Month: August 2014

The Hoist Room



This is the hoist room for the Ajax Mine in Victor, Colorado. These are the cable spools that raised and lowered the skips 3,000+ feet in the mine shaft.

This is a 3-exposure HDR image process with Photomatix Pro 5. Once I processed the RAW files with Photomatix I applied the Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop to make basic adjustments and to remove all of the colors except orange and yellow. I then added a curves adjustment layer.


The Ajax


This is the headframe for the Ajax Mine in Victor, Colorado. We had a great time today on a tour with with Southern Teller County Focus Group, which is the organization in charge of maintaining the trail system and historic buildings in Victor and Cripple Creek.

To get the sunburst effect I used my 17-40mm lens at 17 and set the aperture to f22. I made basic adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw and used the HSL tool to convert to black and white.

As Falls Manitou Springs, So Falls Graffiti Falls



This is Graffiti Falls under Highway 24 in Manitou Springs. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist like to figure out how it got it’s name. The city has been trying to stop this activity and clean things up for years. I don’t know if they every will.

This is a 3-exposure HDR shot processed in Photomatix HDR Pro 5. After doing the blending and tonemapping in Photomatix I applied the Camera Raw filter in Photoshop to add black, increase clarity, decrease highlights and remove chromatic aberrations. I used the Spot Healing Brush and Clone Stamp to remove unwanted items. I then applied a curves adjustment layer.

Meanwhile, Back at Camp


I know it’s hard to believe that this photo wasn’t taken back in 1863. It was taken a few years ago at Rock Ledge Ranch in Colorado Springs. This is a Civil War re-enactment group that used to camp out at the ranch for a couple of days to build up to the July 4th celebration that featured “Abraham Lincoln” giving the Gettysburg Address.

I had some extra fun making this image look old-timey. After making basic adjustments and lens corrections in Adobe Camera Raw, I used a hue/saturation adjustment layer in Photoshop to produce the sepia tone. I then applied an iris blur filter to create bokeh on the top and bottom of the photo. I added a curves adjustment layer then copied the frame from a photo I found online. I had to clone out part of one side of the frame because it had the words “Eastman Kodak” on it, which wasn’t established until 1888. I used an odd-shaped brush to add some “damage spots” then cropped out the portion of the image that fell outside the frame.

Move Toward the Light



You may get a photo like this by accident if you’re taking pictures on a dark street and your focus doesn’t work, but I actually created this image on purpose. I shot this during one of my classes when I was teaching my students how to get nighttime photos. These are street lights, and I switched my lens to manual focus to intentionally capture them as bright, blurry orbs instead of sharp points of color.

I Adobe Camera Raw, I moved the blacks, contrast and clarity sliders to extremes to darken the background and remove most of the ambient light. I also upped the luminosity of the green light with the HSL tool. In Photoshop I used the Spot Healing Brush to get rid of some dark spots on the orbs. I also used the Clone Stamp to remove a particularly blurry smudge that was distracting. 

I Have No Idea What to Title This Post



This is an abstract image of a detail on an old, rusty boiler left outside the Oil Creek Mine on Pikes Peak. Miners dug a tunnel into the side of the mountain in hopes of finding gold or silver, and they struck water. They had to stop digging, and the water coming out became a source for Manitou Springs or Colorado Springs. Water still flows here, and the tunnel is gated, but some of the equipment remains.

I always tell my photography students that when they have an image with uniform color they should convert it to black and white, which then allows the viewer to better see the textures, shadows and highlights. The color becomes a distraction, and the absence of it brings the photo to life. That is the case with this picture.

I went a little crazy with the clarity, shadows and contrast sliders in Adobe Camera Raw to bring out the texture in the rust. In Photoshop I used the Spot Healing Brush to remove some bright spots. I added curves and black & white adjustment layers before cropping.


Hot Sex!



Ha ha! Made you look! Actually, you shouldn’t be viewing this photo if you’re under the age of 13 or are offended by images of naked bugs engaged in sexual activity.

Remember the Seinfeld episode when George wanted to have sex, eat and watch TV all at the same time? Well we got 2 out of 3 here. Each bug is actually eating part of an ant or some other insect. I should Photoshop in a small television set to complete the trifecta.

While making basic adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, I noticed that the white markings on the bugs’ heads got dark when I moved the highlights slider to the left. So I made some adjustments, opened the file in Photoshop, saved it as a .psd file, then reopened the raw file so I could adjust the highlights. I then added the second image as a layer to the .psd file and used a mask to bring out the white areas.

I then used the Spot Healing Brush to get rid of some distracting elements. I added a hue/saturation adjustment layer and masked in the orange on the bugs’ bodies and finished with a curves adjustment layer. 

Cupcakes with Sprinkles!



Whenever I teach a macro-photography class I always ask my students to bring in small things to photograph and emphasize the fact that edible items are especially fun since you get to eat them when you’re done. I love when my students come through in fine fashion like this.

I made basic adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw. In Photoship I used the Clone Stamp, Spot Healing Brush and burn tool to fix some of the sprinkles. I then added a curves adjustment layer and cropped.

PBR Tina


This is Tina with her tribute to Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I made basic edits in Adobe Camera Raw before opening the file in Photoshop where I used the Spot Healing Brush to remove blemishes and some paint spots on the chair. I toned down some of the highlights with the burn tool and added an exposure adjustment layer. I also used the Camera Raw filter to adjust the skin tones with the HSL tool and reduce the highlights further.

Monkey Man





This is quite possibly the funniest picture I have ever taken.

This is Dan, and he stands almost 7 feet tall with roller skates. To see him tooling around a banked, roller derby track in a monkey suit is quite the experience,. Add to that the facial expression, which I didn’t see until I looked at this photo on the computer, and the fact that he has his arms twisted into the shape of one of those plastic monkeys from the Barrel of Monkeys game. I laugh every time I see this.

barrelOfMonkeys_preview_featured In Adobe Camera Raw I made basic adjustments and reduced noise. I used the Clone Stamp in Photoshop to remove some distracting background elements before cropping.