Category Archives: How To

How to technical article

Spring Cathedral


Blog_20100227_1As I probably said last year, spring is one of those great times for photography: a lot of color, subjects everywhere and it is spring! Here are a couple of images trying to capture the excitement and beauty of spring.





A couple of suggestions:

  1. Use a polarizer to saturate the color.
  2. Shoot just after rain or when things are wet to bring out the color even more.
  3. Diffused light from a cloud cover is often best – but not always (you might want blue skies).
  4. Experiment and have fun.

You may have noticed these are similar to my fall color suggestions.



Blog images:

1) Mirrored image with a bit of Nik Glamour Glow. Nice surprise cross in the image.

2) 9 exposures pivoting the camera slightly on a point on the tree trunk.

3) Just a straight shot. My favorite of the set.

4) 9 exposures moving the camera up and down slightly between exposures.

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Graffiti Cathedral

The second shoot I was able to do last week was at what I am calling the Graffiti Cathedral (for those of you who follow Tony Sweets blog, he has a Graffiti Underground). It is an old wood chip fuel storage house that was part of an old logging mill in the town of Vernonia. Sitting next to the old mill pond it has been the hangout for young people. As you can see they have been creating their own art work in there over the years. This was the first time there for my wife and I. It was like stepping into another world – a world of color in the midst of the grey of winter. My wife’s first impression was that of a church with stain glass windows replaced with graffiti – thus the name. As you will see I have had fun creating a set of images that convey that surreal feeling. Click on the main blog image to view a small gallery. I will definitely have to visit there again.

Blog images: The images were almost all shot as HDR images and processed with Photomatix Pro. They have been further processed with Nik Soft’s ColorEfxPro and SilverEfx. A couple have been mirrored as well.
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Tapestry Mirror

I whipped up a mirror image of one of my tapestries just to see what I thought of it. While I like it, it is a bit different from the other images in my tapestry portfolio. I will most likely put it in a portfolio of mirrors one day. I am starting to get a few of those set aside. Creating mirrors like this is fun and reasonably simple. See Tony Sweet’s blog video, click here , for one way to create a mirror.

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No this is not Photoshop mirroring again, but a more old fashioned technique – using a real mirror. Have you ever tried photographing Hellebore’s or other flowers whose blooms always face the ground? Some daffodils are like this. It can be very awkward to say the least. The lower they are the harder it gets and can be impossible.

While thumbing through my “Joy of Photography” book by Freeman Patterson he suggest in one section using a mirror placed on the ground for such occasions. Great idea. Note there are some issues with this technique. You need a very clean mirror and you have to keep cleaning it as you go – flowers have a habit of dropping pollen. Keep a brush handy. This blog image included here is an example of such an image. Works pretty well.
Blog image: While being shot in the mirror, this image of Hellebore’s has also been “hi-keyed” and a white vignette added to the edges. What does it mean to hi-key. Fundamentally you are keeping or forcing the image tones all to the light end of the histogram (digitally speaking).
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I have been experimenting with photoshop technique for mirroring images. The image here is the first one I have created. I also applied what is know as a digital sandwich to give it a bit of punch. Tony Sweet’s blog ( has a video right now that shows the steps involved in mirroring. It is quite easy. Here is another one. Notice the interesting patterns in the middle.

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