Tag Archives: “photo editing”

Lower Yosemite Falls and Nik Class Review

Here is a photograph (well, a series of them, since this is an HDR image) that I took in the early morning at the base of Yosemite Falls, in Yosemite National Park. I absolutely love how the water is falling in these undulating ribbons, and how it contrasts with the textures and solidity of the rocks. The HDR process helped to bring out some of those textures, as well as my use of Topaz Adjust (I think I chose the “clarity” setting and only altered it slightly to get this look).

The original images were a bit more misty and soft, but photoshop and unsharp mask (plus the already discussed software) helped bring out the rock details again. I also desaturated the image a bit, as the browning rocks were distracting.

Love to hear your thoughts on this one! I personally really like it.

Posted to my website, www.kelleybard.com, as well as flickr and facebook. It will be interesting to see if the feedback I get on this corresponds to my feelings about the image… lately I’ve been following what you guys say a lot more, and I think my website is getting more quality images placed there as a result.  Let me know, if you take a moment to check out my redesigned site: what do you think of it?

Nik Software Class Review:

“Enhancing Scenic and Landscape Images” was a really good class. If you look back over this blog, you will notice that I have favorably reviewed many Nik products. I currently don’t own any, and I cover why that is in my previous discussions (basically, they all work well and have some neat ideas… but they are also some of the more expensive photo software that I’ve found out there.  So money has kept me from purchasing the products).  I have always felt, though, that I would purchase something like “Color Efex Pro” when I had the money and the time to learn it well.

I sometimes get emails from Nik Software, not tons spamming me unmercifully, but every once in a while, to let me know of goings on in their company and with their products.  I have heard good things about HDR Efex Pro as well, and was eager to see it in action.  This class seemed to be a good chance to learn their software and maybe a few tricks that would help, even without Nik Software currently on my computer.  It was my first class of this type, and was free to sign up for, so I took the chance.  (I did find out, though, that there is a limit on how many people can attend the online classes, and it sounded like they frequently have to “close the doors” with people still trying to log on.  So if you take one of their classes, it might save you aggravation to show up a few minutes early).

The class used Nik Software on 6 or 7 different images, showing various photographers work from start to finish.  It was taught by Laurie Shupp, who is a fantastic photographer in her own right (I was pointed to her website www.imagesbylaurie.com a while ago, and it’s one that I check out fairly often). Even with only using Nik Software, the class gave many tips that were useful for Photoshop, so it wasn’t a waste at all.  Laurie also gave some composition tips, and other ideas came up which made me glad to attend.  I also feel that I’ll be more comfortable with Nik Software next time I get a go at it, which will be very helpful.  I was really glad to get to see HDR Efex Pro put into use on one of the images, and it seems to work as well as Photomatix Pro 4, which is what I currently use for HDR images.

My only complaint was that the questions didn’t get addressed until the end of the class.  I know I had one photo-specific question that didn’t get answered at all, and I’m sure that was because once the teacher got to it, it made little sense without the photo as context.  It sounded like she was a bit rushed, trying to get through questions at the end, as well.  It was probably due to the set up of the class, or perhaps she isn’t the normal teacher for these classes, but otherwise it was exemplary.  I felt like I learned some tools and I got to spend an hour looking at glorious photographs… how could that be bad?

See www.Niksoftware.com for more info about their free classes!  Oh, and the nice part is after the class, or even if you don’t end up attending, I got a discount for my troubles.  So I learned stuff AND can get their software for cheaper!  How’s that for win-win?


Lighting Tests- Orange Still Lifes. Life’s? Lives?

Ok, and now onto what may be my least exciting post ever (and no, I don’t need people to fight me on that one and point out more boring posts, thanks).  Actually, this was a necessary photo test series for me to do, I’m working through some strobist.com ideas and also some lighting thoughts that I picked up from diyphotography.com… both great sites for photographers who want to get a workable solution for lighting and such without breaking the bank.

Obviously, I was testing different lighting setups here.  The soft light up top was created by a farther away light, the hard light below was the same light but much closer relative to the orange.  The oranges?  An easy and quick thing to photograph.

The lighting was CFL’s but in the soft white light form… I recently picked up a 100w CFL in ‘daylight’ and it seems like a well white-balanced light, and bright enough for portraiture.

For tomorrow: Another “regular” picture of mine, plus my thoughts/review of the Nik software class I attended online Tues morning!

Thanks for stopping in.  Www.kelleybard.com is where you can find my artwork.

Sunset in the Sound

Wow!  Well, welcome to the new year!  I’m back after a bit of a hiatus and I will be trying my damnedest to post a daily photo to this blog.  I have had a lot of fun taking images lately, but been too busy to finish them and post them.  So now I’m (hopefully) turning a new leaf.  I hope to get more followers for my blog, my facebook page for Kelley Bard Photography, and my twitter page (Kelleybard).  So enjoy this first photo of the new year….

Taken looking west over the sound from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I was there in November, which is a great time to visit if you want quiet.  Even with a major marathon going on, when we moved away from the city centers it was great and empty.  I happened across this pier while driving north one afternoon, exploring.  I was hoping for an HDR image from this, but the sun was so bright that the tone mapping just didn’t do it justice.  I settled for a final image emphasizing the silhouetted features and the great look to the water.  Some Photoshop and Topaz Adjust were needed to bring this to fruition, as well as a final photo filter added to keep the photo as warm as possible.

It seems warm, although it was pretty chilly!

I will be posting this to my website, http://www.kelleybard.com if you choose to see more of my work.

Happy New Year!

Fairy and Sky and Halloween Plans

Fairy and Sky

I don’t often post photos of my kids here.  And I’ve never taken a “people HDR” before.  But this one just seemed so necessary and so perfect, I had to take the shot.  Since I processed it tonight, I feel like I have to share it!  I’m loving it (and so are people on flickr, where this pic immediately racked up a bunch of award postings!).  A good sign of things to come.

Anyways, I took my pre-schooler to her school halloween party today.  On the way there, I was admiring the sky.  Slobbering over it, actually.  Lately I’ve been fully obsessed with skies.  The clouds in SW Colorado in fall are the best all year, I’ve decided.  High, cottony, perfect for the HDR look I love… beautiful.  So when we arrived at the party, I made her pose for me for a quick set of images to turn into an HDR later.  It was handheld, messy, and it’s impossible to get a pre-schooler to stand still for even a second.  But somehow it all worked out in the processing.  I did do a lot of photoshop tweaks after the original HDR processing in photomatix pro 4.  I think the most intense change was replacing the tree limbs with some from one of the original photos, to reduce the HDR look to them.  I also desaturated the sky a lot and put a black and white look with a red filter on it over the sky part of the photo, trying to really darken the blue part of the sky.  I think it worked.  I see a bit of a halo around the wing, and some noise around her hair… I may have to go back and fix those so they don’t bug me any more.  But overall I’m really happy with this.

Posted on www.kelleybard.com/hdr, my HDR portfolio on my website.  Look around my site if you wish!

Enjoy my work and my blog.

**On Halloween, I’ll be wandering around with my camera.  Taking pics of unique costumes and working on my candid people shots.  Maybe I’ll see you?

Into The Sky

Into The Sky

I got lucky with this photo.  I was driving south from Colorado Springs on I-25 last week, and saw the sky forming these amazing clouds with great sun rays coming through them.  I was near some farm roads so I took an offramp and started exploring, looking for a good shot.  I liked how this hill ended with the cloud view above it, so I grabbed my camera and did a few handheld shots of it.  As I was playing with different views, these two girls rode by, riding slowly, with 2 dogs.  They headed up the hill and I braced myself for a chance to get a few quick shots.  As they reached the top, I fired off the 3 exposures needed for HDR (High Dynamic Range Imaging).  I knew, with the sun in the position it was, that the foreground would be too dark without an HDR image.  With the HDR image, I could pick and choose how I wanted the foliage and road and girls to look.  I did replace the girls with their images in the darker version of the photo, though… I liked the silhouette look so much!  I also added some warming tones with a filter in Photoshop, picking up the autumn colors and warming the desaturated sky.  Other than those things, I did more cloning and removing of items in this photo that usual- I took one of the dogs out, and all of the road trash that was on the side of the road (this was the road to the local landfill, so there was a lot of trash blown around!).

This photo has been sitting all day on the featured page of HDRspotting.com, which is exciting.  I’m looking forward to seeing how many visits it got once I see the stats for today!  I’ve had a few photos featured there, and it’s always an honor… HDRspotting.com is truly the best place I’ve found for viewing quality HDR images from around the world.  If you get a chance, check it out.  You can see some beautiful HDR there, and often in better quality than on flickr.

Speaking of flickr, I’ve also been getting lots of hits and awards with this photo there, too!  I’ve been a slight bit obsessed with flickr lately, and I’ve been adding this photo to a lot of flickr groups to see others reactions.  (That’s how you get hits, too, I’ve decided.  Adding to lots and lots of groups.  Which allows me to see some other amazing artwork, so it’s isn’t too bad).  So far, almost uniformly positive.  Which is awfully nice.  I love the constructive criticism too, though, so bring it on if you got it!

I’m also listing this on my website, Kelleybard.com.  If you go there, you can enjoy all of my quality artwork- I make sure to post images that get attention here, or in other spots on the web.  I love comments there as well (hint, hint!).

Thanks for viewing this, and enjoy!

Autumn is here- and Winter fast approaching…

Burnished Pumpkins

Here is a photo I took at our local pumpkin patch.  I wanted to have a snazzy HDR image to liven up the classic pumpkin photo… so this was my response.  I was pleasantly surprised when the HDR process brought out the metallic look in the pumpkins, though!  Beautiful.  I didn’t try to change any of the imperfections on the pumpkins, the most that I did was mix in two of the original images so that I could get darker shadows or clean up noise.  I also removed some of the red color in the image, as the shadows were a bit TOO red.  I am pretty sure that I ran this through Topaz DeNoise as well, as I seem to be using that program a lot lately.

This photo was taken for the 10/10/10 photo expositions on flickr… it was great fun to play around my local pumpkin patch.  Of course, you can also see this on my website- www.kelleybard.com.

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.