“Aquatic Reflections”

Spring has finally arrived here and even though almost nothing has bloomed yet in terms of flowers, I always enjoy when plants of any type start bursting forth from the ground. In this case actually from the shallow waters of a pond, just a preview of things to come.

In this photograph of aquatic reflections you can see the reflection of trees as well as that of the sky and clouds in both the foreground and background. Green plants that are growing just below the water’s surface are beautiful, as well as the vertical shadows that the cattails cast on the surface of the water.

This is a very simple composition, and I like all of the elements it has. Originally I thought of this only as a color photograph because of the beautiful greens, as a sign of spring.

I decided to do a black and white conversion though and really liked the feeling of contrast in the image as well.

I’m really looking forward to the changes this spring will bring, and surely hoping that we won’t have any more freezing temperatures that damage blossoms this year!

I wish a very happy spring to all of you, with plenty of outdoor adventures and beauty!

“Pond Plants in Reflection”
Cattails in the shallow depths of a pond in spring with reflections and shadows!

“Digital Painting or Not?”

Well, I’ve been having some fun recently with my processing. I don’t know if I’ve been just feeling winter blahs or is it that I just feel the need to do something new, but whatever it is, I found some new inspiration by trying something different in my processing.

My first go to, in my workflow is always Lightroom, and quite often after that, OnOne Software as well. In the past week or so, I’ve been having a whole lot of enjoyment experimenting with many of the Topaz Plugins, like Topaz Impression, and Topaz ReStyle. In this post I used Topaz Impression.

I have created special galleries for my “Photographic Art”  and “digital Painting”  here in these links. I have just a few images at the moment, but am adding to them pretty quickly.  You can check out these here too for more Photographic art . It’s not that I plan to be doing this form of processing all of the time, I don’t. It will never replace my normal processing of my photographs, but it did give me a change to have some fun, look at things from a new perspective and have a new creative outlet, especially during this winter.

In this first image you’ll see the lovely Charlevoix Michigan Marina,  it’s a very peaceful image in my opinion. I love it as a simple photograph, it has a nice soothing blue color and  quiet mood. If you’d like to see other images of Charlevoix as well as other Small Town images you can find them here in  The Small Town .

I decided to take that same photograph and do something different with it. I brought into Topaz Impression, and chose one of the oil painting presets in order to give me a starting point. After that, I used sliders to make a lot of adjustments, including those to paint saturation, type of brush used, brush stroke sizes, paper or canvas texture, vignette, and many more.

My final product was this beautiful digital oil painting! I kept the blue tones, the shimmer of light on the water, and the feeling of motion on the water as well. I added lots of texture, brush strokes and a slightly fanciful feeling.

 

"Blue Hour Oil Painting" The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Blue Hour Oil Painting”
The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

 

I had also been doing a lot of processing of spring buds, blossoms and flowers recently. These were images from last year when we had an abundance of blossoms!

In this first image a simple photograph of crab-apple blossoms of varying hues, and stages of blooming, with a lovely bokeh in the background, I first processed this ever so slightly, in Lightroom. It didn’t really need much work in my opinion, it was a beautiful floral in pink.

 

On the spur of the moment one evening, I decided to turn it into a digital oil painting. Again, I used Topaz Impression and one of the Oil Painting presets as a starting point. I did a lot of experimenting with the sliders until I came up with what I feel is a lovely image that has a lot of color, depth, and a  feeling of movement.

 

I know many of you have tried this type of processing before, and there are also some of you would never try it, as it feels to be untrue to the original photograph.

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your processing forays and journeys.

In the end it is up to each of us to find new ways to keep inspired, to get our groove back, or maybe just try something purely for fun.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and might even be inspired to try something new yourself! 🙂

 

"Pink Bling" Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.
“Pink Bling”
Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.

 

"Pink Floral Oil Painting" The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Pink Floral Oil Painting”
The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

“The Reckoning in Gray”

This past autumn during a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I had the opportunity to witness one really beautiful afternoon and a stunning sunset in Marquette. The rest of my days in the UP. this time were filled with lots of rain, fog and clouds.
This was the one and only afternoon that I witnessed the sky change dramatically every few minutes! The clouds split the sky into darkness and light. The title of The Reckoning felt just right for this image!
For fun, I processed it in both color and black and white. The monochrome version has a much more dramatic feel to it, while the blue hues create a more peaceful scene.  I hope you enjoy both.

"The Reckoning in Blue" Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.
“The Reckoning in Blue”
Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.

As with almost all of my images they can be purchased as beautiful prints or canvas, and are available for licensing as well. For purchasing info click here

Thanks for stopping by!

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“Crystal Plumage”

The title of this post might seem a bit strange when you see this first photograph of some beautiful yet very simple leaves on a row of plants. In fact, I have no idea what these plants are.

I had originally gone out looking for some late summer flowers. Unfortunately it turned out to be a pretty windy day. The few flowers that I found weren’t very cooperative in the wind.

As I went around to the other side the garden I found rows of these leaves. They had a really nice flow to them. My first inclination, after making one simple photograph was to do a long exposure and have a nice motion blur effect. I made three photographs using different exposures.

My favorite out of the ones I made was the second image you’ll see here. It had just the right silky flow that I envisioned in my mind.

Please scroll down to see that image and also the image that gave me the idea for the title to this post.

These are beautiful leaves by themselves with a nice flow.

"Long Leaves"
“Long Leaves”

In this image I used a slightly longer exposure to blur the motion and give it a soft, silky, and flowing feel.

"Ride the Wind"
“Ride the Wind”

What I did in this next image is a different story altogether.

"Crystal Plumage"
“Crystal Plumage”

After I had processed the previous photograph in Lightroom, I decided to reprocess it again in Lightroom for a totally different effect.
I played around with solarization a bit, which I have done many times before with certain types of plants, especially succulents and cactus. However I almost always process these in monochrome.                                                              This time as I was trying out the different colors and effects, I found that I really liked the way the blur of leaves took on a look of bird plumage! Maybe some exotic bird from a far away location! The colors are of course totally unlike the original, but to me they looked like Crystal Plumage!

So if  you are a Lightroom user, but haven’t yet tried out the solarization panel,  I advise you to give it a try for something really fun and different!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos! 🙂

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“Colors of Sunrise and Sunset”

I always enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset, especially over a body of water. The clouds and colorful hues are reflected on the surface making it absolutely glorious! Scroll down to see two sunset and one sunrise image from this summer on two of the Great Lakes.

I’ve also included several quotes on the topic of sunrise and sunset. Enjoy!

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”
~ George R.R. Martin ~

"Spectacular Sunset" An amazing sunset on glassy waters of Lake Michigan!
“Spectacular Sunset”
An amazing sunset on glassy waters of Lake Michigan!

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
~ Jo Walton ~
“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”
~ Vera Nazarian ~

"Dawn's First Light" A Soothing and peaceful sunrise on Lake Huron!
“Dawn’s First Light”
A Soothing and peaceful sunrise on Lake Huron!

“The blue of daylight
fades and chills as the sun sinks
beneath clouds of fire.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich ~

“The sunset was a splendid display. I wondered if it was showing off for my benefit or if it was often that spectacular. Rarely had I seen such a gorgeous scene; the riotous colors flamed out over the sky in shades that I had no words to describe. Birds sang their last songs of the day before tucking in for the night, and still the darkness hung back. Now, I thought, I understand the word “twilight.” It was created for just this time – in this land.”
~ Janette Oke ~

"Magnificent Sunset" Another gorgeous sunset from Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula!
“Magnificent Sunset”
Another gorgeous sunset from Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula!

“But even the longest day wears to sunset.”
~ Marion Zimmer Bradley ~

“Presque Isle Harbor”

Beautiful Presque Isle Harbor, or Marquette Bay on a late spring day! You might not be able to notice right off that it was a warm weather day, but the temperatures were actually in the lower 80’s F! The ice from the long winter had been so thick there was still plenty of it around.

Each of these three images are from different vantage points along the long rock jetty or breakwater located in the bay off of Presque Isle in Marquette MI. The Breakwater lighthouse is located at the end of the jetty and on this warm day you can see people enjoying the sun and the amazing ice from the huge rock wall!

Marquette Michigan is located in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior. In my personal opinion this Great Lake is stunning at any time of the year, and this location happened to be really beautiful that day with the glistening white ice on the blue waters of the bay!

"Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse"
“Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse”
"Presque Isle Harbor Light"
“Presque Isle Harbor Light”
"Spring on Ice"
“Spring on Ice”

“Sunset Rolls In”

Have you ever gone out to a specific location just to capture a sunset? Hoping to get a spectacular one? It can give you a range of feelings. From those of beautiful anticipation, just knowing it’s going to be a good one, to that of frustration and disappointment as the conditions just aren’t what you need for that moment.

In this location here on the shores of Lake Michigan, I had hoped for beautiful clouds, or just a little  something besides total clear uneventful skies on several different evenings.

For three  days up until this one,  I had gone to the beach on one of the southern areas of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula about 30 miles from St. Ignace. I waited in the very bright sunlight of late afternoon just hoping for something wonderful to happen. Something magical!

On my last day in the area as I drove along the shore I could see a bit of hazy wispy clouds starting to form along the horizon. This really got my attention and hopes up!

After arriving at a certain stretch of beach, I set up my tripod and camera, dialed in the settings, and set the focus. I positioned myself on the wonderful warm sand and used a remote cable release to take a few images as I drank in the pure beauty, amazing colors and hues in front of me.

This isn’t a sunset to end all sunset’s by any means, but it was beautiful without being fussy. It was relaxing for me and not hurried. It was a joy to experience, not just photograph.

I stayed long after the sun had actually gone down, not only to capture all of the vibrant hues on camera. I allowed myself to really take the time to enjoy the last bits of color, to hear the sound of gentle waves, to feel the days warmth turn into the cool of night.

This was my moment of peace for that day!

I hope that you might find some beauty and serenity in this image also!

"Sunset Rolls In"
“Sunset Rolls In”

“Sunset on Ice Fields”

Recently on a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I was taken by surprise at all of the ice still remaining on Lake Superior.

The weather on my second day there turned unseasonably warm, which happened to be the case the day I took this sunset.

On certain areas of Lake Superior you can only see ice in the far distance, in other places you are actually able to still stand on thick chunks that are floating around closer to the shore.

The day before I took this image the whole bay was a mass of floating icebergs, ranging in size from many feet wide to a few inches in width. The depth could also be 1-3 feet for those that I could see. I’m sure much larger for those in the middle of each of the Great Lakes.

I was really hoping to get some sunset images through the icebergs with loads of golden color. Well, that didn’t happen because on the next evening I arrived to find much of the ice that had been close to the shore previously, no longer there. The warm southern winds had blown it further out in the water. Only a few chunks remained close to where I was standing.

The temperatures that day had reached the upper 80’s with plenty of haze and humidity, as well as a ton of black flies and mosquitoes. Consequently the sunset was not quite what I had hoped for yet it was really colorful and quite long lasting.

This frame is one of the later ones from that night, towards the end of sunset. The colors were still strong at the time, and the ice fields visible in the distance. You can also notice a few smaller pieces of ice closer to the shore.

The funny thing to me was knowing that here in late May, there were still many remnants of this winters extremely cold weather all around me.

I’m sure that there will be ice somewhere on Lake Superior for another month or two!

Enjoy this extremely simple image, and view of color and ice in a time that you wouldn’t normally expect it!

"Sunset on Ice Fields"
“Sunset on Ice Fields”

“The Laurel Highlands”

In our last post we visited the vast shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula of MI., on a beautiful windy day. Today I bring you another image in the same colors and hues, lovely greens and blues, but in a totally different setting. The beautiful Laurel Highlands area of Pennsylvania.

This area encompasses many towns,counties, resorts, historic sights, state forests, ski resorts, and some wonderful architecture!

In this view you’ll see some of the area around Ohiopyle PA., where Ohiopyle State Park is located. The views are spectacular especially on days like this one here. Forests in all shades of green. Blue skies filled with large cumulus clouds that cast shadows in shapes across the mountains and valleys.

In Ohiopyle State Park and vicinity, you’ll find plenty to do if you want to enjoy nature to its fullest. Hiking trails galore, kayaking down the Youghiougheny River, a visit to Cucumber Falls and more.

This day is a perfect one for taking in the wonders of the natural world, and casting all of our cares aside.

Take a deep relaxing breath, and Enjoy! 🙂

The Laurel Highlands of PA.
The Laurel Highlands of PA.

“Colors of Abstract”

Tonight’s post is going to be a quick one. I haven’t had much of a chance to get out and do anything outdoors recently with the weather we’ve been having this winter, plus I am still processing tons of last years images.

Several days ago after seeing some beautiful oil and water macro images done by Beverly Everson, I decided to do some messing around with it myself. Here is the link to Beverly’s initial image that inspired me, which is very beautiful!: http://www.eversonphotography.com/2014/02/oil-and-water/

I was lacking in some of the essential items, but I decided to do it anyway. I came out with this and a bevy of other abstracts. None of them were quite what I had hoped, but they have a beauty of their own.

I wanted to get this one up for those people who had requested it, and for those that are also messing around with oil and water too.

I’ll be doing more of these in the future, but first I need to find some very good glass baking dishes, not the ones I bake brownies in! 😉

 "Colors of Abstract" 1
“Colors of Abstract” 1