This is another one from beautiful Yosemite in California. I took this on the way up to a scenic overlook. Originally I had meant to just pass through Yosemite, but with all the perfect landscapes laid out before me, I couldn’t help but stop at several locations like this one.

I parked the car and got out my tripod and Nikon D700. I also use an external shutter release that I use to help eliminate any camera shake. I squished through the tundra and got right next to this fallen tree. I kept the tripod nice and low and arranged the composition. I then fired off 5 bracketed shots at 1 Exposure Value increments, so I wound up with the base shot, 2 shots over exposed and 2 shots under exposed at different levels. This way I’m guaranteed to capture the full range of light that was there on the scene.

When I got home and ready to process this one. I opened up Bridge and dragged them straight onto the Photomatix icon in my toolbar. I played with the sliders in Photomatix until I achieved the desired result and hit process. Then the image opens up in Photoshop. I adjusted the contrast and colors a little, then decided on a square crop since the left side was kind of boring. After a little dodging and burning, I thought the image could use a some texture since it was still lacking in interest in my opinion. I pulled up a texture from the ones I’ve been collecting and set it to “overlay” with some transparency.

Here’s the texture if you want to try it on your photos!

The Mission

This is the mission at San Luis Obispo. It was founded in 1772. It’s been through earthquakes and wars, but this beautiful building still stands. Not that many people were around on this day, so bringing in my tripod was no problem.

There were so many details to this place. I walked around it a few times while the others were painting in the courtyard. While I was in this room, a one hippie guy came in and played a strange but beautiful song on his handmade flute thingy. It kinda reminded me of the Little Drummer Boy.

On another note, I took a WordPress class recently to get a better feel for it before I’ve been having some weird dreams about it lately. Hmmm.

Cast Away

I was hoping for sunny beach mornings when I was staying in California. My friend and artist, Jason said that most every morning, because of the fog, we’re "Socked In." It’s like being inside a big grey sock. He told me to come back in the winter when the fog isn’t so heavy. Anyway, I was taught that "you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit." So in other words, make the best of what you have available.

This location is in Morro bay in California. You can see the 3 smoke stacks from the power plant in the background. Morro Rock is just out of the frame to the left. Look for it in an upcoming post…like tomorrow.

This abandoned boat was there on the shore just begging to be photographed. I attached the 50mm f1.4 to my Nikon D700, set up the tripod just so, composed the shot, then fired off 7 bracketed exposures from +3 to -3.

In the post processing, I ran 5 of the shots through Photomatix. I didn’t need the darkest or lightest exposures since the middle 5 covered the gamut for this scene.