Thanks for stopping by

Thanks for stopping by

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Vicky and I spent a day at Disneyland earlier this month to celebrate her birthday.  December is always a wonderful time to be there because Disney knows how to decorate for Christmas.  This photo was taken just prior to their nightly fireworks spectacular.  I'm sure many of you can recognize that this was taken from Main Street looking towards Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  It's hard to believe that 2010 is over already.  I hope 2011 goes a little slower.  It seems time speeds up the older you get.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tis the Season!

Living in SoCal I haven't really had much opportunity to make photographs of the classic winter Christmas scenes.  You know, the ones that have a couple riding in a sleigh, being pulled by a horse all decorated for the season, going down a snow covered road, heading towards a small country town with the white steepled church.  So I thought for today's blog photo I would keep it simple by just going for the colors of Christmas.  Technically, this is not a great shot.  There's no clear subject and the composition is blah, but I liked the patterns of color.  So accept it as my lame approach to capture a little bit of the Christmas spirit via the colors red and green.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and have the opportunity to be with the ones who are the most important to you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Solitary Tree

Saw this scene on a foggy morning in the Smokies.  I had stopped along the road to observe three wild turkeys strolling by and when I looked to my left this solitary tree called out to me to take its portrait.  This is such a typical scene found in the Smokies as there are quite a few solitary trees located in the valleys there.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Indoor Pool at Hearst Castle

There are endless photo opportunities at Hearst Castle.  This was one of my favorites because of the colors, patterns and reflections in the water.  I didn't have much time to make this shot because they were moving tours in and out of here like cattle.  This was about the only angle I could get without including any people in the shot. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Evening at the Pier

I went out to the San Clemente pier recently and took a few shots.  It had rained that morning so there were still some clouds in the sky.  That made for a more interesting sky for sunset.  All of these shots are HDR (High Dynamic Range), meaning that they are a composite of several pictures shot at different exposure settings.  That way the highlight and shadow areas are properly exposed in the final shot. 

This evening was particularly nice because it was cool but not cold.  That kept the crowd down to a minimum and made for a very comfortable and peaceful stroll along the beach.  I like the leading lines in this second picture.  It leads your eye right to the end of the pier and the setting sun.  

I like to experiment with different post processing techniques.  This next shot is an example of an artistic interpretation of the subject using HDR.  Some may consider it a bit over the top but I like the effect it has on the sky.  What do you think?  

This last picture was obviously taken from under the pier. I converted it to black and white, something that I haven't done much of in the past.  I plan on doing more of it.  Something about black and white that just cuts right to the essence of the subject.  By the way, if you want to see a larger version of any of these pictures, just click on them and you will be able see them in more detail.  If you've got a minute, be sure to leave a comment.  Let me know what you like or dislike.  Thanks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Beautiful Harbors of Maine

A few years ago, Vicky and I took a trip to New England.  We started out in Boston and drove north along the coastline of Maine.  As usual, we were stopping at many of the lighthouses, but we also saw numerous little seaport villages and harbors along the way.  To fully explore the jagged coastline and all of the quaint harbors of Maine would probably take months.  This area is definitely one that I want to go back to and spend more time photographing.  The photo above is a scene from Bass Harbor near Acadia N.P.  The building with the yellow roof is a restaurant called Thurston's.  This is where we had our official Maine lobster dinner.

This next photo was also taken in Bass Harbor.  Lobster traps and buoys like these were all over the place.  There was no shortage of photographic subjects in these harbors.  I can't wait to get back there one day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Disney Concert Hall

Today's blog photos are of the very distinctive Disney Concert Hall in L.A.  This building has an endless supply of interesting lines and curves to capture.  On these two photos I played with the color balance on the building to warm it up.  I used my polarizing filter to reduce the glare and reflections on the shiny building, as well as, to deepen the blue sky. 

The hardest part of photographing this place for me is the drive to get there.  On most days the traffic is horrible on the highways in and around Los Angeles.  I took these on a Sunday morning when the traffic was bearable.  I plan on returning there on a day when there is a more interesting sky (i.e. white puffy clouds) to include.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Random Shot

I will be posting what I will call Random Shots from time to time.  These will represent a variety of pictures in my portfolio that I want to share.  This one is of McWay Falls, located on the Big Sur coastline.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sparks Lane, Smokey Mountain National Park

This is one of my favorite spots in the Smokies.  It is a small lane off of the main loop road that goes through Cades Cove.  This was taken at sunrise on our first morning in the park.  In the pastures on both sides of the lane you will often see wildlife foraging for food.  On different occasions I have seen wild turkey, deer, woodpeckers and the occasional bear.  The views are spectacular in every direction.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Fall Color From Tennessee

Here are a few more photos that were taken in the Smokies.  The above photo was taken in Cades Cove where the color was just starting to change when we were there.  The size of the tree next to the old house really caught my attention here.

This next photo is of an old grist mill that we found on the way to North Carolina.  There were a lot of people wandering about so I had to be patient in order to find the opportunity to make the picture without any humans in it.

Here's a shot of part of the road through Cades Cove.  It was early and a little misty this morning so there weren't a lot of cars on the road.  Nevertheless, it took me about 5 minutes to finally be able to set up and capture this image between having to move out of the way of many cars that were driving through.

This last shot was taken in the Greenbriar area of Smokey Mountain N.P.  I liked the large rock with the leaves on it in the foreground and then the river leading your eye to the trees in the background.  It really captured the Fall season for me.  What do you think?

I've still got more pictures from Tennessee to come.  I'm processing them little by little.  Thanks for visiting and comments are welcome.  Until next time...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Color and our week in Tennessee

My wife Vicky and I just returned from spending a week in Tennessee visiting our daughter Sandy.  We had a great time exploring Nashville and the Smokey Mountain National Park.  There was some beautiful Fall Color to see in the Smokies, particularly at the higher elevations and over on the North Carolina side.  I've included a couple of photos (above) that show off some of the fall leaf color we saw.

The Biltmore Estate

In addition to the Smokies, we visited the Biltmore Estate (photo above) in Asheville, we saw a beautiful glass art exhibit by Chihuly at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens outside of Nashville and we spent an evening of wine tasting and music at a winery owned by Kik Brooks of Brooks & Dunn fame.  All in all it was a relaxing week of getting to visit our daughter and having some beautiful photographic opportunities. 

Chihuly Glass Art

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Photography Exhibition

Sunrise Under The Pier

About 8 months ago, after I gave a talk to the Kiwanis Club about my photography,  I was honored to be invited by a city official to exhibit my photography at the Mission Viejo Library.  At first, I was a little reluctant because I have never exhibited any of my photography anywhere.  But I quickly came to my senses and accepted the invitation.    Well, I am happy to tell those of you who didn't know, the exhibit began about three weeks ago and continues until October 29th.  I limited the exhibit to seascapes.  One of the photos I included was the the one above which was taken under the San Clemente pier.

Directly above is a picture of the exhibit.  Kind of cool.  Anyway, thanks for reading.  Until next time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nashville and Fall Color

My wife and I are getting ready to travel to Nashville to visit our daughter this coming weekend.  We have been looking forward to this trip for some time now.  Tennessee is a beautiful state with plenty of opportunities for some good landscape photography.  Not to mention the fact that Nashville is a fun city to visit.  I am also really looking forward to a 4 day side trip over to the Smokey Mountains.  It looks like we might be a tad early for peak Fall color, but we'll make the most of it.  It's always a gorgeous area for photography.  I am hopeful to get a few good shots that I can post right here.

As you probably know the top picture is of downtown Nashville.  It was taken about 20 minutes after sundown using a long exposure (about 10 seconds).  That makes the water in the river look smooth and silky.  The other photo is of a river in the Smokey Mountains in the springtime.  As you can probably tell, it also was taken using a longer exposure to make the water look smoother.  I am hopeful that I can get some photos like this but with some Fall color in them.  We'll see. As always, I encourage you to post any comments you may have.  Thanks.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Here we go!

After much procrastination, I have finally hit critical mass between my desire to start a photography blog and my desire to find the time to start a photography blog.  My children have been encouraging me to start one so I can more easily share my photography with them and others.  My goal is to post a new photograph at least once a week.  We'll soon see how that goes.  So here we go.

The photograph above is from a recent trip to the Columbia River Gorge in northern Oregon.  This is Multnomah Falls and is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the U.S.  It was taken in the middle of summer just after sunrise and prior to the usual onslaught of tourists.  Hence there are no people on the bridge.

Feel free to post any comments you may have.  I am hoping to use this blog as a way to help me improve with my photography, so tell me what you like and/or dislike about the photographs I post.  Thanks.