Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Wedge - Newport Beach, CA

Wow, am I behind! I went with my sister and her husband to the beach last weekend, and just getting through the photos tonight! We went down to the Wedge in Newport Beach, hoping for big waves and surfing shots... but we got small waves, a couple skim boarders, and a boogie boarder or two. Still fun times, and got a few good photos.
Sometimes the Wedge can look like a lake....
Then a set comes in, and things get interesting...

Lap Dog Knits chillin' on the beach with her camera.
A one-second exposure across the bay towards Corona Del Mar... slow enough to blur the moving boat, but used a tripod so the background is sharp.
I like this photo of the little girl enjoying the last light of the day. It was right about this time I decided the best part of the sunset was over, and packed up my camera and tripod to go home. Big mistake!!
Almost immediately after packing up my camera, the sky turned this brilliant red! Quickly unpacking camera and tripod, I managed to capture some of the magic!
Hope you're having a great week!
Linking to Skywatch Friday. Check it out to see 
great skies from around the world!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Summit House Skies

The Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton has some of the best views in the area... a great spot for night sky photography. I took these photos earlier this week for the Skywatch Friday post. Click on the link to check out skies from all over the world! Have a great weekend!!

My wife resting on the fence with the city lights behind her.
Northbound 57 passing over the Brea Hills

Friday, September 14, 2012

Joshua Tree, the West Entrance

We usually go into Joshua Tree National Park via the east entrance (from 29 Palms), but in my opinion, the west entrance (through the town of Joshua Tree) is more scenic. It's at higher elevation, and you immediately see the otherworldly Joshua Trees and boulder formations. That's the route we took last weekend. It was a good weekend for photography, because we had some wonderful clouds to make things interesting.
We decided to head up to Keys View, which can be very hit or miss from a photography point of view. Sometimes the haze can be bad, but it turned out to be a good day, with clear skies and great clouds.
Looking Southwest from Keys View
Looking southeast from Keys View.
I processed this one to give it a watercolor look. What do you think?
Here's the original photo:

Linking with Skywatch Friday. Check it out to see beautiful skies! Have a great weekend, and get out there and take some photos!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jose the Painter

We're getting our house painted, and when we got home today, I had to get a portrait shot of one of the painting crew, Jose. He's been spraying the siding, and by the looks of things, much of his head as well! He doesn't wear goggles, and his eyes are bloodshot. Jose works incredibly hard, for not much money, and works 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, when his boss lets him. It's hot, humid, he doesn't appear to stop for lunch or have a need to ever use the bathroom, and he never complains. His work ethic is incredible and admirable.
Linking with: 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Highway 39

August 26, 1963 

Hi - Guess who stayed here on your recommendation? Nice place. Wayne loves the pool. Since Saturday afternoon have seen Knotts and - Oy, my poor feet! Going to go to Marine land today-
Gerri, Art, Milana and Wayne
Photo credit:
As a boy of 7 or 8 years old, I can remember being in the back seat of the car heading down Beach Blvd. (back then, it was "Highway 39"). The anticipation of getting to the beach was almost unbearable, and I would look out the window for familiar landmarks.
Photo credit:
I knew when I saw the Hi-way 39 Drive-In that we were at least half way there, and not long after I would be able to smell the salt air. Back then, Highway 39 was a highly desirable vacation destination, and people from all over the country would come here and stay in one of the motels that line the street. Like the postcard says, "3 minutes to Knotts Berry Farm, 9 minutes to Disneyland; near beaches". The perfect family vacation!

Fast forward 50 years, and these quaint motels are looking pretty run-down and not so quaint. They're really interesting from a photography point-of-view, but I probably wouldn't stay in one with my family! They appear to cater to long-term renters who rent by the week or month, tend to be down on their luck, and can't scrape together first and last for a traditional apartment. As I was driving home from the beach last weekend, I stopped to photograph a few that are still standing.
The Starlite
The Tahiti
The Riviera
The Sahara
The Robin Hood
The Covered Wagon. These folks came out to make sure I wasn't with the press!
I had some nice blue twilight skies in those 
first three photos, so linking to Skywatch Friday. Have a great weekend, and get out there and take some photos!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

To The Beach...

So I had the urge to get out and take some photos yesterday. Hearing the news that the waves were huge, I decided to go down to the Huntington Beach pier and try to get some surfing shots. You can sometimes see some world-class surfers there, and shooting from the pier gives you a great vantage point. Well, long story short, the wind was high, the rip tides were strong, and there was not a single surfer to be seen! No exaggeration, none. Nada. There were some boys playing in about 3 feet of water with their surfboards, but that's it. Oh well, managed to take a few photos anyway...

I had to admire the young lady in the photo below. She was trying to get a "crabs eye view" photo on her cell phone! I'm guessing it probably turned out great, and she gets an "A" for creativity!
Further down the pier, they were selling kites and whirligigs. Here's a photo of a whirligig:
A much more interesting photo is created by manually focusing on the beach scene behind the whirligig. Gives kind of a pleasing, abstract effect.
Oh, and I learned something new in Photoshop you might be interested in. You can create your own stylized beach wave. Take a photo...
OK, so definitely not a beach shot, but just for demonstration purposes. Other editing software probably does this too, but in Photoshop, open a photo, click on "Filter", from the drop-down menu, select "Distort", then select "Twirl", and use the slider at the bottom to add the desired amount of twirl.  Here's what it looks like:
Surf's Up!!
Wild, eh?? Your results will vary, depending on the photo you select. If you look closely, you can see my Jeep wheel on the lower right and kind of make out the stretched-out Jeep.
Hope your enjoying a wonderful Labor Day weekend, and that you have time to get out there and take some photos!  Linking with: