Buddha Mountain

I shot this last year when my Mom was visiting me here in Thailand. There is a real name for the place but the Thai name is brutal so we just call it Buddha Mountain.

I shot this on my Nikon D5500 with my Sigma 17-70 Lens. Honestly, if I want a travel camera and don’t want to hump one of my Sony’s around the D5500 with the 17-50 and the 55-200 is perfect. Lightweight, great battery life, and outstanding image quality.

This is in HDR but I like to think I do it subtle enough not to make it obvious. Dodging and burning as needed.



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

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

Resistance Is Futile

This is one of the new images I shot over the last few weeks. I went hiking in Great Falls on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.

I had my hiking boots on but I had no idea how much rock climbing I was going to end up doing. There are many side trails off the main tow path trail of the C&O Canal. So when I ventured off I was crawling over tall granite rocks while balancing my tripod and my Nikon D810 which was attached to it. Not the easiest thing in the world to do.

I got down close to the river’s edge right near the rapids. As I hiked along I got tons of shots that I would have never gotten without going off the safe trail.

I went monochrome with this image because it was so bright. Even with my polarizing filter I was still dealing with the light reflection off the rocks. I could have used a neutral density but just wanted to keep it simple with the polarizer.

All the editing was done in Lightroom with me only adding tone curves adjustments in Photoshop along with dodging and burning.


Rapids and Rocks

And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

Who knew a long exposure of a escalator could look cool?

This was totally a random shot that I took as I was walking down Las Vegas Blvd. It was an interesting place to setup. To my right were a group of touts who apparently were treating their various medical conditions with some sort of herbal remedy. I felt I could have been treated just by standing there. To my left were a group of touts who hand out the escort business cards trying to “keep warm” by drinking something out of a bottle. Immediately behind me were two women dressed in Las Vegas Show Girl costumes posing for pictures for small donations.

Only in Vegas.




I like this image for some reason. You got the darker side balanced by the lighter side then with the blue contrasting everything.

Seeing a US Coast Guard cutter docked in Baltimore isn’t unusual. I believe they have a base near by and Baltimore is a major port for the United States. Mostly cars coming in and out from the automotive plants in the area. There are also cruise ships embarking from the Port of Baltimore as well.