Whishor Stop Chevy Truck

Vintage Chevy Truck

The Whistle Stop Coffee Shop is located in the Spokane Valley, minutes from my home. Out front, is the wonderful vintage Chevy truck. Post processing only included Color Efex Pro: Vignette: Blur filter.

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HDR Insider Bi-Weekly Winning Image

by Rick Diffley on July 19, 2015

Cable Bridge Kennewick WA

HDR Insider Bi-Weekly Challenge Winner

The above image was voted on by the members of the “HDR Insider” photography community, the winner of the Bi-Weekly Challenge: “Reflections.”  It will remain the featured image on the groups Facebook page, seen here: https://m.facebook.com/groups/HDRInsider

What Is HDR Insider?

“HDR Insider” was created by professional photographer: Blake Rudis. It is like no other educational photography and post processing training website out there. Each month Blake provides new Photoshop actions, monthly image projects, bi-weekly photo challenges, and video tutorials. Plus, each month members can submit an image to be selected by Blake for in-depth video critiqued.

A few weeks ago I joined “HDR Insider” as I found it to be an elite group of dedicated photographers who produce terrific images, hunger to learn, and thrive on the community for support and critiquing. Plus, “we” have direct access to the instructors through the “HDR Insider” website, Facebook, and email.

Thank you for visiting!


The Roberts Mansion – An HDR Image

by Rick Diffley on July 3, 2015

Finish HDR Image

The Image:

The Roberts Mansion – Spokane, Washington

HDR Image

HDR stands for high dynamic range, and it essentially takes a series of digital camera images, each shot with a different exposure from darkest to lightest. HDR software combines the best parts of the three overexposed, underexposed, and balanced shots to create a dramatic image with beautiful shadowing and highlights. If you wish to learn more about HDR photography, please check out: HDRInsider.

The Shot

I highly recommend you shoot HDR images using a tripod. My process is to take between 3-5 different exposure images, usually -2, 0, & +2 or -1, 0, -1.

My critique of this image…

(1) I should have allowed slightly more room at the top of the image. The tip of the roof is too close to the top frame. (2) I wish I could have allowed more room at the bottom of the image to include the complete stairs, flowers, and sidewalk. However, this would have introduced more overlapping clutter. So, I had to make a choice. (3) On the far left side of the image you see a partial driveway cover attached to the home. I wish it wasn’t there! It was impossible to include the whole thing and there was really no way to completely exclude it based on how it is attached to the home. (4) Finally, see the partially seen green tree on the right corner? It would have been great to include it all, but… Again, I would have introduced more unwanted clutter to the image.

Hope you learned something from my mistakes.

Post Processing

Photomatix – I have the stand alone version, which I prefer, to the plugins for a few different post processing programs. Photomatix merges various exposure shots into an HDR image. Next, you use a variety of sliders to adjust the image to your liking, from natural (As seen in this image.) to more artistic. With the final image, I save at as a .tiff file and import it into Photoshop Elements were I use a variety of Nik Software filters. There’s a variety of HDR software programs available: Photoshop and Nik Software, to name two.

Nik Software – With this image, my final post processing included the following Nik Software filter Color Efex Pro: Tonal Contrast, Pro Contrast, and Darken/Lighten Center.

The History

The Roberts Mansion was built in 1889 in the Victorian Queen Anne style here in Spokane, Washington. EJ Roberts was a successful civil engineer having earned the distinction by age 28 of completing the longest expanse of railroad in the shortest period of time of anyone in the United States. His move to Spokane brought him into a close business and social relationship with D. C. Corbin, a local railroad builder. Roberts acted as chief engineer of Corbin’s railroads and invested in silver mines. He went on to become president of Union Iron Works, a local steel foundry. Corbin and Roberts owned a duck hunting ranch together. That ranch is still in the Roberts family five generations later.

Original Image

Roberts Manson Original 700

Thank You For Visting!



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Antique Travel Trunk – Campbell House Spokane

by Rick Diffley on June 10, 2015

Travel Trunk Mirror Reflection

Antique Travel Trunk – Campbell House Spokane

This image is of one of the many rooms in the Campbell House in Spokane. It was built in 1898 and constructed for $30,000, although estimates for the house and the custom furnishings place the home at a total cost of $70,000. Renowned architect Kirtland K Cutter designed not only the architecture but the furnishings as well.

Access as a photographer is rather limited. The home is very dimly lit, kept as it was back in 1898. No tripods allowed, although I’m going to seek a request to do so and try some HDR imaging. Therefore, this image was shot hand-held using my Nikon D300.

I specifically focused on shooting the carpet to lead into the image and provide some perspective. Specific attention was to get the mirror reflection of the door, part of the bed, and part of the corner of the travel trunk in the shot. My only wish was that the travel trunk was more to the right so I could have included the whole fireplace.

Thanks for viewing.


Photographing in the Palouse

by Rick Diffley on October 18, 2014

Truck More Saturation Done

Photographing in the “Palouse”

The “Palouse” area is located in Southeastern Washington, south of where I live in Spokane. The major towns are Pullman, home of Washington State University and Moscow Idaho, home of the University of Idaho. Many professional photographers state the area is one of the best kept secrets. They compare it to driving through the gorgeous countryside of Tuscany in Italy and that the “Palouse” is almost the next best thing. The area is a popular location for photography workshops.

It is home to the second largest wheat fields in the world, next to Russia, the Palouse region is filled with the most gorgeous shades of green, yellow and even red rolling hills in every direction. The area is a photographer’s paradise! The most popular time to shoot is June, the most colorful month of the year. Farm houses, grain elevators, old weathered barns, bridges, tractors and classic scenes of rural America are scattered all around the countryside.

Thank you for visiting!