Tag Archives: spooky

Finally, a Colorado Pic! Coke Ovens of the Shire

I’ve been feeling a bit wrong about not posting any Colorado pics yet this year… I mean, it is my state, and a beautiful one too… so here is my first.  Found in my archives, from a drive I took last year through Colorado’s wilder areas.  I wish I remembered the town this was outside of, but it was on the road between Delta and Glenwood Springs, if that helps.  These appeared on the side of the road, apparently a large area designated for cooking coal, or coke, in ovens from nearby coal mines.  This photo doesn’t show half of the broken ovens… there were quite a lot.  I played with the processing a bit (hence the dark sky, which I like) and used HDR (I almost always take 3 photos at a time with different exposures, just so I can do an HDR image if it seems like the best presentation).  The HDR is the only reason you can see into the ovens, as they were black in the sun!

Posted at http://www.kelleybard.com/places.


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.

Haviland Lake Reflections After the Storm and more on the Drawing for a Free Print

Haviland Lake Reflections After the Storm

I took this photo this week… drove up into the mountains to see what sort of fall foliage was happening.  Apparently not much yet (lol)… but I’ve *heard* that you can find beautiful aspens at higher elevations.  This is about 8000 feet so you are talking REALLY high altitude for the good fall colors.  In a week or so, I’ll go again and see a totally different photo.

Anyways, I’ve never explored this lake before.  Heard about it but not taken the time to drive to it.  All 5 minutes off the main road.  And it was beautiful!  I was pretty much alone there, and I got to enjoy the beauty.  About 30 minutes after I arrived, a short storm blew through.  Some rain fell and then it cleared up again.  This was taken as soon as the rain ended (in fact, the white part of the lake near the far shore might still be rain falling).  I took my usual 3 exposures and got lucky with a beautiful HDR image.  The sky and the bottom reeds and cloud reflections were superimposed on the HDR by using one of the original shots, though.  I then cleaned up the entire image with Topaz DeNoise (heavy masking on that as well, as parts needed more smoothing than others).  I played with the hues and saturation until the entire photo felt right.  One thing I really like is how the shape of the reeds is similar to the shape of the mountain top… that struck me as soon as I took the images.  I had to keep the reeds in the photo after that!

This photo is located on my website at www.kelleybard.com/places.  I’ll be sending it to HDRspotting.com as well, and various other places on the web.  Enjoy it!

**Update on the drawing for a free print** I’ll be taking interested persons info for the drawing for the free 11×14 print until the end of September.  Let me know if you are interested, it’s minimal work on your part and you may very well end up with a photo of mine!  Everyone who enters will get a discount to use on further images of mine, as well, so you can’t lose!  After the drawing is over, I’m going to start selling limited edition giclée prints of my work, and I have a few other holiday themed gifts and offers for everyone, so please keep up with me or check the home page of my site at www.kelleybard.com for new info!

Silverton Mine Building (Another Silver Efex Pro Test) & Upcoming Events

Silverton Mine Building

This is right off the road, Hwy 550 between Silverton, CO and Ouray, CO.  It’s an amazing stretch of road for beautiful sights and amazing views.  I’ve always seen this, stopped a few times, but never taken the tripod out and tried to do a serious photo.  This time, I did.  This is an HDR (High Dynamic Range image) which came from combining 3 different exposures of the same scene to get light into the shadows and keep the highlights from taking over the photo.  I also did quite a bit of creative processing with this, starting with the HDR processing itself (double tone processed for some otherworldly oversmoothing of the trash and to get full detail in the wood and trees), then put into Photoshop and played with in Topaz Adjust, Noiseware Professional and finally in Nik Silver Efex Pro.  I really like the final image, although it had a large amount of digital noise that wasn’t removed with Noiseware and so I had to go through manually and blur out the offending pixels.  If anyone has a better way to deal with digital noise, I’m all ears!  I’m in the process of testing Topaz DeNoise and so far I like it a lot.  But back to this processing and this test….

Nik Silver Efex Pro does a great job of turning the photo into a black and white image.  I especially love how the trees came out, and the building itself.  What Nik software does is make the photo beautiful, almost effortlessly.  I think I could play around with it, adjusting contrast, saturation, etc, and get pretty close to this final image, but it’s a lot easier if Nik does it.  And so far every image has come out well.  A few of the settings seem very well tuned for HDR images, too, perhaps because Nik is coming out with or just came out with their own HDR software?  Whatever the reason, I like the result.

This is located at www.kelleybard.com/places.  Enjoy all of my work, the best of it is shown on my website.  If you enjoy HDR images or want to explore them more, www.kelleybard.com/HDR has a good mix of my work in that style.  www.stuckincustoms.com is also a great spot to view, Trey Ratcliff is a pioneer in that style of photos.

I post a photo a day here, and mix them up dramatically.  Come back again and see what else I’m working on!


I’m trying to get a Durango Shooters Photo Walk together, probably Sept 25 or 26th to view the fabulous fall foliage.  More on that later.

Currently I’m planning on dragging the camera to 2 events this weekend-

The Durango Fall Art Walk on Main Ave. Friday night and the “Dancing in the Light: The Inner Photographic Journey” workshop held over the weekend at the Rocky Mountain Retreat Center.  Contact rbridgesimages@gmail.com if you are interested in that.  I’m not 100% certain that I will be able to go, but it sounds wonderful!

Mining Cabin Red Mountain

Mining Cabin Red Mountain

I came across this spot while driving through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, between Silverton and Ouray.  This mine is near Red Mountain (hence the name) and surrounded by beautiful, high altitude vistas.  I bet that in all the times I have passed this, I’ve barely given it a glance.  But this time, for some reason, it caught my eye and I stopped.  Next time, I should go through the door of the mine and explore a bit more.  But for this shoot, I had plenty to explore outside.  I love this crushed cabin, the texture of the wood on the mine entrance, the cutely carved aspens surrounded by the decay and devastation of time and weather.  The acid green muck stream in front of the cabin.  There are many things to enjoy in this image, I hope that you take your time to check it out!

Processing this was a bit painstaking, but hopefully worth my while.  I enjoyed it overall.  I put the 3 original images through Photomatix to start.  Once I had the HDR I moved it to Photoshop for tweaking and playing.  I put the photo through Topaz Adjust, which gave me some sharpness and some nice contrast and color.  I then put the image through Noiseware Professional which allowed me to clean up the digital noise left over from the HDR process.  I also had to go over the image piece by piece to clean up any additional noise.  I chose to let several areas appear slightly noisy, to keep their sharpness.  So I did a lot of masking to remove Noiseware Pro’s effects from sections.  I finished with some cleanup cloning, blurring, and a slight desaturation, courtesy of Photoshop.  A final trip through Lightroom and it was ready to go!

This photo is available at larger size and higher res on my website, www.kelleybard.com, in the “Places” gallery.  It’s also on flickr and was submitted to HDRspotting.com.  Check these sites out if you like this type of photography!

Enjoy my work and come back for more, I show a photo a day and like to find variety in my images and how they are processed- which means you will see lots of different, beautiful images here.  So return soon.

Lightning Gone Amok

I took this photo tonight.  Actually, I could honestly say I never took “this” photo.  Ever.  It is, instead, a compilation of 3 photos of lightning from this amazing storm we had today.  It hit just at dusk, and I scurried around with my camera on bulb, trying to get long exposures.  I got lucky several times with great shots, but nothing that was so incredible that I could say “That is beautiful and amazing!”.  Instead, I had several shots of single, maybe double lightning strikes.  It was only when I compiled them into one that the photo became what it is.

This is my first attempt at mixing multiple images in this way.  You can probably see that.  But I was happy with how it came out.  The lightning, especially, worked out well.  Because that is the main focus of the image, I’m happy with it as is.  But if and when I redo this, with more experience, I will happily work harder on the base of the photo, the land, which suffered a bit from the multiple layers.  It looks a bit fuzzy.  I do like the setting that I used in Topaz Adjust, which brought out a lot of the detail in the land- before it was mostly black without detail in the shadows.

Photoshop is where I combined the different images as layers.  I also used Topaz, as stated above, and I also used Noiseware Professional to smooth it out a bit. Some blur on the annoying parts of the land below and I was good to go.  Oh, and I completely desaturated the image and increased the contrast in Photoshop before Topaz… Topaz actually toned the contrast back a bit but the b&w image helped to mix the different layers much better.  In Lightroom, my final stop of the night, I took the highlights and tinted them purple, as I think all good lightning storms should look.  Actually, 2 of the 3 images were purplish but one was much more blue to start with.

I have loaded this image onto www.kelleybard.com, where you can see many, many of my different artworks.  This particular image is in my places and landscapes gallery.  I also show my work on flickr.  I like trying different types of photography.  Check it and see!  Or just look at my posts here, or keep coming back for more- I try my hardest to mix up my work to keep it interesting.