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Saturday Ramblings

I haven’t posted for a bit. Between a very busy day job, trying to keep up with the other job, school, bowling, and then being sick last Saturday, I’ve had a whirlwind existence lately. Tomorrow I’ll go in to work for awhile to get a head start on next week (for my comfort), take Patrón for another walk, then I’ll head to a friend’s for dinner.

I was able to go for a walk last Sunday and was saddened to see that someone had moved the weathered board so there were no more tufts of grass growing through its holes. Maybe that grass just blew away, but I doubt it. I was hoping for the grass to grow longer for a bit and be able to take another photo. I was sorry to see it no longer looked as it did. And I wondered that someone could come along and not see the artistry in that mess of old wood and clumps of grass.

Today I got homework done and that’s a relief. It was due Friday and we had a reprieve, thankfully. I was at wits end trying to figure out how I was going to get that done. What a relief. Just four more weeks, I think.

After bowling is over (two more weeks), school is over (fourish more weeks), and I’m not allowed overtime at the day job, I can take weekends and go sometimes. I’m tired of being trapped at home either having to do something — or thinking I should.

Today I downloaded a new camera app for my iPhone and I think I like it. I am disappointed with the native camera’s abilities and this app will at least make the photos look more vibrant. I’ve seen so many others’ photos from their phones and they look so good — and my phone photos kind of just suck. Anyway, the photos’ editability still isn’t great, but colors are vibrant and I am able to capture light and dark in a composition that is wildly different in tonal values. The name of the app is Pro HDR-X. It’s a toy, but a fun one.

Looking Toward Junction

I drove a little way up Unaweep Canyon this evening and took this picture.

Looking East

This I took a little earlier on my walk on the desert. The clouds, where there’s nothing to block them, are so pretty.

Sunset at the Parking Corral.

After driving up Unaweep Canyon for bit, I backtracked to the Gunnison River Bluffs/Old Spanish Trail parking corral. As the sun set, I captured this. I didn’t get light adjusted properly, but even so, I thought this turned out cool. I had to wait until a hiker’s silhouette fell below the horizon. For the longest time, while the sun set lower, there was a solitary figure walking from the left to the right along the top of those hills in the background. Had I been able to zoom in on him, that might have made a nice photo, too, but with the phone, he would have just been too small for any artistic impact.

It’s been a nice quiet day and I’m ready to call it.

Happy Saturday!

 

Summer Storm

While it’s cold here now, I am looking through old photographs and found this one. I love how the clouds seem to fall out of the sky as sun still lights the Bookcliffs in the background.

Summer Storm

Summer Storm

 

Winter Weather

A storm moved through here today. It snowed a little, but melted almost as fast as it fell. As the weather cleared out, in the distance, the clouds hugged Mt. Garfield.

Mt. Garfield

Mt. Garfield

 

Cloudworks

I get to see a lot of storms push through here and many of them are pretty impressive. Black and white is even more dramatic. The one thing about digital that’s really nice is the ability to shoot LOTS of pictures of nothing but the sky.

Grand Valley Cloud Works

Grand Valley Cloud Works

 

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Evening Here

I love my view in Western Colorado.

Mt. Garfield & Clouds

Mt. Garfield & Clouds

Sunset over Grand Mesa

This is why I love living in Western Colorado. This never looks the same.

Sunset over Grand Mesa

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?

Clouds

Clouds

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.

Looking Up

I’m rarely able to capture the full beauty of the cloud works I see regularly in Grand Junction. On this day, as I was leaving class at Western Colorado Community College, I looked up and saw this composition. Shot with iPhone 4s using Camera+ from TapTapTap and refined in Lightroom5.

Colorado Skies

Colorado Skies

Already Looking Toward Spring

I took this picture years ago. Last night, while looking through photographs in Adobe LightRoom, I found it and played with the colors. It made the already vivid rainbow even more bright. I love my view. I just wish I had a wide-angle lens to capture more of the many double-rainbows I see here.

Vivid Rainbow, April 2009

Vivid Rainbow, April 2009

Looking at this again today, it made me long for the warmth of spring and summer again, although I do love autumn. It’s not quite cold yet. I still haven’t turned on heat in the house and I’m not uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the weather that pushes through here in the wintertime, which is equally awesome. It’s just a different awesome and a colder awesome. But it’s all awesome!

Clouds Jump from Photograph, Don’t You Think?

I was looking around on my Skitch account today and found this. I know quite a few people have seen this, but certainly none of my Twitter friends. And, because this is a photo blog, and this was such a cool learning experience for me, I wanted to include it here.

I took this picture summer 2009. If you’re familiar with HDR, you know that three or more shots of different exposures are taken, then “melded” together to produce one photo. Usually I just do all this in Photoshop because my camera really hasn’t the capability. If I change exposure, then I wiggle the camera, no matter how careful I am.

While I understand it’s not HDR, it’s fun nevertheless. That, after all, is what this is all about. Does anyone know what “they” do call that?

In this shot though, I did change the exposure for each of three shots. One’s underexposed, another is exposed properly, and the third is overexposed.

I used Photomatix Pro to put them together, and probably tweaked it just a little in Photoshop afterward.

The interesting thing about this photo is the clouds. They almost jump off the page. I learned something from this shot that I didn’t understand before.

Previous to this photograph, I had been looking through the photographs at stuckincustoms.com. Trey Ratcliff travels the world with his camera and takes the most incredible HDR photographs. However, I noticed some of his picture seemed just a little surreal, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. That’s not a “judgement” either. I love his work. I remember one in particular in which he photographed sailboats. The masts looked like they were slightly raised a off the photograph. It was something I didn’t understand about his photographs. I assumed it was part of the process, but I didn’t know what part.

When I took and processed this picture, I realized what it was; movement. From one exposure to the next, the masts must have moved just a little as the boats moved with the water. The software doesn’t perfectly match the elements of the picture, so that effect is the result. At least that’s my best guess. Although the clouds didn’t move a lot, in my picture, they moved enough in my relatively long, manual-exposure-change time, to achieve that effect. I’m sure I also moved the camera while changing the exposure.

Anyway, I think THAT’s why those clouds jump off the page. They moved just a little each time I had to change exposure, and they were too different to match well in Photomatix.

Not only did I like the effect I got, I had a lot of fun playing with this photograph.

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