Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Painted Falls

© 2009 Gary Udstrand

The Falls

The Tettegouche State Park is located along the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.   Through the park runs the Baptism River and a short hike along its banks finds the High Falls.  On a beautiful sunny summer day my family and I made that hike and were rewarded with the scene above.  The day was hot and humid and the cold water running along the stream quickly refreshed our feet and our souls.   The site, the sounds and the gentle breeze made this a day to remember.   I am fortunate to have picture of that day to take me back there.

Finding Summer

Here in Minnesota spring has not been very warm, or dry. Rather it has been cold and wet for the most part which only added to the impact of a very long winter this year. After several days of cold and rain I decided that it was time to find some sunshine on my own. So off I went to browse my image catalog to see if I could find our missing summer.  When I ran across the image above I was brought back to that wonderful day and whisked away from the cold dreary day just outside my door. With the thoughts of that day still on my mind I found a smile on my face. And that is why I love photography.

So, find your summer even if Mother Nature refuses to cooperate. Post some pics and put a smile on your face, and if you (and me) are lucky, a smile on someone else’s as well. Smile

Topaz Adjust

The impact of the image was very good but when I looked at the original it seemed to me it could benefit from some more “pop”.   To me that usually means a trip to Topaz Adjust.  Once the image was loaded in the plugin I started clicking on the presets but once I got to Spicify I stopped.    Typically I like to tweak the various sliders and see if I can find any improvement, in this case I did not even try.  The preset was exactly the look I wanted and it could not have been any easier.

Remember

© 2010 Gary Udstrand

Memories

As we celebrate this Memorial Day weekend make sure to take a moment and thank all the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for us.  God bless all those that serve and have served.

Remember

Below is a poem authored by Eunice Korczak, I hope you enjoy it as much I have.

As I Stood Among the Crosses

As I stood among the crosses
Contemplating war’s terrible losses
The whispered prayers among the trees
Brought me humbly to my knees

For these prayers the dead were giving
And they were praying for the living:
"Hold! Protect your freedom!
For this our lives are done"

Allow not inroads on our gain
Or our lives were spent in vain
With this sacred duty we charge all:
Make sure your freedoms do not fall

Some must always fight and die
Others serve a different battle cry
‘Death, death! to infringing policy!
To keep this, your great land, free!’

All, all! Go forth! Defend!
Upon you, you! we depend
That from death we may proclaim
We did not die in vain!"

As I knelt among the crosses
I understood they marked not only losses
But, also, freedom’s mighty gains
And I prayed that all take up the reins

Of vigilance, of freedom’s fight
And demand, demand! the right
Of freedom — to validate the losses
Marked by these small white crosses.

God bless all who died for our freedom. Amen.
Eunice Korczak 2002

Churchill Downs

The excitement was palpable as the throngs of race fans awaited the arrival of the first horses of the day.   You could feel and taste the history of this place.

The Paddock

Churchill Downs is virtually synonymous with horse racing and is hallowed ground to horse racing aficionados.  As we arrived we were greeted with the scene above and the level of excitement and grandeur was overwhelming.   Standing here one could not help but think about all the past Champions that had strolled around the paddock before heading to the track to make their mark in the history books.

Stylizing

For this image I used Photoshop CS5  and Topaz Adjust 4.  Besides some simple sharpening and toning I applied the Spicify preset in Topaz and was done.    To me the buildings and the surroundings had  a magical /fantasy look to them and I wanted the image to convey that.  The saturated colors and slight glow to the edges added by the effect really accentuated the image and added to the overall feel and look I was after.  .

Greenbush Rodeo 2009

Over the fourth I went to the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo in Greenbush, MN.  It was a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed it too.  Not only is it a good time you get to feel good about yourself since a portion of the advance ticket sales go to the local “Think Pink Breast Cancer Fund”.

If you are ever in the area over the fourth I would highly recommend going, it is great entertainment for the entire family.   Below is a slideshow of some of the highlights of the day.

If you were a participant at the event, or you are just interested in some rodeo prints you can save some money on prints.

Highlights gallery

Event gallery

te10for25 – $10 off an order of $25 or more.
te50 – 50% off an order of $50 or more.

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