Tag Archives: photographer

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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Downtown Seattle High-Rises in Three Formats

In most cases, my artwork starts out as a photograph that I then play with digitally to see if I like the same subject in completely different formats. An example of this are the three different presentations of two captures of high-rise office buildings in downtown Seattle. It started with the original captures below:

Seattle High-Rise 1

Seattle High-Rise 2

The first aspect that I used was to turn these captures into black and white photographs as shown below:

Heads Up
The Tall Three

Then also like a very subtle

For the next two presentations, I used a detail drawing technique and a subtle watercolor to highlight the details and color of the buildings. To highlight the details of the buildings, I used an abstract approach to the sky resulting in keeping that aspect simple.

Up The Building

Halo Effect

For the next two presentations, I went in a completely different direction. For these two presentations I used a more abstract drawing technique to create the buildings and then filled it with bursts of watercolor on and surrounding the structures. This approach creates a completely different visual for high-rise office buildings.

The Soaring Building

Sketched Towers

Thoughts?

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Lavender Field

This past week my wife and I went to a Lavender field on Camano Island which is on the Puget Sound north of the Seattle area here in the Pacific Northwest. This time of year there are a lot of Lavender fields in full bloom and many farms invite you to come and pick bouquets (I use that term loosely as you actually cut them with a sharp blade) for a price. Each plant has numerous blooms rising from them and on this particular farm you are encouraged to cut the blooms of an entire plant which equates to numerous bouquets.

Camano Island is a very heavily forested island without a lot of open fields. There are farms on the island, but it is mostly dense forest. Having said that, the setting was beautiful and the “Lavender Farm” was owned and operated by a very nice young family. Their children helped those of us that came to cut by giving us the tools we would need and barrels to put our “pickings” in while we were in the field.

I asked permission to take pictures of the field and was promptly asked by their children to take a picture of them (which I did and have since sent it to them). I’ve attached six captures from the shoot for this weeks blog. Enjoy:

Lavender 1
Lavender 2
Lavender 3
Lavender 4
Lavender 5
Lavender 6

Our girls and some friends will be the lucky recipients of very fragrant bouguets!!

Thoughts?

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Can’t Wait To Get Back To Hiking

It has been an unusually wet winter and spring here in the Pacific Northwest. We moved up here (per my earlier blogs) in March. It was the middle of March when we received our furniture via the moving van and we have been settling in ever since (that’s short for painting every room, updating all three bathrooms, furniture shopping, donating furniture we shipped but aren’t using, new appliances….that kind of stuff).

Having said all that, I have been itching to get back to hiking, but with the wet weather I’ve acquiesced to waiting and the above items have kept me busy. With summer coming and the rains easing up, I’m ready to get back out there!! I’ve attached four captures from hikes I have done up here in the past to get me back to it!!

The lush green awaits…….

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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Moss Covered Stairs Revisited

Back on November 5, 2013 my blog post covered a photoshoot I did in Issaquah, Washington (eastern suburb of Seattle at the foot of the Cascade Mountain Range). Why this is resurfacing now is because I came cross one of those captures in my archives while moving some other prints there (I try and weed through my prints and periodically retire some of them to my personal archive file). I had used it as a background for one of my inspirational prints (also shared below) I created in August 2020. The original print really caught me eye and I thought it worthing of having it on my “TheWallGallery” website.

The shot is very unusual in that this is the last thing you would expect to come across while on a hike in a heavily forested foothill just east of Seattle, Washington. I researched the location and found the background behind the stairs. The site use to be an anti-aircraft facility to protect this area from attack. This stairway along with one other connected what was an area for barracks up to the missiles themselves. For the history of the site and what is now Cougar Mountain Regional Park, click here: “Radar Park” at Anti-Aircraft Peak

“Moss Stairs”
He Walks With You

Thoughts?

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