Tag Archives: pacific ocean

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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Abstract Sunsets

My post this week takes a look at three different sunsets that I created using an abstract approach to the subject matter with an impasto style of brush strokes. There are two things going on with these prints. First, I created the scene by making general shapes in various shades of color for the clouds and ocean. Next, I took those creations and did an impasto style of brush strokes. This type of brush stroke is bold and creates depth to the painting.

“Carlsbad Sunset”

In this first one I stayed in the orange and yellow family for color. I also added a coastline for the foreground. Carlsbad Sunset is based on a dramatic sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Northern San Diego County. The view point is a hilltop a few miles inland overlooking the ocean.

“Dusk on the Coast”

This second one represents a colorful sunset again based on an actual sunset in Northern San Diego County. The general viewpoint of both is the type of view we had from our house in San Diego County. What makes these prints even more impressive is that in the 18 years we lived there, these were some of the few colorful sunsets we had. Living close to the coast in this part of Southern California does have its advantages in moderate temperatures year round typically not getting either real hot or cold. That said, the ocean keeps the air temperature moderate, but also does create what is called a marine layer (low level clouds that are close to being fog if they were to get lower). Dramatic sunsets require high level clouds to reflect the colors from the setting sun and a marine layer blocks all of that.

“Cloudy Ocean Sunset”

This last abstract sunset is based on a look I saw from a Northern California coastal beach that had actual fog roll in just as the sun was setting. It created unique colors through the fog that I took into the blue and purple color family to make this a unique abstract print.

Thoughts?

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Northern California Coastline

In continuing with my series of our road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle and back, this week I am sharing some of the photographs I took on the Northern California Coastline. The shots are from the Mendocino area of the coastline. That would be about halfway between Eureka (on the very northern California coastline and San Francisco).

The drive that day (Pacific Coast Highway) took us slightly inland for awhile and then rejoined the coastline. The slightly inland part was stunning as it took us through Redwood Forests. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stop and grab pics of that experience as the shots I would have liked to have taken occurred while we were driving without the ability to pull over. It was fascinating to see that you’re driving on this nice wide two lane (sometimes four) highway with broad shoulders, then suddenly the speed limit goes way down and you round a curve to the road narrowing down to just two lanes without shoulders. That was to protect the existing redwoods where their trunks are literally right next to the pavement. The road would wind between the trunks and I must say it was stunning.

When we were able to rejoin the coastline, I was able to get the attached shots.

Northern California Coastal 1

I loved the rock structures along the coastline similar to what you see along the coastline in Oregon. You can tell from the white tips of the protruding rock structures in the water that birds spend a fair amount of time gathering there.

Northern California Coastal 2

The other thing that is different along the northern California coastline versus the southern or central coastlines are the trees (similar to Oregon, but not as lush) that come right up to the coast.

Northern California Coastal 3

It was a beautiful fall day for strolling the beach.

Northern California Coastal 4

I love the different color shades of the ocean as the depth changes. Notice how clear the water is in the little bay.

Northern California Coastal 5

We hit the weather perfectly along the entire drive. The prior day we had left Seattle very early and made it all the way to Arcata, California just north of Eureka along the coastline. On this day our destination was Santa Cruz along the northern portion of Monterrey Bay, which is south of San Francisco. The next day we drove the final leg home exactly two weeks after we left.

Because of the current pandemic I did want to touch base on how we handled that issue. We were diligent with our masks whenever we were out of the car. We brought sanitary wipes for pumping gas and hotel rooms. The hotel rooms were an issue we researched ahead of time and found that the Hilton chain of hotels seemed to have the best programs. We were able to do remote check-in prior to arrival so we just went to our room and keyed in the code we were given. The rooms had tags sealing the door to verify the room had been disinfected. To protect our family here in Los Angeles and in Seattle we got tests done before heading up and after returning just to verify we were ok.

Thoughts?

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Oregon Coastline

Just wanted to share a couple of pictures of the Oregon Coastline….the setting is so peaceful and serene and the sense of tranquility seemed pertinent at this time!! Hope all is well with you, your family and friends!

Thoughts?

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Live Your Life In The Present

This is a daily reminder to myself. Live your life in the present moment. Sounds easy enough, but how often do we find our minds dwelling on the past? The “what ifs” of life. If only I had done this or said that. Dwelling on the past robs you of the present moment. The past can’t be changed. We can learn from it, but it’s the past. It’s over and done.

Or how often do our minds start dwelling and worrying about the future? What if “this happens”? How will I handle it? What will I do?

In both cases, you have just ignored “the present”.  The past is old news and can’t be changed. The future hasn’t happened and all of the worry in the world can’t change it.

As I said, I remind myself of this daily to embrace what is happening at the present moment and to not let it slip by without embracing and enjoying it. If the present moment is that painful, I have faith that it will become “the past” before it consumes me.

The photograph is a sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad, California near where we use to live.

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Central California Coast – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

I wanted to share a couple of shots I captured last weekend on a drive my wife and I took along the Central California Coastline. There are a number of “pull-offs” scattered along the coastline and these captures were from one of those.

California Central Coast 1

 

California Central Coast 2

 

California Central Coast 4

Thoughts?

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Lift Someone Up

This kind of says it all, but it’s something I try and keep in the forefront of my daily thoughts. Sharing your love could be acts of kindness to strangers, support for a friend or telling a love one how much you think of them. There’s enough negativity in the world and none of us are perfect, but sharing your love not only creates positive thoughts and feelings to the receiver, but in my mind comes back to you 10 fold in many ways. Thoughts?

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Pacific Ocean Sunset – Three Versions of Same Capture

The attached capture of a Pacific Ocean sunset is from Carlsbad, California. The coastal location of this capture was just a few miles west of where we lived for 24 years raising our family. It’s located in north San Diego County. Having been gone from area since 2013, my wife and I spent a week on the coast last October and this was one of the sunsets we were treated with.

I wanted to share the process I go through when one of my photographs or art prints inspires me to add an inspirational thought.

The first capture is the original one which shows the relationship between the coastal bluff and the sunset.

As I thought about using this as a basis for a print with an inspirational thought, I cropped the original shot eliminating the coastal bluff with the exception of the top of plant on that bluff. My next step was working with the message I had chosen, playing with putting it on the photograph using various fonts and font sizes. Upon finalizing (this process sounds simple, but trust me….I tend to turn it into a lengthy process trying a variety of fonts and sizes) this aspect, I then play with positioning. Positioning is another process of centering, not centering…splitting the verbiage up or keep it in one line, etc.

I chose these two sentiments simply because these are the two thoughts that came to mind when I was looking at this capture.

Thoughts?

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Ocean Sunset – Carlsbad, Ca.

After spending the month of September unpacking (yes, we have a lot of stuff), my wife and I took an R&R and spent last week at the beach in San Diego County. We had a place in Carlsbad where we stayed with a fabulous ocean view. I have attached two shots I took of two separate sunsets.

Carlsbad Sunset 2

The lighting obviously is different between 1 and 2 with the first sunset captured as the sun emerged from behind a cloud versus the second sunset which was taken as dusk had settled in and the last sliver of the sun was ready to slip below the horizon

Having lived and raised our family in San Diego County for 24 years, we spent the week catching up with old friends, former co-workers and employees. My sister and her husband also live in the county, so was great spending time with them. It dawned on us that we did have an ocean view from our house (albeit 3.5 miles inland), but nothing compares to having the ocean at your door step so to speak. Was fun sleeping at night listening the sound of the surf and getting up each morning with surfers flocking to the beach to catch some waves before starting their day.

We left almost 6 years ago and have been back a couple of times for family functions with my sister, but it just felt calming being back in the “hood” where we had lived so long. I will be sharing a number of shots from that week over the next few.

For those of you geographically curious, you probably know San Diego lies south of Los Angeles (120 miles) and is adjacent to the Mexican border. What you may not know is that it’s the 8th largest city in the United States and the 2nd largest city in California. That last fact surprises most people as they assume San Francisco is. The Bay Area surpasses the metropolitan area of San Diego by a long shot, but San Francisco (the city of) doesn’t encompass the population you would think. The county itself follows the Pacific Coastline on the west and includes a mountain range on the east. The city proper encompasses a large portion of the county but there are numerous towns along the coastline going north to Camp Pendelton such as Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside and then inland along the northern tier.

One more fun fact: San Diego Bay is the site of the first European setting foot on what is now known as the West Coast of The United States.

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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