Category Archives: travels

Photographing When I Am Not Photographing

Like most photographers, I plan my photo shoots whenever it suits me or whenever I must, like an assignment. The rest of the time that big camera bag is tucked away.

I have heard over and over during my career, that successful photographers always have a camera with them and I sure remember many times I wished I had my camera with me. The thought of always having my dslr with me did not sit well in my mind as I did not always want a camera slung over my shoulder except during a photo outing.

A intentional photographic foray, with the gear, is a conscious effort to go hunt for visual prey.  For me it is intensive effort to dig deep and go far with my imagination and imagery. I leave everything behind and immerse myself in a world where I tune out most thoughts and focus specifically on what is around me. This is why I, and probably you, shoot.  It’s like another magical world.

I am not always able to put in that effort during normal days/weeks due to ‘life’. Eventually I reach a point where I obsess over my need to ‘go shoot’ and so I do. But in-between those shoots when I am out and about without my gear, in the outdoors or wherever,  I have that smartphone to satisfy the need to create even one image.

Not that my smartphone is anywhere close to being a replacement for my dslr,  but I can shoot when I see a worthy subject no matter where I am. In fact, I am a ‘happy snappin’ addict now. I am thrilled with the simplicity of just snappin’ without all the setup of my gear and the change to find and capture is just as exciting as it is with my dslr in the field.

mx_los_algadones_IMG_3580

So this photo is one such image captured when we walked across into Mexico a few months ago. These colorful chairs in an outdoor cafe made a great design with a mix of colors and it has the impact I like in my photos.  I zoomed with the iPhone and then processed it with the Mix app.

I submitted it to my stock agencies smartphone image library as well but it was rejected due to no photo release. Hmmm? :)

(more…)

Posted in travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Photographing When I Am Not Photographing

The Amazing Colors of Mexico

The colors of Mexico always amaze me as they are pretty much everywhere. Saturday we walked into Los Algadones, MX for the Gringos Go Home celebration. I should mention: that is not what it sounds like.

Yuma, AZ is the highest rated Snowbird destination during the North American winters and Los Algadones is right across the border from Winterhaven, CA, a few minutes from Yuma. So you can see the importance of Snowbirds to Los Algadones and their economy.

They local community is so appreciative of winter visitors they put on the Gringos Go Home party on Saturday where there was festive music, free beer, and free food. It was great!

Like other locations in Mexico, Los Algadones is quite colorful and perfect for my obsession with iPhone ‘Happy Snappin.’ As I wandered the streets I was not disappointed. That led me to this wall tucked in between street vendors.

handprints_mx

I love these types discoveries and the photos I create of them. The vendor next to this mentioned that the wall was 30 years old and hand prints had been added over the years by school children. It is a great story, but the wall says it all to me.

This file is from my iPhone and I then used Adobe Photoshop Mix (the app) to add contrast (make the whites whiter and darks darker) and added some saturation and slight sharpening.
Viva Mexico!

Join my mail list, get my ebook, or take an online photography class. Just click the links on the right side.

Posted in travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Amazing Colors of Mexico

The Neon Light of Vegas

VEGAS BABY!

It is not hard to find amazing ‘light’ to photograph in Vegas. Actually, there is better man made light than sweet natural light as far as the strip is concerned. Everywhere you go: neon is so photogenic. Even in the casinos, like here at the Zarkana show (which is great) there is shape and form to capture with an iPhone. I opened this in PS and used the lens correction tool to straighten the verticals.

nv_vegas_IMG_2577a

(more…)

Posted in travels | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Neon Light of Vegas

An Historic Post-Processing Look for a Ghost Town Photo

I have thing for photographing through windows of old west ghost towns and taking pictures through the old glass. I get my lens as close as I can to the glass without risking damage, then shade the lens as best I can to remove external reflections , and bracket exposures like crazy.

Here is the barbershop in Randsburg, CA shot a few weeks ago. You can see some of the outside reflections around the left side and that is due to my hands not blocking all the glare. I shot a two image pano: left and right side as vertical images, then let Photoshop stitch them. Next I went into Photomatix and gave it a medium HDR grunge look. Then opened in Topaz B&W Effects and used the filter: Flavescent which added the yellowed newspaper look I wanted. I finished with another layer using the Blueprint effect and set that to 30% opacity to add a dark edginess.

ca_randsburg_MG_6394-7_pano_tonemapped-

When I like what I created, I abandon it for the next image. 

Join my mail list, get my ebook, or see my online photo courses, all here on this page.

 

Posted in Architecture Photography, Software Techniques, Special Effects, travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on An Historic Post-Processing Look for a Ghost Town Photo

HDR Coca Cola Sign in Randsburg, CA

I spent about 2 hours in Randsburg, CA two night ago photographing interesting ghost town type subjects. There is a lot of history here but much is ‘modernized’ since it is more of a living ghost town and unlike Bodie to the north, which is uninhabited for the most part.

This old sign really caught my eye with the warm setting sun light and I shot it with a 70D and 16-35mm lens. There was a long shadow from the left side to the right side, cast on the wall from the chain railing that was there and I retouched that out to make this image all about that cool old sign.

ca_randsburg_MG_6373_4_5_fused
Join my mail list with the sign up form on the right.

(more…)

Posted in Nature Photography, travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on HDR Coca Cola Sign in Randsburg, CA