I like visual reminders of things I should know but frequently forget… so today’s photo is a cheerful reminder of “It’s the journey, not the destination”. I took this photo of the landscape, but it’s the sinuous road which catches my eye and makes me want to explore this glorious part of Utah again and again.
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This beautiful animal was not far from the side of the road in Zion National Park. I’m not a wildlife photographer but I have great respect for them! I just don’t have the patience 🙂
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One of the last photos taken on my recent trip through Utah, Arizona and Nevada. This was in the center of Utah. I watched this storm build for a while and stopped to take several images of it… this was when I finally started to see rain falling off to the right and I wasn’t sure how long it would be before I got hit with it, so I stopped and took several exposures for an HDR. I love how the underside of the clouds is so richly textured, and I’m a sucker for sunrays so the strong light beams are incredible to me. The dappled light on the ground was an extra gift here, as I really wanted to get some light on the ground and for the most part it was in shadow. HDR for HDR Friday… enjoy!
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Valley found as I explored SE Utah along one of the Scenic Byways. Utah is really beautiful. I can’t wait for more photo explorations there!
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Have you ever taken a landscape image you liked in theory but it just didn’t have great or interesting lighting? Here is a way I’ve found to create a better image from a good one:This was a tree I found on the way to Bryce Canyon National Park. It was in a gorgeous area of these red rock formations, and I looked up and saw this tree and fell in love. The sky was more blue, and the rock wasn’t as vivid or well lit (it was solidly overcast, so the light was nice and soft but not interesting), so I chose to process it as an HDR. I took 3 images (my normal landscape protocol so I can pick and choose HDR’s in the future) and processed them in Photomatix. The result I liked best left the tree and rock dark. So I processed it a second time with the same images, this time making the light on the rock brighter and lightening the tree area as well. I followed the process discussed below and mixed the two .tif’s to create the rock lighting that I wanted. Then I finished the photoshop creation with some cleanup touches and here you are!
1. Take 3 or more shots (for me, the Canon can take -2, 0, and +2 exposures every time I shoot an image) whenever you might possibly use a photo for an HDR.
2. Process the set of exposures in Photomatix, the Nik HDR program, or Photoshop (any HDR creation program). Process it once as your ideal sky and save it. Then undo tone mapping and re-create it with your ideal rock lighting. Save that one as well.
3. Put both images into Photoshop, layer the images (shift and drag one onto the other) and mix them however you find best!
4. Finish it with noise reduction, sharpening, saturation and hue changes… whatever you wish for your HDR image.
5. Save it as a final image and enjoy!
So, a new option to use with good photos that I want to turn into great photos. Nice to find.
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Two versions of this image for your viewing enjoyment… and it’s HDR Friday so they are, um, well… HDR’s. Taken in Zion National Park (which, by the way, I’ve wanted to go to since I moved to the 4 Corners region. So glad I went, and I need to spend much more time exploring this beautiful area). I believe this is the “Great White Throne”, but I”m not sure if I have the name right. I love how the different versions came out so vastly different. The great lighting on the mountain is more visible in the color version, but the black and white one is more intense, in my view. What do you think?
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