Tag Archives: photography

The Rock, Lighthouse and a Rose in Black and White

For those of you that have been following me, this post won’t be a surprise. I periodically post different captures from my black and white photography gallery with the reasons I think they stand out more using the black and white motif.

We’ll start with “The Rock”. I love this shot and showing it this way allows the detail of the rock itself to be highlighted.  The scene is unique unto itself with this huge rock structure, but it also emphasizes the white surf of the waves coming ashore.

Next is “Admiralty Head Lighthouse 2” which is located north of Seattle, Washington. By showing this in black and white, the architectural details stand out as the center of focus. The subtle lines along the lower level of the first and second floor become more obvious along with the same type of lines along the top of the tower and second floor. The window framing actually pops because it contrasts with the white stucco of the building itself, as does the roof and top of the lighthouse itself.

Admiralty Head Lighthouse 2

“The Unfolding Of Petals” is a perfect example of detail that “pops” out with the absence of color. The color photograph of this rose is stunning and no getting away from the brilliance of the color. Having said that,  I did this in black and white because the amount of detail that pops with the petals is intense,  from the actual shaping of the petals to the veining that shows on each petal.

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Down On The Farm – Sepia Tone

I go from bright colored hot air balloons last week to sepia tones this week. I like the age a sepia tone creates visually in photography. With the right subject, you see a very old vintage look making the photograph appear to have been taken around the turn of the century. The subject of this post is farms and farm buildings.

I’m starting with a farm I came across in Oregon one year. It’s nestled in a valley and the morning fog was just lifting creating a somewhat eerie look

The rest of these captures are in Iowa southwest of Cedar Rapids in and around the Amana Colonies (for those of you that are familiar with the area). This next shot is part of a large old stable.

From here we go to two different hay barns.

And end with an old abandoned farm…

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Descanso Gardens Part 2

Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California. If you’re not sure where that is in the Los Angeles Metro area, it’s in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northwest of Pasadena. Descanso has a fascinating history dating back to 1937, more information here.

Summarizing from last weeks post: I was not prepared to take professional photographs of the surreal beauty of the Enchanted Forest of Lights we encountered at the Descanso Botanical Gardens just before Christmas. My son-in-law has the new I phone 11 which handles night photography really well. Last weeks photos were his and this week are the better ones I took that weren’t duplicates of his!! Enjoy!!

Descanso Gardens 10

Descanso Gardens 11

Descanso Gardens 12

Descanso Gardens 13

Descanso Gardens 14

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Descanso Gardens Part 1

Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California. If you’re not sure where that is in the Los Angeles Metro area, it’s in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northwest of Pasadena. Descanso has a fascinating history dating back to 1937, more information here.

Every holiday season, as do  many botanical gardens, they have a beautiful light show at night for guests. I have been lucky enough to see a number of botanical garden light shows, but I have to say this is the most incredible night show of lights I have personally seen. I have heard about this over the years, but until this year never went to experience it. Our daughter and her husband took their daughter to see it last year and all they could talk about was having us go this year with them. Our oldest daughter and her husband were flying down from Seattle to spend Christmas with us, so opening night (Monday before Christmas) our LA daughter, her husband and our granddaughter (plus a new grandson born this year) hosted all of us to a night at Enchanted Forest of Lights in Descanso Gardens.

I was absolutely not prepared for the incredible beauty of the evening. I loved their use of fog machines throughout to enhance the look and experience. I took some photos, but not on a professional level. Using just my I-phone I wasn’t able to get truly great night photos. Having said that, my son-in-law had his new I-phone 11, which does do night photography quite well. All of that being said, I wanted to share a taste of what we experienced. The photos I am sharing in part 1 are his (with his permission).  Part 2 (next week) are a few of my better ones that weren’t duplicates of his. I hope you enjoy!!!

Descanso Gardens 1

Descanso Gardens 2

Descanso Gardens 3

Descanso Gardens 4

Descanso Gardens 5

Descanso gardens 6

Descanso Gardens 7

Descanso Gardens 8

Descanso Gardens 9

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Lighting Changes – Sailboats on San Diego Bay

I wanted to share some captures I took of sailboats on San Diego Bay last October. What the pictures show is a change in look of the same subject matter in the same location by the lighting in the sky.

These pictures were all taken from an area near downtown looking across the bay at Coronado Island. There is always some type of craft movement in the bay be it small sailboats, larger yachts, military air carriers or cruise ships. This particular day I was focused on sailboats and the sky. I noticed the cloud structures were changing as the day went from morning to afternoon. There was a remnant of a tropical storm coming from the Baja of Mexico just south of San Diego.

San Diego Bay Sailboat

In this first capture, the sun is out and the fluffy clouds from that system make a great backdrop.

San Diego Bay Sailboats 2

This shot was taken within about an hour of the first one. The sun is still out, but notice the change in the clouds. There is a high level of gray coming in on top of the fluffy clouds.

San Diego Bay Sailboats 3

I added this shot for a couple of reasons. The first reason was I love the look of this restaurant sitting on peers jutting out into the bay and the second reason is because at this point it was lunch time. I want to point out that this shot was taken very shortly after the last shot and notice the change in color of the bay. The sun was beginning to go under the approaching high level clouds…see the difference .

In the time I took for lunch and came back to capturing some sailboats, the last capture is what I took.

San Diego Bay Sailboats 4

Same area as the first shots, but see the difference in the color of the bay? It goes from a deep blue to more of a gray color. Even in the sails, the brilliant white of the sails is subdued. I thought this would be a great example of how important lighting is to the final outcome of a picture when shooting outdoors. There are subject matters that look better in indirect lighting and some landscapes look better with horizontal lighting (sunrise or sunset timeframes).

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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

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Loveland Pass, Colorado – Top of The Continental Divide

As I stated last week, my wife and I were in Colorado for the first week of July. We were there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a multi episode show with her production company filming crew. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and she didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

This weeks post is number 2 of 3 from Colorado. Last week was focused on the Lake Dillon area just west of the continental divide, with this week being Loveland Pass which goes over the continental divide. Heading west from Denver when we arrived, we followed Interstate 70 winding through the front range going to the Eisenhower Tunnel (under the continental divide) coming out to the valley with Lake Dillon as featured last week. This week finds us heading back to the Denver area, but going over Loveland Pass which is the pass above the Eisenhower Tunnel. We thought it would be something our granddaughter would enjoy as it is so different than anything she has experienced (our granddaughter is still talking about the mountain she went to the top of when she was in Colorado).

Loveland Pass 1

The highway winds its way up the western slope of the Continental Divide, climbing in altitude and bringing you above tree-line as you approach the pass. Tree-line in this part of the Rockies is approximately 11,500ft /3,500m.

Loveland Pass 2

As we wind our way near the pass, we have just climbed above the tree-line when i stopped to take this picture…please note the blue sky and puffy white clouds as I look west back towards the area we came from.  I point this out as you will see dark storm clouds as my shots rotate to the east towards Denver (again typical afternoon thunderstorms for this time of year).

Loveland Pass 3

We arrive at Loveland Pass elevation 11,990ft / 3,655m to a crowd of folks enjoying the serenity and beauty of the 360 degree panorama. This capture is looking generally north. Please note the hiking trail as both sides of the highway have them leading to trails accessing the summits of nearby mountain peaks.

Loveland Pass 4

Looking slightly northwest as you see one of the trails wind its way across the top of the peaks.

Loveland Pass 5

This shot shows the parking lot and the hiking trail from the last picture. I added it because (and I get it’s hard to see) if you look at the ridge-line of the peak to the left of the obvious group of people going up the trail, you will see a few heads of hikers that are traversing this summit heading to the very top point.

Loveland Pass 6

This is the part of the Continental Divide that the Eisenhower Tunnel goes through………

Loveland Pass 7

This is the trail on the other side of the highway where I was taking pictures from. See the difference in the sky? This is looking southwest towards Colorado Springs along the base of the Rockies south of Denver….looks like they are getting some rain.

Loveland Pass 8

This is a capture of the west side of the pass and the highway we will be taking down to rejoin Interstate 70 heading into Denver. This is looking towards Denver and it looks like they are getting some rain also.

Loveland pass 9

As we wind our way back towards tree line, I took this shot of the Loveland Ski area. It starts down by the Eisenhower tunnel and has ski slopes carved into the thick forest at lower elevations and also has runs above tree-line. Since it’s quick and easy to access from Denver, we spent many a day off skiing here.

Next week I’m going to post a blog highlighting downtown Denver. For most of the week we were staying in the mountains just west of Denver proper, but we did spend the last two days in downtown proper. Denver has a very dynamic downtown and has done an incredible job creating a true living/working core to this great city (ok, I’m biased…but it really is cool).

Thoughts?

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Colorado High Country – Just West of The Continental Divide by Lake Dillon

Last week my wife and I were in Colorado. I thought that over the next few weeks I would share some of the captures I acquired while we were there. This week I wanted to share pictures in the Lake Dillon area (officially called Dillon Reservoir, but I have always referred to it as Lake Dillon).

We were actually there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a pilot show with her filming crew for their production company. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

I’m going to share captures in the order of our trip with this being the first area followed by a group of captures from the top of Loveland Pass ending with downtown Denver.

Denver sits on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains with the city spreading north and south along the front range. Interstate 70 runs through the city coming from the east (Kansas and beyond). Taking it west, you immediately start climbing in altitude as you enter the extreme western suburbs. In the front range just west of Denver are a series of 14,000 ft peaks running north and south….this range is part of the continental divide for North America. As Interstate 70 winds its way through the foothills, it approaches the continental divide. Just under the continental divide is the Eisenhower Tunnel (approximately 1.5 miles/3km in length), bringing you out to a stunning valley on the western side where Lake Dillon is located. The area near Lake Dillon is also home to two major ski destinations…Keystone and the town of Breckinridge. So without further ado, I share 8 captures from this beautiful valley in the Colorado high country.

The place we stayed is up on a bluff with a spectacular view across the valley near the towns of Silverthorne and Dillon.

Lake Dillon Area 1

Lake Dillon Area 2

Lake Dillon Area 3

Interstate 70 is the line at the bottom of the cut in the rock heading west after leveling out in the valley coming down from the tunnel.

Lake Dillon Area 4

Lake Dillon Area 5

All of these shots were taken from the hotel property where we were staying. We really had a great panoramic view of the valley and all of the surrounding mountain ranges (a true 360 of mountains).

Lake Dillon Area 6

This is the boat dock area on the lake. On a side note the week we were in Colorado (early July) was a week of the infamous afternoon thunderstorms that are normal in the mountains and along the front range in Denver. You can see some of them building in the prior two captures and in the next one.

Lake Dillon Area 7

Lake Dillon Area 8

The lake captures were taken on our way back towards Denver taking the highway up to Loveland Pass over the continental divide instead of taking the tunnel back under it. I’m sharing a shoot I did on top of the pass next week.

I have to say our granddaughter was in awe with all of the snow capped mountains.

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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.

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