Mar 2010

Controlled Burn @

Controlled Burn 2
Here is another view of the same controlled burn of farmland in Southwest Provo. This photo was taken close to the sun setting. As it was getting dark the fire was lighting up the smoke with some wild colors. I did very little to enhance the colors on this photo. I did use Topaz DeNoise to reduce the noise. I erased a good portion of the noise in the smoke section.

The specs:
iso 1600
Tripod with cable release
120 mm
f/4.8
1/4 sec

I like the silhouettes of the trees.
I like the rich colors of the sky and smoke.
I like the dark and light colors.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Controlled Burn

Controlled Burn

Today was another day at the dentist for me. This time I was in the chair for close to four hours. He did an amazing job. I have had a hard time in the past with going to the dentist, but I have to say this time I have one who is honest and talented, and has great people skills. So for today’s post I am using a photo I took last night.

We were coming home from taking our family to dinner last night when we saw two large black clouds rising in the distance. There was a fire in the farm land of Southwest Provo. My youngest daughter was scared and didn’t want to go anywhere close to the fire. So I dropped her off with my wife and grabbed my camera and went to with my older daughter to where the fire had started. As it turns out this was a controlled burn that quickly got out of control and was burning it’s way towards Utah Lake. Every few minutes it would flare up in a spectacular fashion. This photo was taken after we had been in the location for about an hour. It had become quite dark and was starting to die down. The remaining fire produced some amazing colors in the rising smoke.

The Specs:
iso 800
120 mm
f/4.8
0.6 sec

I like the rich colors of the smoke.
I like the silhouette of the trees.
I like the deep blues of the sky.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Tanner

Tanner -1

This is another view of the Tanner building on BYU campus. This time I am facing East and I am not in the main center court. Instead I am in the connection piece that connects the large portion of this building with the new add on. If you look close you will notice that there is a slight reflection from the glass. To get this photo I used five exposures for each of two frames and then stitched them together. Some of the color comes from the low angle of light from the sun as it enters through the roof.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Tanner

Tanner

I went back to the Tanner Building on BYU campus today. Since it was a Sunday it was very quiet. There were people in one of the main rooms singing as part of their church service. In the open main part of the building there was no one there. This photo was fun to shoot. I decided to get low to the ground to allow for the pool structure to be a focal point. This photo is a five shot HDR with a slight enhancement in Topaz Adjust. I could write pages and pages about what I see in this photo (literally, in college I was assigned a 15 page architectural art paper. I had to describe everything the building showed and how it made you feel).

I like the lines in the building.
I like the colors. This came from the interplay of the sunlight bending through the skylight and from some supplementary indoor lights.
I like the reflection of the sky light roof on the far windows.

The specs:
Iso 200
24 mm
f/16
tripod
5 exposure HDR

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

E & B Tanner

E & B Tanner

Today was a fun day. I was able to spend some time with my future son-in-law. We played golf, went to dinner, and then my daughter and future son-in-law asked me to take some photos of them. They had about 45 minutes before they were meeting some friends for a battle of the bands date night. We thought that we would go to BYU and take some pictures in the Hinkley Alumni building. We didn’t realize it was closed. We did the next best thing by going to the Tanner building. This building looks very drab from the outside. It basically looks like a box with slightly taller ends and a matching smaller attached building. the exterior is covered in grey granite. The inside is amazing. It has so many lines and interesting architecture that you could spend hours in the building. I did when in college. For an architectural class I had to write a 15 page paper on what I saw. That is another story.

For this photo I used an SB 800 flash for the main flash and two SB600 slave flashes on the corners pointed at an umbrella. In the editing portion I lightened the background and slightly darkened the foreground leaving the main subjects as the focal point.

I like the reflection in the water.
I like how the architecture is pointing to the subjects.
I like how bright the subjects are.
I would like to remove the chair on the right.

Thank you for visiting my site today.

~wr~

Lacrosse

DSC_1911-2

Tonight is a quick blog. Last week I went to my boy’s Lacrosse game. This is his second year of playing the sport. I love organized sports for teenagers. It teaches them to work as a team, to think of other, hard work, and to give of themselves. My kids have been in many different organized sports in high school and I have to say they have learned so many life lessons. This shot was fairly straight forward. I used a monopod and shot in full sun.

The specs:
iso 400
140mm
f/5.6
1/400 sec

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Light

Light

This was my first attempt at shooting my daughter and her fiance. We went down to the local library to take a few fun shots. I brought along a new flash and umbrella system. I have a master and two slave flashes. While we were waiting for Brandon to finish taking a test in the library Emily and I started to set up the system. It became clear very fast that I forgot to bring a key piece of equipment along. I forgot the two shoes for the flashes so I was unable to hook them up to the system. Instead we improvised. I set up the umbrellas on the ground pointed upward. I placed my shoes on the ground to keep the umbrella from slouching down and sliding away. I also used the shoes for holders of the flashes.

I like the white background against the color of the clothes.
I like the mystery of what the subject is looking at.
I like the subtle shadowing as the flash cast light shadows through the railing.
I think I may want to do away with the dark window on the bottom of the photo.

Let me know what you think.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Nature's Patterns

Nature's Patterns

Today was a great day. It was the warmest day of the year. When I came home I took my younger son outside for a walk and to play in the yard. With in a few minutes we found this twig. It came from one of the flowers in our garden last year. I love how the patterns are weaving in and out for the entire length of the twig. This was one of those days that has a promise for what is to come.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Procrastination

Procrastination
Today started out with a trip to the dentist for a root canal. If time allowed he was also going to work on my wisdom tooth. As my luck would have it the canal was calcified thus making it even harder to successfully complete the root canal. Lucky for me the dentist I now have is very skilled at both the dental work and in reading the patients needs. He was able to successfully complete the procedure and due to a pre conference he anticipated complications I may have and headed them off before they became an issue.

Now onto today’s blog. While I was still numb from the root canal procedure my boy called and asked if I would help him with his photography homework. Like any parent I answered yes. Little did I know that this would mean he had to take about a dozen outdoor photos with only about five minutes of daylight left. This would also mean he didn’t want to put much time into the composition of the said photos. He was doing only the minimum. Which also meant no tripod or setting the camera up properly. The photo above was one of his finds. This was handheld in dim light with a battery grip, teleconverter and a 70-200 lens. That is why it is slightly out of focus.

The specs:
iso 400
120mm
1/8
1/20sec

Even though he didn’t set up the camera to give himself the best chance at success I like the photo he took.

I like the setting of the wood buckets.
I like the motion of the small windmill.
I like the seed pods on the trees behind the white fence.
I like the colors of the photo as they are enhanced by the setting sun.

Procrastination on Oil

To process these photos I started out in NX2 and made three different exposures each at 2 stop differences. I converted them to Jpeg format and imported them to Photomatix Pro. After making a few adjustments in Photomatix I saved and exported to Lightroom 3 beta. I made a few more adjustments and exported to CS4. From here I used Topaz Denoise for both and then for the bottom photo I converted it into an oil painting using Snap Art 2.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Provo Canyon Waterfall

Provo Canyon Waterfall

Tomorrow is the day that I have a root canal and now it is looking like a possible wisdom tooth extraction. I am not excited about my trip to the dentist. At least I have a nice dentist who is also a good dentist. In preparation for the big day I thought I would look into my past pictures for one that reminds me of happier times and with Spring just around the corner gives hope for future photo shoots.

This photo is taken up Provo Canyon just past Bridal Veil Falls. This double falls is tucked in a section of Cascade Mountain that is easily missed if not looking for it.

I took this with my 70-200mm lens.
The specs:
200mm
f/22
iso 200
2.5 sec

I like the movement of the water
I like how the water is the focal point.
I like the colors of the trees.
I like how the water vanishes into the rocks.

Let me know what you think.

~wr~

Scarlet Gilia

Scarlet Gilia

Yesterday I awoke to a terrible tooth ache I couldn’t figure it out because I had a crown on that tooth. I called a dentist and he met me at his office late yesterday. After the x-ray we found that this tooth still had its roots. So the plan is now to have a root canal performed early next week. This comes with mixed emotions. I want the pain gone, but I hate the needles and sitting in the chair as the drill is moving up and down in my tooth. Well this got me thinking about small things. So today I decided to get out into my yard and take a few macro photos. This photo is the leftover stem from a scarlet gilia flower. The backdrop is bark mulch.

To get this photo crystal sharp it is important to use a tripod and cable release. Having said this I shot this one hand held.

The specs:
iso 400
105mm
f/20
1/250 sec


I like the contrast of light and dark.
I like the patterns on the branch.
I like blacks and color moving around the holes.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Maple Mountain

Maple Mountain

We had just finished eating and my wife asked if I would go to some of the local craft stores with her to purchase some of the items for our daughters wedding. She had some half off coupons, but there was a limit of one per customer. This wedding is getting to be more and more money. So I went with her. Within a few minutes we had save close to $30 and were on our way home. As we drove up our street this was the scene we saw in the Southwestern part of the valley. I quickly ran into the house grabbed the camera and drove to the end of our street. I was literally thirty seconds late in photographing Maple Mountain in full color. By the time I arrived it had darkened dramatically.

I didn’t have time to set up a tripod so I set the camera to f/7.1, and the iso to 400. This allowed the shutter to be between 1/200 and 1/250 of a second. The left image is 1/200 the right is 1/250.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. Please let me know what you think by clicking on the contact link.

~wr~

Durango

Durango

About five years ago we were in Durango, Colorado for a family reunion. This photo is the perfect example of using the equipment you have available. I had just started to take digital photos. This photo was taken with a Cannon Powershot point and shoot camera. The camera is 4 megapixels. So even if you don’t have professional equipment use what you have and go out and have some fun taking photos.

The specs.
7.81 mm
f/4
1/500sec

I like the curve of the train.
I like the people looking out in anticipation of the destination.
I like the smoke of the old engine on the train.

Thank you for visiting.

~wr~

Rail

Rail

Tonight I went to Brighton with my boy to take some pictures of him and some friends doing the tricks. This is one of the photos of him riding the rail. The conditions were not the best for this type of photography. The action was fast and the light was poor. The sun had gone behind the mountains and it was overcast. The night lights were coming on which with the cloudy, shady, and artificial light the sensor was mixed up. In order to get good pictures in the darker conditions and fast action I opened the lens up, set the photo to a higher aperture, and cranked up the iso.

F/4.2
iso 500
shutter speed 1/750 sec
32 mm

Thank you for visiting this site today.

~wr~

Yellowstone Sunset

Yellowstone

Two years ago we took our daughter to BYUI in Rexburg, Idaho. We let her stay on campus for a few days with friends while we went to Yellowstone. On our first day in Yellowstone we were heading back to the hotel in West Yellowstone as the sun was setting. There were several photographers lined up to take this photo. I found a post and braced my camera against it while I took the photo. I had not yet learned how to do HDR so this is from a single exposure. It was quite dark by this time so I had to raise the iso to get a clear picture.

The specs:
Iso 640
24 mm
f/11
1/50 sec
RAW

This was one of my first attempts at RAW. I am glad I took this photo in raw.

I like the silhouettes of the trees and river bank.
I love the reflection in the river.
I like the rich colors of the sky.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Letter O

O

Last year I was working on a project to make an alphabet book. Here is an example of what you can do with common objects. In the office where this project was being made there sat a nice bowl full of M & M’s. It had great color, shapes and interest. Everyone likes M & M’s. I took this photo and then in the final edit I processed it using Topaz adjust. Next time you want a new subject to photograph, but you are unable to get out of the house try taking close up photos of common objects around your house. Use a program like Topaz (download the trial version) and show your kids. It can be a fun and entertaining evening.

Thank you for visiting.

~wr~

Rocky Sunset

Rocky Sunset

This is one more view from the other night at Utah Lake. For this photo I would like to share the steps I took to bring this photo to the finalized product.

First I started out by transporting the 5 raw images into Photomatix Pro. I made a few adjustments and then saved the results. I then imported the original Raw Photos into Lightroom 3 beta and processed them again. I added elements of sharpening, contrast, saturation, and I added an increase of a half stop. At this point I ran the sync so that all photos had the same edits, and then exported this batch to Photomatix Pro and re-ran another HDR. Both of the images had good and bad. In the second batch the noise in the sky was dramatically increased. The rocks had much more detail and color. I took both photos into CS4. I wanted the sky and reflection from the first with the rocks of the second. Once I had taken the dark rocks out of the photo one more problem was present. On the edges of the rocks and ice where the bright orange and yellow touched there was a bright red line. At this point I again used CS4 and painted the color of the water where this line was present.

I like the dark background with the bright yellows and oranges. It offers a nice contrast to the foreground.
I like the texture of the rocks.
I like the color of the rocks and how bright they are.
I like the small patch of ice it brings interest into the photo and breaks the color of the reflection and rocks.

Let me know what you think, and thank you for visiting my site.

~wr~

Timpanogos Reflections

Timpanogos Reflections

We went down to Utah Lake because the setting sun and clouds looked like they may combine to make a spectacular sunset. The sunset was a bit of a dud, but the lake was smoother then I have ever seen it, and Timpanogos Mountain reflected off its surface beautifully. This is a five shot HDR. To take this type of photo you need to have your camera supported on something solid. In this case I used a tripod. I shot the photo at iso 100 with a full stop between each exposure.

I like the white of the snow and its reflection on the water.
I like the blue of the water and the clouds.
I like the colorful rocks in the foreground they add some contrast to the photo
The rocks also compete with the mountain, so I may want to crop this photo down a little.


Let me know what you think. To see this photo large just click onto the photo.

Thank you for visiting the site today.

~WR~

Utah Lake Sunset

Utah Lake Sunset

Tonight the clouds and the setting sun were working together to set up for a spectacular display of color. This didn’t quite happen. Right where the sun set there was a thick layer of clouds. However, with the use of HDR I was able to pull the colors out of the sky and this is the result. The “snow” in the bottom left of the photo is the remnants of the ice sheet that had covered Utah Lake for several months. During a recent storm the ice was blown into small ice mountains. This is what is left after a recent warm up.

Frozen

You may remember this photo from December. This photo was taken from the same spot as the one above.
For the photo above I can’t remember a time where this large body of water was as calm and smooth as it was tonight. The only movement on the water was from my kids throwing rocks into the water. The above photo is a five exposure HDR shot at 24 mm and 200 iso.

Thank you for visiting my site today.

~wr~

Splash of Color

Splash of color

This is one of my favorite photos from last fall. This was taken on the face of Timpanogos Mountain in one of the small canyons on its face. I went on a hike up this small canyon towards the end of the season and most of the color had fallen off the trees. As I was walking back to my car I noticed these few leaves with multiple color on them. I took the photo by planting the tripod in the steep dirt hill. It was not even close to being steady. It was more steady then hand held. I then started to fire away and and this was the best one of the set. I did very little post processing on these leaves.

The Specs.
iso 1600 (It was getting close to sunset and the leaves were in dark shade)
26mm
f/22 (I would have liked to lower the iso on this one and also the f/stop)
1/10 second

I like the wide variety of color.
I like the dark color around the leaves.
I would like to not have the leaf in the top left corner.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Waiting around

Waiting Game

As spring comes closer to being a reality I am spending more time wanting to get out and shoot some macro photos. This one is from last summer. I was outside as the sun was setting and found this spider near our front porch. This spider was not afraid of anything and was not going anywhere so I set up my tripod and the camera and started to shoot.

The specs:
iso 500
105mm with a teleconverter
f/45
1 second exposure.

I like how sharp the focus is for the spider and rock.
I like the drop off in focus for the background.
I like the scars on the spiders back it gives this spider character.

Thank you for visiting my site today.

~wr~

Texture

Texture

This is a small section of the White Rock area of Snow Canyon in St. George. From a distance the rocks look grey and uninviting, but as you get closer the color starts to pop. This section was taken in the full shadow with about two hours of daylight left. I love all the different textures of the rocks. I like the lines of erosion that come straight down the mountain. I like the different colors that are present in the rocks. I also like the cross sections of layers of rock. While we were there we told that these layers are from an ancient sand dune that was compressed into the rocks. These rocks are now being turned back into sand by mother nature. My biggest regret of this trip was to take my back up camera and a kit lens. I wish I would have had one of my pro lenses or my macro 105 mm for this shot.

The specs:
iso 100
66mm
f/22
1/6 second hand held.

Thanks for visiting today.

~wr~

Minerva Terrace

Minerva Terrace

This shot is from a year and a half ago. I was just starting to understand how to shoot photos in camera raw. I still took the photos in raw and jpeg. I haven’t done anything with this photo until today. Everytime I tried to edit I didn’t like how it turned out. That was before I had lightroom and CS4. Overall I like how most of the photo turned out. The main problem I had was how to bring out the color of the center without blowing out the white areas. This photo is the perfect example to me of why you shouldn’t throw away you old files and that you should shoot everything in Raw. As your skill in using the editing software increases your photos will likewise look that much better.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Stewart Falls Timpanogos

Stewart-Falls, Timpanogos

Today was a cool morning with rain showers, but by afternoon the temperatures warmed up and the sun was out. It gave me hope for warmer days to come. This photo is from Stewart Falls. This is the largest waterfall on Timpanogos Mountain. To get to it you hike from the Aspen Grove trailhead. The hike is about 45 minutes. For this photo I used a tripod, neutral density filter and a cable release. Because of the time of day the sun was directly over the top of the waterfall and was too big of a distraction to include. I processed this in Lightroom 3 beta and applied some burn in CS4. as a final step I added some Topaz Adjust to bring out just a little more detail. I then faded the adjustments to get the final copy. When I cropped this photo it looked crooked so I made a small adjustment there as well.

The specs
iso 200
18mm
f/22
0.6sec

I like the three different waterfall sections.
I like the texture of the rocks.
I like the water.
I am not sure if I have the crop right, but I was unable to find the angle I like the most. I think this is due to the three separate sections of the falls and the water moving in different directions.

Thank you for visiting.

~wr~

Battle Creek Falls

Battle Creek Falls

This waterfall is called Battle Creek Falls it is located a short distance up Battle Creek Canyon on the face of Timpanogos Mountain. In Utah County. I would have liked to have taken this photo from a higher angle or from a further distance so that you are not looking straight up at the waterfall. This was not possible due to the local foliage being in the way. In the lower part of this photo contains the shadow from a large tree. This is a great place to visit on a hot day. With the water falling off the cliff the area we took this photo in was several degrees cooler.

The specs on this photo are:

f/18
1/6sec
iso 200

I used a tripod, neutral density filter and a cable release.

Thanks for visiting today.

~wr~




Hanging Lake Stream

Hanging Lake Stream

This photo is another in my series from Colorado last fall. I was excited to travel to Colorado and take some photos of the intense aspens and cottonwood trees. The colors that year in Utah were as vibrant as I have ever seen them. One of my side trips was to go to Hanging Lake Colorado and film that wonderful area in full fall color. The only problem was that Colorado had a super freeze that hit the area a few days before we left. There were only small pockets of color. This area was one of them. This is just as the creek is about to enter the Colorado River. By the time we arrived here it was about noon with a full sun. In order to blur the photo I used a neutral density filter and a polarizing filter. This decreased the amount of light hitting the sensor. I also dropped the iso to 100 and stopped down to f/22. Even with all of this all I could muster was a 1.7 second exposure. For this type of photo two pieces of equipment are a must. First a steady tripod with a strong ball head. I also used a cable release to minimize vibration.

I like the intense blue sky.
I like the color of the leaves.
I like the dead trees both standing and fallen over the water.
I would like to have more trees with color on them. Maybe next time.


The Specs:
f/22
Shutter 1/1.7sec
+0.7 ev
38 mm
iso 100

Thank you for visiting my site. Please tell your friends and family about this blog.
Feedback is always welcome. If you would like to see this photo large and on black just click on the photo.

~wr~

Snowed In

Snowed In

We had a quick moving heavy snow storm this afternoon. It was snowing so hard the visibility was limited. This prompted me to look into my photos for something that was winter. I found this photo from my trip to Eureka, Utah about a month ago. This photo was a three stop HDR. On this photo shoot I was sick. I had no energy, but I wanted to get out of the house. Because of this I shot everything that day hand held. I was too tired to put the tripod together for any of the shots. In saying this I still think they turned out pretty good.

Thank you for visiting today.

~wr~

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

I decided to take a vacation day from work today. My job today is to watch my baby while my wife takes our daughter skiing. As they were preparing to leave the house I looked out the back window and I saw several Cedar Waxwings. I have wanted to take pictures of these birds all winter. I grabbed my camera and threw the teleconverter and 70-200mm lens on and went out to take some photos. I was in such a hurry I forgot that my son had used my camera last to shoot an indoor high school game. The settings were iso 1600 normal large jpeg and automatic white balance. By the time I figured this out they had flown away. I am very pleased with how this photo turned out.

I like the orange color of the half eaten fruit.
I like the detail of the branches and how they frame the bird.
I like the quick drop off of focus. This adds additional focus to the bird.

Let me know what you think, and thank you for visiting.

~wr~

Backyard Sunrise

Backyard Sunrise

This was a sunrise that I took from my back porch. The taller tree is a plum tree in the back corner of our yard the other branches are sucker branches on our apple tree. I like the contrast of the blue, purple and reds.

Today is a short blog, but I thank you for visiting.

~wr~

Golden Path

Golden Path

This was photo I took a couple of years ago. I took the family out to Cedar Fort Utah in February when the Bald Eagles are coming to roost. I had the camera set for quick action shots of the eagles gliding into the tall trees for the evening. There were not very many birds on this particular night. I had spent the entire time looking in the direction the birds were coming from. Just as I was about to give up because the light was getting hard to get clear shots of the birds I turned around and this is what I saw. I took a couple of quick photos and we went out to eat.

This photo is a perfect example to me for several reasons. Whenever you are out shooting sometimes the best shot is not what you were first looking for. Turn around and maybe you will find better material. At this point in my digital experience I was afraid to shoot in RAW. This fear limited what I could do with this photo in post processing. This photo also taught me to always be aware of your camera settings. I shot this photo at f/2.8. Don’t be afraid to make quick adjustments on your camera. It is always better and easier to make these adjustments in camera then after.

Thanks for visiting today.

~wr~

Remember to click the photo for a large look on black.