Tag Archives: photographer

The Duck At Papago Park

My wife and I have not been home for a weekend since before Thanksgiving until this weekend. I am not complaining as we have had short weekend get aways to celebrate a first birthday for our granddaughter in Los Angeles, a wedding in San Jose and then our nieces graduation in San Diego for her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy (two of her internships over the last year and a half were here in the Phoenix area where we were thrilled to house her both times) and next weekend finds us in Seattle for Christmas with the following one in Los Angeles for New Years. I share all of this (yes I am headed somewhere…) as to why it was that we found ourselves in the ever popular shopping malls and stores this past weekend doing our last minute Christmas shopping. This is not to say that Amazon has not received it’s fair share of our purchases, but there are those items you need to actually pick up or find. Having survived the masses, my mind went to a peaceful quiet place as we wound down Sunday night. The result is the attached photos.

Papago Park in Phoenix is nestled between the Desert Botanical Garden and The Phoenix Zoo. It has ponds and hiking trails and is very “quiet and peaceful”. Key point!! I was looking for a beautiful peaceful snow scene, but since I couldn’t find one (yes I have been living in warm climates for many years now), so I settled on this to represent a reprieve from the last minute hustle and bustle of the season. So back to the ponds. The ponds are home to many birds, but as the fall and winter migration occurs, it has a resident that calls the ponds home year ’round, the Mallard Duck. Both shots are the same duck, who appears not to have a concern in the world. So I give you my visual of a little peace and quiet during this busy season!!

Thoughts?

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Climbing The Pyramid When You Could – El Castillo in Chichen Itza

Sepia Mayan Pyramid – El Castillo as it looks without people climbing it

Chichen Itza came up in a discussion recently about how you use to be able to climb the great stairs of the pyramid all the way to the top. I was fortunate enough to have done that very thing when you still could. I’m not sure of the specific year when I did the climb, but it was somewhere in the very early 2000’s. My wife and I were down there with a group of people from work (annual reward trip). We were staying in Cancun and took a chartered tour bus to Chichen Itza. I love history, architecture and ancient ruins, so I was in my element. Of course I was not without my camera and took a ton of shots of the different ruins, El Castillo being foremost in my shoot. I was fascinated from a photography aspect of pictures with people walking up the steps of this famous pyramid.

Fast forward to 2007 and we were back down there with some close friends and our respective families. My girls had heard about climbing this pyramid and couldn’t believe their father who has a fear of heights actually did it. Imagine their disappointment when we found out you could no longer climb the pyramid. Due to an unfortunate death to a falling tourist in late 2005 and to the damage being done by the sheer load of people trudging up and down those steps along with the graffiti left behind by those same people, it was no longer permitted.

“Chichen Itza” El Castillo the day I climbed to the top

Those pictures suddenly started taking on a new element for me as something that will not be seen again. As I worked with them for my gallery I kept getting this circa 1930’s vibe and Indian Jones feel from them. Sepia popped into my head and after converting them decided to add another element of that old vibe with some texture. What came from that process is these three captures converted to what I think looks like an old Indian Jones element from that era (of course I realize he wouldn’t be discovering anything new in a place that had tourist climbing pyramid steps, but my vision of this look didn’t care about such details).

“Walking Up The Pyramid”   you can see people coming down using my technique and people walking down like it wasn’t an issue….but you get the visual impact of how steep those stairs actually are.

Now you can’t leave without me telling you about the wonders of that climb. I have a fear of heights such as the edge of the Grand Canyon (edge only), glass elevators that take you up more than 10 stories….I have some tolerance….ledges on mountains to name a few. I knew climbing the stairs wouldn’t be an issue as you are looking at the structure. I didn’t have any issues climbing to the top and was a little cautious about walking around by the edge at the top….ok…I stayed pretty close to the walls of the structure you see up there. The view is incredible and I was fascinated by the placement of the different windows in the top structure. Truly forgetting about how far up I was, it was time to come back down. You have no idea just how really steep and narrow each of those steps are until you go back down. For me it was literally too much to try and walk back down those steps…one trip or miss-step and you will literally fall all the way down (which is unfortunately what happened to the tourist I mentioned above). The best way is to sit down and slide your backside down each step.

I have toured the site multiple times and have learned new things each time. For more information about Chichen Itza – Wikipedia Here.   Chichen Itza is located in the middle of the northern tier of the Yucatan Peninsula between Merida towards the Gulf of Mexico and Cancun on the Caribbean side. Thoughts?

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Autumn Foliage – Issaquah, Washington – Part Two

Part Two of Autumn Foliage…..

The Tracks

Orange Trees

Yellow Trees

More autumn colors from Issaquah, Washington. Issaquah is nestled against the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range and is an eastern suburb of Seattle. Enjoy! Thoughts?

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Autumn Foliage – Issaquah, Washington – Part One

Some of the fall beauty in Issaquah, Washington this time of year….

Issaquah is nestled up against the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range and is an eastern suburb of Seattle. Part Two next week as we enjoy autumn brilliance. Thoughts?

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Sepia Tone – Vintage Photography

I enjoy using a sepia tone for some of my photography, specifically if it will enhance the subject matter. 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.

I have attached two pictures I took at the Hollywood School House in Woodinville, Washington (just outside of Seattle). The school was established in 1912 and has been restored to its turn of the century charm. It is currently used for weddings and special events and is located in the heart of the Woodinville Wine Valley.

 

Both of these items caught my attention and I thought they would make great sepia tone photographs to highlight the aged vintage look they represented. Thoughts?

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Simple Beauty – Featured Art Print

All of us on this journey we call life, experience pain, suffering and disappointment…it is an aspect of the human condition. We also experience, joy, love and peace….it is also part of the human condition. Anyone that follows my work and blog know that I try and stay focused on the positive aspects of life. It is a single go around, so why waste time dwelling on the negative. To me, this art print serves as a reminder for all of us to stop and smell the roses.  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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