This past summer my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting the Hawaiian island of Maui. So many beautiful sites to see and photography, but not enough time to see all that we wanted. This image is a 200 second exposure capturing the water flowing around the lava rock off the coast near Kaanapali. I used two ND filters reducing the exposure by 14 stops, as I was photographing during a sunny day.
Spring time poppies here in the Arizona desert this spring. We were blessed with lots of rain this year, so our desert floor came to life with lots of colors from our wildflowers. I found this patch of poppies up on a bank, so I was able to get down low and shoot up quite easily and capture the underside of the flowers with the sky in the background.
Having fun creating an image different than my normal. For this effect, I choose a photo of mine from a vacation to Illinois a few years ago, as I liked the straight tree trunks. This effect was achieved in Photoshop, first by creating a duplicate layer to preserve the original. Then the motion blur effect was added to the duplicate layer, then fine tuned to the degree of blur I liked. Then the effect was masked off in certain areas to give contrast between motion and stillness.
A beautiful morning just after sunrise on the Gila River at the Baseline and Meridian Wildlife Area, Tolleson, Arizona. It might be hard to believe by looking at this image, but this place is in the heart of the Sonoran Desert right outside of the city of Phoenix. This place is an oasis in the desert where people come to fish, enjoy many species of birds, and photograph.
This photo was captured with a 30 second exposure to smooth out the water and give a burst of movement in the clouds.
These lovely Daisies were photographed in my backyard one morning with side lighting. The flower was in a pot, which I placed in a partially shaded area. The background was in direct sun light, helping me to create a white background. I only wanted just good detail in the pedals in the front, so I opened up the aperture to f5.6
In post, a conversion to black and white was in Lightroom. To make the flowers in the background appear as though they are fading away into the distance, I added a white vignette plus used the adjustment brush to increase the exposure in some areas just a little bit.
A Monarch Butterfly trying to keep dry, well not really, just a little bit of Photoshop to make it look that way. This butterfly was actually in a tree which I photographed a few years ago. Recently, wanting to get creative with this old image, I used a Photoshop Plug-in called Flood 2 to introduce the water into the image. Back in Photoshop, with some cloning and masking, I covered the horizon of the water with the background, (which was a cloudy sky and part tree), to make the water look like as if it is fading away into the mist.
Saguaro cacti against a colorful Arizona sunset west of Phoenix, Arizona. I created this image by capturing three images f14, ISO 100, /1/500 second with one each + 2 EV and -2 EV, and creating an HDR merge in Lightroom. After merging, I continued editing with Topaz Studio using the precision contrast and detail adjustments along with HSL Color Toning adjustments. I love how Topaz brings out the details in an image.
Photographing the waves crashing into the rocks of the breakwater at the harbor in Vertura, California was quite fun for this Arizona photographer. This is something that one does not experience in the beautiful state of Arizona. I really wanted to capture the power of the movement of water. I held I finger ready to fire the shutter as the waves were crashing against the rocks. To get a bit of movement, I used a shutter speed of 0.4 seconds. Later in Lightroom, I dodged (lighten) the bright spots in the water just a little bit to draw attention to the movement of water. Then I also darkened the shadow in the rock to add a bit of mystery and enhance the mood of the close of the day after the sun just dropped below the horizon. I finished off my editing by dodging the tops of the rocks so you can see the shapes of the rocks and show a little bit of the details.
Walking around the desert looking to make an interesting landscape image when you have grayed out skies, can be quite challenging. However, I did come home with this image worthy to work with. I felt the dead tree in the foreground along with the sun bleeding through the clouds worked great with the mood of this shot. I did an HDR merge in Lightroom then played around with tonal adjustments to come up with this. I also reduced saturation a little using the HSL panel. To finish it off, I used the radial filter to brighten up the dead tree a little bit along with using the adjustment brush to dodge and burn in other areas of the image. Photographed west of Phoenix, Arizona.
You may view a larger size version here on Flickr.
It is always nice, at least in my opinion to see the glow around cacti when the sun strikes the spines just right. The cactus in the foreground is a Cholla Cactus, which is one of the best, if not the best, in my area for catching that light. I stopped down my aperture to f20 to get the star effect and waited for the sun to get positioned just right for this image. I bumped us the warm tones with white balance in Lightroom. I also used Topaz Clarity to increase contrast and Topaz Detail to bring out a little bit more details. I also did a little some dodging and burning in Photoshop to lighten highlights and darken the shadows some.
35mm, f20, 1/50 sec, ISO 100.
You may see a larger version of this image here in Flickr.