Thanks for stopping by

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Truck

Saw this old truck in Texas along side the road.  It was obviously part of someone's outdoor Christmas display.  Unfortunately, I wasn't there at night to see how it looked all lit up.  But since I like old rusty vehicles as photo subjects, it looked good enough to me in the daylight to make a photograph.

I wish my family and friends a very merry Christmas and I hope all of you are able to be with those you love this Christmas season. Please join me in praying for the well being of our troops across the world defending our freedom.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bye Bye Autumn

Well, winter is on the horizon as autumn fades away.  Here in SoCal autumn doesn't really kick in (i.e. leaves changing color) until late November on into December.  The photo above was taken in my backyard of the leaf of a liquid amber tree.  As you can see, there is a little glare on the leaf in the upper left.  Had I not been so lazy, all I had to do was to go get my polarizer and that glare would have been history.  Either way, I like the detail in the leaf.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Night View of the Pier

Here's a night shot of the San Clemente Pier.  This was taken about a half hour after the sun went down using a long exposure setting.  As you can see, the sky looks more like it does in the daylight.  Of course because of the long exposure the water looks silky and smooth.  This is one of my favorites of this pier.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Austin Capitol

The Austin Capitol building has many interesting view points.  This was one of my favorites.  I liked the mixture of fall color, interesting sky and stately old building.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Old Texaco Service Station

This old Texaco service station was scheduled to be demolished when the contractor in charge decided to move it to his own property up in eastern Washington.  We got permission to go on his property to take photographs.  This is one of the many I took.  We got there right in the middle of the day so the lighting was pretty harsh, but HDR helped save the day.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Small Town Train Stop

When I first saw this photo opportunity I was thinking it would be a good candidate for a black & white.  However, when I saw it on my computer screen it didn't do much for me.  So I thought to create more interest and to emphasize the freight train which really was the main subject of the photo, I would add back in the color of the train only.  For me it makes the photo work.  What do you think?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Old Trucks

It seems like old vehicles that have seen better days make for great photo subjects.  I've included a few more in this post that I took up in the Palouse country of Washington.  Something about the old chipped paint and rust that makes you wonder what stories the truck could tell you if it could talk.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coffee and Cars

Ford Cobra
I went over to a weekly car gathering in Irvine this morning called Coffee and Cars.  It is a place where you can see a lot of car enthusiasts showing off there hot rods, muscle cars, classic cars, etc.  It makes for a great opportunity for photographing some fabulous cars. 

Packard Headlight

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gig Harbor Sloop

Just got back from visiting some good friends up in Gig Harbor, Washington.  On our last day up there we were having lunch at the harbor when this beautiful sloop comes tooling by.  I had my new Nikon point and shoot with me and had to grab a shot.  By the way, in case you couldn't tell by my photo above, Gig Harbor is a gorgeous place to visit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Just to change things up I thought I would take a break from the Palouse and post another lighthouse photo today.  This one is of Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon.  This was taken in early July when there were a lot of flowers blooming.  The park didn't open it's gates until 8am so I had to park outside the gates and hike in about a mile to get the sunrise photo you see above.  These hikes are fun because you are all by yourself in a beautiful local and everything is quiet and peaceful.  Very enjoyable way to get a little exercise. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Canon 5D Mark II 1/15 sec f/32  ISO 100

These photos demonstrate a technique called a swipe.  Using a longer shutter speed, usually around 1/15th to 1/8th of a second you move the camera across a scene while taking the photo.  This causes the photo to be blurred along the direction you moved the camera.  The result is a more artistic interpretation of the scene.  Here are a couple of my attempts at swiping. 

Canon 5D Mark II 1/10 sec f/32  ISO 100

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Iconic Palouse View

When I first saw this scene, I knew this was going to be for me the iconic view of the Palouse.  You've got barns, hilly terrain, wheat fields, a leading line leading your eye to a single tree and even some clouds in the sky.  However, it's one of those scenes that unless you're carefully looking for it, you would drive right by it.  But fortunately, I was with Dan Sniffin, a photographer with an uncanny sense of composition.  He was the one who discovered this very out of the way location that worked to the delight of everyone in our group.  I would love to return here at either sunrise or sunset.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Palouse Tree

This photo was taken on my last day in the Palouse.  In an earlier blog post I had a photo of this same tree taken from Steptoe Butte.  For this one we drove right up to the tree and got the opportunity to place it more prominently as the main subject.  I usually don't get too excited about trees, but this scene was as pretty in person as it is in the photo.  Once again I used the leading line of the curved edge of the field to lead your eye to the tree.  I only wished that the sky would have had a little less cloud and a little more blue.  But hey, didn't have control over that one.  Anyway, this is still one of my favorite shots that I got of the Palouse.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Barns, Barns and more Barns

Yes, there was no shortage of barns to shoot in the Palouse.  Although most of the time when we stopped to shoot a barn it wasn't in the best of light, we made the best of it and just tried to create good compositions.  The barns all seemed to be unique, either because of their shapes, color, condition or location.

This one on the left was different because of its round shaped roofline and because there were a couple of llamas in front of it.

  This one on the right was another of the many barns that had seen better days.

Go figure another "red" barn.  Which did beg the question as to why red became the default color for barns.  I was thinking it had to do with the availability of red pigments for paints back in the day.  Anybody have any other ideas?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Leaning Barn

This is one of many old barns in the Palouse.  We called this one the Leaning Barn because it is about ready to fall down under it's own weight.  To give credit where it is deserved, my composition was inspired by seeing a similar image from John Barclay.  I have other images that included the whole barn, but this one seems to emphasize the frailty of this structure. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We found some clouds

Canon 5D Mark II, EF 100-400, 1/125 sec F8  ISO 100
Towards the end of my week in the Palouse we finally were blessed with some clouds.  They really do add interest to photos that include the sky.  I liked the feeling of movement in both the cloud pattern and in the wavy lines of the field.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Steptoe Butte View

Canon 5D Mark II,  EF 100-400,  1/90 sec at F11  ISO 400 0
Here is another example of the patchwork quilt look of the Palouse.  The contrast between the color and the patterns are amazing.  This one was taken from Steptoe Butte in the morning time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Three Trucks

The Palouse has more than just great views of landscapes that look like patchwork quilts.  There are also old trucks and cars to photograph.  This scene caught my attention both because of the juxtaposition of the trucks and the fact that they were painted three different colors.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Single Tree in the Palouse

This photo was taken from Steptoe Butte, which is the highest point in this part of the Palouse.  I think it is about 3000 feet above sea level.  Anyway, the views are amazing.  The patterns of color and undulations of the terrain are beautiful.  It almost doesn't look real when you first see it.  This was one of millions of different isolated compositions viewable from the butte.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Palouse Barn

I should mention that I am in the Palouse as part of a group photo tour with professional photographers John Barclay and Dan Sniffin.  They are a great couple of guys and it has been a lot of fun so far.  We have been doing a lot of photography.  In fact, I don't remember ever having spent so much time during a single day doing this much photography.  The first day alone I took close to 650 photographs.  Now I'm not saying they're all going to be keepers, but being around the professionals, as well as, the other photographers in our group has already helped me in how I am approaching my photography.  I am confident that this will only help me improve.  

On Day 1 in the late afternoon we went to this spectacular red barn.  Barns don't get any better than this, as far as, photography subjects.  This property was gorgeous.  Anyway the above photo was one of my takes on the subject.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Palouse

Just got to the Palouse country in Eastern Washington.  This is a major wheat growing area and the landscape is made up of rolling hills that create a beautiful carpet of colors and patterns.   Looking forward to getting many photos that capture the beauty of this area of the country.  The above photo was taken earlier today and shows an example of the landscape.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Laguna View

Canon 5D Mark II, EF 24-105 F/4, 1/10 sec F22  ISO 100
This was taken in Laguna Beach behind the Montage Hotel.  There was a wedding taking place and this ship (boat?) seemed to be part of the wedding.  At the prescribed time in the wedding (the bride and groom being pronounced husband and wife) the ship shot off a few rounds from its cannon and then began moving away.  I'm sure a wedding at the Montage isn't cheap, but I wonder how much extra it was for the cannon blasts?  I'm sure the added memories it caused was well worth it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Old West Kitchen

Canon 5D Mark II,  EF 24-105  0.7 sec  F8  ISO 400
I have finally found a little time to put up a new post.  Although I haven't had any time to actually go out and take any new photos.  So I thought I would put up another one from my trip to Bodie.  This was taken in one of the only buildings that you can actually enter.  It gives you an interesting perspective on how life really was back in the day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


There's something about sunflowers that makes you want to smile.  I think it is because they look like big "Happy Faces".  This one I spied peeking over the wall from my neighbors yard.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Evening Surf

This was shot off of the San Clemente Pier just before sunset.  I wanted to blur the surf a little to convey the feeling of the incoming surf so I used a small aperture (f22) in order to get a shutter speed of 1/4 second.   

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pfeiffer Beach

Took this at Pfeiffer Beach last year.  One of many beautiful scenes found all along the Big Sur coast of California.  This was taken in the late morning hours and thus the light was very contrasty.  I used my Singh Ray Vari-n-duo filter to slow the shutter speed and make the surf  look misty. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More Mono Lake

This photo was taken in the afternoon of an overcast day.  The original color version was very flat looking.  In order to try to make it an acceptable photo lighting wise, I converted it to B&W.  As a result, I think it looks very moody and more interesting.  I liked the way the shoreline leads your eye back to the tufa formation in the back left of the photo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crystal Cove

We went over to Crystal Cove to have a nice lunch at the Beachcomber the other day.  As you can see in the above photo it was a classic, beautiful sunny California day.  Lunch was good too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Flower

Went to Sherman Gardens yesterday and saw this unusual looking  flower.  I didn't catch the name of it, but I think it's from Indonesia.  I thought I would have some fun with this photo and mix a little color and B&W.  I think it makes it look like a strawberry ice cream cone

Monday, June 6, 2011


The lilies in our backyard were blooming a few weeks back, so it gave me a chance to practice some close up photography.  This photo looked OK to me in the color version but when I converted it to black & white using Silver Efex Pro it seemed to show off the flower's detail, simplicity and beauty that much better.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I thank God that I live in the USA!  I thank God for our Veterans and Active Duty Military that have and continue to protect our freedom.  On this Memorial Day try to thank at least one veteran.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bodie #2

Here's another one from Bodie.  It's amazing how well the wood on the buildings has held up over the years with no paint on them.  Maybe it's the type of wood or the cold temperatures, but I didn't see any rotted wood.  The polarizer on my lens really brings out the color in the wood and sky. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


It had been at least 10 years since I last visited Bodie.  As you might of guessed, it hadn't changed much (lol), being a ghost town and all.  However, this trip was memorable for one reason alone, getting into town.  To get there you usually just have to drive in about 8 miles, 5 of which are on a paved road.  The remaining 3 or so miles is on a pretty well maintained dirt road.  To our surprise, after about a half mile on the dirt road we came to a gate.  A sign told us we would have to hike in the rest of the way.  No reason was given as to why we couldn't drive in.  I was with my wife's cousin, John and troopers like we are we decided to make the walk in which turned out to be more like a 2 to 2 1/2 mile trek each way.  It was worth it.  This old town has some very interesting buildings and equipment in various stages of decay.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Panum Crater View

Here's another photo from Panum Crater.  This is looking southwest towards the Sierra's about an hour before sunset.  The pickings were slim as far as finding an interesting foreground subject.  About the best I could find was this scrawny looking shrub.  At least the sky was nice.  Another interesting thing about this ancient crater was that there was a lot of obsidean scattered all around.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mono Lake Sunset

Here 's a photo of Mono Lake from the top of Panum Crater, which is an ancient volcano crater on the south side of the lake.  The setting sun provided a short but impressive light show. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mono Lake

I am finally getting around to processing some photos I took up in the Eastern Sierra's a couple of weeks ago.  This one of course is of Mono Lake.  I was hoping for some special light just before the sun came up over the horizon, but unfortunately the cloud cover to the east was too dense and that special lighting wasn't to be.  This one was taken about 40 minutes later when the clouds started to breakup.  Still a very nice place to be just to enjoy the beauty and solitude that is found in nature.  In posts to follow I will be showing some more photos from Mono Lake and its surrounds, as well as, from Bodie ghost town.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pt. Fermin Lighthouse

Yes, another lighthouse.  Although this one doesn't really look like one.  This is Pt. Fermin lighthouse located in San Pedro, CA.  You can't see the actual light at the top of the tower because of the angle at which the photo was taken.  This was taken close to sunset in the Springtime.  I will eventually run out of lighthouse pics I'm sure, but since I have so many, I will continue to post some of the better ones.  I hope you like them.    

Monday, April 25, 2011

Old Tail Light

I went to a car show that is held every Sunday morning called Coffee & Cars.  It's a place where a lot of regular folks can bring their cars and show them off and visit with a bunch of other people that like to do the same thing.  It's a great place to make pictures of cars of all vintages and makes.  Some are restored to look like the day they came off the assembly line and others are customized to the imagination of its owner.  Then there are cars like the one above which has seen better days.  I'm sure this car will one day be restored but I kind of liked it in this weathered condition.  For this photo I adjusted the contrast using Topaz Adjust to bring out more detail in the old paint and rust.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Laguna Seashore

I went over to Laguna last weekend hoping for a nice cloudy sunset only to find a few scattered clouds in the sky.  This made for an OK sunset opportunity, but nothing too exciting.  I did set up this shot about a half hour before the sun went down that I liked.  Having a prominent  foreground subject always seems to make for an interesting photograph.  This is an HDR photo using 3 exposures (+2,0, -2).  I also used NIK's Color Efex Pro Tonal Contrast filter.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Here's a shot taken at Dana Point Harbor of a line of sailboats.  I liked the repetition pattern of the boats themselves but also of the reflections of the boats.  This was a single shot processed using Topaz Adjust and a little tweaking in Photoshop.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Point Vicente Lighthouse

This is one of the few lighthouses in Southern California and in my opinion one of the most picturesque.  This was taken in the late afternoon about 2 hours before sunset and the lighting was still a bit contrasty.  To help deal with the contrast, I decided to process this one in NIK's Silver Efex Pro to convert it to b&w.  I finished it off with a bit of white vignetting.  I like the old fashioned look it gave to this scene.  It looks to me like a photo taken back in the 50's.