Scrambling

I took my Triumph Scrambler through the Redwood Forest while going across the country. While I was scrambling through the forest I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for at least one good photo. This spot was beautiful and the trees were too big to fit in one frame. I even got the chance to drive through one of the trees later on in the trip. The luggage on the back of the bike is only half of what I actually had packed on it. My camera was in the other bag, so I had to take it off. People probably thought I was crazy going through these trees since there was a perfectly good road running parallel to it. This photo is a mix of several shots since the light coming through the trees was intense. I used some luminosity masks and layers to merge them together. Hope you like the results. Please follow and like...

Abiqua Falls

Abiqua Falls was, by far, one of the nicest waterfalls that I had visited while I was on my cross-country trip. I ran into this waterfall while I was traveling through Oregon, although running into wouldn’t be the correct term since I admittedly had some trouble finding it. It was off this path that was called Crooked Finger, which I had no idea existed until I asked some locals about the waterfalls whereabouts. The hike was short and the later half of it was gorgeous. It followed along a stream that led right into the area where the waterfall pooled. There was barely anyone here too. Needless to say, I took a bunch of shots here and this is just one of many others. I couldn’t get enough of how cool the rocks were that were along the walls of where the waterfall came down. I had never seen anything like it except in pictures. Oregon was one of my favorite places on this trip because of how beautiful it was and how much natural things there were to see. This is a bracketed shot, made with 5 exposures. I used Photoshop CS6 for some post processing and Nik Color Efex Pro for some enhancements. Please follow and like...

Redwood Forest

The thing I love most about photography is being able to capture an image just as you saw it at that point in time. Often times we take photos and look at them afterward with disappointment over the fact that they look nothing like how we remember the beauty of the places we visited. I always had this problem when I started off. Eventually I ended up picking up different techniques for shooting and for editing that have really helped me along. It’s been several years now that I have been doing this and I feel that all the hard work is paying off and the effort I put into it can really be seen in my photos. I posted one of the original images that was used in making this final image seen below because I wanted everyone to see how big of a change I was able to make after editing. The initial picture is that problem I discussed earlier with the photo not looking like how I saw it while I was there. A camera can only do so much after all. This is where the artistic side of photography comes into play. You can see from the transformation that I was able to put more depth into the photo and really make it come alive. That is what I strive for with photography. I took this shot at the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz, CA. I shot it with my Nikon D7000 and shot 5 bracketed photos that I later masked in order to get one image. Please follow and like...

Palm Tree Forest Feb14

Palm Tree Forest

Found this palm tree forest right off the road on our way to Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch. We weren’t going to stop initially but I thought that it was so cool how symmetrical everything was and I really liked how the trees looked all lined up with each other. I’m not exactly sure what they were growing all these pine trees for to be honest but I didn’t really care either. I just though it was nice to look at. There was a fence around the whole forest that blocked off people from going in so I ended up taking this picture from the edge of that fence. We just pulled over in the car and I set up my tripod and shot away. I wanted to get the right angle so I could show just how aligned all these trees were. They all even looked about the same size. It was really cool. Throughout this cross-California trip with my sister, we encountered some really cool things. One day we were driving through the mountains and hit the worst fog I had ever seen. You literally couldn’t see five feet in front of the car, it was nuts. Because it was so bright when I took this shot, I had to take a few extra exposures so that I could get the full range of light that I wanted in the final picture. I find that thinking about the end product when you are taking pictures is very important because you need to know what exactly you need to be able to complete that goal. I used my recently adopted technique of luminosity masks and combined the light values from the other exposures. I edited the whole photo in Photoshop CS6 and did adjustments...

Bixby Bridge

This is an older photo that I took while I was on a short road trip up the Big Sur coastline towards San Francisco. I have been working on my technique a bit lately for editing photos so I decided to give this one another try. My original edit wasn’t something I liked too much and I chalked it up to a bad shot so I’m glad I went through it again because I’m happy with how this one ended up. I love the look of Bixby Bridge. It is a perfect fusion of nature and man-made. I think the bridge actually adds to the overall looks of the scene and find that without it, the picture would be somewhat lacking. If you have never traveled this route, then I would definitely suggest it. The Pacific Coast Highway is, hands down, the most beautiful drive that I have made thus far. The whole drive was winding and curvy roads and all alone gorgeous scenery of beaches and cliffs. I made so many stop along the way because there were great photos to be had everywhere. I used my Nikon D7000 for this shot, mounted on my vanguard tripod. I had my usual kit lens and bracketed this photo at -2, 0, and +2. I didn’t have a wide enough angle lens so I had to make my own panorama. In post-processing I used luminosity masks in order to bring out the desired lighting and then I stitched the whole image together. If you have any questions just ask. I hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

Bash Bish Falls

This is a shot I took at Bash Bish Falls located in Southwestern Massachusetts. This is said to be the highest single drop waterfall in the state.  I visited this spot with my sister while I was back home on post-deployment leave. It was about a three hour drive but we had never been and decided to venture out for the day. It ended up being an overcast day which was a good thing since there wouldn’t be any harsh light. The hike to the waterfall was short too, I don’t remember it taking any longer than an hour and once we got there, there was barely anyone else at the falls. To get this angle I had to end up jumping across the stream on a few rocks to get to the other side. I usually try to look at a lot of different angles and spots for locations that I shoot at just to find the one that I really love the most. Even though I only end up posting one picture of most of the spots that I should, you would be surprised at how many different pictures and angles I end up having at the end of the day. I’ll use different shutter speed settings for water, 10 stop filters, and bring my tripod real low to the ground sometimes. It all depends what I like the most at the end of the day that makes me choose it for my website. This shot was a regular RAW image taken on a tripod. I had a ND filter on the front of the lens to slow the water a bit and processed this photo in Lightroom for minor adjustments and then Photoshop CS6 for the rest. Please follow and like...

Rocky Waterfalls

Along the stream to Bash Bish Falls in Massachusetts, there was this small hidden waterfall that was right on the edge of the water. It wasn’t really a waterfall per say but it was good enough for me. Fortunately it was cloudy out so there was no harsh light around to cast any unattractive shadows. Instead, it was just nice filtered light bringing out all the detail in the rocks and the moss. I had to take bracketed shots for this one because of the difference in light from the foreground and background. I couldn’t correctly expose the background with one shot because then it turned out with the foregrounded being entirely too dark. So I bracketed these shots at -2, 0, and +2. I used the usual Photomatix to combine the three exposure. I had just downloaded the new Photomatix and came to realize that there are these awesome new presets that make the HDR processed images look a lot better than the old presets the previous version used to have. I like to use one called “Photographic” the best and it is rightly named so. I hit a few sliders here and there but half the time I barely need to touch it. I highly suggest checking it out and getting the new version if you haven’t. It is well worth it in my opinion. I should also mention that this is a vertical panorama image as well. I had to stitch two processed images together because I’m unfortunately still using my kit lens to take all my landscape photos. Soon I will hopefully acquire a wide angle. Please follow and like...

Grapevine Jul21

Grapevine

This picture is from a few weekends ago on one of my outings through Temecula, California. I had a pretty set picture in mind before I left and this one was it. I took my Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 because I wanted a really shallow depth of field. I was really looking for some purple grapes because I would have loved the color contrast but I think the green grapes still work. It was surprisingly hard to find full size grapes to take pictures of, believe it or not. I don’t know if I went here at the wrong time of year or just after they harvested all the ripe ones; then again they may not even let them grow that large. Either way, they were all so tiny! Fortunately I ended finding some good sized ones and snapped away. I wanted the grapes themselves to be in as much shade as possible that way they could retain their detail and could stay the focus of the picture. I didn’t even bring this photo into Photoshop for the processing because I did practically nothing as far as post-processing goes. This is a single RAW image file that had some curves and levels adjustments done to it. Please follow and like...

Forest Path

One of the only paths that lead to Campbell Falls in Connecticut was this beautiful hiking trail that was nestled deep in a dense forest. It was a perfect overcast day when I came here and the green colors in the forest really caught my eye because of how vibrant they were. I set up my tripod one the bridge and snapped away not expecting anything special from some of these pictures since the main reason for going to this spot was for the waterfall. Fortunately the path proved to be just a beautiful a sight. I shot this with my Nikon D7000 mounted on a tripod. I bracketed the shots in order to mask away some of the darker and brighter areas and processed the whole image in Photoshop. The only add-on that I used was Nik Color Effex Pro. If you have never used this program I strongly suggest it because there are a lot of helpful presets and you can enhance the pictures pretty substantially whilst still keeping the natural look and feel. I have been trying a more natural look and I keep working to perfect it. The best part about the more natural look is that it requires a lot less work, though the photo straight out of the camera has to have a better overall lighting range than usual. This is why going on a cloudy day was perfect since there is only filtered light all around. If you have any questions feel free to ask! Please follow and like...

Campbell Falls

I just recently got home on post-deployment leave and I have been trying to visit some cool places to take pictures at. I found this amazing site called New England Waterfalls that lists all the waterfalls in the New England area and even gives each one its out rating for how good it is. The rating seems really accurate too considering I just recently visited two of the five star ones that are on the list and they were beautiful. The waterfall pictured below is Campbell Falls which is located at Campbell Falls State Park in Connecticut. It was a little bit of a drive from where I live (three hours to be exact), but it was well worth it. There was even another waterfall nearby that we were able to hit up while we were that far out. It was a short hike to this waterfall and it was a perfect day because it was an overcast sky which provided some great soft light. This is a RAW image file that I combined with the HDR I created through bracketed shots in Photomatix. Very little editing was done in all honesty in order to keep this one as natural looking as possible. Hope you like the results! Please follow and like...