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Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Long Twisting Path

This was taken at Great Falls on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. The trail is actually part of the C&O Canal tow path that is along the river. I guess the canal was put in to move goods along and avoid the rapids and and the falls.

I shot this on New Year’s Day this year. The weather was warm so everyone had the grand idea of heading towards the park to enjoy the day. I was hoping more people would be hungover and nursing their New Year’s Eve headache from too much partying. I guess more people were like me and just stayed in and stayed home that night.

Editing was straight forward. Nothing but camera defaults applied and a few gradients here and there. Then into Photoshop for a curves adjustment for tone and contrast. Lots of dodging and burning for local contrast. Sharpening and then done.

Enjoy.

Long Twisting Path

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Landscape Photography Nature Photography Travel Photography

Cutting Through

This is from Great Falls earlier this year when I went out for a New Year’s hike with my Sony A7R and a polarizing filter. The weather was nice and it wasn’t that crowded so it was a pleasant day out.

One of the things I have been late to the game with has been polarizing filters. Sure, you can somewhat reproduce the results with editing software but there is still something about a good polarizing filter that makes an image pop.

I have been using step rings for all my filters. This works great but I am really lazy and it’s one more more thing to remember to carry with me. I was surfing on Amazon and somehow I got recommendation for Amazon Basics filters. The in-house brand for Amazon is usually decent quality and the filters were very inexpensive so I just bought a complete set. Think from 82mm to 52mm was all of around $80. For the price and quality, you can’t complain and now I can be lazy and go with one filter for my various lens.

Editing wise this is really out of the camera. I didn’t go fancy. The polarizing filter did the the heavy lifting in the sky and then I just ran gradients to for clarity and dehaze to bring out the clouds. Once I had my basic edits done it was off to Photoshop where I put in a slight curve and then just local adjustments using dodge and burn.

Enjoy.

Cutting Through

Categories
Landscape Photography Nature Photography Travel Photography

Remember The Fall – Part 2

This finishes up the set for remember the fall. These were all shot at Brookside Gardens using my Sony RX10.

When I do sets like this I like to break them up into smaller portions. I will tend to push it to no more than 10 images. This is because when you review so many images at once you tend to lose the details as your brain is trying to focus on so much visual input. It’s one of the primary reasons why I stick to a single image a day for the most part. With me doing 5 days a week it is just not feasible to edit a large number of photos. Even with a fast workflow its still time consuming.

Editing was simple again. Just Lightroom for camera profiles and gradients. Then into Photoshop for curves adjustments. Dodging and burning for local contrast.

Enjoy.

Remember the FallRemember the FallRemember the FallRemember the FallRemember the FallRemember the Fall

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Landscape Photography Nature Photography Travel Photography

Remember The Fall – Part 1

This is part one of a two part series. These were all shot on my Sony RX10 at Brookside Gardens. I just now got around to editing them. Plus using remember the fall sounds more dramatic.

These were all taken while I was playing with my Sony RX10 as I indicated. I had no real idea what I was going to get when I arrived. I just wandered around and shot a lot of landscape stuff along with the fall leaves that were left. I was lucky to get what I got since I usually travel when its peak leaf season.

There is nothing fancy editing. Just straight up camera adjustments and then curves. Lots of local dodging and burning to get effect. I kept is simple because I actually edited far more than even this series since I am on business travel and wanted to edit ahead.

Enjoy.

Remember The FallRemember The FallRemember The FallRemember The FallRemember The FallRemember The Fall

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Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Lake Effect

I have no idea what the name of this lake is. In fact, I had just found it on a this visit to Brookside Gardens. I just took a wander around with my Sony RX10 and started to take some photos.

I really liked the water with the weird holes and the reflections of the trees flowing into the real trees. If you blow it up to full size you can see a guy fishing on the water drain area. Even though the image was in late fall the sun was out and giving some nice light. The interesting part of this is that I was standing in a quick mud sinking quickly. I got to the point there I had to almost lost my hiking boot because I had sank that deep. Luckily pulled it out and then proceeded to just dunk the boot in water to get the mud off.

Editing wise nothing fancy. Typical adjustments. Just camera defaults. A few gradients then into Photoshop. From there I do my curve adjustment and then on to local dodging and burning.

Enjoy.

Lake Effect

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Black and White Photography Landscape Photography Monochromatic Photography Travel Photography

Frothing Away

This was shot at Great Falls earlier this year. Was a warm day so I took a hike out there. The title is a bit sketchy but it popped into my head. Sometimes these things are easy to name and sometimes they are not.

Sometimes an image just needs a monochrome conversion to bring out the details. There wasn’t a lot of color to begin with so I wanted it to be about the texture of the rocks and water. The trick with a good monochrome image is the tonal shifts and details. I see a lot of stuff, in particular street photography that is converted to monochrome just because. If the image doesn’t work that way there is no point in doing it. Some people just stick with it just because they feel the need to fit a certain genre. I do it because I think it enhances the image not just because.

When it came time to edit this I did the conversion in Lightroom. I just played with the sliders until I got it to where I wanted it. When you do a conversion manually it helps to remember what color channels the image had originally.

Once I was happy then into Photoshop for the curves adjustment for tonality and contrast. Then a lot of local work on the rocks, trees and water. Once that was done I wasn’t 100% happy. So I loaded it into Intensify CK and picked some preset. I then did a very light mask to bring out the details a bit more and called it done.

Enjoy.

Great Falls

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Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Where Blue Meets Green

This one is from when I went to Manassas Battlefield one early morning to do some photography there.

I really like doing early morning and evening shots. I just don’t wake up early enough to do the morning ones that often. Night shots I’m tired after working so I don’t do that many of them except on weekends.

This photo is of the battlefield itself. One of the interesting things I noticed on the battlefields I have visited is that there are a lot of lone trees. This is because the battles took place in open fields where soldiers could march out in formation. The American Civil war was one of the last wars that the platoons of soldiers were used to attack without cover. After that modern warfare as we know it started to phase in. If you are into European history the Crimean War was the first war there that didn’t use formations of troops over open ground.

With that said, you get a lot of lone trees battlefields.The only other place you see this is on golf courses. These are striking subjects because you get them isolated.  So if you are into solitary trees you know where to go.

When I went to edit this I had no real idea where I was going. The sky color isn’t what you call accurate. This one was all about mood and not realism.

I went for the cinematic 2,4:1 type crop to give it that expansive feeling. I then made the image low key on purpose because it’s really about the sky. The tree in the middle was going to be silhouetted the entire time. While I could have fixed the grass color I think the more glowy green added to it. Once I had that I wanted a bit more punch. I loaded up Macphun Intensify CK and picked a preset. Masked in those bits into the sky at one opacity and a lower one for the ground. In the end very happy with the way it came out.

Where Blue Meets Green

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Abstract Photography Nature Photography Travel Photography

Rush of Water

I promised a series yesterday since I just wasn’t in a position to post after an extremely long day at work. So I will deliver as promised. This series might be a bit abstract for some.

I was shooting at Great Falls and I just was fascinated by the light on the white water areas. So I took the opportunity to photograph these while I was doing other landscape work. I knew it would be a bit more abstract than normal but I think it works. I wanted a cohesive series to work with since a single image wasn’t going to convey much. With the series you get an idea of the power of water as it rushes through the world.

Editing wise these are straightforward edits. Nothing fancy was done other than add tone curves and local adjustments. Then some straight up sharpening to give things a bit of bite that would be missing.

Enjoy.

Rush of WaterRush of WaterRush of WaterRush of WaterRush of WaterRush of WaterRush of WaterRush of WaterRush of Water

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Landscape Photography Nature Photography Travel Photography

Where The Falls Begin

This is the first view of Great Falls you see from the Maryland side. You walk out to an overlook that allows you to see the river where it turns into the falls.

This week may be heavy on the water theme. I’ll see how I feel when I load up the rest of the images I have edit. Having the luxury of sitting on a large back catalogue I can jump around with my images.

My mother who reads everyday and some others I know asked me why I don’t edit images immediately. The fact is I don’t want to be emotionally attached to them. It’s not like I’m in love with these things. It’s just that when you take an image you have this vision in your head of what that image should look like. When you dump it to the computer and look it’s not at all what you envisioned in your head.

With letting images sit for a bit you lost that memory of what you expected the image to be. You aren’t attached to it. It’s just another image the same as any other. You look at it and figure out what you can do with it.

I have found that I will edit images that I just can look at objectively. Is it an interesting image. Light good. In focus. The usual stuff. There is no disappointment because I have moved past the moment.

When I went to edit this one I wanted it to feel expansive which is why I cropped it the way I did. The mouth of the falls is very wide. So I wanted it to convey that feeling. Once the crop was in it was time to add the curves to add the contrast. So did that and it was time for dodging and burning.

Having edited a lot of these images before getting to this one I discovered that water really likes a midtone dodge versus a highlight because it would blow out the whites quickly. I also dodges the rocks to bring back some of the features in them. Then when I was happy I felt it was missing something. So loaded it into Intensify CK and picked a preset.

Back into Photoshop I masked in the new layer with different opacities. The goal was keeping your attention on the water and rocks. I then lower opacity for the other areas. It keeps the look the same but it doesn’t draw attention to it.

Finally I have started to do my white balance in Camera Raw once I am done. I get much finer control over the final image. So once that was done it was hit save.

Enjoy.

Where The Falls Begin

Categories
Landscape Photography Nature Photography Travel Photography

Warm Forest Path

I seem to be into paths and roads this week. I took this one at Brookside Gardens when I was hiking around the giant lake I discovered while I was there on my last visit. I just liked the light coming through the trees.

This image is one of those I like just because of the light but it’s really not the greatest photo ever. I shot it with my Sony RX10 which I genuinely love as a camera but it has its issues. Color fringing is a major problems and it will do some funky things with blues if it doesn’t meter or white balance correctly. Still, for a smallish body and a 24-200mm 2.8 lens it’s damn nice as a chuck it into your bag and you can shoot almost anything type of camera.

When I went to edit this it was all about the light. Did my usual adjustments and then wanted to make that light pop. So I added a quick filter using Intensify CK then masked it in at various opacities. I then had to fix the aforementioned color fringing and weird ass blue sky problems. The fringing is easy, the sky was a hue/saturation adjustment in Photoshop. Want to bump the “warmth” up a bit so a quick run through Color Efex and done.

Enjoy.

Warm Forest Path