More Photos from the Colorado State Forest

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Last summer we spent two nights at the Crags Campground in the Colorado State Forest.  Wonderful quiet little campground.  The combination of the 10,000’ altitude and the rough dirt road to get there helps keep crowd size down.  We spent one day hiking to American Lakes (as shown in the WIRR from the week).


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Here are two more shots of approaching storm clouds in the American Lakes Basin.


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One of the nice things about the hike is that we were able to start right from our campsite.  



The last day we drove to a different part of the park and hiked to Ruby Jewel Lake.  That’s the location of the opening shot to this blog post, as well as this more traditional landscape picture.


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Waterfall on the trail down:

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As we drove home, we spotted a gigantic bull moose hanging out roadside:

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An aside: Brushes in Aperture 3


While processing these two moose photos, as well as the cover image and the traditional landscape shot, I discovered how much I LOVE the brushes in Aperture 3. These brushes work by allowing you to “brush out” a global adjustment to a photo (you can also “brush in” an adjustment to a particular area). I’ll use the moose photo as an example. Here’s the original moose photo:

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Notice how the background is pale and washed out looking compared to the version above?  The clouds and oh yes, total raining downpour, didn’t help.  The traditional solution is to apply a Levels adjustment.  Here’s where that got me:


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Um, yeah…. Nice background, but the moose looks awful, much too dark.  Using the brush tool in Aperture 3, I painted over the moose, and removed the adjustment- from just that part of the image.  Yes, you can do this in Photoshop, by creating multiple layers, selecting the moose and copying it into a different layer, and so forth.  I did it in Aperture in about 3 minutes- even with feathering the edge between the moose and the background.  Personally, I can’t do ANYTHING in Photoshop in under 15 minutes.



The brushes in Aperture 3 work with the Enhance tools (definition, saturation, vibrancy, etc.), Levels, Highlights & Shadows, Color, Black and White conversion (see lead image in this blog post), Edge Sharpening, even with Curves.  Very cool.

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