It may sound extravagant that we choose to take a 16 night cruise to Barcelona vs. flying to start our extended European visit. However, when home free, we must pay to live somewhere and the trans-Atlantic cruise takes care of our room and board for two plus weeks. Continue reading →
The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival attracts nearly one million visitors during the nine days of this annual event. My family would attend several days a year whenever possible, and we were especially interested in the special shape balloons. I have attended at least a dozen days of the early morning balloon lift-off events. Continue reading →
It seems to me, anybody who saw the 1977 Steven Spielberg film “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” and who had never visited the filming location, would certainly wish to do so. Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming finally got checked off my list this summer. Unfortunately, most of the area was covered in a smoky haze from the many raging forest fires in California and Oregon. As a side note, it seems as if Smoky the Bear may have had it wrong. We are now paying the price, an unintended consequence, for the many years when the US Forest Service tried to put out every fire. Continue reading →
Moab, Utah was just one of many small towns dotting my route as I frequently traveled between the University of Utah and my home town of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Stopping to explore this impressive landscape was never considered. Time was always short, rushing to get back to school, go skiing or to get home on a vacation. Now that I have nuttin’ but time on my hands I rented a VRBO cottage in downtown Moab. This great location did little good as many of the shops, restaurants and both photo galleries I wished to visit were closed, as February is considered the off season. Some shops were scheduled to open up the day we departed for Colorado. Many times while dining we were the only tourists in the cafe. It was fun listening to the business owners in town discuss the issues of the day. They seemed to look upon the inevitable onslaught of tourists starting in March with both great anticipation and trepidation. Goodbye to their quiet little town. Continue reading →
Here is a sequence of photos taken on a single winter evening at the foothills of the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, showing the fleeting light of a sunset after a dusting of snow. Often, the primary difference between a good photograph and a great one is the presence of unique light. To increase the possibilities of getting great light, photographers often go out before sunrise and at sunset. The soft, horizontal light in the evening is often called the golden hour. This light allows the photographer to capture a scene that is more evenly illuminated without the harsh contrast of bright sun and dark shadows that are present during most of the day. FYI, the sunset glow photo was captured with a 300mm lens.
Most commonly today when people take photos of friends or family, the photos will be stored in a format called JPEG. This simply means that their camera has a math program in a computer chip where certain pieces of photo information are saved; color saturation may be enhanced while other data from the original photo are tossed out and forever lost. Inherent in this process is a lower quality image that is not suitable for the highest quality photos required by professionals. This math program will apply saturation to the colors automatically and will try to get whites to look white to the viewer along with many more adjustments, or manipulations. The advantage is the resulting photos are fine for displaying on the internet and also small enough for convenient storage.
RAW image files have come to the rescue of the serious photographer who wants to take the highest quality images possible. With a RAW file, the substantial amounts of data lost in the JPEG files are instead retained and remain unaltered. The result is a dull image compared to a JPEG enhanced program. Each camera manufacturer has its own proprietary format. Nikon uses a different RAW format than Canon. The primary difference with the RAW photo is data is not manipulated or altered by some predetermined math program trying to create a final image. A RAW file is an unprocessed file and is not capable of being printed without alterations through computer software.
(First in a series of six articles on photo manipulation)
I hope that my photos spark wonder in you the way they do in me. If so, thank you – it means a lot to me that you appreciate my work. Some ask if my photos are manipulated. For a meaningful response one would need to know what is meant by ‘manipulate.’ If one defines photo manipulation as an alteration to create an illusion or deception, in contrast to mere color and contrast correction, then no, I do not manipulate my photos. However, Continue reading →