Better Day With Eagles

Bald Eagle Looking For Fish

Definitely a better day with the eagles today. The weather has been a little colder and we’ve even had a little snow. I arrived at Eleven Mile Canyon a little later than usual, the sun had been up for about an hour by the time I arrived so I didn’t know what to expect. Lately the eagles have been all done in the canyon an hour or two after sunrise.

Just as I got to the bend I spotted a beautiful bald eagle on a branch right across the river in perfect light! I stopped and adjusted the camera for a portrait in early light. Since I had the door frame to steady the lens on I decided to try a 400th of a second with F8 and a -2/3 exposure compensation (EC) which in that light brought my ISO down to a usable 1250. The wind was blowing hard though and I could see that his feathers were fluttering so I figured I’d better get a few shots with a faster shutter speed, I thought a 1250th of a second should do the trick. Then I prepared for flight. Shutter priority with a 1600th of a second and F8, my widest aperture with this lens and teleconverter combination. 

Bald Eagle Looking For Fish

Eventually he took flight but I only had a few feet of space to get in a shot before he went behind the choke cherry bushes. But I got a couple of nice captures 🙂 I continued driving upstream and spotted a second baldie. This one was in a terrible position for a shot though, backlit and high in a tree with the bright blue sky behind him. I changed my EC to +1 and snapped a few before he took flight. Much to my surprise though the great raptor turned around and headed straight back at me! My settings were perfect for a bird in flight with the blue sky as a backdrop so I know I nailed some of them!

Eventually my day was over and I was on my way back downstream when I spotted yet another one high in the trees on top of the ridge. I didn’t think anything would come of this situation but by then this eagle was a bit jumpy. He took flight a few times with the early morning sun shining upon him and a couple times he flew right at me. I didn’t nail them all but I nailed a bunch of good frames!

I found today encouraging, more eagles, better compositions and more cold weather on the way. I think by next month the eagles will have settled into the canyon for a good winter of raptor photography! Don’t forget to check out my new Kindle book about last year’s raptor photography! Tons of great picture and the story of some of our favorite local birds!

 

 

Bald Eagle Looking For Fish

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings! Also be sure to check out my short stories on Kindle in my new series called Photo Adventures!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

One Year With the Raptors

Bald Eagles in Eleven Mile Canyon

I just published another Kindle book called “Seasons of the Raptor” about my first big year of raptor photography. Prior to 2020 my wildlife photography always concentrated on the large American mammals, including bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, etc. That was of course before I became acquainted with the eagles nest at Eleven Mile Canyon. Since then I’ve upgraded my equipment to be able to actually shoot a clear photograph of birds and actively gone looking for them! I’ve had to upgrade my software to support images shot in low light and difficult conditions and perfect my skills on fast moving small subjects!

The year included  watching the bald eagles hatch three new eaglets, the osprey pair raise two new young ones, some great times with the blue heron, tons of red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, a couple Swainson’s, the peregrine falcons at the mouth of Eleven Mile and probably a bunch I already don’t even remember!

Anyway, the book is my best one yet, around 50 pages of my best raptor pictures including the story behind the images. I reveal my strategy and camera settings, how I approached the feathered critters, where and when to find them plus links to supporting video on my YouTube channel!

So if you are on Amazon or a Kindle fan I hope you will consider giving it a look!

Also notice that I have added a link to all my Kindle books on the main menu!

The Victor on Ice Show

Victor on Ice

Well I got to try my hand at photographing an ice skating show in the tiny mountain town of Victor last night! My friend Olivia had been put in charge of choreographing the show so I had extra incentive to go see the first annual Victor on Ice! I had heard that there was a chain link fence around the rink so I made the mistake of not going prepared, as usual. Turns out there was a gap in the fence and I could have used my good microphone but it was left at home 😦 Also left at home were my new cold weather gloves and parka so I about froze. I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess it was fairly comfortable in the daytime and I apparently have forgotten how fast and how cold it gets up here at 10,000 feet when the sun goes down!

Anyway, the show was a blast and I seem to have done alright given my limited video skills 🙂 For the stills I put my camera on manual with a 320th of a second, F4 aperture and ISO 4000, which seems to have worked well and I have some nice images to share with whoever is interested 🙂

Windows 11 and Kindle Publishing

As we approach the new year the weather is clear and cold up in the mountains. Not very good for photography but pretty good for tackling year end administrative details and sitting in front of the old LCD monitor. Yesterday’s big event was the upgrade to Windows 11. In my younger days as a computer geek I would have been all over the new developments but these days I was content to just wait for the announcement. In fact my desktop is now probably three or four years old so I wasn’t sure it was even going to be eligible for the upgrade.

But as it turns out, the other day when I booted up, Windows informed me that I was eligible for a free upgrade, a note which I gave the old “later” response thinking I might not even bother to do it. But after looking into it a bit and discovering that there were actually going to be performance improvements to the multi-tasking software plus some intriguing aesthetic enhancements, I decided to see if my computer really could perform the upgrade.

I checked over the requirements and it seemed that my little Dell actually met the requirements (of course after I had installed 32gb of memory and a 1tb aux disk) so I shut down all my tasks, even though it says you don’t have to, and fired up the download and walked away. A couple hours later the download was complete and the installation started automatically. That too went off without a hitch and I am now running on Windows 11. I have to say I am pleased so far, it seems to be a bit snappier and I like the look and feel. In fact an issue with my graphics card driver seems to have been repaired. One time I was messing with the colors and contrast on my monitor and something got completely jacked up, turning my whites pink along with various other problems. I had to switch my theme to dark mode to avoid the hideous colors on the task bar and backgrounds. There seemed to be no other way around it but now it all looks fine again. All my applications seem to be working well, including my Adobe products and Open Office which are really the most important things I use.  Today I will find out if the printer driver was affected.

Series Cover for Photo Adventures

I’m also proud to announce significant progress in my newfound book writing career, I have completed the first three short stories in my Photo Adventures series on Kindle! To accomplish this you need at least three stories to complete the three cover artwork displayed for a series. Kindle uses the covers of your first three stories to create a three cover collage. I decided for consistency’s sake I would stick to the theme of wildlife adventures and now that they are complete I have a pleasing three animal cover 🙂 Now I am fiddling around with some new ideas for a more substantial writing including a recounting of the year my wife passed from cancer and a new phase of life began called “Beauty for Ashes”. I don’t know if I will actually be able to deliver on that idea though, time will tell if I can actually get through the first chapter. If I can write the first chapter I may actually come through with that idea.

Today my big task is going to be trying to acquire a new season pass for Eleven Mile Canyon and Manitou Lake and maybe even a Colorado state parks pass, but I’m thinking I should probably have a new windshield installed on my truck first. Seems a shame to put shiny new stickers on a cracked up old windshield 😦 But then again, it also seems a shame to have to put a shiny new windshield on a 25 year old truck… I keep thinking that there is going to be a Nissan Frontier 4×4 in my future but I seem to keep finding camera equipment taking priority over a new(er) vehicle. Which brings to mind the old saying for parents, “Teach your kids photography, that way they will never be able to afford drugs.” 🙂

 

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings! Also be sure to check out my short stories on Kindle in my new series called Photo Adventures!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Tunnel Quest

One of my favorite projects was my train tunnel finding adventures. This took all summer a few years ago to locate and photograph with an actual train in the picture! The tracks west of Denver are quite busy though, so it often took only up to an hour of waiting before a train came through, one direction or the other. The real fun was the hiking in, many times on rugged trails or along the railroad bed itself. Don’t remember how the idea came to me, but I wanted to photograph the trains for my stock photo business and finding the tracks and the tunnels was a fun way to do it I guess 🙂 The complete set of print and gift pictures from my adventures can be found here and the commercial stock version of those images can be seen here.

Rollins-Pass

For railroad buffs there is no better place than the Colorado Front Range mountains with tracks winding through the valleys through dozens of tunnels. Union Pacific, BNSF, Amtrack and the Santa Fe lines share the tracks as they haul freight, coal and travelers between Denver’s Union Station and the west coast.

Beautiful Union Station in downtown Denver is the railway hub of Rocky Mountain west. From there the trains head west through Denver towards the Front Range foothills. When train watching always remember to respect the boundaries of the train engineer. The engineers are responsible for the safety of their trains and don’t need the headache of worrying about an over zealous train enthusiast standing on or near the tracks. I recommend a vantage point at least 30 yards from the tracks, safe for the viewer and distant enough to keep the engineer from being nervous about your safety as well.

map_coalcreek

Tunnel #1 is one of the first places to catch a view of the massive steel snakes as they make their journeys to and from the great American West. To reach the the tunnel take Highway 93 north out of Golden to Highway 72 and head west. On the north side of the road look for the first huge knoll which is the formation that the tunnel passes through. Hike through the meadow to the north to see the north side of the tunnel or up the steep embankment to view the south entrance. Generally the wait shouldn’t be more than a half hour to an hour before a train comes through.

Tunnel #2 is on Plainview road, a dirt road that heads north from Highway 72 just east of Tunnel #1. The road is unpaved but easily passable with a passenger car. Proceed along the road and find a place to park when you come to the tracks. The tunnel is north of there and can be approached on foot by hiking north at a safe distance along the tracks. Watch locomotives proceeding in and out of the tunnel against the beautiful backdrop of the Boulder Flatirons.

Divide-Train-5

The tracks then proceed into the foothills through El Dorado Canyon State Park with Tunnel #10 being accessible from the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail. El Dorado Canyon is one of the most beautiful places this writer has ever come across. I have done a lot of hiking and climbing there but have never made the climb to Tunnel #10, which remains on my train watching bucket list.

Tunnel #2 Map

Another great place for train viewing is on Gross Reservoir Road near the town of Coal Creek on Highway 72. Follow Gross Dam Road to the tracks and find a suitable parking spot. Tunnel #19 can be found by hiking west along the tracks for a half mile or so, while Tunnel #18 can be viewed by hiking east. Fantastic views of the trains and the peaks of the Colorado Continental Divide to the west can be experienced by climbing to the top of the bluffs east of the road and north of the tracks. Trains can be viewed breaking through the foothills from El Dorado Canyon as you look to the east.

map_crescent

The little mountain town of Pinecliffe further west on Highway 72 is the next good viewing location. From there you can hike east along the tracks across a little bridge to view Tunnel #29 and the massive cliff above. This is a nice place to visit when the aspen trees are clothed in their golden autumn glory.

map_rollins.jpg

Mountain wilderness limits accessibility to the tracks between Pinecliffe and Rollinsville but Rollins Pass offers some of the most spectacular train viewing imaginable with beautiful mountain scenery, trestles, bridges and the crown glory of the Eastern Slopes, the Moffat Tunnel. Completed in February of 1928, the Moffat Tunnel

Moffat-Tunnel

cuts 6.2 miles through the solid rock of the mountains of the Indian Peaks Wilderness and the Colorado Continental Divide. The tracks and road leading to the tunnel entrance offer wonderful nostalgic photo opportunities and a journey into American history. Rollins Pass Road is a rough ride but well worth the trouble. The engraved concrete Moffat Tunnel entrance set against the massive mountains of the Indian Peaks Wilderness is quite picturesque and the railroad activity there fascinating to watch. For the more adventurous, a hike to Crater Lakes in the high peaks behind the tunnel is worth the climb.

Crater-Lakes

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

My First Book

Pair of Doe mule deer in the snow

OK, so it’s just a Kindle Book, but it’s a start 🙂 I’ve long wanted to publish a book but obvious barriers such as printing and marketing costs have always made the process prohibitive.  So the other day I was poking around and discovered the Kindle Ebook process and thought, heck… why not give it a try?  I didn’t want to do a very big work only to discover some insurmountable problem so I decided to start a series of short stories of interesting moments in my experience with taking photographs in the field. So I quick wrote up the story of how I captured one of my favorite images of these three deer during a blizzard called “The Blizzard and the Camera“.

Pair of Doe mule deer in the snow

I had a few problems getting started including the fact that my cover page failed to upload. I shouldn’t have published until I was all ready but I did have one issue that I wouldn’t have know until already published. The work was supposed to take up to 72 hours to review but perhaps since it is so short it was already live in just a couple hours! The major problem I am having is that I was trying to credit my photo buddy Kevin for taking my profile picture and I wound up making him a co-author… actually the photographer for the book instead of just the contributor of the profile picture 😦

Well anyway, after it went live the software allowed me to go back in and delete the co-author status but apparently I’m going to have to wait for a data base update for the reference to be removed from the main page in Kindle. Oh well,  the work is still there and I’m the author!

I have quite a few more ideas for short stories to add to my series, called Photo Adventures so be sure to stay tuned! The work is listed for $2.99 which was the minimum but for you Kindle Unlimited subscribers I think it can be read for free.

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings! Also be sure to check out my short stories on Kindle in my new series called Photo Adventures!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Deer Mountain Morning

Sunny HerdQuite a morning on the mountain today! I was initially quite disappointed to find two cars at the trailhead but the perps were still in the parking lot so I had hope that my wildlife would not be all driven away before I could get to the summit. The two women started up the trail and took the left fork which was  good for me since I go to the right directly up the mountain to where the wildlife usually await.

As I gathered my camera and monopod I heard a great ruckus ahead. Turns out the two women went charging right into the middle of the free range cattle on the trail, separating the herd and causing a lot of distress. The boss cow in front was calling frantically to the others as the women drove them directly at the fence. One young straggler was frantically calling out ahead to the others now divided by the women. I waited a bit for the little one to pass and then continued along the right fork. As I ascended the mountain I could hear the mama cow continuing to bellow for the young one. I should say, free range cattle aren’t like regular farm cattle. They aren’t as used to people and view strangers as a threat. If you approach them they will run.

Sunny HerdAs I crested the summit I spotted a doe mule deer peering over the mountain grass at me so I stopped and mounted the camera on the monopod and took a couple of shots. Another doe came into view and I slowly moved to the west for a less obstructed view with just the beautiful mountainside in the background. Soon a third joined the pair and I was able to get a few nice captures of the trio before some guy in a truck roared up the dirt road frightening them all away.

Sunny HerdI veered to the west where I knew the little herd had gone, hoping to catch them with the Sangre de Cristo range in the background. I knew I had gotten one angle with the mountains but was hoping for a much better one. It was not to be, the furtive creatures had already vanished into the dense pine forest. I continued my hike on around the mountain and back into the valley below

As I neared the end of the loop I could still the the sound of distressed cattle. When they came into view the problem was obvious, the women had herded the young cow onto the wrong side of the fence and into a V shaped area where two fences merged. The little guy was trapped. There was a way out behind him about 20 yards where one of the fences ended but the little one had forgotten how he got into this predicament. I decided to go around and get on his side of the fence in hopes of herding him back up the hill and around the other fence. I don’t know why those stupid fences are still there, Large parts of it are down and not holding the cattle in at all. As I approached the youngster I could see right away my plan was going to fail. If I  got too close the little one was going to try to jump the fence and likely injure himself.

Sunny Herd

There was a gate a few feet behind him which was locked with a paddle lock and another gate a couple more feet behind that. I’m telling you the whole system is a mess. It was all fine until they decided they had to make a developed and now mostly unmaintained park out of this place with a road where one should not be. Well fortunately the second gate was only locked with a chain so I opened it and went back to the trail where the calf was stuck, with the mama cow yelling at me the whole time. I went right up to him on the other side the fence and yelled “ha’ a couple of times and the calf backed away from me toward the gate. A couple more “ha’s” and the young fellow was on the right side of the fence. The big cow called out to him again and he was trotting down the hill to join the herd which was soon on it’s way down into the valley where they like to spend the day by the watering hole and snow. And then of course I went back to close and latch the gate.

But my day wasn’t over! As I headed down the highway on my way to town I was confronted with a big buck and his doe, standing motionless right in the middle of the highway. I could hear traffic coming from the other way so I stopped to herd them across the highway and over the short guard rail so they could get to the forest where they were obviously better off.

I think I definitely earned my biscuits and gravy today!

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Snow Storm and Mule Deer

Bucks on a Winter Morning

That slow moving snowstorm we’ve been watching finally arrived and I had the good fortune to be out in it when it hit! The day started out like any other day, dry with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees at sunrise. At the trailhead I debated what headgear to wear and the increasing wind made the decision for me… I was  going to need both a hat and a hood for protection from the wind. My hike was completed in driving snow so I ended up being happy with my choice!

Bucks on a Winter Morning

I soon encountered a couple of mule deer bucks that I didn’t recognize and apparently they didn’t recognize me either. I usually don’t have any trouble getting the deer to pose for me but these strangers weren’t about to stick around for long. Fortunately archery season is over with so maybe the deer will soon begin gathering in the parks again. Anyway, these two fellows kept moving further away into the deep grass so it was difficult but I eventually managed to get a couple of nice shots. Unfortunately it was still very early so I was dealing with high ISO values but Topaz DeNoise did a pretty good job with any resulting noise.

Snow on the Sangre

I wasn’t expecting to see the Sangre de Cristo range at all due to the approaching storm but as I cleared the ridge I was happy to see a bit of morning light shining on those mountains under the cloud cover. So I stopped for some still shots and decided that it was also high time I shoot some video footage! I don’t think I have shot a video since the Rocky Mountain National Park trip last fall! The unusually warm weather has been great for general living but the drought conditions have not been conducive to wildlife photography at all 😦

Snow on the Sangre

Well anyway I shot the video and snapped some stills and by the time I was wrapping that up at the summit I noticed snowflakes beginning to fly. For some reason I failed to bring along my Ruggard Rain Shield for the camera so I figured I’d better get started on my return trip. By the time I was half way back down the mountain, to my delight the snow began flying in earnest 🙂 Fortunately it was so cold that the frozen flakes were mostly just bouncing off the camera so I wasn’t too worried about getting the camera wet.

Free Range Cattle in a Snowstorm

I stopped to shoot a few pictures of the snowflakes filling the valley below and the poor free range cattle were caught out in the clearing so I snapped a few of them as well. When I got back to the trailhead there were still a few across the road eating the long grass in the ditch but the boss cow soon began calling them back to the main herd and I was glad to see they safely hustled back across the road and behind the fence with the rest. The speed limit is only 35 on the winding mountain road but people mostly ignore it and reach speeds of 50 and 60 miles an hour, even though there are always animals on the road.

Unfortunately the snow didn’t last for long but the inevitable extreme cold wasted no time moving in. As of this morning the temperature has dropped to seven degrees and I’m debating on whether I even want to go back out. Of course by 9:00 it’s already supposed to be back in the 20’s so I should probably just cowboy up and get dressed!

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Trying the New Lightroom Masking

As always, as I poured my morning coffee I glanced down the valley toward the Sangre de Cristo Range to see what kind of a day I would encounter. The range was cloud capped and amazing looking in the alpenglow as the sun rose in the east. The cold front is taking forever to arrive but I could see the clouds on the mountains might be of interest on this day, along with my two other goals which were a sensor cleaning and a bit of time in front of the desktop trying to figure out the new ACR and Lightroom masking tools.

Storms on the Sangre

After yesterday’s photo session over the Sangre it became apparent that my sensor was very dirty. Dozens of dust spots became painfully obvious as I dragged the dehaze slider to the right in my attempt to create some detail in the early morning layer of haze. The auto dust shaking feature of my 90D failed to dislodge the dust so I went for my cleaning kit. I have learned to start with the least invasive treatment first so I got out the jet blower and set the camera to manual clean which locks up the mirror to provide access to the sensor. I turned the camera upside down and squeezed the tool a few times hoping the puffs of air would be sufficient to unseat the offending dust particles. Fortunately this time the blower was enough, I would not need the cleaning solution and pads… something that always makes me nervous!

Storms on the Sangre

I was tired today so there would be no hiking on Hell Hill, but I did stop at the overlook to snap a few shots of the clouds building on the magnificent mountain range. As long as I was this close to Victor it also seemed like a fine day for a visit at the Gold Camp Bakery for some biscuits and gravy 🙂 By the time I was making my return trip clouds had completely enveloped the peaks so I just headed for home to get on the computer.

I have been struggling with the new masking tools for a while, even after watching several videos on their usage. I usually don’t make much mention in my blog posts of Photoshop techniques, there are plenty of people with far more expertise than I have in making detailed videos on how to use all the features of this astounding software package. However this is one of those times when a simple sentence can be more valuable than a hundred twenty minute videos.

The issue I was having was with making more than one mask on an image. No matter what I tried, including the new intersect feature, adding a second mask appeared to override the original mask. Finally yesterday the light bulb turned on and I understood what was going on, I was thinking in two dimensions instead of three. So here’s how it works… think of each new mask as a new layer. On the above images the sky and mountains were too light and the foreground was too dark. So step one, click the new masking icon in Camera Raw which shows up as a wheel just under the spot removal tool. This opens the new tool palette that includes all the old tools plus the amazing new sky and subject selection tools.

I wanted to use the linear gradient tool to gradually darken down the sky and mountains so I clicked the linear gradient button and pulled the tool down from the top until I was satisfied with the mask coverage. From there you can make any number of adjustments to the masked area and I decided upon a little highlight reduction, an increase in blacks and a slight increase in the color  temperature.

Then I wanted to work on the dark forest in the lower left of the image so I clicked “new mask” and then luminance range. I then just clicked on the dark area and luckily the forest was successfully masked. I was then able to adjust the exposure up a bit and increase that color temperature separately from the sky adjustment in the other mask. The adjustments I had made to the sky and mountains in the lower layer remained just as I had previously set them. If you need to make minor adjustments to the masks you can just click the mask and do an add or subtract at which time you can select brush or any number of other options to brush in more masking or brush out a spot that may have overshot your intentions in places.

Now all you have to do is hit the open button and the completely adjusted image becomes available in full Photoshop. I used the new masking tools in Camera Raw, but the interface in Lightroom is almost identical. Weeks of struggle are at an end with that simple understanding of multiple layers of masking. One of these days now I will dig into the intersect concept and report on that in another blog. Anyway, I hope you find this helpful and I’ll get back to you when this cold front finally arrives and the snow begins to fly!

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

The Gathering Storm

Gathering Storm on the Sangre de Cristo

I got out early this morning with the hope of finding some wildlife to photograph on my mountainside. There was a strange and unwelcome warm breeze at the trailhead, odd for this time of year for sure. We have been in the throes of a drought for quite a while now and I have not been having any luck finding animals. I don’t know if they are just scattered all over the mountains or if they have had to migrate to  the big reservoirs like Scagway and Eleven Mile to get water. There is some small hope for a significant snowfall later this week but from the blue sky this morning you wouldn’t be able to tell.

Gathering Storm on the Sangre de Cristo

I was going to walk my usual mile and a half circle but decided to climb the next ridge to see if there might be some wildlife on the other side of the trees. Unfortunately there was nothing, not even the chirp of a winter bird to attract my interest. However by the time I arrived at the next summit I could already feel a change in the weather. A high thin layer of clouds had moved in and the breeze was starting to get a more wintry bite to it. The sun was shining underneath the cloud cover, casting an beautiful glow in the Sangre de Cristo Range to the south. There continues to be a mist that has been taking the sharpness out of the scene but I thought I’d try a couple of captures anyway.

These images aren’t anything to jump up and down about, but I hope you enjoy them just the same. Hopefully in a day or two there will be a new layer of fresh snow and perhaps the animals will begin to gather together for their winter pattern so that I can finally get some pictures!

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.