My progress report

The Backyard Biology blog seems to have taken a back seat lately, so I’ll try to bring it up to date in the next couple of days.  I’ve been busy playing catch-up with the rest of the cohort of Arcanum apprentices, trying to get ready for my first photo critique with my master photographer, Les Imgrund (click here to see some of the spectacular photos he has taken).   I took readers’ advice from the survey on February 3 blog post and submitted the fox, the hummingbird, the swan, and the prairie farm for his critique, after modifying them somewhat.  The photo below was the best of the bunch, getting an almost perfect score from Les.  The others had slight problems that needed fixing.

prairie farmhouse-re-edit

Now, my goals are to improve my composition of landscape photos and to learn how to do some of the post-processing steps (in Lightroom 5) that selectively enhance elements of the photo. Illustrations are below with some explanations.  Please click on each of the photos to see them in full screen mode.

island in Lake Superior near Split Rock lighthouse

This photo was shot on a totally gray day when there was just no color in the landscape at all. I added a color gradient to the sky, lightened the island overall, and created a more interesting foreground that in the original image. I guess this would be called making something of nothing.

Split Rock lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse is a really photogenic place but not on this dreary gray day. So, I colorized the lighthouse and buildings, added some depth to the sky and to the foreground water with the gradient and saturation tools in Lightroom to make it more presentable.

forest path

This is the walking path at one of the local reservoirs. The tall pines typically shade this path quite well, so I lightened it up considerably and removed a green stake in front of one of the trees. 

Lake Superior north shore rocks and trees

Selective sharpening is a powerful tool, allowing one to emphasize certain parts of the photograph over others. I like the texture of the rocks and trees in this photo from the Gooseberry Falls trail in Lake Superior national forest. Selective sharpening really brings them out.

Now I’ll wait for my cohort and then Les to comment on my latest set of photos, before moving on to the next level.  At this point I am about half way through the foundation level.

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