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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 HDR (353)

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!

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.

Sunday
Apr282013

Chilo's Oh So Fine '39


Chilo's Oh So Fine '39, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

Kathy and I went to 3 car shows today. The first was the Viejitos show in Fullerton. It was my first day shooting with my brand new Sony Alpha 99 camera which I mainly used for macro and lensbaby shots. I also brought along my previous camera which I used for to photograph this stunning 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe. It's rare to find one of these in such immaculate condition but I guess I got lucky today. I shot a few images with the hood panels up and while I did, the owners son, Dominick came over and asked what I was taking the photos for. I explained that I just photographed them to post on my blog and I asked him if it would be possible to lower the hood at some point so I could get better images. He said he would ask his dad and about 30 minutes later I was standing by the car again and I met his dad Chilo. They were both very cool people and justifiably proud of their car. I must of taken shots from about 6 different viewpoints. It's pretty hard to take a bad picture of this car. Anyway, I promised I would send them some full resolution images and I'll be doing that as soon as I process each set. This is the first. I hope the next time I get to shoot this car without two other cars in the shot. Chilo and Dominick, I hope you like this shot. It was nice meeting you today.

Saturday
Mar302013

Enlightenment in Bean Town

I was in Boston in June of 2012 for the HOW Design Conference. One evening I was walking around looking for things to shoot when I saw this closed Apple Store. It looked different and interesting to me, probably because the lighting was subdued and the glass spiral staircase was illuminated so beautifully. I decided to take a few images but I was getting a lot of reflection shooting thru the glass doors. To partially solve this issue, I pressed my lens right up against the glass which prompted the guard standing outside to walk over and inquire what the hell I was doing. I slowly explained the issue while I took 10 bracketed shots. I’ve found that when dealing with security or the police, it’s a good idea to stall. You might buy enough time to get the shots you want. It worked in this case.
While I buy most of my electronics and computer equipment online, I've learned to appreciate the excellent customer service I've experienced at Apple retail stores. The items I buy there tend to be fairly expensive Apple hardware that I can’t get elsewhere for a significant discount. When I buy, I’ve already done my research. I know exactly what I want. I might have a few technical questions I want answered before I purchase, so going to the Apple store makes sense to me. Apple retail store employees seem to be very well trained. They listen carefully to my questions, restate them to me to confirm they understand what I am asking for, and then usually ask a few good questions themselves, apparently to better understand my needs and enhance their ability provide a comprehensive answer. The first time I encountered this I was stunned and very pleased. I discussed it with my family and friends and frankly I wondered if I had just been fortunate and had met a particularly effective employee. But this was not the case. Every time I visited an Apple store and engaged the sales staff, my initial impression was reinforced. Apple has managed to inculcate a culture of retail excellence. With retailers struggling to survive in highly competitive markets, it makes me wonder why this is so rare. Why do most sales people not know their products? Why to retailers try to push unsuitable products on ill-informed customers, alienating them in the process? Why not provide solutions and earn customer loyalty?
It's sad and reflects poorly on other brick and mortar retailers that I find sales people who are helpful and knowledgeable about their products to be exceptional. I’ve never had an Apple employee try to hard sell me on something I didn't come into the store for, nor have they ever tried to jam an extended warranty down my throat. I have to go to Best Buy for that type of treatment which is one reason I avoid shopping there.
I heard recently that both Best Buy and Fry’s have implemented policies to match internet pricing if the customer provides proof that the item is in stock and if the online vendor is an authorized reseller. Given that both stores seem to sell everything at list price, this is a big change but probably won’t be enough to save them from extinction.

Wednesday
Mar202013

1075 to the Castro


1075 to the Castro, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

Historic PCC streetcar number 1075 pauses for a portrait in front of San Francisco's equally historic ferry building. This car was built in 1946 and is painted in the colors of the Cleveland Transit System which apparently are similar to the colors used by the Cleveland Browns football team. Kathy had business in San Francisco early in the week and I joined her after her meetings concluded on Friday. We stayed in town until Sunday and had a pretty nice time as we usually do when visiting San Francisco. We both wanted to take more photos of the Market Street Railway streetcars. It's been at least 2 years since I've done so. The challenge is that they don't actually pose for portraits. They have a schedule to keep, so I have to shoot quickly and efficiently if I expect to finish my HDR sequences before they take off for the next stop down the line. Kathy initially didn't take her tripod, preferring the lighter gorilla pod. I brought her carbon fiber tripod to use and she gladly availed herself of it as well.

Saturday
Mar022013

Rust in Peace


Rust in Peace, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

“Well hello old friend.” I thought when I walked around a corner and saw this 1938 Chevrolet at the Greater Whittier Area Car Show held last weekend.
I had previously seen this truck sitting in a far corner of the 2012 Uptown Whittier car show and once again a couple of years earlier, parked forlornly, unnoticed in the shade of an old oak tree at the Whittier founder’s day celebration. As you can see, it’s not your typical glamour ride. But its classic design is all the more visually compelling to me when I survey its blighted and distressed curving surfaces, its faded and chipped paint still resisting the elements - defiantly hanging on, and its rust pitted grill proudly jutting forward – all of which seem to say “just a few more miles before we rest”.
For all I know this might have been the 75th time this truck visited the founders day celebration. I can imagine it quietly slipping into the same parking spot back in 1938, Its 6 cylinder engine now silent, its factory fresh two-tone paint has never known a scratch or a dent. I can almost hear its radio reporting that Howard Hughes has set another aviation record – this time for a flight around the world, and that changing weather patterns are responsible for floods and landslides in Los Angeles where 200 have already perished. But here in Whittier’s Central Park – The Quaker people are happy, celebrating with their neighbors. The musicians on the bandstand certainly aren’t playing the latest Fats Waller tune but more likely a Sousa march. The watermelon eating contest is nearly over and the town librarian has walked to the park’s edge and stands near a small oak tree, one of many planted around the perimeter, rehearsing for his reading of a John Greenleaf Whittier poem.
By 1942 the United States had entered World War II and The Chevy was displaying its type “B” gasoline rationing sticker on the windshield, indicating that the driver was a business owner and needed to travel more than some others and therefore was accorded a larger allocation of fuel. Tires and anything made of rubber are now hard to come by. Everyone needs to make things last. The owner needed this truck to keep working just a little longer.

The decades come and go, owners too I’ll bet. Maybe it will outlast us all.

Saturday
Feb162013

Hey This Isn't Disneyland!

It was my birthday so Kathy and I decided to go to Disneyland but she had already told me there were a couple of car shows she wanted to go to so I went along with her. I don't remember the other show, it might have been a wash out but this one hosted by the Latin Gents was really cool. Lots of nice cars and the weather was really good too. We did go to Disneyland later that day and I'm sure that was fun too. It always is.