Black and White Hawaii Lightroom Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Nikon D600

Fun with Reflections – Infrared Shimmer

Infrared Shimmer - Hawaii - 2013
Infrared Shimmer – Hawaii – 2013

One of the things I’m always looking for when out shooting is a puddle – something that can be used to shoot reflections.

Here’s a shot based on a big puddle – a hotel swimming pool – shot shortly after sunrise. I loved how the palms were shimmering in the surface of the pool’s water.

I used Lightroom and one of Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom presets to process the image- Infrared Morning to help create the effect. Naturally, I also flipped the image upside down so that the trees look semi-normal!

iPhone 5 Photography San Francisco/California

In the Landing Zone at McCovey Point – San Francisco

Landing Zone - McCovey Point - China Basin Park - San Francisco

On a recent visit to San Francisco, I got to the City a bit early and headed over to McCovey Point right off Third Street across from the Giants’ AT&T Park.

There are these baseball shaped cement markers that ring the curb around the bend in the street that caught my eye, iPhone in hand. The bright spot was added using Trey Ratcliff’s Light Camera app – creating a surreal effect just for fun!

Golden Gate Lightroom Photography Photography - Nikon D600 San Francisco/California

New Year’s Day 2013 – Dreamy at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach

Dreamy at Ocean Beach

For the last few years, I’ve had a tradition of heading out on January 1st for some San Francisco photography – always of the Golden Gate Bridge – but usually some other spots as well.

Today was bright and sunny – although not especially clear. My first stop was on the hill up by the Cliff House above Ocean Beach. This is such a simple shot – shooting straight down the beach – and it captures the late morning mood on the beach perfectly.

Shot with my Nikon D600, I post-processed the image in Lightroom 4.3 using Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom Presets which added the dreamy effect and tones. This particular preset is named “Under the Stars” and is in package 3.

After Ocean Beach, I headed into the Presidio and on to Baker Beach where I caught this view of the Golden Gate – I titled it “Smooth”.

Smooth - Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco - New Year's Day 2013
Google+ Photography Yosemite

How We Appreciate Great Photographs

Three Brothers - Merced River - Yosemite - 2010

What makes great photographs? On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, I attended (Tuesday) and watched (Wednesday) the first Google+ Photographer’s Conference in San Francisco. It was a great event and I enjoyed it very much. Lots to absorb, much to learn.

Something that is fascinating to me about where we are now with photography is how much it’s about “living online”. On Wednesday, Trey Ratcliff spoke about what he’s been learning about sharing images online – and what seems to provoke more significant responses from the rest of us. I thought his list of photographic elements found in great photographs was useful.

He spoke about his most popular images having five elements: water, distance, trees, path, and weather.

For each element, he briefly reflected on how we, as humans, value each of them – which he believes influences our response to images that contain them:

  • Water, especially fresh water, being within walking distance
  • Having trees – and shelter – nearby
  • Wide open spaces with prairies and grass – space to separate us from predators and grains for food
  • Some distance to see any weather coming
  • And a path or road – some sign that there’s human habitation someplace nearby

A good list, I think. Lots of great photos exist without any of these elements – but when landscape photographs contain these elements (think Yosemite, Point Reyes, Point Lobos, etc. in my portfolio), they’re usually pretty strong images. The image above – while not having much of a path or road, contains most of these elements. It’s a shot of Three Brothers in Yosemite along the Merced River in October when the river flow is slow and the reflections are almost perfect.

Photography Photography - Canon PowerShot S95 Stanford

Breaking Away @ Stanford

Breaking Away - Trey Ratcliff @ Stanford - 2011

A couple of months ago HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff held a photo walk at Stanford University. It was a beautiful late afternoon – and some 200 photographers showed up to join Trey for his second photowalk around the Stanford Campus.

This shot was taken with my tiny Canon PowerShot S95 and post-processed in Photoshop using Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 – in particular the Details Enhancer and Cross Processing Filters.

I titled it Breaking Away – with the bicyclist heading home…ignoring the crowd.