Monday, January 31, 2011

Talk About Lots of Pigeons

I used Nik's Color Efex Pro to get the effect in this of my favorite plug-in's for Photoshop and Lightroom...

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Can't Think of a Title

I have trouble finding a title for photos...what would you call this? "Cool Hong Kong Building", "Tall Building", "Cool Architecture"...I am any case, it is a cool, tall, architectural masterpiece in Hong Kong...what will architects come up with next?

I did use a single texture for the sky which was just a plain old white sky in the original which sucked all life and color from the photograph. I don't like white skies and will avoid them at all costs...

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A More Subtle Approach With Textures

There are a couple of textures added to this photo, but I bet you can't see them...for this photo, the textures helped saturate the colors...pretty cool, heh?

On another note, check out THIS SITE for a very inspirational photo essay that will touch your of the best photo essays I have ever seen, but be careful, it will put a lump in your throat...Thanks to Steve Huff for the link...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Carnival

You can use textures to make your skies look cool and cosmic. I used a photo of a rock wall to create this sky. It worked well with the cloudy sky that was in the original photo. The piece of plywood next to the bike was distracting in the original photo so I added a few textures to have the piece of wood blend in more with the scene like someone had dropped a bunch of paint on the wood...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prambanan With Texture

You have seen this photo before, but here it is again with some textures added. I had to use some creative "masking" to get the colors right.

The clouds in the original photo really added to the way the textures mixed in with the photograph...with a plain blue or white sky, the textures don't mix in as well...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Take a Photo...Turn It Into Art

I took this photo in Hong Kong last year. I thought it would look cool with some textures added. It has become one of my favorite things to do with photos...turning my photos into Art, and there are infinite possibilities of what you can create by changing the blend modes, changing the hues and saturation, transparency, and even using filters on the textures.

This week, I will post some of my new creations using textures...

I am looking into writing some ebooks, and I think this would be a great subject to write about...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cheer Up...It's Friday!!

Like most days, I read my daily photography blogs, and click on links on those sites to view other photographer's work. Viewing other's work is a necessity to improve my own craft. Some days, I am not very inspired, but today I was blown away by a Landscape Photographer in Canada. I found his link via David Duchemin's blog, Pixelated Image . I was looking at ebooks as I want to write my own, and wanted to see what other photographer's were writing about. I ran across and bought Darwin Wiggett's ebook on Winter (Landscapes in the Canadian Rockies). Wow, talk about inspiring photographs!! Check out his site....I am sure it will blow you away too!! Great stuff, and I recommend his ebook as is only 5 bucks!

As promised, below is my image of a Mandarine Fish....pretty little guy, isn't he? Or is it a her? They hang out in clusters of broken up coral (usually Staghorn Coral) in about 15 feet of water. During the day, they are deep into the coral, and you can't usually see them. At around dusk, they slowly emerge from their holes to feed and mate. They are very skittish and shy, so they are difficult to photograph. When I see one, I have to hold my breath to not make any noise, and move real slowly to set my focus and then fire. As soon as my strobes goes off, the fish usually sprints for the holes in the coral, and then I have to wait another 10 minutes for him to come out again. So, the shot below is the ONE out of about 50 I took that evening...the only one that came out well. A frustrating fish to photograph...

Below is a photo from one of my favorite sites in Raja Ampat...called, "Blue Magic" is just teaming with fish....thousands and thousands of fish of all different varieties...When I jump in the water, I don't know where to look or go, there are sooo many fish. It is incredible!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nudi Lovers

Bet you thought the photo would be something more exciting based on the title, didn't you? Gotta keep this blog "family oriented"...ha ha...

There is an amazing variety of Nudibranch in Indonesia. I found this mating pair just off the dock when I was waiting and searching for Madarin Fish. So, I took a detour and took some photos of them, and then went back to searching for the elusive Mandarin Fish...some of you are now wondering what a Mandarine Fish is...ok, ok, I will post one of my favorite photos of a Mandarin tomorrow....but it has already been posted on this blog many moons ago...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Favorite Fish

This is a Clown Trigger. I think they are the coolest fish on the reef, but tough to get photos of since they are always cruising around and rarely sit still. I got lucky with this one...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Line Of Snappers

I was working on a few more underwater photos last night, and found some decent ones to post this week, so expect underwater photos the rest of the week...

I can't wait to get back underwater...too bad work always gets in the way of having fun...

Monday, January 17, 2011

How About This For A Puzzle?

Most of these reliefs at the Borobudur had to pieced together block by block. Can you imagine putting together that puzzle?

Friday, January 14, 2011

One Last One...

Since I had all these photos from Singapore, it looks like this became "Singapore Week" on Scotty Graham's blog...hope you liked all the photos. My Dad said he didn't like the dark skies, but it was rainy and cloudy the entire time we were there. I happen to like dark and stormy clouds...sure beats a plain blue sky...

Have a great weekend!! See you on Monday!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Shot From Singapore

Might as well make this "Singapore" week with my photos...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

View From The Top of Marina Sands

As promised yesterday, this is the view from the top of the Marina Sands Hotel in Singapore. As usual these days, there were no tripods allowed...I get irritated every time I hear that stupid rule. When I ask why, I usually never get an answer. In Italy, I would just get a shake of the head and a "I don't know, but no tripods are allowed" response.

In Singapore, they told me I couldn't use a tripod because people might trip over my tripod legs, so I asked if I could use my tripod as a "mono-pod" and not extend the legs...they reluctantly let me do, I took these shots with my camera on the tripod, but the legs pointing straight helped a bit, but it was still tough to stabilize my camera for a night shot...

I was there pretty late, and when I wanted to take a photo in one spot, there were no people, I opened up my tripod to get a shot because there was no-one around to "trip" over my tripod legs...of course, a security guard came right over to me and told me I couldn't use a tripod. I was going to argue with him, but thought it pointless....these guys don't use logic, they are just programmed to deliver a message...arrrrgh!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Marina Sands Hotel

This is the new Marina Sands Hotel in Singapore. You may have seen the show on Discovery Channel that describes the building of this amazing really is an amazing feat of engineering. Tika and I went to the top "sky garden" and had an amazing view of the city 56 floors up (I will post a photo of the view this week). There is also a large pool up there with glass walls that looks over the city. I tried to get a photo of the pool, but I was not allowed since I was not a guest of the hotel...I guess I will just have to return as a guest someday...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cool Singapore Architecture

I was in Singapore the past few days. We explored the new Marina Sands Hotel area, and there is some amazing new buildings going up, and some finished. I am not sure what this "tulip" like building will be, but what a wild looking building... I just wish that white sheet wall was not there...will have to go back when all the building is finished and get some new photos...

Friday, January 07, 2011

Stormy Clouds Over Prambanan

Happy Friday!! Our first Friday of the new year!!

Here is a shot from one of my favorite temples in Indonesia, Prambanan...a perfect shot for Skywatch Friday, right?

Be sure to check out all the other great skies from around the world HERE...

Have a great weekend!! It's back to work for me on Monday...yuck!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Morning at Borobudur

Two days ago, I posted a photo of one of the reliefs at Borobudur. This shot was taken shortly after sunrise, but since it was so cloudy, everything looked very blue...a good time to convert to black n white. Notice the fog down is really cool and mystic looking, and I think it is like that every morning. All of the palm trees were sagging from all the volcanic ash that fell on the trees a couple of months ago when Merapi blew...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Nap In a Becak

We were driving down the streets of Jogyakarta when I spotted this Becak driver taking a nap next to some cool graffiti. I like graffiti, and I like becaks. I snapped this shot from my car window while waiting at a stop light. Sure pays to have your camera with you at all times and easily accessible. I had to crop out a motorcycle driver who drove past me when I took the shot...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Borobudur Relief

It was a cloudy morning this time at Borobudur. We left the house at 2:30 in the morning in order to get to the temple before sunrise. I was hoping for a nice orange sunrise with Mount Merapi (the volcano that recently blew its top) in the background, but it was too cloudy casting a blue cast all over the place. I usually like dark clouds, but not for a sunrise. Oh well...that's the way it goes sometimes...later in the morning, I got this shot of one of the reliefs. There are people out there that know all the stories that are told on these reliefs...and there are a ton of them at Borobudur...about 4 levels of them that surround the temple...

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Carnival

There are these "traveling carnivals" in Indonesia...they call them "pasar malam". They remind me of the small circuses that travel around small towns in the states. I think it would be cool to travel with one of these little carnivals and get to know some of the people...I am sure they would have some great stories to tell. These carnivals make for some cool photos, but I am not sure I would trust actually riding a few of the rides...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!

Wow, where did 2010 go? It is true for sure what people say...
"The older you get, the faster time flies by"

I had a great 2010, but as the photo suggests below (my daughters), I like to look ahead instead of looking back. I have many goals to reach, and a few of them relate to this blog...I hope to continue to grow this blog, take more pictures, improve my photography, and make this blog a better and more fun place to visit. I want to write some tutorials and maybe an e-book, and share what I know with you...Although people come here to see some pretty pictures, a photo blog (in my opinion) should offer more to its readers, and I feel I fell short on that last year. This year, I hope to improve on that and grow my readership tenfold. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment and "suggest away!!"

Hope you all have a great year, and keep coming to visit!!

Here's to "looking to the future"...many travels, experiences and adventures ahead...