Thursday, October 30, 2014

Painting with Photographs

There's a number of programs out there that will give your photos that "painted" look. One that I've been trying out recently is called Topaz Impressions []. It's not cheap ($100), but the good news is they have a generous 30-day free trial.  I'm about 10 days into my trial period, and thought I would share a few photos I've edited using this program.
Old Car - Original photo
Old Car "Painting" - Topaz Impression
Framed by Joshua Trees - Original photo
Framed by Joshua Trees - Charcoal "sketch" using Topaz Impression
Running in the Park - Original Photo
Running in the Park "Painting" - Topaz Impression
Joshua Trees & Moon - Original photos
Joshua Trees & Moon "Painting" - Topaz Impressions
Let me know what you think. Do you like the edits? Linking with Skywatch Friday. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

By the Light of the Moon

I wonder what she's thinking, and what her future holds...
My granddaughter... 2 years old
Linking with: 
Skywatch Friday and .  Please click on these links to check out great skies and fences from around the world!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Photographer's Little Helper

We had a very pretty sunset sky this last weekend out in the desert. As I was setting up my tripod, my granddaughter decided she would use it as a jungle gym! It occurred to me that capturing her in my sky shots might add some interest to the photos. And probably more important to capture the moment than get the nice, steady tripod shot, right?
Grandpa got to have fun taking pics (sans tripod) and granddaughter has a new toy!

Uh oh, car coming! Time to get off the road!
Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time For Camera Service?

Yes, definitely for my camera! With all my dusty desert photography and bouncing around in my Jeep, my Canon 5D Mark II has taken a beating. I've been noticing lots of dust spots on my images. I've owned this camera about three years, I bought it used, and I've never had it serviced. Fortunately, there's a Canon factory service center fairly close to home (in Costa Mesa, CA). I took it in last week, and thought I would share the experience. First of all, if you're a Canon camera lover, you will love visiting one of the Canon USA locations. All of their camera models are on display, from point-and-shoots to the high-end Canon 1D, and all are fully functional with high-end lenses. A great opportunity to check out and compare cameras.
You may want to leave your credit card at home...
Too much temptation...
With all these cameras and lenses on display!
Pretty nice, right?
They also have a nice display of vintage cameras. That Canon F1 (bottom center) was what I used for years back in my film days.
They also have a viewing center with these cool red chairs.
And some great photography on display.
It cost me $49 to get everything cleaned... sensor, focusing screen, mirror, even the exterior camera body. They also installed new firmware. Seems like a bargain to me! I dropped it off mid-afternoon, and it was ready the next morning by 9 AM (had I dropped it off before noon, it would have been ready the same day). Have you ever noticed dust spots on your images? Every had your DSLR serviced?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Desert Clouds

I took these photos two weeks ago at our place out near Joshua Tree. I usually like to anchor my sky shouts with some foreground, but the clouds were so big and fluffy I thought I would try something different.

I tried to get creative with the photo above. I flipped it vertically on itself and then added a photo of a jet I had in my files. Fun stuff!
The shot below was taken the same weekend. I was out with camera and tripod taking sunset shots, my wife was walking the dog and was taking pics with her point-and-shoot, and my granddaughter was just a blur of activity! A fun shot that makes me smile when I see it.
We took my Mom out to the desert last trip also. She's totally smitten with her great granddaughter!
Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Desert Cabin, 29 Palms, CA

This old cabin is adjacent to our place in 29 Palms. It sits on 5 acres, and for the four years we've been coming here, I've never seen it occupied. It looks like it's been painted many times and many colors over the years... to the point where it would be tough to tell what the primary color is! The newest thing on this desert cabin is the swamp cooler hanging on the window on the right.
Some day I hope to meet the owner(s) and see why they don't use it. Who knows, may be they no longer want it? It has two things that are highly coveted by desert cabin standards:  city supplied water and electricity. Many of the little homestead cabins out here have neither, and it's very expensive to get.
The 5-acre parcel is in a great location. An excellent view of Indian Cove and the Wonderland of Rocks. A short walk up the adjacent wash and you are in Joshua Tree National Park. Here's what it looks like.
I just happened to take this short walk last Friday when we had some truly amazing skies. Below is a 3-image panorama shot of the Wonderland of Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park. Who wouldn't like to have this view out their cabin window??
Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from all over the world!!