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.
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.
A sunset photo of the Mill Avenue Bridge over Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona. This is a man made lake created by damming the Salt River. To the left of the bridge is Tempe, Arizona. Then just to the right is the City of Phoenix.
I wanted to create a long exposure image to both smooth out the water on the lake and capture some movement of the clouds. Due to slow moving clouds, I had to use an 83 second exposure to capture the movement I wanted.
For me, I really liked all the contrasts this image displays. First, there is the contrast of the light and shadows. Then the clouds look like an explosion of energy to contrast with the smoothness of the water. The capture of motion also contrasts nicely with the solid standing bridge.
You may view a larges size version of this image on Flickr
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.