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Sunset Serenade, Instagram post date: 01-26-2017

Celebration of Fine Art, Instagram post date:

Photo taken at: Celebration of Fine Art

Photo Caption: A pair of saguaros have the perfect view at sunset in the Sonoran Desert of North Scottsdale, Arizona.

View & purchase my fine art photography now through the end of March at @celebrationoffineart in Scottsdale, Arizona.
#ArizonaIsGorgeous #arizona #scottsdale #celebrationoffineart #desert #sunset #saguaro #cactus #fineart #fineartphotography #sonorandesert #landscapephotography #landscapelovers #desertsky #desertlife #unlimitedsunset #mattsuessphoto #arizona_photolife

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A New Hope – Superstition Mountains in Arizona

New Years Day.

It is filled with hope for the new year as we throw away the worries from the previous year and try to start fresh for the upcoming year.

Every day Mother Nature gives me hope with her beautiful display of color and life. And on New Years Day in 2015 in particular Mother Nature didn’t disappoint. For on this day hope was shown in the form of a fresh snowfall in the Phoenix desert with gorgeous late afternoon light, providing those around to see an unusual display of beauty and life.

A New Hope 1400

“A New Hope”
Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, Arizona.
Photographed on New Years Day, 2015

I was waiting here for 2 hours just before sunset at the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, Arizona filled with hope. The sky was providing some wonderful looking clouds and the sun behind me be looked like it was going to give me a quite show just before sunset.

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The making of my blood moon lunar eclipse photo Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of how I photographed the blood moon lunar eclipse on April 15th.
For info on how I photographed it with camera settings visit part 1. Here in part 2 I talk about how I enhanced it on the computer.

Following the 5 hours or so of sleep I got after photographing the lunar eclipse till 2:45 in the morning I began to create the final image on my 15″ MacBook Pro laptop.

The saguaro cactus scene that was photographed with my Sony a7 and Sony FE 35mm f2.8 lens was processed in the RAW converter Capture One Pro.

Looking at a before and after photo of the enhancements made in Capture One Pro.

Looking at a before and after photo of the enhancements made in Capture One Pro.

In the above screen shot you can see a before (bottom photo) and an after photo in C1. I made a number of slight tonal adjustments and color/saturation adjustments. I also corrected the perspective of the photo to remove distortion brought on by the wide angle lens, and corrected some lens vignetting. Notice the shadow detail I was able to bring out of the original photo. I have found I can pull out a great deal of shadow detail from the Sony a7/a7R cameras and Capture One Pro.

I exported the processed file as a tiff file to my computer, then opened it up in Perfect Layers in Perfect Photo Suite 8. While Perfect Photo can be opened as a plugin from Photoshop, I prefer to use it as a standalone program.

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The making of my blood moon lunar eclipse photo Part 1 of 2

In part 2 you can read how I enhanced and built the composite photo using Capture One Pro and Perfect Photo Suite 8. Read it here.

Overnight on April 14 through early morning April 15th we were treated to a wonderful total eclipse of the moon that at it’s peak turned the moon a blood red color. The eclipse was visible to most of North and South America – at least visible to those of us who had clear skies that night.

Suess Lunar Eclipse over Phoenix web

“Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix”
North Phoenix, Arizona
Purchase prints of this photo right now during a special limited time promotion.

The event is rare, with the most recent total lunar eclipse happening on December 21, 2010. However we are in for a treat as we will have 3 more total eclipses in North America within the next 1.5 years: October 8 of 2014, April 5 of 2015, and September 28 of 2015. After that we will have to wait another 3 years before another one happens.

Some pre-planning first

I knew of the April 15th eclipse a few weeks prior to it happening, which gave me plenty of time to prepare. I was still going to be in Phoenix which was great as the weather is usually perfect and rarely cloudy & rainy. So I started planning my final image and what I needed to do to create it.

Right off the bat I knew I was going to somehow incorporate saguaro cacti in my photograph, as they are a unique feature here in the Sonoran Desert. I have been spending numerous evenings photographing sunsets this winter out in the desert where my RV is parked here in North Scottsdale and knew the location would be perfect for the eclipse.

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Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix

“Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix”.

Suess Lunar Eclipse over Phoenix web

 “Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix”
North Scottsdale, AZ
(Click on above photo to view larger and to order prints)

This 18 photo composite shows the entire lunar eclipse from April 14&15, 2014 starting with the moon on the far left at 10:45pm, peaking with a blood moon at 12:46am in the top center, and ending at 2:45am on the right.

This was photographed with my Sony a7 mirrorless digital camera, the Sony FE 35mm f2.8 lens, and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens. RAW files were processed in Capture One Pro, and the composite was built and further enhanced in Perfect Photo Suite 8 from onOne Software. I will write a blog post soon on how I photographed and processed this image.

As always feel free to share 🙂

Prints are available here: http://www.mattsuess.com/fine-art-photography-complete-collection/e237993ef

Vintage Coca Cola – an old soda refrigerator

I found this old Coke refrigerator next to an old wood wagon and some prickly pear cactus in Northern New Mexico near Santa Fe and Taos. In fact I photographed this with my students during a photo workshop Christine and I were teaching in Santa Fe/Taos in 2011.

While this was photographed in 2011, I didn’t process and enhance the photo until spring of 2012.

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