The photo challenge for the week was Sun. Not your normal sunrise or sunset picture, but more of the full sun in “all of it’s glory.”
My submission was taken this past October after an early snow-covered the area. I was walking along a path and noticed how the sun was coming through the trees and snapped this image. 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!
Took this image a couple of years ago, and it is one of my wife’s favorites. This is from Rampart Range Road — a dirt road that connects Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, CO. As you approach the Woodland Park side, this field emerges, and along with it is one of the best views of Pike’s Peak I have found.
The clouds look more imposing than I recall them being. I loved the fence line and the contrast of the grass with the snow covered mountain. Enjoy!
Came across this snow covered giant while hiking up to Horsethief Falls. I would have loved to have seen it before it met this fate. Even in this state, it looked so grand and stately. I have been working on improving my composition and finding the right point of view. What separates one photo from the rest of the crowd, is often finding the proper spot to take the image from. I suppose that one could take snaps from all around a subject like this one, and then choose the best after the fact. While that likely improves the chances of getting the right perspective, I choose to avoid that tactic. I believe that thinking about the picture before you take it, even if it means missing one here and there, will make you a better photographer in the long run. History and experience, often from failing, is a great teacher. I hope you like the choice I made here.
I have been sneaking a couple of pictures from Garden of the Gods in on previous weeks, but I had an opportunity this past weekend to visit this Colorado Springs landmark immediately after a snowstorm, and I could not pass it up. Garden of the Gods is always breathtaking, and I recommend it as a stop on any visit to this area, but it is the most beautiful the morning after a snowstorm. Unfortunately, this was also the Saturday morning that I needed to be in to work, so I was only able to stay a little while. If I had unlimited time, I am sure I would have taken hundreds of photographs. I am sure that opportunity will present itself. Until then, here are my favorites from this past week.