My fine art collection of Kauai, Hawaii is now available on this 2014 calendar. These photos are all from the Island of Kauai. They include the Poipu Beach area, Waimea Canyon, Maha’ulepu Beach, Polihale Beach, The Swinging Bridge and the Kilauea Lighthouse. The scenic island is a tropical paradise complete with protected wild chickens.
On the southern side of the island of Kauai is the very small town of Poipu.
Located not far from Poipu is this isolated but not unaccessible beach named Maha’ulepu Beach.
This one is a bit of a drive. Located on the far west side of the island is Polihale Beach.
Photographers tend to like rustic subjects. Old and ugly can be interesting subjects. There is an old dam near the San Gabriel Mountains and on the San Gabriel River, that I came across one day. If you are unfamiliar with the LA area, there really aren’t natural rivers in the basin area. We mostly have man made concrete rivers constructed for water runoff to the ocean. This is at the base of the mountains and is dry most of the year. This particular dam was built by the US Army of Engineers and was completed in 1949. It is one of a series of dams along the river and basically it is for flood control.
I photographed this angle because of the interesting structure of the dam. The shape of the concrete along with the metal make an interesting composition. This is straight from the raw file created by the camera. This is a good exposure for the walls of the concrete, but the sky and ground highlights are over exposed. Being a raw file, the processing could improve the highlights, but I chose to make this an HDR photo instead.
HDR photography (high dynamic range) is a process of combining multiple exposures of the same photo to combine the details of highlights together with the details of shadows. Digital cameras are not able to capture this in one exposure, when you have bright highlights and dark shadows together in one photo. Therefore you end up with the first photo above. Not necessarily bad, but in this case I wanted to bring more detail to the overall photo. This HDR was created in Photoshop CS5 using 5 exposures. Many times photographers go crazy with tone mapping and take HDR photos to the extreme. In this case, I wanted this to look realistic. Much like I saw it when I was there.
Now that doesn’t mean I only make realistic photos. Here I wanted to accentuate the details and bring out the grunge. This was built over 60 years ago. So, I wanted to bring out the cracks, graffiti and textures all around. I took the HDR Photo into a filter software called Topaz Adjust. In this software you can add some pop, bring out details or completely change the look of an image. Now it looks old and from the 40’s.
This and many more rustic fine art images are available to purchase.
A unique mailbox presentation for the league bowler. But wait, is it real?
I am a league bowler and have been for many years. My mother was a league bowler when I was a kid and I joined my first league somewhere around nine years old. Many years later I planned on making a “bowlers mailbox”. Mailboxes have been customized for ever but I haven’t heard of, or seen anything like this. It is quite simple, yet distinctive. I worked this photo to great detail to make it as realistic as possible. The actual, real photo is below.
I photographed bowling balls separately in various positions and assembled them in photoshop.
In addition to stacking them, I added ball shadows and reflections to add realism.
I then photographed some nice Marathon grass from a neighbor’s yard and added the grass and more plants to the background.
Throw in a shadow from the mailbox onto the grass and it’s looking pretty good.
The final touches are the graphics added to the mailbox. I created this with the intention of creating this mailbox for our yard, minus the address. I had a pro shop guy working on drilling the bowling balls with a hole straight through the ball so I could stack them on a pipe, but he had problems with drilling a continuous hole through the whole ball without breaking out the hole. So that put the project on hold. I have since inquired with another pro shop guy, and he says he can do it, but I haven’t continued with the project, as of now.
Unique gifts for the league bowler.
Reward perfect 300 games or other honor scores with these unique gift ideas.
Ugly is Beautiful, or is it?
I am a commercial photographer, mostly in the commercial architectural field. In my photographs I’m constantly retouching out things the client doesn’t want to see. This could be just about anything that makes their property look unappealing. Telephone wires, signage, cars, dirty blacktop are the most common fixes. Because of this, I tend to say, “removing the ugly in reality is my specialty”. That is all good in the commercial world, but in the fine art world, maybe not all ugly is undesirable. Old, decrepit, aging and deteriorating are interesting effects on subjects for photography. Many times this can make something that was a plain and boring subject, much more interesting. On my first visit to Alcatraz Penitentiary I was intrigued by some of the aging buildings. It’s a bit difficult to photograph with all of the visitors. And really, I’m sure there are some fantastic subjects you don’t get to see. I’d really like to get a behind the scenes look. I could probably photograph all day long, with a free access pass.
This is in the main kitchen and dining area of the former prison. The penitentiary closed in 1963 and became a national recreation area in 1972. Over the years the surrounding salt water and lack of maintenance has created this decrepit, decaying subject, shown here. There is a little photoshop work to help with the window exposures and a little color enhancement, to bring the photo to what I saw when I was there.
This image and many other San Francisco photographs are available here
Rustic Details Collection here
Another fine subject from the Huntington Library Desert Garden. This is in the agave family and is officially named Agave Parryi and commonly called Mescal. It is a cactus / succulent that originates from Mexico. It grows about 2 to 3 feet tall and about 3 to 4 feet wide. When fully mature it will send up a flower stock over 10 feet tall with orange buds and yellow flowers.
The blue green color of the leaves make this a beautiful cactus in any cactus garden. Here it boldly stands out against all of the surrounding cactus green. The surrounding green was darkened down to add contrast to this photo and to emphasize the agave coloring.
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The Vintage Collection is my collection of new and some old favorite cacti and succulent photos with that vintage look. They are all black and white images with a light color tone. They also have film grain and vignette for that old style look.
Click to see the Collection