March 2014 ArticlesMarch 2014 Articles

31 Mar

Concert Abstract

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Photoshop World Concert Photography

Photoshop World - Real World Concert Photography Pre-Conference Class

Las Vegas, Nevada - September, 2012

Photoshop World Atlanta starts in a week. I'm not going, but wish I was. This photo is from a pre-conference class I took 2 years ago. Most of my concert photos were down right awful. I had better luck photographing shadows than the band. Here's a post that I wrote about the experience Real World Concert Photography.

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30 Mar

G-Force

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G Force Fair Ride

San Diego County Fair - June, 2011

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29 Mar

Allies in War, Partners in Peace

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National Museum of the American Indian Sculpture

Allies in War, Partners in Peace 

National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. - December, 2013

I photograph a lot of public art. Are these photographs documents of someone else's art, or art themselves?

I did a google image search of this statue and didn't see anything photographed from this angle, so does that make my photograph more "artistic" than the others?

Are photographs of sculptures and statues any different than photographs of architecture?

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28 Mar

Do You See What I See?

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Do You See What I See Shadow

Spanish Village Art Center, Balboa Park, Ca. - June, 2013

I love how shadows can take on identities detached from the subject that they are cast from. Do you see tree branches or do you see something hanging in a tree? Would you immediately see a tree shadow if the tree trunk was cropped from the scene?

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28 Mar

You Are My Witnesses

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Volocaust Museum, Washington DC

Holocaust Museum, Washington DC - July, 2013

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26 Mar

Abstract in Easter Egg Colors

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Abstract

Zihuatanejo Mexico - February, 2013

This image is completely edited in Lightroom. I used a variety of adjustment brush edits with slightly different temperature and tints to accentuate the color pallete. 

It is a perfect example of why I don't use Lightroom's reject option. Why throw any image away when it can become a beautiful abstract like this? 

Abstract unedited

Original unedited photo, captured at 1/10 sec while driving down a bumpy dirt road.

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25 Mar

Ceramic Peppers

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Ceramic Peppers in Old Town

Old Town San Diego, Ca. - September, 2007

This image was captured as a jpeg, because it predates my knowledge of the raw image format. Back then I wouldn't call myself a photographer, even though I took a lot of photos of random things like this.

I have always liked color, shapes, textures, patterns and good composition. I've always had the ability to see these things too. What I couldn't see was how much it mattered. 

It was another two years after this photo, before I conciously embraced photography and Photoshop as my art. I have changed. How I view myself has changed, but how I see has not.

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24 Mar

Abstracts in the Sky

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Sculpture by James Russel Detail

Sculpture by James Russel, Greenwich Drive, San Diego - April, 2013

This sculpture sits in front of the building where I teach Photoshop classes for UCSD Extension. Often I arrive early for class, which gives me time to take some photos and puts me in a good frame of mind for teaching.

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23 Mar

Fall Light

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Fall Light in Rancho Sa n Pasqual

Rancho San Pasqual - August, 2011

We all love the golden hour, when the late afternoon sun paints everything a warm color. Capturing golden painted objects is relatively easy, but capturing the light itself can be elusive.

The subject of this photo is the golden light and I love that.

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22 Mar

iPhoneographer at the Museum

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SFMOMA iphoneography

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - March, 2012

I like the composition of this image. The lines draw you in and out, and create simple shapes. The room is well lit with sky light coming in the floor to ceiling windows. I enhanced the high key look to accentuate the isolation of the two subjects. They are each literally in a world that belongs to their phones.

Our son Sanford has been an iPhoneographer as long as he has owned an iPhone. His photography makes me proud. This image is special to me because I've captured him in his own world of photography.

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22 Mar

Bay Bridge

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bay bridge in the rain

San Francisco Bay Bridge - March, 2012

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20 Mar

Child's Play, Plastic Cups at Night

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Plastic Cups

Glow In The Park Event, Escondido Ca. - August, 2012

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19 Mar

County Fair Flower Show

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SD County Fair Flower Show

San Diego County Fair, Del Mar Ca. - June, 2013

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18 Mar

Bird of Paradise Portrait

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Bird of Paradise

Rancho San Pasqual, San Pasqual Valley, Ca. - April 2011

It's about that time of year again to get out and photograph some flowers. I never get tired of it.

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17 Mar

Queen Califia Snake Heads

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Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Snake Wall, Escondido Ca. - March, 2011

This is truly a magical place, and it's right here in Escondido where I live. I need to visit more often.

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16 Mar

Fire Ring or Holy Place

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Las Palmas, Playa Blanca Mexico

Playa Blanca, Zihuatanejo Mexico - February 2011

This was photographed shortly after sunrise while on vacation in Mexico. I love the ocean and I love photographing the ocean. There is something spiritual about it.

The fire ring looks like it could be the location of a religious ceremony. On this morning, it felt like a holy place bathed in the morning sun.

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15 Mar

Race Track Personalities

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Del Mar Race Track - waiting

Del Mar Race Track - August, 2010

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14 Mar

Bellagio Fountains

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Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas Nevada

Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas Nevada - September, 2011

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13 Mar

Transamerica Pyramid

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Transamerica Pyramid San Francisco, Ca. - March 30th, 2012

I've been to San Francisco many times, but this is the only occasion that I found myself stading directly under the Transamerica building. I'm glad that I had my camera with me.

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13 Mar

Contemplative

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Tintaciones Zijuatenajo Mexico - Contemplate sculpture

Hotel Tentaciones, Zihuatanejo, Mexico - February 27, 2013

Today was long. I'm tired. It was late before I could complete my Daily Quick Edit. Maybe subconciously I picked this image because it reflected my mood.

This was a tough edit. I love bright colors, textures and patterns. This image doesn't really have those things.

I pushed the selective editing on this as far as I could. Lightroom is not Photoshop. I can't control the mask edges with the finess and detail that I want, but I recognize that the limitation is good for me. I'm prevented from going into that pixel OCD place where I fuss over the smallest detail. It helps me focus on the big picture instead.

This image is about the big picture, what's on the horizon, what tomorrow might bring as the sun sets on today.

Here is the original unedited image.

Tintaciones Zijuatenajo Mexico - Contemplate sculpture before

 

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11 Mar

Outrider

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Outrider boot in stirrup, Santa Anita Race Track

Santa Anita Racetrack - March, 2008

This is an old photo taken long before I was comfortable telling anyone, even myself, that I was a photographer.

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10 Mar

Campbell Hall Shadows

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Campbell Hall Shadows

Campbell Hall UCLA - May, 2012

Shadows are always fun to photograph. I like how the organic shapes and textures contrast with the architectural ones.

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09 Mar

From The Road

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From The Road

101 South, Central California - November, 2011

I enjoy road trips. Often I entertain myself by taking pictures out of the passenger window, knowing full well that most of what I photograph will not be what I hoped for. It's still fun to try.

This is an old image that I had never looked closely at before. The original capture is washed out and dreary looking. It was easy to pass over.

When previewing my images with Lightroom in the small thumbnail grid view, the composition of this one jumped out at me. That's why I decided to edit it.

Here's what the unedited image looks like.

From the Road unedited

With a few quick Lightroom edits, the image looks more representative of what I remember seeing out my window.

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08 Mar

The Gallery

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Spanish Village Gallery 21 Shadows

Spanish Village Balboa Park, Gallery 21 - November, 2011

I spent way too much time trying to crop this image, because I was hung up on the rule of thirds rule. Composition rules are helpful, especially for beginners, but they can get in the way too.

When I get hung up on an edit I ask myself, "What did I see when I took this, and what do I like about it?" Obvioulsy I was drawn to the light coming in the window, but I also liked the division of two spaces, the outside world full of color and the inside space defined by black and white shapes and lines. As soon as I answered my own question I knew the vertical line of the wall needed to go right down the center. I ended up not cropping much at all off of the original capture.

This is a great reminder that I need to trust my own vision and not get hung up on rules.

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07 Mar

Painted Peacock

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Peacock at Leo Carillo Ranch

Leo Carillo Ranch, Carlsbad CA - May, 2011

My goal was to try and create a painted look with Lightroom alone. I ran into some limitations, which is good because that means I learned a few things. I wish Noise Reduction worked the same inside a targeted adjustment filter as it does in the Detail panel. That would have allowed me to stack up the effect, and in theory create a more painted look.

Regardless of the technical issues, I'm happy with the result.

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06 Mar

Nature's Art, Zihuatanejo Bay

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Nature's Art, Zihuatanejo Bay

Zihuatanejo Mexico - February, 2011

This image represents many of my favorite things; ocean water, sunlight, vacations, simplicity, lines, patterns and textures.

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05 Mar

Fun With Reflections

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SD Natural History Museum Reflection

Balboa Park Natural History Museum - July, 2010

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04 Mar

Coastal Cliff Forms

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Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines State Park - March, 2009

I always loved this picture, but could never quite put my finger on why. Maybe that's why I had never previously shared it. Maybe it's okay to love a picture without knowing why.

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03 Mar

Personal Space

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Del Mar Race Track - break time

Del Mar Race Track – September, 2012

I enjoy people watching more than watching the ponies.

The long shadows caught my attention to this scene. I love how everyone is in their own world, except for the couple who share a space, but still seem to be in their own world of thought.

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02 Mar

The Flower Fields

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The Flower Fields, Carlsbad Ca.

The Flower Fields, Carlsbad Ca. - April 2010

I've heard it said that, "flowers do all the heavy lifting", as if to say flower photography is just too easy. I don't care.

I love the abstract qualities of this image. I see a mosaic of a flag. It feels 2 dimensional to me, but then I see the two people in the upper right corner which gives it perspective. I like when a photograph can change my view as I look at it.

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01 Mar

Desert Beauty

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Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs, March 2010

The desert is beautiful.

I've always been attracted to the desert's beauty. What I love about this photograph is the contrast between the jagged edges of the desert canyon and the fluffy, cotton candy clouds.

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