Images & Observations

Posts tagged “nature

Bouganvilla #71; Climbing The Wall

Images From My Yard

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 82mm ISO 400 1/50 f/16 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS5

This bouganvilla is climbing the south wall in our backyard, getting plenty of sun all day long, it was totally decimated a few years ago when the  block wall was built to replace the old wood fence and is making a good come-back.  The same treatment was given on the opposite side of the yard this past year when the wood was replaced by a new block wall.  I can’t wait until all the bouganvilla comes back and our backyard  perimeter will be covered by green and shades of red.

Daylilly #88

Images From My Yard

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 135mm ISO 1250 1/1600 f/16 Lr3

In the late afternoon of a late spring day last year this daylilly stood tall, basking in the sun and enticing the honey bees with its multi-colored plumage.

Following The Sun

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 135mm ISO 320 1/125 f/5.6 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS5

One more painterly floral this week.  These Daylilies were also adjacent to the tennis court and when the image was captured at 5:34 P.M. the stems were leaning towards the sun lowering in the southwest.  Similar treatment as the others this week using Topaz Simplify in Photoshop.  There were a lot of distracting elements in the background of this image so I burned in a much as I could in Lightroom, then in Photoshop I painted out the remaining distractions.

Wheeler Avenue Tree

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 52mm ISO 320 3-bkts f/8 Lr3, HEP1 CEP3; PsCS5

A little change up this week from street life to a emphasis on color.   This tree stands on Wheeler Avenue in La Verne, California, backed up by the San Gabriel Mountains. The image was captured in the late afternoon at 5:46 P.M. on May 21.  I really like how the sun plays on the mountains during this time of day, the mountains are oriented on an east-west axis, and when the sun is getting low the light really delineates the contours of the south facing slopes. This always fascinates me as we parallel the face of the mountains when we drive along I-210 during this time of day.

After conversion from NEF to DNG in Lightroom, I tone mapped in Nik’s HDR Effects Pro working off of a preset furnished by Jason P. O’Dell, selectively dodging in, upping the contrast and structure in various areas of the tree using control points, slightly darkening the foliage to the left and right of the tree; using Nik Color Efex Pro, applied the Kodak Ultra Color 400UC  film effect.  In Photoshop I removed a distracting palm tree, light standard and electrical utility box that stood adjacent to the tree and attempted to mitigate the slight halo-ing effect by color masking in layers, but to no avail.  Back in Lightroom I sharpened and did a little noise reduction, and exported the TIFF file that was created by HDR Efex Pro to a JPG file.

Protecting Your Work


Nikon D80 18-135mm @52mm ISO 200 f/11 (-2.0 0.0 +2.0) Lr3 HDR Efex Pro

I am using the image of  blue barrel cacti here as a metaphor for the need to erect a  protective perimeter around our work.  I just read: “Photographer’s Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age” by Edward C. Greenberg & Jack Resniki, and spent the day packaging and submitting all of the photographs that I published last year to the United States Copyright Office for registration of my copyrights.  I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about their photography, in a very easy and inviting style it will open your eyes to the basics that all photographers should know about copyright issues, and it will take you through the process of electronically registering your copyrights with the Copyright Office.

I am not going to discuss  what I learned about copyright law here as I am not a copyright attorney, but you can be certain that I will  be registering all of my applicable works in the future in advance of my publishing any images, anywhere.  There will be a brief interlude in my posting of images here on the blog, and in my portfolio at while I compile my current work for registration with the copyright office.  In the past I had posted images here and in my portfolio almost immediately after completing processing.  I will no longer do that.  I will be batching new images for periodic submission to the Copyright Office, and then, only after submission to the copyright office will I publish my images on any medium.

I really did get some great images that I am very happy with this past weekend, but please be patient, it will be a while before I publish them.  It will be worth the wait, and if everything goes according to plan we will be out and about tomorrow, capturing more new images.

Bird In The Backyard

Nikon D80 85mm ISO 1250 1/200 f/8.0 PSE8 HDR Efex Pro

Bird of Paradise, that is.  This is a revisit to images I captured earlier in the year while exploring the possibilities in my backyard.  I created a quasi-HDR out of two JPG’s that were shot with a macro lens, hand-held.  I like the sort of tough, leathery look of the leave, and the contrast  between the greens and yellows.

Where Dinosaurs Roamed

Nikon D80 18-135mm 24mm ISO 200 1/20 f/11 +2/-2 Lr3 HDR Efex Pro

A succulent garden at The Living Desert in Palm Desert, California, in my mind it conjures up dinosaurs roaming the world in the pre-historic era.

Standing Out From The Crowd

NIkon D80 18.0-135mm 80mm ISO 640 1/1000 f/5.6 PSE8 PMX4

I captured this image last August when we visited Descanso Gardens in La Cañada, California.  I was experimenting with enhancing single exposure raw files with quasi-HDR processing.  The original exposure and its variations just did not convey the image we saw in the  flesh that day, so I had never bothered to consider this a “keeper”.  That was before I discovered the world of HDR photography.  Today I re-processed the image (which was originally converted to DNG in PS Elements) using Lightroom with the Photomatix plug-in and chose a heavy tone compressor pre-set, did a bit of a crop and some sharpening, and now I have an image that meets my standards as a “keeper”.