Fall is here in Montrose Colorado! I thought these photos would represent the brightly colored leaves we have around here. I did all the same basic edits on all of these because they work for all photos after each one is adjusted. I added contrast, whites, blacks, and clarity. I have been learning how to use the tone curve, so I adjusted that as well, for each of these photos.


Milky Way

Milky Way

This photo had the combination of an aperture of f/4 and a shutter speed of 20 seconds. I took this photo before the moon came up so the stars would be brighter. When I was editing I added a radial filter with higher exposure, more clarity, more sharpness, more saturation, whites, and highlights over the milky way. Then with the adjustment brush I went over certain areas and exaggerated the temperature to be warmer or cooler, depending on the existing colors. I will definitely keep shooting the stars and practicing edited because this was new for me.

Butterfly Utopia

For my most recent camping trip I went to the Grand Mesa. Up on the mesa there are hundreds of lakes and these photos came from just one of them. There were these purple flowers, thistles I think, but the butterflies there love them. There were butterflies everywhere, sometimes up to 4 on the same plant.

I did the same basic edits on all of these. All the normal things like highlights, shadows, blacks, whites, and clarity. I used the adjustment brush with added clarity and sharpness on the butterflies’ wings. I also used the HSL panel in Lightroom to adjust the colors a bit.

From the Train


A few weeks ago I went on a trip to Durango. While I was there I rode the Durango-Silverton train. This train is one of the few left of working steam engines. To get this photo I went to the open car. Then while the train was going over the bridge and blowing out steam I got this shot. The settings I used were: ISO at 100, aperture at f/9, and a shutter speed of 1/125s.

When I edited this I took away some of the highlights and whites because it was very bright out that day. I also took away some shadows because the harsh sun was creating them on the trees. I added clarity, vibrance, and saturation to the whole photo. Then I used the adjustment brush to add back some of the whites and highlights into the steam and the some blacks into the train engine.



To get this photo I set my camera up on my tripod and aimed it at the sky. I set the ISO at 1600, so I could get more light without too much noise. Then I set the aperture at 4 and the shutter speed at 25 seconds. This gave the camera enough time to capture the stars before they started moving. You can also get photos of them moving, but that was not the effect that I was going for this time. In Lightroom, I added highlights, whites, clarity, saturation, and sharpness. I also applied a small amount of color noise reduction.

Summer Beauty

Summer Beauty

While I was out recently, these bright flowers caught my eye. I like how there is a pink one and a yellow one growing right next to each other.

When I edited this one I added contrast, whites, highlights, blacks, and shadows, clarity, and a very small amount of saturation. Then I used the adjustment brush with more clarity, contrast, and sharpness added over the flowers. I also used the adjustment brush to bring extra blur to the background with the clarity and sharpness set at -100 in Lightroom. Then I cropped the photos, paying attention to the rule of thirds. I made sure the middles  of each flower were positioned on the area where two third lines cross.


Blue Collared Lizard Photos

Blue Collared LizardBlue Collared Lizard 2Blue Collared Lizard 3

While I was out in the middle of nowhere in Utah my cousin spotted this little guy. This is a Blue Collared Lizard. These are three shots that I got of it while it was under this rock. I was surprised by how close I could get to this blue lizard, to snap these photos before it ran and hid from me.

I did the same basic edits for each of these photos. First I cropped the images to fit the lizard into the rule of thirds. I added contrast, highlights, blacks, whites, and some clarity to the whole area of the photos. Then I took away some shadows since its under a rock. Next I used the adjustment brush to target the area covering just the lizard. For those settings I added more clarity, sharpness, and contrast.

Something New

Little Girl

So I decided to try and learn how to create a double exposure effect and this is what I actually ended up making. A double exposure usually consists of two photos layered on top of each other and the opacity adjusted so that you can see both. Also sometimes part of one or both of photos can be erased to just show just one area, like a person.

This still has the effect of the double exposure, but it also turned out to be more like graphic art than my normal photography. It was really fun to make this, even if it took a lot of work.

To get the colors like this I used the select by color tool and then filled those areas with one color. I did that many times, switching between maroon, black and grey for those areas. I also used the eraser tool with the opacity adjusted to erase the top photo so you can see the one under it in the shape of the girl.

Can You Guess 3

Can You Guess 3.jpg

Can you guess what this is a photo of? This is a real photo, by the way, and I did not use the smudge brush or anything like that on it. When I took this photo it was sunset, which is one of my favorite times to take photos. To edit this photo I added contrast, blacks, whites, and clarity. I also increased the saturation of the reds and blues so you can see them better.