The night’s reflected brilliance

Captured on a photowalk through the Denver Botanic Gardens:

The night's reflected brilliance

Every year in December, the Denver Botanic Gardens puts on a “Blossoms of Light” show — it’s always a great display, although generally also a bit cold. But if you bundle up and carry a spare battery in your coat’s inside pocket, you’re good to go!

Oh yes, and don’t forget a tripod too — this is a 2.5 second exposure (at ISO 800 for minimal noise). Fortunately there are plenty of turf areas along the paths, so you can set up a tripod without blocking traffic or damaging the plants. But no commercial photography (i.e., stock shots for Getty) unless you want to fork over a $350 fee to the Gardens…


A border collie gets lined up to catch a frisbee in the “Superdogs” presentation at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado:


I like this shot, but it absorbed far more time for post-processing than I anticipated. Let me count the ways:

1) The event center where “Superdogs” took place was lit far more dimly than I expected, so I had to shoot at 1600 ISO (noise galore in the original image).

2) Given the pace at which the events took place, I spent much of my time shooting in “continuous” mode so I could pick a starting image that both had a survivable amount of motion blur, as well as had workable composition (i.e., you could see both the dog and the frisbee). Note that due to the lighting, I was able to take few images at faster than 1/80 second.

3) There was still “too much dirt” for my taste in the best starting image, so I used a little Photoshop (Elements) trickery to reduce the vertical space between dog and disk.

So a couple of hours of work later, here you have it. I’m still wondering if I shouldn’t have removed even more space in the middle, but I like this result (for now…).