From my window: Saturday morning bonus

Last evening’s sunset was, I feel, the most spectacular I’ve photographed in the almost-six and a half years I’ve lived here.

What do you think?

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The tall church spire is approximately three miles away (as the crow flies)...and my little Nikon did its best, with a bit of help from Photoshop (TM)!

The tall church spire is approximately three miles away in downtown Evanston (as the crow flies)…and my little Nikon did its best, with a bit of help from Photoshop (TM)!

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Almost-Autumn Hydrangeas

Multi Hydrangea-2 Diff Glow

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Multi Hydrangea-1 Diff Glow

These subtly colored blooms were given an added treatment with the Diffuse Glow filter using pure white as the background/glow color, which also adds an overblown quality to the whites, allowing for a softer, more romantic look.

The Grain was set at “3” to give a fresher look to these very old-fashioned favorites.

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Just a note:

Although I have no knowledge as to whether any of my copyrighted images have been ‘stolen’ by others, I decided to add a watermark and process them in a smaller pixel format.

I work diligently to present fine photography to all viewers, and to have another place their name on my images is simply untoward!

You can always ask for permission in the Comments to use an image, which I usually grant as long as I am given credit.

Thank you!

A variety of pinks…

…to cheer you, whether it’s morning or evening where you are!

Here in Chicago this evening, a storm is on its way…it is getting very dark with lots of ‘rumbling’ from the northwest, so I figured I’d post quickly while the pizza is in the oven!

(I’ll show you that tomorrow!)

The 'pink house' veranda and its curious vinery design

The ‘pink house’ veranda and its curious vinery design

 

Cheery pink flowers among others of yellow orange and, of course, pink

Cheery pink flowers among others of yellow orange and, of course, pink–with a Canvas texture effect

 

A lovely pink bloom with the Vertical Grain effect

A lovely pink bloom with the Vertical Grain effect

 

The original image of another pink bloom, with the areas I had to rebuild

The original image of another pink bloom, with the areas I had to rebuild

 

The final image of the above, retouched and softened to a lighter pink

The final image of the above, retouched and softened to a lighter pink

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Now, pink is not my favorite color, but I feel we all need some cheer…and these pinks certainly make me stop…and smile!

‘Playing’ with Peonies

I found some gorgeous Peonies in full bloom on my mile walk to the pharmacy the other day…but I really didn’t care for the way the images turned out…so, of course, this morning I decided to ‘play’ a bit!

The original, as the camera saw it

The original, as the camera saw it

 

The intermediate, after straightening, cropping, utilizing Selective Color, and lots of Burning and Dodging

The intermediate, after straightening, cropping, utilizing Selective Color, and lots of Burning and Dodging

 

The final, with a Watercolor treatment, more Selective color and, of course, more Burning and Dodging

The final, with a Watercolor treatment, more Selective Color adjustments and, of course, more Burning and Dodging

I didn’t realize the next image featured a fly and the eyes of two ‘garden decor’ deer until I uploaded.

The original

The original

I decided to get rid of the faux deer–a good choice, in my opinion!

The intermediate, after cropping and utilizing Selective Color, Burning and Dodging

The intermediate, after cropping and utilizing Selective Color, Burning and Dodging

Photoshop’s Artistic Ocean Ripple filter has never really appealed to me–until I ‘played’ with it on this image…and found it added some interest to a very ordinary photo of a Peony.

The final, with more adjustments of Selective Color, Burning, Dodging and the Artistic Ocean Ripple filter added at the last

The final, with more adjustments of Selective Color, Burning, Dodging and the Artistic Ocean Ripple filter added at the last

Combined, these two images took about an hour to process, and the results were entirely worth spending the time to make the ordinary a bit ‘extraordinary’!

You might ask why I bother transforming what are considered dull images?

My answer:

“Because for me, it’s fun…and everyone needs SOME fun in their lives, don’t they?!?”

Last evening began…

…with a look toward the east, from my studio window…

...as a storm alert had been issued.

…as a ‘storm alert’ had been issued.

I moved to my north window and began watching the skies, as heavy clouds moved in.

I moved to my north window and began watching the skies, as heavy clouds moved in.

After a drenching but brief downpour, the weather settled a bit as the sun, almost at its northwest quadrant peak, commenced its 'end of another day' light show.

After a drenching but brief downpour, the weather settled a bit as the sun, almost at its northwest quadrant peak, commenced its ‘end of another day’ light show.

Colors warmed, from yellows to golds...

Colors warmed, from yellows to golds…

...and finally to soft pinks, softer oranges and deep umbers, signifying the first day of meteorological Spring was, indeed, a glorious day!

…and finally to soft pinks, softer oranges and deep umbers, signifying the first day of meteorological Summer was, indeed, a glorious day!

Compared to other areas, Chicago ‘got off easy’ in the last forty-eight hours, for which we should be truly thankful.

Please…remember the residents of Oklahoma City and its surrounds in your thoughts and prayers.

Their losses are painful, as they sift through rubble, seeking remnants of Life.

From my windows: More Sunday morning peaceful

I’ve been quite tired and ‘out of sorts’ the last few days, hence no posts. My apologies, and to make up for that, here are some very comforting images, taken within the last half hour.

From my studio window

From my studio window

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The Farcroft, catching the first rays

The Farcroft and surrounds, catching the first rays

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Downtown Evanston, a little hazy, but serene nonetheless

Downtown Evanston, a little hazy, but serene nonetheless

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The rooftop of the Shambahla Center...it looks as if the local racoons may have been scampering around overnight!

The rooftop of the Shambhala Center…it looks as if the local racoons may have been scampering around overnight!

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Drifted snow atop a garage below turns pinkish as the sun rises...five minutes later, it was almost white again!

Drifted snow atop a garage below turns pinkish as the sun rises…five minutes later, it was almost white again!

N.B.:  These images have not been Photoshopped at all…they are, except for re-sizing, straight from the camera, as I didn’t want to ‘play’ with these soft, peaceful colors!

From my window: Sunrise…Sunset

This morning, A nice, warm glow, summoned me to my east window, and of course, I took the camera with!

This morning, A nice, warm glow, summoned me to my east window which overlooks Lake Michigan, and of course, I took the camera with!

This was the view to the north, overlooking Farcroft and the City of Evanston high-rise.

This was the view to the north, overlooking Farcroft and the City of Evanston high-rise.

N.B.:  The two images above are ‘straight from the camera’…all I did was crop them a bit.

Now is the time of year when the rising and setting sun reflect perfectly in the windows of Evanston’s tallest buildings.  It’s just barely touching the CBRE Building, (where the Chase Bank is located…the dark one above), which looked like this at sunset just four evenings ago, on the 15th:

Believe me, it is a sight to behold, and only lasts for a few minutes!  But, I do look forward to these displays, and happy I was here to catch this one, in particular!

Believe me, it is a sight to behold, and only lasts for a few minutes! But, I do look forward to these displays, and happy I was here to catch this one, in particular!