As the sun sets, and darkness spreads its comforting veil across the land, a breathtaking scene begins to unfold. Nestled in a serene meadow, a solitary tree stands tall, its silhouette painted against the canvas of the night sky. And above, a mesmerizing spectacle awaits—the Milky Way, a celestial river of countless stars stretching across the heavens.
In the depths of this enchanted moment, the tree takes on an ethereal beauty, its branches reaching upward, as if attempting to touch the stars themselves. The twinkling lights of the Milky Way form a magnificent backdrop, casting a spell of awe and wonder. It's a sight that fills the heart with a profound sense of connection to the vastness of the universe.
Silhouetted against the Milky Way, the tree embodies a striking contrast of light and dark, of earthly existence against the cosmic backdrop. It becomes a symbol of resilience and strength, standing firm amidst the ebb and flow of time. It seems to whisper tales of ancient wisdom, carrying the weight of countless seasons witnessed.
The Wild Horses of the Salt River, Arizona are out and viewable from the road. Don't look for the horses, instead look for the many cars parked along side the Bush Highway. Mix in the green grasses, the orange and yellow flowers and it makes the perfect setting to photograph these wild beauties.
It's pretty amazing that we still have wild horses at all. Seeing them in their natural habitat surrounded by wildflowers is something to behold.
In the Southwestern plains, where the sun beats down,
And the earth is painted gold and brown,
The wild horses roam, unbridled and free,
In a land of blooming wildflowers as far as the eye can see.
Their manes fly free in the windswept air,
As they gallop and play without a care,
Their hooves pound the earth in a rhythmic beat,
As they explore and discover this wilderness retreat.
The wildflowers dance in the breeze,
Their petals alive with color and ease,
The horses stop to taste the sweet nectar,
And drink from the crystal-clear streams that reflect her.
In this land of infinite beauty and grace,
The horses run and explore this boundless space,
Their spirits free, their souls unchained,
As they bask in the sunshine and embrace the untamed.
The wild horses and wildflowers together,
Are a sight to behold, a natural wonder,
As they coexist in a harmony so true,
In this land of the wild and the free, it's all that they knew.
And so they roam and they play,
In this Southwestern land, day after day,
Wild horses and wildflowers, forever free,
In a world where beauty and freedom reign endlessly.
Capturing a birds reflection in a body of water is a unique way to capture wildlife that you don't see often in photographs. When done correctly, these reflections can create a painting-like affect that will take your wildlife photography to the next level. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Find the right location
The key to capturing wildlife reflections is to find the right location next to water. Look for a calm body of water that is surrounded by nature and animals, such as a lake, pond, or river. It's also important to choose a location with a good view of the sky, as this will reflect in the water and add depth to your shot.
2. Wait for the right light
Lighting is critical when shooting wildlife reflections. You want to avoid harsh shadows and overcast days, as these can ruin the reflection in the water. Wait for a sunny day with a clear sky, and shoot either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is soft and warm.
3. Get high
Getting high above the water is crucial when shooting wildlife reflections. You need to find the right angle to where you can see the reflection of your subject.
4. Use a telephoto lens
Usually you will need a telephoto lens for wildlife. Keeping a distance will help to not disturb your subject.
5. Use a tripod
Using a tripod will help you stabilize your camera and ensure a sharp photo. But wildlife often doesn't remain still, so don't take too long. If your shutter speed can account for hand holding your telephoto lens, this may be the optimal choice.
6. Flip your image
In your image editor you will need to flip your image and crop out part of the image you don't want to show.
In conclusion, shooting wildlife reflections in the water is a beautiful and unique way to capture nature. By finding the right location, waiting for the right light, getting the right angle, using a tripod, and paying attention to the background, you can create stunning, painting-like images that will take your wildlife photography to the next level.
A good quality tripod is an essential piece of equipment for any landscape photographer. Not only does it provide a stable platform for your camera gear, but it also allows you to take longer exposures capturing more details in your images.
One of the main benefits of a sturdy tripod is that it allows you to take sharp, clear photos even in low light conditions. By keeping your camera perfectly still, you can use slower shutter speeds without worrying about camera shake. This means you can shoot in lower light, especially in the early morning or late evening when the light is at its best.
Another benefit of a tripod is that it allows you to take photos at different angles and perspectives. By adjusting the legs and head of the tripod, you can easily change the angle of your camera to suit the composition of your shot. This allows you to experiment with different compositions and find the best angle for your subject.
A good tripod is also essential for capturing panoramic shots. By keeping your camera steady, you can take a series of photos that can be stitched together to create a panoramic image. This allows you to capture a much wider field of view than you would be able to with a single shot.
Click Here to check out my video, beyond the photograph, where I use a sturdy tripod
Examples of good tripods:
There's nothing quite like the first snowfall of the season in the mountains of Colorado. The stark white against the fiery oranges, yellows and reds of the autumn leaves creates a stunning contrast that is a photographer's dream. If you're lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, capturing the beauty of this natural phenomenon can be a truly rewarding experience.
When photographing the first snowfall, timing is everything. Try to plan your trip to the mountains for when the forecast predicts the first snow, and aim to be at the summit for either sunrise or sunset for the best lighting conditions. A tripod will also be a valuable tool to ensure sharp, stable shots.
With a little bit of preparation and a lot of patience, you'll be able to capture the magic of the first snowfall in the mountains and autumn. Happy shooting!
I Almost missed this hummingbird; I caught this little guy hanging out on a branch staring at me like I'm the next tree he's gonna hang out on. This little hummingbird let me get within 4 feet to photograph. The colors are absolutely amazing.
Summers in Arizona bring more than just extreme heat. A weather phenomena called "the monsoon season" bring heavy rains, wind, and killer thunderstorms. Getting out to photograph can be tricky during this time. Heavy rain and lighting can be dangerous causing flash floods or even fires, not to mention the chance of getting struck by lightning. But capturing the elements has it's risks. So when my phone receives a weather alert I usually only have so much time to grab my gear and head out. With thunderstorms building above, The ominous looking Superstition Mountain looks perfect.
The monsoon season in Arizona brings with it many opportunities for photographing dramatic skies. With only a few days to capture the lake, I was hoping to capture some better, crazy, stormy scenes, but I had to take what I could get. This is one of my favorite shots taken right at sunset.
My friends over at Rancho Deluxe sent me some photos of their property to post on their website. The original photos are not bad. The attempt at a starry sky is just a little underwhelming. Using Skylum Luminar AI Sky Replacement I jazzed up the stars a bit and created a more stunning photo set. I used the same sky on both images for consistency. I also added a little bit of warmth to get the barn wood more saturated. Check out a free trial for yourself and see how you like it.
This is going to be the fastest review you have ever read about the Luminar's Skylum 4 AI Sky Replacement tool. The AI Sky replacement tool works GREAT! It has some issues with an original photo with cloudy skies, but It works the best with a plain blue sky. I have had success with clouds. Skylum Luminar 4 still runs slow on my souped up iMac but it works well enough and I still like using it. Check out a free trial for yourself and see how you like it.
I used one of the starry skies built into luminar 4. You can opt to use your own if you like.
Never been to The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, I wasn't really prepared for how massive these dunes are. Looking at photos online, It's difficult to get a feeling of scale, or size, of The Great Sand Dunes. The best way to display scale in a photograph, regardless of your perspective, is to add something to the scene that the brain can reference to find scale.
Usually, I don't like people in my landscapes. I would prefer a wild animal, or a bird, but because this is a pretty busy spot I left all the sand explorers in the shot so the viewer can really get a sense of scale.
Since I have replaced my workflow using Nik Plugins with the new Luminar photo editing tool, I have to say personally, after weeks of review, I am loving Luminar. Coming from Photoshop with Nik plugins background and not Lightroom. I feel like, for some photos, you can't really get there color-wise with Nik. Nik is great but Luminar is blowing them out of the water. I am impressed!
Just for fun I was going through some of my old photos, shot in 2009. These photos I just skipped by because they were shot dark and lifeless. I thought I would run some of them through Luminar to see what it could do with them. See for yourself:
I feel like there was a reason for me to take this photo. I just don't point and shoot just to take a photo. I think the dark, lifeless photo is the result of the raw camera file and just lack of light. I'm sure it looked better in person or I wouldn't have taken the shot.
If you are looking for a great alternative to editing your photos why not give Luminar a try, just download the free trial and see if it works for you. That's what I did!
I have paid for and been using Nik plugins for 15 plus years, I can't even remember when I started. I want to say maybe 2002??? I have used Nik plugins in my workflow ever since. I remember when Google bought out Nik and then gave the software to everyone for free 🤬. Now DxO has purchased Nik and wants me to re-purchase what I already bought years ago. I don't think Nik has changed much by the way.
In my journey to completely replace my Adobe Suite I found Affinity Photo 1.6 to replace Photoshop. It works great, better than Photoshop, for me, I absolutely love it. Affinity Photo released it's update to 1.7 and the Nik plugins don't work in 1.7 which is a bummer. Knowing this before I updated I also found a replacement for Nik.
For around the same price as Nik pluggins I decided to purchase Luminar by Skylum. It's an Adobe Lightroom Alternative. But for me, it's basically 90% Nik software, but better. You are getting Lightroom and Nik all in one. But wait, it gets better. Tooling around inside Luminar under plugins I found my Nik Plugins. THEY WORK inside Luminar. (I am using the latest version of Luminar)
This just might be best of both worlds! If you want to use your older Google Nik Collection Plugins with Adobe Alternatives, check out Luminar by Skylum and see if it will work for your workflow as it does for me.