Tag Archives: san diego

The Longest Pier on the Western United States Coastline

Today I’m featuring a photo shoot I did a couple of weeks ago. The subject matter is the Oceanside Pier in Southern California. I had not been to the pier for a few years, but remembered it well. It is the longest pier along the western US coastline at 1954 feet (596m). The current pier was built in 1987 replacing a number of prior piers lost to stormy weather. For more information: Wikipedia. The town of Oceanside is located in northern San Diego County just south of Camp Pendleton (which lies along the coast between San Diego County and Orange County to the north).

I had a couple of hours of free time (I was a car pool buddy for my wife coming and going from Northern Los Angeles to a bridal shower for my niece at my sisters home in San Diego) during the afternoon and had decided to do this photo shoot. The pier is very impressive and I had just viewed another photographers photoshoot of a pier and was reminded how impressive the architectural structure of these larger piers were. I also chose to do the shoot in black and white as I like the architectural detail that is highlighted in a monochromatic shoot such as this. For some reason I have always been drawn to shots under the structure of piers, thus the number of those on this shoot. At the end of the pier was a restaurant (prior to Covid), which we had frequented. I’m assuming a new tenant will be found as it is a great location.

I open the shoot with a shot I took walking from my parking spot to the beach area underneath the pier for the next few shots.

Oceanside, California Pier

Next up are the shots I took of the under structure in the order I took them.

The Support Of The Pier
Pier 3
Pier 4
Pier 5

Coming out from underneath on the other side of the pier which gives you another appreciation of how far out it goes with the restaurant building on the end.

Pier 6

I was walking out to the end and stepped off on one of the “pop outs” you see in this photo.

Pier 7

Passing the tower structures on each side as in seen above, I took this shot approaching the restaurant structure on the end.

Pier 8

And on the other side of the pier with all of the people fishing.

Fishing Off The End Of The Pier

The last capture is from the end of the pier next to the former restaurant looking back towards the coastline. You can see just how far out the pier goes from this perspective as well as from the shore looking out to this point.

Pier 10

In case you were wondering why three of these shots have names under them, those are the ones I added to my galleries. It always amazes me how many shots I take and how I whittle them down to just a few favorites. If any of those I hadn’t named strike you as “gallery worthy” let me know!! Thanks!!

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The Bluffs and Surf in San Diego County

From the last two weeks of abstract coastal art prints, I thought I would keep with the same general subject (coastal and ironically same coastal area), but a completely different visual venue. This week I am featuring two of my newest prints I created using a soft watercolor style. The location is the same; the coastline of Carlsbad, California in northern San Diego County. The perspective is from the same general area but one print is looking south and the other print looking north. The San Diego coastline is beautiful all the way from the southern tip on the border to Mexico running north to Camp Pendleton and Orange County.

The perspective of the first one is looking south from Carlsbad down towards San Diego proper. The bluffs are stunning as they frame the beach and the surf.

The Bluffs And The Beach

The second print is almost liking turning around and looking north along the coastline. The bluffs are still there, but not as dramatic. The beach and the surf take your eyes up towards Oceanside and Camp Pendleton.

Ocean Surf In Carlsbad

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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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San Diego Bay Sailing

This week I’m sharing a print I just finished. It’s based on a capture I took a few years ago. It’s a sailboat on San Diego Bay with downtown San Diego as the back drop. The point of view of the scene is looking across the bay from Coronado Island towards the downtown skyline. With this print, I used the original photo and did a Photoshop “abstract” creation. Using those two as a guide, I digitally painted this final print. I liked subduing the buildings for the background to have the sailboat stand front and center. I also took the liberty of creating abstract foliage for the majority of the coastline at the base of the buildings so as to not have to put in detail actually found there (such as the USS Midway floating museum). I kept to a linear abstract approach keeping clean lines where needed creating the various shapes.

San Diego Bay Sailing

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Do Not Worry

From downtown Denver, we are popping over to the west coast for a sunset I took in Carlsbad, California located in the northern part of San Diego County. I added the quote from the bible as it seems an important reminder for all of us. I try really hard (and trust me it is hard), to take each day as it comes on its own merit. It doesn’t do any of us any good to worry about tomorrow as all that does is pull your attention away from the current moment. And the current moment is the only reality we truly live in.

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Sailing San Diego Bay

Last weeks post of the Oregon Coastline invoked a sense of serenity and in keeping with that theme, this week I am posting two captures of sailboats on San Diego Bay. These scenes are clearly different than last weeks, but invoke the same sense of serenity to me. I can just feel the peacefulness as the boats slip through the water with a gentle ocean breeze caressing my face.

This first capture was taken from Seaport Village just south of downtown looking across the bay to Coronado Island.

The second capture is reversed if you will. This capture was taken from Coronado Island looking back at downtown San Diego.

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Winter Beach Life Guard Stations

The attached art prints are of a couple of life guard stations on the South Carlsbad State Beach during the winter months. Carlsbad, California is in the northern part of San Diego County. Beach traffic is lighter during these cooler months and the life guard stations are open during peak hours only. I thought this look was interesting and decided to use a pointillism technique in creating these prints.

Pointillism is a painting technique that uses dots of paint to create an image. The technique was created in 1886 stemming from Impressionism style of painting. For more information: Wikipedia – Pointiliism.

I like using this style on certain scenes or subject matters as it creates a very soft and subtle look. The empty beach and the closed guard stations seemed like a great fit for this type of style.

 

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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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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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Balboa Park – More Spanish Revival Architecture

From my post a few weeks ago of the door at the Glendale Train Station in the Los Angeles area, I featured an example of Spanish Revival architecture. Continuing on that same vein, I wanted to feature another structure in California that was built in the same tine frame with the same style. In my attached sketches I have include three art prints that feature the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Built for the Panama – California Exposition (1915-1916) in Balboa Park, this style of architecture is prominent throughout the park. I chose to feature the Museum of Man, as it stands out so prominently as a representation of this style.

For those of you not familiar with the history of Balboa Park in San Diego, here’s a link to their main site: Balboa Park. The park features numerous museums, restaurants and the world famous Old Globe Theater and sits right next to the San Diego Zoo. Having raised our family in San Diego, needless to say we visited the park and the zoo numerous times over the years.

So the prints I decided to feature start with the main entrance to The Museum of Man. This sketch shows the ornate architectural detail just above the main entrance.

The next sketch shows the top of the tower connected to the museum…..

And this last sketch  shows the entire tower along with the dome to the Old Globe Theater.

 

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