went back into the archives to review some of my zoo pictures. I’ve always liked the composition on this image but the lighting was off and there were distracting fences in the original image.  So, I went to work, starting with cropping out the fences.  Then brightened it up and took it into Topaz simplify for a more graphic look. My new test for whether I have a good image or not is would I hang it on my wall.  This one passes the test.

Trees in Fog

treesinfog

Driving south on Hwy 101 along the Oregon Coast I was taken with the graphic look of the trees in a light fog.  When I downloaded the image though it had gone completely monochrome.  So I decided to add back the color in my mind using a bi-color filter in Nik Color Efex pro. I’m very happy with the result.