Category Archives: Special Effects

An Historic Post-Processing Look for a Ghost Town Photo

I have thing for photographing through windows of old west ghost towns and taking pictures through the old glass. I get my lens as close as I can to the glass without risking damage, then shade the lens as best I can to remove external reflections , and bracket exposures like crazy.

Here is the barbershop in Randsburg, CA shot a few weeks ago. You can see some of the outside reflections around the left side and that is due to my hands not blocking all the glare. I shot a two image pano: left and right side as vertical images, then let Photoshop stitch them. Next I went into Photomatix and gave it a medium HDR grunge look. Then opened in Topaz B&W Effects and used the filter: Flavescent which added the yellowed newspaper look I wanted. I finished with another layer using the Blueprint effect and set that to 30% opacity to add a dark edginess.

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When I like what I created, I abandon it for the next image. 

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Post Processing Adventures

I photographed this image at Red Rock Conservation Area, North of Las Vegas, about 6 weeks ago. I was zipping down the road from Mt. Charleston when I spotted the cactus starting to bloom. I guessed that I was about 1 week to early for full bloom, but I was not going to be here in a week, so I shot anyway.

I used a flash to fill in the shadows on the cactus and that worked great. But since it was 4 pm the light was not that great yet, so when I opened the image in Photoshop it looked like a basic snap. That’s where the fun begins. You get started and you never know where you are going in creating. Are these images ever DONE? No, they are abandoned when you are happy with the results.

I always bracket exposures so the first thing I did was HDR process it with the only intention to add drama to the clouds. Then I opened Topaz B&W Effects and used the Cerulean set to colorize the image. Once I got here I decided I had what I wanted and subsequently ‘abandoned’ this image to go start the process all over another. If you want to know about Topaz, here’s the link: http://www.topazlabs.com/aff/idevaffiliate.php?id=196

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Wigwam Motel on Route 66

Oh this was so fun! Drove through Holbrook AZ on our way to New Mexico. Stopped in Holbrook to shoot Petrified Forest and when driving through town we saw the Wigwam Motel. OMG–gotta shoot!

Came back at dusk and it started pouring down rain. Perfect! LOL. I did get pretty wet but who cares? I did a non-grungy HDR, then accentuated lighter areas by painting highlights in Photoshop, added a vignette, and a little more burning and dodging for effect. A teeny weeny bit sharpening. And I am done…for today that is.

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12 Tips for Getting Started in Professional Photography

You love photography and want to photograph full time by launching a photography business. Maybe you are unemployed or wish to supplement your retirement income or simply wanting to earn money doing what you love.

For those with jobs you may not want to quit the day job until your business is launched and earning you an income and enough income allowing you can quit that day job. Maybe you are unemployed and if so you can get started right away but be careful if your financial resources are limited.

So how do you get started? I have compiled these ideas into the 12 most important steps I believe are crucial to finding success as a professional photographer in today’s markets. (more…)

Posted in Architecture Photography, Corporate Photography, Flash & Strobe Lighting, Lifestyle Photography, Outdoor Adventure Photography, Portrait Photography, Seminars & Workshops, Special Effects, Strobe Lighting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 12 Tips for Getting Started in Professional Photography

Old Truck in The Desert

We recently visited the Desert Bar outside Parker Arizona and if you have not been there it is worth the visit. It’s an old mine that someone bought and turned into a huge bar. Very cool!

On the property are many old vehicles like this one. I shot it and then converted it using Topaz BW Effects. They just came out with version 2. I then brushed back some of the color.

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