Tag Archives: kirt tisdale

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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Pittock Mansion – Portland Oregon

Following last weeks post of architectural elements, I’m staying with the subject matter this week, but in photography. I was going back through some older files this week working on another project and that led me to a number of photoshoots I did in 2009. I resurfaced these particular captures and realized I had never done anything with them. For someone who especially loves historic architectural elements, I surprised myself. I’ll have to work on that, but for now I wanted to share a few of the shots I took of Pittock Mansion in Portland Oregon. I love the history behind this property and encourage you to check out this link (History – Pittock Mansion) or the links under each of the captures for the fascinating history behind the building of the mansion and the history of it to present day. The property sits on top of a hill overlooking downtown Portland and the Willamette River. On a clear day the view also affords you a centered shot of Mt. Hood in the distance.

We’ll start with a shot of approaching the front of the house via a circular type driveway.

Pittock Mansion 1

Approaching up the driveway to the left….

Pittock Mansion 2

Now the front entrance to the mansion….

Pittock Mansion 3

Next I’m taking you to the very back side of the house. It’s important to note that the backside faces the incredible view as I described above and did I take any shots of that awesome view. Heck no, I was too focused on the mansion and kept shooting different angles as I moseyed around the entire structure. Ugh!! That said, on the web site they did have pictures of the view.

Pittock Mansion 4

As we were leaving the property I did take this final shot highlighting the beauty of the landscaping with flowers.

Pittock Mansion 5

Thoughts?

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Good Old Iowa Barns

I was going through some old stock the other day and came across a photo shoot I did in Eastern Iowa circa 2013. The timeframe was February…no snow, but trees were obviously leafless. I love certain subjects in black and white and older architecture is one of them. I converted the original captures into black and white and the following are the results which I just added to my gallery.

The photo shoot was in and around the Amana Colonies ( Wikipedia) settled in 1856 and comprise 7 villages that sit on 26,000 acres of farm land near Iowa City.

Twin Barns In Black And White
Amana Colony Barn
The Stables

Thoughts?

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Seattle Spring 2021

(As a follow up to last weeks post Tombstone, Arizona in Sepia, I asked for feedback on which sepia print was favored to help me narrow down to one or two. Ironically 1, 3 &4 got identical likes. Thanks!)

My wife and I just got back from a couple of weeks in Seattle. Two of our daughters and their husbands live there and this trip was great as we were able to spend time with all of them. One of the things I enjoy doing when we are up there is walking their dogs as needed. On one of my walks I was blown away by all of the spring blooms. On this particular walk the area is well established and the trees and bushes are very mature and large. I wanted to share some of the blooms I came across.

Seattle Spring 2021 - 1

And to complete the captures, I had to share the following due to the shear size and look of this tree trunk…incredible.

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Tombstone, Arizona in Sepia

I was working on a photo shoot I did from a trip to Tombstone, Arizona a few years back. With the “Old West” history being kept alive in Tombstone, it just leads me to do some of the shots in an old sepia format. That being said, I would like feedback on the top four candidates from that shoot. I want to narrow it down to one or two for my gallery and would appreciate getting your thoughts. Thanks!!

Thoughts?

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Mountain Drive Between Vancouver and Whistler

In keeping with my post last week where I had been reviewing older photo shoots, I am attaching some of the shots I took from the same batch I shared last week. This week it’s from the drive between Vancouver and Whistler. I couldn’t help stopping the car and pulling over with the beauty of the mountains we were seeing (my family is so used to me doing this).

We have been living in Southern California for so many years (Colorado before that) and I miss the sheer beauty of lush green forests on mountains.

I have attached the last shot as I couldn’t do anything but pull over for this one. This log cabin structure caught my eye and I couldn’t help myself!!

Thoughts?

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Zip Lining Near Whistler, BC

I was going through some older photo shoots this week and came across a series of them I did in and around Whistler, British Columbia. From those captures I have attached a series of them around a zip line we did with our youngest daughter. I love zip lining and have done it a few times around the country. In this case it felt like we were in an old Star Wars movie getting to the zip line. The reference is these walkways we had to take to the launching “tree houses” (if you get the reference after seeing the pictures, great …if not, sorry). The shots don’t do justice to just how far off the forest floor you are walking. You get a slightly better perspective of how far up you are with the last two shots of the actual zip line. The zip line was strung over a mountain river and went back and forth zig zagging down stream. We would zip line from one “tree house”… cross the river, get off the line and zig zag further downstream on the next zip line.

The next set of pictures gives you a better idea of what the lines looked like as they zig zagged downstream back and forth across the rover.

This shows my wife on one of the runs to the next “tree house”.

This one shows our daughter and gives you a better adea how far up in the trees the “tree houses” are. The scenery was stunning and the experience was exhilarating.

Thoughts?

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Train Station Door

I have attached two different approaches to a singular subject matter. The singular subject matter is the train station door in Glendale, California. The train station was built in 1924 by the Southern Pacific Railroad using a romantic Spanish Colonial Revival style. The elaborate architectural details immediately become a visual focal point. The station now serves for both Amtrak and the Los Angeles Metro Link Rail system and was purchased by the city of Glendale in 1989.

Having been through this station numerous times over the last 20+ years, I was usually too busy coming or going to stop and really absorb the architectural detail. Finally in 2017 I did a photoshoot of the entire station and settled on this perspective of the door as a true representation of the beauty of the building.

I chose two different sketching techniques to highlight the beauty of the architectural details. Both techniques created totally different visual experiences of the same subject. There isn’t a right or wrong in either technique, just a visual preference by the viewer, which varies from viewer to viewer.

Sketched Train Station Door
Pastel Train Station Door

Thoughts?

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Sepia Tone For the Old West

As I have talked about before with sepia tone photography, the subject matter needs to fit the historic tone of this type of photograph. This week I am featuring four prints from the “Wild West”.

Tombstone Stagecoach


The setting is Tombstone, Arizona. The old stagecoach is now a tourist attraction for rides through historic Tombstone.

Old Mining Tracks

The setting here is Tortilla Flats, located east of the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area up in the Superstitious Mountains. Once a stage coach stop, Tortilla Flats is more of a tourist attraction with a great restaurant, small museum and gift shop all looking like an old west town including old wagons, wagon wheels and a replica of an entrance to a mine.

Old West Wagon

I used a sepia tone finish on these last two photographs, but then I pulled the original colors out through the brown hue. I then added a slight hint of texture to complete the old west look and feel to the photographs. The setting for these two old west wagons is Cave Creek, Arizona. Tourist shops are set up as an old west town. Throughout the town are actual old wagons, wheels, carriages and other western vintage items from the 1800’s.

Red Wagon Wheel

Thoughts?

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Balcony Sunset Photoshoot

This weeks blog has a number of pictures attached to it. I’ve been asked a number of times about the process I go through creating the digital art you see posted. Almost everything starts with a photoshoot. (I do create art prints digitally from scratch, but this post is about an example of creating from a photoshoot)

For this example I am using a photoshoot I did in January of 2011. The setting is a sunset over the Pacific Ocean taken from the balcony off of our bedroom overlooking the coastline of Carlsbad, California (Northern San Diego County). This is the house we raised our girls in and we lived there for almost 20 years. The house was at the end of a cul de sac in a neighborhood that was located on top of a ridge 3 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. To the immediate west of our neighborhood/property was a field owned by the Carlsbad Water District. The importance of that was that it was never going to be built on and offered an unobstructed view all the way down to the coast. I give that background because of this photoshoot. In all the years we lived there, this sunset was an exception to the rule and was only seen a few times. For this type of sunset, there must be high level clouds and an unobstructed view. We had the view at all times, but during the spring, summer and fall months it was more typical to have a marine layer come ashore late afternoon into the night. The marine layer typically was low level clouds (not fog), that hid most sunsets over the ocean. The only time we actually had clear skies at sunset was in the winter as the marine layer was less common. The high level clouds were also a rarity in this area preventing this type of a colorful sunset. On this particular day, we started to see the colors burst forth in our backyard. I immediately clued into what was happening and grabbed my camera, ran upstairs to our bedroom and the balcony. I have attached 8 of the 18 shots I took that day a number of them were redundant and the rest were poor shots looking towards the extreme south and north.

Balcony Sunset 1

This was the first capture I took using my telephoto lens focusing on the immediate west.

Balcony Sunset 2

I zoomed in a little more. The building you see with the “smoke stack” is a coastal power plant that was built quite awhile ago as a coal burning facility. It was converted to gas years ago and today the smoke stack has been removed.

Balcony Sunset 3

This shot is without extending the telephoto lens and is the view we had with the naked eye.

Balcony Sunset 4

Zooming in just south of the power plant capturing more of the clouds.

Balcony Sunset 5

Lowering the framing slightly.

Balcony Sunset 6

Zooming back towards the power plant…

Balcony Sunset 7

Pulling back on the telephoto to capture more of the clouds as the colors are deepening.

Balcony Sunset 8

Pulling back on the telephoto to capture a widening shot. These were the captures I narrowed it down to creating the art prints that follow.

Coastal Sunset
Pacific Sunset

These two shots were cropped and a subtle digital watercolor overlay to highlight the orange tones. Also I removed the smoke stack from the power plant (not knowing it was going to be removed in reality but not until 2020).

Love is Patient

Cropping “Coastal Sunset” gave me the background for this Inspirational art print.

Carlsbad Sunset

In this capture, I used an impasto style painting which creates large dramatic brush strokes.

Dusk on the Coast

Using the same impasto style on this one, but using one of the photos that had blue sky showing such as Balcony Sunset 1.

These five prints from this photoshoot were created after experimenting with cropping of the captured scene and then the different art styles. This gives you a taste of the process using a photoshoot with a singular subject matter. Multiply it by number of subject matters on a more intense photoshoot.

Thoughts?

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