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Beautiful Bryce & Footprints

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I figured that it only made sense to check out Bryce Canyon on the way to Escalante. I had seen a few pictures of the place and I wasn’t all that excited but I thought I’d have a look anyway. When I got there however, I was completely blown away. It was about 8º when I got there about an hour before sunrise. Even in the pre dawn light, I was completed awed by the endless spires which have been carved by mother nature over untold years. As the sun climbed over the horizon and shone the first of it’s light down in the valley, I felt like I was witnessing something truly magical.

This is a HDR Panorama made up of 42 Exposures. Please click on the photo to view it in a lightbox.

Here’s another shot from the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Southern Utah. I had the foresight when I was hiking to make sure that I didn’t disturb the sand in the areas where in which I would want to shoot. Shortly after the sun set behind the mountains, the last light of the day began to paint the sand a delicate shade of coral for which the dunes were named. I turned to look in the direction I came from and saw this. You can see both my footprints heading into the dunes as well as the ones returning in this shot. Click on the image to view it in the lightbox.


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Delicate Drama & Downward

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id you all have a great Thanksgiving weekend? I had the opportunity to attend a ropes course to continue building skills which I am looking forward to putting to use so we spent some time camping in the Sedona area. The weather was pretty chilly but it was a great time. I can’t wait for the snow to start falling in Sedona!

Today’s image comes from Arches National Park. Delicate Arch is one of the most photographed places in the park. The hike up, while not technically difficult, is rather strenuous due to the elevation gain but once you get to the top, the sight is quite impressive. It was an overcast day that threatened rain at every turn but delivered little more than the occasional spray. I decided to use the sepia tones in this image to bring out the dramatic sky. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and feedback!

Downward

Have I mentioned how much I loved shooting at Bryce? I really wasn’t sure what to expect but now I wish I had spent more time. Kristi and I plan to visit both Bryce and Zion National Parks between Christmas and New Year next month. I’m hoping for some nice snow to contrast with these beautiful orange colors.

I took this photo on one of the trails that lead down through the spires. It was only a three mile loop that was a lot more fun going down then coming back up. I loved this little section of switchbacks leading downward.


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Topaz Adjust 5 Review

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Topaz Adjust 5

I just downloaded and installed the latest version of Topaz Adjust the other day and I thought I’d take a moment to share my thoughts with you. I use Topaz Adjust in my workflow about 40% – 50% of the time for everything from adding detail & texture in an image to creating unique effects.

The biggest inconvenience I had before update of Adjust 5 was that the overall effects of the filters were usually a bit too strong to be used by themselves. I therefore would copy the before image into Photoshop and use a layer mask to mask in the desired effect. I am so used to using layer masks in Photoshop that this doesn’t bother me, but it could create some issues if you do not use Photoshop in your workflow.

The folks over at Topaz Labs did a great job adding in plenty of new features to Adjust 5 which make adding subtle or local adjustments to your images a piece of cake!

Topaz Adjust works as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture & iPhoto. Simply select the desired image in your preferred program and launch the program. You’ll notice a categorized list of presets on the left – simply play around with the different ones until you find one that looks good for your image.

Once you’ve selected one of the presets from the left, you can go to the “Finishing Touches” bar on the right and adjust the overall transparency of the effect. You can also use the “Global Adjustment” tab to fine tune the effect to your liking.

One of the best additions to Adjust 5 is the ability to brush out the effect in places that you don’t want it. Use the “Local Adjustments” tab to do this as well as Dodge, Burn and Smooth the image locally.

 

 


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Where The Troll Lives

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Today I thought I’d take a little break from the Watson Lake images. Don’t worry, I have many more images which I will be posting in the near future as well. Today’s image is from The Valley of Fire State Park. I found this rock formation particularly interesting. I can picture the cave on the left being the den of some large troll and the little holes on the right belonging to a swarm of smaller insect light creatures. Use your imagination – what does it remind you of?

This is another shot I took not long after sunrise. As many of the photographers that read my blog will know, the light around sunrise and sunset is really the best for outdoor photography. This particularly holds true for landscape shots with one addition – it’s important to have interesting clouds as well. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the light or how interesting the landcape is – without clouds or some kind of interesting backdrop, the images are just going to look rather boring. One suggestion I have if you found yourself faced with a clear blue sky is to do your best to include some element of red/orange in your image. The contrast between extreme warm and cool can often yield some interesting results.


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How To Feed Your Bird To Eat Veggies Or Fruits

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For better health, longer life, variety in the diet, etc. Some Random Ideas to get your bird to eat veggies or fruits. One way to get your bird to eat fruits and vegetables is to offer them as treats. If you regularly hand-feed your bird, start giving him bite-size pieces of fruits and vegetables.


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