Tokyo, Japan – Cherry Blossoms


I was looking through old pics the other day and realized that I rarely ever take flower pics. In my early days, flowers were a focus…an easy subject. But now with portraits, landscapes and sports…flowers have taken a back seat. I pulled these up from a trip a while back and always love the vintage look on white flowers that other photogs give them….so I did the same. Enjoy!

Bend, TX – Gorman Falls (HDR)


I took the day off yesterday and took the 2 hour drive from Austin to go see the best waterfall in Texas! …Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park. I went with my friend Scott Goad. It was his first visit. The falls were fantastic as we have had a decent amount of rainfall this spring in Texas. I decided to bring an ND filter and try out some shots with it this day. I think they turned out ok and will get to them soon. I think the HDR might be better as it captures the dynamic range of the rocks. Those nooks and crannys come out fantastic with tone mapping! The moss is also wonderful! This is my favorite view of the falls. Luckily I didn’t bump into any snakes or scorpions on the 1 mile rocky trek to the falls…only saw a Jack Rabbit. First time ever! Those dudes are big! Enjoy your weekend!

I put a quick IPhone video up of the Falls on my FB site…Talke Photography

Mission San Juan Capistrano, CA (HDR)


I had a little fun with this shot. As I dabble more and more with portraits…I have grown to love using “Actions” in Photoshop. You can find them all over the internet. These actions can create that dreamy colorful effect and basically produce anything you desire with the click of a button. My “City in the Sky” from the other day was done using an action called “Pewter”. I was processing this HDR and thought how often do you see an HDR with that colorful effect to it? Almost never. For the shot above I used an action called “Mulberry”..it gives a blueish tone to the shot. Hope it looks cool?? Have a great weekend!!

Johnson City, Texas – Bluebonnets

It is spring in Texas…this means wildflower season!  At this time of year hopefully you can find bluebonnets all over.  Unfortunately, this year in Austin they are hard to find!  Sometimes when we do not get enough rain..or this year it may have been too cold near spring..it can affect the amount of flowers.  We can see small patches near our house here and there…but not enough to take the traditional family shot with.  On Saturday we decided to take a drive to Fredericksburg, then up to the Willow City Loop.  The Willow City Loop is a 13 mile scenic drive through the hill country canyon area that is a hot spot to see wildflowers.  We made the drive (my first time) and saw only a few small patches…so sad!    During our drive up through Johnson City…we did see our biggest patch yet and on the drive back…we stopped and took a few pics!  They are lovely flowers and this shot was done up with the Pixel Bender plug-in for CS5.  Its free and I love using it on flowers and landscape…this is the oilpaint option.  Enjoy spring wherever you may be…hope some flowers are popping up!!

Austin, Texas – Peacock (HDR)

In Austin we have a cute little park called Mayfield Park.  It is about 10 minutes from downtown.  At this park..I’d guess there are anywhere from 10-20 peacocks living here.  At various times of the year going to visit is wonderful!   From Feb-April it is mating season for the peacocks and this is when you get the best shots.  The peacocks are eager to impress the peafowls (ladies) and spread their feathers out ready to show what they got!    Or sometimes I have noticed they spread their feathers out to other males for a territorial display.

So this past week I stopped by at lunch and the ladies were out and I saw about 7 males bopping around making their loud calls.  Only one dude was spreading  his feathers.  Im guessing with no women around he was a teenager and had no idea what he was doing!  During my one hour visit…he had opened up about 3 times.  Just perfect for me to grab a few shots!  This is one in HDR!  I’ll head back again soon when I have more time.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8
  • Setting: Manual  Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  Single Exposure HDR (1/1250 second)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

Akita, Japan – Cherry Blossoms

The past few days it has been 70+ degrees here in Austin.  So nice to feel spring weather!  Some of us are only a few weeks away!  Green grass and flowers will pop up soon!  I cannot wait.   So I was thinking of a trip I had to Japan in April a while back.  I had just missed the Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo, but luckily was traveling up north in Japan.  The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom!   We went out to lunch one afternoon the roads in town were so beautiful…trees everywhere!!  For the shot above, I asked my co-worker to pull over so I can grab a photo.  I looked up at the great tree and snapped away!  If you are ever planning a visit to Japan…the first few weeks of April is Cherry Blossom time!   A dream of mine would be to visit Kyoto with the Blossoms in full beauty!   Sayonara!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 70.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/200
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Photo Tools 2.6

A Splash of Spring

Spring is here…hopefully in your area!  As I am not a flower expert…I am not sure what type this wonderful yellow guy is?  I need to get back into macros flower shots…been a while since I last took a few!   I have been traveling tons recently…I basically missed Texas Wildflower season here.  Time to hit our local gardens!!  Have a sunny day!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 105 VR f/2.8 Macro
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 105.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/320 second
  • Aperture:  f/9.0
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4

Springtime Flower

It has been a long winter and I see lots of snow has been everywhere in the world.  Let’s brighten things up with a nice springtime flower!   Only in the past few weeks I have learned to add textures to photos….a  nice flower with an added texture is wonderful!  Like a painting.    Hopefully spring will be here soon!  I am eager to use my macro lens again!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 105 VR F/2.8 (Macro Lens)
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 105.0mm
  • ISO: 1400
  • Exposure:  1/8000
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4