We took a ride to Monterey today so expect the next few photographs to be from our trip!  Monterey was beautiful and not too crowded.  Carmel was packed because of the US Open Golf Tournament in Pebble Beach.  We had a good time.  Here is a five shot panorama I took on Monterey Bay near Pacific Grove.  Processed in Photoshop Elements and adjusted levels and did some burning and a little cloning when the panorama was complete.  Click through twice to see enlarged.

Camera settings: Fujifilm S700, F/5.6, 1/240-1/340 sec., ISO 64, focal length 9.3 mm.  No flash.

Lone Cypress

Taken yesterday along 17-mile drive in Carmel, CA.  Adjusted levels, highlights and cropped.  Applied Topaz Simplify watercolor adjusted for contrast.  Extensively dodged and burned.

Camera settings: F/9, 1/200 sec., ISO 100, focal length 74 mm.  No flash.

Here is the unedited original:

And here is a close up of the cracked rock face.  You can see the tethers stabilizing the cypress tree.

Morro Bay

Taken in very late afternoon, this is Morro Rock.  It rises out of Morro Bay on the central California coast.   There were multiple layers of clouds and fog when this photo was shot.

This photo had levels adjusted and I applied a warm to cool filter found in OnOne Essentials 3.

I use Adobe Photoshop Elements almost exclusively on my photos.  I love the Topaz plug-ins and have also been using OnOne Photo Essentials 3.  I have Photoshop CS4 but am still too intimidated to use it much!  That should be one of my resolutions for this year – get to know CS4 much better.  We’ll see how that goes! 😉

Beginning the Year – Meditative

I am starting the new year and the new blog a little early.  Seems like a good theme to begin with – Meditative.  I took this shot yesterday as we drove by Morro Bay on the central coast of California.  The single person, the trail of birds and the late afternoon light gave a moody feel that seemed to lend itself to this theme.  As we go along, we will probably see that dark and moody may be in recurring use in many of my photos.  (Just a warning! :))  I used a black gradient on the left side of this photo but otherwise, pretty much left it alone.  I also used a little extra red to bring out a little more sky in the b/w rendering.

Hope this blog thing gets a little easier as you go along.  I’m still unsure where things go!   Let’s see what tomorrow and the new year brings.  Happy 2010 everyone!