California Poppy


I had to put off my trip to California again this week. But as I was walking down along the Greenway I discovered that I had an abundance of California Poppies practically in my back yard.  So, I geared up with tripod, macro lens, closeup filter and kneepads and headed out to see what I could do with them. It was a cool morning so some of the blossoms were reluctant to open fully. I like how the grasses blurred out to form the perfect background. I did add some saturation and detail in post processing as usual.

Purple Vetch with Horse


I had thought to go to California to look for wildflowers this week but the weather was a little iffy for getting over the Siskiyous and back. Then I noticed the hills in my own backyard were turning purple. A short walk from my doorstep brought me to this view and the horse graciously posed to add an element of interest.

Some detail added in post helped give definition to an otherwise dull sky. I would like to try again with a little more light on the subject if the sun ever comes out again.

Great Egret with Lunch


One of the holy grails of bird photography is catching the bird with lunch in its mouth. I don’t suppose this one will win any prizes because the fish is not sharp. I think it was wiggling around too much. I might get points for breeding plumage though.

In post processing I did the usual with some detail, saturation and darkening the edges. I also added a smart sharpen filter mainly to reduce noise which was needed because I was shooting at 400 ISO in order to help reduce camera shake from hand holding the big lens inside the car.

This ia another one from Tule Lake. I am really falling in love with that place.



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


I showed my favorite picture from this week on the Klamath Basin blog ( 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


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


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

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


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


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


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.