New Fuji X-System Guide From Bill Fortney

Bill tripod-2

Bill and his Fuji X-system gear. Stay tuned for his forthcoming guide.

This is a heads up for the ever-increasing numbers of Fuji X-system photographers. My dear friend and mentor, the legendary Bill Fortney is close to releasing his latest e-book. The working title is The Fuji X-System User’s Guide, and it will be a working photographer’s guide to making great photos. Bill promises not just another buttons-and-dials book on Fuji gear, but a real roadmap to how to put all those buttons and dials to their best uses. And Bill knows Fuji … and Bill knows photography. When he speaks, we all would do well to listen.

Now, when these types of books are released we are smart to look at the background and abilities of the author … and their motivations. It is a fact of life in photography, as with the rest of life, that some authors have an ax to grind or a partner to massage. Not Bill. Any of us who have followed him and His Light for even a short period of time know his character and integrity. And we also are aware of his legendary status as a photographer and instructor. But let Bill speak for himself, as he writes in the preface to the new book:

The next question should be, “Why are you the guy to write this book?” Well let me start with what I am not. I’m not officially affiliated with Fuji, as an advisor, X-Shooter, or in any official way. I was offered the opportunity to be an X-Shooter and while honored I declined for two reasons, I want to remain independent so that my opinions and comments will be accepted as just that, uncolored, un-influenced opinions. I also still have great respect for my former friends and the Nikon company, and feel I’ve been a representative of a photo industry company once, and think it is time to remain unbiased and independent. I do not get special deals from Fuji, or have not been sent equipment to evaluate. I have sold images to Fuji for their marketing use, but I’ve done that for a lot of other photo industry companies as well. My relationship with Fuji is as an admirer of how they do business, respect for the products they design and build, and the customer care they exhibit! I’m a consumer just like you. I think this gives me a unique position to share from.

Further, I’m a full time photographer with over 45 years experience in the field and as an educator have had the chance to use and see many cameras models and brands, and I think I know my way around the industry as well as most anyone. I am not trying to sell cameras and lenses, just enthusiastically enjoying sharing my, new found, photographic love! The Fuji X-System is a perfect fit for some photographers, and if you’re one of them, this book is for you!

Click here to visit Bill’s site and his notes on the new guide. Keep visiting his site to make sure you are ready to place an order upon its release. And while you are there click on the My E-Books at the top of his homepage. Bill has a series of books available for download, books suited for photographers of all ages and abilities. Check out the offerings to see if anything is just right for your reference library. They are receiving great reviews since the downloads became available. See what you think.

It is cold and snowy here … not what we expect in Bloomington at this time of year. But, no matter the weather, it’s a great weekend for photography. Like all the other weekends, let’s go enjoy it.

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FREE Peter Hurley Photo Lesson

Jamie fashion-Edit-Edit-4-Edit

Peter Hurley is a master of the head shot. Read on to download a free lesson from him.

I have a great FREE offer today for all portrait photographers. Well, actually it is Profoto that has the great offer; I am pleased to pass the information on to you.

Peter Hurley is well-known for taking portraits, almost all headshots. He has a style and a look that many photographers have been trying to emulate. He has generously passed on a great deal of information on his methods, especially his techniques in coaching expression from his clients. I have seen videos on some of what he has been teaching, and I always was left wondering just a bit more about the physical techniques of his lighting. I liked the results very much; I understood how he was trying to coax a certain expression; the lighting seemed to be an afterthought in the videos. Now there is a new video series that aims to rectify that part of the shoot.

Now, Profoto and Peter aren’t teaming up to give away the entire video series. But they are offering us one of the lessons that makes up the series. And that is most appreciated. He is good; his portraits are goals for the rest of us to shoot for. Thank you, Profoto.

Click here to visit the Profoto blog. The first entry that should come up is a tutorial by Peter Hurley (if it isn’t, just scroll down until you come to it). Click on the signup line in the body of text (you don’t have to start an account or anything like that), and Profoto will email you a link to the tutorial. It is worth your time if you have any interest at all in taking people shots. Thank you, Peter Hurley.

This is an entirely FREE offer … and a good one. Download the video and watch it at your leisure. They will want you to consider purchasing the entire series. After watching this lesson, you just may be tempted.

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Mpix Aluminum Prints: A Review

Vibrant colors make for vibrant prints on aluminum.

Yesterday I suggested you visit Mpix to sign up for their FREE camera giveaway (click here for that post if you missed it. And if you did? Shame on you). And I mentioned yesterday that I have ordered prints many times from those good folks, finding them to be most reliable. Now, to be honest, I get most of prints from my good friend Kendall Reeves here in Bloomington these days. But that doesn’t stop me from using Mpix for products I don’t obtain from Kendall. And yesterday was one of those times.

Kendall is sponsoring a holiday show at his downtown Bloomington gallery and the jurying for that show is coming up quickly. I spent a lot of time considering images for possible submission, trying to balance what I liked with subject matter and sizes and what might be popular with those attending (and purchasing). Then I looked at how those photos might be presented, looking for something a bit different from everything else that might be submitted. It is my contention that the public is attracted to photos that make an emotional connection to something in their life, followed by the technical excellence of the image. Finally, the public considers the presentation – how an image is framed (or not). Modern or traditional? Something really new and different? Or something more comfortable and usual? And my thought was that it is time for something a bit different than the usual.

I decided to go aluminum, no frame or faux matte, with a contemporary floating mount. Modern, vibrant, rather sleek and clean-looking. Now, I may be way off with my thinking. But my ace-in-the-hole is that I know where these images will go in my own home (selected for the show or not, purchased by the public or not). And this style of aluminum print will look just the way I want here at home. And isn’t the first general rule to shoot for yourself? That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Yesterday I received the prints from Mpix. Nice. Vibrant colors. Colors the way they looked on my monitor. More of a 3-D effect than prints on paper. They don’t jump off the paper, but they do have some extra depth to them. The resolution and detail are what I expect from Mpix (or any printer). There is not this absolutely-different look from paper, but there is a clean, sleek look. It looks contemporary, if you will.

Things to consider if thinking aluminum: Mpix has some standard sizes … 8×10, 8×12, 11×14, 12×18, 16×24, and 20×30 (click here for their products page). Your prints have to conform to their specs – no trimming or free-lancing. For best results keep the sizes in mind when framing in the camera. Aluminum will not magically make your prints more sharp or more detailed than what you send in. I had to resize (up) for mine, and I wish I had sharpened just a touch more when processing. A rule of thumb is to sharpen to the point on your screen where the photo looks just a tad crunchy (over sharpened). The printing process, no matter what it is, will knock the edge off. And try not to make the mistake we photographers do so often … viewing the image with our respective noses pressed right up against the photo. View your images at the distance they should be seen, relative to their size. Everything will fall into place then.

Mpix is quite reasonable in their prices for aluminum prints. My good friends Richard Small and Raymond Jabola have aluminum prints from Imaging Wizards. They rave about them. And, frankly, Imaging Wizards probably is the industry leader. And you can do custom sizes. But .. a rather large, but … Mpix gives you a quality product at a much more affordable price. And Mpix has a fast turnaround time (a couple of days); Imaging Wizards does not. If you are just starting out with aluminum (as am I), Mpix is the place I recommend you begin.

I look up to Richard and Raymond (both as good friends and photographers) as much as anyone I ever have met. Raymond used Mpix for some of his recent prints and recommended them to me. And he was exceedingly kind in sending us an aluminum print of an image he made this summer from Story. It occupies a special place in our home. And if Raymond likes it (and he does) – it’s good. Really good. Another recommendation for Mpix and their aluminum prints.

Mpix. Aluminum prints. Recommended. Try ‘em. You’ll like ‘em.

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Camera Giveaway At Mpix. Get Your Hope Haven 2015 Calendar Today.

I have ordered a fair number of prints from Mpix. They do good work, and they are able to do it quickly. Mpix is popular with lots and lots of photographers, and they have earned that popularity. I get most of my prints from my good friend Kendall Reeves here in Bloomington these days, but I have no qualms in recommending the good folks at Mpix, also. And today they are giving me yet another good reason to do so.

Click here go over to the Mpix site. They are giving away a Samsung Galaxy 2 camera and $500 in products to one lucky winner on November 25th. And two other lucky winners will each receive $250 gift certificates on the same day. And all we have to do is enter our email into the mix to become eligible. No spam; no pesky salespersons ringing your virtual doorbell. Mpix is a very fine company, and now they are giving something back to at least three lucky photographers. Who knows? One of them could be you ….

Thank you, Mpix.

And I want to ask you to support a good cause (and do a nice thing for yourself at the same time) one more time. My good friend Richard Siggins has in hand his 2015 calendars for sale. Now, I’m not just selling calendars for Richard and his lovely wife June – no matter how inspiring his photos are. No, Richard and June are wonderful, caring friends who are using the proceeds of the calendar sales to support a very worthy cause in their hometown in Kingsport, TN. The cause is called Hope Haven, a place where those who are in need are served by those who care. We have talked about Richard’s effort before in these pages, but this is such a good cause (and the calendars are so good) that it is worthy of a second mention. My calendar is in the mail. I’m going to suggest that yours should be, also.

Just in case you have forgotten, Richard has given us a preview of this inspiring calendar. Oh, and let’s address this issue – “Why should I give money to a community other than my own? We have our own needy folks right here at home.” I’m sure you do; in fact, we all do. But our hearts and our calling allow us to reach out to our brothers and sisters when they are engaged in a worthy activity, when they are called to do good works. That is the case with Richard and June. We all can find $15 to support them in that calling. And receive the enjoyment of beautiful images from Richard all year long, also.

If helping a worthy cause like Hope Haven isn’t enough, this calendar preview should be. Richard and June have calendars in hand, right now. Click here to visit his site and place your order. You and we will be glad you did.

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Roberts Camera In Indianapolis … Great new Store!

The store visit Saturday may even end up in a new His Light workshop for 2015.

Kendall Reeves and I drove up to Indianapolis Saturday morning for the third day of the Roberts Camera grand re-opening. We weren’t there all that long before we spotted six more members of the Bloomington Photography Club; Roberts doesn’t serve just Indianapolis anymore. The store was pretty much filled the entire time we were there, and we wandered around and looked and talked to various reps (and, of course, did some shopping) for the better part of a couple of hours. No doubt about it – the new store is a big success.

If you didn’t make the opening, don’t fear. Roberts is going anywhere for a long time to come (they were in their old location more than 44 years). But do plan a trip to check out what’s new. You will enjoy the experience. I promise. And they promise.

First, the parking. The old Roberts had almost none. And what they did have was close by, but tricky to maneuver. The new store has plenty of convenient parking right behind the store. A trip there just got easier. And don’t worry about finding the new location. It’s only a little bit north of the old store, and right off the main drags (still an easy drive).

The new store is big, really big. There is room to wander and look without getting in anyone’s way, no matter what product you might be interested in. It’s not quite the intimate setting of the old store, but you still feel like you are in a camera store and not in a big department store. It’s clean and fresh and well-lit. There are large new signs indicating where the major brands are located, so narrowing down your search is fast and easy. The used camera and equipment department has lots and lots of new space. You can see more inventory than ever, and the stuff that used to be in a separate warehouse is now right there in the back, right at hand. We didn’t even get upstairs to the new education area on the second floor, but I gather is a whole lot of new space up there, also. Roberts has grown … in a good way.

There were quite a few reps from the various manufacturers there Saturday doing demonstrations or providing information. Roberts also had some areas set up to do camera sensor cleanings and lens calibrations. But nothing seemed crowded, even with the extra stations and the large crowd. That bodes well for future events there. And all of this was pretty difficult at the old place. Good job, Roberts.

One thing did not change for sure on Saturday, no matter the size of the crowd or the increased activity – Roberts’ great service. Kendall and I spent considerable time with the Profoto people and with Jeff Moore over in the used department. They were attentive and helpful and most gracious no matter the time we took up or the questions we had. I saw other staff escorting customers all over the store and spending time with them to demonstrate equipment or answer questions the entire time we were there. And no one acted rushed or impatient or bored or any of the things that can signal poor customer service. Roberts is just a good place in which to do business (and you can call online whenever you have a question and get the same great attention). Sometimes you kind of wonder if a new, larger location can change the best things about an older, small locale. No need to worry about that here.

On another note, I made contact with a couple of reps (Fuji and Profoto) that were absolutely great to speak with and spend some time with. Sometimes we may get the feeling that if we are just the ‘little’ guy (or gal) that these reps don’t want to spend time with us (always looking past us for someone else in the crowd). Not so on Saturday. I even have a line on a possible His Light workshop in conjunction with Fuji to discuss this week with dear friend Bill Fortney (perhaps more on that in the very near future). I came home with a few nice little giveaways that I didn’t expect; people just were very nice and attentive to all of us. That was noted both then and now … and very much appreciated.

Saturday was a most rewarding day (made so by Kendall’s companionship and a stop at Shapiro’s Deli, also). Roberts Camera has gotten better, and they were very good before. If you didn’t make the new store opening, plan a trip soon to check out the new location. It’s a winner. And spend some time with the staff, winners in their own right. My only wish? That we had the old Roberts Camera back in Bloomington (they, unfortunately, have been gone for about five years now). Other than that? Thank you, Roberts, for being my local camera store. Here’s wishing you another 44 years of successful business in the new location.

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Roberts Camera: Grand Opening Through Saturday

Click on the Roberts logo to check out the new store opening.

I really like the good folks at Roberts Camera up in nearby Indianapolis. They always are friendly and knowledgeable and gracious and helpful to me, in person or on the phone. They have a huge array of products, new and used, for sale. Their online business is growing by leaps and bounds, so you can take advantage of their experience and expertise no matter where you live. And now they have moved to a new, larger location in Indy (with a lot more parking). There is a celebration beginning today and running through Saturday of that new store, a grand re-opening.

The new address is 221 E. St. Clair Street in Indianapolis if you live in this area. It’s not far apparently from the old store, so don’t worry about finding it. And there are specials and special presentations going on through Saturday. This will be more for you viewers who live in my part of the woods, but there are a couple of specials that are active online, also. Roberts has a flyer that explains all this; you can read about the new store and the opening by clicking here. Check out the events (several of which are, unfortunately, filled), and see if there is anything of interest to you. I am planning on getting there to at least see the new layout and register for the (impressive) door prizes with my good friend, Kendall Reeves. I will let you know next week on the new location if you can’t make it yourself.

Roberts had been in business at their old location for 44 years. Now, you don’t stay active in the camera/photo world for that long without doing a whole lot of things right – especially when it comes to customer service. And now they are in a location to physically make that service, in store and online, even better. If you haven’t checked out their offering (their used department is always worth checking before making a new purchase), take this opportunity to do. And what I find great is to just pick up the phone and talk to them when I have a question or need information about a product. No strings attached; no short answers or impatient attitudes at Roberts. They are friendly and helpful and extremely knowledgeable. These are good folks, and we all wish them the very best at the new store.

If you live in my area take some time in the next two days to travel up to Indy and visit Roberts. If you are too far away for that, check out the online store. I think you will find it an enjoyable experience. And you might even find a bargain or two in the process.

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onOne Perfect Photo Suite 9 Available. Worth The Upgrade.

Make room for a new graphic … version 9 is here!

It has been a busy couple of days, with plenty going on here at home and with our faith family. And yesterday made for a very long day (a Bloomington Photo Club meeting and late night election news going on into the early morning hours). But busy hands are happy hands as my parents used to say with all-too-often regularity. Life is so good.

There is just enough time to remind you that onOne Software now has their Perfect Photo Suite 9 available for purchase and download. I have been following the new features closely for a while now – this is an upgrade worth your resources (and worth serious consideration if you are a first-time user). None of us gains by doing our processing the hard way, re-inventing the wheel. Plugins such as this new version from onOne, Nik’s collection, and the Topaz programs make processing faster and more efficient. And if you are one of the hold-outs who never made peace with Adobe over their subscription-only Photoshop deal? Perfect Photo Suite 9 may be the program you have been waiting for as an Adobe replacement.

My recommendation for all of us is to take advantage of the 30-day free trial onOne offers. Click here to check out the new version; familiarize yourself with all the features this program offers. I guarantee you will be interested. Then download the free trial and give the software a thorough vetting. Peruse it; use it; abuse it. Find out if it’s right for you. I am ready to pull the trigger. And I already have the Nik collection. There is no rule against owning and using more than one set of processing tools. In fact, I recommend we do – the bigger the tool belt, the more options we have to get the job done.

onOne makes a really good product. I have the previous version. And the version before that one. Version 9 is on the horizon for me. Take a good look and consider coming on board.

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f/11 Magazine: A Perspective On Art And Cameras


We have made this point in various ways in the past (or at least tried to). I tell myself this fact over and over. We all talk about it periodically at workshops and camera club meetings and field trips. Yet most of us fall prey every so often to the urge to conflate new equipment with better photos. We know better; we fight it; we struggle. Blame it on the marketers who have made a science of knowing which of our buttons to push. Blame it on human nature. Blame it on the fact that every so often manufacturers do in fact come up with equipment that represents a breakthrough in photography. But let’s state the fact one more time – great technique will beat new equipment every time. As long as the gear you own will allow you to physically produce the images you desire to make, you don’t need new equipment! There … I’ve said it again.

I have recommended f/11 Magazine to you many times in the past. It is a monthly e-magazine with great content, great production values coming to us out of New Zealand. You can sign up for your own free subscription (no strings of any kind attached) by clicking here. I have yet not to find something of interest, something of value in each new issue. And that is the case for the current issue, the one recently released.

Open the current issue and check out the article on Doc Ross (London Calling). Check out which camera he used for this series – a camera that he rightly characterizes as one pretty much panned by the critics (and most of the camera-buying public). But he didn’t care; he selected the camera right for him, no matter if it is considered relatively unsophisticated or not. And check out the kit lens he used throughout. In the end, the equipment he used didn’t count for anything. When you study the end results, does the equipment matter to you? Doc produced eye-catching images without bankroll-busting gear. You can do the same.

Then go on to examine the provocative work of Glen Howey (I bet you find it holds your attention). And as you read don’t miss the fact that it all was done with a Nikon D90 – a DLSR considered old and outdated by now. Glen should long ago have fallen under the spell of newer and better and faster and more everything. His work is a shining example of what we tell ourselves (and know) so often and so well. We don’t need the latest and greatest (and most expensive) to produce fine art. Need we say more?

So take a little bit of time today to read f/11’s latest issue (you will enjoy it. I promise). And then consider again what we all get caught up in all too often. We don’t need more and more camera gear to produce great images. We do, however, need to study and learn and practice. We need a clear vision of what we love to shoot and produce. We need a passion to capture what we see in our minds and hearts as much as what we see through the camera’s lens. Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to shoot what we love, and love what we shoot than to merely collect what we buy, and buy what we collect?

It’s Monday; we have an entire week of shooting possibilities ahead of us. Let’s put them to good use.

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Unified Color’s HDR Express 3: First Impressions

Express 3
I’ve been checking out a new HDR program. Stay tuned for more thoughts.

I started out doing HDR processing with Photomatix. Then I used Nik’s HDR Efex Pro for a bit, and I upgraded to version 2 of that program when it came out. But I ended up back with Photomatix (now on version 5), and I currently use and recommend it for HDR results. But I always am on the lookout for improvements, software that simplifies and/or improves processing (I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel each time I sit down with an image). Oh, I forgot to add that I dabbled with Unified Color’s HDR Expose back in the day, also. That program I found to be a bit nit-picky for my tastes; too much dialing in with too many sliders too often. And I find now that the advances Adobe has made with Lightroom and Photoshop make HDR processing less and less necessary (the dynamic range you can recover from raw images is amazing these days). So I don’t process in HDR as much as I used to – no need. But I still do on the occasion, and I still pay attention to advances in that software genre. Hence, today’s post.

Unified Color sent me an email touting their latest version of HDR Express. It promised faster merging, new alignment and de-ghosting algorithms that were state-of-the art, and professional results with increased simplicity of use. Sounded pretty good. And since I still own my old version I could upgrade at a decent price (after I checked out the free 30-day trial, of course. I recommend that highly to get a feel for any software before buying). So I have downloaded the trial version (fully featured, no different than what you will buy) and played around with it. These are first impressions; I will continue to use it and report on it as time permits. But I have a pretty good feel for how I process and what I am comfortable with, all compared to the current version of Photomatix.

HDR Express 3 is easy to use; it has a simple interface that is well-laid out and easy-to-navigate. It integrates with Lightroom really well, using raw images out of your Folders to process files with the most information possible (a couple of short videos are available to explain that reasoning). It re-imports the finished photos back into Lightroom so you know exactly where to find them, something that confuses lots of people using other software. I don’t find it especially fast at merging images or processing compared to Photomatix, but the wait to do either isn’t prohibitive, either. It’s not really speedy, but it’s not really a turtle, either.

There are a few presets included for you to get faster to a look you might prefer. These are really basic in nature, not much here in the way of artistic interpretation or variety. You pretty much get lighter or darker or more detail or more contrast. The other programs out there give you a lot more choices, which can come in handy at times as sort of a shortcut to get you where you want to be faster. This is an express program, remember.

The rendering is effective in that the histogram gives you a very clear picture of where the shadows and highlights are in your image outside of the usual histogram. That is, it shows you how far the shadows clip, not just that they clip. The same with highlights, which is a nice touch. You really can tell how much work is going on, whether you want all that compression to take place, and an easy way to dial in exactly what you want. It seems to me that this program is designed to pretty much do what we all say we want in HDR … give us the complete tonal range of an image that otherwise wouldn’t have it and little more. We all realize by now that the real work and finishing magic of an HDR image takes place after we finish compressing our image. It is Photoshop (for me) that finishes the image; the HDR program just gets me what I need to effectively do that. HDR Express does that just fine … and seems content to pretty much just do that.

So, after processing several images (but not finishing them in Photoshop), I was left for now wondering if Photomatix doesn’t also do that just fine for me? And if it didn’t have a few more bells and whistles thrown in (think presets and some sharpening tools) to boot? I was left looking for something a lot simpler and a lot faster than what I currently use (with equal or better results) if I could be lured into switching (or adding onto) my software collection. Not yet. Not today by any means.

I’m going to use this program and Photomatix together, in competition, for a while to see if HDR Express grows on me for some reason (final results being the biggie). Take today’s post for what it is – first impressions. But when you find something that works for you (Photomatix), it takes a WOW! of some kind to impress and get you to consider another purchase. HDR Express has a ways to go to do that, I can tell.

The program is new and is worth looking at if you do HDR images and appreciate simplicity of use. You can check it out (and download your own trial if you like) by clicking here. I would be most interested in your first (and second) impressions. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

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A Little Macro Practice: Fall Colors

Home macro
Click on the close up to see more fall leaves.

Yesterday was a rainy day in Bloomington; it made for a quiet time at home. And what could be better than to get in a little bit of photo practice? Between showers I gathered some leaves in the back yard from the trees and shrubs that still have plenty of color. I was able to choose from dogwoods, hydrangeas, the gingko, and a Japanese maple. It made for a colorful display, one that pretty much arranged itself for some close up practice. I tried to put into practice some of what we learned from Mike Moats at our macro workshop earlier this month. It was a most enjoyable afternoon.

Click on the image at the top of this post to see the other photos I processed. Or you always can just click here. It has been a beautiful fall this year in southern Indiana. These images will help me hang on to it a bit longer.

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New Harmony Photos: Color And Texture

NH house
Click on the historic New Harmony home to see more photos.

Today features a few more images from our trip to beautiful and charming New Harmony in Southern Indiana. We shot throughout the mornings and afternoons, looking for good light. There was plenty of color to capture, plenty of details that caught and held the eye. It was a wonderful visit to a most photo-friendly little town. If you ever find yourself traveling in the area, be sure to plan to spend some time in New Harmony.

Click here to see the rest of the images I selected. Or you always can click on the photo at the top of the post. Enjoy your visit.

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Charming New Harmony, Indiana: Photos

Click on the Oakleaf hydrangeas to see this fall color in a larger size.

We spent Friday and most of Saturday in the charming Southern Indiana town of New Harmony. It is a beautiful town, filled with historic buildings and homes. New Harmony is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, a history going back to the Utopian philosophy dreams and plans of Robert Owens. We were treated royally at the New Harmony Inn, and we dined in style at the Red Geranium. If you plan your own trip to New Harmony (and I urge you to consider doing so), these two locations are great starting points. We had a great time, and we came home with some promising images.

Yesterday was our church’s annual Trunk ‘n Treat for the kids, preceded by an all-congregation chili supper. It has been a busy couple of days, and the photo processing had to take a back seat to our other activities. But I did have time to process one, one that caught my eye both out in the field and when I got home. I don’t say this too often – but I really like this one. Others will follow; they have some possibilities. But I thought this one showed off New Harmony’s fall colors perfectly.

Click on the image at the top of the post to see it in a larger size (this thumbnail doesn’t do New Harmony justice). And come back to see more images as we catch up on our chores around the house. It’s Monday for all of us … welcome back.

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Free Halloween Textures. Two Glyn Dewis Videos: How To Make Snow.

Check out the good folks at Shadowhouse Creations for this FREE set of papers.

Halloween is fast approaching. Maybe you have a project in mind; maybe you just on-the-edge textures. In either case, the good folks over at Shadowhouse Creations have some most interesting paper patterns for you … for FREE! They look cool, no matter if you have a current project in mind or not. I have used textures and brushes from this site in the past; they uniformly have been high quality. They don’t take up much room, and they just might be what you are looking for sometime down the road.

Click here to visit Shadowhouse Creations and download this FREE set of papers. At least check them out; they are guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.

Then I urge you to watch a couple of recent videos from one of my favorite retouchers, Glyn Dewis. He is generous and talented and quite the effective instructor. And my dear friend Bill Fortney had a chance to hang out a bit with Glyn at this year’s Photoshop World. Bill assures me Glyn also is very fine man. ‘Nuff said.

How cool is that, friends? I live in what can be snowy and cold Indiana; many of you don’t have that pleasure (you are stuck in those always-sunny places like California or Florida). This video may be just the ticket for creating the look you need in a season that doesn’t really exist. Thank you, Glyn!

And then one other real gem from Glyn. I do a fair amount of compositing, and I always struggle with trying to get my subject to look natural in a new environment. Glyn has a technique for creating a dust effect when you are blending your subject into an uneven surface, a place where some dust or smoke might be kicked up. I don’t know how he comes up with these techniques, but he regularly does. And he is generous enough to share them with us. Check this one out.

Is Glyn good, or what? And generous to boot. Okay, that should keep all of us busy for the coming weekend. And if not with camera in hand, at least with Photoshop in mind. See you back here Monday.

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His Light Brown County: Model A Photos

Click on the Model A to see a few more photos.

My good friend Chris Easton brought his beautiful Model A Ford over to Story while we were there shooting. It fit perfectly into the fall scene, looking as if we all had been transported magically back in time. Everyone enjoyed taking photos of the car parked in several different positions near the inn. We gave Chris the best of what everyone shot; he was most appreciative … almost as appreciative as we were for his generosity in meeting with us.

I have a couple of more photos today from Camp Palawopec, the last of what I shot there last week. And I have just a few images of Chris’ Ford. I hope you enjoy them even a small bit as much as I enjoyed spending time in Story and shooting this fantastic car. Just click on the car at the top of this post to see them. Or you always can just click here.

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His Light Brown County: Color Photos

Kelley Hill barn
Click on this quintessential Hoosier barn to see a few more colorful images.

I didn’t shoot very much during last week’s His Light workshop. Our His Light family members deserved to see the best we had to offer in Brown County, and we were busy making sure they did. And I was having such a great time making new friends and catching up with old ones that the shooting just wasn’t a priority. It was a great time.

But I did take a few shots, mostly those that had so much color in them that they were hard to ignore. Brown County just exploded in color while we were there, the most in quite a few years. My photos tend to reflect that fact; the color you see is the color we saw.

Click on the image of the quintessential red barn to see the images I took. And plan on a Brown County visit of your own sometime.

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