February – A Curve

This is probably not exactly the intent of “A Curve” theme, but there are a few curves!

FCCC 2019

I’ve been experiment with some new (new to me) photoshop creative actions. This is based on a purchased action set that I’ve adjusted/modified and, hopefully, enhanced the results. I’m a newbie with color theory, so that’s part of my experimenting.

FYI. The photo was taken at FCCC Conference in March, 2019.

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Theme: Macro in Mono (Jan 2020)


Playing around with my new macro lens (Tamron 90mm). I found a few mushrooms of various sizes in our yard. The next day they grew. The next day they grew even larger. Then a couple of them flattened out. Above is part of one of the large flattened ones.

I converted the photo to black and white using multiple adjustment layers in Photoshop. Then I added a solid color fill layer at 35% fill to subdue the color.

Below is the black and white version without the solid color fill.


Theme: Frame a Landscape (Jan 2020)

Mammoth Hot Springs

This is part of the travertine terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. No, it is not actually those colors, but it is named “Hot” Springs. So I’m trying to portray a feeling appropriate for its name.

I really like the texture of the hot spring terraces, which may not be too noticeable here in WordPress. And I like the contrast of the two dead trees.

Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to manipulate and enhance the colors and texture of the formations. I used a technique I learned from Blake Rudis at f64elite.com. After basic edits to exposure, contrast, color, etc. , I added a black and white gradient map (not gradient) adjusted layer. This removed all colors in preparation for the next step. I then added another gradient map above and set the blend mode to color. Then I experimented with various color presets available in Photoshop. I ended up using one of the new presets in the Red group, reversed it and adjusted opacity and fill to taste.

January – Nest

It’s time for nest building at the Venice Rookery! These two great blue herons are taking a break from building or more accurately rebuilding their nest from last year. Or maybe they are discussing what’s needed next.


Week 41 – #10 Leading Lines – Ducks at the Rookery

I took this photo at the Venice Rookery while I was there to do some bird photography. This family of ducks was walking along the shore, then got in the water, and casually swam away. They were not lined up initially. One baby duck needed some encouragement to get in line. Pretty soon they were in formation.

Nice leading line with the ducks and, perhaps, the v-shape of the waves.



Week 35 #29 Sky Overlay – String Lake

Earlier this year, I submitted this photo in the Spring Digital Salon. One of the judges did not like it because the sky was “blah!” – so no award.

So I took a sky replacement course by Blake Rudis at www.f64elite.com and modified this image. Blake’s course taught five methods in Photoshop for adding/enhancing clouds. For this photo I decided to add clouds using some of the “clouds brushes” provided with the course. First, I adding clouds to the sky to a new layer. Then, I made an inverted copy of the clouds as reflection on the water to a separate layer. Adjustments to opacity and blending mode helped make the reflected clouds “believable” – IMHO.

I must agree with the judge that the original solid blue sky was “blah” compared to this cloudy sky. What do you think?

I have since printed the photo and submitted the print in the FCCC Second Tri-annual Print competition.  I just found out that I got a “Red Ribbon” (top 90% of scores) in the competition!! I guess adding the sky overlay helped!

String Lake
String Lake, Grand Teton National Park, WY

Original photo:It's even more peaceful around the bend

Week 34 #50 Starts with a Q – Qualifying

Sarasota hosted the 2019 US Rowing’s Youth National Competition at Nathan Benderson Park on June 7-9. Qualifying races on Saturday were run every 7 minutes. So there was plenty of action throughout the morning.

These two young men worked hard, but unfortunately they did not make it to the semi-final race.