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Brian W. Downs
12,868 followers -
No. I'm not an engineer, but I play one in real life.
No. I'm not an engineer, but I play one in real life.

12,868 followers
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Brian W.'s posts

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A fresh image from a recent outing one summer morning. Captured at one of my favorite places around... Emerald Isle, NC. It's not often I find my way to the beach though. It's usually a backup plan because there is so much in the area to find interesting. Sometimes weather conditions bump it to the top of the list. This was one such morning. A nice sandbar just underwater helped utilize the water as a foreground and the moon helped balance the top of the image.

#visitnc #landscapephotography #hqsplandscape´╗┐
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Last week I pleased to find out that +Jaguar USA licensed one of my Raleigh sunrise pictures and it is on their website. Stopped by the local dealership to see if it was also in their printed material (they licensed a print quality version), but no such luck.

See more here: http://brianwdowns.com/

+Jaguar #raleigh ┬á´╗┐
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Glacier NP

The wonderful light creeping through the clouds to light up the small foreground tree helped anchor this expansive scene. Upon taking the image I knew it would be a while before I could process it. The time to do so came recently.

One of my goals this year was to spend time learning +Adobe Photoshop. There are just some images that Lightroom can't handle. Such as this image that exceeded the dynamic range of the camera sensor and needed to be blended via HDR Pro. This is the result of five images, all 1EV apart.

How did the processing go? See any faults or areas that require improvement?

See more images here:
http://brianwdowns.com/ (Currently down for maintenance!?!?!?)
http://www.facebook.com/brianwdownsphotography

#mountainmonday +Michael Russell 

+Landscape Photography #landscapephotography +Margaret Tompkins #hqsplandscape ┬á´╗┐
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Love the creativity.´╗┐
Here's my first photo of 2015. I was back at the beach for New Years. A bright moon was out and the Milky Way wasn't visible, but I did find a meticulously crafted maze someone had left in the sand. For scale, I'd say it was 70 or 80 feet across. I knew with a long enough exposure in the moonlight that the maze would show up but not stand out. I decided to set up the camera with the shutter open while I walked the maze with my flashlight pointed at the ground. I hoped that this would produce a sci-fi effect and also help the maze pattern stand out.

It took me several minutes to walk the entire maze. On my first few attempts I would get off course in the dark. When I did finally succeed on walking the entire maze without a mistake I found that one section was a closed loop so I didn't walk there and it didn't get illuminated. My solution was to take another exposure walking just the closed loop so I could later blend it in for an uninterrupted illuminated path. If you look closely you will see small gaps in the light path. This is where my legs blocked the light momentarily.

I also took a separate 20 second exposure to use for the sky. The longer exposures featured short star trails that didn't really look right.

This entire process took about an hour and I was racing against the incoming tide. Shortly after I completed my exposures the waves began erasing the maze and by morning it was completely gone. It was a bit of luck to find the maze so thanks to whoever made it. Certainly a memorable way to bring in the new year.

My camera settings for the long exposure were f/6.3 at ISO 200 and the shutter was open for about six minutes while I walked the maze´╗┐
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10 of 2014 Top 10

I'll keep this short and say it was a wonderfully productive year. Glad it's over, but even more glad that another year is ahead. The best image is the one yet to come! Do you agree?

See the rest of the 10 here: http://brianwdowns.com/top-10-photos-of-2014/

See more images here:
http://brianwdowns.com/
http://www.facebook.com/brianwdownsphotography

#landscapephotography +Landscape Photography Community +Landscape Photography +Margaret Tompkins #hqsplandscape ┬á´╗┐
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Fantastic image by another Raleigh photo +Peyton Hale.

Please +1 and comment on original post.´╗┐
Ray of Light
Machu Picchu, Peru

The Inca ruins of Machu Picchu are lit from an afternoon break in the high clouds during our visit back in May for my inaugural +The Giving Lens  trip with +Michael Bonocore 

I'm excited to be heading back this May to lead a group through the streets of Cusco, work with the wonderful NGO +Picaflor House   Community Project and of course explore the ruins of Machu Picchu!

For more information about TGL Peru, the NGO we work with and the application process, follow the link below:
http://thegivinglens.com/workshops/tgl-peru/

Our trips are open to photographers of all skill levels and travel experience. Come join us in making a difference through travel and photography.

Cheers!

#peru #machupicchu #travelphotography #thegivinglens ┬á´╗┐
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Nine of 2014 Top 10

The shape of the dogwood tree completely grabbed my attention and the roots amazed me. This tree was a trooper. It had been banged up in the past and was still holding on.

At the time, it was raining which provided soft overcast light and a nice slick appearance to the rocks. A polarizing filter cut down on the reflections and a long exposure allowed the water to smooth out. The form of the tree seems to embrace the flowing water. Almost capturing the force of the water. Very similar to how this tree has had to embrace and overcome the force of water throughout its life.

This one hails from the Great Smoky Mountain NP and was taken while assisting +Richard Bernabe on his incredible Spring workshop. He is running two next year and has open slots. I highly suggest anyone interested to look into them here: http://www.richardbernabe.com/smokies_spring_workshop2015.htm

You will not be disappointed.

Compression on this one is terrible, especially around the blooms. See the rest of the 10 here: http://brianwdowns.com/top-10-photos-of-2014/

See more images here:
http://brianwdowns.com/
http://www.facebook.com/brianwdownsphotography

#landscapephotography +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins #hqsplandscape ┬á´╗┐
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Eight of 2014 Top 10

This was an elusive shot pre-planned shot. It was pre-visualized and then chased on at least six morning. My luck arrived in the form a beautiful sunrise and a mimicking cloud formation. Personally the chase made the reward that much sweeter. Do you think it deserves a Top 10 spot?

See the rest of the 10 here: http://brianwdowns.com/top-10-photos-of-2014/

See more images here:
http://brianwdowns.com/
http://www.facebook.com/brianwdownsphotography

#landscapephotography +Margaret Tompkins #hqsplandscape +Zvonimir Fras +Alycia Miller +Visit North Carolina #visitnc +Our State Magazine┬á´╗┐
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Seven of 2014 Top 10

This shot was made over Memorial Day weekend and wasn't a planned shot. Rather a "show up and figure it out" scenario.

The lighting on this one is a complete mix bag. The foreground support was lightpainted with a white LED flashlight. The second layer of sand was cast in a strong yellow light from a bright incandescent bulb. The first light of the day is coming up above the horizon and provides a nice red/yellow glow. The sky is still bathed in rich royal blue because the sun was still ~1 hour away from truly rising.

Shot at a higher ISO (1600) than necessary so the crescent moon wouldn't shift to much. An exposure of 4 seconds was used to help it keep its shape. The camera was set low to the ground. The tripod had to be shifted between each frame to ensure the celestial subjects remained properly framed.

See the rest of the 10 here (website is running slow, and the theme is currently out of commission???)
http://brianwdowns.com/top-10-photos-of-2014/

See more images here:
http://brianwdowns.com/
http://www.facebook.com/brianwdownsphotography

#landscapephotography #hqsplandscape ┬á´╗┐
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Sixth of 2014 Top 10

This image was taken close to home while out scouting a location for another image. The soft yellow light on the tree captured my attention and the resulting images become one of my favorites. The bank had given way and the tree fallen over with just a portion dipping underwater. The lack of a breeze kept the lake water clam during the capture. Finding situations like this close to home is what keeps me exploring the area around me.

I've since visited the tree and it is completely dead. So there are now no chance of making a similar image with fall colors.

Quick recap of recent posts:
Goals: http://brianwdowns.com/2014-photography-goals-recap-goals-2015/
Book review can be found at:
http://brianwdowns.com/inner-game-of-outdoor-photography-by-galen-rowell/
Cold weather gear: http://brianwdowns.com/my-cold-weather-landscape-photography-gear-2014/

See more images here (top 10 post coming soon):
http://brianwdowns.com/
http://www.facebook.com/brianwdownsphotography

#landscapephotography +Landscape Photography +Margaret Tompkins #hqsplandscape #raleighnc ┬á´╗┐
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