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2021 Time To Get Going

2020 is behind us. I doubt it is an overstatement to say we are all glad it is now a memory. I have been sitting around way too much. It is time to venture out into the world and discover all that it has to offer. Oh, April and I will be safe. We are not stupid. But hey, enough is enough. I am tired of feeling old. Trying to stay active while most of the time being surrounded by the same old walls is not really good for a person my age and health.

Each day is a new day and if I let it it will be full of new discoveries and new possibilities. To motivate myself I have started to putting together a portfolio website. Just a website of some of my favorite photographs. Each month on this portfolio website we will have a whole new collection of photos. Hopefully they will be quality photographs of what April and I experienced the month before. There will not be any words describing the photographs. It will just be our photos for all to view and enjoy. It is time to get out and see the world.

I guess I should also say that while you can view and enjoy you cannot copy the photos and use them for your personal or professional life. Darn, it is sad that I have to type that. We all should respect each other’s endeavors. But the world is what it is. Anyway, click on Getchius Folio to view the website.

The equipment is all cleaned, the batteries are in the cameras and flashes are all charged, and the car has a full tank of gas. Time to document the world and just maybe snap a few photographs that will make 2021 the year I truly once again become proud of my photography.

Yep, time to stop gaining weight and to get going. Camera for video Nikon D500

Hopefully we all get jabbed soon and life will get back to normal. Have a great 2021. – CLG

New Mexico – Desert and History!

Well…she’s baaack! I have been remiss in preparing a blog – I think the whole quarantine has created a malaise that makes it hard to stay motivated, but I’m back! I’m going to retrace my steps, so to speak. As for all of us, the whole lockdown due to COVID-19 has been wearing and our options for things to do somewhat limited. As the restrictions begin to lift, we are hoping we can begin to get out and about and explore the beautiful country safely. This may turn into more of a travel blog than a photography blog, but should be fun nonetheless, especially as Craig expands my photography lessons. I’m sure there will be plenty to laugh about! So in the spirit of retracing my steps, I’ll revisit a trip we took before all the isolation and lockdowns.

Before the COVID-19 hit, we wanted to get away from the cold weather here in Colorado. We got in the car and headed south to New Mexico as I noted in the last blog. Well, that was interesting. We ended up in Alamogordo, New Mexico and a very desololate area. As I mentioned, our target was White Sands National Park (White Sands National Park). It is very fascinating and full of history. The dunes are stunning and ever changing. The light rolling over the dunes creates a beautiful scene.

White Sands National Park
White Sands National Park

The region is very barren and sparse. There are miles and miles of nothing except sand, cacti and sage brush. It, however, has its own beauty in many ways. The dunes are vast and very different than those found in Southern Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. These dunes are whiter (looks like the area is covered in snow) and a different formation than Great Sand Dunes.

A scene of the vegetation and dunes at White Sands National Prk
A scene of the vegetation and dunes at White Sands National Prk

I was amazed at all the rocket science that has take place there. The area is the home of first atomic bomb testing, just 65 miles from White Sands, part of the Manhattan Project. Even today, the highway nearby closes for a couple of hours at a time for missile launch testing. The International Space Hall of Fame is located in Alamogordo, the town adjacent to the park.

It was established in 1976 to honor those who have contributed to advancements in space. If you are there, it is well worth the trip to see the history, the story behind the inductees. The inductees range from Copernicus to Sally Ride to Carl Sagan to every astronaut and scientist in between. It is also the last resting place of Ham, the first primate launched into space in 1961.

Ham’s gravesite
Ham’s gravesite
Ham’s space suit!
Ham’s space suit!

The museum is very well done and lots of fun. The visitors ranged from older folks to young families and had many hands-on exhibits. There areas designed as the Star Trek’s transporter room!

Beam me up!
Beam me up!

But the history the Hall of Fame captures is amazing and stirring. You’re reminded of the risk of the brave souls that took off in space flight – some giving the ultimate sacrifice. Others working against all odds to advance science, technology and our world!

Robert Goddard display
Robert Goddard display

In short, if you ever get the chance, the trip to the International Space Hall of Fame is well worth it!

I love my scooter

Been Revamping My Life

If you wonder where I have gone and why I have not been posting as of late it’s because I got myself in a funk.

The virus, my age, caring about my wife kind of got me stagnant in life. Do not get me wrong, we have on occasions gotten out and about. Just not often. Also a couple of times each month we were able to do some fun photography. It’s just I got into this funk of what the heck, stuff can wait until tomorrow, then tomorrow, and tomorrow after that. You get the idea. It is called not caring and laziness. That was stupid on my part.

Now, I am going to stop talking about it and maybe in other posts explain a little further. Actually, some of it is kind of funny. Anyway, In starting to get back in the swing of things I came across a blog post that I had started and never finished. Here it is. Hmmm, after reading it I have the feeling I did post but in looking over past post I can’t find it. Aging is so much fun. That was written sarcastically.

My Scooter, My Wife, And Photography

I am a lucky guy. My wife has to put up with a lot of crazy photographic ideas that I come up. When I told her I wanted her to come outside and take pictures of my shadow while I rode my scooter up and down the street she rolled her eyes. I don’t think she really wanted to do this little photo project. She was probably thinking that “crazy Craig.” Of course she is good to me and a good sport and did it anyway.

I love my scooter. It is great for going around town taking snapshots. Riding around on a scooter with a Fuji camera slung over my shoulder feels really good. Photos that I have taken that way are for another time and another post. For today, here are some photos that the wife captured for this little photo project of mine. Thank you April.

Camera was the Fuji X-T1 with the Fuji lens FX35mm F2 R Wr attached. Just having fun with the camera. Photographer: The April D. Getchius




The photo shoot was fun and easy. Doing simple things with a camera and photographing the simple things can be rewarding. I even think April enjoyed herself. Note: over the last few years Fuji has followed up the X-T1 with the X-T2, the X-T3, and the X-T4. I now own a X-T3. My favorite of all those cameras is still the X-T1. There is something about that little camera that is a joy to use. It is still a great street photography camera. – CLG

Yes, Snow in Colorado

April and I took a little drive To Rocky Mountain National Park today. Here is a little video, using a Go Pro and the Nikon Z6. It was quickly edited in Adobe Rush on the iPad.

Ok, below is the proof that we are actually having snow in Colorado on September 9, 2020. I think it is safe to say 2020 has been a strange year. CLG &ADG

September 9, 2020 in Colorado

Watching her learn is fun

My wife has slowly been learning how to video. Here is a link to an example of her work in progress at White Sands National Park. The video is raw and some of the video was captured with a dirty sensor. When I have time I am going to have to remove those sensor spots. That is not as easy in video as it is with digital photographs. Still, the video is rather enjoyable to watch. I have to admit I have really enjoyed watching her learn how to video. Both my wife and I are not exactly young in age. Yet, in so many ways we are still young at heart. Learning new things helps keep life interesting. Also being around someone who is enjoying experiencing new ways of looking at life is enriching to me. Getting out, though not around other people, sure has made life easier during the pandemic. I am so lucky to have a love one around me during these trying times.

CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO

Notes: All the video clips were captured using either a Nikon Z6 or Nikon D850 cameras. The point of this learning exercise was to do the video and post processing as simple as possible. Therefore the time-lapse clips were process in camera. Post processing was accomplished on an iPad using the Adobe’s Rush App. In this case the editing and merging clips were rather simple and hurried. One could do the same edits with free Apps such as Apple’s Movies. Hope you enjoy. – CLG

A Simple Stuck At Home Photo Project.

Macro photography is not my forte and yes, this photo is rather cliche. Nevertheless taking this viola flower photo was rather fun and easy to do. Wish I had a different color background and a spray bottle to mist the flower. Tonight I just might raid the wife’s fabric stash that she using for her various sewing project. Ace Hardware is open so I might also stop by the store and pick up a bottle to spray flowers.

Anyway, this photograph was from a single candescent light. The viola was placed in a pan of water that was wrapped in black fabric and the same black fabric was used as a background. The water with the black fabric underneath helped create the reflection of the flower. Moving the light source around will create different degrees of reflection of the flower in the water. To keep the flower from falling over I weighed it down with a paper clip.

The camera I used was the the Nikon D850 and the lens was a AF-S Micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8. This combination of camera and lens is great, especially if your goal is to create a print that will be rather large. Also to create this photo I used focus stacking that was post processed in Adobe Photoshop. You don’t need to do focus stacking to create amazing results. But without it some of the flower would not have been in focus. Also you could get as basic as using the camera on your phone and get fantastic results.

Since taking this photo my imagination has been going crazy with different ideas to create a different and/or a better image. I am discovering the key to creating interesting macro photos is to just keep trying new ideas. Yes, let your imagination flow. Hopefully, I will have more to share with you soon.

Hang in there. Things will get better. – CLG

Stuck At Home, Keeping Your Photography Skills Sharp

On Instagram the photographer Joe McNally, posted a wonderful idea of how to keep your photographic skills sharp while waiting out the Corona Virus. Here is the the link: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-w8pN7AJSt/?igshid=1gt4aes1pu3xn Joe McNally is famous for his flash photography. If you want to check out his images go here: https://portfolio.joemcnally.com/index

I have a pretty good collection of tabletop photo books. On this Easter Sunday I am enjoying and studying the book “Bill Brandt Shadow & Light.” As I turn the pages and admire Brandt’s wonderful black and white images I am getting the overwhelming urge to get out and capture the world through my viewfinder. Also, photo project ideas are starting to race around in my head. In my To Do app I have started a brainstorm category and am listing all my photo project ideas and types of creative photography and videos I would like to do. I can’t wait to start getting back out into this wonderful world of ours. I bet that will happen sooner than I imagine.

One of my brainstorms was trying to do a little ink and water videos. It was fun yet very amateurish. Here is a link to the result: https://adobe.ly/2Vl86Gk Now I figure if I am going to showcase something that I still need more practice I might as well go all the way. If you turn the volume up really loud you can here me trying to pound out the song “Bottle of Wine” written by Tom Paxton. Hey, A few months ago, because of my neurological problems I couldn’t even finger a cord. Everything is getting so much better. Camera used for this project was the Nikon D850 and a 60mm Macro Lens. Peace, Love and Victory.

Oops, it doesn’t seem the sound for the video uploaded. That is probably a good thing. Nevertheless,I will see if I can fix that.

Happy Easter. CLG

RAW and JEPG – Just A Friendly Reminder

Please note that I started creating this post over a year ago. That was before I got sick. Well, I came across it yesterday and started to delete it. Though it is incomplete I think it gives enough food for thought to those just starting photography to check out shooting RAW. For those who are homebound and have not used RAW before this might be the perfect time to play around with it.

I have a few friends that continue to snap images in the JPEG format. They think it is easier than shooting RAW and really don’t want to take the time to do any post processing. As a photographer it is hard for me to wrap my brain around their logic. In today’s photographic world it just doesn’t make sense.

When shooting JPEGs you are so limited in your ability to get the best photo possible. You are kind of stuck with what you shoot is what you get. When shooting in the RAW format, unless you severely overexpose your photo, the possibilities to improve your photo are numerous.

Below is a facsimile of the original RAW photo. It should be noted this is what a JPEG photo would look like from the camera. It is kind of nice but also rather bland. There is no detail in the trees. The sky is rather boring and throughout the photo detail is somewhat muted.

RMNP Orginal RAW Example Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park

Now after a little under one minute of post processing the RAW photo here is what you can get. Plus all these edits can be reversed and or changed and there is no damage to the original photo.

Rocky Mountian Park after Post ProcessingSame photo after post processing in Raw

Big difference between the two photos. Maybe the second photo is kind of over done. Nevertheless, you get the point and no, you couldn’t do the same thing if the original file had been a JPEG.

Just a few years ago shooting RAW could be time consuming and to have the proper software to use all the features of the RAW format could get expensive. That is not true today.

  1. Most SLR and Mirrorless cameras that have the ability to shoot RAW also has the ability to post process within the camera from RAW files to JPEG or TIFF files. Then saving both file formats.
  2. Most DSLR and Mirrorless cameras that have the ability to shoot RAW files also has the option to simultaneously save photos in the RAW and JPEG file format.
  3. At one time the only way to post process RAW files was to do it on a computer. Today most of our phones and tablets can import and view RAW files.
  4. Today you don’t need a computer to post process RAW files. Most phone and tablets have the ability to post process the RAW files. As an example you can do limited editing of RAW files in Apple’ Photos.
  5. On the iPhone and or the iPad there are numerous apps that you can purchase for a onetime fee that will do about everything and more than you will want to do with a RAW file. While I mostly use Adobe products, my favorite App in this regard is Affinity Photo. Price for Affinity Photo on iPad is $19.99. As I update this they have a special of 50% off, $9.99. Don’t know how long that will last. Nevertheless there are plenty of other apps available to process RAW files and for creative photography that get fantastic reviews.
  6. You can use your camera in your phone or tablet to shoot RAW. On the iPhone and iPad I use Adobe Lightroom to take pictures in the raw format. I have an Adobe subscription service. If not a professional that can get rather expensive. There are other apps out there that also allows you to use the iPhone camera or iPad camera to photograph in RAW that will be much less expensive. I haven’t used any of these and don’t know how good they are. I advise doing some research on these apps before purchasing.

If you are going to be shooting RAW and printing large photographs it is still best to do so on a computer. It is much easier. For those who aren’t in need of 16 by 20 inch prints or larger you can get a lot accomplished with just your phone and tablet.

I haven’t taken the time to list all the reasons it is best to use the RAW file format in your camera. This is just to get you started thinking about the possibility of using RAW when you are photographing. To learn more do an internet search “Benefits of shooting RAW.” In doing so you will find a lot of useful information.

Stay Healthy. – CLG

April’s First Blog

New April Blogging

April in a canyon

Being a nature photographer takes patience, perseverance, and talent. Except for the talent part, these also apply to the spouse of a nature photographer! My name is April Getchius and I’m married to Craig Getchius, a photographer. Traveling with him to some of the most beautiful places is the best part of my “job”. I act as his “mule” helping him carry equipment, running back to the car for a filter or a lens. We often joke that he really knows how to show me a good time! There are times when we sit for periods waiting for the light to change, waiting for animals to appear, or waiting for the time lapse to finish. Yet, somehow, these times, which some would say are boring, often provide some of the best memories for me.
With the self-isolation we are all experiencing now, Craig has resurrected his CLG Photography Blog and I’m going to contribute now and then. It may provide a slightly different perspective and a bit of recognition for the significant others that support photographers everywhere!
Craig and I are based in Colorado and have so much beauty at our fingertips! We have traveled the area a great deal and have seen amazing vistas, beautiful animals, and gorgeous skies. Craig has been expanding my role from “mule” to assistant videographer. He’s teaching me about photography, lighting, F stops, and more. It has been so much fun.
One of my favorite times is when he taught me how to “paint” with light near Rocky Mountain National Park. It is amazing what impact a simple flashlight can have and the drama it creates. I’ll write about that at a later date.

My assistance can be invaluable in a pinch! On a recent trip to White Sands National Park, Craig had an issue with the sensor of a camera. It had dirt on it and was presenting spots on the photos and videos. We were in a remote location in New Mexico (think scenes from “Breaking Bad”) with not so much as a Best Buy within miles. Craig didn’t have his equipment to clean the sensor but my maternal experience kicked in! “How about using one of those baby nasal aerators to blow the dirt off of the sensor?” Well, off to Walgreen’s we went (because there IS one of those on every corner, even in remote New Mexico!). The baby section had just what we were looking for and it worked – at least in the short term. Two heads can be better than one!
I will write more of our experiences – good, bad, funny and frustrating- all from my perspective. I hope you enjoy. – ADG