Sense Of Scale

Shot this on Presidents Day Weekend. I was just wandering the National Mall with my Sony A7R and randomly taking picture. I was heading back to my car to pack up my gear and saw this and took a shot.

This area is called the Constitution Gardens. It’s just a small pond usually loaded with ducks. There are a couple small islands that you can walk out onto. I have never ventured on them because they are usually crowded which isn’t the greatest for doing photography with a tripod. The one thing you do get is a different view of the Washington Monument in the distance which is why I framed it with the willow tree. Least I think it’s a willow tree.

Editing nothing fancy. I haven’t been into the let’s add lots of masks to the image lately. There is a reason but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. So I have been just doing base edits using my normal workflow.

This was all about the camera adjustments, a few gradients and then adding a curves adjustment for tone and contrast. The usual local dodging and burning and called it done.


Sense of Scale

Long Twisting Path

This was taken at Great Falls on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. The trail is actually part of the C&O Canal tow path that is along the river. I guess the canal was put in to move goods along and avoid the rapids and and the falls.

I shot this on New Year’s Day this year. The weather was warm so everyone had the grand idea of heading towards the park to enjoy the day. I was hoping more people would be hungover and nursing their New Year’s Eve headache from too much partying. I guess more people were like me and just stayed in and stayed home that night.

Editing was straight forward. Nothing but camera defaults applied and a few gradients here and there. Then into Photoshop for a curves adjustment for tone and contrast. Lots of dodging and burning for local contrast. Sharpening and then done.


Long Twisting Path

Dawn Over A River Delta

I shot these photos when I was flying down to Fort Myers in Florida. I have no idea what river this is or where I was.

Let me say that editing aerial photos is a pain. You shoot through very thick glass. You are in a plane moving at several hundred miles per hour. So you end up shooting a ton of frames. Which means a lot more time doing curation.

I will eventually get around to doing a few more sets of these. I have some great images. It’s just a matter of working through them and getting them in sequence.

Editing was a preset I use in Lightroom. Once I had the base edit done I went and did gradients to rebalance the image. After that it was into Lightroom to put the curves adjustment in. Then a lot of local work with dodging and burning.


Dawn Over A River DeltaDawn Over A River DeltaDawn Over A River Delta

Nature Squared – Part 2

Here is the second installment of nature squared. This was also shot in Brookside Gardens but on the lake part for lack of better description.

This set is going to be a bit different. The previous set was more landscape based and there are elements of that in this set. This one is more abstract in the way I shot it. The theme is there in that it’s all nature but the it’s not going to be as in your face and obvious.

Just like the previous set some of these were shot in portrait mode and then sized down to fit a square. Others were just cropped down to hide stuff I didn’t want seen or just to fit the theme I was working with.

I did nothing different editing wise. Just my usual workflow so if you want to see look back two days for that post. Like the previous images it was shot on a Sony RX10.


nature squarednature squarednature squarednature squarednature squarednature squared

Nature Squared – Part 1

I was intending to go back to the series I was attempting to edit last week. Instead I ended up with 3 different series but I think it worked out ok.

These images are from Brookside Gardens shot last year in the fall. I had missed the peak leaves time with my travel to Vegas but I still managed to get some leaves. I was really testing my Sony RX10 that I had purchased. I was just wandering around shooting whatever struck my fancy.

The series will be split into two connected but separate themes. It will make sense once I publish the second half later this week. The reason is the park is split into 2 distinct areas so it changes up the images slightly and to have a cohesive set it was better to split them.

When I went to edit these it just made sense to go with a square crop. Part of this was to remove stuff I didn’t want in the frame and part of it was for the theme. Most were shot landscape but some were shot portrait so the squares don’t always come out perfectly the same.

Editing wise it was apply the camera defaults and then into Photoshop. I went towards lower key and higher contrast on these images. It makes the colors pop more. When I was done with exposure and contrast I just went about doing local dodging and burning as needed. Sharpened them and called them done.


Nature SquaredNature SquaredNature SquaredNature SquaredNature Squared

DC War Memorial

I had no idea what this monument was when I took the picture. It took a quick internet search for me to find out the name. It’s one of the smaller and less visited memorials on the Washington DC Mall.

I took this image of the DC War Memorial when I was down on the Mall a few months back. Just doing some random shooting in the afternoon getting the nice light from the sun setting in the west.

While this isn’t a busy memorial with people visiting it got a lot of foot traffic passing so I wanted to minimize that. I didn’t mind the two people sitting in within as it added a human element. Since this is a HDR image there was always going to be some motion blur with the people. If you blow the image up to full size you will see a lot of motion blur with the people. This is unusual for two people talking. The reason for it was they were speaking in sign language so their arms were constantly in motion.

The image was done in HDR using Aurora 2017. It’s one of those images that works well for HDR because it’s static architecture. I have come to discover that status subjects make the best HDR. This doesn’t mean moving subjects don’t work. You just spend a lot of time dealing with motion artifacts.

Once the HDR conversion was done it was time take the image into Photoshop and finish it up. I added some gradients using Camera Raw filter and then some dodging and burning for local adjustments. I did fight with perspective correction. It got to the point where the image looked level and I said done because I kept going second guessing and just had to hit save.


DC War Memorial

Lake Effect

I have no idea what the name of this lake is. In fact, I had just found it on a this visit to Brookside Gardens. I just took a wander around with my Sony RX10 and started to take some photos.

I really liked the water with the weird holes and the reflections of the trees flowing into the real trees. If you blow it up to full size you can see a guy fishing on the water drain area. Even though the image was in late fall the sun was out and giving some nice light. The interesting part of this is that I was standing in a quick mud sinking quickly. I got to the point there I had to almost lost my hiking boot because I had sank that deep. Luckily pulled it out and then proceeded to just dunk the boot in water to get the mud off.

Editing wise nothing fancy. Typical adjustments. Just camera defaults. A few gradients then into Photoshop. From there I do my curve adjustment and then on to local dodging and burning.


Lake Effect

Reflecting Washington

This is the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington DC. The Lincoln Memorial was behind me as the two monuments face each other with the pool between them.

Shot this the day before Presidents Day here in America. It was absolute chaos down there because it was a 3-day weekend and the weather was really nice. So I was fighting for space. Everyone was wanting to take pictures or selfies of the reflecting pool. I am polite and let people finish but when I see a spot I jump in and setup for my shot. If you don’t you will stand there all day waiting.

Nothing fancy here. I did go for the 16×9 crop since I was at a wide angle. It helped cut down on some of the sky. Once I had that it was straight up adjustments in Lightroom and then into Photoshop. Once in Photoshop I added a curves adjustment for tone and and contrast. I did have to add an extra gradient in the Camera Raw Filter to get the sky not to shift to some weird blue. So a simple and easy to edit image.


Reflecting Pool

Blossoms And Jefferson

With the National Cherry Blossoms are doubt this year due to a late snow storm that may have wiped them out. No one knows for sure but the cold spell is not fun this late in the year.

I shot this last year during when the cherry blossoms were blooming. It really isn’t balanced which is why I didn’t publish it. The branches domain at the left side and there is a big empty space on the top left. The Jefferson Memorial helps balance is somewhat but there isn’t a lot I can do about it. Still, I thought with the likely loss of all the blossoms this year I might as well publish it and give a break from all the beach shots I have been doing. Maybe I’ll even edit some more recent stuff I have been sitting on.

Straightforward edit when I went to do this. Nothing overly special and I put in the curves adjustment. Did a bit of dodging and burning but that was all. I felt it was missing just a bit of pop so masked in from Intensify CK at a very low opacity just to give it some pop and then called it a day.




Going Fishing

This is another from the archives. Most of the ones I have been publishing lately are. This was taken on the beach in Thailand just as night was settling in.

Interesting fact in Thailand is that you will rarely see a Thai on the beach during the day. Sure, some may be working but the reality is that it’s super hot. Thai’s seem to be smarter than us tourists in that they don’t want to bake in the Southeast Asian sun. So they come out at night when it’s much cooler and you can enjoy the beach without fear of melting.

There isn’t much special going on in the image when I went to edit. I didn’t want to do much because I wanted it concentrated on the two men fishing. While they are blurred their sense of motion gives the image a sense of movement.

When I went to edit I just added a simple curves adjustment to handle tone and contrast. I then did local adjustments using dodging and burning. I didn’t add any masks in because the image was good enough on its on.


Going Fishing