My latest creation….

The other day I was fumbling through old photos using Lightroom like I so very often do. I was looking for something but I didn’t know what. Again this is something that happens quite frequently. I guess I find myself looking for some inspiration. Then I found a folder with some images taken back in 2011. There were loads of images in this folder because it was from a flag football game that my oldest daughter was playing in. Mixed in there among the blurry and out of focus images of of my oldest daughter running with the ball and chasing the ball was a few of my youngest daughter playing on the sidelines as she always did at those games. The day was pretty much cloudless and the sun was high in the sky so many of the images from that day were pretty washed out. Oh I had a few of the game play that I was able to fix and some of my youngest weren’t to bad and I posted a few I’m sure over on my Facebook page for friends and family to see.

I started to play around with a few pics in the folder with Lightroom, and came across this one that stood out to me and I started playing with it. After processing one in color and totally brightening up the face with the exposure brush, I then created one in black and white with very high contrast. Once that was done the idea came to me as to what I needed to do next. I took the now two images into Photoshop CS6 and created a High Pass filter layer on the black and white version and created a third file with that one. Then I basically merged the three images creating filter masks on each to have only certain parts show through. Forgive me but I’m far from creating a tutorial on all these steps as I’m still learning myself. But in essence what I did was take the color image and put it behind the others. I only wanted the eyes to be in color so as I overlay-ed the others over the color layer I made only the color of the eyes come through. Then I wanted the High Pass Filter to show up in the hair and lips. So I made those features come through, leaving the rest of what the High Contrast black and white image already had. It was a bit of a process and took some trial and error but after three attempts I came up with the final image below and then added my signature as well. Oh also to get the eyes the way I wanted I messed with the Curves and Levels quite a bit. I would hate to see what that color image looked like under the others but all I cared about was the color popping in the eyes haha. Then as you can tell in the final image, I cropped out the hat. I did other tweaks here and there but for the most part that was about it.


IzzyBnWthree pics


My little Ghoul

My Little Ghoul

While I was setting up to take the picture for the contest the other day I had a little helper. Focus wasn’t quite as spot on with her, but I think I managed to create something fun :)

The idea of the contest was to use the Sound Sensor function of the App to trigger the camera while yelling or screaming. I was using my Android Galaxy S3 mobile phone running the new Beta version of Triggertrap, connected to my Canon 60D. I also used for lighting, my Canon 550EX in slave mode in a homemade softlight about 1-2 feet away.

Originally I wasn’t even going to process this one or any of the others I shot of her (I say “I shot of her but what I really mean – What she shot of herself haha) because of the focus.  I had set the focus of the camera to where I was to be in the frame, but she insisted on helping erm, Playing However the more I look at the way this turned out, the “out-of-focus” works quite well to make it even more ghoulish as a friend of mine suggested.


My Little Ghoul
Triggertrap Screamgrab





Surreal Willamette Queen

Surreal Willamette Queen

Back in January of this year (2013) while walking along the Willamette river here in Salem, Oregon I came across this very surreal scene. The Iconic Willamette Queen river boat docked under the thick fog bank that was just lifting off the river. At the time my only camera was my trusty Samsung Galaxy S3 mobile phone. I worried that it would not be enough to capture the moment at hand however I think it did quite well in this instance. I used an App or two from the phone to edit and then post to my Facebook, Flickr and Google+ accounts and sort of forgot about it until just recently. Just the other day my 4yr old daughter and I had the pleasure of climbing aboard this little jewel that we see nearly every day as we cross the river into town. Nearly every day that my daughter notices it she tells me that she wants to ride on it. So the other day we did. We tried out the one hour river excursion to see what it was all about and had a blast. Next time maybe we will do the two hour ride with dinner or brunch. My daughter even got to steer the boat briefly while I snapped a picture of her.

At any rate the pictures that I’m posting here are firstly the original out of camera. The other two versions were taken into Lightroom4 and Photoshop CS6 and processed a little more. One of which I added the “Oil Paint” effect which I think works quite well with this image if I do say so myself.

Willamette Queen orig
Willamette Queen orig
Willamette Queen
Willamette Queen CS6 edit
Willamette Queen
Willamette Queen Oil Painting

Skull Stone a.k.a. Skull Rock

Skull Stone
Skull Stone

“Am I supposed to see a Skull here?”

I’ve posted this image to Facebook and other Sites in the past. I used to call it Skull Rock but as of a few days ago I decided to call it Skull Stone and I get the same question about 50% of the time. This time it came from my own Brother, when I recently posted the reworked image to my personal Facebook page. So I thought this would make a good post to share here.

It seems I am the only one that ever sees this. If you look at the whole rock as if it were a table, then look at the top or back center. To me it looks as if there is a skull sitting on the table . Two deep eye sockets stand out. It’s as if the skull formation melted into the rock, as you can not make it the lower jaw.
The story behind the image made this “formation” even more interesting – to me at least. While driving the  narrow winding road towards Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls Idaho, this rock catches my eye. So I pull the van over on the first  available pull out. I tell the kids to stay put as I walk the 25 or so yards towards the rock that is off the road and down a bit. As I’m doing so, I’m checking the settings on my camera and enjoying the beauty and quiet sounds of the surroundings. As I get close to the rock and within range of my lens to take the picture – I bring the camera up and hold down the shutter half way to set the focus and the camera just dies. Battery goes completely dead. The whole tone of the experience changes as I’m a bit creep’d out by no warning at all that my battery was ever even low. But – I walk back to the van for my spare battery, then back to the rock and take the pictures with no other strange happenings. I’m sure it’s all just coincidence, but from that point on (to me) there has been a sort of reverence and respect for this rock and the area surrounding it.

I guess back in the late ’50s when excavations were being done around there, they found evidence of human activity which included arrowheads that ranked among the oldest dated artifacts in Northern America. So I’m sure this rock had some deeper history behind it.

Folder surfing ….

The last few days I have been really itching to get out and take some fresh pictures but the weather here in rainy Oregon has been , well …… rainy. So I have been surfing through my one and only lightroom catalog looking for just about anything really. I’ve come across loads of old memories and a few great classic photos of my kids. Along the way I have found myself opening a few select oldies in Lightroom, and trying to work some creative magic to see if I can come up with anything. This image is one of those attempts. This was taken somewhere near Boise, Idaho. I was using my Canon Rebel with the kit lens. It was about mid day and not the best time for taking pictures but I was determined. In the originals the highlights are all blown out which is to be expected for the time of day, with the sun breaking through the clouds. But I loved the old building and this one just called out to be reanimated so to speak. So – with the help of Lightroom 4 and a preset called OrangGarden, I came up with this (with a couple other tweaks here and there). For the full resolution image head on over to my Flickr link!

Lightroom 4 OrangeGarden preset

Pano to the 66th Power…

66 image Pano

Another pano for your viewing pleasure folks. My last pano post was called “Pano Extreme” or something to that effect, however this one has it beat by double. I used sixty six (66) images to stitch this one together. Really OVERKILL if you ask me. But again, Photoshop CS6 with Photomerge pulls through. It almost killed my computer, but it did a pretty good job taking what I threw at it and spitting out a nice image I think. The final image, I converted to a PSB file (I know – I had never heard of that one either, but Photoshop would not save it to any other file format because of it’s size), which ended up being almost 1G! Photoshop wouldn’t even let me save the file as a PSD , which is the standard Adobe image file format. I shot this all hand held in Manual setting. My only blunder here was I was using my 17-40mm lens again and shot it at 32mm which I only recently noticed as I was tweaking the final image. I am horrible at details when shooting haha. If it’s not that – I’m shooting all my images without checking my ISO settings, and find I was shooting all my sunny daylight images at 6400 ISO! OOPS


On a side note as I examined this image even more closely I found many flaws in the stitching and masking. As a whole however I think it turned out pretty well :)


Gopher Snake Attacks Mobile phone!

*See video link below*

Here was a fun little happening today. My daughter and I went to leave the house this afternoon and what a lovely surprise that awaited us. Just outside our front door was a medium sized Gopher Snake! I took a few snapshots with my mobile phone. Then I put the GS3 into video mode and began to record the event. (Don’t you just love our mobile technology haha – I know I do! You could almost say it’s one of the many DiSoRdErS I have) So as I’m zooming in close to the vicious reptilian beast, it starts to HISS at me. Mind you I’m holding my prized mobile device with two fingers reaching out the door around the corner when it decides to attack! Yea I jumped a bit but hey I didn’t drop the phone lol. I recorded for a little longer provoking the beast and making him hiss even more. Then as he made his move to escape I stopped the video so that we could play a little more him. Good times :)