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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 2)

Herdina Park is one of those places I love to explore. It can be exhausting, and although you can see most of it in a day, it is one of those places you can revisit again and again and always find something new and exciting. I would suggest to anyone that ventures there to take a lunch and plenty of water, and if you can start at sunrise and leave after sunset. There are plenty of places to stretch out […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 1)

Herdina Park is closer to Balanced Rock than Delicate Arch, yet due to access is seldom visited in contrast to the other attractions in the park. Yes it takes a high-clearance 4×4 to drive to the Eye of the Whale Arch, yet by parking on the Willow Springs Trail Road several miles from Balanced Rock, the hike north to Herdina Park is less than a half-mile. There is no trail, and the trek is full of obstacles due to a […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 10)

Devils Garden has been our destination on several occasions, and I suggest going early before sunrise so as not to be tempted to stop along the way, otherwise it takes a long time to get there. Also, it is one of the most popular trails in the park, so it doesn’t take long for the parking to be overflowing. However, I’ve been there when not another sole was around, so it depends upon season. In January, especially if it’s below […]

Tom Bol, Colorado’s Adventure and Editorial Photographer

Tom Bol lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. He often speaks to groups as part of promoting his business, and thus I first met Tom when he talked about field flash to the Loveland Photographic Society several years ago. Tom uses flash creatively, and it’s an integral part of his craft. The results are stunning. Tom is a multitalented guy. With a journalism background he is into the obvious, which is shooting people in action. But that’s not all Tom shoots. […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 9)

Depending upon the time of day, or if you pass up Delicate Arch altogether, your next destination will probably be Devil’s Garden. We’ll pass up Fiery Furnace because you need a permit to go there, although you may want to stop at the overview. The stretch of road to Devil’s Garden passes fields of fins, huge jutting rocks that seem to go on forever. One of my award winning photos, “Winter Sentinels” (above) was taken in the winter, and is […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 8)

Chances are if you’re in Arches, you’ll venture to Delicate Arch, although some aren’t prepared for the climb, which is slightly strenuous. Not so many years ago my daughter accompanied us on a trip, and she being a fitness nut had me running up the slickrock. Keeping fit enough to do such things is important, but age is definitely catching up with me. I’ve been there with a lot of different people, and few will crawl around the arch or […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 7)

I have walked the road from the Garden of Eden to North and South Window a number of times. I have also ventured to the west, onto the petrified dunes. There are numerous places to traverse that give the windows area a different perspective. Like most photographers, I’m always looking for something a little different. The Cove of Caves (above) is set between the Garden of Eden and Elephant Rock, with the west window of Double Arch on the far […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 6)

I find in many of my trips to the windows area, that plans take me to North and South window first, then Turret Arch, and back to the Garden of Eden for sunset. In all of my visits, I think I have only lingered at the windows twice at sunset, and of course Turret Arch is best shot at sunrise, which I have never done. Turret Arch sets alone, which makes it an oddity since the vast majority of the […]

Tom Till, Utah’s ambassador of photography

I’ve been visiting Moab for nearly 30 years, and probably poked my nose in the Tom Till Gallery in October of 1998, the year it opened. I’ve been in awe of Tom’s work every since. I’ve studied his work and it has influenced mine. Tom’s art is pure, mine is not. Tom is a true photographer. I composite in Photoshop. Tom made photography his career, so I should hardly compare myself to him, but I do. I think I do […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 5)

Just down the road from Balanced Rock you turn into the windows area. My favorite place in the park for sunset shots is the Garden of Eden. It will be your first stop on the way to North and South Window. I’ve never been to the Garden of Eden at sunrise because I figure it would all be in shadows, but perhaps some day I’ll check it out. The first shot (above) is from a distance to give a perspective […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 4)

If Delicate Arch is the number one attraction in Utah, Balanced Rock isn’t far behind. Midway into Arches, the icon is only yards away from the highway. I’ve never found it all that big of an attraction, and because of its proportions, difficult to photograph. I’ve had fun in Photoshop making it topple, I’ve taken reflections shots every place I could find a puddle, I’ve been there at sunrise and sunset, and yet I’m never pleased with the results. The […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 3)

The fact that the vast majority of visitors spend just a few hours in Arches National Park is a sad commentary of the way many people vacation. If you don’t stop and ponder your surroundings, it’s a little hard to appreciate the magnificence that is there. Probably millions of people have seen the Tower of Babel, but how many have seen it glowing at sunset in the fall with the golden leaves of the cottonwoods in full splendor? Yes, there […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 2)

Not far into Arches you’ll find Courthouse Towers. More often than not they are photographed as a grouping. There are really a limited number of pull offs, and that is typically where the vast majority of images are taken. To find the unusual perspective means you will have to hike. Most visitors are so afraid of stepping on the cryptobiotic soil that they avoid going anywhere. The truth is that the soil can easily be avoided by walking in washes […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 1)

My wife and I have been visiting Moab and Arches National Park for more years than I care to mention. We’ve visited often enough that it feels like coming home every time we go there. We’ve been in Arches National Park so many times that we typically avoid the beaten path. In October of 2010 we guided a field trip with the Loveland Photographic Society, and since many of the members who attended had never been there, we revisited some […]

Reflections in Macro with Photoshop

If you look at macro shots you’ve probably seen those amazing drops of water with spherical little images floating inside them. Optics are wonderful. Getting such images directly from your camera is a challenge. An equal challenge is catching a reflection in an eye, especially of an animal that refuses to pose. Recently I visited the Lazy J bar S Ranch, a facility that boards horses and trains both hoses and riders. It’s a fun place to visit and is […]

Space Art and the Hubble Telescope (part 5)

M45: A blue cloud and stars; sometimes the simple can be amazing. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the halo effect that dominates the brightest stars in the nebula. Without, the image would be little more than a puff of color. Star fields and nebula have been the subject of other articles, so I’ll address the halos, which is the main feature of this image. I’m sure there are numerous ways to create facsimiles, and I have tried several. In […]

Space Art and the Hubble Telescope (part 4)

Unlike the Crab Nebula, the rendition of the Sombrero Galaxy (above) was produced without utilizing any pattern from the images I downloaded from the Internet. The cropped image was my model since it had more detail and color to work with (below). The full image (far below) is no doubt more like the natural exposure directly from a telescope, and in fact looks very much like the one from the Hubble site. The process I used to create this image […]

Space Art and the Hubble Telescope (part 3)

The Crab Nebula (Hubble image above) is a close neighbor compared to most of the objects Hubble photographs, and is also a recent event, remnants of a supernova observed and recorded in China and Japan about 1000 years ago. Small Earth bound telescopes are capable of obtaining fair shots of this phenomenon. Not owning a telescope myself, I have never photographed anything other than the moon in the night sky, so once again I turn to Photoshop to create my […]

Space Art and the Hubble Telescope (part 2)

So, here is more as promised. This is butterfly nebula as taken by the Hubble Telescope (above), and my rendition (below), which was not meant to be a duplicate in any way. Part of the fun is to try and make the spectacular even more spectacular. The outcome is debatable, although I’m somewhat partial to the more translucent effect I obtained. The process as explained in the previous nebula is similar except that I used an image I had taken […]

Space Art that rivals the Hubble Telescope

Space doesn’t always look exactly like the images taken by telescopes. Astronomers know that enhancing their images is just as important for their profession as it is for any other. Few images come straight from the camera and go undoctored. However, it is hard not to be amazed by what exists in the Cosmos, doctored or undoctored. Because few people have access to the images produced by Hubble, and because those images are of unmatched quality, if you want to […]

Enhancing images with filters in Photoshop

Mechanisms is the April monthly topic, which is not the normal sort of thing I photograph. My best selection of mechanical things are trains, since that is one of my favorite subjects after space art, landscapes and flowers. This particular set of SD 90 Mac locomotives was used to create my jacket for Harvesting Terra, but in quite a different color scheme. This blue was one of my renditions. First the locomotives: When you look at color schemes and wonder […]

Alien Lake: Multiple layered Photoshop composite

Compositing is seldom so complex or time consuming as Alien Lake. Some projects have promise and it’s difficult not to see them to fruition. The rock formations surrounding the lake are made up of three different shots from different locations, the left and center on a road trip between Green River, Utah and Capitol Reef, and the right from Castle Garden in Wyoming. Blending these shots truly created something out of the ordinary since these stark formation are so geologically […]