Monday, September 19, 2011

"The Heartland Remembers"

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9-11-2001, 2996 flags were placed on the hillside below the Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri. Each flag bore the name and information about a victim of the attacks of September 11, 2001. It was truly a moving experience to walk among the flags and read the names and information about each person killed on that dreadful day. I took a number of photographs both during the day and at night of the flags and the hillside. Some are viewable in the 9-11 gallery at Fine Art America.
I have also included one of the panorama images taken at night.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Classic Ansel Adams Book For Sale

Illustrated Guide to Yosemite Valley (Paperback)
by Virginia and Ansel Adams

Third Edition, July 1946 Published by H. S. Crocker Co., Inc. San Francisco, California. Good condition. Some edge/corner wear/chipping, spine somewhat tight but usable, slight dent on front cover near bottom edge. 127 pages, 12 color coded diagrams showing location of trails, roads and geological features in Yosemite Valley. Forty-five black and white photographics by Ansel Adams. Coated paper throughout. Very clean, unmarked. Cover: Turquoise w/pine cone drawing-front/back cover, white lettering, in white plastic comb spine. Price: $35.50

Order from Amazon

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Updated HDR Application Comparison

Interior Antelope Slot Canyon, Page, AZHigh Dynamic Range (HDR) photography adds an exciting new dimension to digital photography and gives the photographer the ability to capture many more Exposure Values then with a single exposure. The images used in my comparison were all exposed bracketed 2/3 f-stop apart using my Canon 5D or 50D cameras. Included are views from Monument Valley, Utah, Upper Antelope slot canyon near Page, Arizona and Sedona, Arizona.

I compared five HDR applications: PhotoShop CS5, Photomatix 4.0, HDR Express 1.0.9, HDR Efex Pro and Essential HDR 1.0. I processed the same image files in each application For the most part, I used the “default” or “standard” result that came up when the application had merged the three images together. In a few cases I used another preset offered in the application. These are noted in the image file names. The results are shown in this album.

Each of the applications affords the photographer numerous choices in styles and degrees of effects. However, for me personally, Photomatix offers the best color rendition and most variations for the creative mind to apply to a set of bracketed images. Try them out for yourself and see what you think. Always happy to see your results or receive your comments.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Shortly after I moved to California many years ago, my family and I ventured over to Yosemite National Park on a Sunday afternoon. To say the least, I was awestruck by the beauty of the sheer cliffs of granite rising from the valley floor, the waterfalls, river and the beautiful forests. I only took a few photos on that first trip. Over the next ten years however, my family and I made numerous return trips to Yosemite. On each trip I took more photos as we explored further the awesome views from valley floor and atop the high cliffs surrounding the valley.

Early this year, I read “Ansel Adams in the National Parks” and I remembered that I had a copy of Ansel Adam’s Autobiography in my library. Both of these books feature numerous images made by Mr Adams over the years in Yosemite and the surrounding High Sierras. As I read, and viewed the accompanying images, I recall visiting Ansel Adam’s studio in Yosemite several times while in Yosemite and admiring his work. Years later I was able to purchase one of my favorite images he made in Yosemite. It is titled, “Half Dome, Merced River, Winter,” and hangs on my office wall.

The images of Yosemite in Adam’s books caused me to go back and retrieve a number of negatives and transparencies from my files that I made on my visits to Yosemite. I scanned fifteen of them and processed them into black and white. As I manipulated the various sliders in PhotoShop’s Black and White Adjustment layer to achieve the best reproduction of the grey-scale qualities of the latent image, I was reminded again of the skill, artistry and visualization that is involved in “making” a photograph. What was I trying to convey visually and emotionally  then and what do I want to convey visually and emotionally now? This process proved to be a nostalgic reflection back to the wonders of Yosemite captured on film years ago by myself. While my images don’t compare to the masterful images created by Mr Adams, I consider it a privilege just to have walked many of the same paths he walked and to see the splendor of Yosemite on the ground glass of my viewfinder, in the processed film and the final print as he did. My images do offer the viewer some glimpses into the marvel that is Yosemite as reproduced in black and white.  View my images from Yosemite National Park.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

This past October, I had the opportunity to again visit one of my favorite places on earth, Sedona, Arizona. On this visit, I captured hundreds of images bracketed with my Canon 5D and 50D cameras. My intention was to process them using one of the several HDR (High Dynamic Range) processors I own. While on the trip I used Photoshop CS5 and after returning home I processed a number of images again using Photomatix Pro 4.0 (

I found that while the HDR processor in Photoshop CS5 is much improved over previous versions, for my tastes, Photomatix still has an edge over PS5. Whatever HDR processor you use will afford you many hours of fun as you manipulate the settings on each and try the various preset tool sets.

View a gallery of HDR images taken at Sedona and compare them for yourself.