San Juan Mountains Trip

After a crazy work and travel schedule, we are now back! San Juan mountains were breathtaking, I cannot believe that I have not been there before, although I have lived in Colorado for over 12 years now. The colors were beautiful and vivid, but the skies were too clear without a single cloud…

San Juan Mountains

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Fall colors of this year

The summer is over and I’m putting together a plan to photograph the fall colors of Colorado. The whole transition from green to yellow, then from yellow to red before the leaves fall off from aspens happens in a very short window of time, lasting 2-3 weeks maximum. If it gets rainy or windy, the leaves fall off even quicker, leaving very little time to photograph the magic of the fall.

It was still about a week early as of last weekend, with the greens getting lighter in color and some trees already getting some yellow tint:

Transition

Shot with the Nikon D5000 and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens.

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Photo Walk 2010 Images

Now that our main PC is back up and running with the full amount of memory (yes, it was RAM that was faulty), we are now back on track! While reviewing our 2010 Lightroom catalog today, I realized that I have not posted any images from the 2010 Worldwide Photo Walk, although I did make a promise to share some pictures. I did not encounter anything great or exciting this year, since I was busy enjoying the company of my friends and other Colorado photographers. The Denver group was super fun and everybody had a blast!

Here are some images that Lola and I took that day:

Photo Walk #1

Lola shot with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G all day and I switched between Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G. The above image was taken with the 24mm f/1.4 – love that bokeh!

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Sunrise Reflection

I have so much gear to test, that I’m having a tough time to get out and shoot. Last week I woke up early for some birding at a nearby park and saw this sunrise on the way:

Sunrise Start

The sky redness you see in the above image stood for several minutes before the sun started coming out of the horizon. After taking a couple of shots, I enjoyed the moment of tranquility and as I was getting ready to leave, found this wood piece close-by:

Sunrise Reflection

Too bad there were not any boats around, since it is a small lake…

Captured with Nikon D300 and Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens.

Sunset Storm

Seeing a storm during a sunset is a rare event. As I was driving from a nearby park home with the family, I saw a small rainbow on one side of the sky:

Rainbow

And the below image just a couple of minutes later on the other side:

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Eastern Meadowlark

It took me a while to sit and wait in the car in Florida to get a good shot of this bird. The Western Meadowlark is pretty easy to spot and photograph here in Colorado – I can often get pretty close to them without scaring them away.

Eastern Meadowlark

Shot with Nikon D3s and Nikon 300mm f/4.0 AF-S lens in aperture priority mode, Auto ISO with Minimum Shutter Speed set to 1/1000th, f/10 for increased depth of field.

Great Photo Walk 2010!

The Photo Walk 2010 was a total blast! My group was almost full and we had a good turnout this year with about 35 participants. Lola participated in the Photo Walk as well this time and she really enjoyed it, said she would do it again next year. Here is the group shot before more people arrived:

Photo Walk 2010

I have not had a chance to work on the photos yet, but I will hopefully do that at the end of this week and post our best images from the Photo Walk. Did you participate in a Photo Walk this year? If yes, please post links to your photos, would love to see them!

Female Grackle

Grackles are very common in Florida. During my last visit, while I was photographing birds near Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a female grackle landed on a nearby bench and started showing off. At first, I did not pay attention, since I normally do not take pictures of common birds. But this one did everything it could to get my attention…it probably was asking for food, which it wouldn’t get from me anyway, since I don’t feed wildlife. After a short while, I turned my camera (Nikon D3s with Nikon 300mm f/4.0 AF-S + 1.4x TC) from the beautiful Roseate Spoonbills to the grackle and took a shot:

Female Grackle

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iPhone Sunset

Decided to post these while on the subject of iPhone’s camera capabilities and while writing a new article on photo noise reduction. This first image is slightly modified in Lightroom 3 (+20 Fill Light and +10 Saturation, Noise Reduction: +50 Luminance, +80 Detail):

iPhone Sunset

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Reasons to join the Worldwide Photo Walk

Worldwide Photo Walk

Less than a month is left until Scott Kelby’s 2010 Worldwide PhotoWalk takes place on July 24th. With close to a thousand photo walks all over the world and almost 20 thousand participants, this annual event is the largest photo event in the world. This year is my third year leading a photo walk and because I have some experience with the process, I wanted to point out the reasons why you should join a photo walk near you. Just for clarification, I am not here to advertise Scott Kelby or his websites – I do not get any commission from him or his affiliates, this is purely my personal opinion and my suggestion.

Reasons to join a Photo Walk

  1. It is free – that’s right, you just need to sign up to an existing Photo Walk and show up. No surprises here.
  2. Minimum requirements – you don’t need a fancy DSLR to participate in the Photo Walk. You can take pictures with your iPhone or your point and shoot and you won’t be judged by others.
  3. Have fun – going to a photo shoot with photographers like you is a lot of fun, even if you do not know anybody. The Photo Walk ends in a local restaurant, where you will not only enjoy great food, but also get to share your photographs and make many new friends. Overall, the Photo Walk is all about having fun!
  4. Learn – depending on the size of your Photo Walk, in most cases you will find at least one knowledgeable photographer who is ready to share his/her knowledge with others. I have personally learned a lot from other photographers and other participants also found the Photo Walk to be a good learning experience. Think of a Photo Walk as a mini workshop, where everybody gets to learn.
  5. Network – getting to know other photographers by asking questions is a great way to network with people, especially if you have plans to become a pro someday. Exchange business cards and get connected with others through Email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – who knows, maybe you will partner with some of them in the future.
  6. Review photo gear – what happens when many photographers meet in one place? They obviously discuss their equipment :) During my last two Photo Walks, it was great to see that most people did not mind sharing their equipment with others and giving honest opinions about their gear. One of my good friends showed up with a fisheye lens last year, after borrowing it from another participant and trying it out during the 2008 Photo Walk.
  7. Try a different style – photographing streets and people is fun, something I am definitely not good at. The Photo Walk is all about street photography, so if you have never tried it before, now is your chance to try something different. Besides being a good learning experience, it is also a great opportunity to reevaluate your photography style.
  8. Great prizes – while the Photo Walk is not about winning a prize, if Scott Kelby likes you picture, you might get rewarded with a grand prize (which was worth $11,000 last year) or “honorable mention”. If your image does not make it to Scott Kelby’s favorites, you might be chosen by your Photo Walk leader, in which case you will get one of Scott Kelby’s books as a prize.

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