There is a brand new addition to the Landscape Album simply titled Beautiful San Diego. The variety of dramatic vistas, attractions and beaches, coupled with a climate that can’t be beat makes San Diego a photographer’s wonderland. There are so many places to explore, and so much to take in I’ve decided to call this place home. This small gallery is just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at the Beautiful San Diego Gallery, be sure to check back for frequent updates.
Sunset Shots Made Easy
My favorite time of day has always been when the sun starts heading towards the horizon. Especially when there are swirling clouds in the sky to add some color and drama. You can make the scene more dramatic by making a few simple adjustments in your camera. The next time you’re enjoying a sunset take a few shots with different exposure settings. We’ve all taken pictures of sunsets, and I’d wager you were disappointed with the results from time to time. If you let the camera do the work for you, your image may look flat and uninspiring. That’s because the camera did what it’s suppose to, which is to get as close to an even exposure as possible, resulting in dull, unsaturated colors. Take control of the situation, and rescue your next image. I’m not saying you need to go to full manual mode, here is a much simpler solution. Turn your camera dial to aperture priority mode. The meter in the viewfinder or LCD will usually show a little graph ranging from -2 to +2 in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 stops depending on the camera and its current settings. Zero is considered (by the camera) to be the best, or correct exposure. Now find the exposure adjustment dial, and flick it a click or two so it reads a negative value. This is Exposure Compensation, you’re telling the camera you don’t want to have it decide what a good exposure is. Take the shot, you should see a difference between the shot set at zero, and your new adjustment. The colors in the sky are more saturated, but watch out, if you adjust too far, the image will become too dark, especially below the horizon. Land features like hills, trees, buildings will begin to silhouette below around -1. Sunsets where there is water like a beach or lake are a little more forgiving because light will reflect off the surface. That’s it, now go out there and capture some great sunset shots, but first, take a look at a few examples.
Pictures Become Important Long Before You Can No Longer Take Them
The past few months have been emotionally trying for my family, and myself. After a rapid downward spiral, my grandmother passed away December 8. When I was notified she was to be evaluated for hospice care, I knew immediately I had to make the drive to Los Angeles to see her, and say goodbye.
My father asked me to compile all the pictures I could dig up of her. After three days of scouring through my library of images, I was surprised how few pictures I had of her. There were plenty of pictures where she was in the background, but very few where she was the primary subject. I sent my dad a total of eleven images, ones I felt were suitable for use in a collage. When I told my dad that was all I could find, he said that he had trouble locating pictures as well, thinking he took a lot more.
I felt sickened by this experience, wishing that I was more conscientious during our family gatherings, wish I paid more attention to more than just my kids, wish I had more precious images of my grandma.
I did make the trip to Los Angeles, and was able to see her a couple of times. The only words I could muster up were, “I love you grandma.” Words I can’t ever remember saying to her, words I desperately needed to say.
Below is the last picture I took of my grandma as she is holding my then newborn son. I had no idea how important this single image would become to me, personally. Life lessons are usually loaded with pain, this one is no different. I hope by sharing the bitterness of this experience, I can spare you the frustration and disappointment I felt while frantically searching for ‘pictures of grandma’.
One final thought, you can never take too many pictures of those you love, but it is all too easy to take too few.
The other day we spent the afternoon at Seaport Village to just get out and about for a while. It was a much needed break from the daily grind, and gave Kaleb a chance to roll around in the grass. What would such an excursion be without a camera slung over my shoulder? Ummm, an opportunity missed.
While Kaleb was doing his best to make a break for a nearby busy walkway, I chased him around, shoving my lens in his face, and blinding him with my flash every chance I could. At one point, he decided to practice his balancing skills, struggling to hoist himself upright, and standing on his own two feet. After several wobbly attempts which essentially toppled him head over heels, his persistent efforts were successful. Before his legs inevitably gave way, I captured this proud moment as he gleefully clapped his hands and giggled. Now all he needs to do is take a step or two without the hilarious face plant that usually follows.
Here are a few shots of the little one playing around in the grass…
Every time I pick up the camera to fire off a few shots of Kaleb, at some point he always reaches out to touch the lens, so I figured I’d let him get his hands dirty by handing him a camera to play with. It certainly stopped him in his tracks, and gave me a few seconds to shoot him while he sat still.
I even had time to set up my flash on a stand while he fiddled with the various buttons, knobs, and dials. While the concept of looking through the viewfinder or pointing the lens at something is still beyond his grasp, I figure it’s never too early to let him explore. I hope that he and I will be able to make images together, and with a little luck, his talents and skills will far surpass my own. At least he will be comfortable both in front of, and behind the camera.
Eric and Laurisa were on vacation when I met them. They were a long way from their comfortable home in Canada, staying in a hostel in the Gaslamp District when not out exploring San Diego. What’s more, they had just gotten engaged a couple days prior, and were eager to get some engagement shots. After chatting with them for a spell, we decided Ocean Beach would be the perfect place for a shoot.
Their time schedule was rather tight, and wanted to have their images within a couple of days before they flew off to Los Angeles; their next stop . I was only too happy to oblige; while we nibbled on an appetizer platter I sorted through their images, giving them a hand full of images to show off to their friends back home, and brag about their tans in the process.
Congratulations Eric and Laurisa, I wish you the best, and a lifetime of happy adventures together.