August 31, 2015

Tool Presets in Lightroom

Lightroom's Develop module comes with a variety of presets created by Adobe. You can also make your own Develop settings and save them under User Presets. But did you know there are also presets for several of the tools in the Develop module? These can be very helpful when you are first starting to use local adjustments on your images. Here's an overview of some of the helpful tool presets in Lightroom.

Tool presets for the Graduated Filter, the Radial
Filter and the Adjustment Brush helped create this image.

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August 30, 2015

Stocking Up #2

Stocking Up #2
Frenchtown, Montana

August 29, 2015

Stocking Up #1

It's that time of year. Haying season is almost over and barns are stocked.

Stocking Up #1
Frenchtown, Montana

August 28, 2015

Road Trip #16

Sagebrush Prairie #2
Montana

August 27, 2015

Road Trip #15

Sagebrush has replaced wildflowers on the prairies of eastern Montana. No rain and no smoke since leaving Rapid City, South Dakota.

Sagebrush Prairie #1
Montana

August 26, 2015

Road Trip #14

Custer National Cemetery
Little Bighorn Battlefield
Crow Agency, Montana

August 25, 2015

Road Trip #13

The Little Bighorn Battlefield is much larger than I realized. Time was running short so I was unable to spend as much time there as I would have liked. On the list for a return visit when I can spend the day.

Custer National Cemetery
 Little Bighorn Battlefield
Crow Agency, Montana

August 24, 2015

Photography After Dark

Modern digital cameras have amazing abilities to see in the dark better than we can. Even a compact digital camera can make decent night shots. (Cell phone cameras are not as capable.) So what do you need to know to make night photographs? Here are a few of my own tips as well as links to resources with more information.

50 seconds, F/8, ISO 400, 24mm lens
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada
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August 23, 2015

Road Trip #12

All the photos in this series (and several others) were made within 10 minutes at one location.

Sunset #5
Wyoming

August 22, 2015

Road Trip #11


Sunset #4
Wyoming

August 21, 2015

Road Trip #10

Sunset #3
Wyoming

August 20, 2015

Road Trip #9

Looking away from the sun revealed gentle, soft clouds and color.

Sunset #2
Wyoming

August 19, 2015

Barbara Michelman offers From Photo to Print classes

Bitterroot valley photographer Barbara Michelman is offering a series of classes called From Photo to Print beginning in September. There are three sessions:
  • two field shoots, September 26 and October 3
  • using Lightroom to catalog and develop photos, October 24 and 31, and
  • printing from Lightroom to Michelman's 44" wide Epson inkjet printer, November 14-15.
You can register for each class individually or get a discount when you sign up for all three courses. Full details and registration are available at this link:

From Photo to Print with Barbara Michelman


Original raw capture


Black and white print



Road Trip #8

I crossed into Wyoming as the sun was setting and was treated to a spectacular show.

Sunset #1
Wyoming

August 18, 2015

Road Trip #7

This vertical shot gives you a better view of the wildflowers.

Prairie and Wildflowers #2
South Dakota

August 17, 2015

Copying Old Slides, Negatives and Prints With a Digital Camera

Many people are amateur family historians, collecting, organizing and sharing historical images of their ancestors with current (and future) generations. The challenge is making good copies of old pictures when you don't have a scanner, especially for film negatives and slides (transparencies).

Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle
circa 1978

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August 16, 2015

Road Trip #6

After crossing the Missouri River, I drove through the wide open spaces of the central prairie blooming with wildflowers. There had been rain from Illinois through eastern South Dakota, but skies were hazy from wildfire smoke coming from Canada and Alaska.

Prairie and Wildflowers #1
South Dakota

August 15, 2015

Road Trip #5

This is my favorite shot of the sculpture. If you look back at the  previous posts, you can see how getting closer to my subject and adopting a different camera position significantly changed the photographs I made.

Teepee Sculpture #3
Missouri River Overlook
Chamberlain, South Dakota

August 14, 2015

Road Trip #4

Teepee Sculpture #3
Missouri River Overlook
Chamberlain, South Dakota

August 13, 2015

Road Trip #3

Teepee Sculpture #2
Missouri River Overlook
Chamberlain, South Dakota

August 12, 2015

Road Trip #2

Teepee Sculpture #1
Missouri River Overlook
Chamberlain, South Dakota

August 11, 2015

Road Trip #1

Earlier this summer I drove cross country from Illinois to Montana. Though it was a rushed trip, I still made time to stop for some snapshots of the country I was passing through. This overlook of the Missouri River outside Chamberlain, South Dakota, had a fantastic visitor center with lots of Lewis and Clark information. But I was especially taken with the stylized teepee on the grounds. Unfortunately, the smoky haze from wildfires in Canada and Alaska obscured the larger views.

Visitor Center and Teepee
Missouri River Overlook
Chamberlain, South Dakota

August 10, 2015

Adding Polaroid Border and Watercolor Paper Effects

In last week's post, I described a composite digital photograph as one which combines more than one image to create a new effect. True composites, as I use the term, are created manually using a photo editing program with layer and mask features. In this article, I describe how to use Photoshop Elements (version 10 or newer) to add a Polaroid film border and a watercolor paper texture to a digital picture. You can also use any version of Photoshop to accomplish the same thing.

Polaroid border and watercolor paper texture effects

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August 9, 2015

Moonset over the Bitterroot Mountains

Moonset over the Bitterroot Mountains
Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, Montana

August 8, 2015

Crescent Moon over Nine Pipes

Crescent Moon
Nine Pipes Wildlife Refuge, Montana

August 7, 2015

Moonrise over Mount Sentinel


Moonrise over Mount Sentinel
Missoula, Montana

August 6, 2015

Sailing in the Wind #3

Sailing in the Wind #3
Vero Beach, Florida

August 5, 2015

Sailing in the Wind #2

Sailing in the Wind #2
Fort Pierce, Florida

August 4, 2015

Sailing in the Wind #1

Sailing in the Wind #1
San Juan Islands, Washington

August 3, 2015

What's a Digital Composite Picture?

Have you ever wondered what people mean when they talk about "compositing" something in photography? It simply means combining two or more images to make a new one. This can be a simple or complex process, a method that is automated or manual, and the result can look realistic or fantastic. You need a program capable of using layers and masks for the most effective results. This usually means Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (version 10 and newer).

Landscape Composite
National Bison Range, Montana
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August 1, 2015

About to Drop #3

About to Drop #3
Missoula, Montana