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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm sure I've mentioned this around the boards a time or two, but I love driving vacations. My husband and I have taken two so far. We didn't get to take one last year because we were trying to buy a house so I've been pining for a getaway. We live on the east coast, but I'm in love with the western half of the country. So as a way to sate my vacation lust, I'll share a photo every couple of days. (Really just whenever I remember to post one.)

First up, I give you a hungry bison:



He was eating grass next to the parking lot of a general store in Yellowstone National Park. He didn't mind the cars or the people, or much of anything.
 

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I went to Yellowstone when I was much younger and I loved seeing all those guys! They really just don't seem to care about people or cars. I went around a corner and nearly ran smack into one, haha.
 

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Yellowstone Bison Grazing at Sunset by johnchamilton, on Flickr

Yellowstone! My favorite place in the world.

A herd of bison grazing in a meadow at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. I shot this on the west side of the park, heading north on the main park road, at a wide meadow past Madison Junction but before the Norris Geyser Basin.

No dodging or burning here--that's the light I saw, shot on Fujichrome 100. The sun broke out from under the clouds for less than a minute, then disappeared for the night.

I had the place to myself. Totally quiet except for the snorting of the bulls, and the breeze in the trees. There's nothing like an evening in Yellowstone.
 

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Grand Prismatic Pano by johnchamilton, on Flickr

A two-frame panorama of Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Grand Prismatic is located in the Midway Geyser Basin, just north of Old Faithful. Most people see it from the boardwalk, which is cool, but to really see the scale and colors of this magnificent feature, you have to do a little work. Just south of the main parking lot, there's a pullout that marks a small trail leading to Fairy Falls (a wonder in its own right). First you cross a small bridge over the Firehole River, then you walk maybe a mile or so until you're on the back side of Grand Prismatic.

Next you bushwhack up a small hill on your left, not unlike the hill you see in the background/right of this frame. There are a couple of well-worn paths up the hill (it's not exactly a secret), but the loose rock can be slippery, especially going downhill. Hiking boots recommended, but not required. When you're about halfway up the hill, this is the scene you'll see before you. Take a picture or two, but be sure to stay and drink it all in.
 

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John, do you sharpen your pix at all?

That one on Fujichrome made me all nostalgic. I just gave away my last film camera.
 

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lpking said:
John, do you sharpen your pix at all?

That one on Fujichrome made me all nostalgic. I just gave away my last film camera.
Oh, yes, definitely. All images could use at least a little sharpening. Do you use Photoshop? I have some good general settings for you, if you're curious.

I know what you mean about film cameras. I haven't shot film in about 10 years. I can't say I miss it all that much, but it does make me nostalgic, too.
 

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John Hamilton said:
Oh, yes, definitely. All images could use at least a little sharpening. Do you use Photoshop? I have some good general settings for you, if you're curious.
I would love to hear your tips for sharpening in Photoshop! I typically don't sharpen my pictures, but I'm sure they could use it. I'm still learning my way around Photoshop.

I'm loving all these pictures, btw! I have some scanned in pictures from Yellowstone, but I took them way back in 1998ish, before I knew how to work a camera. I might look through them later and see if I can find anything worth posting. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gorgeous photo John! I'd be interested in hearing some sharpening pointers too. I don't usually sharpen my pictures, and usually just use the default color correcting tool.

This is Jenny Lake, a little stop off the road between Jackson, WY and Yellowstone.

 

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Hi Guys, I feel like in my enthusiasm I've hijacked Coral's thread, but here goes:

Almost all images benefit from sharpening.  There is much debate on the best method to use, from using Photoshop's unsharp mask to luminosity sharpening to using propriety software. A *great* reference book is Scott Kelby's "The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Photographers."  (Or CS4, etc, whichever version of PS you have.)  The different variations will boggle your mind.  A lot of it is more art than science. I use several methods in my workflow, depending on the image and end use.

That said, here are some basics that work for me when I put on my graphic designer hat and I'm working in "fast and simple" mode:

Make sure sharpening is your last step in processing your image.  Especially make sure it's resized just the way you want it.  For example, if you sharpen, and then downsize for the web, you'll lose most of the benefit of sharpening.  For Web display, I like to size my photos at 1,000 pixels on the wide side, at 72 pixels per inch.  That's big enough for most web uses, but small enough to thwart most people from ripping off your photos and using them in print.  It's not perfect, but it's a happy medium.

(An aside: I typically process a photo at full size, then resize different renamed versions, some for web, some for print assignments, etc.)

View your final, resized photo at 100% so you can scrutinize the sharpening effect.  Because of the large file size of today's DSLRs, many photographers instead now view at 50%.  The debate rages.  I still view at 100%

Go to Filter--Sharpen--Unsharp Mask.  I won't get into what all the settings mean (this post would get awfully long), but here are some good starting points:

Basic workhorse sharpening
Amount: 85%
Radius: 1
Threshold: 4

Moderate sharpening
Amount: 120%
Radius: 1
Threshold 3

The photo is too soft but you really, really need to use it:
Amount 65%
Radius: 4
Threshold: 3

I hope this helps!
 

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Coral said:
Not at all! I love taking pictures and learning new tricks to improve. Thanks for sharing! :)

PS - Anyone is welcome to post pictures from the Western US. Come one, come all!
I'll post after my trip....
in OCTOBER!

by the way, love the black dragon picture, and hi to your husband!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
John Hamilton said:
Oh, I love Zion NP! Nice shot. That's one of my favorite destinations. I was on a book assignment there a few years ago. Here's a view halfway up Angel's Landing. Not for the faint of heart. :eek:
I love Zion too! It's definitely one of my favorite places. I'm not quite as adventurous as you though, I didn't go up any of those crazy climbs. :eek:
 
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