Category Archives: Nik Software

Wyoming Horses

In Grand Teton National Park there is the Triangle-X Dude Ranch and one of the many things they offer is horseback riding.  Guests are able to ride the millions of acres of land around Grand Teton National Park, Bridger Teton National Forest and Bridger Teton National Wilderness areas.  The grazing pasture is across the road from the ranch and on certain mornings they will herd the horses and run them across the road to the Ranch for guests to be able to ride the horses that day.

This particular morning I captured these Wyoming horses trotting from the pasture to the ranch across the road and it made for a perfect Wyoming scene with the Grand Teton Mountain Range in the background. The warm morning light made the horses glow and highlighted the sage brush surrounding them.

I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to the Grand Tetons again.  The mountains and surrounding scenery are just amazing! It’s a place you must see once in your lifetime.

Wyoming Horses

Wyoming Horses | Click to Enlarge/Purchase

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Public Restroom Cisco Utah

Here’s a little change of pace today from Cisco, Utah.  Cisco is a ghost town in Utah near the junction of SR-128 and I-70. At one time the town served as a saloon and water-refilling station for the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad. The town has many remnants of the railroad glory days, but now has been filled with abandoned vehicles and has become victim of vandals and heavy damage. This town is perfect for a little HDR photography and shooting the town at the high noon hour it’s also a chance to use your black and white photography to capture contrasts.

I decide to mix the two today and create a little piece of Americana today. Here’s my artistic vision on the town’s public restroom (outhouse) that sits on the edge of town with the La Sal Mountains as a backdrop. I wanted to give this image an old yellowed film image look. This is a 5-image HDR processed in Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finalized it in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Public Restroom - Cisco Utah

Public Restroom – Cisco Utah – Click to Enlarge/Purchase

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El Capitán – Pikes Peak

The original spanish settlers called this mountain El Capitán. It wasn’t until later in 1806 when Zebulon Pike discovered it that it was renamed to Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak is one of 54 fourteeners in the state of Colorado and the eastern most fourteen thousand foot peak in the United States. The majestic mountain is just 14 miles away from Colorado Springs, but on a clear day you can see this mountain peak from over 70 miles away from Denver, Colorado.

In the gold mining days, 1850′s, you would see the peak from Denver and the slogan became “Pikes Peak or Bust” because the peak was so prominent even though there wasn’t gold discovered in the Pike Peak area until later in Cripple Creek. Coins were minted in Denver in the 1860′s as Pikes Peak Gold.

Katherine Lee Bates wrote America the Beautiful after seeing the view from the top of Pikes Peak. I saw this mountain everyday growing up in Colorado Springs and every time I go to visit my parents it stands tall in front of me reminding me of how grand the mountain truly is today. The view of the large mountain is visible from most east-west streets in Colorado Springs and I never get tired of the view.

I was driving down to Colorado Springs on Mother’s day to visit my parents and Pikes Peak was looming large over the front range on the way down. Snow still covers the mountain top and on this clear day the view was magical with clouds rolling overhead. I had to pull over on the way down and capture this amazing mountain one more time. You can understand why the Spanish Settler’s called it El Capitán – The Captain.

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak – Click to Enlarge or Purchase

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City Park Sunset

The NxNW crew had a great trip out to Moab, but Michael Criswell didn’t have a flight out of Denver until early Tuesday morning so he spent the night at Casa de Louie (my house). I took the opportunity to give Mike a quick tour of Denver Monday evening and based on the weather patterns I had a feeling their was going to be a good sunset that evening. I figured even if we didn’t get a good sunset that Mike would still be able to get a nice skyline shot of Denver over the lake at City Park. It’s one of my favorite views of downtown.

We’ve had a late Spring this year and unfortunately our Cherry Blossoms hadn’t bloomed yet at City Park. I’m still waiting for them to bloom in hopes that I can get another shot at City Park with the blossom trees in their full glory. Anyway, by the time we arrived, the clouds looked like they were setting up nicely and were developing some nice patterns coming over the mountains.  Just before sunset hit, the clouds on the horizon started to break up and color started to develop as the sun dropped behind the mountains giving backlight to the clouds.  This is my capture from that evening.  Be sure to check out Mike Criswell’s image from that wonderful Monday evening in Denver, Colorado.

City Park Sunset - Denver's City Park at Sunset by Rick Louie Photography

Denver’s City Park Sunset – Click to Enlarge/Purchase

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Textures of a Canyonlands Sunrise

There is something awe-inspiring about the textures, layers and tonal compression created by a Canyonlands sunrise. This last trip to Mesa Arch I ventured off for a little perspective of a Canyonlands sunrise and captured this image just after the sun rose above the horizon. I used a Circular Polarizer and a Singh-Ray 3-Stop Graduated ND to tone down the sun and then texture blended 3 exposures to create the textures and a hint of some God beams across the canyon buttes. I considered a black and white image here, but there was something about the warm textures in this color swayed me from converting it to monochrome.

The Textures of a Canyonlands Sunrise

The Textures of a Canyonlands Sunrise | Click to Enlarge/Purchase

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