Aug 292013

mr & mrs quail 1780

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Quail. Every evening a covey of Quail run through our park.  It can only happen in the summer when the park is nearly deserted of residents.  I finally decided it was time to make an effort to sneak up  catch a couple with my camera.


Aug 202013

spoke -clarity lens effect restyle 1777

“Did I say that?” By this monkey’s expression, he may have already have spoken those “evil” words.  I am loving TOPAZ ReStyle.  Just to show you what it can do, here is the original image, after running it through Topaz Clarity and Lens Effect / UV Haze: Continue reading »

Aug 192013

writing 1773

So many goods are made in China these days… yet most are imported by American companies.  I was surprised to see this truck load… because it means that this particular Chinese company is likely exporting directly.  The writing on these boxes is prophetic… what will happen if all Chinese manufacturers figure out how to cut out the American middleman?


Aug 172013

yellow hibiscus 2 1770

yellow hibiscus 1769

I took these photos of our yellow Hibiscus flowers in June when we first bought this plant (which we later discovered is technically a tree, which may explain why it doesn’t like being in a pot). I intended to use the shots for the “yellow” theme but no matter how I processed them, they remained “blah.” Pretty flower, but not very photogenic. I tried Topaz Clarity, Detail… playing around in Aperture… but all just looked overdone… and still “blah.”

Because it is just too hot today (113F), I decided to stay in and learn more about the new Topaz ReStyle which I still have on trial.  I had been experimenting with it… but had not taken  the tutorial.. which is an hour long… dowser.. there is so much more to this tool than just the pretty colors! It’s interface is so sophisticated, yet easiest to use. And I like the results.  I’m fairly sure I’ll be purchasing it while it is still one sale.

My other goal for today was to make a personalized birthday card to post on face book for one of my childhood friends.  I brought the top photo into PSE, added words and a frame and it’s done.

The original images here: Continue reading »

Aug 112013

the pass 1769 (1)

Many Saturday afternoons, we head to Blythe, CA to get a coffee & snack at Starbucks.  It’s a twenty minute drive on I-10 each way;  I never tire of looking at the scenery and after a week of working inside, it is good to remember why I’m here.  This is my favorite part on the return trip back to Quartzsite, AZ.  I love the colors and I like to imagine what it was like before the highway made it easy to get to through the pass. This section is part of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, a.k..a. CRIT land. I love living here.  (And I love Saturdays!)

This was process with Topaz denoise (very light) and Clarity.  Nothing else.  And it was taken through the car windshield.


Aug 112013

damselfly 1768

Here is a surprise.  Dragonflies and Damselflies are aquatic insects, yet they can be found in the Sonoran Desert when there is a source of water. I found this one when the wash flooded last month (I’m behind on my photos).  Since there are no fish to eat them, they can be successful in the desert.  Not only is a damselfly more dainty, but it is distinguished from the dragonfly by the way its wings are folded over the body.

I processed this one using Topaz denoise, clarity (masking out background) and then restyle.



Aug 102013

dandelion weed 1765

This is my first experiment with the new TOPAZ RESTYLE. I haven’t purchased it yet… but I’m sure I will before the month is out. I’d only recently started using tone mapping and this program is all about using that technique. Talk about being a kid in a candy store!


Here is the photo before I applied TOPAZ DENOISE,  CLARITY and  RESTYLE Rainforest Green.

Continue reading »