Tag Archives: photographer

Barns in Sepia

The sepia tone in photography creates an old look to any capture and in todays world of digital art and processing it’s easy to do. I chose four captures to share this week. They are all barns, one in Oregon and the other three in Iowa. I’ll start with the Oregon Barn…

Oregon Barn

I was doing a photo shoot of covered bridges in Oregon off the beaten path when I came across this barn. I loved the setting and the architectural appeal of this barn. To add to that “old…historic” look, I created some subtle texture to the photo to recreate the type of paper that it could have been printed on back in the day.

The next series of barns takes us to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and barns south of the city with one exception….

Cedar Rapids Barn in Sepia

This particular barn was in the South East quadrant of the city just off a busy highway and up against new housing construction. I really liked the look of it and had to stop the car, pull over and hike back to it for this shot. I was anxious to make this in the sepia tone as it was truly old and probably isn’t standing anymore. I also added the textured photo paper look.

The next two were located south of Cedar Rapids in typical farm settings.

Two Barns

Both of these buildings were very aged, but still being used on a working farm.

The last one was on a working farm also, but was in great shape and as the name states bright red!!

Red Barn

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 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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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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