Category Archives: Scenic

Young artist paints my landscape images

I am going to put in a plug for anyone in the Northfield area to visit the Northfield Arts Guild (NAG) through June 9 to see the high school’s Honors Art display. The high school students, who are seniors and juniors, have done some amazing work that includes pottery, painting, photography and more. The students showing their art have a ton of talent. You won’t believe the work they do; It’s incredible and fun to see. 
art display on wall

Amy’s art display at the NAG.

My daughter, Amy, has art in the show. She combined digital art, acrylics and gesso to create some textured, 3D surreal images. I think she has some outstanding work on display (and I’m not biased at all). 

Another student, Jaclyn, has some paintings that I’m excited about. She paints some amazing landscapes with acrylic on canvas. They look very real, and I love her style and the images. I might be a bit biased about her images, since they are paintings of my photography! 
girl standing by artwork

Jaclyn standing by her artwork.

Jaclyn did an excellent job painting my landscape scenes so the colors and look of the images are very real. In the photo that I show here of Jaclyn with her artwork, you can see the amazing job she has done. In the photo, you can see landscapes from several locations; one I took in Boundary Waters Canoe Area, one in Colorado, one on the North Shore of Lake Superior and one nearby in Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. She has painted a few other pictures of mine as well. When Jaclyn asked if she could paint some of my images, I was happy to let a young artist use my work as a subject to paint. (I was also happy she knew about copyright and that photos cannot be copied – even painted – without permission of the copyright holder.) 

To see Jaclyn’s art up close in all their beautiful detail, stop by the NAG in downtown Northfield, Minnesota. Besides seeing her great work, you can see my daughter’s awesome work and lots of other great high school artists. This Honors Art show happens each spring. Be sure to check it out and see the wonderful artists we have in Northfield.
Also posted in Fine Art, Landscape, Northfield

Excellent winter weather day

I had a wonderful time this morning taking images around Northfield. I started the day by crosscountry skiing at the Arb. It was foggy and gray, without much great light. I knew images wouldn’t look too great at that time. But as I wrapped up my skiing, the sun started to break through the clouds. I could tell it was going to be awesome. I headed out on Highway 19 and took a few images of an interesting looking tree, just as the sun was peaking through the clouds. 

I then drove past the golf course and saw some gorgeous frosted trees along Spring Creek Road. I headed to downtown Northfield and spent a lot of time by the river and Bridge Square. it was stunning. The frost was being blown off the trees, and with the light behind, it was really awesome. I couldn’t believe it. What a gorgeous morning!

I headed up to St. Olaf College after spending time downtown. The scene at the college was unbelievable! I hope you can see that in some of these images. It was incredible. I haven’t seen a day like this in a long time. 

The frost stayed on the trees for a long time. In fact, I was heading home after a couple of hours of shooting and the trees still looked amazing. As I headed home, the clouds rolled in and the light went flat, but what a great time I had this morning. What you see here is a quick sampling of some of my favorites. I will work on some of the best of these and eventually upload them to my store at Fine Art America. I think they are many here that would make beautiful wall art. Thank you for looking! 

Also posted in Landscape, Northfield

Happy (belated) 100th Anniversary National Parks!

2016 was an amazing year for me regarding landscape photography. I had the opportunity to visit three of our national parks. Not just one or two, but actually three different parks, and I, of course, did landscape photography in all of them. More about that later.

First, if you ever get the opportunity to visit a national park, do it. Our parks are amazing places of scenic beauty that will help lower your blood pressure and calm your soul. There are nearly 60 national parks, so I am sure you can find one you would like to see. But, besides national parks, there are national monuments, memorials, lakeshores, parkways, preserves, reserves and many more, totaling more than 400 locations. If you are looking for an experience, visit www.findyourpark.com to search through them all. There is a lot to do and see.

The national parks were founded in 1916 as a way to preserve the scenic wilderness and historic places in our nation. I have been to many of the parks over the years, but as I said, 2016 was special in that I visited three of them on the parks 100-year anniversary. Did you know I visited two of the most visited national parks according to 2015 attendance numbers?

Grand Canyon, Glacier and Smoky Mountains

In January, my wife and I had a wonderful anniversary weekend in a historic cabin right near the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Grand Canyon was the second-most visited national park in 2015 with 5.5 million visitors. In August, our family visited Glacier National Park in Montana. Glacier saw 2.3 million visitors in 2015 making it the 10th most visited national park. And, this fall I camped in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a few days. (I visited the area about four weeks before the severe fires broke out.) The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the most visited national park in 2015 with 10.7 million visitors.

Because I am a landscape photographer, I gravitate toward the national parks that offer spectacular scenic beauty. In the future, I will write more detail about each trip and provide details about some of the images I captured. Let me just say, I am thankful that our nation protects amazing areas that people can visit and see the beauty of creation. When I visit national parks, I certainly love to shoot fine art images that will make beautiful wall prints to decorate anyone’s home or office, but I realize there are many others who just love to go and enjoy being in nature. Whatever your preference, our national parks are there for everyone to enjoy. So, I hope you do take the time to experience these beautiful treasures called National Parks.

Also posted in Fine Art, Landscape

Landscape photography processing using SleekLens presets

As a landscape photographer, I spend time in the field capturing images, but I also spend a LOT of time in front of my computer labeling, captioning, keywording, processing and posting images. I certainly enjoy reliving my time in the outdoors while looking at my images and adjusting them, but when I shoot more than 1,000 shots during an outing, I’ll do anything I can to speed up my workflow and spend less time in front of my computer.

In May, I was in Oregon capturing some scenes in the Columbia River Gorge area. (If you have never been to the Columbia River Gorge, you should put it on your bucket list.) The Gorge is beautiful and there are lots of waterfalls. I have been processing some of those images recently, and I’ve been testing out some presets from Sleeklens. I haven’t typically written reviews of products before, but they asked me to test out some of their presets and see what I thought. I’ve included some before and after pictures, and overall I like what I see.

I do a lot of work in Lightroom. I also quite often open my images from LR into OnOne Photosuite. I like (no, let’s say love!) a lot of the ways OnOne lets me finish my images. They have some great presets to enhance my landscape photography. However, if a person wants to work in LR without leaving it, you want to do as much as you can, as quickly as you can right in LR. Sleeklens presets for landscape and scenic photography do an amazing job. The set of presets I tried are called “Through the Woods.” They have presets to aid in the development settings as well as brush presets. You can see before and afters below with the Sleeklens presets on the right.

This shot of the boulder field shows my shot straight out of the camera on the left. With one click of the preset “Shine into the Sunset,” I had my adjusted image, which I loved without any adjustments.

This next shot is of Mt. Hood taken the same evening, it is from the north. The forestry service had been doing some controlled burns in the area and the valley was filled with smoke. This created quite a haze, making most of the photos from here a bust. However, by using the preset “Exdenting DR – Crisp and Sharp” from Sleeklens, I was able to make a usable image.

Again, Mt. Hood with smoke and haze in the way. The shot on the right looks much better than my Lightroom adjustments on the left. On the right, I used the “4 tone/tint color pop” preset along with minor adjustments afterwards. The tone became a little more blue, which I like, but I could have made some adjustments to warm it up more.

On this picture of the Columbia River Gorge I made adjustments in Lightroom on the left. Then as I moved my mouse over the presets and watched the changes in the Navigator window, I loved what I saw when this went to black and white. This is the “Monochrome Fantasy” presets with a few adjustments after the fact.

On this image, I used the “Calm Sunset” preset and then used the brush “Cloudy Sky Definition” on the sky and water. I didn’t do a great job with it along the hillside on the right background. It would take me a bit more time to make it so you don’t see the lighter area up against the hillside, but I didn’t have time to get it looking better. I do like how the preset and the brush really brought out the color and detail in the sky.

Here’s some of what the area of the Columbia Gorge is know for: waterfalls. Wakeena Falls is nearest Multnomah Falls and is a beautiful waterfall. On this image, the preset didn’t show as much improvement. I used “Dance in the Rain” preset and then “Color Pop,” which I then reduced the saturation on. The greens got too garish for me, but it did a nice job on the image.

This picture is taken at the Eastern end of the Gorge. The rolling hills are quite beautiful around The Dalles. The picture on the left is straight out of the camera. The one on the right is using the preset “Punch it Up” and then I used the “Cloudy Sky Definition” brush to show the clouds. You can see the cloudy sky brush does a great job of bringing out the sky.

Overall, I like the presets offered by Sleeklens. Like most presets, I think landscape and fine art photographers would find a few of the many presets offered in the “Through the Woods” package to be their favorites. There are many to try out, but I think photographers would find a few that really become their “go-to” presets for specific situations. I know I will be using certain ones regularly.

Also posted in Fine Art, Landscape

Free shipping on landscape images

BWCA early morning-web.jpg
Fine Art America is offering free shipping on any purchases through their store for today only. That means you can purchase any image of mine and have it shipped to you for free. This is a great cyberMonday offer.

Take a look around my store to view landscape images, scenic pictures, photographs of Northfield, Minnesota, and more. I currently have 99 images in my store and I’m adding more all the time. Please browse around and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for looking.

Also posted in Fine Art, Landscape