Monochrome Monday: Smith Rock Landscapes

Finally got around to completing some additional landscapes from the magnificent Smith Mountain State Park in Oregon.

North Point View 2
North Point View 2
Smith Rock Tuff Monochrome Composition 2
Smith Rock Tuff Monochrome Composition 2
Homestead Trail Vignette 2
Homestead Trail Vignette 2
Crooked River Vignette
Crooked River Vignette

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version. Or, visit my Smith Mountain State Park Gallery at my portfolio site.

Happy Memorial Day,

C. S.

Lan Su Chinese Garden

The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon represents a collaboration between the cites of Portland and Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province.  The garden is an authentic Ming Dynasty style garden built by 65 Suzhou artisans on a block of Portland’s historic Chinatown district.  My family visited the Portland Japanese Garden earlier in the day.  Two wonderful photography opportunities in the same day!

Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 1
Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 1
Hall of Brocade Clouds Vignette
Hall of Brocade Clouds Vignette
Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 2
Courtyard of Tranquility Vignette 2
Stonework Pathway Composition 2
Stonework Pathway Composition 2
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 1
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 1
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 2
Moon Locking Pavilion Pond Vignette 2

For the best viewing experience, click an image to see a high resolution version.

Cheers!

C. S.

Help-Portrait: Photographers Giving Back

Help-Portrait is a global movement of photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists using their time, tools and expertise to give back to those in need.  Usually held the first weekend in December, Help-Portrait events provide professional portraits and prints to those who do not enjoy the opportunity.

Help Portrait 039
Help-Portrait 039

For the last several years, my local photography club, the Sawtooth Photo League of Winston-Salem, has been participating.  This gallery features the portraits I took, with the help of my team, from our 2018 Help-Portrait session at Samaritan’s Ministries in Winston-Salem, NC.

Help Portrait 074
Help-Portrait 074

I encourage all photography clubs to join this important ministry.  Giving the gift of dignity, self-confidence, and self-worth was such a rewarding experience, especially during the holiday season!  Like most forms of giving, the giver gets back as much, if not more, than the recipient.  Getting started is easy!  Go here for guidelines.

Help Portrait 035
Help-Portrait 035
Help Portrait 046
Help-Portrait 046
Help Portrait 052
Help-Portrait 052
Help Portrait 063
Help-Portrait 063
Help Portrait 049
Help-Portrait 049
Help Portrait 102
Help-Portrait 102
Help Portrait 076
Help-Portrait 076
Help Portrait 067
Help-Portrait 067
Help Portrait 060
Help-Portrait 060
Help Portrait 112
Help-Portrait 112
Help-Portrait 133
Help Portrait 143
Help-Portrait 143

During our events, we run two teams.  Each team consists of a photographer, grip, capture and print technician, and traffic coordinator.  Each team has set up a portrait backdrop with light kit configured in a modified clam-shell setup.  The photographer’s camera is tethered to a laptop running Lightroom for capture.  After each session the technician allows the participant to pick their favorite pose to print.  We then print an 8.5×11 on a Canon Pixma Pro-100 and place in a clear sleeve.

Help Portrait-Sawtooth Crew
Help-Portrait-Sawtooth Crew

For the best viewing experience, please click on a portrait to see a higher resolution version. Thank you for stopping by, everyone please stay safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Fun with Filter Forge 9.0, pt 2

Here’s the follow up to my Fun with Filter Forge 9.0 part 1 post on April 5th. The compositions below, from a visit to the Carolina Raptor Center in March, continues my exploration of this interest creative processing tool.

Red Tail Hawk Pop Art 1
Red Tail Hawk Pop Art 1
Red Tail Hawk Panterly Composition 1
Red Tail Hawk Panterly Composition 1
Lanner Falcon Binary Abstract
Lanner Falcon Binary Abstract
Barred Owl Abstract
Barred Owl Abstract
American Kestrel Abstract 1
American Kestrel Abstract 1

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Everyone please remain safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Fun with Filter Forge 9.0, pt 1

Mid March, just before the Covid19 shelter in place restrictions, twelve of us from the Sawtooth Photo League visited the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a visitor, you’re most likely to only see the raptors in their cages. We had a special opportunity to capture eight of these amazing creatures up-close and in flight. Just after our visit, I updated my Filter Forge software to version 9, and decided to deep dive the software to come up with some unique styling compositions.

Spectacled Owl Pop Art 1
Spectacled Owl Pop Art 1

Filter Forge allows users to modify existing filters as well as develop their on. The latter though, seems to be a bit intense in terms of technical ability and time. But, with a library of over 13,000 filters, you can probably find a starting place in an existing filter. Filters not only include creative effect styling, but also texture and pattern creation, frames, and photo specific filters.

Great Horned Owl Graphic Abstract
Great Horned Owl Graphic Abstract

There are so many options, you can easily spend hours (if not days) experimenting, especially when you start blending different filters as separate layers in Photoshop. So if you try the 30 day trial, make sure you set aside plenty of time to evaluate. There is only a Photoshop plug-in.

Saker Falcon Abstract 1
Saker Falcon Abstract 1
Saker Falcon Pop Art
Saker Falcon Pop Art

I have another set of Filter Forge Raptor Center compositions I’ll post later this week. Thanks for taking time to visit. For the best viewing experience, especially to see the magic of this cool software, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Everyone please stay safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: McKinzie Pass Oregon

Two Sisters from McKinzie Pass
Northern and Middle Sisters from McKinzie Pass

In Bend, Oregon, the high desert begins to rise along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range.  At an elevation 5,325 feet (1,623 m), McKinzie Pass on Oregon Route 242, is at the western boarder of Deschutes county, about 25 miles northwest of Bend. The pass cuts through between the Three Sisters to the south and Mount Washington to the north.

Dee Wright Observatory Composition 1
Dee Wright Observatory Composition 1

The Dee Wright Observatory is an open shelter built with basaltic andesite lava from the construction site.  The structure features windows aligned with views of the surrounding Cascade peaks.  Of course, there were numerous photography opportunities! The observatory was built during the Great Depression by a Civilian Conservation Corps crew at Camp Belknap near Clear Lake.

Dee Wright Observatory Composition 2
Dee Wright Observatory Composition 2

Oregon Route 242 follows the path of a 1860 wagon route, it emerges from the forest and crosses a 65 square-mile lava bed (170 m). The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. All recent volcanic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from Cascade volcanoes, including the famous 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption.

Dee Wright Observatory Composition 3
Dee Wright Observatory Composition 3

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Everyone please stay safe and practice social distancing.

Cheers,

C. S.

W-S Bank Buildings: Monochrome or Color?

I initially processed these BB&T building and Wells Fargo Tower architectural compositions, from downtown Winston-Salem, with over-top-HDR color tonality. Afterwards though, I experimented with color luminosity settings in monochrome. The resulting monochrome tonality range is quite impressive, but the near abstract HDR color styling is kinda cool as well. What do you think?

Winston-Salem Bank Building Cityscape Monochrome
Winston-Salem Bank Building Cityscape Monochrome
Winston-Salem Bank Building Abstract Monochrome
Winston-Salem Bank Building Cityscape
Winston-Salem Bank Building Cityscape
Winston-Salem Bank Building Abstract
Winston-Salem Bank Building Abstract

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version. Or, visit my Winston-Salem Architectural Abstracts gallery.

Cheers,

C. S.

Bend Oregon, Old Mill District

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, here are some street photography captures from last August in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon.

Deschutes River at Old Mill District 7
Deschutes River at Old Mill District 7
Bend Old Mill District 5
Bend Old Mill District 5
Deschutes River at Old Mill District 3
Deschutes River at Old Mill District 3
Bend Old Mill District 6
Bend Old Mill District 6
Bend Old Mill District 4
Bend Old Mill District 4
Deschutes River at Old Mill District 1
Deschutes River at Old Mill District 1
Bend Old Mill District 2.tif
Bend Old Mill District 2.tif

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version. Thank you for taking time to visit my photo blog.

Cheers!

C. S.

Giving Back: Moji Coffee and More

Over 70% of Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are unemployed.  As a means of giving back, I had an opportunity to use my photography skills to support a local non-profit coffee and pastry shop supporting the neurodiverse community.   My images were used for large partition panels in their second coffee shop location which opened this this weekend.

Final_MOJI_Panel-17
Final_MOJI_Panel-17

Neurodiverity (noun): The range of difference in individual brain function and behavioral traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population; Neurodiversity is a viewpoint that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits.  It is a concept where neurological difference are recognized and respected as any other human variation.  Neurodiversity is the opposite of Neurotypical.

Final_MOJI_Panel-18

Located in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Moji Coffee and More is a 501(c)3 non-profit established to provide meaningful, fulfilling employment to members of our neurodiverse community, to help bolster their local employment opportunities through life-skills and professional development training, and to show how they can provide meaningful and high quality services to our community.

Final_MOJI_Panel-4
Final_MOJI_Panel-4

Moji (noun): is the “Jolt of joy you get when you make others happy”.

Moji_Coffe_7
Moji_Coffe_7

The outside shots were taken at Artivity on the Green, a local art focused park in downtown Winston-Salem “A City of Arts & Innovation”. For both photoshoots, I used my Profoto B2 light kit.

Final_MOJI_Panel-5
Final_MOJI_Panel-5
Final_MOJI_Panel-16
Final_MOJI_Panel-16
Final_MOJI_Panel-16
Final_MOJI_Panel-16
Moji_Coffee_14
Moji_Coffee_14

Below are some cellphone shots of the photo partition panels at the grand opening of Moji’s new location at the Forsyth County Public Library.

New MOJI Shop Opening 2
New MOJI Shop Opening 2
New MOJI Shop Opening 1
New MOJI Shop Opening 1
New MOJI Shop Opening 3
New MOJI Shop Opening 3

Given Christians are in the season of Lent, I feel led to share my related lesson in humility. I find volunteering my photography often does not come with the expected degree of recognition or thanks. In these situations, I must remind myself the reason for giving back – our Creator has given me many gifts, which I should joyfully use to give back unconditionally to others. My reward is in heaven.

To see more from my photoshoots, click to visit Moji Coffee and More Gallery.

Cheers!

C. S.