Sunset in the Badlands of South Dakota - another state visited!Read More
This is actually an old image that I posted a long time ago. No, I am not out of new photos to share - in fact I still have thousands to go, and some upcoming travel that will yield me even more. In this case, I came across this photo and wanted to approach it a little differently than I did the first time - using Nik Silver Efex Pro - which is fairly new to me but which I have quickly decided is awesome!
I caught this image outside of Jackson Hole, WY several years back while on a guys’ trip up there to see Yellowstone - which was amazing. It was a fabulous trip and despite having very limited photography knowledge at the time, I came back with some keepers. This is one of them.
Here is the originally posted version, which was in color:
I nearly stepped on this little guy. I was hiking around in the Bull Creek Greenbelt, which is near where I live in Austin, and found a little creek running by with all these colorful leaves on the ground. I was setting up for another shot, and happened to look down and see this one red leaf all by his lonesome. So, of course, I took the picture....what else would I do? I used HDR Efex Pro on this single exposure to grunge it up a little, cause I like that sort of thing!
Mountain biking is fun, and it is something I used to do a lot here in the old days, though Austin isn't really known for its mountains. I remember wanting to be somewhere mountainous so I could do some "real" mountain biking. So when I was in Denver recently and was presented with the opportunity, I jumped at it. We were all in Denver for work purposes and got a free morning for this little adventure. I brought the camera, of course, but there was no place for a tripod, which was fine. It was about 6 miles round trip, which feels longer when you are going uphill but the return trip down was all coasting! The turn around point was at this dam, the name of which escapes me, but everyone stopped for water and Power Bars, while I snuck off to explore the sights with my camera. I was interested in this dam, but as you can see on the left side there was a stinkin' fence keeping me from getting too close for my own good, so I had to settle for this shot from a distance. You could hear the roar of the water gushing out of the dam, and you can sort of see it there too. My favorite part is the spray of water hitting the rocks in the distance, and that lone tree leaning in for a closer look...
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.
I do love shooting macros and continue to experiment with this photographic style. I have found that I can get pseudo-macro results with my 18-200 lens by putting it in manual focus, instead of auto-focus. For some reason I can get closer to the subject in manual, within 12 inches or less. On auto-focus I can only get within 18 inches or so, which just doesn't cut it for a macro. I am sure there is some technical explanation for that but I don't know it! In this case though I used my Hoya Macro Filters, which I enjoy quite a bit and you can read my review of them here: http://www.nomadicpursuits.com/hoya-macro-filter-review/
Westcave Preserve is an Austin city park that lies south and west of the city. It is a beautiful place. I had the good fortune to get invited by my buddy Pete Talke of Places2Explore to go on a photo tour there. It was a nice morning and we met there early to get a good start on some HDR photo work. We hiked down sort of into a canyon and then you come across the grotto. There is a ~40 foot tall waterfall that cascades over the cliff and into a beautiful pool of water. It is gorgeous and made more beautiful by the fact that you only drove a little while to get there. It reminds me of Oregon or Washington, sort of like a rainforest feel to it. There are ferns growing everywhere and it is so green. I had to take down the green color in the photo because it was overwhelming. It's really that green there! If you are ever in Austin, I recommend a visit!
This is a 5 exposure HDR taken at f/11 with exposures from 0 to -4. I merged them into an HDR in Photomatix and made some adjustments in PSE and Aperture. Enjoy!
The red-tailed hawk is a beautiful creature, and my favorite bird. I have seen them a couple of times in the wild, but never had my camera handy. In this case, we were at a NatureFest of some sort in a small town outside of Austin, and there was a gentleman there who rescued injured birds of prey. He had an eagle, several hawks and some owls too. He had actually trained some of the birds and did demonstrations, showing their skills in catching moving objects and things like that. It was pretty interesting and I was glad to have my camera on me that day.