Meadowlark Gardens – Landscapes

This visit to the Meadowlark Gardens was the maiden voyage for my new lens.  I’m so impressed with the 28mm f 1/8 wide-angle lens. The depth of focus and the clarity of this lens on the D850 are just exquisite. Below are some of my favorite landscapes from the gardens.

Overgrown Fence
Depth of Field on a cute fence lined path
Garden Path
Depth of Field on garden path in low light
Garden Path
Garden path framed by trees

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Meadowlark Gardens – Macro Flowers

Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna, VA was one of the locations on my new camera’s bucket list (see the list here).  It was a nice open space with spatterings of interesting garden art, flowers, walking trails lined with old hickory trees, and water features with a gazebo and waterfowl. Plenty of photographic subjects!

They open at 10, so I wasn’t able to catch the first light, but 10am light isn’t bad either. 🙂   In fact, the best shots were taken before the sun got high in the sky.  Took about 150 photos with my new camera with 2 separate lenses (See the whole collection here).

Below are my personal favorite macro shots from the day.  Tomorrow I’ll post some beauties taken with the wide-angle lens.

Red Tulips with Macro Lens
Red Tulips with Macro Lens 1/400sec at f/5.0
White Tulips
White Tulips with Macro Lens 1/100 sec at f/2.8
Red Tulip Macro
Red Tulip with Macro Lens 1/1600 sec at f/3.0

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Exploring Adobe Lightroom Presets

Adobe has us all figured out. As photographers, we need a tool to fine-tune exposure, adjust saturation, add some contrast, share our favorites, sell the best of the day, and sync the highest ranked of our personal collection to all of our devices.  I mean, what else could a photographer want?

Oh, right … presets that bring out the emotion and mood of the photo you didn’t even know where there.  Presets that make an artful masterpiece out of a regular photo.  How did they know I would get hooked on this feature?? I love playing around with the presets on the photos that I had “rejected”. First, let me be clear, I don’t really reject any of my photos, I love them all – they’re like my children.  But, to bring out emotion in the image that I hadn’t seen, or maybe I had seen *something* in the scene that the camera settings didn’t bring out – until I lightroom’ed it (yes, I’m coining that term).

Lightroom is just … insanely awesome when it comes to playing around with my photos. I typically love the photo as it was taken, with maybe a few adjustments here and there, but to take a photo that was so-so in my opinion and add some vignetting, or aged photo effects can really change the mood of the photo.   Here’s an example: this one really grabbed me.

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Before Lightroom Preset
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After Lightroom Preset

This transformation from meh to YES! happened with one click. Amazing. Thank you Adobe. Now on to building my Stock portfolio….

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P.S. the preset used on this photo was called “Turn down the color” from the free trial from Loaded Landscapes. I haven’t purchased the full shebang (yet).

The Captivating Potomac

The Potomac River has always had this serene beauty that just captivates me.  We lived in Alexandria for a while, which is right on the river. I loved walking down through Old Town to stand on its banks.

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Now that we’re back in VA, I’m finding myself drawn to it again. I just want to BE with it. Maybe it’s the history, maybe it’s the untouched beauty, maybe it’s a little of both.  I don’t know, call me crazy.

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