July 14, 2018
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9 out of 10 photos on this blog are unenhanced, unedited, uncropped. They represent the photo I took. For years, I have resisted editing my photos. I want them to look as natural and real as possible and so many edited photos I see out there look plastic to me. The colors are too bright, too vibrant. The clarity just too much. Some end up looking cartoonish.
But all too frequently, I started to notice that a lot of photos I was taking simply didn’t reflect what I actually saw when I took the picture. The colors too faded, washed out. Shadowy areas much darker and less distinct than in reality.
So, occasionally, I’ve started tinkering with pictures. Just increasing the color a bit, or the light, or both, and enhancing the clarity. What I’m trying to do is use the editing tools to create the picture I saw while not turning them into an unbelievable riot of color.
Below are three versions of the same picture. The first is what my camera produced. The colors in the sky are far less than what I saw when I took the picture.
The second is what I produced using the basic photo editing software on my laptop. I brightened the colors, but lost the foreground.
The third is taking that initially enhanced photo and running it through the auto enhance feature on Photo Shop Express. The colors remain, but the light in the foreground is returned, bringing the entire picture to what I saw that night in San Simeon. I’m still trying to figure out how clicking on one “button” on the app can do this.
September 27, 2016
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This is from this past weekend’s short backpacking trip. That little ray of light was not visible to the naked eye. It only showed up in the picture. There’s something about this picture … got any ideas?
September 25, 2016
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I went on a short backpacking trip this weekend. Up to Pollock Pines and then 29 miles into the mountains to park at Loon Lake. Where my companions and I set off for a five mile hike to Buck Island Lake. I learned a few things. I can hike five miles up and down ridges and mountains with a backpack on and make it. But just barely. My old groin tear has caused significant weakness in my right leg. If I want to continue doing these types of things I can no longer ignore it. I need to do something about it.
I also learned that in a place that didn’t seem primed for a great sunset picture (the sun went behind the mountain ridge far too early and there were no clouds) some times if you just wait long enough. It’s simple, it’s dark, but this may just be my new favorite. I took it with my phone suddenly, when I looked out over the lakes surface and saw the little bit of glow at the horizon and thought “Maybe.” Now, I think, “Most definitely.”
December 27, 2014
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Back in the old days, before digital cameras, it was difficult to take pictures when the sun is in front of you instead of behind you. I’m sure there was a way, but that would probably involve way more about f-stops and apertures and shutter speeds and god knows what else than I ever wanted to learn. When I was a kid, I remember my parents telling me that the sun had to be at your back to take good pictures.
Apparently, that principle doesn’t apply to this new-fangled technology called digital photography. Yes, this has become one of my favorite kinds of picture to take. What do you think?
I took this picture today while walking along the American River in the William Pond Recreation Area. It is one of many parks that provide access to the river along the American River Parkway, which is an incredible natural setting that winds its way through the urban heart of Sacramento and its suburbs.