Am I Cheating?

As I've been playing around with some new software I discovered a technique for easily adding some clouds to a cloudless sky by adding a Cloud Texture Layer to the sky.  Believe it or not, I've never "added" any clouds to my photos before despite the fact that I like to process my photos pretty heavily.  It was really easy and took me about 2 minutes.  I tried it on one of my favorite photos that unfortunately had a boring sky.  What are your thoughts?   You can see the original photo right below.

Valley of Fire State Park, Las Vegas, NV.  Shot with Canon 7D with 24-105mm 4.0L lens on tripod.  

Original photo from my Print Gallery.

Derelict in the Desert

We're going back to the desert tonight for this photo of an old derelict abandoned at an old gold processing mill at Joshua Tree National Park.  I hiked about 1.5miles back to this old mill, but the mill itself was not that interesting.  Along the way, there were a number of old cars that were left there after the place closed sometime back in the '60s I think.  

If you read my post yesterday, you know I'm starting to learn Photoshop CS6, so I brought this one in to Photoshop to play around with some colors and contrast isolated on the car.  I almost went a little hog wild and started thinking about mixing color and B&W in the same photo, but decided to come back off the ledge and keep it... well not exactly real, but not too crazy.  Enjoy.

I Missed This Morning's Sunrise, So This One Will Have To Do

I had plans of getting up at 3:30am this morning and driving to a location I scouted here on the island for a sunrise shoot.  Unfortunately, due to various factors I didn't get home until 11pm last night and just didn't have the energy to move when the alarm went off.  I did get up at 5:30, just as the sun was coming over the ocean and it was epic; I missed out on a great opportunity.  I will try again tomorrow morning, hopefully the opportunity will not have passed.  In the interim, I will post another sunrise image I made at Joshua Tree National Park a few weeks ago.  I call it:


I got up early my last day at Joshua Tree and wanted to get a photos of the Cocina Cactus area.  I arrived early and walked around to find the best location to capture the sunrise.  I took photos from several different places but this is my favorite because the light seems to come in and light a couple outcroppings of the cacti.  I'll include another photo from the area below.