After quite a bleak winter and early spring of 2020 I thought I would bring you some beautiful, colorful, and relaxing images. I have stayed home almost exclusively for many months now, and will continue to do so, but I was able to venture out on a handful of occasions into local nature areas and these are just some of the refreshing and happy moments on my walk in Nichols Arboretum during late spring.
I wish for all of you around the world the peace and strength to get through this difficult time and I hope that some time in the near future things make a huge change for the better!
As winter is nearing its end I am looking forward to spring wholeheartedly! I thought I’d bring you just a little taste of late spring from last year. These images were all made in and around The Royal Botanical Gardens near Hamilton, Ontario. Honestly I could spend hours a day in each of the many garden areas they have! These images are just a few to give you a jump start on your spring. I hope they give you a feeling of happiness!
I wish you all a very happy end of winter as we head into warmer and more colorful times!
This year has gone by really quickly. So much so that I didn’t think I would actually have time to get together my usual end of the year post. These ten images are my personal favorites for the year, or my “Best of 2017”.
This is the 6th year that I have done a “Best of” at the end of the year, and I would like to thank Jim Goldstein for graciously hosting the Best Photos Project each year. You can check out mine and many many other photographers end of the year posts on his blog!
If you would like to see my “Best of” for 2016, you can find that here.
Also if you’d like to go back to 2015, you can check that out here.
After a very stormy spring day in SE. Michigan I was happily surprised by an amazing array of clouds as they moved quickly by during a sunset on a local farm!
You’ll see this lake featured twice here in this post. This image was on a cloudy and extremely still, fall day. The trees, especially the birches gave beautiful reflections in the water!
After all of the leaves had fallen and nothing was left except the crunch of brown and gold underfoot I decided to make just a few images of these beauties!
I had a lot of fun during a couple of fresh and dewy mornings this year photographing the sunlight as it danced off of the dewdrops in the grass. As a lot of you know, I love nature abstracts!
I was extremely happy to have had the opportunity to go to The Tulip Festival in Holland, MI. this past spring!
Every time I’m in Marquette, Michigan I always enjoy the beautiful assortment of rocks and stones in the area. These colorful stones on Presque Isle are some of my favorites!
While at Presque Isle Park I almost always make time to stay for the sunset. It almost never dissapoints!
Munising Falls is beautiful no matter what time of year, but fall is always my favorite!
Lake Plumbago is one of those places I pass by quite often while in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would have to say that for me it has almost always been foggy and or raining when I pass by. That of course has its own beauty, and I have plenty of photos from that type of weather, but this time there was a striking difference, and actually quite welcomed!
I have always loved the look of yellow houses with white picket fences, so naturally the first time I set eyes upon the Windermere Hotel on Mackinac Island, it became a must for me to stay there! It is filled with Victorian charm and has such a lovely presence on the Island.
It just happened that this year while on the Island I was graced with bright blue skies which made a wonderful contrast to the beautiful yellow color of the Windermere!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a tiny glimpse into the year of 2017 with me. I wish all of you a very Happy and prosperous New Year, both in your lives and in your photographic adventures! 🙂
I’d like to end this post with one of my favorite quotes.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. ~ Edward Abbey ~ 🙂
Well, now that spring is fully here in Michigan, I have been thoroughly enjoying our warmer weather, and taking the time to go out in search of what is blooming. I had been afraid with a couple of late freezes we had that some early bloomers would have been affected. Thankfully most everything came through unscathed!
The daffodils this year got pelted with a bit of spring snow early on, but as you can see from these images, they rebounded nicely and we had some really beautiful blooms!
I have been out nearly daily in the last week or so in search of blossoming crab-apples of various kinds, as well as cherry and apple trees. I have found many beauties, but this one is the first one I have processed of the flowering tree blossoms. A lovely white crab-apple with a bokeh-licious background in raspberry pink!
Another beautiful daffodil enjoying the warmth of the sun!
For some reason, I usually miss the hellebore coming into bloom each year, but this year was different! I actually got to witness several different varieties in bloom!
These were beautiful in a pinkish purple hue!
Spring seems to pass by so quickly, and in no time at all it will soon be summer, but I will be outdoors as much as possible while the air is still a bit cooler, the rain more frequent, and the mosquitoes not out in force yet, enjoying all the spring finds that I can!
I hope that wherever you live, you make sure and take plenty of time to enjoy your outdoor environment too! 🙂
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.
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! 🙂