Beach Path

This is a pathway to Jomtein Beach in Thailand. I took it a couple years ago when I first got my Sony A7R. I was using some adapted Tokina lens because I didn’t have any native FE lenses at the time.

For years I never really ventured to the Jomtein area. This was a result of me not having a motorbike and be terrified of riding in Thailand. Over the years as I got more adventurous I wandered off the beaten path. Not that Jomtein is unknown. I just now had a mode of transport opening up where I could go without public transportation.

This was my first trip that I learned to ride with my gear on my back. Usually that mean a camera bag with a camera and one lens along wth my tripod hooked through the bag. Good times learning to weave through traffic while worrying about your tripod leg coming loose and smashing into a car.

Editing this I wanted it to be about the path and the light coming in from the beach. So I did the normal workflow and then promptly brought it into Photoshop then into Aurora 2017. I just played with sliders until I was happy like normal. Some dodging and burning and a bit of a color adjustment and called it done.


Beach Path

Chicago Skyline

Shot this in Chicago last year when I visited the Navy Pier. I can’t tell you what part of Chicago this is since I don’t know the city that well but rest assured, it is Chicago.

There is something cool about a cityscape. You get all sorts of cool lights going on in the image. It helps when the sky cooperates and you get some nice light to make everything look good. It was taken at the phase between golden hour and blue hour. The clouds looked like rain but it didn’t happen. It just got a bit windy and the next day it rained.

This is a HDR image. I am learning to do just single image HDR’s. I find that I get better results without merging all three of the images together. You don’t have to worry about the weird HDR artifacts that occur when you try and do 3 shots together. It’s a much cleaner file to work with. So I have found myself doing more of these edits because I genuinely like HDR but just hate the mess that the software makes.

My workflow now for HDR is do my camera defaults in Lightroom then take the file into Photoshop. I discovered that Aurora 2017 won’t take the Lightroom edits. So by bringing it into Photoshop it will do that. It isn’t an extra step because I end up doing the final file in Photoshop anyways.

When I have the file in Aurora 2017 I just play with sliders. I honestly just keep messing about until I am happy. I have no idea how the image is going to turnout. Once I’m happy it’s back into Photoshop. I do local dodging and burning to fix some issues and then call it done.


Chicago Skyline

Sweet Spot

This was taken in Portland last year. After going through the images I found a few more that I figured I wanted to process.

I remember the day I took this because it was cold and grey. I was up before dawn and doing long exposures while the sky was still dark. As it got light I just kept pressing on and shooting not knowing what I was going to get out of it. Happy I did.

I have discovered that days like this, with moody skies make for great black and white images. You can really bring out the sky and other details. It takes the need for good light out of the equation and you still have a very nice image.

Did my usual post processing in Lightroom then into Photoshop then quickly into Tonality for the black and white conversion. I just use sliders until I’m happy. I can’t tell you specifically what I did. I just start playing until it looks good.

Once I was happy it was back into Photoshop for local dodging and burning. Then hit save and was done.



Splash Of Color

This is the sky wheel at National Harbor in Maryland. I spent the last week working on the opposite side of the river and could see it so I revisited the images I took earlier and found this one.

I have seen skywheels in a lot of places I have traveled to. I’ll let everyone in on a dirty secret. I have never actually been on one. Not because I have a fear of heights or whatever. I’m basically too cheap to pay whatever fee they want to go around in those things. The one chance I had to do one for free was in Vegas and I was out doing a night shoot so I missed my opportunity.

There may be one in my future. I am planning on heading to Thailand later this year and I see there is one in Bangkok. It’s only 300 Baht (like $9 US) for a shared gondola or 1000 ($30 US) Baht for 2 person private so I might ride it. I just hate Bangkok with a passion but I might be convinced to go with friends at some point.

This image is HDR. It was done off a single image. In fact, all the images this week were HDR except the Portland one but I cranked it to the point it was HDR-ish.

When I went to edit I loaded it up in Aurora 2017 and then just played with sliders until happy. Then it was into Photoshop for some local dodging and burning. I then desaturated the rocks because of the blue was bleeding into them and I wanted them to stand out a bit more. So I did that with the desaturation brush. After that I spend copious amount of time cleaning the water of crap that was floating in it. Normally I’m rather lazy but I just went ahead and did it because the debris was just too distracting.


National Harbor Sky Wheel

Portland Bridges

No idea what the name of this bridge is or any of them. All I know is I was in Portland, Oregon standing on a floating dock and taking images.

I was in Portland last year for for work which I took this image. There wasn’t very good light and I was shooting at the ass crack of dawn which is not my normal time. I am the landscape photographer that will do evening and night shots until dawn but getting up at dawn isn’t my thing. I wasn’t jetlagged, instead I had three 8% alcohol beer which I didn’t know was 8% alcohol so I was in my room asleep at like 8 PM local time. Speaking of the beer, it was very good but the next night when I talked to the bartender and I said I was asleep early is when I found out it was 8%. Ooops.

This image was all about the sky. With little color it was perfect for a monochrome conversion. So I did my normal edits and took it into Tonality. I picked a preset and then just started to play with sliders until happy. I then took it into Photoshop and did some local work. I had too much noise in the sky so I created a layer mask and then removed that via Camera Raw filter in the areas. I then created another mask to bring up the brightness in certain areas with the Camera Raw filter. Bit of dodging and burning and called it done.


Bridges in Portland

Clouds Over The Potomac

This is a shot from National Harbor of the clouds over the Potomac River. You can see the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in the background.

I shot this last year and was playing click around the photo library game. No idea why I didn’t edit it but I didn’t When I saw the sky I was like cool. Time to do an edit of this and see where things fall out.

This is a single image HDR that I created using Aurora 2017. I just feel like HDR this week even though it doesn’t look like it. I just throw the single image in Aurora and see what comes out. This time I picked a preset and then played with it a bit.

I finished the image in Photoshop doing a bit of a dodge and burn to get certain things the way I liked it and called it done.


Clouds over the Potomac River

Cuddle Up

This is from Glen Echo Park. The booth really isn’t for anything. Behind it is a stage area but its all open and there is no reason to buy a ticket from what I have ever seen.

I like night photography. This image isn’t that spectacular but I just like the contrast of colors in the image. You get the subtle reds with the hard blue neon.

There wasn’t a whole lot I could do about the neon blowing out. Short of masking in a lower key version but then I would have lost something in the image and it was meant to be fun, not perfection.

This is a HDR image. I just did a single image and went from there. Once I was happy I did some editing in Photoshop, mainly around dodging and burning and called it done.


Cuddle Up Booth

Spring Gazebo

This was shot at Brookside Gardens. There are a few of these gazebos around the gardens but they are never used. If you are looking for a quiet place then I suggest using one as they are never busy.

This was shot last year when I first got my Nikon D810. I like to play the game of randomly clicking on my photo library and see what comes up. I have so many images that I never processed that this can lead me to hidden gems. It’s fun to see what comes up in the randomness. Sometimes you end up with something good and other times it’s complete crap.

I have been hesitant to work on my newer stuff just because I like to keep a back catalogue to work off of. I have been shooting stuff but I like to keep a cushion just in case. I am hoping in the next two weeks when I head to Florida I’ll have some time to do some more landscape stuff as I will be there for a bit of time. Then I’ll start working on the stuff I have shot more recently.

This is a HDR image that I created off of one image. I just loaded it into Aurora 2017 and then played with sliders until I was happy. Then it was into Photoshop to do some gradients and some dodging and burning to get local contrast. Once I was happy hit save and called it done.


Spring Gazebo

5 From DC

This is the final of the series. This was taken in the middle of Virginia Avenue. I got a few strange looks from people walking by and cars as I setup my tripod in the middle of a traffic island.

The Washington Monument is one of the tallest structures in Washington DC so it serves as a landmark if you are navigating. You can also see it from most vantage points that have a clear view. So if you are lost just head towards it until you find your way. Not that DC is hard to navigate as it’s laid out in a fairly easy to understand grid. It’s just the one way streets and random street closures that will mess you up.

Editing wise I went low key again. I did bump the warmth up a wee bit just to give it the sunset feel. Other than that it was my customary workflow.


Washington-Monument-At Sunset

Four From DC

I realized a bit late I should have picked a different title but hindsight is 20/20 and I have been very busy with work.

This is towards the end of my photographic journey in Washington DC and shockingly not on the National Mall. I was walking back to my car which was parked on Virginia Avenue. I have attempted to shoot the United States Institute of Peace building before but no luck. This time the light was hitting it right and I really liked how I got their logo into the frame. I originally shot this at a few angles but this one came out the best.

All the images this week were shot for HDR but this is the only one to actually be edited as a HDR photo. Architecture as a rule tends to work well for HDR which is why I went ahead and did this one in HDR.

Editing was done in Aurora 2017 and I manually played with the sliders and did whatever. Then it was into Photoshop to do some local working with dodging and burning. Once I was happy I hit save and done.


united states institute of peace