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Category : Photo Art

Spring Queen

Thanks to Avalon’s Inspirational at Deviant Art for the dress. I love artists that share. So this is the last of my queens. This one is ten images for the girl and five for the background. The background is the snowy range in Wyoming. My partial color blindness has apparently spilled over into the skin and hair of my Spring Queen, so with a little help they are back to a more natural color. Unfortunately, going through the desaturation process […]

Nebula Iris

Combining macro and infinity can have interesting results beyond any I imagined. Using a divide blending mode made the iris a part of the distant nebula background. This image was built from multiple star fields, nebulas clouds created from photographing smoke, plus starbursts, supernova, and other space elements I’ve created over the years. It is hard to calculate the number of layers since multiple layers have been combined to form more complex elements, but this image consists of more than […]

2014 Season Greetings from Michael Atman

Yes, I’ve neglected posting. For most of 2013 I have been audio editing my novels: Silent Trek the Trilogy (Silent Wave, Silent Rising, Silent Landing) Harvesting Terra, Resurrecting Terra, Planet Passing, & The Future Teller. The new editions should be published early in 2014. I have also neglected my Photo Art, but should get back to my routine of blogging in 2014. It should be an exciting year.  

Digital Art: Cliff Dunes

I’ve tried this sky in dozens of composites and love it in everyone I try. This particular sunset yielded about 50 spectacular shots, and many were stunningly different depending on the direction and the time of the shot. Good color probably lasted for 45 minutes. I photograph the sky all the time, and try to be observant of every sunset. Great sunsets are unusual, and superb sunsets are rare enough that you don’t want to miss them. Cliff Dunes seems […]

Digital Space Art: Red Cliffs at Night

This is a project I started in 2012, but is my first post for 2013. Before I get into my project I want relay my most recent problem with trying to stay up to date with software. I just went through some trying times with Adobe. They had a whole group of corrupted license files and my CS6 Extended was in that group. Adobe doesn’t make it easy. Rather than give you an email, they expect you to sit by […]

December 22nd, 2012 and time goes on

I sometimes think humanity would be much better served without all the superstition, and yes, buying into nonsense is prevelant in religion. I guess the rapture just didn’t unfold as expected, or perhaps no one was worthy. Of course I could be wrong since it’s still the 21st and I’m jumping the gun. I’m predicting this greeting will be around, so for those who believe in a future, try and make a difference and perhaps some day we’ll wake up […]

Delicate Arch Dazzle with 10 skies to choose from

Sometimes choosing the right sky is simple. Sometimes it’s not. What’s always amazing is how the sky changes the character of the image. Note this is a slightly different angle of Delicate Arch from the previous post. In image one the sunset is one of the most unusual I’ve ever photographed. In Image two is a bank of clouds topped with a thunderhead. In Image three is an unusual array of clouds in the east at sunset. In Image four […]

Delicate Arch sunset with storm

I’ve visited Arches National Park more times than I can count on my fingers. I can’t say without going through photos if it’s been more if I include my toes, but nevertheless as many times as I’ve been there I’ve never witnessed a really wicked storm. If you sat at Delicate Arch everyday for years, chances are you’d never see the type of storm in this picture. I hadn’t thought about that much until I saw a picture of the […]

Vedauwoo Pronghorn with digital frame

Sometimes images just don’t look finished without a frame or border. Sometimes the border can be a thin white or black line. Typically, if I’m going to bother I want something more. Vedauwoo Pronghorn is of course a composite. The separate elements are the sky (background), the rock formations and trees (mid ground), the pond (foreground), the reflection in the pond from the mid ground, the pronghorn, and the pronghorn reflection. I saved a jpeg version of the PSD, then […]

Dubois Hills Photoshop Composite

A nice thing about having a personalized desktop is that you get to see favorite images every time you open your computer. Dubois Hills (2007) is a fairly early foray into compositing. The hills were pretty, but the sky was blah and the foreground was messy. Added are a new sky, some brush, a horse, and of course shadows to make the new elements fit in. Although my skills in Photoshop have advanced since this rendition, I can find no […]

Vedauwoo Sunrise Photoshop Composite

Unusual skies, unusual rocks, and fields of flowers can turn an average shot into something spectacular. Vedauwoo, a popular rock climbing area in Wyoming is west of Cheyenne and east of Laramie. Off season, there is plenty of solitude.   This particular shot is about a half mile east of the main entrance. Although the original shot is interesting enough with a dirt path leading to the rocks, adding a foreground of flowers give the shot a pristine feeling. Although […]

Digital Space Art: Double Ringed Planets

Using our solar system as an example, ringed planets should be fairly common throughout the universe. Having two in close proximity is far less likely, but orbits could create some close encounters somewhere. If not, it’s still fun to speculate. Space certainly has its oddities. Double ringed planets was easy enough to execute. Duplicating the planet and rings, then sizing and changing colors is about all it took. I probably spent and equal amount of time scooting nebulas around. This […]

Digital Space Art: Fisher Coast

I am in the process of publishing two books on the Art of Digital Space Art. The process has inspired me to create some new images. My latest 2 are panoramas, which I seldom do and will not fit in the format well, so I will not be including them in the new books. However, I’m always anxious to share new work in hopes of getting some feedback. Fisher Coast is a composite that combines parts from places I would […]

South Dakota Badlands Sunset

A recent trip to South Dakota allowed me to get some decent shots, but nothing amazing. The weather was decent, light was good, and there were even interesting clouds. However, when the sun set, it wasn’t spectacular. Shortly after getting back to Loveland, Co., I caught a sunset one night that had great color. The problem was the angle of the sun was wrong, so I went back though my library of sunsets and found a similar sunset with the […]

Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds of the Bisti (part 3)

Although our stay in the Bisti Badlands was short, the number of usable shots was amazing. As I continue to play, I realize that another trip will have to be added to my agenda. The landscape in the Bisti yields to my alien worlds more than any place I have ever visited. Bisti Evolution (above) seems a natural place for a lava flow burning its way down natural erosion. This is one of those creations I’ll probably play with, but […]

Portraiture Photography with people and horses

The Rocky Mountain Lazy J bar S Ranch is a great venue for a photo shoot. This year’s emphasis was on portraiture, and although portraiture isn’t my gig, it’s always fun with exuberant participants. For me it is all about postproduction anyway. Paige Riding (above) was one of those shots where the background was full of distracting element since the shot was taken inside their outdoor arena. It’s not that it didn’t make a good shot, but with the right […]

Photographing with penlights: Orchids

Occasionally I’m faced with a challenge that doesn’t rely on Photoshop. It’s good to try techniques that yield interesting exposures. In painting with light, it’s all about creating the image by selectively lighting your subject. This shot was for the traditional category in the monthly competition at the Loveland Photographic Society. In Orchids (above), I used a small LED penlight in a dark open room, and with my camera on a tripod with a 105 mm macro lens, I set […]

Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds of the Bisti (part 2)

The landscape in the Bisti is very neutral which actually works quite well for manipulation. Also, the sculpting shows evidence of natural water flows, which also adds character to the strange formations. In Exploring Bisti (above), I show a lone hiker gazing at a ringed planet, which is partially obscured by clouds. Multiple layers of the sky sandwich the planet to make it appear in a distant plane. To overlay just the clouds, I used color select in Photoshop on […]

Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds of the Bisti (part 1)

A recent trip to the Bisti Badlands just south of Farmington, New Mexico yielded some interesting landscapes. The wind was blowing, the sky was gray, and we gagged on smoke from intense fires in Arizona. Yet what I found to shoot more than made up for the less than perfect conditions. Hope Landing depicts a vast dry valley linked with jagged cliffs. Hope is my flying saucer that I developed in Silent Landing, the third book in Silent Trek, the […]

Digital Space Art: Planets & Moons

If it were possible to zip around the cosmos, it would be interesting to approach planets and their moons from all different angles, just to get interesting shots. That possibility will depend upon technologies that are near impossible for us to even imagine, although it’s always fun to speculate. No doubt such shots would be awe-inspiring. The Rings (above) shows a Saturn like planet with moons that are orbiting out of the rings plane. With the sun captured in the […]

Digital Space Art: Planets & Moons (part 1)

Creating spheres is very easy with Photoshop. Finding good textures that give good results is another matter. My daughter-in-law occasionally bakes bread in a cast iron pot, and the loaves have incredible texture. I’ve made most of my planets from just a few textures. With a little manipulation, such as using inverse, saturation, and hue, you can have planets of most any color. Add a few clouds and a shadow, and perhaps an outer glow for an atmosphere, and for […]

Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds (part 4)

Creating out of the ordinary images is much of the fun with space art. To believe that such places could exist is pure speculation. In art, what does it matter? Combining bluffs can make for an interesting skyline. It’s hard to imagine that night lighting would allow for such brilliance, but who is to say on an alien planet with an alien atmosphere. Adding the reflection only intensifies the feeling of an otherworldly landscape in Alien Butte 2 (above). Winter […]

Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds (part 3)

In any art you can let your imagination run wild, but certainly space gives you an infinite pallet. Most of what’s out there is very random and often stranger than one can imagine. Although some space art falls in the amateurish category, most of what you find on the web is really quite exceptional. Some goes too far for my taste, and a good deal of it delves into science fiction with alien spacecraft. Until I can build digital models […]

Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds (part 2)

Weathered bluffs near Page Arizona, and the bottom of Hell’s Half Acre in Wyoming make up this alien landscape in Butterfly Nebula Alienscape (above). The planet is a spherized loaf of bread, and Butterfly Nebula was made from smoke. The elements are combined with a star field created in Photoshop. Artic Sunset is the 7 edition of this layout. Once again this is a composite with multiple layers. I would love to see this hanging on a wall in a […]

Digital Space Art: Alien Worlds (part 1)

Although beautiful, our moon is the most intriguing feature in the heavens until you start looking deeper. Yet it’s not hard to envision planets that sit with windows to spectacular galaxies or exploding nebula. There are, no doubt, many vantage points in space full of eye candy. Alien looking landscapes on Earth are not unusual, and of course one of my favorites is the Garden of Eden in Arches National Park. Thus Eden Galaxy (above) shows what it might look […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 10)

It’s always fun to seek out a new spot, and in Arches at 119 square miles, it’s pretty easy to do. There is probably no way to explore it all, even if you could spend most of a lifetime. Consider that Arches is just one of five National Parks in Utah, with Canyonlands encompassing more land than Arches, Zion, and Bryce combined. Capitol Reef is the other big contender at 378 square miles, just 149 square miles less than Canyonlands. […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 9)

The climb to the top of the Great Wall starts once again at the Courthouse Bridge. The time of the day will probably depend upon how much time you’ll want to spend. Getting there is slightly difficult, so I’d suggest spending most of a day. Although you start at the same spot as Ring Arch, you will immediately take a right fork into a small wash. You will circle around and behind the west end of the Great Wall and […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 8)

Upper Courthouse Wash is a good way to find some solitude, even on busy days at the park. Although there is limited parking at the Courthouse Bridge, that is where you’ll want to start your hike. Getting to Ring Arch is a little tricky since there is no marked trail. On the way to Ring Arch you will want to stop and smell the roses, not that the foliage smells anything like roses, but you get the drift. Lonesome Day […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 7)

I find it very invigorating to revisit images from most of my photo expeditions because they bring back great memories. Klondike Ridge is just one of those places I’d happily have my ashes scattered, and perhaps my spirit could be its keeper. It’s fortunate that the area didn’t yield enough uranium or some other precious element, otherwise it may have been leveled. Whenever I’m there I say my gratefuls. There is something special about this next shot in the way […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 6)

Not far from Herdina Park on the southeast end of Klondike Ridge, the first of the tall fins form. The whole area is tilted toward the southwest at a 15 or 20-degree angle. It’s a great place to see where tectonics have been at work. Standing between two fins, shortly after sunrise, I took Breaking Day (above) on a hike where I was a little too rambunctious. I injured my knee, and hobbled around for weeks afterward. Caution to those […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 5)

If you visit Klondike Bluffs or Herdina Park, or perhaps drive the four wheel drive road from Klondike Bluffs south, you’ll notice a ridge of rocks that line the western boarder of Arches. I call this ridge Klondike Ridge since I’m unable to find a map that gives the area any specific label. As splendid an area as it is, I’ve always wondered why it hasn’t been annexed by the park. I’ve climbed in this area as often as I’ve […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 4)

Tower Arch isn’t the largest arch in the park, but it’s tall enough to accommodate a 4-story building. If someone were climbing the face of the tower behind the arch, they’d look smaller than a sugar ant crawling up your finger. I’ve taken some shots of the arch without realizing people were standing there. Unlike Delicate Arch, you might actually sit down and eat your lunch in solitude. We have never seen more than a handful of people on any […]

Arches National Park Photo Guide: Off the beaten path (part 3)

I have visited Klondike Bluffs a dozen times I’m sure, and I have hiked to its core from every direction. If you have a high clearance 4×4, you can drive directly to tower arch, but you see so much more if you hike. However you go, be assured you are in for a treat. Entering from the Salt Valley Road, a short climb from the Tower Arch Trailhead parking lot will bring you to a ridge and a view of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sculpted Reflection of an Alien World

Sometimes it’s fun to go a little bit nuts. I see other Space Art that I admire and I’m tempted enough to experiment and make my own version. Creating an image you like is kind of a hit and miss process. What I envisioned in this image wasn’t exactly the end result. I didn’t originally have the reflection, but when I added it, the image truly seemed alien. This particular image consists of 37 layers, 8 for the stars, 2 […]

Beacon on Io: an alien world

When creating alien worlds, I often think what it would be like to stare into space with planets or moons so close that they dominate the sky. Our moon is really quite small, and although beautiful, not quite the site that must exist on numerous alien worlds. It is possible I suppose that Io might have a view of Jupiter similar to the one depicted, but this need not be our Io or Jupiter, but a moon or small planet […]

Out of Frame Dragonfly

3d effects are always fun with Photoshop. Some images are already so sharp you feel like you can jump right in, but the illusion of an image extending beyond the frame adds that third dimension even if the background is blurry. With this particular dragonfly, I had already spent a painstaking few hours separating the wings and cleaning up the translucency, which was dappled from a multicolored background. This was not a task I’d wish on anyone, but it’s a […]

Corona Arch Flythrough

In October 2010 we led a group to Moab. One of our workshops started at Gold Bar campground where we took sunrise reflections of the cliffs from the bank of the Colorado River. While we were there a group with motorized paragliders took off from the parking lot and flew up and down the canyon. It was a real added bonus for our photographers. From there we hiked to Corona Arch, and if you’re into Moab lore you might have […]

Locomotives in Exotic Places

There are places in the world where rail lines pass through exotic places. I’m always interested to see how often such locations as the Glenfinnan Viaduct  or the Arten Gill Viaduct show up in films. Since I’m not planning any trips to Scotland or England in the near future, I have to manufacture my own exotic rail lines. The UP engine was shot at the Cheyenne rail yard during a fieldtrip with the Loveland Photographic Society. The landscape is west […]

Shooting the Wind

Challenge topics help produce interesting results. If you’re serious about your craft as a photographer, competition is a good way to seek to produce images that you might never otherwise create. Sometimes these images can be some of your most interesting work. Ominous Wind was just such an image. How do you photograph wind? We all know wind itself is invisible, while the effects of wind are often quite recognizable. The elements of Ominous Wind needed more than just an […]

St. Malo Chapel Sunrise

St. Malo Chapel is a popular landmark to photograph that is just south of Estes Park, and is near Long’s Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park, all big attractions for tourists. Even though I live within 50 miles, I rarely drive past, especially early in the morning. This fall we had a field trip for the Loveland Photographic Society, www.lps.cc, that took me past the chapel just at sunrise. Although the chapel and reflection were spectacular, there was nothing exciting […]

Fall Composites (Arches National Park)

One of the advantages of visiting my blog is seeing images I haven’t yet published. This of course doesn’t mean the image will be published, but with some demand it might. Arches National Park has it’s own fall color, but not always where you want it, and certainly there are no Ash trees to be found. If you are lucky enough to be there in mid to late October, be prepared for a treat of color. You might want to […]

Ocean Sunsets

Sometimes sunsets are so spectacular you can’t stop staring, but when you revisit your photographs, there is something missing. This can often be remedied by compositing, but you certainly don’t want your foreground or mid-ground to steal the scene. To make a good picture, you want the elements to complement each other. Ocean sunsets are great because of the straight horizon. In the 2 images, Ocean Sunset 2, and Arago Sunset, the sky and sun are still the main focus. […]

To Infinity & Beyond

The Loveland Photographic Society has a monthly challenge topic for competition, February’s being Extreme Depth of Field. For most participants, the challenge will be taking multiple exposures at different focal points and blending them together in some program such as helicon focus. While fun, I’m always looking into the Photoshop bag of tricks to make something more unusual. Layers allows you that option. Although some will protest saying the challenge is to use your camera, I know that the interpretation […]

Creating a Vision

I recently made a book trailer for my first novel, Silent Wave. I needed images representative of the storyline, which meant that most were at least partially from my imagination. When certain elements don’t exist, how do you go about creating them? In my photography I typically shoot with the idea that I will composite backgrounds, mid-grounds, and foregrounds together, so I’m used to building images in Photoshop. Some are more of a challenge than others. AMT (Advanced Metal Technologies, […]