Lightning at Palouse Falls               2016/05

The flash of lightning greeted us as we emerged at dusk from a steep climb out of upper Palouse Canyon. My heart raced. Lightning isn’t unusual here, but this was a photo op not to be missed! I sped to the cliff overlooking Palouse Falls, a perfect ringside perch for the ensuing show. A lone […]

Lightroom 6 Panoramas ____ 2015/06

I enjoy creating panoramas, but I wasn’t excited about the new Adobe Lightroom 6 (and CC) Merge Panorama feature. I get great results from Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor), which creates pans from TIFs or JPGs at a quality better than I generally need. So why change? The case for Lightroom’s Panorama Merge are speed, […]

Lightroom 6 HDR ____ 2015/05

I upgraded to Adobe Lightroom 6 with some trepidation, after reading about and not being impressed by the new features. Adobe touted HDR and Panorama Merge especially, and my thought was “so what?” I’m no HDR fan, and for panoramas I get great results with Microsoft ICE. What I wish for in Lightroom is more […]

Lightroom 5 HSL Panel: More Pop and Mystery ____ 2013/12

Last year (2012/09 Photo Tip), I wrote about using Lightroom Development tools to create Pop and Mystery in a photo. The gist: darken skies, selectively increase color saturation and increase contrast. Ansel Adams famously said the negative is the score, the print the performance. The RAW file you create in camera is a digital negative; […]

Lightroom 4 Spot Removal Tool Tutorial ____ 2013/02

I had an excellent photo op last spring: a flicker nest only fifteen feet above the ground, with a clear view, and just two miles from home.  Because I was wary of disturbing the skittish birds, I photographed just a few times, in good light only, for periods no longer than an hour. Each visit […]

Photo Tip: Create Pop and Mystery in Lightroom 4 ____ 2012/09

A partly-cloudy western sky made me anxious as I approached the famed Mirror Lake at Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground, Mt. Rainier National Park. Could a mackerel-like sky develop? A lenticular cloud above the peak?  Would there even be sunset light on the mountain? This was my 10th or 11th trip to Indian Henry’s over many […]

Photo Tip: Ligthroom 3 Black and White ____ 2011/11

If Ansel Adams had had the darkroom power of Lightroom 3 to manipulate black and white imaging, he’d do a leaping victory dance like Jack Black in The Big Year. Ansel artfully dodged and burned his negatives, and controlled light in the field with filters, one filter per shot. Today, digital age tools boost control […]

Photo Tip: Hot Spots and Spotlighting ___ 2010/12

Shortly after a late October rainstorm, I visited the Columbia Gorge for some weekday waterfall shooting. Our first stop was Elowah Falls, a .8-mile hike up a boot-worn trail. After a half-hour of scouting, we got down to shooting at this photogenic spot. To my knowledge, the first photographer to get the “shot” from this […]

Dark Sky Drama with Lightroom 3 Adjustment Brush ___ 2010/08

One of my favorite and frequently-used post-shoot techniques is darkening the sky, adding drama to an outdoor image. A natural dramatic sky—vivid sunsets, ominous cumulonimbus or wispy cirrus clouds—are a lusted-for backdrop, but oh so fleeting. Much more common are plain gray skies—or a blue sky devoid of interesting clouds. In a typical photo, the […]