Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Snow in Joshua Tree!

While many of my blogger friends are probably tired of snow, it's something that is rare and celebrated when it happens in the S. CA deserts. In the years we've been coming out to the Joshua Tree area, I've never had the chance to hike in the park after a snow, so this afternoon was a real treat!
It wasn't a big snow... just a couple inches. Temps were in the '20s and windy, so very cold, with some additional snow flurries during my hike. According to the weather report, tonight was the coldest night of the year in S. CA!!
I came across this snow cave with big icicles hanging down during my hike.

The photo above was taken by moonlight (10 second exposure).  I like the deep blue night sky!
I thought you might enjoy a comparison shot:  The old truck in my header photo (taken during the summer) and the same truck taken today after the snow.
Wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Merry Christmas!!  Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season and a New Year full of Peace and Happiness!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reflected Sky

We get so little rain here in S. CA, it feels like a treat to have these standing puddles after our recent storm! Not to mention we've been treated to some great skies! This is my granddaughter standing near a flooded baseball diamond at our local park.
According to the Orange County Register, we need 11 trillion gallons of water to get out of our current drought!!  I'm not holding my breath.

Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Night and Day

A little music to enjoy as you check out my pics:

and Day:
That's my granddaughter climbing up to the clouds!
Linking with Skywatch Friday and Good Fences. Click on the link to check out some great posts!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Unidentified Contrail

I took this photo two weeks ago in Twentynine Palms, CA (near Joshua Tree and also very close to the Twentynine Palms Marine Corp Air Ground Combat Center). It was just about sunrise and I was surprised to be greeted with this view!
What's making this contrail? I have no idea, but it was moving fast!
Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Rain Is On The Way!

Finally... looks like Southern CA is going to get some rain! It's been over 9 months since we've had any significant rain. Not to mention we are in a severe, multi-year drought. The biggest part of the storm is supposed to hit tomorrow. I could see the storm clouds moving in late yesterday afternoon. The sky was putting on quite a show!
16mm wide angle shot
You could see the big, heavy clouds moving in quickly.
400mm telephoto lens
You can see some of the Knotts Berry Farm rides (center left) in the photo above. I think that big thing that looks like a tower is called "Supreme Scream".
This photo (above) is one of my favorites. You can clearly see heavy rain coming down on the left. Very dramatic! Fortunately, it stayed to the east of me.
I was even treated to a rainbow (or at least part of a rainbow), although it didn't last long.
Above is the view west... a nice sunset shot.
The view southwest (above). Like I said, the sky was putting on a show in all directions! I did my good deed and took a few photos of the family (walking back home on the trail) under some very dramatic skies. They said it was going to be their 2014 Christmas card.
My last shot of the night, and back to my 400mm telephoto lens.  If you look closely, you can see the big overhead cranes of the Long Beach Shipyard, and the Pacific Ocean beyond. I packed up my gear and hiked back to my car just in time to avoid a brief downpour!
Linking with Our World Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Vintage Building

This old building in Fullerton, CA, caught my eye because of the city name on the roof. It's next to the railroad tracks and the building looks like it dates back to the '40s (which makes it old by S. CA standards!). I'm guessing the city name on the roof helped train conductors identify where they were. Back in the 40's and 50's, things were a lot less built up and it was mostly orange and avocado groves.
I grunged it up a bit to make it look like an old vintage photo!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Red Sky at Sunset

Ralph B. Clark Park in Fullerton. F/11, 1/125sec exposure, ISO 250, 200mm focal length. Cropped and edited in Photoshop
Linking with Skywatch Friday
Click on the link to check out great looking skies from around the world!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Don't Hang Signs" Sign

My wife spotted this sign. Ironic, don't you think? This is a long exposure night photo, so anything in motion (oil pump, cars...) is blurred. I like how the traffic signal is red, orange and green all at the same time! The rising moon adds to the photo's interest as well.
30 second exposure, f/18, ISO 200, 23mm
Another long exposure night shot (below). This one caught my eye because the moon was bright enough on this cloudless night to cast some well-defined shadows.
Linking with Skywatch Friday and Theresa's Good Fences. Click on the links to check out some really beautiful skies and fences!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

11.5.2014 Moon

Driving home after picking up my granddaughter from daycare, I was treated to this view of the rising moon.
Moonrise was at about 4:30 PM, but it was closer to 5 PM before I got this view.  Sunset was at 5 PM... perfect for some nice dusky moon shots!
This hiking trail appears to be leading to the moon!
As time passed, the blues in the sky got deeper.
Tonight's moon if full, so hope to capture some more skywatch shots! Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Painting with Photographs

There's a number of programs out there that will give your photos that "painted" look. One that I've been trying out recently is called Topaz Impressions []. It's not cheap ($100), but the good news is they have a generous 30-day free trial.  I'm about 10 days into my trial period, and thought I would share a few photos I've edited using this program.
Old Car - Original photo
Old Car "Painting" - Topaz Impression
Framed by Joshua Trees - Original photo
Framed by Joshua Trees - Charcoal "sketch" using Topaz Impression
Running in the Park - Original Photo
Running in the Park "Painting" - Topaz Impression
Joshua Trees & Moon - Original photos
Joshua Trees & Moon "Painting" - Topaz Impressions
Let me know what you think. Do you like the edits? Linking with Skywatch Friday. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

By the Light of the Moon

I wonder what she's thinking, and what her future holds...
My granddaughter... 2 years old
Linking with: 
Skywatch Friday and .  Please click on these links to check out great skies and fences from around the world!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Photographer's Little Helper

We had a very pretty sunset sky this last weekend out in the desert. As I was setting up my tripod, my granddaughter decided she would use it as a jungle gym! It occurred to me that capturing her in my sky shots might add some interest to the photos. And probably more important to capture the moment than get the nice, steady tripod shot, right?
Grandpa got to have fun taking pics (sans tripod) and granddaughter has a new toy!

Uh oh, car coming! Time to get off the road!
Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time For Camera Service?

Yes, definitely for my camera! With all my dusty desert photography and bouncing around in my Jeep, my Canon 5D Mark II has taken a beating. I've been noticing lots of dust spots on my images. I've owned this camera about three years, I bought it used, and I've never had it serviced. Fortunately, there's a Canon factory service center fairly close to home (in Costa Mesa, CA). I took it in last week, and thought I would share the experience. First of all, if you're a Canon camera lover, you will love visiting one of the Canon USA locations. All of their camera models are on display, from point-and-shoots to the high-end Canon 1D, and all are fully functional with high-end lenses. A great opportunity to check out and compare cameras.
You may want to leave your credit card at home...
Too much temptation...
With all these cameras and lenses on display!
Pretty nice, right?
They also have a nice display of vintage cameras. That Canon F1 (bottom center) was what I used for years back in my film days.
They also have a viewing center with these cool red chairs.
And some great photography on display.
It cost me $49 to get everything cleaned... sensor, focusing screen, mirror, even the exterior camera body. They also installed new firmware. Seems like a bargain to me! I dropped it off mid-afternoon, and it was ready the next morning by 9 AM (had I dropped it off before noon, it would have been ready the same day). Have you ever noticed dust spots on your images? Every had your DSLR serviced?