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A blog post about a Blog...

On: Mar 14, 2010

I am moving on, I am graduating to the next level of blogging. I have moved this blog to a self-hosted Wordpress blog. Please visit for future updates. I've also posted some recent photos for a great couple.
Thanks for reading!
Nathan T. Gross

Utah Sky Trials 2010

On: Feb 23, 2010

I attended the Utah Sky Trials on February 20th. The object of the event was to have a trained bird, falcon or hawk, hunt a pigeon (In retrospect I don't recall seeing a hawk). The top ten birds had qualified the day before to participate in the final runs. In the 30-something years since the Utah Sky Trials began there have been only a handful of pigeons caught. The pigeons are specially trained to evade the birds of prey and the falconers have trained their birds to hunt the pigeons. You might call it a Bird Olympics where the best of the hunted attempt to outmaneuver the best hunters. Here's a list of this year's winners.

The officiators of the trials needed a volunteer to record the position of the birds as they circled to their desired hunting height, naturally I jumped at the chance to get closer. Since I was away from the crowd and very close to where the birds were released I was able to take some shots in between recording the bird's position. I hope you enjoy the Utah Sky Trials Gallery.

Provo City Photo Set

On: Feb 2, 2010

I've been contemplating taking up a new project. I have a list of buildings and sites of Provo that I think show Provo's history and uniqueness, and here is the list in no particular order:

Lavell Edwards Stadium
Provo Tabernacle
Provo City Power
BYU Girls Gymnasium
Center Street
Utah Lake State Park
Provo Hospital
Creamery on 9th
Original BYU Creamery
The 'Y'
View from Squaw Peak
Missionary Training Center
Provo Temple
J Dawgs (J Dogs)
Provo Library
Covey Center
Provo Wetlands
Malt shop
Seven Peaks

Update: This is going to be a year long project at least so I'll get all seasons and here are some of the suggested additions.

Bell Tower
Train yard
Farmers market
Pioneer village

If you have more ideas for photo worthy place in Provo, please leave a comment.


Nathan T. Gross

Long January

On: Jan 18, 2010

Without going into detail, its been a long January and I've been trying to come up with an apposite theme for the month. So here it is:

Clouds After Meteor

On: Dec 14, 2009

I took this photo the morning after a meteor lit up northern Utah on November 18th, 2009. Here is a link to the news article on KSL 

Concerts and Theater

On: Dec 10, 2009

Here are some of my favorites from my new Events Gallery showcasing concerts, dancing, plays, parties and parades.

This was taken at a concert featuring the bands Silent Envy and Scarlet Grey. I used a flash and 3 second exposure to get the two expressions.

I took this photo at a swing dance club in Ogden, Utah called "The Cowboy."

The comedy improv group known as the Thrillionaires asked me to take some photos of a production featuring Kirby Heyborne.

This photo was taken at Alexander's Print Advantage 30th Anniversary Celebration.

This photo was taken during the Provo City 4th of July Parade, 2009.

Simple Photograph Enhancements

On: Dec 1, 2009

A friend of mine wanted to know how I made this photo go from this ordinary Snow Leopard Cub photo:

 To this enhanced version in under 5 minutes:

So here's my process for basic photo enhancement.

In hindsight, I took quite a few photos of this cat. I try to take several photos of the same subject, that way I have lots of options when it comes time to edit. Sometimes the best photo comes from the most unusual angle, I move around and try different camera settings. Digital media is reusable, and slight variations can make the difference between an OK snapshot and a great photo.

Once I decide on a photo, I open it in Adobe Photoshop. There are many other excellent graphic programs you can use like Picasa, GIMP or Paintshop Pro.

The very first settings I adjust are Brightness and Contrast; its amazing how a little bit of contrast can make details stand out and enrich color. In this photo I increased the contrast and lowered the brightness, notice how the fence in the background almost completely disappears. I like the effect of the brightness and contrast settings, so I might just call it done, but I like to experiment.

In this photo I pushed Saturation nearly to the limit and every tiny bit of color jumps out. I try to keep my photos in a little more realistic hue so I toned it down for my final rendition of the shot. Also, I find the branches in the background suddenly are distracting because of the increased saturation.

Removing all saturation results in a black and white photo, this can have a dramatic impact and is always fun to try. In this particular instance I feel the cub gets a little lost and the impact of the photo is lessened, but still its crucial to experiment and see what works.

The most important thing I keep in mind is the focus of the photo. That is, what do I want people to notice or feel when they look at the photo? Will the change I made help people find the subject of my photo or is it distracting from that focus?

In short, remember these three basic settings: Brightness, Contrast and Saturation. Of course there are thousands of other variables that constitute a good photo, but I like to start with those.

Just for fun, this version has a "spot focus" on the cub to draw even more attention the cub.

Risenmay Family Photos

On: Nov 23, 2009

This was a fun photo shoot. We didn't have a lot time before the sun went down but I think the photos turned out great. As an added bonus it ended in a tremendous leaf fight. Here are the four Risenmay children from youngest to oldest.

Wedding Gallery

On: Nov 12, 2009

New photo gallery showcasing Weddings From Nathan T. Gross Photography
Here's one of my favorites:

Posted via web from Nathan's Posterous


On: Nov 6, 2009

This is a photo from my new Sports Gallery. Enjoy!

Posted via web from Nathan's Posterous