Flow - Cades Cove

Cades Cove – Flow

Cades Cove is a beautiful valley bordered by mountains in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, TN.  Having just visited the area for a family vacation, I had to take a trip to Cades Cove to explore this awesome place.  Towards the end of the loop I saw this little stream tucked away back in the woods and had to stop to shoot a few photos.  The green moss covered rocks really pop against the flowing water.

This image is a composition of a few different exposures blended together in Photoshop CC and touched up in Lightroom 5.  This was shot using my Canon T3i and EF-S 18-55mm IS STM lens (yep, the kit lens) and I obviously used my tripod.

I hope you enjoy and feel free to share!

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International Truck

This International truck is parked in front of the Eckert’s Country Store in Belleville, IL.  Eckert’s is a local farm and orchard that I’ve been to many times and I’ve always wanted to photograph this old truck.  They actually have a few of them on the property and I may try to photograph the others the next time I visit.

I brought my camera gear along to take photos of my family and to take some family shots for our friends as well.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day and the sky was just perfect.  Since I had my camera with me and knew this truck would be an excellent subject, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  The image is a 3 exposure, handheld shot that I then edited in Photomatix Pro. For the most part, it turned out how I had imagined so I’m pretty happy with the result.  What do you think?  I’d love to hear comments and critique.


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It’s been quite a while since I’ve gone to watch a fireworks display on Independence Day.  This year my wife and I decided it would be fun to take our 8 month old daughter to watch the show at the local park.  Of course I had to bring my photo gear along and I’m glad I did!  Thanks to some simple tips posted by Rick Sammon over on Google+ I was able to quickly dial in the settings I needed.  Considering this was the first time I’ve taken photos of fireworks, I’m really happy with the results.  I’ll be sure to attend a show next year, hopefully the Fair St. Louis fireworks display.  Please feel free to leave feedback!  Thanks for viewing.

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Missouri Botanical Garden - Chinese Pavilion

The Chinese Pavilion at the Missouri Botanical Garden is just one of many great subjects to photograph.  There are so many areas that are easy to walk past and this is one of them.  I had forgotten about this part of the garden and stumbled upon it during my last trip.  This photo is an HDR image but I tried to keep the original feeling of the subject.  It was a bright day and the clouds hadn’t moved in yet so HDR helped overcome some of the harsh shadows I was getting in the shots.  If you’re ever in St. Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a must see!  Don’t forget to stop by and check out the Chinese Pavilion and garden.

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MoBot Japanese Garden Pano


The weather has finally taken a turn for the better in St. Louis which means it’s time for a trip to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  Gone are the days of freezing cold air and blistering wind.  Spring has finally arrived!  To celebrate, I took my wife and daughter (now 5 months old) to the Missouri Botanical Gardens over the weekend.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day.  A slight breeze, 74 degrees and a beautiful garden to explore.  Of course, I lugged my camera gear along in the hopes of taking some images for HDR post processing.  I found this spot, at the Japanese Garden, and decided it was a good as any.  The reflections in the water, wispy clouds, turtles in the foreground and vibrant green trees made this shot ideal for HDR.  I’m quite happy with my results considering this was my first foray into HDR photography.  I’m pretty sure that I’m hooked now….I will definitely be posting more HDR images in the future.

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Gnome Buddies


It’s hard to get out and take photos with a newborn in the house so I did a little snooping around the yard instead. These are my little gnome buddies that like to hang out in the flower garden.  They’re a little worse for the wear but still getting their message across.  Nothing special but I’m a gnome fan so I thought I’d share it anyway.

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Earlier, I posted a photo from a park near where I work.  I snapped this photo of some trees the same day, this was the first time I had used my Canon 50mm f/1.8 and was just getting used to such a fast lens.  I love how shallow the DoF can be when the aperture is stepped all the way down to 1.8.  You can see how the bark just a few inches down the tree is out of focus and everything else in the background is just a blur.  I really enjoy this lens and for about a hundred bucks you can’t go wrong!

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