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Gateway Auto Museum

Dreams of Bygone EraHad not been to the Gateway Auto Museum in several years. Spent 3 hours with camera and tripod and my brain was fried! But in a good way. If you have never been, you should check it out. More info HERE.  I mostly did closeups focusing on shapes and colors. Also some “zooming” effects, as shown in this image. See more at my Etsy Shop.

New Etsy Shop

Happy Spring (almost)! The last few weeks I have built an Etsy shop of 200 of my images. Many of these have never been posted before. I am also doing a lot of work with textures and artistic effects to give the images some panache. Let me know what you think.

You can view my shop HERE  Please feel free to click “Favorite” on some of them; it helps my ratings! If you are not registered with Etsy, just log in with your Facebook settings.

And if you get a wild hair and want to buy something, use this special code at checkout to receive a 30% discount!   WordPress30  (all one word).

Thanks for looking!

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August Newsletter

I have a few newsy items piling up so thought I would let you know.Lavender Impression 01

Main Street Gallery has an amazing exhibit coming up this Friday. Chris Eaton, who lived in Page, AZ, does some incredible night time work. Come down to 412 Main Friday and meet him and see his work. Also, here is a video interview to watch. Also, you can pick his brain about the upcoming Perseids (see below). See his website HERE

Just Announced: My fall Photo Seminar, Saturday, Oct. 15 in Delta. Lots of good info . New programs on Lightroom , Back Button Focus and Creativity. Also a brand new program on Organization and Backups. Register sooner than later as the Black Canyon Camera Club usually takes most of the limited seating. Go to my website HERE for details.

Perseid Meteor Shower. This is shaping up to be an especially good year for the Perseids. Because of certain alignment with Jupiter and other factors, some are predicting up to 150 meteors per hours, maybe even more. More info HERE. Although the Perseids rain down for weeks, the peak the night of Aug 11/morning of Aug 12. The moon sets around midnight. So head away from Grand Junction and catch a falling star! Here is a good link on how to photograph Perseids

Just in from Victoria, the Lightroom Queen: “There were a couple of bugs discovered in the June Lightroom update. The new Develop preview pre-caching was a little overzealous and was causing performance problems, there was a print profile issue on Mac, and also a problem with DNG files from Fuji X-E2. As a result, last week Adobe released a double dot update – CC 2015.6.1 and 6.6.1. I’ve held off writing to tell you about it until now, to double check that it’s safe to upgrade. It’s good news – the bug report forum has been very quiet, and comments on the blog include “the system is now much faster in the Develop module!”

The long awaited Canon 5d Mark IV will be announced on August 27. Rumor has it at 28mp. But it will be expensive! Prices are really down on the Mark III and it is still a heck of a camera.

Fall Color. I plan to do some Fall Color day trips to Ouray and Kebler. More info as we get closer.

Just over a year now to the Great American Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017. The last time we had a total solar eclipse visible in American was Feb 26, 1979, and I was there! On the frozen tundra of North Dakota. This will be my fourth eclipse. Ouray last one was March of 2006 in Libya. We were set up just a mile from Muammar Qaddafi. Anyway, you do NOT want to miss the eclipse next year. Lots of info HERE.  I will probably put together a program later on how to best view and photograph such an event.

steve.

Hang In There

ImageI recently received the following from one of my workshop paraticipants, ”

Your class was a good summary of what I need to remind myself before photo excursions. Part of my problem is that I don’t practice on a consistent basis.  I typically only take photos on vacations and trips, maybe 6 times a year.  By the time I take photos again, I forget what I “learned” in the past.  I also get in a hurry, don’t often use a tripod, especially when I’m with other people who want me to hurry along.  For example, on my recent trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos, I didn’t often check the histogram. I should watch your video/movie before every photo excursion.”

I think this is very common and happens to all of us, sooner or later. Although digital photography is easy, it still requires regular practice. Many years ago I read an article by David Lyman of the Maine Photo Workshops. He asked hundreds of photographers, writers, musicians, etc how long it took them to become proficient. Turns out the answer is 10 years! And even at that, you only have 90% of what you “need”. It takes the rest of your life learning that last 10%.

Don’t be discouraged but do realize any endeavor worth mastering does take time. But have fun with it.

The journey is best part!

The last few weeks I have embarked on a major push to edit my photo library down to aImage more reasonable size. I currently have something over 200,000 images although some of those are from when I shot dual RAW + JPEG and there are a lot of HDR image sets too. But I would guess I have 150,000 unique images! My goal is to get that down to about 15% of the total. So I started at the beginning (2001) and just completed 2004. As I complete a month, I import them into Lightroom and then I tag the very best ones with a “5”. My ultimate desire would be to have a “top 1000” folder.

I have gotten really good at being ruthless! If it is not wonderful, it gets deleted. It is often said the difference between a pro and an amateur is editing. The pro shows you only the good stuff; the amateur shows you everything, including the junk!

Anyway, the interesting (educational, frustrating, ???) aspect has been seeing how I took photos nearly 10 years ago. I can’t believe all the dumb mistakes I made. And I seemed to make them over and over. Very slow learner!

I think a part of it was coming from film, I had certain rules in mind. For instance, I almost never moved my digital SLR off ISO 100. Even though I was getting blurred photos and the camera was fine at ISO 200 and 400, I stubbornly stuck to 100.

Another disappointing trait was the almost constant underexposure. With slide film, we often did underexpose a bit. And with digital, we were so paranoid of blowing out highlights that we underexposed routinely. Had I not heard of a Histogram? The problem now, of course, is how noisy those images are. If I try to make an enlargement, I often get “banding” artifacts in the sky.

Third was how seldom I shot RAW in those early days. I think the high cost of memory cards was partly to blame but I sure wish I had shot RAW all the time. And PLEASE, don’t ever let me shoot dual RAW + JPEG again. Talk about a mess on my hard drive.

Lastly, my compositions often sucked. I think I was so in love with the new technology that any artistic sense I might have had was Sleepless in Grand Junction.

I am working on 2005 editing now and I am starting to see some improvement. 

Better late than never, I guess!

Where The Action Is

Several items today.

Kochevar Exhibit

First, I just returned a really wonderful print exhibit by our friend Jeff Kochevar. By day, he is Grand Junction’s finest inkjet and giclee printer. But on his own time, he isalso an outstanding photographer.

The exhibit is at the Great Frame Up, next to Albertsons on the Redlands. On display are a variety of large canvas prints, triptychs and even a pentaptych. The exhibit runs thru November. Their phone is 970-242-7672

The Great Frame Up is also a great place to get your treasured art framed. They have done most of my art pieces for my new Blue Pig Gallery display. Also, Jeff is offering some wonderful 8×10 canvas wraps of your photos for just $12. Great holiday presents. He can do your holiday gift card printing as well.

 

Next, I wanted to share a cool action for creating a snow storm on your photo. The action is free and has a soft snow, as well as a blizzard. To check it out, visit this Website and scroll toward the bottom for the Snow Action. There are several others on the page, many of which are free. You will need some version of Photoshop CS to be able to use these actions.

 

I still have some cool photo items for sale:

  • Manfrotto 3021B Tripod with Acra Tech ball head. Very sturdy. The head alone is worth $270. Will sell outfit for $225
  • Lensbaby Composer. New, in box. I have one for Canon and one for Nikon. New are $250. I will sell for $175.
  • Canon 8×25 Image Stabilized Binoculars. These things are magical! Sell for $195
  • Canon 100mm Macro Lens f2.8 USM. Excellent condition. Extremely sharp. $475
  • Canon 50D camera. Excellent condition. 15 mp. 6.3 fps. Live View. Complete with 4 batteries and Really Right Stuff plate. $775

 

Miscellaneous Stuff…

Crystal Lake Infrared

Some pixelated ramblings from Piazza.

Scott Parsons Blog

1. First up is mention of a great blog by my friend Scott Parsons. Scott has been very involved in photography, having seen it from both the retail and dealer side. He is writing a blog which is really quite amazing. His writing has a philosophical bent that is engaging and thought-provoking. Most of the blog photos were shot with an iPhone. You can read more and sign up here: Espyworks

2.  Canon announced a new high-end camera today. At nearly $7000, not many of you will rush out and buy it but it is always interesting to see how far the science is being pushed. Called the 1D-X, it is an amalgam of their 1.3 D series and their DS full frame sensors. It has an 18 mp full frame sensor and can shoot 12 frames a second! For a while at least, it will likely feature the lowest noise of any camera. It would also appear the megapixel race is slowing down, since this new 18 mp body is replacing a 21 mp model! Recently I was visiting with my friend Jack Kingsley who was involved with early digital sensor research; their sensors had something like 256 pixels!  A far cry from 18 million.

What is perhaps more relevant to us is the fact that soon the 1D MK III and IV and 1DS MK III models will appear in larger numbers on eBay at great prices. A year ago, I bought a used 1D Mark III for about $1,900 (new ones were $4,500) and it has become my favorite body. I could never have afforded a new one. Be warned though that once you work with a pro level camera, it is hard to go back! You can read about the new camera here: 1D-X  On the other hand, this is not to say that a nice “point & shoot” isn’t the way to go! Pick the tools for the job. Often “less” camera is better than “more”! For instance, I have my eyes on a new offering from Fuij: the X10 Compact.

3.  Another great blog I subscribe to is by Art Morris. Art is an amazing bird photographer and I am always learning something from him. Yes, the blogs have lots of advertising but you can ignore that.

Moody Sneffels

4.  More Adobe magic. In case you thought the wizards at Adobe had been napping (a reasonable assumption given the underwhelming features in the new Elements 10), fear not. They are working on a technology that will remove the blur from a photo. Read that again. I don’t mean the optical illusion of unsharp masking or “smart sharpen” which just add some edge contrast on the pixels. This is actually analyzing the blur in an image and then rendering a sharp rendition.

The best way to understand this is the watch this 6 minute video: Image Deblurring If your jaw does not drop, then you probably should have gotten a tetanus shot! Will this show up in CS6? Who knows. But it is enough to get your salivary glands pumping. I don’t need no stinkin’ tripod!

5.  I recently came across an online camera simulator. CameraSim teaches you how ISO, shutter, focal length, aperture and other settings affect your photos. It is free and pretty darn cool. Especially great if you are new to all this nonsense of f-stops and such!

Ouray Splendor

6.  Lightroom is an amazing program but to use it effectively, you need to get your photos organized first. This seems to be a big issue with folks. I frequently work with photographers who have their photos scattered all over. Some are on the desktop; some under “my pictures”; some under other folders. This sort of chaos is not conducive to efficient management, to say nothing of making proper backups. I just posted a short article here, Getting Organized, which will point you in the right direction.

7.  Next Lightroom Basics class. I am tentatively planning my next Lightroom class for Friday, Nov. 18. Only six students. Visit my Class Page for more info and to register.

8.  Happy Halloween!

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