Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Sheltered Bay

This is another from Thailand that I took while out near Bali Hai Pier. I always like to get out there at least once a trip so I took a ride that way and stopped and used my Canon S100 to snap a bunch of images.

The Canon S100 has surprised me to some extent. I bought it as a throwaway camera off Ebay for $100 US. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket and if it got lost or stolen no big deal. While the sensor is small and there is inherent noise issues it’s still a great camera for snaps. Sure my phones are capable of getting just as good if not better of an image I just like a camera better. Again, if it’s lost or stolen big deal. Where as my phones are significantly more expensive.

One of the tricks I have learned with shooting with a point and shoot camera is leave it in Program Mode. I’m sure some of you are dying at that suggestion. I didn’t just figure this out on a whim. Ming Thein who is a master photographer made the point about small cameras. The developers wrote the software to work optimally with the lens and sensor. It makes better sense to use what they programmed instead of trying to do it yourself. You can control light through metering so let the camera do the rest of the work. I have started to do this with my Sony RX100M3 as well and been pleasantly surprised by the results.

For this image I pushed it as far as I could go. Normally with the smaller sensors I don’t mask in a bunch of layers. This time I gave it a go.

I started with the usual curves adjustments and then dodging and burning for local contrast. I also had to spend some time removing tyres out of the beach. Since I admitted to it most of you can figure out where they were. Generous use of the healing brush and stamp tool were required.

Once local adjustments were completed I used Aurora 2017 for the first time. It supposedly handles single image HDR better than the previous version. Once I found a filter I liked I just brought it back into Photoshop and masked in the water and rocks. I then lowered the opacity and masked in the sky knowing I was going to introduce noise into the image. Then I loaded up Color Efex and added a hue/saturation layer along with Polarization and Pro Contrast. Next was noise so Noiseless Pro and just hit Balanced Preset and then masked that into the sky.

In all, not bad for a 6 year old camera that I bought for $100. I am not sure I could do this with a camera that only shoots jpeg but with a RAW file you can do a whole lot with it.


Bali Hai Pier

HDR Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Framed Sunset

It’s Friday and the sun is setting on the week and the weekend begins. It’s why I saved this one until today.

This was shot while I was in Fort Myers, Florida near the river walk area that follows the Caloosahatchee River. The wood is for mooring boats but I have never seen one tied up there except in the marinas. Still, they worked great for framing the photo.

This image was not shot for HDR, I find I have better success with images by using one photo and then running it through Aurora HDR then masking it bits here or there. I know I ran a few filters through it to get the effects I wanted between the sky and the water. Then, as what seems to be the norm remove noise from the sky using Noiseless Pro because of the blue channel.


Sunset on Caloosahatchee River

Architectural Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Twinkle The Stars

This is the Route 41 bridge that leads to North Fort Myers and crosses the Caloosahatchee River. I suspect it has a name but I have no idea what it is. I again down on the waterfront taking night shots and doing my thing when I looked up and saw the bridge and the other “star” which is actually the Moon. I had my 15mm Voigtlander on the camera so pointed the tripod up and took the picture.

I shot this at F4.5 with a 13 second exposure. The good thing about the Voigtlander I bought for the Sony is that it’s chipped so it passes the EXIF data to the camera so I know what I shot the image at.

Process was pretty straight forward. Went ahead and added contrast using a curve adjustment. Once I had that did some localized dodging and burning and then the layer masking started. I did a quick mask in Aurora HDR, mostly for the sky. Then I masked in some bits from Intensify CK for the bridge and water. The yellow off the sodium lights on the shore was a bit much so a quick hue and saturation adjustment. Masked that in just in that area to not mess with the other parts I liked.


Twinkle the Stars


Abstract Photography Travel Photography

Things Are Looking Up

I had a chance to go to the Portland Rose Garden before flying out towards Mexico. So I brought a couple cameras with me. My Sony A7R and my Sony RX100M3. I will get to the roses eventually but I did shoot this shot which I thought was cool.

To take this picture I had to flip the back LCD towards me. I discovered that the Sony RX100M3 will switch to “selfie” mode giving you a countdown to when the picture would be taken. I was rather amused by this fact.

Editing wise it’s a straight up edit in Photoshop. I hope it looks okay because editing on my 13″ Macbook is a struggle and I can’t see the finer details. I did dodge and burn the trees to get some texture into them and give them depth.

Full resolution.



Abstract Photography Landscape Photography Nature Photography

Reality Starts or Ends

Seeing how Sunday is a slow day traffic wise anyways I might as well play around with some of the more abstract stuff I shoot at times.

This image was shot at Brookside Gardens. The ripples were caused by a fish or turtle in the water and I just happened to have the camera pointed in that direction. So I fired off some shots with my Nikon D810. I knew it was going to be very abstract due to the reflections in the water along with a bit of real foliage as well. I debated on flipping it but I think it works better this way.

Since this was edited about 5 days ago I’m not 100% sure all that was done. I remember there was a lot of dodging and burning to bring out the reflections. It’s the only way you can add or reduce local contrast without changing the entire image. I think I also slapped in a gradient and used the dehaze and clarity tool as well just to give the image a bit more punch.


Reality Starts & Ends

Abstract Photography Black and White Photography Monochromatic Photography


It’s been rainy here in the Washington DC area along with temperature swings. Nothing like wearing shorts one day and needing a light jacket the next. Still, I walk to work and I usually have a camera or two with me. I figured with the rain I might as well use my Olympus TG-4 in the rain. So while walking in I took a few shots just to make the trip more interesting.

One of the issues with any 2/3″ inch sensor is that resolution isn’t there when you start looking at the images in 100%. Even shooting in RAW you need to be very careful about processing because the image will go to crap quickly. With these images I knew they would be monochrome because the light was horrible at best considering ti was raining and grey out. So I used Macphun’s Tonality CK to do the conversion and little else.



Architectural Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

The View Out

This was shot at the Sanctuary of Truth in Thailand last November. I need to tell the back story of this image. Not that the shot itself was special, I setup the tripod and pointed out. No, the story is I have attempted to edit this image no less than 5 different times and I have about 8 hours worth of work on it. I have routinely just trashed my edits and went and did something else.

I was watching Trey Ratcliff’s – Becoming and Artist and one of the things he does is mostly edits in Lightroom where as I don’t. After watching him do a few edits I was like let me try this image just editing it Lightroom and ignoring all the anal retentive photo rules I tend to follow and go with the flow. So I did. I just went with what I felt I wanted out of the image and once I had it the way I wanted it took it into Photoshop.

There was some of the usual dodging and burning but it still didn’t feel “right”. So loaded up Macphun Intensify CK and started playing with filters until I found one I liked. Brought it back into Photoshop then masked in the bits I wanted. Mainly I wanted it to glow and feel warm. Make the carvings pop more than they were. A couple of masks later I was happy.

Is the image perfect? Hell no. Am I happy I finally got it to some place I could live with it? Hell yes! I really liked the image and I just didn’t want it to go to waste.

Full resolution here.


The View Out

Landscape Photography Night Photography Travel Photography

Evening Rush Hour

I shot this while I was down in DC for work. I forget the name of the bridge, its one that goes over Rock Creek Parkway and its Connecticut Avenue. It was still rush hour which goes till just a little after 7 PM. So I setup my tripod knowing it was going to be a long exposure and the lights from the cars would give me a cool effect.

I went low key for this image then did a dodge and burn to various parts of it. I ran a couple filters on it using MacPhun’s Intesify FX and masked them in depending on what I wanted. In all a simple edit but a cool photo.



Abstract Photography Nature Photography

Fallen and Broken

Finally home after 6 glorious (not) nights in a hotel 15 minutes from my apartment. So close yet so far away. It’s good to be back on my own editing rig. While I had use of a 23″ monitor it was a pain to use. So the first thing I did after dumping my luggage was hook up my laptop again.

This is an older photo I found while looking for some other images. No idea why I never published it. Who knows what was going through my mind but its a very cool image. I really wanted the wood to pop and stand out from all the green in the leaves around the fallen tree.

Editing I did the usual but added a luminosity mask to sharpen things up and make the greens a bit brighter forcing the attention (least in my opinion) to the fallen tree. Did some sharpening to make that stand out and I’m happy.


Fallen and Broken

Monochromatic Photography Nature Photography

Details in Abstract – Part 2

Final upload of the plant stuff then moving on to other things.

I am on travel this week so I did all the processing ahead of time. I am hoping to get out and do some shooting this week of where I am at to test out my new lens but its hard to say. If I miss a day because I haven’t had time to process images or shoot then please understand I am busy. Travel for work is not glamorous or leisure. They sadly expect you to do things.


Details in AbstractDetails in AbstractDetails in AbstractDetails in AbstractDetails in AbstractDetails in Abstract