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 ask! Please follow and like...

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...

Singapore

I took this shot while I was in Singapore. This is from atop the Marina Bay Sands building that is billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino priced at $8 billion. Me and a couple of buddies ventured up here hoping to get a good view and possibly some cool pictures out of it. We never expected anything like this. We just saw this cool looking building that had a boat on top of it (it legit is shaped like a boat) from a ways away and thought it looked cool. Fortunately the group I was with had wanted to stay until sunset because I really didn’t want to leave before then. The casino and hotel itself was impressive, boasting a giant infinity pool at the top (which only guests were allowed to go to) and a sweet bar and lounge requiring a dress code. The view was what really made it though. This was the nicest cityscape vantage point that I had ever visited before and I’m sure it will be for a little while. I took as many pictures as I could within the time we had. I wanted a fully nighttime image but we had to make the lightshow that went on every night which was also produced by this building. Because of the time constraint and being limited on how much time we had until we needed to return to the Navy’s ship we had to leave before it got dark enough. I’m still more than happy with what I got. This is a RAW image file that was merged to an HDR in Photomatix and processed in Photoshop. Hope you like the results.   Please follow and like...

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...

Hiji Creek

This was taken a little way down from Hiji Falls where the water was running to. The Hiji Falls area is located in the Northern Yambaru area of Okinawa where there is a very low population and a dense amount of forestry. There is another picture from this visit of the actual falls but this shot I found to be just as charming if not more so. The thick vegetation was exploding with color on this visit and the calm crystal clear water made for an interesting subject for the photo. From the photo it looks like I’m actually standing in the water but in reality there was a little path of rocks that went across a miniature waterfall that I was standing on to get this shot. This place was bit of a pain to get to because we had to take a bus here and if you have ever been to Okinawa you would come to find out that they don’t speak much English and everything is in Japanese characters. Fortunately I had been going over the Japanese Rosetta Stone at the time so I knew a bit of conversational Japanese that helped us out getting here. This was also the second time we came here because on our first trip it was closed by the time we arrived. I liked this area in particular because everything was shrouded in shade giving the whole scene a nice soft light and the whole area felt so full of life. For this image I mounted my camera on a tripod and shot three exposures in order to get the full range of light in the scene. I took those three exposures and attempted an HDR image but quickly realized it was better off as...

Japanese Hut

While on deployment in Okinawa, Japan back in 2012 I did some sightseeing. One of the most memorable places that I visited was here at the Shuri Castle area located in Naha. The little Japanese hut that is pictured here wasn’t actually the main attraction at this area, rather it was the actual castle that is featured in another photo on my website. There was so many awesome places to explore and photograph at this location that I actually have several photographs on my site. This was located a little past the Shuri Castle grounds on an almost hidden trail. I had scene this spot on one of the brochures and had kept my eye out for it the whole time we were visiting here but couldn’t find it. It wasn’t until the end when we were leaving that I had decided to try and venture off to find it. It had rained on and off non-stop all day and at the time of this shot it was just starting to clear up. I figured the sun would be coming out pretty soon and the group I was with was getting a little restless so I tried to work fast. I didn’t have a wide angle lens at the time and really wanted to get the whole scene in one picture so I decided to stitch together a panorama of sorts. I should probably mention that this is also an HDR image. I shot a total of 6 shots; 3 exposures for one side and 3 exposures for the other side. When I edited the photos on my computer I had to make sure a lot of the exif info was the same that way the stitch would be seamless. I did the same adjustments for...

Korean Friendship Bell...

This Korean Friendship Bell is a little hidden gem located in San Pedro, California. It is pretty well known amongst locals but not so much to tourists visiting California for the first time. I had been living in California for a little over two years at the time when I had made my first venture over to this spot. Unfortunately it took me forever to find it the first time because I didn’t have a GPS at the time and was trying to read directions while on my motorcycle (which is definitely not advisable to do), and I didn’t end up arriving until it was pitch black out. I still took pictures here anyway but there were some crazy spotlights on the structure that gave it a crazy color cast and just made the image on a whole unattractive. So, needless to say, I was pretty excited for this visit. I arrived here about an hour before sunset so I could have enough time to explore. There were a few people here but fortunately they came and went pretty quickly and they became increasingly more sparse the closer it got to sunset. I scouted out the area from different vantage points and I hadn’t quiet decided on one perfect spot so I took shot from several. The one pictured here is what I decided on as the best after looking at them on my computer. This is actually two pictures that are vertically stitched together, well…more like 6 because they are two HDR images. I really tried to tone down the HDR in this one so that it only complimented the photo subtly rather than giving it any sort of funky look or oversaturated colors that seems to be prominent among HDR images. Most...

Hiji Falls

This area, known as Hiji Falls, is mentioned on another post on my website which is further down the stream from the falls and it is covered in thick vegetation with crystal clear water. You can check out the post here.  This is one of the first waterfall pictures that I had taken with my Nikon D7000, which was new at the time. I would say that this was where a love of waterfalls started. strange as it may sounds, this picture makes the falls look puny. In reality they are actually a pretty good size and are located in a beautiful spot. It is a small hike through the woods to get to these falls. The spot they are in is so great because all of the surrounding trees and vegetation practically block all the direct sunlight from coming in. This made for a great all around lighting that helped to bring out a lot of the colors. I shot this from a rock that was located in the middle of the pool beneath the falls. I had hopped over the security rope and snuck over here (I tend to do that a lot). I can’t even remember how many shots I took of this scene because I was trying everything out knowing that I wouldn’t get the chance to come to this spot again. I was swapping filters left and right and trying all kinds of different exposures. In the end, I settled on this image here which is a single RAW image files that was masked through in Photoshop CS6 in order to bring out some of the shadows and highlights that the camera couldn’t pick up. Only a few filters were applied from Nik Color Effex Pro in order to...

Shuri Steps Apr18

Shuri Steps

I took this shot while I was walking up to the main area of Shuri Castle located in the town of Naha in Okinawa, Japan. I have another post from this area which is located a short distance off the castle ground and picture a Japanese hut on a lake that can be viewed here. On this visit there had been rain clouds following us around all day and I was afraid that it would ruin our visit since It would make things real difficult to take pictures without getting my camera soaked in the torrential downpour that Okinawa usually experiences. Luckily, it had only drizzled when we first arrived at the castle and stopped for the rest of the time. This was actually more beneficial than anything because the ebbing rain pent up in the clouds made for some awesome pictures. You can see here just how heavy those clouds looked. This area is pretty much what the whole area around here was built like. There were a lot of stone structures with pointed roofs that have become iconic to the Japanese culture. This place is the kind of place you expect to see when you go to an Asian country (as stereotypical as that sounds). I really wanted to bring out the details in the stones that showed signs of aging and wear so I decided to make an HDR out of this shot. I took 3 separate exposures at -2, 0, and +2 and combined them all in Photomatix. I barely touch the sliders much from their defaults setting except to lessen the HDR effect in order to give the images a more natural look. Once they were combined, I took the image in Photoshop CS6 and started the post-processing by masking...