Evanescent — Morning Fog in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Morning fog breaking up, Looking South, Monte Bello Preserve, Palo Alto, 2017

Evanescent— The Sun is breaking through the high fog over the mountains to highlight the hill tops. “Evanescent” is not a word I use often, if ever, but this is the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge where unusual words are used to try to inspire us bloggers to pull out unusual photos from our catalog.

This photo was taken at the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve as the Sun started breaking through the morning clouds. I processed the photo in Develop Module of Lightroom CC, and finished with the Google Nik Collection HDR Efex 4. The high contrast interpretation of the view seems to fit the moment.

After taking the shot above, I turned northward and noticed that the fog was disappearing, which created another evanescent moment. Wow, two in one day!

Fog burning off, Monte Bello Preserve, Palo Alto, 2017

This photo was processed in the Lightroom CC Develop module (colors adjusted with the HSL Tab). Please click on the images to bring up a higher resolution view.

Cheers, Carto

The Weekly Photo Challenge is sponsored by WordPress. The entries can be perused, here.


Season’s End — Flowers & Seed Pods, Baylands, 2017

Flowers and Seed Pods with Bench, Composite, Baylands, 2017

We’re having our first heat wave, the grass is turning golden, and the Spring flowers are going to seed. This photo above is a composite image that began life in my iPhone7plus as a close-up of flowers and seed pods. The second shot was an “atmosphere” shot of a bench, yellow flowers and dry grass.  I thought to combine the photos into a more complex image that meant to me “going to seed—the end of Spring.”

The composite image was created with Lr Mobil, Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. The images were loading into Lr Mobil on the iPhone, which uploaded them to the Creative Cloud and synchronized them with the  Lr catalog on my MacBook Pro.

The images put into a collection, and opened as layers in Photoshop CC: The close up of flowers and seed pods  was the background and the image of the bench was Layer 1. The blending mod of Layer 1 was set to Overlay.

In Photoshop CC, the flowers and seed pods of the background were selected and a new layer created with the selection as mask. The new layer was moved to the top of the layer stack and the blend mode set to overlay.

The composite image was toned, and the layers merged. The merged layer was duplicated, and the Find Edges filter applied. The blending mode on the new layer was set to the Overlay mode.

The result of this exercise was the image at the top of this post. Click on any image to get a higher resolution view.

Cheers, Carto

Moon in Clouds, Early Morning

Moon in Clouds, IPhone 7+ portrait lens, early am, Palo Alto, 2017

Early morning in Palo Alto with moon visible. Photo taken with my iPhone 7+ and processed in Lr Mobil, LR CC, SilverEfx Pro 4, and PS CC. Just playing around.

The same photo was processed on the iPhone and shared to Instagram with this workflow:

Open Lr Mobile and select photo from Camera Roll.
Upload (Ps Fix at Max Size) – Square crop & Tone.
Upload (Copy to Instagram) – Next/Next (to skip editing),
Write a Caption & Share

The whole effort on Instagram took less than 15 minutes.


Windy Hill — Fall, 2016

These photos were taken at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve near the trail head in the parking lot off Portola Road. All photos taken with a Sigma DP2 Quattro, and processed with Lightroom, Photoshop and HDR Pro (click image to start slideshow and show camera settings).

Misty Day at Windy Hill Preserve

Trail Head at Windyhill Preserve, Portola Valley, CA, 2016

Windy Hill Preserve is a great place to walk and photograph— this shot was taken in late Fall at the first rise on the trail from the parking lot off Portola Road.

On this misty day, the trail is damp and there are occasional puddles. The light is subdued by cloud cover. I used a tripod to steady my Sigma DP2 Quattro, and set a high f-stop to get a wide depth of field. Three shots were taken; bracketing exposure +1 and -1 ev. The photos were uploaded to Lightroom CC and then processed in HDR Pro (Photo/Edit In/Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop). The untouched result from HDR Pro was returned to Lightroom, Developed in the Basic Panel, and sharpened before exporting as a web sized file for this blog.

Cheers, Carto

Moving Day — Cantor Art Center

Moving Day, Serra’s Sequence, Cantor Art Center, Stanford, 2016

This photo was taken at the Cantor Art Center while watching engineers disassemble Richard Serra’s huge steel sculpture Sequence. I was standing on the second floor terrace: Cranes were in action, helicopters were flying, and the welders were at work — what a sight.

This photo will serve as the first header image for this blog. The Echo Theme recommends a header size of 1440 × 600 pixels, so the photo needed to be cropped to that size.

The workflow was as follows:

  1. Open Adobe Lightroom (LR CC, 2015)
  2. Select the header photo, Dscn021.nrw
    (nrw is Nikon’s raw format)
  3. Edit tones in the LR basic panel
  4. Open image in Photoshop CC
  5. Camera Raw workflow: 8000 x 3000 @160 ppi
  6. Save image as CartosOx20150126-DSCN1021.jpg
  7. Crop to 1440 x 600 @ 72 ppi).
  8. Save As jpg (20150126-DSCN1021-HDR1440.jpg)

Both images were uploaded to my blog media folder, and published.

Cheers, Carto