Saturday, June 18, 2016


As my previous post mentions, I found gold recently in a flooded pasture. Not literally, but photographically. What looks particularly boggy, soggy and ugly in the broad daylight surely can take on magical attributes in the evening light. This is part of the idea of perception. Both photographically and literally.
Photographically, or as the photographer, not only is it important to see things as they are currently, but also to visualize them how they will be. For instance, as mentioned in previous post, when we crossed this path earlier taking Emma home, it was not particularly pretty. The only thing really that struck me was how much water there was and how close to the road it was. Then my mind began processing how it might look. When the sun slid down and the colors of the sky turned, would it be beautiful or just average? Maybe dull. But something told me it wouldn't be.
You can often tell by looking at the late afternoon clouds, or lack thereof, if it will be worth a look in the evening. If there are the high sweeping little tufts of clouds here and there, it's possibly going to be a nice evening to shoot.
This photo, however, I took on the opposite side of the road. No sun was grazing it and I cannot speculate why it turned this color, possibly the pasture land beneath, but even though it is a stark contrast to the ones taken 40 feet away, I find this one particularly lovely. I like it's simplicity and serenity.
No manipulation was done to achieve that color. I did my standard edits and teased it out a bit but it was there all along waiting to be found.
Such is life as well. You can survey your situation and see it as it is in the pain or anger or pleasure or fill in the blank emotion of the moment or you can try to see past that moment to the future and embrace what that will be like. It's all a matter of perception and the ability to rise above the moment, realize that all things pass in their own time, including this moment where you are feeling so alone, sad, bereaved, angry, conflicted, etc. In time, the light will change and shine in a different way illuminating everything and making that moment that was so horrible when you couldn't find your way into a distant memory. Your heart may still feel those pangs of sadness or glints of anger, but you will, if you seek the different light, make it past your anger or sorrow and into your serenity.
We only get one chance sometimes at the perfect shot, but fortunately, life gives us many chances to find our shot, our chance, our moment.
Embrace your life. It's the only one you'll get.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Decisions, decisions.... When to STOP looking for the perfect look.

Tonight we had to go to Azle to take Tinkerbell back to her Mom. I was grateful to not be having to go fight our way through the Ft. Worth traffic to their home, and it was nice driving down some twisty turny back roads that I've seldom been down. (If you never do this, I suggest you try it some time around sundown.) Anyway, we passed across a part of highway that was almost underwater near Boyd, Tx from the flooding of the Trinity River that runs through there. I thought to myself...oh boy, if we come back this way, I'm definitely stopping for some sunset pics of this. Ya know...maybe...if it looks good. :)

So we dropped her off, said our goodbyes and headed back. It was just getting to be sunset. The colors were nothing short of amazing. I asked my driver if he would kindly pull over (RIGHT NOW!!!) so I could take some pics. He generally always complies with my requests unless he thinks I might get killed trying them.

I walked across the road and snapped a handful of keepers and on we came toward the house so I could edit them. Mind you, don't sneeze, blink or breathe improperly in Bowie or some jackass cop who shall remain nameless will stop you for a bogus charge and spend 30 minutes sitting in the car trying to drum up some charges that they think will stick. I used to actually stick up for that person because I thought deep down they were a good person. Boy, was I so so so so so so wrong! But enough about that. Luckily, I wasn't driving and God kept his hand over my big fat mouth so I didn't get us in trouble. My driver is pissed but was polite to said officer. More than I could have managed and I'm sure that they will be after me next. Might as well paint a bulls eye on the hood of my car. All the drunks and meth houses on every damn street but by all means just be chicken shit and stop people for basically NOTHING and then dig till you find some bullshit to tag on them so your captain thinks you are rocking your job. Ugh!!!!!! I hope some day I get to be your nurse. Then YOU will see a power play. Oh me oh my. But I digress....

We arrived home and I downloaded my pics from the SD card and they were just as lovely as I thought they would be. So I picked one to play with and set out on my way to making it fabulous. It should be noted here that I had a conversation last night with a fellow photographer who was using a stand alone version of Lightroom and had not yet been converted to Adobe CC for $9.99 a month. Seriously, people...just do it. No I don't like renting a program either but having access to both Lightroom and Photoshop for that pittance is reason enough for me to continue on with it. I rarely use photoshop on it's own, but I do resize and sometimes remove power lines etc with it because it is easier for me than using lightroom to do those things. Anyways, I was telling my friend about "Dehaze". He said "What the hell is Dehaze?" That's when I knew he hadn't stepped up to the cheapie creative cloud.  So he is partially the reason for this post as well so he can see my DEHAZE in action.

I am posting four versions of the same shot taken with a Canon EOS 70D with a Canon EFS 24-70L lens.

The first has my minor adjustments in it. The highlights and shadows trick. The black/white trick. I DID use his contrast trick. But no dehaze and just Adobe Standard. It's basically just SOOC with minor adjustments. None of these are presets. All just little changes.

The second, I added a Dehaze of +31 .... yes it's random. No I have no reason why.

The 3rd I switched from Adobe Standard to Camera Standard. Notice it reddened out the sky and the reflection in the water.

The 4th I switched to Camera Faithful. You'll notice the sky is less reddish orange and feels more real to me.

I could have gone on and on for hours on this one pic. But should I have? When is enough really just enough? When do we stop tweaking our images and adding and subtracting the tiniest subtleties that probably no one really notices?

I guess it's the same principle as when an artist finally decides that his last brush stroke is truly his last. It's dependent upon our artistic vision and what we are thinking or feeling at that moment about that shot.

But tell me... which one do YOU like best?

Good night and God Bless.