to my personal photography blog. I specialize in making unique and highly detailed photographs. Notice I said making and not taking. Yes I take photos but a lot of time and work is involved in pushing and punishing the pixels in my images to achieve the look I like.
Please feel free make comments about any of my photos. I enjoy constructive critiques, learning about locations to shoot or photography techniques. Click on the "Share Article" link to share any of my photos via Digg, Facebook, Myspace, etc.
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Can't we all just get along?
Southgate California car show. I love my 100mm Minolta macro lens. Nuff said.
This was such a great day! Kathy, my Mom and I all traveled to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour on display at the California Science Center. This building is a temporary structure which will be used until the new museum extension and Shuttle display area are built. While Endeavour will eventually be displayed in a launch configuration, complete with the huge orange external fuel tank and white solid rocket boosters, today you can walk underneath her. This allows very close inspection of the orbiter’s thermal tiles which clearly show the rigors of both launch and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. If you are in the Los Angeles area I highly recommend going to see this amazing example of American ingenuity and innovation.
Kathy and I made plans to go to 3 car shows on Saturday. Unfortunately 2 had been cancelled. The remaining show was in Rialto and was excellent. On the way home we stopped at the Chino Planes of Fame Museum. This is a MiG-17 fighter designed in Russia. The NATO code name for the MiG-17 is Fresco. All Russian fighters were assigned NATO code names that started with a letter F. For example, the names for the MiG-15, 19 and 21 were Fagot, Farmer and Fishbed respectively. This example has been nicely restored, its bright red and black paint stood out beautifully when compared to the other aircraft in this hanger which were mainly silver or grey. American pilots that encountered the MiG-17 over Vietnam quickly learned that trying to turn with this nimble aircraft would most likely result in the MiG shooting them down. The solution was to fight in the vertical plane, using the American aircraft's superior thrust to accelerate away from the MiG and re-engage from a more advantageous position. In the 1960's, a few flyable examples of the MiG-17 were "obtained" by U.S. intelligence agencies and participated in mock combat against American pilots and aircraft to train them in methods of effectively overcoming the MiG's advantages in the skies over Vietnam. One valuable lesson they learned was that at speeds over 450 knots, the MiG's control stick would partially lock up. American pilots engaged by the MiG were instructed to accelerate to 500+ knots and evade. The MiG would be unable to follow.
When I was young my mom would frequently load my sister and I into the family station wagon and drive us over to the Museums at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. In the late 1960's the County of Los Angeles Natural History Museum's newsletter "La Terre" announced grand plans for a huge new dinosaur exhibit hall. Work obtaining the new fossils had already begun and the development and construction of the exhibits would begin shortly. Based on the description, it would contain many examples of the facinating creatures I read so much about as a seven year old kid. Well, several years passed and the doors to the new dinosaur hall remained locked and and the interior dark.
During one visit with my family, I had my eye pressed up against the gap between the doors to the hall and I could see a sliver of wonderful things. Partial skeletons under plastic sheets. A guard caught me peeking and asked if we wanted to take a quick look inside. I nearly fainted (science nerd). He unlocked and opened the door partially and we stuck our heads inside, peering into the dark reaches of the only partially lighted exhibit hall. As thrilling as that was, it looked like there was still a lot of work was left to be done.
In the 1990's the museum finally opened a small exhibit hall but I could tell this wasn't what they had originally envisioned and discribed. I kept waiting and had really given up all hope, assuming I'd be a fossil and ready for display myself by the time anything happened. So lets just say I was very surprised last year to hear that the museum finally opened that hall in time for my 50th birthday and what can I say? It was well worth the 43 year wait!
The new exhibit is located in the original museum building which opened in 1913. It's located in one of two exhibit halls connected by a beautiful rotunda. Each hall has two floors which allows for a variety of viewpoints of these amazing dinosaurs. When I was 10 years old this hall was full of ice age fossils excavated from the La Brea tar pits. This was many years before the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries was built and opened at the site of the tar pits on Wilshire Blvd. If we visited on uncrowded day, the hall seemed kind of of stark, a little creepy, mostly quiet with just the echos of our foot steps to accompany us.
The new hall is bright and colorful and it was crowded and noisy on this day. I climbed to the second floor to get a different perspective. The main subject of this photo and the hall are three Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils, including a baby T-Rex which was estimated to be about two years old when it died. This is the youngest known T-Rex fossil in the world.
The lighting in the hall was just beautiful. I don't know if it was just the time of day but the contrast of the bright sunlight and dark shadows were very interesting.
I'm definitely visiting again.
I guess I should mention this is an HDR vertorama taken with my fisheye lens. Four HDR sequences each containing 3 shots.
On Memorial Day I'll pause to say thank you to the men and women who have served and are serving our country in a dangerous world, protecting our freedoms and keeping us safe. I also want to say thank you to their families who sacrifice so much for us.
These two Northrop aircraft at first glance look quite similar but only the white T-38 Talon saw service as a training aircraft and MiG simulator for our Aggressor squadrons based at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas, NV. The gray F-20 Tigershark was an aircraft without a home. Designed by Northrop at the "suggestion" of the US government, once complete it found no customers. Only three were ever built and this is the only surviving example.
Last June, my niece Alexandra, her boyfriend Josh and I decided to head down to San Diego for the weekend. Neither of them had really spent much time there and I wanted them to see the Midway aircraft carrier museum. We stayed at the Embassy Suites, San Diego Bay which has a spectacular atrium. Since I had my fisheye lens I decided to try a vertorama with it. This consists of 5 HDR sequences each consisting of 3 shots. I didn't really think Photoshop CS6 would be able to stitch it together but it did it without a problem. Pretty amazing!
Kathy and I were walking around in San Francisco last March and wandered down the length of the Embarcadero. This was taken right by the Bay Bridge which had some interesting lights on it. The sunset was pretty. We both had our tripods. This was taken with my Lensbaby. I really miss San Francisco. I want to go back soon.
They say that rules are meant to be broken and I guess my rule that I never take photos of cars with their hoods up is actually more of a guideline. This beautiful 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe was way too cool to pass up without taking a photo, hood up or not. But there's actually more to the story. When I saw how interesting it looked with the hood up I was actually compelled to shoot it this way. That didn't stop me from asking the owners son to check if his dad would lower it for me (which he did) but while the hood was up, I shot a few HDR sequences. The car looked immaculate to me but the owner told me it was about to go in for a special wax job that was quite expensive. This was in preparation for a big low rider show held in Los Angeles.