Christmas at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum

A few years ago I visited the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library just after Christmas. They had a nice display in the lobby that I thought looked great. As I have said many times in the past I took a couple of vacations that winter with a newer camera that I did not really know how to use. A scene like this was puzzling to me. In the end I captured a nice little moment thought.

Technical Data

If I had shot this today it would have shot in RAW format, or for HDR processing, or both. Back then though I just shot what the camera thought I should, and in a high quality jpeg format. Now with the power of Lightroom I can really bring out most of the details of the scene. For this image I really worked on the sliders to get the right balance. Sometimes you have easy photos to edit, and other times you have a photo like this one.


Walking in the Footsteps of History

In 2006 I was making my way down to Florida to see Purdue play in the Champs Sports Bowl. I made a few stops on the trip that interested me. I have always tried to throw in a Presidential Library when I am close to one. It doesn’t matter what party they are from. It has always interested me how someone rose up to the largest office in the country. Someone like Carter made a rise that few would expect from the kid from Plains, Georgia. It was very cool to see a little behind the man.

The View From the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum

I made some photos inside the library, and then walked out on to the grounds. I was not much of a landscape photographer at the time. I did however recognize the reflection in the water. This is not one of my best shots, but you can see early on some of the things that I liked to do.


Photo of the Day

While coming back from Colorado last year we had a fairly long layover in Atlanta. I knew that I would see a good show as the Super Bowl was getting ready to start. What I did not count on was an even better show out the window as the sun went down. While everyone else seemed to be focused on the pre game on the TV I was focused out the window. With a little patience I was able to make this photo.

This blog has been on autopilot for about the last week as I prepared to leave town for a couple of days. Tomorrow I should have some fresh pictures from my time in Pennsylvania.

Technical Data

For this photo I used a preset called A Golden Daytime in Lightroom 5. It really seemed to make the photo pop for me. It is nice to get out and try some other presets every once in a while. After applying the preset I performed an exposure and vibrance adjustment. I then used the graduated filter tool to darken the sky to the level that it was when I was there. That filter works great on a scene like this with a fairly level horizon. Trees or other objects that rise up take on the same levels as you are applying to the sky. Here though I was able to give it the look that I wanted.

Photo Sale!

Over at my SmugMug site I have cut the price on all of my photos for the summer. If you visit my site at you can order any item that I sell for 50% off from now until Labor Day. Just use the coupon code ‘summer’ at the checkout.

50% Off

Photo of the Day

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Many businesses and government agencies are closed for the day in honor of this pioneer of the 60’s. In 2006 while in Atlanta I visited his gravesite. It had recently been in the news when Martin’s wife Coretta Scott King passed. The museum and historic grounds are a great place to visit, and I highly recommend it if you are in the Atlanta area.

Technical Data

This is another photo that I took early on in my photography career that I wish that I could do over again. I had my camera in an auto mode without knowing what to do. I let the camera control the scene, and of course it did not expose for my subject. Most of my early photos were ruined this way. Luckily with Lightroom I was able to save many of these older photos. This is one that a few slider tweaks helped bring back.

Photo of the Day

While moving through the Atlanta airport last winter I encountered this portion of the airport. Of course those traveling with me knew that I would be stopping for a minute to get a picture or two. I love this idea of placing art around the moving walkways. I did not have a tripod, and I really did not have much time to get a clear shot, but I like what I did manage to make here. Just after snapping this frame a plane full of people came through destroying the nature of the picture. I had a plane to catch so I moved on. I like the idea of freezing that narrow portion of time though.

Technical Data

I ran this photo through Silver Efex Pro. I really love the way that the program analyzes the photo to optimize it in black and white. I picked a harsher filter here to accentuate the texture a bit more. For once this was a very quick photo to process. Back in Lightroom 5 I used the built in noise reduction software to reduce some of the noise that I created in Silver Efex Pro. I have heard about issues with the program, but so far I have not seen anything wrong with it. I will use it a bit more before declaring it a great product, but so far I really love what it can do.

iPhone Photo

Last Sunday we flew into Atlanta on our way back to Indy. As we flew over the city I noticed a fire just south of the city. I wanted a shot of the city from overhead, but this just added a bit to it. It was an abandoned warehouse that was used for holding recyclable materials. Firefighters battled the blaze for 14 hours before finally putting it out.

Technical Data

This picture was made with my iPhone using the Camera+ app. I also used the clarity filter to make some of the haze from taking the picture out of an airplane window. That app made a picture very close to what I saw out of the window.


super layover

Photo of the Day

Last night we were flying back from Colorado, and we had a layover in Atlanta, Georgia. We were able to catch some of the game while waiting to board our plane back to Indiana. I had this idea for a picture showing the people waiting for the flight watching the game. I liked the idea that it seemed as if everyone had their minds on the same thing while waiting to catch this plane. Most of the time everyone is doing their own thing. This is not my best picture from the trip, but I like the idea behind it.

Technical Data

The major move with this picture was to crop it a bit. I included too much of the ceiling in the shot because I did not think that panning down would have done me any good. When I looked at it in post I did’t like that ceiling either. Once I got rid of that I could then focus on the shot. I adjusted the highlights and the shadows to give it a more realistic look. This would have been an ideal shot for HDR, but my tripod was in my checked baggage. I could only attempt to handhold the shot, and the bright exposure would have been too long for me to hold. I am happy with the image that I made though.

mlk church

Photo of the Day

While in Atlanta in 2006 I visited the Martin Luther King historical site. This is a sprawling complex that helps you understand this great leader a bit more. One of the best parts of the journey though brought you into the Ebenezer Baptist Church where both Martin and his father Martin Sr. presided. I didn’t really know how to use my camera at the time so I didn’t get the shots that I wanted in here. It was way too dark for me then. I would love to make some pictures in this church again with HDR in mind. It is a simple church with a lot of history behind it.

Technical Data

Just like last nights post I used the Grandma’s Lemonade preset for this shot. This one was part of a free preset pack that I got for free from On One Software a couple of months ago. I think that I like the look it gives some of these jpegs that I really can’t quite adjust like I would want to.