Leading Lines

It’s been a while since I have been out taking pictures and it has been even longer since I have posted any. Since I have gotten out of the Marine Corps and became a civilian I have been keeping pretty busy. Holding two jobs, a relationship, and keeping in touch with friends takes a lot of time but fortunately I was able to venture off the other day for a few hours to get some shots at this beach. This was shot at Corona Del Mar, my usual favorite spot to go to when I am short on time and I can’t travel too far. Every time I have visited this beach I have always gone to the area that is a little South of the beach that is next to the canal. This time I decided to try somewhere new and go a little further South past the second beach down that way. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. There were a whole bunch of different spots like the one shown in this picture where the rocks were leading into the water and it was amazing. The only down side was it was a little more crowded than my usual spot and I found myself fighting for a spot to take pictures with other photographers. Usually when I take photos at the beach I face towards the sunset, but this time I tried something different. There was a nice rock formation that was a little further out in the water that I really like and I wanted to include that in my picture, so instead of facing the sunset I actually faced away from it and I found that the colors were just as gorgeous and unique. This is a standard 5...

Luminance

This is an old photo that I took while at Corona Del Mar. I have been wandering around the internet lately reading various articles that all seem to focus on a technique that I had never used before called luminosity masks thus the name of the post luminance. What these essentially do is bring in particular light values of a photo, acting almost like an HDR technique, which is something that I like and am very familiar with. What I read was that luminosity masks actually had much more control and accuracy compared to the HDR technique so I decided to give it a shot. Most of the info I used was off of the 500px website which you can get to by clicking the link. Jimmy Mcintyre also has an awesome website that has loads of useful information on the subject of digital blending and luminosity masks. I used a luminosity mask action that I set up in Photoshop CS6 and imported all the three exposures as layers. The main file that I used for the base image was actually a lightly processed HDR image that I had put together. I wanted to see if I could actually get better results from luminosity masks and I quickly found out that I could, so not much of the final image is HDR. It was tricky to get it to look right at first and required a bit of work from the get go, but the hard work quickly comes to fruition once you get the hang of it. Hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

Beach Ride

Everything was good; I had this idea for a picture that I had wanted to take in my mind and was finally ready to try and make it happen. The sun was out, the spot was chosen, we had a way to get to the spot. Everything seemed perfect. It wasn’t until we were leaving that the clouds started coming in and going in front of the sun. By the time we got to the spot at San Onofre beach, it was completely overcast with no sun in sight. The whole reason for this outing was because I had wanted to situate the setting sun glare somewhere off the side of the picture to give it a warm effect that made a nice natural glare over everything. I was so excited for this shot but was disappointed when I learned that it wouldn’t be happening that day. So what did I do? I made the best of the situation. I had ended up bringing along my SB 700 Nikon flash and a wireless trigger along with some gels just in case. I’m extremely glad I did because I had ended up using it for this shot. The natural light wasn’t too bad I thought it looked a little dull and I wanted it to seem like there was still sun in the picture so I could try to recreate the original idea as close as possible. I put a warming gel on the flash and positioned it off to camera right, where the sun would have been. I had wanted to be the model for this picture but since I had such a specific idea in mind, I couldn’t have someone else shoot this for me so I had my friend Steven model with...

San Clemente Pier May24

San Clemente Pier

I decided on visiting San Clemente pier the past weekend for three reasons. 1- I saw the clouds in the sky and figured it would turn out to be a pretty good sunset and was hoping to get some good pictures. 2-It was pretty close by and I didn’t have a lot of time until sunset. 3- I was having shooting withdrawals due to the fact that I have been so busy lately that I haven’t been able to go out and take any pictures. I just recently bought this awesome motorcycle, which I hope to post pictures of soon, that I have been riding around everywhere. It’s a Triumph Scrambler. If you have never seen one they look a lot like the old World War II bikes. Without getting too much off topic, this has been taking up some of my time, along with dealing with various other things since I just came back from deployment. Anyway, I had to wait a bit in order to take this photo because I had wanted the sun to set right between the pillars of the pier. It just took a little readjusting of my position with the tripod and voila. I took this as an HDR but only used this technique to bring out some of the details in the pier that would have been to dark otherwise. I took a whole bunch of shot to try and get the water as best I could also. The bracketed shots were taken at -2, 0, +2. I combined the TIFF files in Photomatix and processed the whole image in Photoshop CS6. Hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

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...

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 results. Please follow and like...

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 results. Please follow and like...

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 ask. Please follow and like...