Category Archives: Photography

Photographic prints in color, black and white and sepia

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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Winter Wonderland – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I was blessed with a great photo opportunity during the holidays. We were in Seattle for Christmas weekend and on Christmas Eve it started to snow. What makes it even more spectacular than just the beauty of a white Christmas is that Seattle may get a snow or two during the winter months, but typically it is just cold rain. So, we were able to enjoy one of their infrequent snows and it started on Christmas Eve and lasted into Christmas morning. Yes, it was one of those peaceful snows with big fluffy flakes….really stunning. I haven’t personally experienced that at Christmas since our days in Denver almost 30 years ago.

We spent Christmas day with our son-in-laws family. They live on the outskirts of Seattle with lots of forest land around their neighborhood. Always traveling with my camera, my son-in-law and I went for a hike where I took the attached shots.

This first shot is the trail we hiked.

Couldn’t resist this capture with the snow covered branches arching over the trail.

We entered a clearing where I captured this lone tree all covered in snow.

Just loved the look of the trees….

Stunning was all I could think of……truly a winter wonderland!!

As we came back into the neighborhood we saw families and their children taking advantage of this opportunity….notice the wise mom positioned in front of the pond to prevent anyone from getting to close and personal with the water. Love it!!

Believe it or not, all of this was gone within two days…by the time we flew out it had all melted. The day after we left another storm moved in with lots of rain (the typical). Timing is everything!!  Thoughts?

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The Duck At Papago Park

My wife and I have not been home for a weekend since before Thanksgiving until this weekend. I am not complaining as we have had short weekend get aways to celebrate a first birthday for our granddaughter in Los Angeles, a wedding in San Jose and then our nieces graduation in San Diego for her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy (two of her internships over the last year and a half were here in the Phoenix area where we were thrilled to house her both times) and next weekend finds us in Seattle for Christmas with the following one in Los Angeles for New Years. I share all of this (yes I am headed somewhere…) as to why it was that we found ourselves in the ever popular shopping malls and stores this past weekend doing our last minute Christmas shopping. This is not to say that Amazon has not received it’s fair share of our purchases, but there are those items you need to actually pick up or find. Having survived the masses, my mind went to a peaceful quiet place as we wound down Sunday night. The result is the attached photos.

Papago Park in Phoenix is nestled between the Desert Botanical Garden and The Phoenix Zoo. It has ponds and hiking trails and is very “quiet and peaceful”. Key point!! I was looking for a beautiful peaceful snow scene, but since I couldn’t find one (yes I have been living in warm climates for many years now), so I settled on this to represent a reprieve from the last minute hustle and bustle of the season. So back to the ponds. The ponds are home to many birds, but as the fall and winter migration occurs, it has a resident that calls the ponds home year ’round, the Mallard Duck. Both shots are the same duck, who appears not to have a concern in the world. So I give you my visual of a little peace and quiet during this busy season!!

Thoughts?

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Climbing The Pyramid When You Could – El Castillo in Chichen Itza

Sepia Mayan Pyramid – El Castillo as it looks without people climbing it

Chichen Itza came up in a discussion recently about how you use to be able to climb the great stairs of the pyramid all the way to the top. I was fortunate enough to have done that very thing when you still could. I’m not sure of the specific year when I did the climb, but it was somewhere in the very early 2000’s. My wife and I were down there with a group of people from work (annual reward trip). We were staying in Cancun and took a chartered tour bus to Chichen Itza. I love history, architecture and ancient ruins, so I was in my element. Of course I was not without my camera and took a ton of shots of the different ruins, El Castillo being foremost in my shoot. I was fascinated from a photography aspect of pictures with people walking up the steps of this famous pyramid.

Fast forward to 2007 and we were back down there with some close friends and our respective families. My girls had heard about climbing this pyramid and couldn’t believe their father who has a fear of heights actually did it. Imagine their disappointment when we found out you could no longer climb the pyramid. Due to an unfortunate death to a falling tourist in late 2005 and to the damage being done by the sheer load of people trudging up and down those steps along with the graffiti left behind by those same people, it was no longer permitted.

“Chichen Itza” El Castillo the day I climbed to the top

Those pictures suddenly started taking on a new element for me as something that will not be seen again. As I worked with them for my gallery I kept getting this circa 1930’s vibe and Indiana Jones feel from them. Sepia popped into my head and after converting them decided to add another element of that old vibe with some texture. What came from that process is these three captures converted to what I think looks like an old Indiana Jones element from that era (of course I realize he wouldn’t be discovering anything new in a place that had tourist climbing pyramid steps, but my vision of this look didn’t care about such details).

“Walking Up The Pyramid”   you can see people coming down using my technique and people walking down like it wasn’t an issue….but you get the visual impact of how steep those stairs actually are.

Now you can’t leave without me telling you about the wonders of that climb. I have a fear of heights such as the edge of the Grand Canyon (edge only), glass elevators that take you up more than 10 stories….I have some tolerance….ledges on mountains to name a few. I knew climbing the stairs wouldn’t be an issue as you are looking at the structure. I didn’t have any issues climbing to the top and was a little cautious about walking around by the edge at the top….ok…I stayed pretty close to the walls of the structure you see up there. The view is incredible and I was fascinated by the placement of the different windows in the top structure. Truly forgetting about how far up I was, it was time to come back down. You have no idea just how really steep and narrow each of those steps are until you go back down. For me it was literally too much to try and walk back down those steps…one trip or miss-step and you will literally fall all the way down (which is unfortunately what happened to the tourist I mentioned above). The best way is to sit down and slide your backside down each step.

I have toured the site multiple times and have learned new things each time. For more information about Chichen Itza – Wikipedia Here.   Chichen Itza is located in the middle of the northern tier of the Yucatan Peninsula between Merida towards the Gulf of Mexico and Cancun on the Caribbean side. Thoughts?

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Pacific Ocean Summer Sunsets – Featured Art Prints

Pacific Sunset

Coastal Sunset

The featured pictures are of a summer sunset over the Pacific Ocean in San Diego County. They are scenes that were captured just minutes apart as the coloring of the clouds changed moment to moment. In these captures, I came back and digitally soften them up just slightly with a very subtle watercolor technique. They still retain the detail of a photograph, but with a barely perceptible softening.

The setting is Northern San Diego County on a hill about three miles from the coast. This was the view from our house and on this particular evening the color of the sky was so vivid and bright, I immediately grabbed my camera. On the second picture you see a dark spot in the sky that looks like it shouldn’t be there. I have the ability to clear that out, but I was curious as to what it was. I magnified that portion of the print and discovered it was a commercial airliner flying the coastal flight pattern between San Diego proper (to the south) and Los Angeles (to the north) or points further north. Because of this I decided to leave the “spot” in.  Thoughts?

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