Early Fall Walk

Since I work in computers, the sedentary pace is a bit unsettling so I try to move more when I can. I’ve finally started subscribing to the regular path “photo walk,” a way to move around a bit more and carry the camera for more spice. On my latest walk, I decided to do a thing I’ve always thought about: one camera, one lens, and let the photos fall. On this trip, I simply brought my 85mm, and set it to f1.4 on aperture priority. Fall is just starting to really set in, so below are my snaps from with the above limitations on this little 5 mile wood walk.


Just some dead leaves here.

photo_walk-3Some wonderful seedpods dangling from a tree I can’t identify.

photo_walk-5 A change of light, and something that seems seasonal.


I love fall foliage, but agree it may be a bit overshot. But how can you blame anyone? So much serenity in the foliage this time of year. photo_walk-1

While I had my restriction to an 85mm, and one camera. I did bring a macro extension in the pocket. Used it here on these enormous ants.

Zombie Up


Happy World Zombie Day. My posting has been scant at best, but boy do I love this time of year. My 7yo daughter was ready to get zombied-up again this year. I’ve been doing it with her since she was 3, and every year we’ve managed to push it a bit further. This year she won Best Zombie Kid at the zombie gathering downtown, and she never thought she was cooler. My other two daughters–well–it’s more likely they will be the zombie hunter type as they are not impressed with any of the ghoulish season greetings.

Squares II









Thanks to those giving feedback on this series. After considering commentary mixed with my own critiques, here are four new and some slight revisions on last posted. Biggest revision is a shift away from pure monochrome. With some of these compositions, I felt that while a total monochrome process added greatly to the mood, it would sometimes diminish details. I noticed this mainly on the far sides of the exposure—highlights and shadows. In short, I slightly took down the color layer just enough to let the slightest color bleed back through. For example, on the first one, the monochrome overlay was dark orange, more befitting of the car rust, but I let a subtle amount of green back through on the grounds of the abandoned car lot and in the moss of the side mirror. In the second, the pink shoelace and shorts pointed me in the direction of a more magenta overlay, but I wanted to back off enough to let the sand browns, however subtle, back through.

The Dog Days

dog_days-1One of my kiddos trying to cool it down. 


Kaleidoscope in Squares

2013-1-5 2013-2-2 2013-3-2 2013-4

Time to switch gears from the landscapes. For a while I’ve had a project in my head to focus on something in photos that was “kaleidospopic.” I used the scare quotations there because that was the only word I could put on what I was thinking. The core concept was an exercise in color, but monochromic. I know, it sounds off, but bear with me. It would be an idea of a photo set covering the spectrum of color, but with each photo dominant in only one hue. As I started, I quickly realized there would need to be more connective tissue between the photos besides different colors exercised in monochromism. So for quite some time, I’ve been tagging photos as I take them to be candidates for this set. Since then I’ve placed more and more constraints on both how the initial compositions should be arranged, and how they would be processed. Tonight I’m throwing a few out there, and would love any feedback.

Wait For It

Smoky Mountains-3

This series was taken from a place in the Smoky Mountains named New Found Gap. These are a bit out of order by the time taken, but for a reason I hopefully explain. I was cruising the roads with my wife and family when I came across this spot. We were mapped to another area, but from the land layout and photo sense, I told her “wherever we go from here, we’ll be back here from sunset.” So we ventured on and up to Clingman’s Dome, the arguable top of the Smokies. While probably more photo-wise at the time, I still made the call to load up and return to New Found Gap. As I drive down the mountain, there is noticeable increase in traffic going up than going down—enough to definitely provoke second guessing.


We returned to the scene of the crime. I setup the gear and tripod, and was noticeably the lone photographer in the area. As I fussed with the tripod, the outlook began to fall loose (see the 2nd image). A soup of clouds stemming from a front began to sweep across the valley. But my luck had been good far, so I’m thinking maybe the tide will turn. After fifteen minutes, the temperature had dropped enough for the kids to migrate back to the vehicle and watch Despicable Me. Not long after, down stepped another photographer who setup to my right. I made an offhand comment about it being a mild evening, and he laughed, “Nah. The sun is going to burst right above that ridge line.” Ten more minutes passed and it still didn’t look promising. There was a nice orange glow on the horizon, so I zoomed in to grab it in case it was as good as it would get (3rd image). By that time there were 5-6 other photographers staked out. Like wolves following a scent. Some of them looked like they just woke up about 15 minutes prior, drove to this spot, and walked down the drive. Five minutes later, the clouds seemed to thin uncannily, and the sun caught fire. A machine gun fire of shutters. My kids were back out the car with their faces in the sun. Wait for it, and there it was.

Smoky Mountains-1-2 Smoky Mountains-2

Landscape of Repeating

clingman_dome-1 little_river -1 little_river -2

Well, for starters…Freshly Pressed…wow…and thanks to whoever decided to tab my blog as such.  Quite humbling. To be honest, I never had a real grasp of what “Freshly Pressed” meant. Sure, I check the Freshly Pressed page, but it usually because I know it’s a good starting place for great content leading down wonderfully ADD trails. I was never aware of the implications. This morning I opened my email and thought I had been hacked with an inbox showing over 500 emails! Then I understood. So thanks for everyone that has stopped by the last few days. It’s reminded me of why I carved out a space here originally. Again, humbling. But now my ADD has splintered again with so many new blogs to chase around.

Click HERE for post that was Freshly Pressed

Nature in black in white. It’s something I’ve always struggled with in photography. Too often, my nature photographs tend to be too busy to break down to a monotone, often lacking stark contrast to direct the eyes. More so, it’s hard to sap out all the vibrant color, especially when the end result isn’t more compelling. I still like to give it try, and that’s what the above are about. I never shoot in black in white nor do I pretend to plan a shot that I know beforehand will end up in black in white. I’m not that good, and kudos to who are. But when reeling through a carousel of images after a shoot, I do like to tab potentials “black and whites.” Later, providing the follow-thru, I will give them their day in the black and white court. The first was done in Photoshop, working in LAB color mode—my preference for doing B&W in Photoshop. In LAB mode, I delete every channel except for the Luminosity channel. Then I move forward with the usual levels and curve masks in Photoshop. I tried this one in Lightroom and Silver Efex, but for some reason, the sky rays were getting too much subdued in conversion. For the last two, these were both handled in Silver Efex. Enjoy! :)

More Little River




This little bubbling river turned out to be a family favorite. My girls weren’t quite ready for the heavier hikes, especially after falling on their faces in the first five minutes on a short walk up to one of the picnic grounds. To the top of a staircase has been their most uphill experience they’ve had as Louisiana natives. But they were able to get out to these areas and mess around in the water and climb on the rocks. The last one of this series was taken earlier in the day with a NDF filter, when the light was in a starker contrast. I ended up liking it a great deal with the skylight type of highlights falling on the water.


Little River


This is one from Little River in the Smokys. I remember its name well because about everywhere you went, you ran into it.


Setting Some Free




I planned on working through all my photos from my recent trip to the Smoky Mountains, process them tediously, and then post them. But that might take a long time, given my propensity to obsess. Processing is where I usually get lost in the weeds, and sometimes, it’s just a matter of setting them free—where they often don’t look much different from the originals once the five alternate versions are deleted.

This is—and this is what I’m terrible about—somewhere in the Smoky Mountains :) Is that good? It was in the National Park in east Tennessee on the way to Cades Cove. The first was taken before dawn and with some NDFs as it was still pretty dark at that time. The second is obviously when the sun broke and the last is zoomed clip taken about 10 minutes after the sun broke. Enjoy, and will have some more up soon.


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