Hmmm...still slacking off, aren't I? Too many other things going on.
I really like the techniques I've been learning from Dan Margulis' book Photoshop LAB Color - The Canyon Conundrum and I'm sorry that I came to this party so late. I've struggled for a while to process desert and canyon photos to get realistic color that represents how I saw the scene. There is a wealth of color in those rocks, but it's subtle and hard to capture. I usually had to rely on multiple layer masks and combinations of Nik filters to try to get close, but I was never 100% happy with the results and sometimes spent days playing around with just one image. That's probably one of the biggest reasons that I haven't been processing all of my photos from my treks - there's just not enough time.
Well let me tell you, just the tricks learned in the first chapter of this book were eye opening and amazing. I'm about halfway through the book now, and I can't wait to finish. It has changed my whole thought process as to how I want to process my desert and canyon images. I went back and reprocessed some images from a hike Bill and I made in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness area to see the six million year old wind caves last March, and I did a side-by-side comparision with the images I had processed in RGB. I had left the images I did in LAB color a bit more subtle than I had the ones in RGB, but they look much more realistic and there is a tremendous difference in the amount of subtle detail retained, especially when viewed at full size.
I was so happy with the results that I processed all of the photos from the trip and uploaded them with a trail report to my web page. You can view the trail report here. I'd eventually like to have an entire section of my website dedicated to trail reports, both hiking and 4WD.
BTW, we continue to have earthquakes in that same area, several over 3.0. There was one last week, then we had a 3.9 Tuesday afternoon that gave a really good jolt, followed by a few just under 2.0 later that evening which were probably aftershocks. Wonder if it's just a coincidence that September is National Preparedness Month?