Posts tagged “landscape

Muted

Although there were signs of Spring in the blossoming of fruit trees, Winter still had us in its grip last week. Days were cold with a few snow flurries, and the bare branches gave little evidence that it is Spring according to the calendar. The muted colors of this scene off the Peavine trail at Watson Lake reflect our muted lives these days, as we adhere to social distancing and develop new routines in our individual houses.

For me, these days are revolving around connecting with friends and family through phones and internet, planning and eating meals, hand washing (washing everything, it seems), ordering groceries online, editing photos, doing some organizing projects, and streaming and binge-watching TV series. It’s still a good life- it’s just pared down to the basics.  So each day we choose to practice gratitude, appreciate our loved ones, focus on the positive and enjoy life as it is right now.


Snowy Stillness

Another image from that snowy day at Watson Lake


Postcard

When we were staying in Moab, we never really understood what the tepee set up was for and never took the time to find out. Turned into a monochrome, it reminds me of a vintage photo postcard (never mind the fence and the wagon and the lawn. . .).


Morning River

I never tired of this view- here’s another shot of the Colorado River in the early morning.


Indecisive

I sometimes get bored editing landscapes- a little clarity and contrast, maybe a little vibrance, some dodging and burning, some sharpening- and done.  Since joining the photo group, I’ve tended to use Nik Color Efex Pro or sometimes Silver Efex (both photoshop plug-ins) to edit my landscapes – because that’s what they all use in class. Now I am trying to use Luminar, because Google, who bought the program, is no longer supporting or updating the older programs. And we all use the TK Actions panel as well.

I decided to try doing a black and white in Luminar- but I ended up having to do a lot more more afterward in Photoshop, because I couldn’t figure out how to get the look I wanted.  And when I was done getting the look, I decided I really wanted a color image after all.

Here is the black and white, edited in Lightroom, Luminar, and Photoshop. This was taken in the Matanuska Valley in Alaska.

And here is another view from a slightly different angle (and with a different focal length) of the same scene, edited mostly in Lightroom, with just a little work in Photoshop.

Sometimes you CAN have it both ways!

And now that I see them together, I think I like the black and white better after all. Maybe.


Winding River

Here’s one of the many beautiful vistas we saw in Alaska- a view of the Matanuska River.


Alaskan Thumb

There is the Thumb Butte here in Prescott, and it turns out there is a thumb in Alaska as well- near the Matanuska glacier.


Iconic

One of the iconic Alaska views- mountains and trees with fireweed in the foreground. I couldn’t manage to frame it with the Matanuska Glacier as a background (I might have fallen off a cliff. . .), so I settled on this view. Fireweed is just about everywhere in Alaska at this time of year.


Everywhere you look. . .

Yes- it really is this pretty- everywhere you go, everywhere you look! Mountains, glaciers, water, flowers- Alaska is beautiful!

This was taken at the Eagle River Nature Center.


Windmill Whirrrr

Different windmill- same day.

Rudy suggested I slow down my shutter to capture the motion of the blades- I like the effect! This is something Tom (my photo teacher) says to do with helicopters and propellers. Why have I never made that connection?


Rim Shot

The views go on forever!


Alternative Landscapes

Editing photos for creative expression, relaxation, and just plain fun is an essential part of my photography life.  I don’t paint or do crafts- so I create with the camera and the computer. I respect and enjoy traditional photography, but I sometimes like to tiptoe a bit onto the photography wild side.

Yesterday I revisited some of last summer’s photos from Alaska. At the time, I was fascinated with the stark shapes of the rocks and peaks jutting out of the sea, but I was disappointed in many of the resulting shots when edited traditionally. But I had so much fun creating the “alternative landscapes” below.

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Alaska Blues

Every day we were in Alaska, I would wander out onto the deck and take photos of the view.

Here is an afternoon blue hour shot:

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Frozen

Here is another view of the frozen landscape at the Eagle River Nature Center.

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Brrrr!

I think all my Alaska photos should be titled Brrrr– it was cold. We didn’t spend a lot of time outside, but I did accompany Justin and Caitlin- and Penny, the golden retriever, on a quick walk at the Eagle River Nature Center, at the Chugach State Park. I saw a very different scene from my visit in August!

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That’s ice on the trees; the only snow was on the mountains. I think this photo was taken around three- thirty.


Blast from the Past (well, August)

This is overlooking part of the town of Eagle River, outside Anchorage, Alaska, where our daughter’s family lives. In the distance you can see a bit of the Knik Arm- and an overcast sky, and in the foreground is fireweed, which was everywhere during our visit. We are returning to Alaska to spend Thanksgiving- and I’m sure it will look quite different!

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Morning Blues

The other morning I woke up early and looked out the window to see blue stripes of clouds in the pre-dawn sky. I threw on some gym pants and slippers, grabbed my camera, and headed out to the driveway to shoot some pictures before the sun came up. I ended up crossing the street to get this view of the peaks and hills in the distance. I took multiple exposures as well as intentional camera movement shots and had a great time- until I realized that the sun had come up and I was across the street in my nightclothes, with a wild bedhead- and was waving my camera around like a madwoman. This is how I am earning my reputation as the neighborhood crazy person!

Below is what looks like a multiple exposure- and I guess it is- but it was shot by moving the camera around during a long exposure (intentional camera movement).

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Shades of Green

Alaska is SO GREEN- at least in the summer. This was taken at the Eagle River Nature Center on our walk with the kids.  As I look ahead to Fall, I am wondering what it looks like there now. I am imagining some golds among the greens.

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Through the Clouds

Our boat trip along the Kenai fjords in Alaska was one of the most memorable travel experiences of my life. Despite the rain and fog and the constant rolling motion (4 foot swells in places, they said- is that unusual? I don’t know.) and sometimes rough waters, it was amazing! We spent most of our time on deck, except for when the rain became too much, and were constantly awestruck by the dramatic coastline and the opportunities to see whales, puffins, eagles, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. And oh yes- glaciers! My photos of the scenery include mostly gray shapes with water spots- not too many keepers, considering how many I shot.

Here is one of my better land/sea-scape shots- taken while the boat was in motion and there was little rain. I wish I could say exactly where on the map this was. The mountains seemed to rise right out of the sea- with snow and glaciers and clouds to round out the scene.

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Sunshine and Shadow

The Grand Canyon

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Layers of Colour

Don’t you think colour looks better than color? One of my favorite quotes is “Keep calm and fake a British accent,” so this is in that spirit (nothing to do with Brexit. . .).

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The above is from last week’s trip to the Grand Canyon. The hazy sky desaturated the colors, which I brought back with Lightroom’s Dehaze brush and some other adjustments. THEN I added a very slight adjustment with Topaz Glow, which is such a cool little plug-in- it does things I don’t know how to do otherwise. Very fun! The frame is from On1 Effects.

 


On the Rookery Path

Here’s another view of the path we took through the rookery area of Willow Lake. If you look very closely you can glimpse the Dells across the lake- way in the background.

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Granite Mountain

Granite Mountain is the stark backdrop to the northwest area of Prescott and one of my favorite views.  On Labor Day, my husband and I decided to take a short hike on the trail leading over to the mountain.  As we walked along, we saw bikes and horses as well as hikers; it’s a popular area.  After walking for a half hour (and continually stopping for me to take photos), we could see the mountain getting closer, but we were not yet near the base.  It was time to turn around- we definitely plan to come back on another day.

Granite Mountain:

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Gates near the beginning of the trail:

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Persistence at Garden of the Gods

After leaving the plains of Kansas, we drove to Colorado, spending the night at Limon. We decided to get up early-ish (early for us, late for landscape photographers) the next morning to drive to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs before heading to Santa Fe.  We woke up to overcast skies and got to the park around 9:00 or 9:30.  Garden of the Gods is a public park with paved walkways among gorgeous red rock formations. It was relatively uncrowded, probably because it appeared that it would rain at any moment. We were both eager to see the iconic view of Pike’s Peak through the red rocks, but of course, you couldn’t see the mountains because of the clouds. I love the combination of gray clouds and red rocks, but I was really hoping to see Pike’s Peak!

20150530-MMA_6288_melinda_andersonAfter walking through the park for awhile and monitoring the skies in case we had to make a dash to the car, we finally decided a drive around the park might give us a glimpse of the mountains. We drove around, but all we saw were clouds and red rocks- and more clouds. But as we got out of the car to look at the Balancing Rock, we noticed that the skies were beginning to clear a bit.

20150530-MMA_6303_melinda_andersonWe ate a quick snack at the Visitors Center, and then drove back into the park to see what we could see- and VOILA!

20150530-MMA_6343_melinda_anderson-EditThe above shot is of the same rocks and walkway (from a different angle) as the first one a couple hours earlier.

Persistence pays off!

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