Tag: macro

Outdoor Photo Gear’s SmugMug Event

Outdoor Photo Gear's New Store in Louisville, KY
Outdoor Photo Gear’s New Store in Louisville, KY

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending a SmugMug Meeting at Outdoor Photo Gear’s new location here in Louisville. When OPG decided to move this year one of Chris Klapheke’s plans for the new OPG location was a classroom space that could be utilized by guest speakers, workshop presenters and local photography clubs.

Tonight OPG hosted their first event in the new store with a SmugMug presentation by well known macro photographer Mike Moats who gave a talk on the business of being a nature photographer. Also in attendance and sharing his business insights was Greg Schern founder of Gura Gear camera backpacks and other camera gear storage and protection gear. Both men spoke about how much they enjoyed their business and the way it allowed them to support themselves while being part of the photographic community.

The turnout was very large, well over sixty people attended, and the space was well received by all in attendance. The staff of OPG made everyone feel at home and assisted in making sure that everything went off without a hitch. In addition Greg of Gura Gear gave away several door prizes including their new “Tembo” memory card wallets. The name Tembo came about because it means elephant in Africa and as Dr. Seuss said “an elephant never forgets” which fits perfectly for the memory card wallet.

Next Friday, March 15, OPG will be hosting an open house to share their new location with the public. If tonight is any indication the event will be a great success and further cement OPG’s commitment to serve the photographic community.

Here are links to OPG, Gura Gear and Mike Moats websites.

Outdoor Photo Gear


Gura Gear


Mike Moats




Photowalk Discovery

A Herd of Insects?

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The past Saturday I joined 25 other Louisville photographers for a photowalk with Jon Eland who was visiting Louisville for IdeaFestival. Jon is from Leeds, England which is a sister city with Louisville. As a rule I am not a group shooter, I prefer to go out alone when I do my photography, but after attending a lecture that Jon gave to the PhotoForum camera club here in Louisville last Wednesday I decided to join the group for Jon’s NuLu Fest photowalk. I’m glad I did because the interaction with other photographers led me to some interesting subject matter that I probably wouldn’t have seen such as these insects on the corner of a building on Market Street in the NuLu district of Louisville.

Deborah Brownstein, one of Louisville’s finest macro photographers, pointed these insects out to me as I was walking past Joe Ley Antiques. I was focused on the vast amount of stuff that was outside his shop and walked right past these guys. Deb showed me these insects and immediately I knew that I had to capture a few images of them. I liked the contrast of their red bodies on the green wall and the pattern that they made. I have no idea what they are but I am fascinated by the various stages of growth they appear to be in. Judging by the wings some have matured into full size while other smaller ones are just starting to grow their wings.

Yesterday I decided to start editing the images from the photowalk and the first one I went to was this image. I decided to use Topaz Adjust to enhance the color and detail in the shot. I used to use Topaz Adjust a lot but had drifted away in favor of the NIK collection of software. I decided to use Topaz Adjust 5 and the “Spicify” preset as my point of departure and tweaked several sliders in it to finish this image. I like the controls in Topaz Adjust when I’m editing because they allow me to complete my edit without returning the image to Aperture 3 for sharpening and final output. Everything I need is inside TopazAdjust including sharpening which is something I generally have to return images to Aperture 3 for when using the NIK software.

Texture Is Where You Find It.

Following up with yesterday’s post I wanted to share a few more images where texture is the dominant element. This first shot was taken in Arches National Park while hiking to a point to shoot some red rock vistas. The texture of the lizard’s skin against the sandstone combined with the visual texture of the shadows across the scene reinforce the feeling of the arid desert. I’m drawn to the sparkle of the individual grains of sand that make up his perch and the way that the light reflects under the ledge. Topaz Adjust was used to intensify the monochromatic tones in the scene while highlighting the overall contrast.

This image is a macro shot of the desert floor of the same trail that the previous image was taken on. The repetition of the same forms that make up the landscape are visible here in an area that is likely less than two inches across. The way that the shadows fall across the scene enhance the contrast and definition of the surface. Using Topaz to process this shot was a simple choice because of the ability of the Spicify preset to bring out the details while preserving the color and texture of the rock.

This final image is once again a macro shot of the desert floor. This was taken in Monument Valley and shows us how even at the smallest point the forces that formed monument valley’s huge buttes and mesas are at work carving away the layers of sandstone and creating new forms. On a grand scale geologic areas like this are referred to as “slick rock” and the tiny mesa in the middle of the scene could just as easily be seen in a landscape shot encompassing miles and miles of the valley. The Spicify preset in Topaz Adjust brings out the texture and color while allowing the scene to stand on the merits of it’s color and composition.