My Favorite Photos on Flickr
Are my photos for sale?

While all of my photographs are copyrighted, they are available for non-exclusive licensing and I also sell large size prints. Contact me via email at greg.jones.design@gmail.com for pricing info.

Welcome

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.

Want to use one of my images in your own blog? No problem, but please make sure it links back to the original image here and do the right thing and give me credit. Don't crop the image, remove the watermarks or claim my work as your own. This has happened more times than I can count so I've had to report copyright violations to ISP's and regrettably the violators blog is usually taken down.

Can't we all just get along?

Entries in California (292)

Wednesday
Jul032013

Remembering Jae Bueno

I really felt sad today when my wife Kathy told me that the great car culture photographer, Jae Bueno had passed away. I knew he was sick and that he had cancer but I didn’t know how serious it was. I only spoke to Jay on a handful of occasions, but when we saw one another, he always made time to wave or pause for a minute to say hello or something encouraging about Kathy’s work which really made me happy. That’s pretty nice given how accomplished Jae was. Not all photographers I meet at car shows are that nice. I guess they feel competitive or something. Jae always seemed… humble. He was usually smiling, chatting and shooting great images. I’ve followed his work in Low Rider magazine, his photo stream on Flickr and his website www.JaeBueno.com and usually found them to be inspiring. Kathy often would mention to me that Jae had posted photos from a show she couldn’t attend or wasn’t aware of and I know she admired his skill as well.
 
Jae, I’ll miss seeing you and your wife at car shows. I hope you didn’t suffer. I know your family must be devastated. I know your many friends in the car culture scene will miss you too. They always seemed so aware of your presence. Often I would be at a car show setting up my tripod and camera to photograph a car, and the owner would say “Jae Bueno is here too, do you know him? Do you shoot for magazines too?” to which I would have to answer “I’ve met him a few times, but I just shoot for fun. I’ll leave the professional photos to Jae”.
 
This photo was taken on a blazing hot day in September of 2012. Kathy had heard about a car show at Mayfield High School in Bellflower, California and we decided to go. We ran around shooting photos and tried not to get overheated. I was heading for a shady curb where Kathy had already taken refuge when I saw this motorcycle. I don’t typically shoot them, but this one looked super cool. When I got home and reviewed my photos in Adobe Lightroom, I saw that I had inadvertently also captured Jae and his wife in this shot. Jae is the guy in the grey shirt holding a camera and smiling. His wife is just to his left. Here he looks happy, healthy and in his element. I’m glad I have this photo to reinforce my memory because this is how I’d like to remember Jae Bueno.

 

Sunday
Jun302013

Bokehlicious

Southgate California car show. I love my 100mm Minolta macro lens. Nuff said.

Tuesday
Jun252013

Darkness at the Edge of Town

I spotted this beautiful four door 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe at the Run Whatcha Brung 20th annual car show in Rialto, California. It wasn't entered in the show but instead was just hunkered down in a restaurant parking lot at the far end of the downtown shopping district, it’s low slung chassis managing to look dark and foreboding even while sitting in the bright sun.  I didn’t really intend to walk all the way to the edge of town but I'm glad I did. This turned out to be my favorite car from the show. I mused that the gangsters that owned her were just getting a bite to eat before continuing their daily mayhem. 
Since the car was a deep reflective black I decided to use Nik Software's SilverEfex Pro to bring on the pseudo silver halide goodness and  dispense with the saturation altogether. Once I saw the result, I was reminded of a phrase I saw written on the back window of another low slung machine “Praise the Lowered”
Monday
Jun242013

Way to Go Big E!

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.

 

Sunday
Jun092013

Red Fresco

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.

Monday
May272013

A Dinosaur Hall at Last!

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.

Monday
May272013

The Talon and the Tigershark

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.

Wednesday
May222013

I See Everything

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!

Monday
May202013

Embarcadero Sunset

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.

Sunday
May192013

Rule Breaker

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.