Lakeside Tree

This image was taken along side a lake here in Florida some time ago.

Recently, I cropped it closely and corrected for color, contrast and exposure using both Adobe Lightroom CC and Color Efex Pro 4.

Then I experimented with my new best friend, ON1 Photo RAW 2020. The result suggestive of a Fall-ish scene.

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Featured Artist

I recently was the featured artist for the Bellaggio community. Here are some images from that show.

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Florida Wildlife Scene

This image was taken at Grassy Waters Wildlife Preserve in West Palm Beach. At this time many of the entrances and trails are closed but a few are still open. Check their website.

The bird at the center of the photo looks to be a snail-eating Limpkin. They are tropical wetland birds and apple snails are their food of choice. The male makes a terrible noise at night (to humans) but music to ears of a lady limpkin.

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A White House

This image began life as a photograph taken of a nice house on the edge of a lake. I then pulled it into Corel Painter and created a etherial looking digital painting.

I often use a form of layers with my digital paintings. In one layer I can paint in the background using a digital technique. In the second layer, I can bring back the central subject using another painting technique.

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McKee Gardens Landscape

McKee Botanical Gardens is known for it beautiful displays of water lilies. But it has other charms as well including this wonderful little bridge. A fine landscape image given the right light and a great reflection in the water. You can see the waterlilies, too.

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Welcome back

OK, welcome back is not for you – but for ME. I have been away for a while so I thought I would begin writing again. The image above is a”big splash”. Taken somewhere I can’t remember but with a slowish shutter speed to get all the wonderful splashing things going. This was one of the images in a recent Featured Artist submission to my community’s artist-in-residence program. Hope you taken with my Olympus OMD EM-5 Mark III which I love. Too bad that Olympus has just sold its photo division. Who knows what will become of this wonderful 4/3 format camera line.

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Nice lighting can make anything look good

This is an example of combining soft front lighting on the flower to bring out the detail. And, some lighting on the background to produce separation between it and the subject.

Here is a nice article on flower lighting techniques from the Adorama Learning Center. 

This closeup was taken at 75mm hand held.

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Butterfly Painting

Corel Painter and photos are made for each other. On a recent photo safari, I took this little darling with the Olympus 60mm macro and my Olympus EM5-II.

Then using the natural painting program from Corel, I created a painterly background and butterfly.

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Duck, Duck, Goose

No, this is not a goose but rather a blue billed duck. It probably is the female of Oxyura australis. But maybe not. I could not see the tail feathers, which on the real deal are sort of spiky. This guy was livingĀ at Flamingo Gardens, in Davie, Florida near Ft. Lauderdale.

I used her as the basis for a digital painting – Corel Painter and Photoshop were used.

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Down the Stretch

Over the years, I have taken many photos at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is one of the most beautiful and family friendly race tracks in the US. Opened officially in 1863, it is theĀ oldest race courses in the country that runs a full season with the top horse flesh and jocks.

The Travers (named after one of the founders of the course – another founder was CorneliusĀ Vanderbuilt) is considered the “4th leg” of the Triple Crown and is also sometimes called the Midsummer Derby. ItĀ is televised on national TV. And many of the famous horses have failed at Saratoga – the first was triple crown winner Gallant Fox bested by a horse called Jim Dandy. Thus, Saratoga’sĀ nickname of “the graveyard of champions” was born. BTW, the “Jim Dandy” is another of the race courses big races. At least seven major motion pictures had scenes at the course, including the bond flick, Diamonds are Forever.

For locals, the advertising slogan – the August place to be – means summer fun, not to mention those wonderful give-a-ways. Now that the racing season was extended to July, we have “the summer place to be” (ugh! as a slogan). The best place for the average photographer who does not have press credentials is at the top of the stretch. The photo to the left was taken from this position. It is easy to reach if you shove past the diners at the restaurant there. It has a great vantage point of the horses full throttle at the turn. The next best place is just before the finish line – see the photo above. But get there early because the crowds will get you (Saratoga can getĀ 50,000 people on the best dates). Both images here wereĀ converted into a digital painting using my magic fingers.

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