This Red Barn is in the Redmond to Fall City road and I’ve driven past it hundreds of times. As there was a little snow left on the ground I thought I’d catch this shot as with the white field, red barn, evergreen trees and bit of blue sky poking through it looked good. I also liked the road leading you to the barn. Some will say that the telegraph poles and lines are a distraction (they usually are) but for some reason I like them here in this shot too.

Tragically we had an accident at home and a Halo guy lost his head.  The CSI division were immediately called in to investigate

I found these flowers in QFC and had to buy them (my god I’m getting old). Anyway they looked fantastic and had this amazing blue color. Lisa thinks they have been dyed blue – which is possible, but I still think they look fab.

Working hard to entertain the family the Halo guys demonstrated what they learned in the army.

Tolt McDonald Park in Carnation has a really nice picnic area and in the middle of it is this huge barn that contains all the picnic tables. Only in Washington State would you find a covered picnic area that’s full of tables. I guess it’s usually too wet to eat outside.

Anyway I really liked the look of the barn and the grain of the wood in the ceiling. So I took this picture not really expecting it to come out, but when I got home I was really pleased with the look.

Not being a picnic kind of guy I doubt I’ll ever eat in this place but it made a cool picture.

As it’s cold outside and Carter had an ear infection they decided to stay in and play some more games.

Snoqualmie is small city not far from Redmond on the way to the Cascades. It got it’s name from a Native American tribe and is well known for it’s water falls (see my shot on January 21st) and in 1990 David Lynch used the city as a shooting location for his series Twin Peaks.The reason I came here was that Snoqualmie is also home to the Northwest Railway Museum and as you drive through the city you see a number of old trains on display.As the snow is now starting to melt (hopefully that’s it for this year) I drove to the city to look for something to shoot. This image is of the city “Depot”, but it has this great old train outside and it kind of looks like an old train station to me (so that’s what I’m calling it).

When too much snow arrives and you play outside you can suffer from too much water and snow in your ear.  So you have to clean them out!

Today was wet, snow melting and rain failing, so I thought I’d try something else. I happened to see Abi looking out the Window and thought it would make a nice picture.

By the time I got out lights, the rain stopped, so I had to ask James to join me in the garden and point the garden hose at the window! The picture came out ok though.

Interestingly, since I have been posting images I’ve had a number of questions from people about Photoshop. So I thought I should comment.

Every single professional image that’s posted anywhere is Photoshoped. From magazines to billboards, post processing is here to stay. Now some people say that this doesn’t count as photography and consider it “cheating”. But even the famous Ansel Adams was a king in the darkroom and spent hours perfecting “dodging and burning” while images developed. Today, he would do this in Photoshop.

So what kind of things do I do in Photoshop? The answer depends on the image. At a minimum, every picture is sharpened and color corrected so it accurately represents what I saw. If necessary I can change everything, from color, tone, exposure, brightness and noise reduction to lens and distortion correction. If that’s not enough I can remove blemishes and wrinkles, smooth skin and even re-sculpture a face or body. I can also remove distractions and composite a fake image from multiple parts.

At the end of the day the goal is to create an image that draws you in, makes you think and insights some kind of emotion.

In reality I’m still learning how to do all this well. I have some successes but shoot thousands of images for a few nice ones (literally). And to be honest there are very few I personally like.

So what can’t Photoshop do? Well it can’t create a good composition if one wasn’t captured and it can’t regain complete darkness or blown out highlights. So you have to know what you’re doing with the camera in the first-place and know how to use ambient light and how to augment or replace it with your own.

Hopefully at the end of the day you end up with a picture that looks great.

Today’s image was sharpened and I added a small vignette (to make the corners a little darker and draw you in). Hope you like it.

We went out for Mexican tonight and I had a Margarita.  I turned my back for 30 seconds and found this scene…