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April 2010: Mesa Verde

Continuing my quest to share my favorite photos from my trip to the Southwest last April.
Here are some (what I think) are amazing views of Mesa Verde in Southern Colorado.
This here is Cliff Palace.

I shared another view of Cliff Palace during my top travel photos of 2010.
If you ever have a chance to visit this area in your lifetime, do! April is a great time to go, the crowds are thin and we ended up going during National Parks week, so entrance was free.
This is what’s left of a top mesa dwelling.

Next: On to Colorado National Monument.

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April 2010: More in Arizona

In my better-late-than-never quest to share my vacation photos from last April … I bring you some more delicious desert colors.
This California Condor and his (her?) mate were nesting near the Navajo Bridge. It flew over several times to show off its amazing wing span.

I love the haze and lines.

Fun tree bark.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have this view in your backyard?

Up next, Mesa Verde, Colorado.

April 2010: Arizona

Over the last month I’ve finally gotten my butt in gear and edited through my plethora of vacation memories from LAST April. We’re about to set sail in 10 days on another adventure and I’d never forgive myself if I let one set of vacation photos lapse into another. After (literally) spending hours that turned into days that turned into weeks that turned into month editing these down to 1) what I wanted to keep, an 2) to what I wanted to share with friends via Facebook albums, in my excitement that I was so near the finish line, I uploaded everything to Facebook untoned, ie, straight from the camera with no Photoshop edits. BAD Wendy!

So this week I want to take the time to share with you several of my favorites (now cleaned up and ready for prime time!)
First we went to Zion National Park in southern Utah. It just so happens I already shared this photo during my Best of 2010 posts.
After Zion, we drove to Arizona, where I took one of my favorite shots of all time, the Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend, another one I’ve already shared.

Earlier that day I had another photo session with the Colorado River.
Here’s the Navajo Bridge.

This is the view of the Colorado River from the Navajo Bridge. It really was that green!

And this is a bridge near the Glen Canyon Dam.

Next, a few typical Arizona desert shots.

Waiting for Piper

While my friend Kelly waits for baby Piper to come out (any day now!) I finally got around to editing through the zillions of moments I caught of her during my week visiting South Carolina last month. I’m really happy with how these all turned out, of course it helps that Kelly is one of the most beautiful people I’ve been around and is incredibly photogenic on top of that. She and her husband, Paul, were great subjects to work with and I’m glad they were good sports and let me shove my camera repeatedly in their faces throughout the week. I even dragged her mom into a session on top of a mountain.
Here’s a selection of my favorites along with a slideshow of all the toned shots.




Thanks Kelly and Paul – it was a lot of fun!

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It’s lambie season

Right before my trip south, I visited the Oregon State University sheep barns. It’s lamb season, and the school allows the public to visit with the new babies and their mommas.

This hungry girl was in the waiting-to-give-birth pen.

This little dude already knows new hay is pretty yummy.

This baby is going places.

Lambie with mommy.

Creating new memories from the old

Inspiration from this post. I just spent a week visiting my childhood friend, Kelly, who lives in South Carolina and is expecting her first baby this month. We met in 5th grade when I yelled at her for cutting through my yard (yeah, I was a total angel when I was a kid – I’m pretty darn lucky she put up with me long enough for us to remain friends for more than 15 years.)
During our sophomore years of college, Kelly did an exchange in Oregon and we captured this fun shot of us playing in fall leaves near the EMU. This week while I was in South Carolina we attempted to recreate this image from 2002.

After several attempts (and I’m not exaggerating, we probably tossed leaves about 8-10 times.) Here are the two images that most closely recreate the 2002 moment.

It was silly to do this because the original photo was likely the result of one or two shots from my point and shoot – and to successfully recreate it took so many shots over and over again. We had a blast, however. Because it’s early spring in South Carolina, we didn’t have any beautiful fall leaves to play with, so we had the idea to toss up some confetti – I cut up some pink, green and white streamers and to toss them in front of a flowering pear tree, but those turned out to be too light to “fall.” So we started mixing in the dead leaves in the yard in with the confetti – and would rake up the mess and toss it up again. As the photo shoot went on, more and more leaves and dead grass were mixed in and became kind of messy. Here are some of the shots from the shoot that were too good to leave in the archives.

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Jenga!

These just crack me up. This was a good weekend.

And for me, this wall was just fascinating at this time and place.

Mac2Matt

A (poorly done) pano just to give an idea of scale. I was sitting in the O zone. haha

And I just loved the looks on the students’ faces as they scream at the other team (he made this shot).

New life

How small we really are

For miles and miles

Shadow dancers

New life

Winter is full of colors and grays

I don’t claim to be Photoshop pro – in fact, I likely fall under adequate. I know basics such as levels clean up, masks and how to resize images. In school, I learned to love Adobe RGB 1998 as my working color space. In most of my work, I find this color space gives my photos better colors and a more true to life look. My old camera defaulted to sRGB. I think my new camera I can pick spaces – I really should look up how to use that. Here’s a comparison of color vs differing levels of B&W. These are some frozen wind sprays that gathered on exposed grasses on top of Marys Peak.

This is the same image with richer blue values on the left image; I toned down the blues and upped the yellows on the right image.

I can’t decide which I like better – They’re both fun.

By using a similar technique, I discovered I can pull mountains out of skylines. Such as this shot of Mount Hood from the top of Marys Peak.

And this one at sunset of the Three Sisters.