Monday, April 23, 2018

Spring Snow in the Smokies

I just returned from our Spring Smokies Tour.   We always hope for certain conditions for our clients, but this year we received a special surprise.  It snowed at the higher elevations!   In anticipation of this adverse weather the Park Service closed the road that crosses the park and leads to the higher elevations.   However,  the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail remained open and got us up to the elevation necessary to experience and photograph the snow.

Prior to the start of our tour it rained and as such we had several days of strong running streams.  These streams are always a joy to photograph and I never tire of hearing the beautiful sound of running water in a mountain stream.   We usually venture out into the water, but this year I stayed close to shore because the higher water levels also bring swift moving water and I don’t want my camera gear to go for a swim. 

We finished off the week with a nice hike to Spruce Flat Falls in the Treemont area.   Just about the time everyone was wrapping up their shooting, the sun starting peaking over the top of the mountain and illuminating the waterfall with less desirable light.  One of the many benefits of traveling with an experienced guide who gets you to the right place at the right time.   

If you would like to see some additional images from this trip head over to the Road Runner Blog!

Monday, April 9, 2018

What's in your Toolbox?

We live in a wonderful time to be a photographer.  The options and creative techniques seem more than I can count.  I tend to think of these techniques like tools, and by learning new techniques you add a new tool to your toolbox. 

Several years ago I saw a lot of people online and at my camera club were shooting mirror images.  I took the time to learn the technique and tucked it away in my toolbox.  A mirror is where you take an image and flip the image so you have two halves that mirror each other.

Last year I shot this abstract image and it occurred to me that I should try creating a mirror.  I think it worked and I'm glad this technique is in my toolbox.

If you want to try this for yourself, load an image in Photoshop and duplicate the image on a second layer.  Choose the second layer and go to the Image Menu and choose Image Rotation, then choose Flip Canvas Horizontal (or vertical) and use the move tool to align the image.  From there you may need to adjust the layer opacity or masking to obtain the final result.