We moved one year ago today. It’s been an eventful year and my life has changed in so many ways! One of my favorite things about our new neighborhood is the walking trails, like the one around the lake pictured in this month’s desktop calendar.

Georgia gets cold, but we simply aren’t a winter wonderland kind of state. It can be difficult coming up with photos for winter calendars. I was sad when I heard summer’s weather would lead less vibrant fall leaves, so I’m glad I was able to capture some nice oranges here.

I first noticed these stunning leaves while walking the lake trail. I set timers on my watch to remind me to go back to the lake at the right time of day with my camera, but things kept happening: one day I had sleeping grandchildren I couldn’t leave; on another, I got there 10 minutes too late to catch the light. Finally I realized those leaves had come and gone and I’d missed them, although I really wanted them for this calendar.

I decided to take one of the “10 minutes too late” photos and see what I could do with it in Lightroom and Photoshop. Here’s the original:


I lightened the shadows. At this point I could tell there was enough to work with, but…

The colors needed some oomph and oh, my — what a boring sky! So I added some color and some clouds.

Now we’re getting somewhere! Then I realized the careful observer would realize the clouds weren’t reflected in the lake (and y’all always catch it when I mess up these calendars!), so…

Ta da! For the final image, I also removed parts of three houses that could be seen peeking through the trees. It was fun and I think it was worth the effort. Whatcha think?

Download December’s Desktop Calendar


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