Daisy Daisy

Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer Do

Daisy Daisy Give Me Your Answer Do

This image is titled after a song written in 1892, often sung to me when I was a child by my mother and grandmother:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.
I’m half crazy all for the love of you.
It won’t be a stylish marriage.
I can’t afford a carriage.
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

For this image, I wanted to experiment with the blur effect in Photoshop.  I wanted it to look like there were streaks of energy or light shooting out radially from the prominent daisy about a third of the way in from the left.


Daisy Layers

Daisy Layers

The bottom layer is the original image.

Above that is a Blur Layer where I have applied a radial blur smart filter.  This layer has a mask that is painted black in areas where I want the shape of a daisy to not be blurred.

The top layer is a curves layer to adjust tones to make the “important” daisies look brighter than their surrounding foliage.


Light Swept

Light Swept

If you’d like to experience a Magic Kingdom, but don’t have the time, money, or patience to fly to Disney World, then this is for you — the TREE ILLUMINATION display at Morton Arboretum in Lisle IL.  See their website to order tickets online.

For sharp photos, I’d recommend using a tripod, especially since your shutter speeds will be longer than usual.

And no need for “light painting” — the arboretum supplies all the lighting and music!

Click on the thumbnails below to see full-size images from this enchanting photo shoot.


Saints Volodymyr and Olha Church

SVOC Colors & Curves

SVOC Colors & Curves

Saints Volodymyr and Olha Church is a beautiful church in Chicago’s Ukranian Village.  I was allowed to photograph from the choir loft.  I wanted to create a composition that would capture the dramatic curve of the choir loft railing and still include the beautiful view of the church windows, arches, and a huge radiant chandelier.

This image was developed using HDR software in order to balance the bright light of the stained glass windows and the darker church interior.

You can view more photos of this impressive church in my flickr album for this church.

Mesa Arch Starburst

Mesa Arch Sunburst

Sunrise on Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Mesa Arch is such a popular location in Canyonlands National Park, I had to get up very early to get a spot to photograph the arch before all the other photographers and tourists arrived.  Ahhhh — Nature!

It was a beautiful sight.  This image is actually an HDR composite of 2 images.  The trick is to take one shot exposing for the close side of the arch before the sun comes up, and another when the sun comes up with the aperture closed down to about f3o, which makes the arch look pretty black.

Moon Landscape Photography

Moonlight Beach

“Moonlight Beach”, Moonlight reflections on Cannon Beach, Oregon

As a landscape photographer, I  track the date of the next full moon in the hopes of getting  it into a photographic composition.  If the clouds cooperate, seeing the moon low on the horizon is always a thrill and it can add dramatic interest to a photograph.  I have learned that the shot does not have to be taken on exactly the day of the full moon.  It can be taken  a few days earlier or a few days later and still be what I’m looking for.

I created a mnemonic device to help me remember when to shoot: B-E-A-M.
It stands for

  • BEFORE the full moon date, shoot in the  EVENING toward the east.
    On the days leading up to the full moon date — the BEFORE days — the moon is full-looking and bright and low in the eastern sky right around sunset — in the EVENING — and for a few minutes the sky will be a muted pastel blue, with possible orange sunset light illuminating clouds or objects in the landscape below the moon.
  • AFTER the full moon date, shoot in the MORNING toward the west.
    On the days after the full moon date — the AFTER days — the moon is full-looking and bright and low in the western sky right around sunrise, in the MORNING, and there the sky will be a muted pastel blue, with possible orange, pink, or yellow sunrise light illuminating clouds or objects in the landscape below the moon.

Either occasion makes a  nice tonal composition without the extremes of a too bright moon and a too dark sky.

Moon Moment

“Moon Moment”, Moonset near Millenium Park Tower


Before Evening, After Morning

Now it’s easy for me to remember whether I need to get up early or stay out late.

Good luck on shooting the moon!