The Coast

This is an old shot from the California coast in Corona Del Mar that I dug up while I was looking through old photos. This was my favorite beach to take photos at while I was living out there. The beach is super rocky and there are a lot of awesome photo spots. These were some random rocks that caught my eye while I was looking for new spots on the beach.  This was shot with my Nikon d810 mounted on a Manfrotto Befree tripod. Surprisingly, this is only one RAW image with minimal editing. When I first started photography I overly edited photos, but I have learned to scale it back a bit. I found that the less I edited photos, the better they often looked. All this photo needed were some curves and color balancing adjustments. The Coast Please follow and like...

Point Judith Lighthouse...

Although I live nearby, this was my first time visiting Point Judith Lighthouse in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Turns out there is military installation guarding off the lighthouse. Fortunately, you can access the area if you walk along the beach, which I did. I recently started using SunsetWx, which tells you how good the sunset will be. While I am still trying it out, it seems to work pretty well. Turns out there is also a way to gauge the sunset on your own using the cloud height. You basically find the difference between the ground temperature and dew point. Then you divide that number by 4.4 and multiply it by 1000. Lastly, you subtract the sea level you are at. It sounds complicated but its fairly easy and accurate. Anyway, hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

Flow

This is another one of the several waterfalls located at Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania. Fortunately it rained before I got here and there was a heavy flow of water coming in. Although I took this on the same day as my last Ricketts Glen post, I used different editing techniques. For this shot, I increased the warmth a bit and used luminosity masks to adjust the highlights. Also, I used curves layers to dodge and burn the photo and put a slight vignette around the whole picture. By using the vignette as an overlay, the focus turned to the waterfall and away from the edges, which I wanted. Hope you like the results. Please follow and like...

Castle Hill

This spot is a hidden gem. I was born in New England and wish I knew about this location sooner. Castle Hill lighthouse, located in Newport, Rhode Island, is just a short walk from nearby parking through a wooded path to the shoreline. It was overcast all day and started drizzling once we got here but the cloudy sky made for better photos. I never like takings sunset pictures of a cloudless sky. I find it make the pictures boring and uninteresting. Once I got here I had to hop out to the farthest rock I could find to grab this shot where I mounted the camera on my tripod and snapped away. Hope you like the results. Please follow and like...

Watkins Glen

I took this photo while hiking the Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park in New York. Other than Ricketts Glen, this was probably the most scenic waterfall trail I have hiked. The Gorge Trail was fairly short considering it was only about 1-2 miles long and it was a really easy hike. This spot is called Rainbow Falls and is located almost dead center on the Gorge Trail. I did this hike on a weekday and lucked out considering there were only a handful of other people. The downside was how sunny it was. I usually like cloudy weather for waterfall shots but I was able to manage by using some new Photoshop techniques I learned off Phlearn. I took this shot with my Nikon D810 mounted on my Manfrotto Befree tripod. Hope you like the results. Please follow and like...

Bowling Ball Beach

I was able to visit Bowling Ball Beach while I was in Northern California. This spot was a bit difficult to find but I managed to find it. It was totally empty which was awesome; I literally had the whole beach to myself. These large rocks were scattered across the shoreline. Taking a good enough photo of this spot was the tricky part. I had to walk into the water until I was knee deep so I could find a good position to include all the rocks. Fortunately the waves were small so my little travel tripod stood a chance. I had my Nikon D810 mounted on my Manfrotto befree tripod. This lightweight travel tripod was definitely one of the best investments I made for this trip. It barely took up any space on my motorcycle. This is a combination of 5 different bracketed photos merged with luminosity masks. 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...

Horseshoe Bend

While visiting Page, Arizona to check out Antelope Canyon, I also ended up stopping at Horseshoe Bend. This was right off one of the main roads going into Page and it was a really short hike, probably about a mile and a half or so. This is an pretty iconic spot for photographers because of the way the Colorado River loops around the canyon. I lucked out on the day I went because it had been cloudy every other day that week and I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to catch a glimpse of the sunset, but fortunately the clouds broke at the right time. It was fairly packed for a weekday night and there were photographers lined up throughout this spot. I was able to squeeze between a couple that were right where I wanted to be without obstructing there view. I took about 7 different exposures for this shot because of the difference in lighting between the sky and the ground. I wanted to get as much detail as possible in this case. You can actually see a group of rafters at the bottom of the canyon if you look closely. I edited this photo in CS6 and used Nik Color Efex Pro which is now free since Google bought them out. Hope you like the results. Please follow and like...

Leading Lines

It’s been a while since I have been out taking pictures and it has been even longer since I have posted any. Since I have gotten out of the Marine Corps and became a civilian I have been keeping pretty busy. Holding two jobs, a relationship, and keeping in touch with friends takes a lot of time but fortunately I was able to venture off the other day for a few hours to get some shots at this beach. This was shot at Corona Del Mar, my usual favorite spot to go to when I am short on time and I can’t travel too far. Every time I have visited this beach I have always gone to the area that is a little South of the beach that is next to the canal. This time I decided to try somewhere new and go a little further South past the second beach down that way. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. There were a whole bunch of different spots like the one shown in this picture where the rocks were leading into the water and it was amazing. The only down side was it was a little more crowded than my usual spot and I found myself fighting for a spot to take pictures with other photographers. Usually when I take photos at the beach I face towards the sunset, but this time I tried something different. There was a nice rock formation that was a little further out in the water that I really like and I wanted to include that in my picture, so instead of facing the sunset I actually faced away from it and I found that the colors were just as gorgeous and unique. This is a standard 5...

Luminance

This is an old photo that I took while at Corona Del Mar. I have been wandering around the internet lately reading various articles that all seem to focus on a technique that I had never used before called luminosity masks thus the name of the post luminance. What these essentially do is bring in particular light values of a photo, acting almost like an HDR technique, which is something that I like and am very familiar with. What I read was that luminosity masks actually had much more control and accuracy compared to the HDR technique so I decided to give it a shot. Most of the info I used was off of the 500px website which you can get to by clicking the link. Jimmy Mcintyre also has an awesome website that has loads of useful information on the subject of digital blending and luminosity masks. I used a luminosity mask action that I set up in Photoshop CS6 and imported all the three exposures as layers. The main file that I used for the base image was actually a lightly processed HDR image that I had put together. I wanted to see if I could actually get better results from luminosity masks and I quickly found out that I could, so not much of the final image is HDR. It was tricky to get it to look right at first and required a bit of work from the get go, but the hard work quickly comes to fruition once you get the hang of it. Hope you like the results! Please follow and like...