Bixby Bridge

This is an older photo that I took while I was on a short road trip up the Big Sur coastline towards San Francisco. I have been working on my technique a bit lately for editing photos so I decided to give this one another try. My original edit wasn’t something I liked too much and I chalked it up to a bad shot so I’m glad I went through it again because I’m happy with how this one ended up. I love the look of Bixby Bridge. It is a perfect fusion of nature and man-made. I think the bridge actually adds to the overall looks of the scene and find that without it, the picture would be somewhat lacking. If you have never traveled this route, then I would definitely suggest it. The Pacific Coast Highway is, hands down, the most beautiful drive that I have made thus far. The whole drive was winding and curvy roads and all alone gorgeous scenery of beaches and cliffs. I made so many stop along the way because there were great photos to be had everywhere. I used my Nikon D7000 for this shot, mounted on my vanguard tripod. I had my usual kit lens and bracketed this photo at -2, 0, and +2. I didn’t have a wide enough angle lens so I had to make my own panorama. In post-processing I used luminosity masks in order to bring out the desired lighting and then I stitched the whole image together. If you have any questions just ask. I 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...

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 love. Please follow and like...

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 out. Please follow and like...

Merced Stream

I finally got to visit Yosemite National Park in Northern California. I took this shot from a bridge that crossed over the stream coming from the Merced River that was near the bottom of Nevada Falls. This was the nicest spot I have been at in America thus far. I felt like everywhere I looked there was an opportunity for a picture. The size of the peaks like El Capitan and Half Dome where bigger that any picture I had seen and were harder to hike up than most of the hikes I had been on. There will definitely be more photos to come of this area. Here is just a taste of some of the beauty that you can witness in the park. This whole area was shaded by the surrounding trees which made for great lighting and helped me bring out the rich colors that were all around. The photo picture here is actually comprised of 9 shots. 3 shots were taken for 3 different positions and -2, 0, and +2. I masked through the layers to get the best possible looking shot for each and then stitched them together to make a larger image  considering I don’t have a wide angle lens. This was processed in Photoshop CS6. I also used Nik Color Effex Pro. 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...

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 opinion. 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...

San Clemente Girl Apr27

San Clemente Girl

This isn’t actually a photo I took but I wanted to put it up because my buddy Steven had taken it and I helped with the editing. My buddy spotted this girl while we were at San Clemente Beach just hanging out for the day. I was teaching him how to use this new Rokinon 84mm f/1.4 lens that I bought and he couldn’t help but want to take a photo of this girl that was near us on the beach. He went over and asked for permission and she was kind enough to say yes. Thanks to a comment she had made on the photo, we have found out that her name is Claudia Pacheco. The clouds were covering the sun at the time so it made for a real nice filtered light which accentuated the natural beauty of the girl. He did a great job with the actually taking of the photo considering he has minimal experience with photography and he was using a manual focus lens that is notorious for easily getting out of focus pictures if not focused properly. I was surprised at how bright her eyes had shown in the off camera image considering this was all natural light and we had no reflectors so that was a big plus. I barely had to touch this photo when it came to post processing. The only work that was dont on it was a slight curves and levels adjustmen and a few unwanted blemishes taken out in Photoshop CS6. You can find my friend Steven Feusi, the one who took this photo on tumbler here. Hope you like our collaborative efforts at making a photo. And a big thank you to Claudia Pacheco for letting Steven take this awesome photo...

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 ask! Please follow and like...