Bowling Ball Beach

I was able to visit Bowling Ball Beach while I was in Northern California. This spot was a bit difficult to find but I managed to find it. It was totally empty which was awesome; I literally had the whole beach to myself. These large rocks were scattered across the shoreline. Taking a good enough photo of this spot was the tricky part. I had to walk into the water until I was knee deep so I could find a good position to include all the rocks. Fortunately the waves were small so my little travel tripod stood a chance. I had my Nikon D810 mounted on my Manfrotto befree tripod. This lightweight travel tripod was definitely one of the best investments I made for this trip. It barely took up any space on my motorcycle. This is a combination of 5 different bracketed photos merged with luminosity masks. Hope you like the...

Huntington Beach Sunset...

I took this shot a little while back at Huntington Beach in Southern California. It has been a little bit since I have had internet, so there are a few pictures that I haven’t posted yet so I’ll try to put some up. Unfortunately I don’t have all the photos I want to post so my selection is limited but I’ll get them on here eventually. Anyway, I was scoping out some places to take pictures in California on 500px and I came across this spot at Huntington Beach. It wasn’t too bad of a drive from the Oceanside area so I took the trip up North. Unfortunately the sky wasn’t on my side for this visit. It was a cloudless sky and very dull in color. The lights that reflected off the water were the only thing going for the shot initially, so I took the pictures in hopes that I could bring something better out of them later on and that the trip wouldn’t be a waste. I really don’t like making composite images when it comes to landscapes because I feel like it blothes the intended natural beauty, but in this case the images that I took were not what I had visualized in the shot when I planned it out. Overall, the results of making a composite help to better portray my vision of how the scene looked to me. This shot was taken in different parts. One part was the sky, another part for the water, and multiple parts were used for the pier. I have some reserve images that I use to replace skies with if they are dull and don’t do anything for the image. If you want to learn about some of the techniques I used or are interested in getting different prints that may not be available through my site please feel...

Doomed Youth

I took a few more shots of my buddy Steven Feusi while we were at Huntington Beach the other day. What can I say, he likes getting his picture taken and I like taking pictures, so it works out. You can check out his tumbler that goes by Doomed Youth page by clicking on his name in this post. It was a great evening for taking pictures considering the sky was filled with clouds. I didn’t even come here intending on taking any portraits, rather I had visited this spot with the intention of taking landscape shot which were also accomplished as well. You can check out one of the landscape shots from this night here. The cloudy sky acted as a great diffuser for any harsh light the sun would have given me. I had to step way back to take the shot because the lens I was using was intended for a full frame camera and my Nikon D7000 crops the view because of this. This is a RAW image file that I processed in Photoshop CS6. I love this lens. It is a Rokinon f/1.4 85mm. It gives awesome blur effects on the subjects. Let me know what you think or go to Steven’s page and give him some...

Newport Beach

This shot was taken at Corona Del Mar over at the Newport Beach area. I found this spot through a mixture between the ever reliable 500px and google. Ever since I have found this spot, it has been an all time favorite for me because of the large dramatic rocks that protrude from the water. It was the first nice night I have been out for picture in a while because I have been busy with going to the field for the military. Not to mention lately I haven’t had to great of luck with the weather for some reason. Fortunately it worked out real well on this visit. The sky was really cloudy which provided great diffused lighting on the rocks and afforded me the opportunity to correctly expose the rest of the image with ease. What I originally envision was somewhat different from the clouds that were given to me in this image so I ended up replacing the sky with a composite. I only do this when it is absolutely necessary in my opinion because I hate blotching nature with surreal manipulations for no real purpose. I try to do it with realistic looking intentions. This is a RAW image file with a bit of work done to it. I masked through the sky to bring in another sky I had saved in one of my folders. I also applied some Nik Color Effex filters and levels adjustments. I masked through the -2 and +2 exposures as well. Hope you like the...

Black and White Calm Aug10

Black and White Calm

I took this photo some time ago at Corona Del Mar beach near Laguna, CA. This was taken super early in the morning before the sun had even risen. I had arrived at the spot aroun 4:00am and it was pitch black out. Fortunately for me, I had been to this spot before so I was able to figure out where to go rather easily. I had never taken a picture this early in the morning before until this point and it was a learning experience. All kinds of ambient light from unknown sources seemed to flood in random areas of some of the initial shots and it took a few exposures and experimenting with the shutter speed to figure out which one fit best. After a few minutes of messing around I was able to settle on an exposure that was over a minute lone. When I visualized this image, I had wanted to keep it as minimal as possible with what was included in the shot and I think it worked out. I can’t remember since this was an old photo but I don’t think I even used an ND filter because of how dark it was. Either way, this is a RAW photo that was processed in Photoshop CS6 and turned to black and white with Nik Silver Effex Pro. I found out about Nik Color Efex Pro through the photographer Trey Ratcliff at his website Stuck in Customs. Definitely recommend checking it...

Lighthouse Reflection Jun29

Lighthouse Reflection...

I took this at Palmer Island Lighthouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts. I had this image saved and hadn’t planned on working on it because I didn’t see too much potential in the original and it was hard for me to envision it otherwise. It wasn’t until I had to go on ship for about a month with the military that I decided to try processing it. This image forced me to use new techniques that I was still unsure about and really helped me learn new ways to match colors in the rest of the image in order to better fit in composite images. Sometimes when it comes to Photoshop, I have found that just messing around for a while and having fun with it will teach you a lot, especially by doing it on your own which help you retain the information a bit better. This is a RAW image file that was processed in Photoshop CS6. I used the Nik Color Effex Pro plugin as well as basic levels and curves adjustments. I masked out the background for a better suited one considering the day that I had actually taken this image was cloudy and boring. I hope you like the results and let me know what you...

Tower 23

This shot was taken at tower 23 at Ponto Beach in Carlsbad, California. If you go on the main beach and just walk North on the shore towards the campground you will find this spot. I liked it because there was no one there and there were rocks everywhere which made for a cool foreground subject. The bright color of the lifeguard tower provided a nice compliment to the rest of the picture so I knew I had to make it the main focus of the picture when I composed it. I had to wait to take this picture for a little bit because there were a few people walking around here and there and I didn’t want any kind of spooky ghostly image in my picture so I just waited and enjoyed the view until the time was right and I snapped away. This is a RAW image file that I processed in Photoshop CS6 using Nik Color Effex Pro and basic levels and curves adjustment. I adjusted the color of this picture as well because the original shot had a green hue because I had used a piece of welder’s glass for a 10 stop filter. Hope you like the...

Palmer Island Lighthouse...

This is a shot of Palmer Island Lighthouse over in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This was my first visit here considering I am not home very often, being stationed in California and all. I went here with my sister and her husband. When we got here there was a gate blocking the way saying “No Trespassing” and to something of the effect of government officials only. We saw a few other people on the other side that didn’t fit the part so we figured we would be alright and just crossed over. It was a small hike to where the lighthouse was but it was worth it. This is a RAW image that was processed in Photoshop CS6. I have been moving away from HDR images as I’m sure some of you may have noticed with my recent photos. I like the more natural look it and it requires more skill in my...

Sunset Cliffs

Pictured here is Sunset Cliffs. This is in Southern California near San Diego. It is a beautiful stretch of cliffs that run along the coast for miles. I have wanted to go for a while and finally decided to venture out and see how it was. Turns out it was pretty amazing. I found a little path that went down to the beach which consisted of what looked like mostly locals. Right off the beach you could climb on the rocks and go even farther down where no one was. This, of course, I did. There was this large rock pictured below which I believe is called bird rock, for obvious reasons, that was just off the shoreline that I knew would make for great pictures. I had the time so I figured I would try different angles and filters so I slapped on the big piece of welders glass. It was the middle of the day and it was cloudy so I knew there wouldn’t be a glare and the picture would probably turn out fairly decent but I didn’t expect such great results. This is a 30 second exposure that was taken and later brought into Photoshop CS6 to edit. I replaced the dull colorless cloudy sky with a better one I had in reserve and corrected some of the colors from the green welders glass makeshift filter as well. Hope you like the end result. If you have any questions about the welders glass filter feel free to...

Red Sky

I took this shot while at Corona Del Mar beach in Laguna, CA. This beach is super rocky and real nice for some landscape photos. I have shot here before and got some great pictures so I wanted to go back and try again and it worked out great. Funny thing is that the pictures didn’t turn out nearly as good as I had wanted so I tried my hand at some photo manipulation. The photo below is the original photo and right below that is the finished copy. To make the finished copy I actually had three exposures shot at -2, 0, +2. I processed these into jpeg files and combined them in Photomatix into an HDR image. With the newly made HDR image, I brought it into Photoshop CS6. where I masked through the better parts of the RAW images to make the photo more pleasing. From there I ended up replacing the sky with another file that I had on standby for just that purpose because I knew if the sky had more of a red hue it would better suit the vision I had intended. It didn’t look quiet right since the water still didn’t have the reflection and tones of the new sky so I added the new sky layer again and flipped it vertically and set the appropriate blending mode. The rest of the post-processing included masking through certain areas and using basic Photoshop tools like levels and curves as well as Nik Color Efex Pro. Hope you like the end result. If you have any questions on the specifics of the process don’t be afraid to...