Friday, December 31, 2010


I took a trip during a soggy, rainy day in Southern California, up to the Getty Center, in Los Angeles, California. I couldn't believe how many people were there that day. I guess it was the many out-of-town visitors here for the college bowl games.

At the Getty Center, there are a few themes found throughout the museum grounds. Some of them that I can think of are clean, white, pure, squares, stone, shapes, texture, curves, and not the least, precision. Everything seems to have a very precise purpose in design at the Getty Center.

Even the garden and the landscape here takes on the theme of precision, such as this row of pepper trees in this photo. They are trimmed to make one tree look just about as identical as possible as the other trees in the row. I believe they also keep the trees cut flat as to not obscure the views of the architecture of the Getty Center.

It was gray most of the day and it was a natural idea to convert it to a black-and-white photo. I processed this with some high contrast and exposed it just a tad on the bright side, as to knock out the clouds and most of the background, as to make the trees pop out all by themselves.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rising Into the Heavens

On my trips up to the Pacific Northwest, one of my favorite places to go, if I have time, is to Mt. Rainier National Park. Unfortunately, there has been little or no free time to make a drive out that way, the last few trips I have made. It was pretty much going to be that way, yet again, on this last trip.

I was on my flight back to San Diego. We had just taken off from cloudy SeaTac airport. Just as we rose above the clouds, I saw my baby, Mt. Rainier, smiling at me, as if the mountain knew I had been far too deprived of her for far too long.

Luckily for me, I had my small camera bag with me on this trip and therefore was able to stow it under the seat in front of me. Of course, having a window seat on the left side of the plane helped, also.

When I saw this, I scrambled for my camera bag, grab my camera, popped my 24-70 lens on and took a few hurried shots before the plane passed on by or the clouds once again obscured her. The plane was still in it's take-off posture. I didn't care. I was pulling out my electronic device and taking this beauty. Nobody ever said a word. Cool!

Not only did I get a clear shot of Rainier, but I got some very nice atmospheric conditions, with the clouds in the foreground. Wow! Did those help or what?

I was able to take a few different compositions. One which I really want to show, but I have to fix it first. There was a noticeable scratch on the other window and there was nothing I could do to avoid it. I will have to remove the scratch in post-processing.

Later during the flight, I whipped out my camera, yet again, when we flew by Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra mountain range.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spanish Allure

One of the famous landmarks in San Diego, California, is found just outside downtown, at Balboa Park.

Balboa Park was created in time for the 1915 Panama Exposition, as San Diego was the host city that year for the exposition. The park was named in honor of Spanish-born Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the first European to spot the Pacific Ocean while on exploration in Panama. Hence, the park is dominated with beautiful Spanish architecture, almost everywhere you look.

In this photo, this was taken inside the courtyard of the Prado. The Prado is very popular for it's restaurant, as well as for it's wedding receptions.

I wanted to capture many features of the Spanish architecture found in Balboa Park. Easily the most dominating and repeating feature found throughout the park are the arches.

In this courtyard, not only do you have the arches, but you have these flowerpots on the rails, which look like geraniums, surrounding the courtyard. They survived all the rain and wind San Diego got battered with the last week. I decided to selective focus on one of the pots and throw everything else out of focus, but still easily making out other striking features.

This image also demonstrates that if you just walk a few steps further, you can get a fresh perspective of a common place. Most people walk into the courtyard, take their pics by the water fountain (statue in the bottom right-hand corner), maybe go into the restaurant and eat, and then leave.

If you are a fan of Spanish style architecture, there is plenty of allure here for you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Other Falls From Sol Duc

I think from the photos I took of these "other" Sol Duc Falls, this is my favorite one or two. Right now, it is my wallpaper on my new 25" wide-screen monitor. It definitely looks very impressive on a screen that size.

I think shooting these falls looking slightly down is better than the vantage point from just a little downstream. I like seeing the water dammed up between the two logs and seeing the full cascade effect. The downstream vantage, the top log sort of gets hidden and the cascade effect does not have as strong of an impact.

I really like again, how the green moss on the log frames the path of the cascade. Also, when composing this shot, I tried to make sure to place some ferns in the shot, as they are as much of a staple of the rainforest, as the water, green moss, and lichen are.

I am more proud of the photos I got from this spot along the Sol Duc Trail, then I am from the Sol Duc Falls themselves. These "other" Sol Duc Falls are quite a gem.

Again, you can find all of this in Olympic National Park, in western Washington state.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sol Duc Falls

Here is a place I had wanted to get to for quite some time. As promised in an earlier blog post, here are the Sol Duc Falls.

Now, the Sol Duc Falls might not be the most spectacular falls, the largest, tallest, etc... But, these falls certainly have an originally look. They empty out into what basically is a slot canyon, at this point in the river.

Conditions were prime for shooting these falls that day. Overcast and even some mist in the air made the colors come alive. I also shot this from the opposite side of where most people take this shot, which is the walking bridge.

I always try and take at least a slightly different shot of a famous landmark. In this case, I got right up at the edge of the river, with my lightweight carbon tripod, and shot this in landscape composition. I shot this with my Canon 24-70mm lens, as I did not bring my Zeiss 21mm lens with me on this trip. At the time, I was really wishing I had it, as that little bit of wider view would have helped shoot these falls the way I exactly wanted to. Nevertheless, I think the photos came out okay.

The Sol Duc Falls are located in Olympic National Park, in Washington state.

About Me

San Diego, California, United States
Thanks for checking out my photography blog. I am a photographer from America's finest city, San Diego, California. This blog is just a regular update of what I am photographing or what catches my fancy, when I am out and about with my camera. So subscribe and stay up-to-date with my latest photographic adventures.


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