Tag Archives: grasses

Flatirons from Chautauqua

This was the morning before I got my wide angle… it would have been nice to have on this shoot, though! I love, love, love Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO. It’s amazing. I headed there the first morning I was in Boulder, and saw this amazing sky forming. You should have seen me booking across the field to catch a good angle! The photo is an HDR, made from 3 different exposures of the scene. I hope you enjoy it. The solitude and calm of that morning was amazing, and the otherworldly Flatiron mountains are incredible.

See this and other images at www.kelleybard.com, on at any of the links to the right (Buzztown, facebook, flickr…).

More images are going to come from this great trip, including some darling family and baby shots that I was blessed to take. Keep coming back to view them as I post my daily photos for 2011!


Towards Telluride

This was from a series of exposures I took overlooking this field… I took the photos while driving up to Telluride, CO in early fall last year. I just thought that it was a beautiful field, all golden, with the incredible mountains in the back. Too cool. I put the images through Photomatix early on, planning to create a classic HDR from them. There were some problems, though (waving grasses made some blurs and issues in the field, etc) and I just know more about Photomatix now than 6 months ago. I never completed the image then. So I decided to use a single image now and see if I could get the image I dreamed of. I still had to do quite a bit of photoshopping, but overall I’m happy with the photo. What needed to get photoshopped? Well, with a single image HDR (a pseudo-HDR, really) you get a lot more noise it seems. So I had to do the noiseware dance- you know, when you are trying to remove noise but not detail? I put the photo through Topaz DeNoise twice, each time masking back in some of the details that were smoothed over with the noiseware. The second time I removed more blur and saved more detail through the sliders, but still… there was some of that detail-less look that bugs me, so masking was needed. I also brought out the greens (it IS St. Patrick’s Day, after all) with a green filter (and you know you can put that on with different lighting!?). This was overlay, I believe, but it’s amazing all the options you have in Photoshop. I will spend the rest of my life exploring it, I’m sure!

I’m not sure if the grass is the best possible look, I do love that HDR-ishness to it but it’s a bit noisy and crazy, too.

Lastly, I’m not convinced that I shouldn’t crop off the right side and the bottom, to get the red mountains more over to the right. I would lose the best pines and the foreground grasses, though, both of which I like a lot!

Love opinions and thoughts on these questions, thoughts and meanders. Have a glorious St. Patricks Day, everyone.

See more of my work on my website, www.kelleybard.com, or flickr or facebook (great discussion going on with yesterdays image on facebook right now- about HDR and if it’s photography or not. Check my page (link to right) if you want to weigh in.

Curbex (new word?- Country Urban Exploration) ‘Enjoy The View’, Plus Photovision discussion

I came across this gloriously ratty seat when I was chasing down the bald eagle in yesterdays post. I’ve actually been to this site before, it’s an abandoned shack and field off the main road into Durango, CO, I pass it whenever I go into town. The chair is new, though, as are several piles of dumped trash in the field to the right of this image. Sigh. But back to the image… I fell in love with this chair at first sight. Not enough to sit on it and get wet, mildewy or scabies, but as a photographer who has a secret urbex fantasy (I really, really love urbex photos and wish that I was in a place where I could take more of them), this seemed like a good mix of urbex and country landscapes. Hence, curbex. Which has probably been used before, but I will swear forever now that I invented it.

I watched my first episode of Photovision 2010 last night, and for a set of DVD’s that cost me $30, it was well worth it. I think if I lived in a place where there were lots of photo workshops and such, it wouldn’t be quite as helpful. But I learned several things, including several handy Photoshop tips that I am super glad of using. One I used in last nights image- making a layer, turning it black and white with gradient map (photoshop menu Images–> Adjustments –> Gradient Map) and then I lowered the opacity to around 50%. It gave a darkened, moody, desaturated feeling to the image. Another handy photoshop tip was to create a layer and change it from normal to hard light- it gave an amazing strong look to the photo (also lowered in opacity, it would have been too intense). I use the lighting in layers a lot with textures, but hadn’t even thought to use it in an image! It made the photo (an HDR from 3 exposures) look a bit more edgy. Hopefully not too edgy, but it needed that look. Once I see the whole set, I’ll make more of a comment. But, halfway through the first DVD, it’s already worth it to me.

Lots of little details worked on here, but I’m glad that I did them. I really liked this image, as soon as I saw it in real life and could imagine what the final photo could look like… yay!

For more urbex, I’ll gush in the near future about Scott Frederick Photography, but you can check out his blog here right now! He is a steady contributor to HDRspotting.com, as am I, and I really respect his work.

See my work at www.kelleybard.com, flickr, or “like” it at facebook or buzztown (see links on right). Lots of stuff coming up soon, including some exciting opportunities to get cheap photo shoots in my new home studio!


Sound, Grass and Dock

I really like texturing images, but tend to keep them really light, almost undistinguishable (is that really a word? Really?) from the original image except for a tinge of texture, detail or color. I guess in most photography that is my aim, to make small changes that add up to much better images in the long run.

This image certainly doesn’t have the amt of texture that I’ve seen on some, but it’s heavier than most of my images. I keep the texture away from the grasses- and didn’t the HDR make that grass come out AMAZING??- and concentrated on the sky and water. I also used a texture I don’t usually use, one of the Stuck In Customs 25 texture pack… this one created the “scratchy” look on this print. Let me clarify, though… when I use textures, I almost always use some of the Stuck In Customs textures. They are great. But I often use the more mellow ones, the wall texture types. Not ones that are radically detailed and different… but it worked here, so I’m not complaining!

This was a shot that I took and wanted to finish months ago. I am glad that I finally got an HDR version that I liked (redid it several times with different settings) and textures and a look that I love.

Enjoy this and all my work at http://www.kelleybard.com, or on my flickr or facebook pages.


Road Less Travelled, Red Tent Opening News

This photo was a long time coming… and I’m still not 100% sure that I’m done messing with it! I came across this field on a sunset drive through the country near my house. I loved, loved the tracks through the field, and wanted to document them. I took many photos, trying different looks. Finally I settled on this single image, after trying HDR’s, textures, etc… the original was very warm, sunsety light and I wanted to keep it but it just didn’t show the tracks well enough, so I went to black and white and made it very contrasty. Love to hear comments from others, I’m still not feeling the total love from this one. But it may grow on me…

Like my work? My website has been busy lately, at http://www.kelleybard.com. Here you get a photo a day plus a bit of a story about the image and/or news of upcoming events; on flickr you can see all my recent stuff, in order (and comments from others, which is nice); and on facebook you can choose to peruse news OR photos of mine! Links are to the right, on this page. Plus if you “fan” me on facebook (hell, even on twitter as “kelleybard”) you get deals as well as news- and I don’t spam (unless you consider a photo a day spamming).

HEY! For those unable to attend the opening of The Red Tent Healing Women’s Center in Durango, CO last night, you missed my art… but it will be up for the next 2 MONTHS so feel free to come check it out! I have 3 large prints and a canvas wrap up, and there is talk of a possible gallery style opening in March… stay tuned for news on that! Check www.redtentwellness.com for info!

2nd of 2 Versions of Image… Uprooted, 2 Toned

So, this is yesterdays image, but double tone mapped in Photomatix Pro 4 and without the warming filter applied to yesterdays shot. I just thought it would be nice to compare what double toning does… although it’s a bit different applied here rather than to a landscape or city shot, I think. Double toning seems to add more contrast, and to get a bit more of the other-worldly look to my images. I rarely do it, usually because it adds a ton more noise to deal with later. It adds nice texture to woods, and such, which is why I wanted to try it here. I can’t really explain my settings in tone mapping, because I change them with every image, but usually I have luminance up, micro contrast all the way up, I change around the smoothing but I often try to have micro smoothing as low as the image will take, and I play with all the other settings wildly. I always have the strength at 100, though. In double toning, I will bring the color saturation down a bit and usually go for more “normal” looking smoothing and micro smoothing (more to the right for both)- especially if I have already had it set low for the first time through Photomatix.

Here’s yesterdays shot:

Love to hear comments on these, and what you like/don’t like about either. I can’t decide which I like better, myself. See more of my work at http://www.kelleybard.com, or on flickr or facebook.


So exciting, this weekend has been the annual Snowdown celebration in my town and I’ve been out with my camera the past few days. In the next few days, I’ll show some fun shots from the light parade last night, and some images from the hot air balloon event today. I froze my butt off for those, so they better be good! I’ll also be posting my February deal on flickr, facebook and buzztown soon, so “like” Kelley Bard Photography there if you haven’t already to hear about it!

Enjoy a great weekend!

2 Versions of 1 HDR… First- Uprooted, 1 Toned

I saw this tree a week or so ago on the side of the road and swore that I would be back at some sunset to take photos of it. My original idea for the shot was to get very close to the roots and get them in focus with everything else out of focus. I need a wider lenses to make that shot happen, though- even at 24 mm I couldn’t make the image I liked. So I stepped back a bit and got this shot… which I really like as well.

HDR is High Dynamic Range imaging, a process where you take several images of the same scene at different exposures and combine them in a computer program. I use Photomatix Pro 4, but others are getting decent/good results out of Nik HDR Efex Pro and Photoshop CS5. I used it for this and for tomorrow’s image, to get depth and texture in the shadows, highlights, tree limbs, etc. I developed each image similarily, with only a few changes. This one was single toned, which means it was put through tone mapping one time (resulting in more natural look and less noise to clean up later). I also wanted to bring up the warmth of the day I shot this… late afternoon as the sun was setting, and I wanted that warm color here, too, so I added a warming photo filter. The image tomorrow is decidedly cooler, and a bit more otherworldly and dark as a result of the double toning. When it comes up, I would love to hear some comments on what you like/don’t like about each image!

Posted to my website (www.kelleybard.com) as well as flickr and facebook. Enjoy all my images and have a great weekend!

*Next week, I’ll be posting some images from my recent testing of OnOne Softwares PhotoTools 2.6… keep coming back to view them and judge for yourself whether it’s worth the use!*