Mackerricher State Park

One Four Challenge: February Wk 1

Photo By: Carrie

Anther month turning over on the calendar means another photograph to learn from. I decided to challenge myself this month with this macro image. It is of an Ice Plant which grows all along the shoreline here. I have seen the blossoms in purple and yellows. This is a very aggressive plant that is not native to this area. (more…)

One Four Challenge– December wk 4

Week four is here. I really appreciate all the comments and feedback from last week. I had fun with the artistic textures and I feel like I want to explore that realm of editing more. It is very satisfying for me.

Here are all the different versions of this month of editing including this week’s version and the original image.

Mackerricher State Park, Fort Bragg CA

This week I started playing with different color tones. For some reason this week, I was drawn to the cool tones. It made the image feel like a brisk morning, before the sun was close to rising. There was a mood of seeing the morning moon on the horizon and being the only one awake. I like how this version makes me want to stay quiet and gives me the sensation of being there, my breath cold and steaming and the beautiful morning stillness surrounding me.

Photo By: Carrie


  • I started with the image from week 2 and added the cold tone preset from Lightroom
  • I dropped the exposure a bit and played with the highlights, dropping those as well.
  • Then I added a bit of blue and aqua saturation and hue, trying to bring out the brilliance of the sky and a subtle reflection on the water too
  • I love playing with the clarity, for this image I dropped it significantly. I liked the effect on the clouds in particular and it gave the image a frosty air to it as well.
  • Then I lifted some of the shadows and blacks and added a few ticks of highlights to lift the image, it was looking too dark

And, for the most part I felt satisfied with this result. The water may have a tad too much blue in it, but I am going with it.

I can’t believe how much I learned this month from feeling much more comfortable with radial filters to using ND filters too! I have had a lot of fun, I know I keep saying that…but it is really true.

If you would be so kind, please vote on your favorite image and any feedback on this image would be great too! Here are the versions from start to finish and the poll is below. The other favor I ask of you is to go to Robyn’s Captivate Me post for this week HERE and check out all the great work! You can look up all the participants in your tag search as well, look for “One Four Challenge”. Thanks so much.

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Wild Wave

Photo By: Carrie

Mackerricher State Park, Fort Bragg CA

We went down to the beach before the sun was setting when we were camping here a couple of weeks ago. My boys were digging through the dark sand uncovering shells and special rocks. My eyes intensely fixed on this set of beautiful rocks rising up from the ocean floor. (more…)

One Four Challenge- December wk 3

Week 3, for December is here. I must admit, I have wanted to turn one of my images into an art piece for some time. I had not idea how to do it. I have seen many bloggers claim it was easy, just a click or two. But, I didn’t believe them.

Well, now I do. In November’s challenge, Sari, did an oil painting process on her sweet forest mushroom. It was so beautiful and I knew I wanted to choose an image for December where I thought I might be able to try it. She was kind enough to tell me what program she used, I was very happy to see it was free and simple to figure out. I downloaded a copy of FotoSketcher and started playing.

At first I thought I wanted a watercolor, it seemed the most logical transition. You have a few options including the edge threshold, overall contrast and lightening/darkening parameters. There are multiple types of drawing types too from pencil, to pen, many paint mediums and even cartoon options. I used week 2’s version for the starting point.

Photo By: Carrie

I liked the watercolor quite a bit, it was really cool to watch it come to life. But then I tried the pencil sketch 3 (color) option. I really liked it. I fiddled with the contrast, color intensity and brush stroke length some more until I was settled with the results. I will say, it isn’t like Lightroom where your edits are happening in real-time. I would make a change, press “draw”, see what happened, make another change, “draw”, repeat. But, it was great fun.

Photo By: Carrie

I settled on this version, I really appreciate the light reflections.

Please let me know your thoughts and ideas, it is great to hear from you and learn. Looking forward to seeing all the other submissions this week as well. If you wondering and interested in getting involved in this challenge, head over to Robyn’s blog Captivate Me HERE, and check out her post with all the details, then scroll to the comments to find other participants or check out the tag “One Four Challenge”.

Follow Up– Where to Crop?

Photo By: Carrie

This was a very useful exercise, I posted on Thursday asking for some help with this image. I realize now, I was so fixed on the rocks and timing the wave splash that I didn’t pay attention to where they were in the frame. Oh, so much to learn… (more…)

Where to crop?

This is a bit of an unconventional post, I guess. I am asking for some help.

I posted these images on my Facebook page yesterday and received some great feedback from friends and family. But, now I think I have more questions than answers. Let me explain.

I took this image on our recent trip to Fort Bragg, at Mackerricher State Park. The sun was setting, it was within the golden hour and the waves and ocean shore were very picturesque.

I am happy with the coloring in the color image and the black and white image is getting there…but I can’t find the right place to crop either of these images. In its original size, it feels like there is too much ocean and sky. The rocks, which I appreciate get lost, to me.

Photo By: Carrie