I always think I don’t have anything to share until I start one of these blog posts.

I was able to get out with my camera a few times this past month. I drove to a covered bridge and took some photos in the rain. I also went for a hike to some waterfalls. Unfortunately I lost my drone while taking a video. I tried to retrieve it but it was up a tree that was overhanging a cliff side. I made a valiant effort but ended up covered in mud and returned back to the safety of the trail once things got a little too dangerous.

I’m starting to gear up for ski season but in the meantime I’ll try to get some more autumn photos before it’s over.

This is a composite I put together to see what I could do.
I ventured out to this covered bridge in Albany, Oregon just to get my camera out. The rail road tracks definitely caught my attention.
I liked the road trailing off.
Work photo using the same composite technique as the first photo.
Messing around to see what I can create.
Stained glass shot.
This is a composite, I added the tractor and birds with a painting like filter.
More photos manipulation.
I was feeling bright that day. This was taken just before picking up Voodoo Doughnuts. Quite possibly sugar rush inspired.
I saw something similar to this done so tried it for myself. I was able to use an overlay to create the effect. I’m on the lookout for a procreate/photoshop brush and colors to do this next time…if anyone knows of a good one send it my way.
Because autumn.
Stairway on hike to waterfall where I lost my drone.
My niece put on a scary mask and tried to be creepy. Just a little photo manipulation to finish the effect.
Abstract fun.
Getting in the Halloween “Spirit.”

Thanks for tuning in. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!


Bring on Autumn

I finally found time to update my blog. Summer has kept me pretty busy at the restaurant. There has been a steady flow of new faces and challenges keeping the restaurant afloat. I’ve continued to make photography projects for their social media. I’ve improved my photo skills of beer and burgers. I’ve also dabbled in videos, logos, and branding (work in progress).

I was able to take a little time off work recently and started some of my own projects. With Autumn quickly arriving I’m hoping to get out with my Nikon and start creating again.

This is one of the logos for my restaurant. I wasn’t provided a logo image from the company so I created my own from the logo they had printed on their T-shirts. To create this I took a photo of one of our T-shirts cut it out and created a sticker. It has come in handy when creating stuff for the restaurant. This is just an example of many I have created with different backgrounds and text over the images. If you want to see what I make for their social media feel free to follow McMenamins Northbank on facebook or on instagram.



This is the entrance to the tiki bar. I was able to find a public domain picture of a suspended bridge and integrate it. The cocktail at the end was kind of a holy grail reference.
I found a slug slithering on a window and got a snapshot. This is what I ended up making out of the photo. No slugs where hurt in making this image.
Stop and smell the flowers.
The sunlight was coming through just right, I hardly had to edit this one.
Again only minor edits. I was using the figurines for product photography.
This is where I can go when I start deep diving on a photo. I liked the neon outline effect.
I found this great stain glass window in a coffee shop. After messing around with it for a while I added it to the tree leaves. The colors blended well. I may try this again with a single leaf once they start falling from the trees.
I tried to get a good photo at a Koi pond I visited. Nothing turned out like I wanted, the fish wouldn’t cooperate. So I created my own image.
I saw this great lamp in a shop and took a quick snap. I was able to quickly add the fairy cutout that I have used before.
While down in Ashland I took a quick picture of the playhouse with it’s Shakespeare time period resemblance. I don’t know where I got the shadow man, but the lantern is from the photo with a fairy in it from above.
I’ve also been dabbling in video. This one was sort of interesting.
I learned how to make something float in a video.

Hopefully I’ll have more time creating now that the summer is over.

Thanks for tuning in.


All Work & Little Time For Play

It’s been hard to find the time for photography let alone writing a blog. I think in my last post was 2 months ago. I had just renewed my wordpress subscription for the year and said I would try for monthly updates. It’s a work in progress but still the goal. I have a few photos to share so thought I would throw something together.

One of the main reasons I’ve had little time is that I’ve been working a lot of overtime. As most of you know I work in a restaurant. The Pandemic really has not been kind to the service industry. The restaurant industry is still having a hard time hiring. The establishment I work for is now closing it’s doors once a week in order to give it’s employees some time off. I never would have seen that coming.

Here is just a collection of photos over the last two months. I included a few of the better work related photos.

I saw these raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and it brought back some nostalgia feelings. So I added some glow and detail to this photo.
This is just a beer photo for work but I like the way it turned out.
I took my 360 camera out to a field of daisies one day and ended up with the circular photo above. I added the window frame and some cut out bees for more interest.
Another work photo.
Also work… I cut out the floor and ceiling to give it a surreal vibe.
A flower I ran into along the way. I really pushed the HDR details, and colors but thought it ended up interesting.
This is an old house with boarded up windows and fire damage I pass on my way to work. I changed the sky and pushed the filters to come up with this.
I took some photos at an abandoned house. I had 10 different versions of this creepy door and decided to share this one with the 1986 filter vibe.
This guy was in my yard when I went to get the newspaper one morning.
This is purely me just experimenting with what new things I can do. The photo was just of a plain cage clock. I used a toxic filter for the greens, then blended a peeling paint photo and lastly used a drawing app to draw the leaf trail.
Baby feet!

Thanks for tuning in.


Quick Photo Excursions

It’s been quite challenging working in a restaurant during the past few months. In Oregon restaurants opened, went to 75% occupancy. A week later back down to 25% occupancy, then shut down indoor dining and reopened it all again. This all happened in the last 5 weeks! Staffing for such fluctuations is a nightmare. Many experienced restaurant workers have taken the time to reflect and have chosen to move on. Hiring and training has taken on a whole new level. I’ve been putting in lots of hours at work. I did however take the opportunities That presented themselves to take some photos.

I took a mini trip to the coast and took some photos of an often photographed bridge in Florence. I also took a day drive to take photos of the Niagara Heights water wheel. I had run across some great photos of this roadside attraction and thought it would make a nice destination for a photo excursion. I was disheartening to find it was destroyed in last years wildfires.

I liked the way the architecture all lined up in this photo.
More architectural appeal.
The lilies add a nice foreground touch.
I pushed the colors and details really hard here. I was pleased with the outcome though.
Wide angle lens view.
I did a few night shots… I couldn’t quite get what I was looking for. The graininess of the photo distracted me. I added the flying birds as a last minute way to save this photo.
These doll heads were in a coffee shop. I really enjoyed the way the photoshop filter brought out the colors here.
I couldn’t help but mess with the doll head picture. It reminds me of stuff I wanted to do in the darkroom back in the 90’s.
I saw this lone dead tree surrounded by snow and had to get a photo. I should have spent more time here I only had a handful of snapshots to work with.
This is what’s left of the Niagara Heights water wheel. You should look up the before pictures on the internet. Unfortunately the iconic shed that was attached was consumed in the fire. There are some great rustic feel photos as well as long exposure photos of it in the winter when it was covered in lights.
Red always makes a great color splash photo. I wanted it to stand out against the dead trees.
The tulip bulbs in the planter box that was next to the shed survived. I was going for an ethereal glow in this picture.
They are still hard at work removing the trees damaged in the fires. I was in the right spot to capture this logging truck.
I feel like I don’t use the vintage filters enough.
I thought I would throw in some of my more experimental stuff. Sometimes I just mess with my photos to see what I can come up with. This is a composite of 4 different photos. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I have fun seeing what I can come up with.
More stuff I’ve been playing with.
This is a picture of the Willamette river right by my restaurant. Sometimes I forget to look up and enjoy it. Side note this is the lowest I’ve seen this river this early in the year. I’ve watched this river flow by for 14 years now and it usually isn’t this low until the last week of August just before the rainy season. I really hope Oregon doesn’t have another extreme fire season this year.

Has It Been Three Years Already?

It’s been two months since my last post. The restaurant has reopened for indoor dining and work has kept me pretty busy with little time to devote to photography. My annual bill for wordpress just came due and that reminded me I haven’t put anything on my blog lately. I was tempted to cancel the blog but decided to give it another year. It has kept me focused on moving forward with my hobby and I like having somewhere to share my photos. I have been adding them to Instagram as well, you can follow me @in8ape if you’d like. So here’s to beginning year three!

I have continued to run the social media for the restaurant. This has been good at keeping me active with photography. I have a set photo shoot once a week. It also forces me to come up with new ways to make product and restaurant photos interesting. I asked about getting paid a little extra for this work and my company said yes and even gave me a retro check for all the work I had done since November. It never hurts to ask about getting paid for what you think you are worth. A bonus is that I can add managed social media it to a resume if I ever need to.

I just looked through my photos for the last two months and these were my top picks.

I took this waterfall scene in February but never got around to posting it on my blog. There is an app for the IPhone called Spectre that makes it really easy to get the blurred river effect. You can also get this effect using a tripod and a ND filter.
I made about 6 edits of these bamboo shoots before I ended up with this one. It almost has a painted feeling.
I had snapped a photo of a donut I was eating. I liked the colors and was messing with the photo. It never was quite right, so I tried it in a composite. Not really my best work but it was kind of fun to experiment with and it gave me ideas for future projects.
Deep edit on my cats eye. I did quite a few different versions. I figured one was enough for the post.
I was trying out some distressed filters and liked this one.
I try not to put many of my work photos on here but I got a little creative with this one and thought it was worth sharing.
This was also for work. I really liked how this one turned out.
Spring is in the air and things are in bloom. I used an app called spektrel art to create this one.
This photo ended up blurry because of the angle I was shooting it. I like the composition though. I was able to compensate for this using the spektrel art app. It ended up being pretty cool.
One last example of the spektrel art app.
Back to basics.
I wanted to get my Nikon out so I took a few short hikes to play with my cameras.
If I ever go back here I think I’ll try an even longer exposure to make the water swirl more. I’m kind of thinking lady in the lake idea.
I found this little cairn on a log by the river. I took a bunch of cool pictures from different angles but this was my favorite.
This photo also worked well with a pastel filter.

Well cheers to three years! Thanks for following. We’ll see what the rest of 2021 brings.

Long Road Of Recovery On The McKenzie

Photography is a medium that can tell a story. The photographer can show others their perspective through the framing of the world around them. Every so often you may come across a subject that can elicit strong emotional responses. I feel it is the responsibility of the photographer to respect the privacy and property rights of one’s subjects.

In the latter half of last year, Oregon experienced unprecedented forest fires that wiped out whole towns and communities. The Holiday Farm fire engulfed 173,000 acres and more than 4000 structures in Lane county. It devastated the community of Blue River. Many homes and businesses were destroyed as the fire quickly engulfed everything in it’s path.

I recently drove through the devastated area. Six months have passed since the incident but trees are still being removed and there are unstable structures along the highway. On my drive through the area I witnessed overwhelming destruction. One location in particular caught my eye and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. On the way back I had to stop. I wanted to be respectful of people’s property and loss. I didn’t touch anything and quickly took my photos. After editing the photos I knew I wanted to share but wasn’t sure about posting anything on social media or here on the blog. I ended up making an Instagram post and a friend who lives in that area reached out to me saying she knew the owner of the truck was in one of the photos. I feel it was serendipitous that I was compelled to visit that particular site. Through reaching out to that mutual friend I was able to get permission to use the photos. The losses are staggering. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for this area and the many people affected.

The impact of the Holiday Farm fire is still being felt. Families continue to struggle to recover from losing everything. The initial outpouring of community support has subsided, but many are still displaced. If you can contribute please do https://gofund.me/7c169ed2 .

When I arrived the sun had already set and it was raining hard. I liked the way my headlights shined on the truck.
This was a second edit where I just kept the rust colors. I ended up with quite a few photos and various edits. It was hard to limit it to just a few that I really liked.
I really liked the way the rain was reflecting in my car headlights. Other then the rain falling there was a dead silence in the area.
It must have been crazy how hot the fire was here. I’m pretty sure this truck was in a garage at the time of the fire. Everything was engulfed but the concrete slab it sat on and the car frame that didn’t melt. I liked the matte effect for this photo.
My heart goes out to those who lost everything.
While driving through the devastation, chimneys and foundations were the most common structures still standing. I colorized the brick in this photo.
Metal objects that survived the fire.
This is Goodpasture bridge. I have stopped by here to photograph it before. It was almost engulfed in the flames. The fire devastated most everything on the far side of the river. Thanks to many firefighters this historic covered bridge survived.
They added pink glowing lights to the bridge and I like the way it looked.
I have some other stuff that I’ve been working on. When I post it here it clears my mind so that I can move on to the next project. This first one was taken while on a ski excursion. I’ve been working with replacing sky backgrounds and really liked how this one turned out.
This began as a picture of an onion. I used an texture app to give it that fuzzy feeling, then pushed the colors and shadows.
This was from my prior lighthouse trip. I’m working on how to give my photos a surreal feel. I transformed the house a little and really brightened the colors as well as replace the sky and add a sun flare.
I was just messing around with the house photo.
I’ve started collecting pictures of windows. I feel like there is something I want to do with them… this is a first try, stay tuned.
I was going for surreal here. This is a very commonly photographed waterfall. I took the photo at the same spot every tourist that passes by this roadside attraction. I used a new app called Spectre that makes it easy to take long exposure photos like the blurred river. Normally to get a photo like this I would have to set up a tripod, and add a dark filter to my lens to allow for the correct exposure while keeping the shutter open for a few seconds to capture the blurred river scene. The Spectre app calculates what is in motion and what is still and makes it easy to capture a blurred river photo.
This photo should have been in my last blog post but somehow I missed it. I just wanted to add it here.

I want to extend my deepest sympathies to those affected by the Holiday Farm Fires. I hope that the community will recover with time. Please donate if you can.

Getting Back To The Basics

Now that 2020 is behind I’m trying to look forward to 2021. It’s still early in the the year and it hasn’t just magically changed overnight. I am however cautiously optimistic that things will slowly get better and return to some resemblance of normal.

I thought I would start the year off with revisiting landscape photography. Taking pictures of the world around me helps me feel connected to nature and my surroundings. I’ve been using both my iPhone 12 max pro and my Nikon Z6 mirrorless. To be honest I find them pretty interchangeable in quality for what I’m doing. There are a few advantages to the Nikon like interchangeable lens, and the bigger sensor. If you want to blow up and print your works the larger sensor of the DSLR will definitely have an edge. I now find myself taking the same picture with both the phone and my Nikon then deciding which to edit in post production.

I have headed up to ski a few times this year and stopped to take a few pictures along the way. I also decided to head to the coast for a day. I decided to go to one of the most photographed places in Oregon the Heceta Head Lighthouse. By having a destination like this it gets me out of the house. Although some of the stops along the way sometimes produces the best pictures.

I had to stop skiing and take a picture of this scene.
I got out my drone for this shot. I wouldn’t be able to get this view otherwise. Interestingly I couldn’t get cell reception in this little valley. I wasn’t allowed to fly the drone very far from the phone because I couldn’t get a GPS signal. Your drone needs to be connected to GPS so that it doesn’t fly into restricted areas. It only allows you to fly within eyesight if you are not connected to GPS.
Bridge from the ground view.
Railroad tracks always give me an old time feel. So I used some filters to make the photo I imagined.
Along the way to the coast I stopped at an abandoned warehouse. I’m pretty sure it used to be a lumber processing plant of some sort but I could be wrong.
There was so much to photograph here. I took tons of photos I still haven’t processed. There may be some in future posts.
There was this great puddle out back I took quite a few reflection pictures.
I really pushed the color and detail on this picture of a rusty spray can. I really liked the effect though. I now wish I had moved the can and taken other pictures with it but at the time I was so overwhelmed with the amount things to photograph. There was some great graffiti there and I will be sure to revisit this place in the future. I could totally see doing a photo shoot with models if I ever pursue that avenue.
When I was taking this picture I was sure this was going to be my favorite. Unfortunately because it was so dark in the foreground and bright in the background I never really got a correct exposure. I played around with a bunch of editors and finally got and ok photo. I felt it was missing something though so I added a human figure standing in the light for more interest.
I alway like pictures of rust.
Again I really pushed the colors and sharpness on this one. There is no right answer to how a photo should look. I just keep messing with them until I feel satisfied.
I took a picture of my Nikon. I really enjoyed the darker filter option I used here. This technique may show up more often in my work.
Other than Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls, and Mt Hood I would say this light house I one of the most photographed things in Oregon. I decided to taken my turn making an image of it. There was a little worn out path off the main trail where probably 1000’s of people have taken this photo. I didn’t have to do much to this accept bring out the clouds a bit. I picked a good day because there weren’t many tourist around making it easier to get the photo.

Be safe and healthy out there.


Goodbye 2020…One For The Books.

I wanted to get one more blog post in before the new year. 2020 sure has been trying for a lot of people. My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone that has been affected by the events of this last year. The Holidays certainly had a different feel. In person celebrations have been almost entirely called off. I wish I could travel back to 2019 and tell myself to invest in toilet paper, hand sanitizer and zoom.

Oregon continues to prohibit indoor dining. This is somewhat a blessing as I don’t have to be exposed to the general public. I do expect to return to work as a bartender as soon as the ban is lifted however. Generally being an optimist I feel a positive change is just around the corner. Time will tell.

As far as my photographic hobby goes… I haven’t been behind the lens too much as of late. I’ve mainly been hunkered down at home. I was able work on my editing skills and have become more confident in my competence to create the image I have in mind. I was able to go skiing recently and was able to get a few photos.

This was just an alley picture. I used three different editors to get my desired outcome.
Just seeing what I could come up with.
I decided to include this one from work. I usually keep the work pictures separate but I really liked this one. The Santa hand is just an overlay that was included in a bundle I bought and photoshopped in. Then I added some glow and lens flairs.
Since I hadn’t been out with my camera in a while I started editing older photos. This was from a trip to the Hobbit trail on the Oregon coast two months ago.
An old door handle caught my attention. This was what I ended up with after playing with it for a while.
Early morning frost made for a good texture/pattern photo.
From my ski outing.
I added a lens flair and snow texture to enhance this picture.
This was my favorite. I stop by this barn several times a year to get different photos of it. The photo itself was ho hum so I decided to get creative. I used a number of editors to make this image. I’m almost certain I used Luminar 4 to replace the sky, and Lens Distortion app for the flairs and rain overlay.

Heres to hoping that everyone has a better 2021!


Getting Ready For The Holidays

When 2020 started I never imagined it would end like this. Here we are in the middle of a pandemic, and the holidays just don’t feel the same. I’m generally a glass half full person so although many functions and get togethers are being canceled I know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve been using my free time to study up on Photoshop and other editing programs. Just before this second lockdown I was trying to get out more and learn the different features of the many cameras I’ve now collected. I had finally collected everything on my wish list from 2 years ago. Then in October updated versions of most of my toys came out with new features. I’ve decided to focus on mastering what I already own. I’ll wait out the vicious short lived 2 year cycle technology seems to have. When I got back into photography after a long hiatus I thought it would be so much cheaper since I didn’t have to buy and process film all the time. Now with all the subscriptions and keeping up with technology it can still be a really expensive hobby.

I found some fun brushes for the procreate app… just experimenting.
I wanted to see what I could do with overlays. I used an older keyhole picture I had.
A work photo. Oregon is only allowing outdoor dining currently. I should be back to bartending once indoor dining is allowed.
I went really experimental here with my coffee mug.
Someone in the neighborhood must be feeding this little critter because it wasn’t afraid of me and almost looked like it was begging.
This was the most experimental one.
This is one of my favorite barns to photograph. I drive by there several times a year. It’s good to visit a photographic scene under differing conditions/time of year and seeing if you can come up with a different picture.
I wanted to make this wagon wheel look old timey. I converted to black and white added some blur and a scratch filter.
Another perspective on that barn.
Floating barn… fun with Photoshop. I was figuring out how to make a shadow by replicating the barn flipping it and painting it black. I still enjoying making photographic creations and will continue to improve with repetition.
Happy Holidays 2020! Hope everyone is safe and well!