Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


By the Light of the Moon in Yosemite

My last post talked about how the snow in Yosemite had a variety of looks in various scenes, and I shared one of the looks with the marshmallow “puff” image.  This time I’m showing you an icy blue look…at least that’s how it appeared to me.  I’ve never seen such an amount of snow layered on the trees and ground so perfectly.  It was truly a magical place!

You might’ve noticed that I’m working on processing photos differently just to see what I get.  Studying the light and shadow of other images as well as paintings helps me a lot.  The thing is translating what I see into an image.  Not easy!   I’m sure I’m on the baby end of things but I sure have fun learning.

By the Light of the Moon in Yosemite

By the Light of the Moon in Yosemite

If you wish to purchase this image, please click here.



One Photo Focus – May

It’s One Photo Focus time!  I rather enjoy this challenge of taking someone’s photo and editing it into our own creation.  This week the original photo was provided by Shane Francescut, so thank you Shane!  Please check out Shane’s blog when you have time.

The Process:

The first thing I always do is adjust the shadows, clarity and other basics one finds in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw because I know I’m going to process the heck out of it lol.  Once I have that done I try to come up with a vision for the image, and in this case I had a burning desire to make it a nighttime image (with my own twist of course).  🙂

1.  After the basic adjustments mentioned above, I tone-mapped it in Nik HDR to give it a “pop”.  (I think I’m addicted to tone-mapping in Nik HDR.)

2.  Next, I replaced the sky with the stars using my favorite “blend if” feature in the layer styles.  I cropped the photo to cut off the right hand part of the photo to eliminate the issue I was having masking in the sky in between all the branches.  It was just too much to deal with trying to blend in the sky.

3.  After that I applied the Nik Color Efex Sunlight filter to the image to simulate the moon’s glow.

4.  Now I needed that nighttime look, so I applied one of the Nik Analog Efex filters to parts of the image by using the Brush feature in the filter.  I really love the brush feature in Nik because it allows me to control where I want the filter applied and at what opacity.

5.  Lastly, I added a vignette by applying neutral density gradients along the edges of the photo on a blank layer so I could control the darkened areas rather than just using one of the filter vignettes.

I will throw in a caveat here in that there were some steps along the way that are kind of boring so I won’t list all those but basically they include burning here and there, and isolating parts of the image to control hue and saturation and contrast.

Thank you Stacy for coordinating this challenge!  Please check out the entire ABFriday Challenge and also Stacy’s Post too!

May One Photo Focus

May One Photo Focus

May One Photo Focus - Original

May One Photo Focus – Original



Niles Canyon Railway

The same day I took the Barn picture we went to Niles, California where the Niles Canyon Railway is located.

The history of trains in Niles Canyon dates back to the building of the original transcontinental railroad. The first Western Pacific Railroad Company (formed in 1862) started construction in San Jose towards Sacramento. It built twenty miles of track that reached into Alameda Creek canyon in 1866. Its first passenger excursion entered the canyon on October 2 of that year.  You can read more about it here:  Niles Canyon Railway.

It was fun looking at this caboose and yes I went a bit wild with it.  I so rarely take any images with people in them but how could I resist this grandad with his grandson?  🙂

Addendum…since some of you have asked.  I reduced noise, tone-mapped it in Nik HDR, used Topaz Restyle on a light opacity, created a low-key image and laid it on top of the previously processed layer and exposed the brighter areas I wanted.  Then I sharpened it via Nik Output sharpener and added a vignette.  Oh, I did pop out the color on those windows too.  Hope that helps!

Western Pacific Railroad

Western Pacific Railroad