Thread-like pieces of wetland plants are caught on last year’s reeds and drift in the current, at the outflow of Lake Sammamish where it empties into the Sammamish River. Bald Eagles keep watch from the treetops, mergansers dive for fish, and a Great Blue Heron stalks the river edge.




Some of these were shot with in-camera filters – soft focus and dramatic tone. Some were processed later using Onone’s Perfect Photo program, others in Lightroom. What I didn’t do that day was bring a polarizing filter – shooting into the water on a sunny day, that would have helped reduce the glare. Oops! So I tried to work with the glare, playing with different effects.






Mid-winter days offer no pretty flowers, but the arc of drifting water defined by errant grasses is lovely in itself. And after you get home, changing up the photo processing can be another way to beat the winter doldrums. Below, converting to black and white, and next, adding texture layers.










  1. You think up more ways to have fun using your imagination. All the more fun for us visitors to your space here. Also providing inspiration. I’ve heard of OnOne’s, but hadn’t got around to checking it out. Looks like a fun plugin for Lightroom.

    • It’s really a lot of fun – very different from LR in a way, because it has lots of “normal” processing modes, like sharpening or adjusting contrast, but in many “one click” versions that you can then adjust further. Plus it has all the textures and a zillion other things. So nice of you to send that compliment my way!

  2. Lovely pictures, Lynn – and forgetting the polariser was a plus! The top photo here hits me, its very good – and that’s presumably why its top! But the 4th down gets to me even more – its the subtle tones, the milkiness, and the combination of blues with golds and yellows and, especially, the patches of orange on those emergent stems. Good stuff! Adrian πŸ™‚

    • Funny you like the fourth one – just proves one has to be careful about being a slave to proper technique, because that one really has glare issues. But sometimes – or maybe often – straying from the correct exposure, the correct whatever, gets the mood across better.

      • OOOOOOO! never be a slave to “proper” technique >>> do what your heart and guts tell you!!! Allied to this is a quote I read recently, something like – “a creative person’s worst enemy is to be influenced by good taste” – the photos should come straight from YOU! And thanks for all of the comments you’ve put on my blog – wonderful! A πŸ™‚

  3. I agree the patterns seen in winter here have unique beauty. Having lived in Florida with it’s colorful all year beauty, I find I prefer the stimulation of season changes, even if it gets cold and grey. I do, however, thrive best in the mountains where the weather and changes are the most dramatic. The endless grey misty rain of Puget Sound can get me down at times. Give me the wind and pouring torrents of North Bend…and a long raincoat! πŸ™‚

  4. Interesting to hear about the contrast in weather patterns between places that are in the same area. I’m sure you’re right, there are big differences in just a few miles. There’s a lot to learn about here!

  5. This is a fascinating post ~ enjoyed the discussion of the processing (textures are something I hope to experiment with at some point). The best part was seeing this incredible series and how beautiful these photos were…all while understanding around you, you had “Bald Eagles keep watch from the treetops, mergansers dive for fish, and a Great Blue Heron stalks the river edge…” That is a target rich environment πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ yes, there I go, focusing on the more abstract elements as usual, while surrounded by all that cool wildlife action. I do appreciate it – I’ve been a birder all my life – but I’ve never had the desire to cart around the big (expensive!) lens I’d need to photograph birds. Sometimes I think why mention it in the text if it will make people just want to see a photo of an eagle, but you prove that it’s OK to just write about the birds and keep photographing what attracts me. When you slow down enough to try textures (I suspect you’re always busy!) you’ll quickly find out that less is more. You need to reduce the opacity of the texture a great deal so it doesn’t take over. And so many of them are really ugly, but there are nice ones out there, too. Here’s to more time for photography for all of us!

      • “Less is more…” over time I’ve come to fully believe in this. Textures would take a lot of playing around with to find the right mix, so as you allude to – it is something I would definitely want to experience/explore and would definitely need some time. To photography, always allowing us to stretch our wings a bit πŸ™‚

  6. This is a lovely post and I love the way you focus in on the details Lynn. The idea that these reeds are are forming the letters of a language unknown to us just demonstrates once more the imaginative way you look at the world.
    Like Randal I was interested in the processing. I haven’t used textures either and often think I ought to give them a go. I have seen the occasional striking landscape image using them but my view has always been that the landscape shot probably didn’t stand on its own otherwise why cover it with a texture?
    In the image above there is no doubt that the texture adds depth so yes, I’m sure I’ve been dismissing a processing trick that really shouldn’t be dismissed. And as regards landscapes that don’t stand on their own, I’ve plenty of those so maybe I can breathe some new life into some of the photos on my figurative cutting room floor and elevate some of my others.

  7. I know the feeling – if it’s not good enough on its own, then you’re just wasting time. When it’s not overdone and it works, it’s really fun to experiment with them. Maybe you have some shots where the lighting isn’t right – that might be a good pace to try it. You, Randall and I are each so far apart on the globe – it’s nice to have this connection.

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