Category Archives: Photography

Photographic prints in color, black and white and sepia

Griffith Park – Hiking

My wife and I were Los Angeles a few weeks ago visiting our middle daughter, her husband and two of our grandchildren. They live in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles which bumps up to Griffith Park. If you are not familiar with Griffith Park, it was created in 1896 and is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. It is home to the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum of the American West, the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign. Along with that, golf courses, picnic areas and hiking. It encompasses the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, which provides some awesome trails to hike or horse back ride. The trails are wide and take you up into the mountains with stunning views. For more details: Wikipedia

So onto the hiking part. I have hiked some of the lower trails with my grandchildren (4 & 6), but those are the ones that follow the valleys and are close to their home. Having said that, I have always wanted to hike up the other trails, but they are too much for the kids. I had an afternoon open while they were both in school and did a spur of the moment thing and took off hiking. I did not take my camera and all of the shots in this post were from my cell phone (just wanted to make that disclaimer).

The first capture is the first picture I took (I hadn’t even thought about taking pictures when I left, but as I got higher up the trail…….). This capture is looking down at where I started. The green lawn with the building in the middle is one of the golf courses and is close to where I started the hike. On the right side of the picture, you can see the trail as it starts to wind up the mountain.

The next capture brings into perspective the trail I had hiked. This particular morning had been foggy, but it burned off about an hour before I started. I add this to let you know that the buildings in the background is downtown LA and that isn’t smog, but remnants of the fog. I also mention it because you will see a completely different look to the sky when I get to the top and show you the other side of these mountains.

You see the trail as it climbs up in elevation.

The next shot is still following the trail I had hiked to get to this point.

You can see how it follows the terrain…..

This capture brings you up to where I had stopped to take these shots. Notice the width of the trail. It almost looks like a road, but again it handles horse back riding and pedestrian hikers.

I took this shot at the top and it looks back to the Santa Monica Mountains that form the park and go all the way west to the ocean dividing the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley.

Turning around from the shot above is the top I hiked to. What you are now seeing is the city of Glendale which lies at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in between Burbank and Pasadena.

This shot shows one of the golf courses that bumps up to Interstate 5 heading north into Burbank. This is literally where the LA Basin winds around the end of the Santa Monica Mountains and feeds into the San Fernando Valley.

There is still that haze in the air, but notice in these last two shots, clouds developing over the mountains. They turned into afternoon showers in the San Fernando Valley later in the day

Thoughts? As I have said before, everyone reacts to visual art techniques and looks differently, so I am not in the least offended by opinions. 

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Autumn Colors

Attached are a variety of my autumn color captures. The first capture is of Mt. Hood in Oregon and the rest are from Issaquah, Washington. Enjoy!!

Mt. Hood Oregon

Issaquah Train Station

Bright Orange Fall Colors

Fall Lamppost

Picnic Table

The Flame

Row of Trees

Fall Bench

Thoughts? As I have said before, everyone reacts to visual art techniques and looks differently, so I am not in the least offended by opinions. 

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Photo Shoot – Admiralty Head Lighthouse

I thought it might be interesting to see the process I typically go through on a photo shoot. I start with the fact that most of my photo shoots are spontaneous and not necessarily pre-planned. Having said that I do take my 35mm camera with me as a “just in case” on most “outings”. A great example of this was done last month when my wife and I asked our oldest daughter if she wanted to go over to Whidbey Island for the day! Whidbey is right across the sound from where we live and is accessible via ferry from Mukilteo (10 minutes from our home) or via a long bridge on the north end of the island (about an hour drive from our home). We did the bridge going over and then drove the length of the island taking the ferry home. One of the stops we made was Fort Casey (more info here) which is a fort constructed in the late 1800’s and used during WW1 and WW2. Within the park is Admiralty Head Lighthouse, which our daughter had never seen. I did a photo shoot of it years ago and thought I would do another one to see if I got anything different or better than the prior shoot. Having said all of that, I thought it would be interesting to see how I handle spontaneous shoots. I have attached 6 captures highlighting the process.

The first capture is looking across the field from the fort towards the lighthouse.

Admiralty Head 1

The next picture shows the same capture, but edited to straighten the shot up and focus on the subject matter.

Admiralty Head 2

I wanted to replace the current black and white capture I had of this lighthouse on my gallery website, so the next image is the same cropped shot in black and white.

Admiralty Head 3

So you can see how I compensate for “crooked shots” and other aspects to arrive at the final product.

Another great example is the next set of shots. I had done a series of captures walking around the lighthouse and thought the next set would be a unique framing of the lighthouse.

Admiralty Head 4

Apparently I stand crooked and you can see my wife and daughter patiently waiting for me. The next shot is the cropped version.

Admiralty Head 5

And then the B&W version:

Admiralty Head 6

Thoughts? As I have said before, everyone reacts to visual art techniques and looks differently, so I am not in the least offended by opinions. 

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Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

I periodically go through my files of pictures I have taken over the years to surface anything I have missed or if something grabs my attention now that didn’t at the time I took it. In that process I re-discovered a number of captures from a trip to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon we took in 2020. The attached photos had been surfaced by me and I had started to crop the original shots, but didn’t finish the process. With all of the trips we have taken between Southern California and the Seattle area over the years, most were flights due to time constraints. Having said that we would do road trips periodically up and down the west coast to see new sites, etc. At that time we were not comfortable flying due to Covid and realized we hadn’t visited Crater Lake National Park, so made that a stop along with some other points in eastern Oregon. For overall information on this National Park click: here!

Crater Lake is a collapsed volcano that has filled with water. Known for its deep blue waters, it is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the top ten in depth across the world.

The first capture gives you a feel for the beauty of the lake with what is called Wizard Island in the background.

Crater Lake National Park

This next shot is from the other side of the lake from the first shot by Wizard Island. It gives you a closer look at the island and also shows you just how large the lake filled crater is.

Wizard Island In Crater Lake

The third and fourth captures depict a different structure in the lake called Phantom Ship due to the shape of the small island. I like both the horizontal shot and the vertical one…same subject just different framing.

Phantom Ship of Crater Lake

Horizontal above and vertical below:

Crater Lakes Phantom Ship


Thoughts??

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Moss Covered Stairs Revisited

Back on November 5, 2013 my blog post covered a photoshoot I did in Issaquah, Washington (eastern suburb of Seattle at the foot of the Cascade Mountain Range). Why this is resurfacing now is because I came cross one of those captures in my archives while moving some other prints there (I try and weed through my prints and periodically retire some of them to my personal archive file). I had used it as a background for one of my inspirational prints (also shared below) I created in August 2020. The original print really caught me eye and I thought it worthing of having it on my “TheWallGallery” website.

The shot is very unusual in that this is the last thing you would expect to come across while on a hike in a heavily forested foothill just east of Seattle, Washington. I researched the location and found the background behind the stairs. The site use to be an anti-aircraft facility to protect this area from attack. This stairway along with one other connected what was an area for barracks up to the missiles themselves. For the history of the site and what is now Cougar Mountain Regional Park, click here: “Radar Park” at Anti-Aircraft Peak

“Moss Stairs”
He Walks With You

Thoughts?

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Seagull Friend on Oceanside Pier

As a follow up to last weeks post on the Oceanside Pier, I have 4 additional shots I wanted to share this week. These are not of the pier itself and are in color which works better with this subject matter. As one would expect around an ocean pier there are many seagulls flying around at all times. I was so focused on the pier itself until the end of the shoot. At that point, I was out at the end of the pier and getting ready to call it a day and head back in when a seagull caught my eye flying not too far from where I was standing. Sometimes I’m a little slow on moving my camera attention (especially when I was so focused on the pier) to a different subject matter. This was one of those times as the seagull flew around my head and then landed on a portion of the rail right in front of me as if to say….”no worries, I’ll pose for you”. I started taking pictures and started moving around to get different angles, lighting and background. From all of those captures, I decided to post the last four I took as they best demonstrate the “models” attitude about the photoshoot.

The first one depicts the seagull cooperating and allowing me to shoot a number of captures as I moved around getting different perspectives.

Seagull 1

The seagull was so good to allow me subtle differences as I snapped away.

Seagull 2

I then backed up and circled around as he moved ever so slightly to get some sun and a lighting change as I captured an angle that included the shoreline.

Seagull 3

I was surprised by the cooperation and patience with all of my movements, but it was at this point I think the seagull thought enough is enough. Right after the above shot……

Seagull 4

he turned his head to tune me out and held it perfectly still for quite some time to ignore me. Then without a look back or anything took off and flew very far away from the pier as if to say…enough already!! Chill dude….enough is enough!!

Thoughts?

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The Longest Pier on the Western United States Coastline

Today I’m featuring a photo shoot I did a couple of weeks ago. The subject matter is the Oceanside Pier in Southern California. I had not been to the pier for a few years, but remembered it well. It is the longest pier along the western US coastline at 1954 feet (596m). The current pier was built in 1987 replacing a number of prior piers lost to stormy weather. For more information: Wikipedia. The town of Oceanside is located in northern San Diego County just south of Camp Pendleton (which lies along the coast between San Diego County and Orange County to the north).

I had a couple of hours of free time (I was a car pool buddy for my wife coming and going from Northern Los Angeles to a bridal shower for my niece at my sisters home in San Diego) during the afternoon and had decided to do this photo shoot. The pier is very impressive and I had just viewed another photographers photoshoot of a pier and was reminded how impressive the architectural structure of these larger piers were. I also chose to do the shoot in black and white as I like the architectural detail that is highlighted in a monochromatic shoot such as this. For some reason I have always been drawn to shots under the structure of piers, thus the number of those on this shoot. At the end of the pier was a restaurant (prior to Covid), which we had frequented. I’m assuming a new tenant will be found as it is a great location.

I open the shoot with a shot I took walking from my parking spot to the beach area underneath the pier for the next few shots.

Oceanside, California Pier

Next up are the shots I took of the under structure in the order I took them.

The Support Of The Pier
Pier 3
Pier 4
Pier 5

Coming out from underneath on the other side of the pier which gives you another appreciation of how far out it goes with the restaurant building on the end.

Pier 6

I was walking out to the end and stepped off on one of the “pop outs” you see in this photo.

Pier 7

Passing the tower structures on each side as in seen above, I took this shot approaching the restaurant structure on the end.

Pier 8

And on the other side of the pier with all of the people fishing.

Fishing Off The End Of The Pier

The last capture is from the end of the pier next to the former restaurant looking back towards the coastline. You can see just how far out the pier goes from this perspective as well as from the shore looking out to this point.

Pier 10

In case you were wondering why three of these shots have names under them, those are the ones I added to my galleries. It always amazes me how many shots I take and how I whittle them down to just a few favorites. If any of those I hadn’t named strike you as “gallery worthy” let me know!! Thanks!!

Thoughts?

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Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

As part of my continuing series over the last few weeks from our recent road trip to Seattle and back, this weeks post is of Crater Lake National Park. Located northwest of Klamath Falls in the south central portion of Oregon, it was formed 7,700 years ago when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. The collapsed caldera has become the deepest lake in the United States fed by rain and snow and one of the most pristine anywhere on the planet.

In all of our years going up and down the west coast to Seattle, we had never stopped at Crater Lake. I have seen it numerous times from the air flying back and forth, but seeing it up close and personal is an entirely different experience. One of the most recognizable features of the Lake is the island on the western side of the lake. Because of this feature, it makes it easy to spot even at 36,000 feet in the air.

Crater Lake 1

The first thing you notice about the lake is the deep blue color of the water. It looks fake even in person it so so blue.

Crater Lake 2

We drove around the entire lake and as you can see from this capture as we approach the island, it isn’t as small as one would believe, which gives you an idea just how large this lake is.

Crater Lake 3

The next capture (Crater Lake 4) was taken from the drive as it took us around in the upper right coastline of the above capture (Crater Lake 3).

Crater Lake 4

This next capture was a surprise as we continued the drive from Crater Lake 4 going left from that shot.

Crater Lake 5

Love the unique feature that nature created here. Looks like a small castle on an island. To give you a point of reference, the island itself is on the far right side of this capture.

There is so much to do in the Park and so much to see. This just gives you a flavor of the lake itself. Again, the surreal deep blue color of the lake boggles the mind every time you look at it no matter which side of the lake you are on.

Thoughts?

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Hood River Valley, Oregon

In continuing from last weeks post from our recent road trip up to the Seattle area from Los Angeles, I wanted to share some captures from the Hood River Valley in Northern Oregon. We stopped here after visiting Crater Lake in Southern Oregon (pics from that coming soon). Hood River is a town located on the confluence of the Hood River and The Columbia River. Just south of the town is a stunningly beautiful agricultural valley. The valley is known for its tree fruit agriculture—including one of the world’s largest pear growing areas. There is a mapped out drive around the valley called the “Fruit Loop”. It lists a number of places to visit where the twenty-nine member stands offer you a variety of wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, and food. We chose to stop at an apple orchard where we were able to pick our own fruit. Loved the experience as neither my wife or I have picked apples from an orchard since we were young. It also high-lighted an old country store where in respect to covid, goods were displayed outside in front of the historic building.

This weeks captures were taken along the fruit loop and as Mt Hood is a prominent backdrop in the valley, I couldn’t resist these shots with the fall color.

Hood River Valley Fruit Stand
Mt. Hood Oregon
Autumn Colors Hood River Valley
Mount Hood Close Up

Thoughts?

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Marymere Falls in the Olympic National Park

My wife and I just got back to Los Angeles from a 2 week road trip back up to Seattle. For those of you that follow my blog, you will remember my post from mid September of the thick smoke in Seattle that we experienced when we were up there then. Yes, we turned around in a couple of weeks and returned this time via car. The early September trip was a last minute one to help on a family matter. This trip we had been planning all summer to take a few days going up, stopping at Crater Lake and Hood River Valley in Oregon. On our way back down we went through Oregon and cut over to the coast to drive down the extreme Northern California Coastline through the many redwoods that populate that geography. So for the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my favorite captures from our trip.

I’m starting this week with two captures of Marymere Falls located in the Olympic National Park which is on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. This was an awesome day trip we did with our two daughters and their husbands that live in the Seattle area. We took one of the many ferries that connect Seattle to the surrounding islands and the peninsula. From the arriving ferry port, we still had another 1.5 hour drive to the park.

There is so much to see and do with the many trails, etc, but my favorite one for the day was the attached two captures of Marymere Falls. The trail is just a quick 1.7 mile hike and ends with this 90 foot waterfall. There are two viewing platforms at different elevations to choose from. This first capture is from the lower platform and the second one is from the upper platform.

Marymere Falls
Marymere Falls Bottom Half

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