Tag Archives: kirt tisdale

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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My art gallery: TheWallGallery

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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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Cabin In The Woods – Sepia Style

The attached prints are of a cabin in the woods near North Bend, Washington. North Bend is nestled in a valley of the Cascade Mountain Range east of Seattle. I found this scene when I was hiking along the river that runs through the valley. I immediately saw it as a sepia print. I used a sepia tone finish on the photograph for that old rustic look. The sepia brown tones originated with film photography as part of the process to develop the prints in the 1800’s. Today, we can recreate that same vintage look digitally. And speaking of digitally, I added the red color on both prints to create an accent point in both pictures.

Old Cabin

Outdoor Chair By The Red Pot

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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Griffith Observatory and Downtown Los Angeles

As a follow up to a post I did on January 4, 2015, I am celebrating my all time top selling print which is the Griffith Park Observatory with downtown Los Angeles in the background. On the original post, I was asking for input (Griffith Park Observatory in Black and White) on which prints were favored so I could narrow it down to a few to post in my art gallery. I featured six captures I had narrowed down from a series of them. The three captures I ended up posting in my gallery were #1, #4 & #6 now known as Griffith Observatory and Downtown Los Angeles, Open For The Telescope and Observatory In Art Deco. I thought it would be interesting to see what the vote was from the original post. Number 1 received the most votes with #4 coming in second. #6 didn’t receive votes, but it struck me as a nice compliment to the other two to finish out the series. All in all, all three of the ones I picked have done well, but #1 has blown the roof off.

Griffith Observatory And Downtown Los Angeles
Open For The Telescope
Observatory In Art Deco

Thoughts?

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Dahlia Blooms – Close Up and Macro

My wife, our oldest daughter and myself did a day trip over to Whidbey Island last week (Whidbey is just “off shore” in the Puget Sound north of downtown Seattle, but literally just west of where we live in the northern suburbs of Seattle). It doesn’t matter where we go, I always have my camera ready as you never know what you will see that hits you as a photo opportunity. One of those opportunities occurred right after lunch and just before we were going to catch the ferry back to the mainland. We had stopped at a nice outdoor restaurant for lunch and next door to it was a massive nursery with tons of flowers and plants. It caught my wife and daughters eye, so after lunch we ventured over to check it out. As the three of us ventured around the nursery, we came across some stunning Dahlia plants with very (and I mean at least 12 inches/30.48 centimeters) large blooms. The photographer in me immediately went to work on capturing the largest blooms, framing those and then taking another shot as a macro close-up. I have attached eight captures of four different blooms.

Soft Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom
Macro Soft Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom
Bright Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom

Macro Bright Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom

Red And White Dahlia Bloom

Macro Red And White Dahlia Bloom

Yellow Dahlia Bloom

Macro Yellow Dahlia Bloom

Thoughts?

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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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Tulip Town

Tulip Town is a tulip farm located in the Skagit Valley just west of Mt. Vernon, Washington (north of Seattle). You can visit their site (here). Skagit Valley is a fertile farming valley that typically has field upon field in full bloom with tulips and daffodils this time of year. Last winter was an especially tough winter for this farming valley. The region experienced an exceptionally wet winter of rain that has continued into the spring. Many fields have been flooded and the spring floral blooms aren’t as robust as normal. Having said that, it is still beautiful with many spring tulips in bloom.

A couple of weeks ago in the middle of numerous days of rain, we had a warm sunny day and my wife and I decided to take advantage of the sunshine by visiting Tulip Town. We weren’t disappointed with the beauty of fields of tulips in full bloom and many other fields just starting to bloom. In all candor with or without the blooms, the valley is beautiful all by itself. I have attached ten captures from our time there. Enjoy!!

Thoughts?

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My art gallery: TheWallGallery

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