Canon 5D Mark II, 35mm F/1.4, f/4.5, 1/160, iso 500
In photography a lot of different things come to mind in the field. I find it very helpful to "pre-visualize" what I'm looking for. Like if you are on a beach, and you are looking for a reflection shot, or seaweed, or whatever. If you are in a new area though, how do you know what you will find?
When I came upon this scene, I certainly did not "pre-visualize," but what I did do was "post process visualize." I knew this was a perfect scene for Topaz Adjust. And that it should be called "final resting place for old tricycles."
I have been looking forward to today when I would share it with you readers. But that title was a mouthful, so I just named it Topaz Tricycles. With Lightroom 3 and the Topaz Fusion 2 free software, you can now go back and forth between LR and Topaz with no Photoshop intervention. Nice! I started with the Spicify preset, then worked from there with the various sliders including Saturation.
This was another "bonus location" that John/Dan took us to on our Palouse Tour. Had I gone there on my own, I would have never found this location, let alone gotten into it.
I loved the scene when I first saw it, and like it even better now that Topaz has worked some magic. As always, click on the continue link to view the original, and also to leave me a comment if you'd like to.
Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm F/1.2, f/5.0, 1/125, iso 100
Yesterday I showed one version of what I consider a classic Palouse image, looking down from Steptoe Butte. The other classic type shot is the rolling hills, with white puffy clouds in a blue sky.
But of course I always have to do my own thing, don't I? So for the first day of my Palouse series I'm choosing one of my favorites from the trip. There's a bit more going on in this image. Rather than just graphical elements (nothing wrong with that), this image gives you the sense that the Palouse is working farm country. I'm standing in a "Palouse road," a mown path for their equipment. We have a piece of equipment in the shot.
That is a canola field on the right, BTW.
What makes this composition for me, and what made me just stop in my tracks when I was there, is how this "road" leads my eye down to the tree, and then that fence just draws me in.
This is your Bob Towery version of a classic Palouse morning.
Palouse Sunset - from Steptoe Butte - my THIRD frame of the tour!
Before I begin a series on my Palouse shots, I thought I'd spend one day's post describing what it was like to join a Photo Tour led by a couple of pro's.
This was the fourth workshop I have signed up for. Two were one day affairs, and two others multi-day, like this one (four full days, plus an evening and morning). Two of my previous ones were complete busts, a waste of time and money. So I was a bit jaded. But having developed an on-line friendship with fellow blogger John Barclay, I had high hopes for this one.
And as you will find out below, and in upcoming posts, my expectations were exceeded by quite a wide margin.
We had a designated hotel in Colfax, WA, the center of the Palouse area (Wheatland Inn, which I highly recommend, here's a link to it on Trip Advisor.) The first thing we did was gather in their comfy conference room for introductions, a preview of the week, the do's and don'ts, and a couple of slide shows (yes, John brings a nice digital projector). One show were pictures he and his Tour partner Dan Sniffin had taken in the Palouse, to get is revved up.
The other show was 10 images that each participant had brought, so we could see the kind of work we all had been doing. I was really blown away, there was not a bad image in the bunch. This is a very talented group of people. And it emerged that I was the only newbie. Everyone else had participated with these tour leaders before. When I introduced myself several people commented that they were readers of this blog, which was encouraging.
After this promising meeting, we were off to our evening shoot. Which was quite productive, including the above image which no joke is the third frame I took. Upon arriving John admonished those of us shooting telephotos to use mirror lockup and cable releases. I had to admit I had never used mirror lockup. Well, I will in the future as I believe you really can see the difference. First thing I learned on this tour!
So click on the continue link for a bunch more images and a "tour of the tour!"
Canon 5D Mark II, 24-70mm F/2.8, f/10, 1/250, iso 200
We have here an image I am officially excited about. Especially the post processed version, as you see above. A lot of people tell me they enjoy seeing the original version of my processed images, and the steps I took. So we'll do that. But first, back to this image.
This was taken the same day as Thursday's "Reflecting" post, my day spent shooting with Toni Johnson. We had driven to one of many "wide spot in the road" type towns, that have just a few small homes and a grain elevator. We had really come here to shoot a ramshackle barn type thing, pentagon shaped. Very unusual. Starting to come undone. As I was shooting it, I noticed this grain elevator in the background, and the wonderful sky. I used to think "Big Sky Montana" had the market cornered on America's skies. Nope, it's Eastern Washington, folks.
Anyway, I took a few shots, I wasn't super impressed, but it was a nice scene. I also took a couple of fisheye versions. I showed one of the originals to my tour group in The Palouse and got favorable comments. I think for one thing, it was different from anything in the Palouse.
This morning at home on my big monitor, the image really came to life. From a subject matter point of view, of course the sky is a standout, but also the fact that each building is different. This is somewhat unique. From a compositional point of view, what makes it work for me is the angle I have on the buildings. This was purely accidental. Had I just driven up to them on the road, I likely would have shot them straight on, a much less dramatic scene. So hopefully that is something we can all remember, walk back and forth on a subject like this and look for more drama.
When I first started working on it, I also took note of the power poles, and I thought maybe I would be channeling Sherri again. (Let's hope she feels the magnetic pull!) But Sherri's images don't usually contain this kind of sky, so I'm going to claim this one for myself.
Click on the continue link and I'll show the original, plus talk about the post.
Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm F/2.0, f/5.6, 1/200, iso 400
It appears so, doesn't it?
Before my WA/OR trip, I of course did a fair amount of research in books and online. One of the places it made sense for me to go was the Painted Hills which is a portion of the John Day wilderness, in central Oregon. Seemed both photo worthy and a perfect overnight location to split my drive home.
A few days into the Palouse photo tour (more coming in a few days about that, I promise) I found out that several of the attendees were moving on to another photo tour with our same hosts, in Bandon, OR. Their plan was the same as mine, overnight at the Painted Hills. Awesome, we could caravan there together and spend another night together.
Our drive was a lot of fun, we pulled over several times for shooting opportunities. During the week, while driving, my role had been to "bring up the rear" and on this road trek I took advantage of it by pulling over frequently, shooting, then catching up to the caravan. You'll see some of those shots in due time.
But anyway, back to the Painted Hills. We got to the "quaint" town of Mitchell, OR, checked in, had a quick bite, then headed over to the hills. It was raining off and on, and this actually accentuated the colors. We had overcast skies - "nature's softbox" some people call it. Not bad, but we waited around hoping for a break where the evening sun would blast through and really illuminate the hills.
That was not to be, but we all got some very usable images anyway, like the one above. The color in the soil is a product of numerous volcanic eruptions, and natural erosion has made these layers visible for all of us to view.
There are numerous angles from which to shoot. I chose this one for today's post because it gives you a feel for the different hills in this one spot. The entire "hill" of this spot is about twice what I'm showing you here. I also like the creek area in the foreground, with the vegetation. This is just what the soft, muted, lighting looked like, although I have used some curves to bring the colors alive as I was shooting through soft rain at the time.
If you like this kind of terrain, and are in Bend, OR, sometime, the Painted Hills are worth a visit. Some people compare these to an area of Death Valley known as Artist's Palette. I give the nod to the Painted Hills!
Leave me a comment on this one if you like it, eh?
Canon 5D Mark II, 14mm F/2.8, f/16, 1/320, iso 250
I have been back from my Oregon/Washington trip for a couple of days now. This is my first "live post" since my return. The numbers for the trip are as follows:
109 GB (!)
13 new friends!
Most of the Canon 5D2 files are between 25 and 30 mb. Many scenes I shot included several exposures for possible HDR processing later. But 109 GIGABYTES? This is forcing a change in how I manage all my image files. I have had to order some new hardware.
So it will be a while before I really dig into my trip images and share them on the blog. I mentioned previously here that one of my 2010 goals was to go shooting with people I have met (online) blogging. The home town of Toni Johnson of http://www.tonijohnsonstudios.com/ and http://dailyvignette.com/ was right on my way to the Palouse. I suggested we do some shooting around her home town and that's just what we did. If you look at her site and blog you'll see she is quite the artist and
One of the areas she took me to was a collection of old farm vehicles. Fortunately we had a wonderful sky. I particularly liked this composition with the bold lines and "heft" of the truck, and of course the reflections in the windshield. It is quite fun to meet someone in "real life" that you have conversed with through blogging.
By the time the trip was over I would have this experience several times and meet many new friends as well. Stay tuned as I'll be sharing a lot of images and experiences.
And let me know what you think of this image! Commenting remains free here at the Dream Tomorrow blog, so take advantage of it!
One of my recent volunteer photography projects was an art and garden tour. At one of the homes, the very creative homeowner had found a way to accessorize her beautiful rose garden. I thought this was really fun and unique.
As soon as I saw the image on my computer screen I thought it would make a good Topaz subject. And I was sure I would want to use the psychedelic preset. And it did look good. But then I tried "HDR Sketch" and it looked even better. So that is what we have here. All of about 60 seconds of post processing!
Click on continue to see the original and/or leave me some fab comment.
Canon 1D Mark III, 70-200 F/4.0L, f/4.0, 1/320, iso 200
I'm not going to do it!
You see what day of the week it is... You see the subject. It would be easy to have a two word name for this blog post. I KNOW you are thinking I would do this. But I'm not. I'm sure there is some award out there for consistent corny blog post names. I'm not looking to win that one.
I do think mushrooms are very cool though. Not to mention tasty. A lot of people don't like mushrooms, I have found over the years. Oh well, more for me!
I have not done much shooting with this camera body, having become enamored with the image quality out of the 5DM2. But this day my son borrowed that body to do some video for a school project. I also used the 70-200 zoom, which I don't use much anymore, preferring my primes. I used it because I wanted to quickly get shots off without people getting too distracted by me.
These beauties were laying in a plastic tub at a farmer's market. The original shot is nice, with very even light. A Lightroom preset called "RJ-Cinema 1" created the basic look. From there I did a bit of "light painting" and we have this creation. I really like how the stems are emphasized. Maybe I should have bought these?