I just had to go somewhere to try out my new camera, the Nikon D700 with the Nikon 18-200 lens. So I tool these images at Thanksgiving Point, Highland, Utah – a nice day trip from Rexburg, Idaho. It is a seriously great place for a photo shoot! Just sayin…

1. My new Nikon D7000 and a 50 mm prime lens (1.8) are a great pair for getting bokeh (background blur). I used camera raw to add a highlight to the focal point flower.
2. Most of the time, I used my Nikon 18-200 lens, which is super sharp all the way through. I am loving that lens, even more than I loved the colors in these umbrellas, especially against the brilliant blue sky. I used the vivid setting in-camera to get these colors to pop.
3. To get smooth waterfalls, you need three things:  A. low light; B. A tripod;  C. slow shutter speed (in this case: .6 second).
4. This shot did not do much for me, until I used some creative painting with the camera raw adjustment brush. This is an example of the Three Cs in Action:  Capture – Create – Communicate.
5. I just could not get the colors to look right in this image, even in Camera Raw. I guess it was because it started out too dark and the white balance was off. It worked much better as a black and white image though, so… “it is never too late!”
6. The large rock in the right center of these falls adds a nice contrast to this busy scene.
7. Again, I did not love this one, until I brought out my magic Camera Raw paintbrushes. I darkened the entire exposure to saturate the colors, then I painted some light in the blossoms to accentuate the focal point. Lighting only one part of the scene usually makes a more creative image. Finally, I brought it into Photoshop for the final sharpening filter.
8. The trilogy. Threes always help make a nice composition.
9. I was amazed how much I like the in-camera VIVID setting for something fairly dull like this waterfall. The colors in the rock just jumped out, so I did not need to add sats in post-production. I do not like the VIVID setting for portraits or brightly colored subjects, but for rocks and bland values, the VIVID, or LANDSCAPE settings in your camera might be worth a try.
10. Try getting a lower angle to set up something interesting in the foreground.  I added a little Smart Sharpen filter in Photoshop to perk up the tulips.
11. Adding a white vignette helped this image and added to the fun, whimsical feeling.
12. Smooth water in-camera with a slow shutter speed. I took a little blue cast out of the water with a Camera Raw adjustment brush. Can you tell I just love the Camera Raw adjustment brushes to paint in light and color?  It brings the creative, artistic approach to photography.
13. Go for contrast with light, color, and value.
14. Blurring the water, without blurring the rocks gives a nice effect, and I love how you can see right through the waterflow with this technique. Again you need all three:  1. low light;  2. tripod  3. slow shutter.
15. These upside-down tulips were such a stunning contrast in size, shape and texture, to all the other flowers.
16. Ah, the daffodils were out too!
17. It is amazing how fast time flies by when you are taking slow shutter speed shots. Of course, it was much darker than it appears.
18. Again, changing the angle produces a more pleasing background, and shows a view most people miss.
19. Nothing like back-light to shine through the translucent petals.
20. Let’s end with this classic black and white I achieved in Camera Raw. I also added a black vignette to give that gradient light effect.


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