Twin Falls

I took this photo along the C&O Canal trail near Great Falls on the Maryland side of the falls.

I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about this photo. There was lots of water flowing due to recent rains and the river and various creeks were flowing due to the excess water. This was a runoff from some stream that was being drained into a canal lock.

I just liked the light in this which is why I took the image. It was later in the afternoon when I took this. I was hiking back to my car. The way the light fell on it just made for an interesting image so I took it.

This image is actually a composite blended together form 6 images I took. I was on a tripod so I didn’t have to worry about movement. I just applied my camera defaults and them open the images into Photoshop as layers. Did an align layers then a blend layers. Once I had the blended file I used Camera Raw to apply gradients and do my normal corrections. Then it was back into Photoshop to dodge and burn. The water is a bit hot on the falls but there was nothing I could do about it. Once I was done with a dodge and burn I brought it into Intensify CK to bring out some additional details in the water. Hit save and called it done.


Twin Falls

Masts As Tall As Buildings

This image has driven me nuts since I shot it last year. There were multiple technical issues with it that I could not overcome. Throw in the weird angle and my obsession because I liked it made me work on it till I got it right. That and I was feeling masochistic.

The image was taken at the Navy Pier in Chicago. I have no idea what the boat is called but I just liked the masts of the boat rising up. I could only get the weird angle because of all the people but it worked with the masts. It also gave me the idea for the title.

My issue with the image was that it was underexposed big time. Every frame was this way. While I could bring up the exposure I would blow out the highlights and cause other problems. Finally I just kept working at it until I got something useful. Used a lot of gradients to keep various areas from blowing out. I also didn’t fight it if things clipped to black.

Editing wise, once I got the image set in Lightroom it was into Photoshop. I did a lot of local adjustments with dodging and burning. I still wasn’t fully happy with the final image. Loaded the image into Intensify CK and just hit a preset. It did wonders and brought everything to life. Once I had it back in Photoshop I didn’t even layer mask it in. Was happy with the way it looked and called it done.


Boat at Navy Pier Chicago

Architectural Travels – Part One

I rarely have time to do series of images. This is mainly due to the fact that editing takes considerable amount of time. With me having some time off I went ahead and completed a series I have had in mind for some time, all the architectural shots I have taken over the course the last year or so and publish them in cohesive sets.

I broke up all the images into what I consider sets of similar characteristics. This set I am calling details. It’s more about the finer points within the architecture. Some of it is subjective. It is my interpretation of the style and I do not pretend to be an architect by any stretch of the imagination.

For those of you that read regularly and aren’t into pictures of buildings have hope. I will intersperse the series with normal landscape and travel photos I normally do. I am cognizant that this is mostly personal interest to me.

I’m not going into editing details. The series was shot on 5 different cameras. I have used a Canon S100, Sony RX100III, Sony A7R, Nikon D810, and Olympus EM1. The images were shot in Thailand, Panama, and the United States, specifically Chicago. I could have jammed more in but I thought that was enough.

Hope you enjoy.


The Power Of Water

This is some channel off the Potomac River at Great Falls on the Maryland side. I was standing on a bridge shooting down. It’s somewhere before the overlook on the falls themselves.

I am fairly certain that the rock is granite. Then again, I am not a geologist and I’m too lazy to Google. The image reminds you how water can carve through rock over the eons. You never really consider it until you pay attention to how the world is shaped by water in either its liquid form or its solid. This granite (assumed) been around since the Earth formed and still the water cut right through it.

There was some angst while editing this. I was going to make the image monochrome but it blew the water out. It became too hot on the conversion and burning it down turned it grey. I really wanted the water to be the focal point of the image. I also wanted the other stuff low key so I was stuck. I finally did the edit in color doing my normal routine. I pulled a trick out I learned awhile back and did a quick conversion using SilverFX playing with sliders until I got it to where I wanted it. I then brought it back into Photoshop and changed the layer to a luminosity mask. Adjusted the opacity until I got it where I wanted it. Just a quick dodge to areas too dark and called it done. It remained in color and I was happy.


The Power Of Water

Warm Fall Reflections

This is another from my recent visit to Brookside Gardens. It was part of my attempt to shoot the leaves turning but being an utter failure at it because I’m always too late in the season to shoot them because of my work travel.

Brookside Gardens has a lot of little lakes and ponds. In fact, there is a rather large lake that will eventually appear when I get around to it. With the light being what it was it seemed a good time to do some reflection photos which I like because you can have a lot of fun editing them provided you are patient and willing to work on them.

Editing wise I kept it very simple. The camera was a smaller Sony 1″ sensor and I just don’t like pushing the pixels to the bleeding edge. So I kept it very basic. I did mask in a Color Efex layer to boost some of the contrast in the colors. I then changed the opacity to a different setting to get the sun beams across the water to stand out a bit more. Just a bit of dodging and burning here and there and done!


Warm Fall Reflections


Boats At Bali Hai

It’s Thanksgiving here in America. It’s normally a period of time that I am on travel using the holiday to get out and go do something. Last year I was in Thailand and this year I am not so why not revisit Thailand.

I took these images all on my Canon S100 as I had it with me. Just took a wander around Bali Hai Pier with camera in hand and just took a bunch of snapshots. I wasn’t in photographer mode. I was just out enjoying the day and getting out and doing something.

The editing is extremely basic. While I had raw files, the S100’s files can’t be pushed that hard so mostly just contrast adjustments and some local dodge and burn.


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Buildings Of Baltimore

I could have titled this Oshiro 35mm F/2 lens review but that’s boring. Still, all the images were shot using the Oshiro 35mm F/2.

I had purchased the lens because I needed a relatively fast 35mm lens for my Sony A7R. Since they don’t make E mount version I got the Nikon version and adapter for Sony E.

With the lens in hand I set off to Baltimore on one of the hottest days of the year in August. I didn’t think it would be as bad as it was as Baltimore is on the water and tends to be cooler. Wrong!

I still managed to shoot for a couple hours just using the Oshiro 35mm and my A7R with focus peaking turned on.

I’ll let the images speak for themselves. I’m sure some of it was me handholding the camera and some minor motion blur. It was brutally hot.

Since there is no EXIF data other than shutter speed and ISO I know I had the camera at ISO 200 and I think I had the aperture at F/5.6. So corner softness is all the lens.

In all I have had worse lenses. If I had to do it again, I would buy a Minolta MD 35mm and use an adapter.










Tunnel Vision

This is along the Riverwalk in Chicago. I was returning to my hotel and saw this tunnel lit up and I thought it would be a cool shot. I quickly setup my tripod and waited for some people to walk through. I got lucky with these two and fired several frames to make sure I got them where I wanted them. Their motion blur because of the exposure time give it a sense of movement.

Usual edits but I did mask in a HDR layer. Mostly to make the colors and textures in the tunnel pop more. I deliberately made sure the outside where I was shooting from clipped to black for the most part. On the other side you just get a faint outline on where they came from.


Tunnel Vision

On To The Gulf

This is another random snap I took while I was in Thailand. I was walking along the beach just killing time and saw the trees framing the view and thought it would make a nice image. Since I had my Canon S100 with me I just grabbed it and fired off the shot.

This is a common scene on the beaches of the Gulf of Thailand. Personally, never rent a jetski in Thailand because scams are so common they make travel advisories about them in most countries foreign affairs offices. You want threats of violence without payment then go ahead and rent one. Think the police are going to help? They are getting a small percentage as they “negotiate” a settlement.

Editing wise I went simple. I’m fighting unexpected jetlag that I thought I had beat but my body had other ideas. So I’m not firing on all cylinders. Plus, the Canon S100 just doesn’t have the pixel density for me to really push the images that much. So I figured I let the image do the talking. I did a minor curves adjustment. Did a bit of a dodge and burn and said done.



Jungle Path

I am in Chicago this week and I have been photographing a lot and have some pretty amazing shots. I did get asked to leave the amusement park I was shooting at near the Navy Pier because I did not have a permit but it’s been a really great city to photograph and I still have a few more days here!

I am going to stick to Panama stuff this week and and do basic edits. This mainly has to do with me editing on my 13″ Macbook screen which is a nightmare even with everything optimized. So no fancy masking and and I hope I removed all the sensor dust that was on the images.

This was one of the trails in Parque Metropolitano in Panama City, Panama. I hiked the trail with my camera backpack in the heat of the day. I didn’t get a lot of shots I wanted but this one was a good one. It was my first time in a rain forest type jungle and it was hot and humid. I have a new respect for wildlife photographers that stalk the jungles for day looking for a shot.


Jungle Path