Los Angeles Cityscape...

I had been waiting to go to this spot in Los Angeles forever but I had never known where it was. Recently I was wondering around on 500px and finally stumbled across a similar photo that had the location on it. Now that I was fully equipped with the location and my new camera and zoom lens I was all for it. For those who are looking for this spot, it is right off Mt Hollywood Trail. This is pretty much off one of the paths that you can hike on around Griffith Observatory. I had always thought these pictures were composites since I had never found this angle, but once I got to this spot I was ecstatic to find out that it was real. For this shot I used my Nikon D810 mounted on a tripod, with my Nikkor 70-300mm lens. This was actually my first time shooting with this lens and I was really happy with the results. I shot 5 bracketed shots and combined them through HDR processing and luminosity masks. I will sometimes combine the two processes if I find that one of them isn’t cutting it for what I am trying to accomplish. I hope you like the results....

Old Mcdonald

This is the oldest operating Mcdonald’s in the world! How cool is that? I stumbled upon this little gem when I was looking for cool new places to go take photos. Someone had mentioned this place so I decided to look into it. Fortunately enough, I had been traveling up to Los Angeles that night anyway so I figured why not make a little stop along the way. This Mcdonald’s is so old but still so charming looking. They still have the original building that has a diner feel to it because of the metallic counter-tops where you order your food. The menu is pretty much the same as all the others but there is a little museum to check out some of the original Mcdonald’s stuff from back in the day when it first opened in 1953. Now, I’m not much of a fast food fan but I couldn’t pass up getting food here just to say I did. I was a little worried that this place was going to be more busy than it was but turns out there wasn’t too many people. There was a crowd every so often that would build up but I just waited long enough to get a shot with no one there. People probably thought it was weird that I was taking a picture of a Mcdonald’s but I didn’t care. I shot this photo right before dusk turned into night so I could get some of the clouds in the picture. I had my Nikon D7000 mounted on a tripod and a remote shutter for the low light situation. I bracketed the photos and layered them in Photoshop. I then used luminosity masks in order to pull some of the darker detail from where other photos...

Bridge and City Apr23

Bridge and City

I only had so much time in San Francisco during the road-trip that I took with my sister and I wanted a few different shots of the Golden Gate Bridge Website. It was getting late and by the time we were done with this spot we were going to have to hit the road again, so I decided to try anything I could think of for a new shot from the same spot. This is how I came across this photo. I zoomed in with my lens and got a tight enough crop where you could still make out the bridge in the foreground while peering through to the city in the background. I had wanted to take a shot like this too fortunately, I just always forget. There is another photo from the same night on my website that includes the whole bridge if you want to check that out too. This was literally the nicest setup I had ever seen for this scenic spot. The fog was rolling in perfectly and the lights from the bridge turned on just in time to create a calming mood. Thankfully, my sister was a good sport about hanging out and waiting for it to get a little darker. I don’t think she minded it much though considering this was her first time in San Francisco and this view was quite the sight. I shot this with my Nikon D7000 mounted on my Vanguard Website tripod and of course bracketed it for -3, 0, and +3. I used layer masking to merge the best lit parts of the photos together in Photoshop CS6 and did some finishing touched with Nik Color Efex Pro Website. Hope you like the...

Boston Harbor

If you ever decide to visit Boston then Fan Pier is by far the nicest view of the city at night. There is a nice walk you can take right along the edge of the water that goes around the Southeast area of Boston. I visited this spot with my two sisters while I was home on leave. The only drawback of going was that we had to pay about $16 for parking since we drove up here. I would suggest taking the “T” which is the Boston Metro System. Quincy has free parking and the “T” picks you up from there and goes directly into the middle of the city. Right near this spot is also the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art). This is an awesome gallery to visit that is located in a really cool, modern building. I had to wait a while for this shot because it didn’t get very dark until almost an hour and a half after sunset. I took some early shots during sunset because there were some really cool looking clouds too. This is a collection of 3 exposure bracketed shots that were taken on a tripod. I processed the whole image in Photoshop CS6 but most of the adjustments were done through Camera Raw. Surprisingly this is made up of a lot of pictures. Because I still don’t have a wide angle lens yet, I had to take 8 shots total (three for each since they were bracketed) and put them all together. Hope you like the...

Helix Bridge

If you have ever been to Singapore then you no doubt no where this area is. This is situated right in the middle of the city where the famous Merlion statue is located. This was the second time we stopped here for a port visit and I had already planned on coming to this spot. The first time I visited, we didn’t have enough time to see everything so I didn’t expect to come back here, but fortunately we did. The spiraling metal structure on the left of the picture is the Helix bridge. It is an awesome place to be at night because the bridge will change colors and every night there is a light show. The view for the light show isn’t as good from this spot as it is from across the river but you get to see the designs project on the building that you can’t see from the front. We waited here for about an hour or so so we could get the best lighting. I have several other shots that include different lighting situations like during twilight. I posted this photo because I thought that it was more flashy. I took this on a tripod and bracketed with -2, 0, +2. This is also a panorama because I still have yet to get a wide angle lens. The editing in Photoshop is always a pain with these types of photos because the stitching program never seems to match up all that great for me so I often have to do it manually. But hope you all like the results. If you got any questions about the processing just...

Getty Museum Jan12

Getty Museum

This is an old shot that was taken at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. I have been going through some older pictures that I haven’t posted since I haven’t been able to take any new pictures recently. I still have a few more up my sleeve but my stash is running low so hopefully I will be able to get some new photos soon. Once I get off this deployment I will finally go back to getting pictures all the time. If you live in California or are visiting and interested in museums, then I definitely suggest visiting the Getty Center. This has some of the nicest modern architecture and outdoor facilities that I have seen of this kind. From the cool white rounded buildings to the cement and solid stone structures, this place is a modern architecture photographers paradise. I’m not even big in to photographing modern architecture but I couldn’t help myself here. There are all kinds of awesome exhibits to visit and nice gardens to view on the outside as well. I took this shot inside one of the museum buildings while I was wandering around. I loved how minimal and pure this area looked and the light lit the area up with a nice clean white. It was a little dark so I used a tripod for this shot. People probably thought I was a weirdo considering everyone else was taking pictures of the actual art in the museum and I was taking picture of a staircase. O well. The best part about the place is that it is free! You can check out there Plan a Visit area of their site to find their hours, and location. This shot was a RAW image file that was edited...

Light Show Dec18

Light Show

This shot was taken at the Marine Bay Sands Resort and Casino in Singapore. This is a 5-star rated hotel that claims to be the most spectacular hotel in Singpore. After wandering around the hotel grounds and visiting the top of the hotel, I definitely believe it. This was take on our last night that we had liberty from the Navy ship that we were on while deployed. We wanted to see everything we could since we wouldn’t get another chance and it proved to be an awesome experience. We had found out earlier that day that every night, this resort puts on a light show that is said to be quiet the sight to see. Once we found out that we could go to the top of this building we were even more excited. It was a small fee to get to the top but well worth it. You can see the whole city from up here and it was a paradise for me with my camera. Once we got up here we started looking at the time and realized that we were going to be cutting it close in order to see the light show. I was waiting for sunset with my camera all set up because I wanted all the lights to come on in the city. I planned on waiting until it was pitch black out but once the sun went down far enough I shot away and got the shot that I had wanted without having to wait for total darkness. Once I took the shot I quickly packed up my gear and we grabbed a taxi at the base of the building to the viewpoint where this shot was taken. This vantage point was right in front of...

Path to Hell

Salk Institute in La Jolla, California is an awesome display of some superb architecture. Louis Kahn is the architect behind the structure shown in the photo below and I’m not too familiar with architecture but from people I have talked to it seems that his building all have pretty interesting looks like this one. The Salk institute is one of the leading institutions in the world for biological research and I was constantly seeing various people in and out of this place. Considering all that is far above my head, what my focus was on was photography. I had wanted to photograph this spot for a while but it is always locked up and a keycard is needed for entry. There are tours that are given except they only ran on weekdays and at times that weren’t late enough for me to get the pictures around sunset that I had wanted. I ended up calling ahead through a reference number and asked for entry and I was fortunate enough to be allowed in. I took as many shots as I could before the sun went down and was even fortunate enough to have an amazing sunset. I picked the name “Path to Hell” because I thought that the real void and futuristic architecture in the foreground leading up to the fiery sky in the center of the image really makes it seems like it is leading to some mysterious unknown place. My favorite part about the image are the subtle hints that were picked up, like the reflection of the sky off the ripples in the water going down the center. This is a 3 exposure shot made up of -2, 0, +2. I masked through the better parts of the photo in Photoshop CS6 where...

Blue Glass

If you have never seen the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles then you need to check it out. This place has some of the wildest architecture I have seen in person. Frank Ghery is the architect and he did a amazing job with this buildings design. This almost fully metallic structure stands out from all the other surrounding buildings. It is notably shorter than all the surrounding skyscrapers and is also more eye catching. It has steel points jutting out in all directions and curves that almost rembles waves in some areas. When the sun is out and there are no clouds this building shines reflections everywhere and the curves of the metal really show because of the smooth contrasts of light and shadows that wrap all around the building. I have some other picture of this same building on a sunnier day but I took this one when it was cloudy out. Everytime I come here I try to walk around the building a bit before taking any shots in order to get a better feel and idea of where I want to get shots that day. This day I was particularly attracted by the back of the building near s flower fountain. There is a staircase on the building’s side that is on the street level that you can take up to get here. I saw the cool blue color of the glass that was featured here and couldn’t help but have my attention drawn to it. I followed the lines up and started snapping away. I was pretty close to the building for this shot and had been look almost straight up. This is a RAW image file that was barely touched apart from the basic curves and...

Bonsai

This bonsai tree was located at the Huntington Library in Los Angeles, California. If you live in Southern California and have never been here then it is a must see. There are various different gardens like a Chinese and Japanese Garden as well as all kinds of interesting floral that is scattered around the grounds. I came here pretty early this day and stayed for at least three of four hours just walking around and taking everything in. There is so much to see here that I even filled up one of my memory cards. I took this shot while I was in the Japanese Garden here, going through the large bonsai area they have. Some of these trees were over a hundred years old and had some real cool forms they had taken over the years. This one in particular stood out to me because of the awesome position that it was in as well as the great lighting and cool shape. This was one of the few bonsai trees there that was totally in the shade which made for a large amount of detail able to be shown without getting blown out whites or too dark of blacks. I thought the corner that it was in was interesting also because I felt that it limited the distractions around it, like other bonsai trees, and made for a simple background. It was pretty simple putting this picture together. I just took a few regular RAW images of it handheld, exposing for the tree itself and that was it. I took it into Photoshop CS6 later in Adobe Camera RAW and messed around with some of the sliders in order to adjust some of the shadows and highlights and gave it some more vibrant...