Monday, September 05, 2022


Upper Gallinas Campground, Gila National Forest. New Mexico, USA  ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

I rarely go out with the express intention of only shooting bracketed exposures. It's been 10 years, in fact. On this one day road trip up to the Black Range in the Gila, it was my main purpose. I wanted to try out the new HDR Merge extension for Luminar Neo with multiple exposures. In the previous post, I tried out its "single image HDR" capabilities with great success.  This image was made up of 5 images, each 1 stop of exposure apart; an average exposure, and +1, +2, -1, -2.   I used several other Luminar Neo tools to complete the image, including layers, sunrays, and atmosphere.  Gotta say, it looks nothing like an image from the early days of HDR. No "clown vomit" here! 

Skylum have announced several more extension releases before 2022 is over, one of which is already here: NoislessAI, and Upscaling will follow shortly.  If you want to find out more about what's happening at Skylum, click on my affiliate links above, or click here.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Autumn is nice in New Mexico, but...

 ...monsoon brings out the very best in photographic opportunities!

Lightning captured from the front porch. ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about our monsoon:

"The North American monsoon is a complex weather process that brings moisture from the Gulf of California (and to lesser extent the eastern Pacific and Gulf of Mexico) over northwestern Mexico and southwestern US resulting in summer thunderstorms, especially at higher elevations. Monsoon rains account for 35% to 45% of total rainfall in the desert Southwest"

Thunderstorms mean heavy (but scattered) rain, and more importantly, lightning! Nothing is more satisfying than capturing a great lightning image.  For a long time, before the digital era, nothing was more frustrating than trying to capture a great lighting image! One had to stand in the rain with a cable release in hand, and the shutter dial set on "B"... push the plunger for a set amount of time and hope that a lighting strike occurred when the shutter was open. Lather, rinse, repeat.

With the advent of digital imaging, many cameras of the advanced amateur and pro levels came with an intervalometer setting. One could specify a certain number of exposures, at a specified interval, and the camera would then do the heavy lifting, while the photographer enjoyed a cold beverage in front of the TV. When the storm subsided, the memory card was loaded in the computer, and the hunt for any frames with a lightning strike would begin.  That's how I captured the image below way back in 2011, also from the front porch. To this day, I think this is still the best storm to ever pass over our heads heading West.

Monsoon lightning. ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site 2011
This method had it's obvious drawbacks, of course. The number of shutter actuations vs the number of images of lightning was excessive, considering the lifespan of shutters back then.

The solution was having a device that would only fire the camera when there was actually a lightning bolt! These devices did exist then, but for many of us the price was prohibitive- $500 and up.

Then, in 2016, I began to see ads for a device that didn't cost an arm and a leg and promised I'd be able to capture lightning, and a whole lot more! That device was the Pluto Trigger ! It was only $119 then, and it's still $119 today. I bought one, of course, and have been very pleased with it's capabilities, not only for lightning capture, but so many other functions (but more on that in another post). The image at the top of this story was made possible, in part, with the Pluto Trigger. (Follow the link to learn more).

Friday, December 24, 2021

An Annual Holiday Greeting...

Thanks to Union Pacific Railroad #844 which rolled through Deming, New Mexico in November of 2011, in celebration of the New Mexico Centennial (January 2012), Luminar AI software from Skylum, several free holiday-themed overlays from the internet, and festive text fonts from!  

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

GOP Whine Cellar: Can't win if'n we can't cheat!

 Cap Action:

Am I Back?

Maybe.  Looks like I've been on vacation for 3 years.  I'm a little rusty on this blogging thing. Look for more photos, and less verbiage... unless I have something really important to say. 

With that, here's another recent photo. (Available on an embossed notecard w/envelope)

Sunset, City of Rocks State Park
Faywood, New Mexico

Edits: Nik HDR Efx Pro

Smoky Sunset. June 21, 2021

There is so much haze on the horizon from wildfires in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Mexico.... everywhere!  And while it's tragic for those whose lives have been touched, it's ironically the photographer's friend. You don't get sunsets like this in clear air! Edited with LuminarAI.  Try it yourself:


Is It Time To Up Your Photo Game? (I did, and I never looked back!)

But hurry.... time is running out!