Nature's texture

Not an original title, but what else could I call it?  I caught this one while hiking in the Barton Creek Greenbelt here in Austin, one of my favorite places in town.  I used to spend countless hours out here when I was younger and am glad to be getting back there on a semi-regular basis these days.  This shot is more experimental in nature - just trying a narrow focus with some depth of field and an attempt to accentuate the texture.  It's sort of a variation of macro, I guess.  Anyways, it's fun to experiment and change things up a bit.

Old iron fence

I found this fleur-de-lis design atop an old fence post and just liked the aged and antiqued look of it.  I thought it made an interesting shot, especially with the crack in the wall running behind it.  This was a single exposure at f/6 and 0ev that I adjusted in Topaz Adjust.  Though I normally shy away from the Spicify setting in Topaz Adjust, I liked it on this object and thought it added some nice texture and also helped emphasize the antique look of the item.  I came across this at a restaurant.  After the meal, we were wandering around a bit in their rear courtyard, and I came across all sorts of interesting things to shoot, nearly all of which were old and rusted.  That kind of stuff is always fun to shoot so I went crazy with the camera there for a while - but that's nothing new!

A lesson in perspective and patience

This past weekend I attended a children's birthday party, which was held at a local horse stable.  It was great fun for the kids and I had a great time with the camera.  Though HDR is my first photographic love, I made it a point not to do any that day and instead just focus on taking single exposures and try to find interesting things.  At one point I was walking around and saw this old horseshoe hanging on the fence.  I took several shots of it from the angle from which I initially approached it.  Then, I moved on and shot some other stuff further up the path.  When I came back down this way, I decided to have a look at it from this angle.  The sun was streaming down on it in a nice way, the fence made a natural frame, and then - this old horse just walked into the picture.  I thought the horse made a nice touch.  This reminded me that it is important to look at things from different points of view, and that waiting and trying things later can pay off.

This is a single exposure taken at f/4.2 and the exposure bias was -1.  Another thing I am doing these days is trying to stay in Aperture mode for all my shots.  It forces me (in a good way) to think about my shot and my camera settings, instead of just letting the camera think for me.  In other words, it makes me a better photographer.

New Version 4 of Topaz Adjust released yesterday!

I made some minor adjustments to this shot in PSE (Curves, Contrast, Unsharp Mask), and then ran it through the new Version 4 of Topaz Adjust.  What a great product Topaz Adjust is.  If you haven't seen it or tried it yet, you can read my review of it here and get a coupon when you buy it here.  I love the product!

The new version was announced yesterday and I spent a good deal of time last night playing around with it.  It is so much fun and a wonderful tool to have in your arsenal as a photographer.


Empty and silent

I went with a couple of friends up to Jackson Hole, WY a while back during late April, which as you can tell from the picture was not springtime yet.  It was cold, snowy and awesome - very unlike April here in Central Texas.  We had no real agenda, other than to have a good time.  One day we drove around a bit outside of town, just cruising and having a look around, and came across this scene.  I really liked the big lone tree standing there, and how this fence seems to separate not much from not much.  It's a beautiful part of the country and I recommend it highly.