March 2014 Articles
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.
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?
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?
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?
Original unedited photo, captured at 1/10 sec while driving down a bumpy dirt road.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Campbell Hall UCLA - May, 2012
Shadows are always fun to photograph. I like how the organic shapes and textures contrast with the architectural ones.
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.
With a few quick Lightroom edits, the image looks more representative of what I remember seeing out my window.
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.
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.
Zihuatanejo Mexico - February, 2011
This image represents many of my favorite things; ocean water, sunlight, vacations, simplicity, lines, patterns and textures.
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.
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.
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.
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.