Sunset

Icy Sunset

I shot today as the sun was setting it looked like there may be some fun colors down at the lake.  After several days of above average temperatures I was no prepared to find the lake frozen solid.  With a major wind event on Saturday night the ice was broken and refrozen into several interesting shapes.

This was a fun photo to process. I took several different exposures hoping that I would be able to process one or two into a nice HDR. The exposures ranged from a quick exposure to over 30 seconds. There was not a lot of color in the sky except close to the horizon. It was getting dark quick and several people were walking on the ice around and in front of where I was shooting. In the end I like how the exposure turned out.

For this photo I used:
a tripod
nikon d7000
nikon 28-300 lens

For processing I used:
Lightroom 3
HDR efex
three color processing points to lighten the ice
CS5
Topaz Denoise

I like the rich colors offset by the cool ice
I like the reflection of color off the ice blocks
I like how well defined the ice block are.

Thank you for visiting.

~wr~

Icy-Sunset

Snowy Sunset

Snowy Sunset

I spent all day yesterday working on a photo project for a friend. When it came time to post my blog my two youngest children started throwing up. This went on every fifteen to thirty minutes from seven p.m. to 10:30 p.m. By this time our toddler was not very happy. He was having a hard time going to sleep with all the commotion going on. So needless to say by the time everything had settled down I was too tired to post anything on my web page. Today was a miserably cold grey day. It started out with an inch of snow and a stiff North wind blowing all day. The clouds were grey and without much shape. Just as the sun was about to set the clouds broke and the sun took a quick peek from behind the mountains. This photo was taken at the end of my street. It was hand held and a five exposure HDR. The wild clouds are actually snow. Five minutes after I took this we had a brief but heavy snow squall.

The specs:
Iso 200
24 mm
f/11
5 exposure
Hand held

I processed the photo using Photomatix Pro. I then exported it to Lightroom for some small enhancements in color. From there I exported to Photoshop and completed some dust fixes and some other minor edits. At this point I slightly enhanced the photo using Topaz Adjust and Topaz Denoise 3. The final product has more color then what the natural eye could see.

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.

Provo Airport Sunset

Provo Airport Sunset

The day I took this photo was stormy, but it looked like the storm was ending just as the sun was going down. I headed out to The Provo Airport. The road that surrounds the airport also borders Utah Lake. The sunset was absolutely incredible. The colors were as good as they get. I was just completing the shoot when I turned to the South and saw this reflection. The pond was completely still. Even though this turned out with fantastic color, the pond was as ugly and dirty as you can imagine. This photo is the perfect example of looking all around when you are on a photo shoot. Sometimes the best picture is not where you are aiming the camera. In this case this part of the sunset was the part with the least color, but the only part where there was a reflection.

I like how the rocks and twigs separate the photo.
I like the reflection. It looks almost like it is on glass.
I like the color of the clouds. 

Thank you for visiting my site.

~wr~

Hand Cart

Handcart
This silhouette is of my two oldest children pulling a handcart in Wyoming. We had taken a group of youth to Martin’s Cove Wyoming to reenact the Willie and Martin handcart companies trek to Utah. We had better conditions then the pioneers did. Our equipment, clothing, food and weather was better then the pioneers had to endure. By the end of the few days we were in Wyoming these kids had a better understanding of the hardships the pioneers had endured. The trip was a success.

This photo is pretty straight forward. I set the exposure to the sunset. In doing so the foreground and the subject became a black silhouette.

I like this photo because it shows the subjects facing the elements. It gives a sense of loneliness. Yet with the sunset there is a feeling that they can rest. The grass blades show to me that they are in the plains or an isolated area. Martin’s Cove is an incredible place. The elements can change quickly. After spending a few days here I have a much greater appreciation for those who helped settle the Western United States.

Let me know what you think.

~wr~

Double Falls Sunset

Double Falls Sunset

This photo was taken in the exact same location as last nights. Instead of looking directly at the sunset I turned the camera 90 degrees. This mountain is called Cascade mountain, and in this location there is a waterfall around every turn. This is a five exposure HDR.

The Specs:
Tripod with cable release
iso 100
24 mm
f/22
five exposure

I like the color of the sky.
I like the snow on the trees.
I like the patterns of the rocks.

Let me know what you think.

~wr~

Winter Stream

Provo River Sunset

I decided to travel up Provo Canyon in Utah. This photo is taken fairly close to Bridal Veil Falls. It looked like we might have a nice sunset, so we gave it a try. This photo is just off the main highway just off the old highway road. I could tell there would be a slight reflection off of the river, but to get to it I had to climb down the bank in two feet deep snow. Under the snow was last years growth of weeds and shrubs. I was unable to get the tripod grounded on solid ground. If it were not for the cable release the camera would have had to much shake to it to get this as a clear photo.

The Specs.
5 exposure HDR
Iso 100
40mm
f/22

I like the curve of the river.
I like the trees.
I like the range of colors in the sky and water.
I like the snow. It defines the water.

Let me know what you think. If you would like to see this photo or others look me up on Fliker. My link is on this page.

~wr~

Provo Canyon

Provo Canyon

This was a fun image to take. I had just received for my birthday a split level neutral density filter. This photo was my first try at using it. This image is a three image stitch.
After taking the three images I placed them in Bridge and did a photomerge. This was the image I got.

I like the rich intensity of the colors.
I like the reflection.
I like the waves as they show action.

Don’t miss tomorrow. I will have Jon from Reflected Pixel on as a guest blogger.

Let me know what you think, and please share this site with your friends families.

~wr~

Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains

This is another photo from our recent trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Shortly after we had arrived at Estes Park I snuck out of the condo to take a few photos. I wanted to take some water pictures with the fall colors, but the cold snap had effectively killed all color. The trees had no leaves on them. Instead I took a side road and came to a location where you could see into Rocky Mountain National Park. After a short hike I found a high vantage point just as the sun was setting.

The specs.
iso 200
40mm
f/22
5 exposure HDR

I like how the clouds and the forest frame the Colorado Rockies.
I like the color of the clouds.
I like the snow on the Rockies.
I wish I would have remembered to shoot this in camera raw.

For this type of photo it is necessary to use a tripod and cable release. This is a five exposure HDR picture. A very simple explanation is that you set your camera to take five different pictures each at a different exposure. Two are overexposed, two are underexposed, one is exposed exactly the way you set it in the camera. You then load all five exposures into a program that blends the correct exposure of each photo into one picture. The program I use is Photomatix Pro.

For this picture I used five exposures, but you can do 3, 5, 7, 9. Photomatix Pro is an easy to use program that produces great results.

Let me know what you think by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. Please share this site with your friends.

~wr~

South Utah Lake

South Utah Lake

This is the last image from my recent photo shoot. This one is looking South on Utah Lake toward West Mountain and Maple Mountain.
I was originally going to use this in a panoramic shot of the sunset, but several birds flew overhead and in trying to get them in the photo I forgot to go back and finish the panoramic. Again this was shot with two split neutral density filters. This a a must if you want detail in the dark and light areas. In a sense these filters fool the camera into thinking the entire area is equally bright.

The Specs
iso 200
24mm
f/22
0/6 second exposure

I like how the clouds direct the eye to the bright portion of the photo.
I like the wide variety of colors throughout the photo.
I wish I could have more reflection in the water and not have it so dirty looking.

Let me know what you think. If you like the photos please share my site with your friends.
Fill free to e-mail me your thoughts by pressing the contact me link on this page.

~wr~

Utah Lake Reeds

Utah Lake Reeds

Here is another shot from my trip to Utah Lake. The key to this type of photo is a tripod with a cable release. This keeps the camera steady during the entire shot. Also to be able to get detail in the entire photo you need a split neutral density filter. In this case I used two and effectively changed the exposure by 6 stops on the top.

The Specs
iso 100
29mm
f/22
.5 second exposure

I like the reeds. They calmed down the waves, and allowed the water to reflect more of the sunset.
I like how the horizon is a beautiful yellow and orange.
I like the rocks in the foreground. The help direct the eye to the reeds.
I wish I could tone down the bright yellow on the bottom of the clouds.

Let me know what you think.

~wr~