Today’s posting is an unusual one for me I guess, as I don’t typically post images that have been so heavily processed.  But I only have a few days to go to the end of the year and I thought why not. (Plus Lisa really liked this image).

This was taken in Mount Vernon at the Tulip festival up in Skagit Valley.  The tulips were really that red and the sky was pretty blue and I was lying on the floor (on a black bin bag) taking shots.  I was getting loads of funny looks from people there but that’s really not that uncommon.

This is going to be a big surprise but I processed this image in Lightroom and Photoshop, I increased the saturation and clarity (that makes the image shaper) and added a dark vignette. The end result looked pretty cool and is my picture for today.  Hope you like it too.

I swear I can’t bring anything nice into the house without these two little dudes getting their hands on it.  Today they “found” some dark chocolate Truffles!

It’s been a while since I posted any tulip pictures and quite frankly I still have hundreds left so tonight’s image is of some white tulips and was shot at Mount Vernon during the tulip festival.  This was one of those shots where I got out my black bin bag, laid it in the mud and got down on the floor.  Passers by looked at me like I was nuts but I’m used to that now.

I wanted a shot of a tulip row disappearing off into the distance with a nice sky above.  This is what I got.  The dark pink tulips behind added to the image by making the white ones stand out a little.

Fortunately this was one of the few times when nobody was in my way stomping around the field, so absolutely no Photoshop here.

I haven’t posted any black and white for a while so tomorrow I’ll look for something to shoot that will make a good black and white image.  I also need to shoot more people so I’ll look for some subjects there too.

Carter found a can of crazy string and went a little mad today – poor Master Chief!

Yeah yeah I know I said no more tulip pictures, but I like this one so suck it.  This picture was taken in Mount Vernon at the tulip festival (now that’s a surprise).  Can you see all the people walking in the field?  No?  Well that’s the magic of Photoshop!

I liked this one as the tulips looked beautiful and the leading line of the row on the right going off to the distance draws your eye to the trees, hills and mountains behind the flowers.  That white peak “poking” over the hill top to the right of the barn is Mount Baker.  I also liked the barn behind the tulips.  It kind of provides a feature of interest between the flowers and the sky.

When I took this picture I actually took several versions all with varying depth of field, some had everything in focus, others (like this one) had the flowers at the front in focus and the focus dropped off into the distance.  I liked this look most of all so I picked it for today’s picture.

Obviously this wasn’t taken at work as that would be quite naughty, but the guys found a bottle of scotch somewhere!  (My Dad will like this one).

Today’s image is again from Mount Vernon and shows rows of tulips.  This image is a favorite of Lisa’s, she likes the one tulip sticking out into the row (that’s different from all the others).  I like the lines of the rows that lead you to the building structure in the top right of the image (unsurprisingly this is called “leading lines” and guides the eyes where to look).  Also if you look at the top center, you can see Mount Baker popping above the hills.

This is another image that was taken directly from the camera.  In this one there were actually no tourists in the way so I really didn’t have to do anything in Photoshop at all.

If you’re getting tired of these tulip pics, don’t worry, I have Monday off work and plan to get LOTS of cool pics, so expect some new ones next week.  That said of course I still have loads of tulip ones left so they may pop up throughout the year.

Carter and Master Chief found a friend to play with at work and took turns riding his back.

Today’s image was taken again in Mount Vernon.  This time it’s a shot of a field of tulips (I really needed to point that out didn’t I).  Hopefully you get a sense of the scenery here which is truly spectacular.  I have other shots that have Mount Baker in the background topped with snow (you’ll see those ones soon I’m sure).  It was such a lovely day and the back drop of the top of the Cascades behind the fields just looked great.

Now I know that my photography and image processing is not to everyone’s taste.  What’s that you ask, “people don’t like your pictures Tony?”  Well some don’t.  There are a couple of different schools of thought in photography, one school see’s it as an art form, where you do what you need to do to get the end result you wanted.  This involves modifying images in Photoshop, removing distractions from the primary subject or enhancing tones, contrast or colors etc., even re-composing the image after the fact (that means cropping), well, this is obviously the camp I’m in.  But then there are the “purists”, the people who believe that you take a photograph, and whatever you get out of the camera is the final image – no messing about.  Interestingly these people are a bit of a dieing breed as everything is post processed these days (as even if you don’t do it, your camera does it for you!)  This is kind-a sad, as there is something to their argument.  As with most things in life photography is about balance, so I try to get the best composition I can in camera, try to get the lighting right etc., and then only modify what I need in Photoshop after the fact.

So why on earth am I rambling on about this?  Well this shot is pretty much right out of the camera.  “Pretty much you say?”, Well yeah, if you remember I told you that there were loads of tourists there tramping all over the fields and this shot was no exception.  So I removed them in Photoshop – can you see where?  But that was it.  I didn’t change any colors, I didn’t crop or modify the images contrast or add any filters.  Once the annoying people were removed, this is what I saw.

See I can be “old school” too.

Now I know that when people say “he was wired” they sometimes mean the person was tense with excitement and enthusiasm as from a rush of adrenaline, but when Master Chief got wired it was different, he literally got caught up in a load of wires!  Bit embarrassing but it happens to us all (when you’re 3″ tall anyway).