Multnomah Falls

I took this shot at Multnomah Falls while I was on my cross-country trip. I had wanted to visit this spot in Oregon ever since I first found out about it. Out of all the states I visited on the trip, Oregon was my favorite. I could have stopped anywhere in the state and took a gorgeous picture. The coast was especially nice, even though I only stayed for a short while. Multnomah Falls is just East of Portland, Oregon and definitely worth the visit if you get the chance. This is a single shot, that I edited in Photoshop CS6 using Nik Color Efex Pro. Hope you like the...

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...

New York

It’s surprising that I have generally lived very close to New York and still hadn’t visited the city. That’s why I made a conscious effort to take some time out of my trip to afford myself the opportunity. I knew that it was going to be rough to drive around the city, especially since I had to go to the direct city center. I had always figured that it would be challenging but when I actually arrived there, I found that the roads were not in the best shape. The streets were all kinds of torn apart and in definite need of construction. I had to go across the Brooklyn Bridge in order to get to the city center and it was a little crazy. I’m sure that if I were to have been inside a car rather than a motorcycle it wouldn’t have been as bad, but the roads were so torn up that it was messing with my tires. Fortunately I came out okay, but needless to say, I would be doing that again anytime soon. This is a 5 exposure shot that I put together in Photoshop CS6. I had seen this area in various publication and didn’t have too much trouble finding it. It was off one of the piers. My D810 was great to have in this instance because it kept the detail and handled the noise very well. That is always an issue for night shots, and my camera was fortunately a beast. Hope you like the...

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...

Cabin in the Woods

The trip through the woods to the Redwood Forest was quite the adventure. When we arrived at the front gate we had a little over a quarter of a tank of gas and figured we would be fine. How far could it be, right? Wrong! We wanted to see General Sherman, the largest tree in the United States and this tree just so happened to be about sixty miles down the road, or I should say up the mountain. It was literally all uphill. It was also extremely close to sunset so we were rushing. We had hit up so many places already that this was one of the last ones to go to and we didn’t want to miss it. By the time we had finally reached the top where the parking lot was the gas light had already been on for about ten minutes. We ended up being able to see the tree with just enough sunlight to spare. We thought it was a different one at first but after going a little further down the trail you find that it is clearly labeled. It really was quite the sight. By the time we were done it began getting pretty dark. On our way out was when I saw this shot. Surprisingly I actually like this shot better than I like the ones of General Sherman. It was a little tricky when it came to the post-processing part but I was able to pull off the look and feel that I was going for. I wanted it to show how serene it was in that instant and how quiet it felt. Hope you like the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Vernal Falls

Vernal Falls was by far the nicest waterfall in Yosemite National Park in my opinion. It is a short hike off the main road that runs through the park and is pretty straight forward. It gets a little slippery as you get closer to the falls because of all the mist that covers the surrounding area which made me have to watch my footing more than once but it was a beautiful area and me and my buddy made several tripps to this spot while in Yosemite. Once you start getting close to the falls you have to climb a set of stairs and this is when you start getting sprikled with all the mist. You can walk all the way to the top where there is a large pool of water that’s awesome for swimming in, especially after hiking around all day. I wanted to get the image to correctly portray the beauty of this spot and I wasn’t able to do that with the zoom lense, which was the only lens I owned at the time so I stitched two images together. The rest of the image is pretty minimally processed in order to preserve the natural beauty of the area. If you ever get the chance to visit this awesome spot I would not pass it up. I processed the photo in Photoshop CS6 with Nik Color Effex...