I am pretty excited about this particular image. Not because it is perfect. It is not. But because I now know I can do this, and I have wanted to create this shot for a very long time.
Taken this past weekend at Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is a blend of 10 images to get the rocks lit properly plus the addition of another 96 images to form the star trails. I used the Photoshop action from Star Circle Academy (thank you for automating this!) to layer the stars. Each image is 8 seconds long, at f/3.5 and ISO-800. Overall, I am thrilled how it came out — can’t wait to do some more, with 300 or more images blended! Enjoy!
Been a bit of a crazy week — didn’t have much time for photography, including spending some time here. Friday night, after getting the kids off to bed, and noticing the conditions may be favorable for some night photography, I grabbed my gear and headed off to Garden of the Gods. It is so nice to have such a wonderful place so close. By 9 PM, I had hiked up to the area around the Siamese Twins, and starting setting up for some fun.
This is the first of the images from this little trip. Oddly enough, it was one of the last ones I took that night. Funny how things work out.
This is an 8 second exposure taken at f/3.5 and ISO-800. Once the shutter was opened, I painted the rocks with a pair of Mag Lights. Really happy with the results of this one. Enjoy!
After dinner tonight, I was restless — I needed to get out. I had been working on images in post processing, but I hadn’t really gone out and captured anything new in a little while. The skies were looking promising, so I grabbed by gear and hit the door. Just a couple of miles from the house is a horse ranch I discovered a few weeks ago. I mad a mental note to come back at sunset or sunrise. Today was the day!
I had an idea for this shot in mind. I wanted the cart and the windmill to be silhouettes against a vibrant sky. The clouds were perfectly placed — a little to the north and a little to the south had very uninteresting clouds, and very little color.
I really enjoyed taking this one, and afterwords, I wasn’t restless anymore! Enjoy!
A very good friend and I went for a hike up to Horsethief Falls this past February. The falls are on the west side of Pike’s Peak just off of Highway 67 between Divide and Cripple Creek, Colorado.
I had seen spring and summer photos of the falls, and heard that it will ice up during the winter. Given the lack of snow we had this year, I was hoping for some really nice ice formations. I was not prepared for what lay in store for us! The stream had frozen over, and expanded well beyond its normal bed. The vastness of the ice flow was quite impressive. There were points along the falls where you can hear the stream still flowing below the ice. It was a bit unsettling crossing it, but it was very thick and we made it to the far side without incident.
This may be one of the most impressive winter scenes I have seen. It was an amazing sight to see! Enjoy!
I have been playing around with HDR processing in Photoshop, and frankly, I haven’t been super fond of the results. Some have been okay, but not really what I am looking for. I am not (usually that is) looking to go over the top with tone mapping or super intense vibrance and saturation. Really, I am looking to increase the range of the image across the board — get closer to the image I saw when I snapped the shutter.
I am starting a process of evaluating other HDR options — first up is Photomatix Pro. At first, I immediately felt like I had more control, but my initial results were just not blowing me away. After working with this image of the dawn sun illuminating Garden of the Gods, and then taking it back into Photoshop for some additional work, I think I have an image I am pretty happy with. Usually, I know when I come back to it in a couple of days. What do you think? What HDR software do you use? I appreciate your thoughts.
This is a 3 image HDR, processed in Photomatix Pro. Source images were bracketed at +/- 2 exposure stops at f/25. Enjoy!
A classic view of Pike’s Peak as seen from the Siamese Twins Rock formation in Garden of the Gods Park.
This was taken this past October, before much snow was on the mountain. Was planning on getting another one this winter, but we haven’t had a very good snow season. So, I will leave this one with you for now, and maybe next year, we will get a nice wintry view. Enjoy!
Went out this morning to watch and capture the full moon setting behind Pike’s Peak. Was also hoping to catch the sunrise, but the fog bank grew to be a perfect match with the mountain. Oh well.
The moon descends behind the mountain, preparing to give way to another beautiful Colorado morning while a thin layer of fog continued to grow ahead of the rising sun. This was a 75 second exposure, which allowed the layer of fog / clouds to move north while being illuminated by the lights of Colorado Springs. Enjoy!