Jul 2010

Rikki From Flickr

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Rikki from Flickr. Rikki is a very talented photographer that has a loyal following of people on Flickr. Many of the photos have a human subject in the photo, but that is not the entire story. If you follow her for long you will quickly learn that her photos tell a story. One thing that impresses me is that Rikki uses a point and shoot camera. Her photos are good due to solid composition and a nice touch with her post processing. I hope you enjoy the story she tells with her photos as much as I have.

Rikki teaches at least two important lessons perfectly with this blog and with her site. The first is that you can’t take good photos if you don’t go out and try. Some times she gets her inspiration from her walks. The second lesson is that the best camera for photography is the one you currently have. An expensive camera won’t do you any good if you can’t afford it. Just get out walk around and take photos with what you have.


When I was younger I always carried around one of those disposable cameras and would take tons of pictures of pretty much anything. Then, during my sophomore year in high school, I took a class on photography. This class didn't teach me a lot about lighting or posing or any important technical aspects of photography. However, it did teach me how to develop film in the darkroom, which was so much fun. I would say that this class really swayed me into becoming more interested in photography but I didn't get real serious about it until a year later, during my junior year in high school, the year you're supposed to decide what college you want to go to. I heard about the Hallmark Institute of Photography through a friend and when I went to visit it I fell in love with the school. So, in the fall of 2009 I started really getting into taking pictures and I love looking back and seeing how much I've improved already. It should be amazing to see all the things I will accomplish after attending Hallmark this fall.

I am happy to post this blog the hard part was choosing the photos. I have narrowed it down to the following four photos.

Beautiful Day For a Daydream
Beautiful Day for a Daydream

This photo is one of my favorites that I have taken. Mainly because of the location and colors. I am always looking for wildflowers to photograph near because I really love them. When I went out to take this, I was walking around aimlessly before I found this spot, but I am really happy with the turnout. I only have a point and shoot camera so there were no special settings I used on this, but I did do some post processing to get the dreamy tones I wanted.

Lingering Sun
Lingering Sun

This is another one of my favorites because I simply love how the sun looks in this. For this one I used the "candle light" mode on my camera, so it made the light seem like it was glowing. I didn't really plan this shot out, I had just gotten my tripod and was playing around with it and I happened to capture this! I also did some post processing with the tones.

In the Woods
In The Woods

This photograph has an interesting story behind it. First off, I really love this little bridge that is tucked away in the woods, it’s so quiet and mysterious there. One night I was looking through the book that I'm reading in this and I found this little excerpt called "In the Woods". Now, this book was my great-grandmothers school book and was published in 1911, so its almost 100 years old, which blows my mind. As I was reading the excerpt it reminded of this spot in the woods and the next day I went out to shoot this. I'm also holding one of my favorite wildflowers in this, the queen anne's lace.

I wish I could just put the pieces together
I Wish I Could Just put the Pieces Together

In this picture I definitely wanted to express a certain type of feeling. I think that a lot of people sometimes feel like they can't "put the pieces of the puzzle together" and have a hard time figuring some things out in life. I know I certainly have felt this way. So, in this shot, I used these paper puzzle pieces I had left over from an old english project and I wanted to lay down the way I did because I wanted to convey the feeling of helplessness or that I can't put the pieces together. I also love how the colors pop out and that I took this in the woods.

-Thanks again for this opportunity!

Train Graffiti

HDR Train-1

The other night I was taking engagement pictures for my Nephew. They wanted the look and feel of the railroad. We went to where these boxcars have been stored for over a year. These trains are close to one mile in length all are light in color and covered in graffiti. Below is a sample of the same location. For the top photo I used three photos and processed it using Photoshop CS5. I latter took out the halo effect by importing a photo with the correctly exposed sky and then doing some editing as I merged the two photos. The bottom photo was a single exposure using Photomatix Pro. I did not work on the halo effect.

DSC_5 4 69_4 69_469_tonemapped

Thanks for visiting.


Cave Popcorn

Cave popcorn

This is another photo from Lehman’s Cave. This photo is full of cave popcorn a shield and a small column that is formed from the shield. Because we were constantly moving I had to quickly frame the photo, focus and take the picture.

Thanks for visiting.


Lehman Caves

Lehman Caves

Today we were at Great Basin National Park. One of the main attractions here is Lehman Caves. These caves have some of the most incredible formations. This photo was from a portion of a wall completely covered with the amazing work of nature. For this tour of the cave I took my camera with my 50mm lens. I was planning on taking most of my photos using the light provided by the National Park Service. I was going to have the camera set at f/1.8. When we arrived they told us we could use flash photography in the cave. The problem I had was I left my flash at home and had to rely on the pop-up flash. The tour was amazing, I would love to spend some time in this cave where I could really set up and take as many photos as I wanted with as much time. You could spend all day in there if allowed.

Thank you for visiting today.




Two weeks ago when we were in Steamboat Springs I took my travel camera. I quickly wished I had taken my macro lens. This is a small wild delphinium that I took using an 18-135 lens hand held. I love the detail of the flowers and the bokeh. The bokeh helps to bring the focus back on the main subject.

Thanks for visiting today.


Small Waterfall, Long exposure

Small Falls

This little waterfall was found in a small hidden area just off the path going to Fish Creek Falls located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I went to this location to film Fish Creek falls. So before we left I put a neutral density and a polarizing filter on my lens. The use of these filters allows less light to reach the sensor which in turn give a longer exposure. When this is done with moving water it gives the effect of making the water look silky. Even though it was the middle of the day I soon found out that for this location I did not need these filters. This little waterfall was located in such a dark little area that no sunlight was reaching the water. I took the filters off and reshot. My original plan for this waterfall was to shoot a 5 exposure HDR. The problem I quickly ran into was that so many people were in the area and even though my camera was on a tripod, the mirror up and I was using a cable release it was hard to get five sharp photos. I had to have the tripod on a small bridge, and the traffic going up and down kept producing vibrations. Instead I settled for one exposure.

I exported the photo to NX2 and developed it as normal. This included slightly increasing the exposure. At that point I saved it and then made one stop changes and resaved each time. I was able to make four total exposures. A quick export into Photomatix Pro and I had the HDR I was looking for.

At this point in the development the photo is far from being finished. I exported to Lightroom then to CS4 where I brought in the original photo so that I could blend a few areas that were over saturated from the HDR work. Once I had the photo where I wanted it I merged the layers and ran Topaz DeNoise.

I like how clear the water is in the small pool.
I like the different levels the water takes as it falls into the pool.
I like the moss covered walls.

The equipment I used:
Nikon D200
18-135 lens
Cable release
Mirror up

The Specs:
Iso 100
3 sec exposure

Thank you for visiting today.