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Little Jerusalem Chalk Bad Lands

Every year I take an annual trip to Estes Park Colorado with my friends Tim and Bryan. Usually, it’s in May, but we have added a September trip to the mix as well. The point of this road trip is to do some hiking, take photo’s, relax and enjoy, weather permitting. I say that because sometimes Mother Nature decides overcast is all she is going to give us and it doesn’t make for very dramatic images. This year was one of those years. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t try, and actually Tim and Bryan got some pretty decent images in Rocky Mountain National Park. Uninspired by the overcast and not feeling the photo love, I busted out the Moment Macro lens for the iPhone and tried a completely different approach to things with mixed results. The good news is, Kansas showed us the love.

Driving to Estes involves taking I-70 for 9 to 10 hours across the great expanse of Kansas, and while most people think of Kansas as a “fly-over” state, it’s probably because they have never taken the time to venture off the freeway or see the Tallgrass Prairie lush from spring rains. For the last few years, we have broken up the drive by stopping in Oakley and the following morning making an excursion to a couple of landmarks about 30 minutes Southwest of the city and the freeway. Last year it was Monument Rocks. This year we hit the “Little Jerusalem Chalk Bad Lands” which is now a state park and will open to the public in June. I’m glad we did because Mother Nature smiled on us with a brilliant clear spring morning that gave us perfect golden light.

The photos below don’t do the size of this chalk formation justice. The columns rise at least 30 to 40 feet in some areas and Little Jerusalem spreads out over a couple of square miles. We only explored a small section, and I need to go back for some night photography and to get a better feel for how large this place really is. If you have time to make the detour and stop I highly recommend it.

A couple of things to point out. Currently (May 2017) this place is gated and there are No Trespassing signs up. Before June enter at your own risk. If you spend the night in Oakley or arrive at the wrong time of the day, be prepared for an olfactory overload. There are a feed lot and a hog farm right off the main drag and the stink can be pretty overpowering if there is no breeze. It was so bad when we arrived I almost lost my lunch when I got out of the car. The good news is, both Monument rocks and Little Jerusalem are far enough away, you won’t smell it there. You will also want to go in some sort of SUV. The roads to both are dirt and gravel and can be a bit rough. My GTI would have had a hard time negotiating some of them.

All photos were shot in RAW on my Olympus OMD EM-1 with the 12-40mm and processed with Lightroom, Photoshop, and NIK Color FX Pro.

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StackSocial is Offering Adobe KnowHow: Learn Photography for 35 Bucks.

Well today Apple officially stopped development for Aperture it’s professional editing and organization software. I have to admit, I never used it. I have the Adobe creative Suite which includes Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop, so Aperture was never really on my radar. With Adobe’s workflow engrained in me, there was never really a need to use it. I have to say I’m sad to see Aperture go away though. Competition is good, and Adobe has gone from the 800 pound gorilla to King Kong, which makes me a little uncomfortable.

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If you haven’t been an Adobe user, and are now feeling the need to learn their tool set, you are in luck. Stack Social is offering Adobe KnowHow:Learn Photography for just $34.99, and the online education suite will train you up. If you are already an Adobe CC user, you still might want to look into this. I’m thinking with more than 200 lectures and 27 hours of content you are definitely going to learn a thing or two no matter what skill level you are at.

80,000 Photos Combine to Make 1 Film.

It’s Friday, and it’s time to be inspired. Well at least it’s time for me to be inspired. This morning while going over the curriculum for a day long seminar on video editing later this month a friend of mine sent me the link to the video below. Talk about editing. This video was shot and edited by  on his trusty Canon 5D Mk III. It is made up of 80 000 photos shot this last 3 years in various cities, Paris, Barcelona, Hossegor, Venice, Toulouse, Martinique, New York City, Montpellier. The film was edited using Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro with sound design being done with Pro Tools. The result is pretty inspiring. Talk about having a passion for photography, and a desire to create more than a single still image.