Category Archives: Photography

Photographic prints in color, black and white and sepia

Set The Mood – Black and White Photography

After the last few posts of fall colors, I’m doing a 180 with something I’ve talked about before and wanted to revisit with a couple of great examples in “setting the mood” with black and white photography.

I’ve attached a shot I call “Farm Water Pump”. The subject matter of the pump is not the first thing you see, but does pull your eye into the photo of an old fashion water pump on a farm just in front of some stables. The lack of color sets a subdued mood that works well with this type of composition.

I have also attached a shot I call ” Heritage Hill Mansion in Black and White”. The subject matter in this particular shot fills the field of vision with old Victorian architecture. Seeing this same shot in color focuses the eye on the intricacies of the architecture like a ginger bread house. By presenting this same composition in black and white, the visual mood created is an almost “haunting” look to this structure.

Not everyone is a fan of black and white photography, but don’t discount it in presenting certain types of compositions as it does create a mood. Thoughts?

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Snohomish Riverfront Trail – Photo Shoot

I’ve attached four photos I took from a short hike I took on the Riverfront Trail in Snohomish, Washington (Snohomish…the town of…sits just north of the Seattle metropolitan area in Snohomish County).

I took a long flight of stairs down to the walk from the Historic Downtown District with features a number of antique shops, great restaurants and bars in old historic buildings along 1st Street. The Snohomish River was running high after a number of days of rain which had been especially heavy in the Cascade Mountain Range where the river originates. The river winds itself through the county and town on it’s journey west meeting the Possession Sound by Everett, Washington.

The skies cleared with sunshine providing great light on fall foliage along the walkway.

Loved the look of the bridge from the trail…..

The Riverfront Trail Below Downtown

The retaining wall on the right has engraved plaques of the town history along with a line that marks the high point of the river crest during a flood a number of years back.

Thoughts?

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Splashes of Color – Pacific Northwest Part Two

As a follow-up to last weeks post of fall colors from the Pacific Northwest, I have attached six shots I took last weekend while we were there. We had a great weekend and from a weather perspective we thought it was perfect (which to us is light rain most of the weekend). That may sound strange, but we haven’t seen rain since early August when our community in Goodyear, Arizona was impacted by a very strong monsoon thunderstorm and now that we are back in Southern California, no rain in sight. So, for us…we loved it…not to mention the time spent with two of or daughters and their husbands…perfect!

During a break in a light drizzle with sun trying to peek out, I went for a hike to capture the attached….

Pacific Northwest Color 1

Pacific Northwest Color 2

Pacific Northwest Color 3

Pacific Northwest Color 4

Pacific Northwest Color 5

Pacific Northwest Color 6

Thoughts?

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What a Difference A Day Makes – Excerpts from a photo shoot

In staying with the subject matter of lasts weeks post about our week in San Diego County, I have attached four pictures that tell the weather story of the week. The beginning of the week started with storm clouds and dreary weather. There was what was left of a hurricane and now a tropical depression to the west of the Baja in Mexico that was changing course and heading towards the Baja Peninsula and eventually the Desert Southwest of the US grazing Southern California in the process. Having lived in San Diego for over 24 years and then Arizona for the last 5, not anything unusual and actually kind of welcome rain for the desert. This particular storm brought drizzle and light rain to the San Diego area and multiple inches of rain to Arizona. Having said all of that, it moved quickly and I was able to get some before and after pictures along the beach where we were staying. The pictures present two totally different aspects of beach life in San Diego County.

The first two say to me….”beach season over”…”pack it up and get the heck inside”. The clouds give such an ominous look to the coastline. Both shots are looking southward towards the city of San Diego. 

Storm Clouds Coastal San Diego County 1

Storm Clouds Coastal San Diego County 2

Then just a couple of days later, I took the following two pictures.

Looking south towards the city of San Diego. You can actually see the bluffs of La Jolla on the horizon.

This capture is looking north towards Oceanside and the mountain ridge in Camp Pendleton leading into Orange County and Los Angeles.

Thoughts?

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Classics – Vintage Airplane and Trucks

When I am taking photographs either black and white or color, I am constantly visualizing the most interesting way to frame “the shot”. My framing visualization is always looking for interesting angles and unique presentations, not necessarily to show entire subjects or broad landscapes. I try to peak the viewers interest and evoke an interest in what they are seeing. The best example I can think of is macro shots of flower blooms and buds. By taking just a section and focusing on that portion only, you see the detail of the bloom that you wouldn’t necessarily see when included with a garden shot or total plant shot.

I used the same approach with the attached three photographic art prints.  The common theme between them is two-fold: they are all classic/vintage forms of transportation and all three highlight specific shapes and colors to draw your eye in.

We start with “Black Propeller”. This is a single engine prop plane from World War Two. I took a  number of shots of this plane from almost every angle. I kept coming back to this “macro” shot of the propellers. The thing that drew my eye in was the color of the black propellers in front of the bright yellow casing of the engine. That was the starting point and then the intricacy of the engine and finally the detail reflected in the chrome center cap of the propellers. You can see people and their shadows looking at this plane.

“Green Classic Truck’ was another shoot that I did from all angles. This shot in my perspective told the story best of the truck (what you don’t see are items in the back flatbed that weren’t pertinent to the era this vehicle represents). This particular shot and the angle tell the story of this deep green classic/vintage truck with the wood doors and curved running board becoming the fender. Your eye gets pulled to the bench front seat over to the windshield with the single wiper blade. I also liked the positioning which allows a peak of the activity behind the truck. The people under umbrellas at tables added an additional element.

We end with “Pale Green Classic Chevy Truck”. Of course I had to present the front grille to start the visual journey of this beauty. From the grille your eye travels down to the wide white-walled tires up to the visor at the top of the windshield. I was fortunate in this shot that there wasn’t any distracting items or activities immediately around the truck to take away from the look of this classic/vintage vehicle.

Thoughts?

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Subtle Softening Photographs of Covered Bridges

This week, in keeping with the theme from last week (a behind the scenes peek of how I digitally create these art prints), I wanted to share a technique I used with these three examples of covered bridges in Oregon. As I stated last week, I have been using Adobe Photoshop forever. I love the variety of features and flexibility it gives me not only with my photography, but also in creating digitally painted art.

The three prints I have attached came from a photo shoot I did a number of years ago in Oregon. All three look like three photographs of covered bridges and in reality they are. If you look closer, you will see that the edges and detail are softened slightly…ever so slightly to just give the prints a subtle softness. It’s a minor change I created by using one of Adobe’s filters. I started with the photographs in Adobe and eliminated any background “noise” such as electrical wires. In these shots that was about the only doctoring I did to the actual photograph. The next step was to soften them slightly, so I used their watercolor filter. In that filter you can control numerous elements such as pixel size of softness..type of softness and intensity. With numerous trial and error attempts, I settled on a level I liked. A subtle watercolor effect that you see more easily in the trees, but it also soften the edges of the bridges…again very subtle, but an overall softening.

Thoughts?

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Wenatchee River, Washington – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

For the weekend of March 10th, as a Christmas gift to the family, one of our daughters put together a family getaway weekend. The location she chose was up in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle (two of our three daughters and their husbands live in the Seattle area – the other daughter who put this together, her husband and our granddaughter live in the Los Angles area and my wife and I live in the Phoenix area). She chose a location near Stevens Pass (spring skiing) and just outside of Leavenworth, Washington (Leavenworth is a Bavarian village featuring great German food, beer gardens and wine tasting from nearby wineries). The location of the house we stayed in is the subject of this weeks post.  The house was located along the Wenatchee River which flows down from the pass area into the eastern side of the Cascades. Most of the river is white water rapids, but the portion of the river where the house was located is just upstream from a small dam. The dam backed up this portion of the river into what looks like a still water pond. The house was perfect with floor to ceiling glass windows allowing the views I posted to be seen throughout most of the house.

Wenatchee River One

This first capture is straight across the river looking at a cabin in the woods on the other side (all it missed was smoke curling up from the chimney). The water appears very calm, but  is actually flowing at a fairly rapid pace. Loved the reflection on the water.

Wenatchee River Two

This is just a close up of the cabin across the river…..

Wenatchee River Three

Standing in the same location as the first two shots, this is looking to my right up-stream along the river. If you could zoom in on the river where the green reflection ends, you would see white water rapids as the water flows into this calmer portion. We could hear the sound of the rapids from our location.

Wenatchee River Four

This is a cabin located downstream from the house….thought it had that great cabin in the woods look…from this perspective the river is reflecting the white snow of the hillside across from us.  Thoughts?

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