Category Archives: Colorado
The sun is migrating from the south side of The Grand Mesa to the north side. Today it seems to be about halfway on its journey. This morning the sky was pink and I snapped this picture just before the sun peeked above the top of the mountain. Spring’s on its way!
Sunset over Grand Mesa
Goosed and Tweaked
Here’s a picture I took of a goose in Summer 2012 while on a bike ride. I love capturing wildlife, but not a lot of it will sit still long enough for me to get a good shot. At least these swam close by and didn’t move too quickly to get a good capture.
I used Lightroom 5 and Topaz filters on this to get the effect I finally liked a lot. I will, from this time forward, do a better job of documenting just how I got an effect. I am sure this was a mix of one of Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom Presets and Topaz Labs’ Simplify, both of which I tweaked a little.
I have the most fun playing with photographs in various software to create something that pleases my senses.
Happy New Year!
I’m looking forward to great things in 2014 and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
I hope your new year is as good as I expect mine to be!
May your blessings be many this Christmas and throughout the new year.
I Love My View
It would be nice if I had a better lens for such shots, but this turned out pretty nice. I love my view. This is sunrise in the summer. I want it to be summer again, soon. I am tired of the cold already. Aren’t these clouds pretty?
I’m done with school for the semester and I think I did well. I’m glad to be done for a few weeks. I worked hard, learned much, and enjoyed myself immensely. I’ve had so much fun learning and I met several women that I hope will continue to be part of my life for a long time to come. They have made such a positive impact on my life. They’re smart, full of life, and they inspire me to be better.
I’m looking forward to the next semester and what lies ahead.
This Was Fun
I watched—rather listened to—a Topaz Labs filters video. That got me started. I filtered this to within an inch of its life, but I love it.
Fall, Bighorns, and Light Painting
I took some pictures yesterday (October 26, 2013) as part of a Landscape Photography in Lower Monument Canyon group hike led by Donna Fullerton, and put on by the Colorado National Monument Association. We started at 4pm and the last time I checked, it was 9pm as I was in my vehicle and on my way home. It turned out to be an ideal evening for a hike; sunny and warm in the late afternoon, and not too chilly when the sun went down. I finally got a few fall pictures.
We were treated to a herd of desert bighorns—not just a couple, but more than a dozen. I had never seen that many at one time. Sighting the bighorns kept us in one spot for a long time; taking pictures and being really quiet. My camera didn’t do a good job of capturing them, but I did get proof I saw them! I took several long-distance shots when it was far too dark to get good pictures without a tripod. Shooting in RAW allows for changing the exposure in post-processing, but what I get is really noisy and not much use for anything but my own memories. I guess that has to be good enough. (My reasoning for not taking a tripod was because the information about the hike said it wasn’t necessary. Hereafter, a tripod will always be a necessary item on such an outing.)
When we got to Independence Monument, it was almost dark, and stars were beginning to appear in the sky. While we posted to Facebook or set up our cameras to take night shots, it got dark enough for something I’ve wanted to do for a long time; light painting.
This process requires a strong light shone on whatever you’re hoping to capture—in this case, Independence Monument. The light is shined on the rock just as you might paint it; shining it up and down and all around, touching every part. I got a lot of help from Donna who let me borrow her tripod and helped me figure out what to set exposure and f-stop on. Another hiker, Jeff (I think his name was), gave pointers about focusing on something your camera can’t see to focus on. The first picture below was taken with my camera on Donna’s tripod. The second photograph I took behind her setup with the camera laying on my jacket. The red light in the foreground is the busy light on Donna’s camera. Ideally, that wouldn’t have appeared in the picture, and I could have taken it out, but I like it there. The third shot isn’t of Independence Monument, it is of the night sky just before we headed back down the hill with our headlamps on. For this one, I laid the camera on the jacket, kept the settings that Jeff set for the rock, and opened the shutter for 30 seconds.
How cool are these?!
This hike was so much fun and I learned so much. I hope to be able to do this, or something similar, again. Classes are great and I learn a lot. But, what I gained from “doing” with experienced photographers can’t be beat. I enjoyed the company of eight people of varying levels of expertise—all generous with their knowledge, each with very individual “eyes” for composition, and a love of photography and nature. It was a great way to spend a Saturday evening.