Tag Archives: creepy

Balloon Diagonal. Steampunk enough for you?

I noticed as this balloon ascended, that it was rising against some clouds that perfectly matched the diagonal stripes on the balloon. I had already been watching the balloon slowly rise, and taking shots, so it was easy for me to catch this image against the amazing pre-snow clouds of Snowdown, 2011. This was a photo that I put through single image HDR processing in Photomatix, to get the most out of those clouds that I could. I double tone mapped it as well, which gave it even more of an otherworldly look. Then I backed off in photoshop, bringing back parts of the image, painting in the blue colors of the balloon to remove some of the noise that was added in the processing… warming the sky with a filter and a white balance shift in lightroom. Lots of subtle details, as well as the not so subtle texturing- 3 different overlaid textures to add to the ancient feeling of the shot.

I think I’ve been reading too much Steampunk literature… it definitely came through on this image.

Posted to http://www.kelleybard.com, and my facebook and flickr pages. I’ve been getting some good comments on my other balloon image… be interesting to see what people think of this one!

Probably will be posted to http://www.HDRspotting.com as well, as I really like this one.


Fire Play- From Snowdown in Durango, CO 2011

I’m not usually one to take quick shots and call them art, but I had a lot of fun playing with my camera and flash during the Snowdown Light Parade this last weekend. I caught this image and was very happy with it, even with all the problems. I am publishing it with just minor tweaks, made in Lightroom. I’ll hopefully get to know more info about the group that put on this fire show… my wish is to get to photograph them again sometime this year, in a more controlled setting.

I’m posting lots of Snowdown images to my website, http://www.kelleybard.com. You can look at my “things and community events” gallery for the images (and if you can come up with a better name, I’ll kiss your toes). I’m also sharing them with Snowdown on Facebook, on my facebook page (link above) and on my flickr page.

Enjoy it all!

Merry Go Round- 2 Views… and the winner is (LAST CALL!)… Drawing for Free Print

Merry Go Round, Original

Merry Go Round, Textured

I loved this little merry go round!  I saw it in action at a tiny country fair that happened last weekend near my home.  I was really, really hoping to get some old car shots and horse shots, but it turned out that I arrived too late for those.  I did have my camera, though, and instead of grouching around (ok, I grouched a bit, but you know, I came out of it.  Sorta.)… instead of grouching around (ahem!) I went looking for other shots.  I have a fun one of a close-up of a fire engine bell that I may post soon, and this one.  When I processed it, I used my test version of Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro to try out some filters.  I really liked how this one gave it an older feel (“color stylizer” was the filter I settled on).  That original version had a bit of a bland sky, though, even with the color change, so I redid the image with added textures (8 textures!  I love it!).  I was looking to give the image an aged look, stained, dirty…  I think the textures added that wonderfully.

Posted at www.kelleybard.com.  Currently in the Places and Landscapes gallery, although I’m looking for a different home for this and photos of things but not places…. any idea what to call that?  “Scenic” comes to mind, but still isn’t exactly the right gallery title.  I want it to fit anything from still-lifes to images like this.  Any ideas are welcome!


I’ve been a bit busy, just picked up the stack of business cards and such that was waiting for me at my gallery space for the free drawing for an 11×14 print.  This is a teaser- I’ll do the drawing tomorrow.  I need an impartial helper (my toddler, ok?  lol) to pick the winner.  He/She will get a free print of any of my current artwork.  Since I haven’t picked anyone yet, feel free to join in (comment “free drawing” if you want in!).  Must be in the US to win the print, but everyone gets something so please enter.

Tomorrow is a photo day and I’m very excited… I will post more tomorrow night about it, I’m sure.

Miners Window- 2 versions comparing Topaz DeNoise and Noiseware Professional

Miner's Window Using Topaz DeNoise

Miner's Window Using Noiseware Professional

This is something I wouldn’t normally do- show a photo I don’t like completely.  I’m not putting this on my website, just because I don’t like the skewed perspective with the window and paneling.  It didn’t work.  Hopefully soon I will return to this spot and get a good photo.  BUT, I wanted desperately to show 2 versions of the same photo to compare Noiseware Pro and Topaz DeNoise, which I am currently testing.

Version with Topaz DeNoise:  I had to add some color changing to the mix with this one, and a bit more brightness removal due to the processing.  It did a pretty decent job of removing noise without removing detail, although you can see a bit of noise still around with this version.  I also added some clarity to bring out textures that had been lost with the processing.  Still a bit of a blur but I think it is more even… maybe.

Version with Imagenomic’s Noiseware Professional:  I did process it slightly different, with more masking and a bit more clarity added.  Most of the time, Noiseware does a good job.  But sometimes, like here,  Noiseware does uneven noise reduction.  I had to do a lot of fixing and I still think it looks a bit blurry.  There is more color haloing too around some of the white paint.

My thoughts: Overall, it’s hard to see much difference in these small shots, but I do think that Topaz DeNoise actually did a better job.  I own Noiseware Professional and my one gripe has been that sometimes there is very uneven noise reduction.  Topaz didn’t seem to have that problem.  There were still some problems and I wish there was a perfect solution out there… perhaps in the future.  But for now, I think I will be looking into DeNoise!

See more of my work at www.kelleybard.com.  Noiseware Professional is found at www.imagenomic.com.  Topaz DeNoise can be found at www.topazlabs.com.

Marmot Car

Marmot Car

This car was something I saw as I drove past Red Mountain, high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  Red Mountain was a big mining area, with lots of abandoned mine shafts and buildings scattered around.  It is also quite beautiful, with bright rust and red and orange dirt on the mountain.  I had my camera and was on a long, lazy drive through Colorado, so I stopped.  I have passed this area many times before, sometimes stopping, mostly not.  Anyways, I saw that there were some miner’s homes which had been preserved off of the viewing parking lot.  When I wandered down the path, I saw this car.

It was red and blue and rusty and half hidden in the plants.  The damage was horrific and I can only begin to imagine how it all happened.  I decided that I must take a photo because a) I have wanted to take the obligatory HDR car image, and this was sort of a play on that whole idea (HDR, or High Dynamic Range imaging, looks GREAT with shiny metal, so vintage cars and such are frequently shot for this type of post-processing look), and b) the cute marmot.  marmots are like fat, lazy high-altitude woodchucks.  Really cute to see.

I processed the original 3 images in Photomatix to get the HDR .tif, then moved them to Photoshop and really spent some time fixing this photo up.  I desaturated most of the photo by a way-too-long and embarrassing to admit series of steps.  I could have just masked the whole thing (realized later).  Oh well.  I took the image into Topaz Adjust to bring out some of the small details (I think I used Spicify, which I hardly ever use).  I also used Noiseware Professional to start the damage control from the HDR processing.  I ended up going over all of the image carefully, blurring some noisy spots and desaturating missed pieces of grass, etc.  My final fun act in Photoshop was to brighten up the marmot so he was more visible in the wheelwell.  Then I finished in Lightroom, giving the shadows in the photo a warm glow and picking over the color saturation on the car.

I like how the rusty spots and the damage came out, and, of course, with HDR you can see into the car and other details that would be lost in a normal image.  Enjoy this piece of art and look for it at www.kelleybard.com and hopefully soon to be seen in Flickr and HDRspotting.com. I love suggestions too, so feel free to pass them on in the comments section here!

Colorado Trip and Mine Entrance Photo…

Mine Entrance, Sepia

I took this photo as I drove home from a long weekend away.  This mine entrance is located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, between Ouray and Silverton.  It’s an incredible road- 25 miles takes an hour to drive due to the twists and turns and views available.  It’s called the “Million Dollar Highway”, which is most probably because of the amount it cost per mile to build it long ago (or so I’ve heard), but the name has stuck due to the “million dollar” views.  Anyways, I’ve passed this shack many times… this day I turned in and wandered around.

I didn’t have the guts to walk in, there was another flattened shack near this one to remind passersby of how unstable the building is, but I love how you can actually see into the mine entrance through the doorway.  That is a gift of the HDR process, allowing the photo to better represent what the eye might have actually seen, light-wise.  I also LOVE how the wood texture came out in this image.  I could have kept the colors- a light green was gracing the trees, the building itself was a mellow golden brown, and the puddle/stream in front was bright green with slime.  But I like the sepia look, even if it is a bit trite for an “old-timey” image.

The photo, of course, is an HDR image.  I used all three of my photos for it, and then ended up mixing in parts of the lightest photo to add depth to the darkened mine itself.  After Photomatix came up with the basic HDR image, I brought it into Photoshop and spent quite a bit of time adjusting the saturation, contrast, the sharpness and noise reduction amounts (I used Noiseware Professional again for this), and Topaz Adjust to get the look right.  I did a few things new today- brought the lightest version of the image into photoshop on it’s own and used Topaz on it, then desaturated it, then used Noiseware… and THEN I mixed it with this image.  It helped, I think, to make sure all parts of the image had the same “look”.  I also was a bit more careful with this photo and searched the entire thing on high magnification, making sure there weren’t any over-sharpened spots.  I’m learning, perhaps slower than others, but I’m learning.  I will next print this out and see how it looks on paper.  The final test!

Enjoy my photo.  It is stored on my website at www.kelleybard.com, and you will also hopefully see it soon on www.HDRspotting.com, as I will be sending it their way tonight.  Currently I’ve got 2 photos in the “featured” and “popular” pages on that site.  I’m rather proud of that fact!

More Colorado pics tomorrow, I had a blast and I’m looking forward to finishing some more of these.  If you ever get to drive between Delta and Glenwood Springs in Colorado, it is a gorgeous part of the state.  Lots of farm country and lots of mountains and hills, and not much else!

Variety Day! Several shots to ponder over weekend.

I will be gone all weekend, so in honor of that, here are several finished shots that I have been saving up… Some new, some redone.  Enjoy!

Vietnam Wall Memories, Revamped

Moon Over Kaena Point

Mother Gravestone, Revamped

Sunset Durango, Vivid

2 bright, 2 desaturated, 2 new, 2 old, all HDR…  Something to ponder.  Here’s the scoop on all of these-

I’ve learned a lot since I started working with Photoshop, and “Vietnam Wall Memories, Revamped” is proof.  I liked the original so much that I totally ignored the oversharpening that I had done.  There were several visible problems that had come out of the double tone-mapping and sharpening, so I redid the photo with a more gentle approach.  You can see this photo in an early post if you want to compare.  I still like the overall look of the first photo but the noise and damage was too much!

“Moon Over Kaena Point” is a new photo from my Hawaii trip.  I don’t do a lot of portrait size images(vertical setting) but this one works with that sizing.  I love the full moon setting over the Northwestern point of Oahu- I got this pic while on an early morning photo drive and just loved the colors in the clouds.  Processed in Photomatix as an HDR, plus some Topaz Adjust in Photoshop really brought it all together.  I finished, as almost always, with Noiseware Professional.

“Mother Gravestone, Revamped” is getting TONS of views currently on HDRspotting.com, and I’m glad I redid it.  It is an image that I took in the Bayfield, CO cemetery after my very first infant photo session- from life to death.  The original had some overblown highlights that at the time I didn’t know how to fix.  I took that image and mixed it in Photoshop with the middle original picture, which calmed down some of the background.  The rest of the photo is pretty much how the original looked.  Love it!

“Sunset Durango, Vivid” came about after an exquisite sunset near my home.  I processed the HDR as a very restrained HDR in Photomatix.  I then took the .tif into Photoshop and really ramped up the colors- I’m sorry to say that the original images did not look so vivid!  After I brought the colors to the point I enjoyed it, I removed the noise with Noiseware Pro and put the image into Lightroom for some final color tweaks.  If anything, I wouldn’t mind removing some of the orange and yellows from around the mountain tops… but I couldn’t do that on a photo wide scale and that was what was available in Lightroom.  I was feeling a bit lazy, so I capitulated and decided I liked the oranges and yellows enough 🙂 LOL.

I will be back Sunday or Monday.  Enjoy these photos until then!  Come back and see my next postings- I’m going on a great drive through Colorado and will be bringing my camera, so expect some new photos when I return.

See these and many other photos of mine on www.kelleybard.com.  Most of these are in my “Places” gallery, if you are looking for specific works.