Seaside, Oregon Sunset

Seaside, Oregon SunsetIt is always such a pleasure to go to the beach and watch the waves roll in. Sometimes you just don’t want to leave. I visited Seaside, Oregon a couple of years ago and was in no hurry to leave. It was such a peaceful evening and the salty air was so refreshing. There was a large festival in town with a concert so most of the beachgoers were over at the venue, leaving the rest for me to enjoy on my own. As the sun began to dip I decided I needed to keep this memory fresh so I made a dash for the car to get my camera. I hope you get to visit some day and take in a Seaside, Oregon Sunset just like this one.


Raindrops on Glass

Something about raindrops on glass has always fascinated me. It has proven difficult to make a nice image of them, so I have yet to share any of my attempts at it. Until now. It had rained and was dark out. I took out my tripod and a flashlight. That was it. A bit of experimentation and some contrast adjustment in post, and we have raindrops on glass as my minds eye sees them.Raindrops on Glass

Ice Lake, Silverton, CO

Labor Day weekend is a prime time to hit the Colorado high country. The majority of the summer adventurers have headed for lower climes, which leaves the higher and cooler areas less populated and more peaceful. Ice Lake is just one of those places that people love to visit, but not quite as much in the early autumn of the high elevation.

This particular day we encountered rain and hail on the several miles hike up to the lake. It was a tiring trek, but this view at the end was well worth the effort. Have you ever visited Ice Lake? If not, be sure to put it on your list.

ice lake colorado

ice lake colorado

Autumn Under the Old Train Bridge

I just love old things, which I think shows through clearly in my work. Maybe it has something to do with my revere for the wisdom of the aged. They are still, quiet but when they speak there is a lot to learn. If only this old train bridge could talk. Sitting under its wise gaze learning from the years that have passed over it, the many lives it has seen and the changes it has grown though would surely fill many enrapturing volumes.

For my part, I tried to drink in as much of it as I could, even with my lowly camera lens. Sitting under this beautiful functioning relic makes autumn even that much more magical. Thanks for the memories, old train bridge.

Old Train Bridge Autumn

River of Color

Autumn bring such nice changes to the visual world. Clear skies, crisp air to look through, different colors to paint the landscape and more gentle midday sun. In this scene I was particularly impressed with the beauty of the river that most people never see, because you have to walk across a train bridge for access to the view. What is normally a drab and dreary part of the Payette River has now become a river of color thanks to the autumn change. Enjoy this little trip to a peaceful place in a busy life.

River of Color

Two Stones Flow

I’ve taken a new approach to photography recently: I always take my camera with me. For a while I was quite burned out on using camera’s for much of anything but I’m starting to get the joy back. And with better and better image processing options I have the ability to make shots I’m proud of without spending all day in Photoshop. This image didn’t even see Photoshop once. I only used Lightroom 2 and Topaz Adjust 5.

This is my very first image processed using a fantastic little plugin called Topaz Adjust. I’m just on the 30 free trial right now, but I’m LOVING it so far.

This is along the Payette River between Banks and Crouch, Idaho. It’s a tough place to shoot because the road is on the north side of the river and the hill opposite is VERY steep and facing north, so it almost never gets good light on it. Plus, it has a strongly lit sky behind. But that all makes for a good photography challenge. These two stones seemed to go nicely with each other even though I’m clearly breaking some rules of composition. I don’t care. Sometimes you just have to shoot be it good or bad.

Two Stones Flow

South Mineral Creek Sunrise

While on my latest vacation with my family, I decided to stop being so lazy and actually take some pictures in the morning when the light was optimal. The next thing I did was shoot straight into the sun. Ugh. Well, I think I like this image anyhow. It was just too beautiful to pass up at least attempting to capture the scene. I did take the necessary bracketed exposures for and HDR process, but haven’t gotten to that part quite yet.

The morning was cool and clear until the sun came up. Then all of these awesome puffs of clouds started to rise up out of the valleys and skitter across the sky in assorted patterns. It was actually a great time to be making images of the surrounding cliffs and peaks and I made the most of it while I could. Now I have to do the actual work part of the shots – post processing. Well, that is a story for another time. Back to the setting.

With the high mountains surrounding, jutting up to 13,000 ft, and the dark foliage of the trees I really had my challenges. I was also down in a deep canyon shooting waterfalls and rocks and sunbeams, and those images truly do need HDR processing to look nice.

Just imagine being there in the still morning air, bundled up in cozy gear against the chilly 38 degrees and the dew on the grass. It’s really a picture of peacefulness.

South Mineral Creek Sunrise, Silverton, CO

Inspiration at the Headgate


As a professional photographer I think it is very important to keep moving forward, growing your skill, your craft and your passion. But, when those things are connected to a paycheck, somehow the fire seems to dim. Well today I got a little fuel added to my fire by Trey Ratcliff (see for his work). He has a series of tutorial videos for anybody interested in getting into photography, and the first one is free to watch so I watched it while I was eating lunch. As I was listening to him teach the very basics (and smugly thinking “I know that already”) it occurred to me that I wasn’t actually doing the entire process of photography, but am generally just pushing the button on the camera and if it isn’t Polaroid success then I just move on. Well, that seems to be the wrong approach, eh? You might say it is severely lacking inspiration.

So I decided to go outside in my own yard and poke around. I did my very own, solo photo walk. There are a bunch of side-by-side comparisons of the raw file before I did any processing, and then there is the way I have decided to finalize the images, at least for now. It is not unusual for me to revisit images a few months later for a fresh perspective.

The images following are the result of inspiration to do a particular thing, and that is take advantage of the depth of the raw file as much as possible, just using Lightroom. Because of that I ended up exploring the same subject from multiple points of view, and with a lens change as well. I was shooting with my Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5 at first, and later on switched to my Canon 28-135 f3.5-5.6.

In this instance I was using Trey as inspiration, but also trying to learn a little bit about how he thinks so that I can apply some of his techniques in my own process. I have to admit here that I have been too down on myself because of my aged equipment, which is no excuse. (For those interested, I’m shooting a Canon 30d and post with Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3.) So take the images for what you will, and please ask any questions in the comments.