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Mother and the Hurricane

Today, I wanted to stop and take a shot of the Baylands marshes. The plan was to park the car and take a quick snap before the rain started. Well....The wind picked up and started whipping the rain. The umbrella for protecting the lens from the rain collapsed and Mother was not happy.

Jewelled Boxes

Went to Petaluma for the first time on a photo trip for my photo class. It is a wonderful town. This was a taken in a shop where Mother was buying out their jewelry selection.

Bottles #2

Another from the bottle display. I think I must of manually focused and just missed it again. However, I like the blurring effect.


Last nite, went out to get a nite shot of the fountain at the local shopping center. After getting setup, the lights turned off so wandered around to find something else. This is a display of bottles in the window of our local Marshalls store.


Another from the shopping center. This is a vacant space planted with wildflowers. Another image for my color class.

Waterlily and Geranium

Well, just when I thought that I could not make another grungy flower. Here is one with the geranium from the previous post.


This was taken at the gardening section of our local Target store. These were small potted geraniums lit by the golden hour light. Another image for my color image class.

Blogs of Note

After a rant in the previous entry, it is overdue to list a set of blogs that I visit everyday, enjoy, and find inspriring (in no particular order).

i[daily dose of magery]
A Walk Through Durham Township, Pennsylvania
amatuer commune
aphra pia photos
:: big Alba photography
BOXMAX fotologue
c h r o m a s i a
Ephemera - SF Street Photography
every so often
Express Train
gclemenson's photos
girl inchoate's Photos
Instinct Numerique
j o e P h o t o s
John Washington
judith polakoff photographs
My Still Life
Northern Exposure
Orange House Photos
Orbit 1
Penelope's Loom
Photo Friday
Photoblogs de crespo - Propulse par tutoshop.com
Photoblogs Magazine
Staring at the Sun
Superhero Journal
The BlueHour Blog

Here is a list of places where you can find a variety of blogs. Happy browsing.



"Infrared is done"

On a different front, I had a portfolio review from two photographers that I respect and admire. The results were mixed with my take-away that I am not ready to join their group. However, some of the analysis bothered me. The comment was that "Infrared has been done." This comment has been like a splinter working in and festering. Done... Hmmm...

How can infrared be done? Maybe, my images are cliche or badly composed or too much like someone else's work or not too your taste but done? After mulling this over night, I do not think any form of image has been done. Even if I plant my tripod feet in someone else amazing photo, it is still NOT done by me. Surely, color is not done even though there are thousands of photographers shooting color images. Same reasoning says that B&W is not done. Therefore, infrared cannot be done.

If I get enjoyment making an image, then it is worth making for me. If someone finds enjoyment looking at the image than that adds greatly to my pleasure. Yes, I am chasing beauty and maybe pictorials. Hopefully, the future will bring better images, a unique viewpoint, a more distinctive style and most importantly, more people who enjoy the work.

My new goal is no cliches. I heard a good description of a cliche image. An image that may be well executed but can be looked at and be understood in a few seconds. I do not care how many folks have already made the image. Once I can consistently make strong individual images, I can start to master this nebulous concept of "a body of work". Check back and you can see my progress.

Potato Vine

Today, I was still dragging around but I have a assignment due for the "Designing a Color Image" class. So I wandered around the local shopping center to find something. This is a potato vine growing along the sides of the storefront. I did a lot of dodging and burning to make the composition a little more "readable".

Don Edwards

One more from my quck trip out to Don Edwards. The colors are somewhat false because this was well after sundown so the scene was fairly dark to my eyes.

Dumbarton Bridge

I have not been feeling well for a couple of weeks. Today, I spent in bed and got up about 45 minutes before sundown. I looked out and saw the dramatic sky with our winter storms rolling in. I rushed out to Don Edwards and went down to the fishing pier, which is under the bridge. The light was fading and I only had 15 minutes to catch a shot. This is the best of the bunch but I am going to return.

Note: the blues have shifted in posting to the web to a little more teal. Hmmm....

Snow on the Mountains

Last nite, we had record cold temperatures and we have snow on our mountains. Just in for my Mother's visit. The last few weeks, we had record warm temperatures. On a different note, I managed to get black grease on my new camera's sensor. I am unclear where it came from but I have been swabbing away. Yikes!

Water Fountain

Tonite in my photo class, we reviewed the images from our first photo class. This one was a class favorite which was a little surprising to me. I should have known when Chip said it was "Pretty cool." For Chip, that is glowing. This is another image in my growing 'wet foot' collection. It seems I cannot make an image lately without getting wet feet.

Valentine Day Flowers

Last nite up in San Francisco, the flower stalls were packed with folks buying flowers. This is a quick grab shot that was heavily rotated and cropped.

SF Moma

Last nite, I went to the local ASMP meeting for becoming a fine art photographer. The room was packed to overflowing maybe 100 folks showed up. The panel was very nice but not enouraging based on the panelists information. I walked down from the BART station and saw these staircases with the colors. Later, I reviewed the image and realized that it was a face. As I walked in front of the building, I saw that this is the side of San Francisco MoMA.

Lily of Peru Butterfly

Today, I had to go digging into the archives. This is a macro of a Lily of Peru blossom. It reminds me of a butterfly flapping its wings.


I think that the Olympics are inspiring me. I retrieved this from the unprocessed folder tonite for a composite but instead liked it by itself. I cropped off the bottom and cloned out an intruding petal. I shot this with my 50mm f/1.4 lens wide open. This does give a lensbaby look but it still autofocuses.

Waterlily and Repitition

Another photo composite using a waterlily shot from the Conservatory of Flowers and Repitition from Sunday out in Sunol.

Alameda Creek

This was taken on Sunday lookup up Alameda creek. This is where the wet hiking boots began. I liked the ripples over the stones and waded out for the shot. Then, I walked downstream along the opposite bank and could not find a way back that was shallow enough. This was an overcast day so this shot was warmed in processing and a fair amount of contrast added.

If you feel the shot feels tilted to the left, I thought so too. I rotated it twice and realized it is an optical illusion. It is rotated clockwise until I would have toppled the trees.

Waterlily and Buckeye

Composite of a waterlily shot with a buckeye tree image from Henry Coe state park. Maybe, a little too centered but it appeared to be the only positioned that worked.


This is another image for this week's photo class assignment of repitition. I had waded into Alameda creek well upstream from here and was hanging out in the middle trying to figure a way back. I had already miscalculated so thoroughly doused my boots again. I squished back to my car.

Canyon View Trail

This is a vertical version of an earlier show. I am undecided which version I prefer. When I first processed, I liked the horizontal but now am leaning toward the vertical. I ended up using the Shadows & Highlights full strength to open up the tree trunk and branches.

Santana Row #3

The last shot from Santana Row. Again, this is a shot for my class assignment of repitition. I had to work this one heavily using Shadows & Highlights to open up the shadows.

Continue reading "Santana Row #3" »

Santana Row #2

Another taken at Santana Row on Friday nite. This is a restaurant but I did not get their name. I probably should have called this one "Are going to dinner and a movie or shooting photographs?"

Santana Row

I am taking a photo class for the next month. Each week we have an assignment. This week is to find repititions. This was taken tonite down at Santana Row. We sat outside to eat dinner before heading to the movie. This shot was taken wide open so is very soft which I kind of like but I wished I had played with the depth of field.

Coyote Hills

Just a simple shot of the rolling hills of Coyote Hills.

Goats and Sheep - Oh My! #2

This is one of the goats grazing out in Coyote Hills that we saw the other day while walking the dogs. This little goat was very curious about what I was doing with my camera.

Goats and Sheep - Oh My!

Last nite, Chip and I took the dogs for a walk at Coyote Hills. We ran smack into the herd of goats and sheep that graze there over the winter. I read that they help control non-native plants. Everybody was very interested in us and most particularly the dogs.

Continue reading "Goats and Sheep - Oh My!" »

Alameda Creek

This shot, I literally fell into. I was hurrying back to the car where Chip was waiting with the dogs. The side of the creek were really muddy so I moved off the roadway and slid down on my rump. That was when I noticed the beautiful light on the water.


This was the last shot from Sunol taken from the parking lot on top of a picnic table. I think I should have used mirror lockup because the image is nowhere near as sharp as it should be. It is okay for the web but that is it.

Sunol - Indian Joe Trail #2

This is my second shot from my walk tonite out in Sunol. This was the last shot of the night because the area went into shadow right after finishing this one. This is a high-dynamic range image.

Sunol - Indian Joe Trail

Tonite, Chip and I took the dogs out for a walk at Sunol. Cho-cho ran out of steam very early on in the walk. So, Chip stayed behind. I hurried up the hill because I could see the light was golden.

Swanson Creek #3

Another shot from Swanson creek from this weekend. In the bottom right, the water is mimicking a sharpening defect. It is actually in the original.

For this shot, I had to light-paint after the fact to open up the heavy shadows in to the top of the image. This is really handy when you are not using flash in the field. In Photoshop, make a duplicate of your flattened image. The image must be in 8-bit color for this filter to work. Select Filter | Render | Lighting Effects. At the top, choose Flashlight from the Style dropdown list. Now, position the center of the flashlight beam where you want. You can size the flashlight beam by grabbing the edges in the preview window and dragging. There are a lot of sliders that you can ignore. You may want to play a little with ambience. This controls how fast the light drops off to black. Click OK.

Now, you have a bright spot in your image fading to black. Add a layer mask to the duplicate layer and fill with black. Take a soft brush with Opacity 50% / Flow %30 and slowly start revealing where you added light. By building the light slowly, you should avoid an obvious edge. If you want a stronger effect keep increasing the Opacity of your brush.

Swanson Creek #2

Another shot from Uvas Canyon this weekend. Just a small detail shot of the creek.


Today, I finally made it back out to Sunol. I arrived a little too late for the nice light. It was a beautiful sunny day but not great for photos.

Swanson Creek

Went out today to Uvas Canyon. This park is truly magical after some rain. Unfortunately, I was not feeling inspired so I reverted to one of my 'comfortable' landscape. I am still adjusting to the full frame of the 5D. I have never anything but a cropped sensor before so all my lenses felt really really wide. Of course, the details are beautiful and the dynamic range seems larger. I wish I could of gotten a slightly higher viewpoint so that the boulders in the middle of the frame were separated.

Waterlily and Lights

Today, I received my new Canon 5D just after the sunlight was gone. I decided to buy an upgrade because I am going to starting marketing my prints. My friends from the printing class recommended that I be able to make larger prints. Good advice so I decided to bump up my resolution to give me cropping room and still be big enough for large printing sizes. Time will tell how long it takes to adjust to a full frame sensor. This is a sandwich with a waterlily shot with a 5D shot of wide open lights and grasses.

Orchid Reflection

I was working on another grunge flower but decided I liked the color too much to go to the toned B&W.

WaterLily and Clover

Another is the "grungy" flower series. This the same waterlily shot sandwiched with the small waterfall surrounded by clover. This little waterfall is one of my favorite ilttle spots at the Berkeley Botanical gardens.

Peruvian Lily

Since I did not feel up to going out, sent Chip to the store for a bouquet. The colors came out of the camera extremely vibrant. I did not boost saturation.

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