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I’m Baaaack!

I may not write much, but I might. I mostly want to post pictures of where I’ve been and what I’ve done as well as some art I’ve been doing — both with software and with my hands. It won’t probably be anything very serious at all. Thanks for looking in on me again.

The two pictures I’m posting tonight are of some trees and the moon. It was so pretty this morning, and it’s warm again, although it’s going to get cold pretty soon.

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Day Trip to Rifle, Colorado

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

—Confucius

I try to remember to see it. Last weekend, my daughter, her daughters, my friend, and I went to Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls, and Harvey Gap. From there, we drove through a beautiful sheep and cattle (and spring-and-wet-green) valley behind the Hogbacks, then we went through Newcastle and went back home to Rifle. We had a lot of fun, and I found it was beautiful there. I’ve lived in Western Colorado for 38 years, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen those places. Below are pictures I took of our trip. I told the grand kids that when I went up there again, I’d take them with me. I expect that will be a blast.

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Funny Flower

It’s been awhile since I posted anything. Between work (busy season), work (finishing up what I started), bowling, school and the accompanying homework, and everyday stuff, I’ve been pressed for time and energy. Bowling and school are out for the summer and all work seems to have calmed down for a little bit.

I came home for lunch today and found this flower in my driveway. It’s a weed, really, but it sure was pretty, open and full. I took a lot of pictures with a real camera before I headed into the house to eat lunch. About 40 minutes later I went back outside to head back to work. I was going to shoot a quick picture with the iPhone to show a co-worker. By that time, the flower had closed up completely.

Funny Flower

When I got downtown, I noticed these flowers as I walked through the breezeway from the parking garage.

Historical Downtown Grand Junction Flower

It’s that time of year! Finally!

Evening Here

I love my view in Western Colorado.

Mt. Garfield & Clouds

Mt. Garfield & Clouds

Summer’s End

Dying sunflower seed bed.

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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.

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 Foliage, 2012

Fall Foliage, 2012

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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