Flowing

This is from Pedernales Falls State Park, which is about 30 minutes west of Austin.  It's a great place to hike and take pictures, and generally just enjoy being outdoors.  When I went there was a lot of water, as you can see, and it made for some fun picture-taking.  It has been about a year already - boy does time fly!  Anyways, hope your week is off to a good start!

Swift currents

Pedernales Falls State Park - outside of Austin, TX

This is a beautiful place to visit, with lots of cool water shots you can get, interesting rock formations to photograph and climb over, and of course just enjoying being out in nature.

The basement of time

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.  I am haunted by waters." - Norman Maclean

Shot at Pedernales Falls State Park, outside of Austin, TX.  7 exposure HDR at f/22, merged in Photomatix and adjusted in PSE and Aperture.

Looking downstream

I really enjoy shooting landscapes, and doubly so in HDR.  There is something that is thrilling about it to me.  It is some of the thrill of the hunt, since you never know what you are going to get, but also I just love the beauty of nature and enjoy capturing it and sharing it.  This was taken at Pedernales Falls State Park, which isn't far outside of Austin and offers some dramatic scenery and really beautiful waterfalls too.  We spent a couple of hours there, hiking and taking pictures, and generally just enjoying the heck out of it!

This is a 7 exposure HDR taken at f/22, with the exposures ranging from +2 to -4.  It was mid-late morning, if I recall correctly, and there was obviously a lot of light.  I merged these into an HDR in Photomatix and then made some adjustments in PSE around Curves and Contrast, as usual.

I recommend a visit to the area if you are in or around the Austin area.  It is about 30 minutes west of Austin and offers some great photographic opportunities.

Sunken rock at Pedernales Falls

Pedernales Falls State Park lies about 30 minutes west of Austin, and I was happy to spend a while there recently with a good friend, hiking and taking pictures.  The water around here has been flowing nicely in all the rivers and streams, since we have had some rain and a little snow to boot.  I liked the look of that large boulder that was sunk in the lagoon, and used it as a foreground element.  I am working hard on my landscapes, trying to take my time and think about my composition, framing, and foreground elements, etc.  It is fun to practice at this stuff!

This is a 7 exposure HDR taken at f/22, with exposures ranging from +2 to -4.  It was mid-day, which frequently isn't ideal shooting conditions due to the harsh sunlight (especially here in Texas!), but nonetheless you shoot when you can shoot.  You can't get a sunset in every shot, though it would be nice!  I merged the files into an HDR in Photomatix, then made some adjustments in PSE around Contrast and Hue/Saturation, and finally Unsharp Mask.  Then I added a finishing touch in Topaz Adjust.  If you are near Austin, I definitely recommend a visit to Pedernales Falls State Park - a great place for a picnic!  Oh - and don't forget the camera!

Quiet lagoon

This peaceful spot of water is located at Pedernales Falls State Park, just west of Austin.  We were hiking all around the park, generally just enjoying the natural beauty and the sounds of the multiple waterfalls.  It's a great spot, and the day we were there the weather was clear and beautiful too.  It looks like a wonderful place to take a dip, though if I recall correctly you are not allowed to swim here due to fast-moving currents.  The other thing is that this water is really deep!  Even with HDR, the photo doesn't entirely do it justice.  If I had to guess, I would say it was 10+ feet deep here, and there were other pools we walked around that I bet went as deep as 20 feet.  The clarity of the water is excellent, as you can plainly see, so that makes it harder to judge but pretty to look at!

This is a 7 exposure HDR taken at f/22, with exposures ranging from -4 to +2.  They were merged in Photomatix to create the HDR image, then adjustments and some minor corrections were made in PSE and Aperture, such as adjusting contrast.  I then added a light touch in Topaz Adjust.

Pedernales Falls

This was taken at Pedernales Falls State Park, which is about 30 minutes west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country.  Here in TX we pronounce it "purd-nal-us" though that doesn't follow the spelling too closely.  I have seen the signs to this place for years, and heard about it, and have seen pictures - but I never made it until this past weekend.  It is marvelous.  It's a real gem and so close to Austin.  I can't believe I waited all this time to get here!  Well, the good news about me waiting is at least now I shot it in HDR which really helps bring the natural beauty of this place to the photo.  

There are a number of waterfalls in the park, and places where the water runs over long open flat spaces of limestone rock and an awesome series of cascades and pools.  There is plenty of opportunity for photography, not to mention some good exercise as you hike around and over rocks to get into new vantage points (which I did a lot of!).  I am being efficient by combining photography with my workouts!  We spent a couple of hours here hiking, shooting photos and generally just enjoying the beauty of this fantastic place.

This shot is a 7 exposure HDR shot at f/22 (like most of my landscapes, especially ones shot during the daytime since I have plenty of light to work with).  I merged them in Photomatix to create a single JPG, then took that into PSE (Curves, Contrast, Unsharp Mask) and finally a light touch in Topaz Adjust to give it a little more pop.  I really like how this photo came out.  My primary focus was the group of waterfalls there in the middle, but also tried to include as much of the foreground water as I could manage without throwing off the composition.  The large rock in the center was a nice element and the colors of both the water and the rocks in it I think add to the overall feel of the picture.  Hope you like it!