Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 

Sunset Over Trinidad

Sunset Over Trinidad
I started 2014, photographically, on the wrong foot. My shooting has been uninspired, and so I went to shoot something I do enjoy and usually get good results with. A sunset. This shot was taken in a clearing with bushes at least as tall as me. And this is the reason why I love my rotating/tilting/flipout screen on my G3. I bumped the ISO up then held the camera up as high as I could while looking at the tilted and rotated screen to try and frame the shot. Once into Aperture I straightened the shot, adjusted for exposure then sent the photo over to Topaz Labs. There I did what's becoming a first step for most of my photos and doing some pre-sharpening or capture sharpening with InFocus, some DeNoise work for the sky, Clarity to work on contrasts and color in the sky (slight saturation bump), then some creative sharpening in Detail. I think when you shoot things in silhouette, like the rock on the left, the head in the center, or the tops of some small trees on the right, giving a little extra sharpness really helps to make them pop. This was taken just a little after I took my first shot for the blog, that you might have missed because I was too lazy to make a post for the blog and just used my Google+ post.

I also have a new project, +The Patch - PhotogrAphy Themed CHallenge, that I'm running with three other photographers. We have over 130 people signed up so far, and people are welcome to join at any time. It's a different take on the theme per week projects in that there is also a monthly theme. So photos should include both themes. This was much easier to do when planning the themes, but not so easy once I started to get behind the camera. In fact I really don't like the shot I submitted for the project. Another wrinkle in this project is that the curators/moderators and I will be picking our 3 favorite shots that we think represent the themes given every week, then those photos will be voted on by the other members to get a winner for the month. The winner will receive a plugin from +Topaz Labs!

Our first dual theme was New Years and Renewal for the monthly theme.

Week 1: New Year/Renewal
I set a scene up with a journal entry on the tablet, fresh calendar on the phone, Tylenol in the foreground, and the remnants of a celebration in the background. This was supposed to be my backup shot because I was sure I was going to find something better. I hate when I have to use a backup shot. I'm hoping to do better with next week's theme, Resolution/Renewal.


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