Many of my posts are coming from my flickr page. To see them enlarged with a black background just click on the photo and then when the flickr page with the photo appears click on the photo again. I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Long Shadow

(f9, 1/200, 42mm, ISO 160)
Taken Nov. 29, 2010




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Monday, November 29, 2010

Obsolete

(f9, 1/4, 22mm, ISO 160)
For those of you not familiar with this piece of farm machinery, it is called a manure spreader.  At one point I guess this was state of the art, but as you can see this one, and I hear almost all of them are obsolete now.  We don't need mechanical manure spreaders anymore.  We have politicians.



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About Yesterday

Thanks for your feedback on yesterday's Sunset Sunday. I've decided it was probably my eyes. I had lasik on one eye a few years back and so one eye sees well close up and the other is set up for distance. A couple of you commented on the fact that the lake had frozen over, which is correct, and that alters the reflection so when I looked at it it almost looked like one of those holographic 3D photos you can buy in everything from stickers to mouse pads. I just wanted to know if people with two matched eyes saw it too. Again, thanks for your feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed another Sunset Sunday.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunset Sunday - 41

(f5.6, 1/80, 34mm, ISO 160)

Taken on Thanksgiving Eve, but there's something different about it.  Look very closely at the reflection.  Move your head around a little as you look at it.  Why is it different?  Or maybe it's just me, maybe you don't see anything unusual about this on your monitor.  Let me know.

OBTW, another SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) except for preparing it for blog posting.


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Phun Phriday! # 42 - The Bowl Game


This week's Phun Phriday! post is about the Phun we had getting the photo I posted yesterday photo of Delicate Arch.

I wanted to show you the "bowl game" as everyone sits around the bowl next to the arch to photograph, or at least view, the arch at sunset.  This photo shows about 50 people and there may have been that many again behind and below me out of view of my lens.

Delicate Arch is reportedly the most famous arch in the world and certainly one of the most photographed.  Which is somewhat surprising since it is a little over 1 1/2 mile (2.4 km) hike, and also a 500 foot ascent.  (If you take the route Chad and I did it's about 2 1/2 miles.)  It takes a little over an hour to make the hike if you don't stop and rest, and it can be somewhat strenuous if you're not used to hiking very much.    I didn't speak to a single person who had come back from the hike that didn't say that it was worth it. 

The Arch sits up on a ridge and as you can see in the photo below there is a great big bowl with very steep sides on one side of it and though you can't see it, there is also a very radical drop off on the other side.   Between the photo above and the one below you can kind of get a feel for how steep the sides of that bowl are, (notice the people way up on the far left) but neither photo really does them justice.  Believe me when I say that when you are walking around that edge you are treading very carefully.  


OBTW, sorry for the difference in color balance between the two photos.  As I look back in the EXIF data I see that for the top photo the white balance was somehow set to shade.  See what a difference a little setting can make if you don't pay attention? 

As you know by now photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately?  If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it.  If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway.

OBTW, if you do post something for Phun Phriday! it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog.  Thanks!






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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

(f5, 1/125, 29mm, ISO 160)


About five weeks ago I mentioned my habit of saving the best food for last when I go to a good meal, and how this was going to relate to my photos from the Moab, Utah area where we have two AWESOME national parks and probably the most gorgeous state park in Utah, all within about a 50 mile radius. I got so many incredible photos in my five days there that it is impossible to say that any one is the best or my favorite. However, I would say that this one is certainly way up on on the list. I debated between this one and another to use today as the main course for our dinner.  I decided to save the other one for dessert. If you've enjoyed my Moab photos you are going to LOVE the dessert. I just haven't decided when I'll post it yet.

Today I'm thankful for:

A wonderful wife who allows me to go wondering off on photo excursions, and sometimes will even go with me.

My family

A good friend, Chad, who loves photography as much as I do and is an awesome photo excursion buddy.

Chad's sweet wife who let's him go with me.

Digital Photography.

Blogs.  Mine and yours.

You!

Far too many other things to list.






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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Old Man Winter

(f5.6, 1/80, 42mm, ISO 160)
Winter is hitting Utah with a passion.  Six of our ski resorts are already open and several more will open this Thanksgiving weekend. 

This photo was actually taken in Yellowstone Park in April of this year.  But with our current forecast of tomorrow being a high of 16 f and a low of 2 f (-9 c to -17 c) for tomorrow, I thought this worked

I'm sure many of you in the U.S. will have a special post for Thanksgiving this Thursday.  I know I will.



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Monday, November 22, 2010

Ugly Kids

(f4.6, 1/40, 23mm, ISO 160)


I often say that "My mama raised some ugly kids but she didn't raise no dummies." No I didn't make that up, I heard it somewhere and decided to use it.  Did you see my post on Saturday? It was the exact same original photo as today, except I really reduced the saturation and applied some filters and texture.  Engine Trouble was sure the right name.  My mama also taught us that "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" and I know most of you have heard that saying and so my stats show that a lot of people looked, but only 6 had the nerve to comment.  That tells me that I had photo trouble. 

Maybe you'll like this one better.  Please let me know - was it the subject or was it the treatment of the subject.  Is this one better or just different.  You can tell by the light that it was shot during the golden hours - just as the sun was setting.



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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunset Sunday - 40

(f9, 3/10 sec, 28mm, ISO 160)


This week may go down in the record books as one of the best weeks for sunsets in Northern Utah ever.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights all had phenomenal sunsets, and I have been told that Thursday and Friday mornings had equally stunning sun rises, though I didn't see them.  (I need all the beauty sleep I can get.)  The only photos I got were on Wednesday evening, but I have enough for several months of Sunset Sundays and you would never know that any two of them were from the same night.  These photos require no editing and other than preparing it for blog posting this photo is SOOC.

Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Just post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it. 

OBTW, if you do post something for Sunset Sunday it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog. I know many of you do already and THANX! 


Have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful week ahead.


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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Engine Trouble


Found this out where the Great Salt Lake has retreated the other day.  Looks like an old 16 cylinder aircraft engine.  There were some other parts, not too distant, partially buried in the sand.  Since this is not far from one of the flight paths into the Salt Lake International Airport, and also not too far from a common training flight area for nearby Hill Air Force Base, I have to wonder if it didn't just fall off of a plane many years ago.  There is another possibility that just occurred to me, though I haven't seen too many of these out there, it could have come off one of those airboats that are often used in very shallow waters.



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Friday, November 19, 2010

Phun Phriday! # 41 - Rock Tree

(f8, 1/160, 14mm, ISO 160)


I love Phun Phriday! because it gives me a chance to do something even more different and often see some different things you have been up to.

They say money doesn't grow on trees, but apparently in Canyonlands National Park rocks do.  I didn't pick any -  I wasn't hungry.

Photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately?  If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it.  If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway and try to think of something Phun for next Phriday.

OBTW, if you do post something for Phun Phriday! it would put a big smile on my face if you added a link to my blog.  Thanks!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yesterday

Things I found as I wandered around my yard yesterday.




I probably should have put this on a Phun Phriday! post since it is my very first attempt at a collage, so it is outside the box for me, but the results just didn't convey Phun.  Tomorrow's Phun Phriday! post isn't outside the box, but it is kind of Phun!



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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bloom Where You Are Planted

(f8, 1/640, 70mm, ISO 160)


As I was exploring some back country in Canyonlands National Park I looked up and saw this lone desert plant thriving in a hole way up on the side of a huge rock.  The title quote came into my mind and I couldn't get it out.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dreams Can Come True

This is part 2. If you haven't already you should take a look at part 1, yesterday, to see what this is all about.



Here's yesterday's photo except I've added notes on what needed to be done.  I mentioned in yesterday's post that the camera had somehow got jostled and none of the photos were in sharp focus.  So the first thing I did was apply some sharpening in Adobe Bridge as well as some clarity and brightness. 


It was a full month later before I was finally able to get with the two missing girls to get their photos.  Now all I had to do was insert them right??  Wrong.  In the photo above I had tried to leave room for one of the missing granddaughters, but I severely miscalculated in all the rush and confusion.  So of course I had to slide the girl on the left side over to make room.  Of course I had to make both brightness, color and even size adjustments on the two added people to match the rest - and since their photos were in focus, I had to soften them just a touch to match the others who I had had to sharpen.  The original photo was taken in late August and the one of the two girls to add was taken in late September, so the grass had changed colors.  Therefore I had to fix the grass in front of the seated girl to match the grass of the original. Of course I still had to blend and smooth the edges so that they looked as if they had been there all along.

For the hidden girl on the far right I was lucky enough to find a photo that was snapped during the setting up and focusing process where the two girls were positioned in a way that did not hide the girl in the back, when I inserted it it just naturally hid the purse showing in the lower right.  Of course I still had to make brightness and sharpness adjustments and blend the edges again.  The same was done for the other two faces I had to replace, though the lower one was much more of a challenge because I also had to tip his head and replace what would have been revealed behind it.

Originally I tried to just blur the chain link fence in the background and remove the polls sticking out of heads, but I just wasn't happy so I decided I was going to have to replace the background.  Going through my scenic photos I found one of a canyon with a river running through the bottom, but leaving mountain side and the appropriate color of trees etc. in the top.  I simply placed that behind the family photo and erased out the background I did not want.  That sounds easy, but just try blending those heads in with the new background so it looks natural.

Of course there was lots of other lightening, darkening, blending, trimming that I did on the fly that I don't even remember.  Since I'm no expert with Photoshop and I probably did a lot of this the hard way, overall I would say I spent about 10 hours to accomplish what you see below. 

The net result is that even after "The Nightmare in West Point" we came out with a photo of our entire family that we can hang on the wall and look at with pride and joy.

Next time, if there is a next time,  I will hire a professional.  I promise.




S C R O L L   D O W N 




















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Monday, November 15, 2010

Nightmare in West Point


This is part 1. Part 2 will be tomorrow. You may want to grab some tissues for this long sad story. I apologize for the length, but to truly understand the nightmare considerable explanation is required.

Once upon a time there was a family from Utah, but one of the children had moved off to Oregon with his wife and children, and another was living in Washington with her husband and children. Then a wonderful thing happened, both of the out of state families were going to visit Utah the same week. The natural thing to do was to have a family photo, as this may never happen again.

The nightmare begins.

Trying to put together one time when Everybody can meet for a portrait is more than just a challenge and as it turned out was impossible because even when everyone else could meet two of the older granddaughters could not get out of obligations at that time.

Next problem - part of one family had only a 30 minute window, so to include them the location had to be where they would be. Unfortunately the best place available was a park with no chance of a decent background.

Are you getting the picture here: (no pun intended - but it is a good one) Everyone in a hurry, much less than ideal location and two people missing. Not to mention a bunch of young children who are so easily distracted and have a 10 second attention span.

Okay, I'll admit it. It was my family and I was going to be the photographer with the help of a friend who would attempt to get everyone looking at him and smiling while he clicked the shutter.

I would not have arranged the group as you see here with all the men seated and the ladies standing, but I received certain "requests" and so that was how it was done.

The good news:
1.  Everyone who could be there was pretty close to on time and looking their best - we had coordinated our clothing as you can see.
2. We found a spot where everyone was in the shade and fairly evenly lit.

The bad news:
1. Remember we are missing two members of our family.
2. Kids will be kids.  Remember the part about the attention span?
3. Even though I had painstakingly focused the camera, somehow the camera had got jostled and the focus was slightly off as well as the group isn't even centered.
4. The girl on the far right was hidden behind her sister in every single shot.
5. The best background we could find was still terrible.

Perhaps the last time, at least for many years, that the whole family would be together and this is what we get? Truly a nightmare. The photo above was the best of the most people. Every large family photo is a compromise to pick the best, or in this case maybe, the least bad.

Do not despair. Come back tomorrow for a much happier ending. I will show you what had to be fixed and the finished product.

Click here to see the happy ending.



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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunset Sunday - 39

(f4.0, 1/2 Sec, 83mm, ISO 160)
Taken Nov. 3, 2010


Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Just post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

Do you know how to post a link within a comment?  It is so easy that even I can do it.  If you would like to learn click here.



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Friday, November 12, 2010

Phun Phriday! # 40 - The Grunge


That's right - it's Phun Phriday! again.

Those of you who have been to my blog more than a couple times are aware that I have recently been playing more with HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging. Like many, when I first became aware of HDR I saw a lot of images that are what I call "Way over the top" and I avoided it. Then I learned that you can have HDR images that look very natural, and that is what I wanted to achieve.

Today's photo is one of those that many might consider "Way over the top", but for this particular subject I thought it was kind of Phun! The HDR program I use is called Photomatix and it has a setting called Grunge. Like all the other built in settings you can alter them as you choose. I chose to leave this just the way they had set it up.

As you know by now photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately? If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it. If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway.




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Thursday, November 11, 2010

250

(f6.3, 1/100, 27mm, ISO 160)
Taken Nov. 9, 2010


Today is Veteran's Day in the U.S.A.  I just want to take a minute to honor those who gave there lives in defense of freedom.  As a veteran myself from Vietnam to Operation Desert Storm, who survived both without a scratch, I say thanks to all my fellow service members who have been there for your country and our freedom.  Thank You!  Remember "All gave some, and some gave all."

I hit the big two five ohhh yesterday evening. 250 followers!!! I know some measure in the thousands, but it wasn't that long ago that I was just hoping to get up to 100. I want to thank everyone who thought my photos were good enough, or just took pity on me and followed. And of course there are those who follow just so I'll go follow them. Well I'm not proud, I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em LOL! Anyway, thanks to all you great bloggers out there.

I know I could have used this photo for Sunset Sunday, or even for Phun Phriday, because I used a new technique that I've never used before, I used a Cokin Graduated Tobacco filter that I held at about a 300 degree angle. I decided to go ahead and post it to celebrate hitting the big two five ohhh!




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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Picture Window



Another one from one of the strangest places on the planet - Goblin Valley State Park, Utah.  This is HDR.  The HDR process took most of the color out of the clear blue skies so I thought I'd put in some skies that were about the same color as that day only with some clouds to make it even better.



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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Yard

Place mouse over image to see original

It is not my purpose to document this train yard. It is my purpose to convey feeling by using significantly reduced saturation, textures on some, texture and monochrome on others.  All photos except the one above can be enlarged to full size by clicking on them.

My father spent most of his working life as a Railroad man for the Southern Pacific RR and therefore anything railroad related has a very special place in my heart.  This is kind of a continuation of a post last week that you can see by clicking here.

These photos were taken on the outskirts of Helper, Utah. It is actually a working yard and round house. As you can see by this one above, "round houses" are often not round on the outside. It is where they repair train engines and cars and they can be turned around inside the building.







Helper got it's name because it is at the bottom of a long canyon with a fairly steep climb and the trains pick up "Helper" engines to get the loaded trains up that hill.



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Monday, November 08, 2010

Water?

(f7.1, 1/125, 22mm, ISO 160)


Does this remind you of the old westerns as the poor cowboy drained out the last drop of water from his leaky canteen?

When we were in Moab we stayed in the same motel where John Wayne had stayed for much of the filming down in that area. Remember though that was back four or five decades, and the place hasn't changed much.


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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunset Sunday - 38

(f5.3, 1/25, 34mm, ISO 160)


The sun had gone down and the color had pretty well dissipated .  I started back to the car to head home when I stopped to take some photos of the pink clouds that were still lingering to the North.  After snapping off about three shots of the clouds I was headed to the car again when I don't know why, but I turned back around to see that what had been the last vestiges of some pink on the horizon had become this.  I believe I still have the scabs under my chin from my jaw dropping to the ground.  I could not believe the change that had occurred in probably less than 30 seconds.  Needless to say, I resumed shooting.

Do you have a beautiful sunset/sunrise to share? We'd love to see it. Just post a link in your comment, or just tell us it's there and we'll click on your name to find it.

Don't be shy - leave a comment or email me.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Dead Horse

Point State Park.


Photos cannot capture the magnificence of this view near the visitors center at Dead Horse Point State Park, near Moab, Utah.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you tomorrow for Sunset Sunday.


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Friday, November 05, 2010

Phun Phriday # 39 - Light Painting

(f3.5, 50 Sec, 14mm, ISO 800)


This photo will really look it's best if you embiggen it by clicking on it. 

Obviously it is Phun Phriday! again.  And yes, this is the third Phun Phriday! in a row that I've published photos taken long after the sun has gone down.  The moon was out, but not very bright so we decided to do a little light painting.  We tried it with just a plain LED flashlight, but it came out way too white, so Chad decided to try shining the light through a color filter that gives the rocks much more of the true color of the rocks.  This, by the way, is Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.  On our five days in the Moab area covering Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and Dead Horse Point and Goblin Valley State Parks, if I had to pick one favorite place it would be very difficult, but I'd probably say it would be the Mesa Arch area.  Yesterday's photo was taken from a vantage point standing less than 100 feet from where I was standing to take this photo and probably my most favorite - and I have several favorites - was taken standing less than 30 feet from where I was standing to take this one, only a half a day earlier.  I will eventually show you that one, but in my feast I always save the very best until the end.

As you know by now photography should be Phun and that's why I have my Phun Phriday! posts. Have you done something Phun, weird and/or creative lately?  If so, leave a link to it in your comment or just tell us it's there so we can go find it.  If not, I'd really love to hear from you anyway.


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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Good Morning Canyonlands

(f7.1, 1/125, 14mm, ISO 800)


Okay back to our feast. Sometimes the appetizers are every bit as tasty as the main course, or even tastier. Here's a little appetizer that will hopefully prepare your palette for more to come in future days.

We got up very early the second morning to make a 35 mile run to this place to take some sunrise photos. By 8:00 a.m. I had taken over 60 photos and some might even be better than this one.



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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Autumn is Hanging Tough

Yesterday I had picked out an awesome photo from Canyonlands National Park for posting this morning and had it all ready, but then I had to run into Ogden to take care of some stuff. On the way back I was passing an area with some vibrant fall colors and since I had my camera - I don't always follow the ABC rule - I decided I'd better take a closer look. I guess the Canyonlands photo will have to wait at least one more day.






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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pardon My Interruption

Perhaps you've heard of the famous seven course Italian meals. Well they're not usually taken in one setting. People get up and stretch and move around and visit and enjoy each others' company between courses. My "feast" from our trip to Moab is much the same way. I've made several interruptions so you could rest and enjoy.

Today I'm going to take you on the beginning of a totally different track than what you are used to from me. Last week the NDPES (North Davis Photo Expedition Society) took a day trip to a small town called Helper Utah. I'll tell you more about Helper in coming posts. For today I'll just share a few of the photos I took on the way.

 Heading down we saw this rock formation glistening in the morning sun.
 I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get my first hoarfrost of the season on this barbed wire fence.
 One of the draws for us to this area are the trains going up and down the canyon.
If one train is good, then of course two has to be better.

Helper is a very old town that has been somewhat forgotten.  This motel is on the very outskirts.  The balance rock is still there as you can see, but the motel and the groceries advertised on these signs are long gone.

 By the way, one of these photos is processed in HDR.  Can you guess which?


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