Landscape Photography – Duotone

Just a real quick post while I plan my next trip to the Angelina National Forest near Lufkin, Texas.

If you’re a Photoshop user and haven’t purchased Scott Kelby’s latest “Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers” yet, don’t wait another minute. Yes, I’m a definite fanboy of Scott’s books, Kelby Training and NAPP. I hate technical books and really hate some author talking down to me in his book just because I was born in a “pre-computer” era. Scott writes all of his books just like his training videos; as if he’s your friend showing you something cool he’s just discovered in CS4. He never talks down to you or makes you feel stupid because you haven’t memorized every keyboard shortcut in the world. He explains Photoshop logically, one step at a time and never assumes you’ve been doing this for ten years. His style is competent and comfortable, and for a computer book author, it’s a rare treat.

The Road is Long (Duotone)

The Road is Long in Duotone – Johnson City, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM hand-held. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/11 for 1/125th of a second at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and in Photoshop CS4 as a duotone. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Scott’s “Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers” book has a cool section called “Quadtoning for Richer B&Ws” and it’s a wonderful technique for adding that something extra to your black and white images. Photoshop CS4 makes this technique a real snap and I finished the image above in about ten seconds using one of the 137 built-in presets.

Very, very cool!

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 40D, Kelby Training, NAPP, Photoshop CS4, Scott Kelby

Landscape Photography – Looking Upstream

Oops! Quick change of plans. I’m heading for the Angelina National Forest late this afternoon (about 150 mile drive from Sugar Land) and I’ll be up before dawn to catch the sunrise over Boykin Springs. This time of year the early morning light is much warmer and softer, especially in the East Texas Piney Woods.

Here is another image of rocks, trees and water taken while looking upstream at the Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, Texas (birth place of President Lyndon B. Johnson). I’ll be visiting this wonderful park once again late next week to (hopefully) capture some beautiful sunrise and sunset shots. We’ve had a little rain lately so I’m hoping for better waterfall shots as well.

By the way, the difference in exposure between the foreground (rocks & water) and the background (sky & clouds) in this image was almost 5 stops. Rather than bracket my exposures to create an HDR image I decided to use a 3-Stop/Soft rectangular Singh-Ray Graduated Neutral Density Filter held in place in front of the lens using a Cokin “P” Series Filter Holder.

In my opinion, no Photomatix Pro, Lightroom or Photoshop technique is as simple and as foolproof as using an ND-Grad for this common landscape situation. Don’t take my word for it, read what landscape professional Steve Kossack has to say on the subject of “using graduated neutral density filters”.

Looking Upstream

Looking Upstream at Pedernales Falls State Park – Johnson City, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/9 for 1/100th of a second at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

You can also find a 1200 x 800 version of this image and many others on my Flickr site.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 40D, Landscape Photography, Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas Landscapes

Nature Photography – Swirl

Just a quick (prescheduled since I’m out shooting) post with an image I took a few weeks ago and couldn’t decide what to do with. I love the color of the water and the rocks and the way the water swirled in the little pool. I’m just not sure what story this image tells, if any.

So here’s the thing. You get to tell the story in the comments while I’m out in the blazing heat and awful humidity of the East Texas Piney Woods. I know you’re out there lurking Mark, Ray, Jaime, Michael & Terry. Tell me why this shot works or why it doesn’t. Tell me what you “feel” when you look at it. (sidebar: a little alcohol helps). Let me have it with both barrels!

And have a great weekend!

Swirl

Swirl – Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 28mm, f/16 for 1.6 seconds using a Singh-Ray Vari-ND neutral density filter. Shot at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film and post capture processed in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

You can also find a 1200 x 800 version of this image and many others on my Flickr site.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 40D, Nature Photography, Pedernales Falls State Park

Landscape Photography – Reflections in Black & White

Thanks everyone for those great comments on Saturday’s post. I appreciate all my friends taking up the slack while I was out in the heat.

When I wander the back roads of Texas I seldom know exactly what I’m looking for until I see it. I may drive hundreds of miles (as I did in the past few days) in search of some allusive subject or location to photograph. More and more I find myself searching for a subject that speaks to me of peace and quiet, both of which are in short demand these days. This still little spring fed lake in the Angelina National Forest of East Texas fit the bill perfectly!

Reflection in Black & White

Reflection – Angelina National Forest, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 25mm, f/16 for 1/15th of a second using a Singh-Ray 3-Stop/Soft graduated neutral density filter. Shot at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film and post capture processed in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Angelina National Forest, Canon, Canon 40D, Landscape Photography

Landscape Photography – Curves

Here is another image taken last month at the Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, Texas. I’m heading back to the Texas Hill Country later this week for a few days of landscape and nature photography. It’s going to be hot with the daily highs hovering around 102F, so I’ll probably stick to shooting during the “golden hours” during sunrise and sunset.

Curves

Curves – Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 95mm, f/16 for 1.6 seconds using a Singh-Ray Vari-ND neutral density filter. Shot at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film and post capture processed in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 40D, Landscape Photography, Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas Landscapes

Landscape Photography – Sam Rayburn Reservoir

I thought I’d post a Google Map just in case you’re wondering exactly where I took these next two images. I realize that these don’t look the way folks expect Texas to look but it’s real. East Texas is covered in lush pine forests with several beautiful rivers running through the area. It’s completely different geology and geography from the areas of central Texas I’ve previously shown you.

Inland Lake

Sam Rayburn Reservoir – Angelina National Forest, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 28mm, f/9 for 1/60th of a second at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processed in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Sam Rayburn Reservoir – Angelina National Forest, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 32mm, f/20 for 6 seconds using a Singh-Ray 3-Stop/Soft graduated neutral density filter. Shot at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film and post capture processed in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4. Click on the image above for a larger version.

View Larger Map

Google Map of the Angelina National Forest and the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Angelina National Forest, Canon, Canon 40D, Landscape Photography, Texas Landscapes