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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.

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Can't we all just get along?

Entries in Travel (136)


Inside the Hamster Ball

Inside the Hamster Ball, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

Global warming simulator. I think Al Gore claimed he invented this place. Or was that the internet?


Nature found a way

Nature found a way, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

As Kathy and I were walking through Muir Woods, we saw that at some point a large tree had fallen completely across the trail. Park rangers must have used a chain saw to cut away just that part that was blocking the path, leaving the rest of the tree to lie where it fell. A close look at one of the sections revealed that a tiny plant that was actually growing from the bark of the tree. I took this shot with my Lensbaby Composer with a macro ring attached. The plant itself was no larger that an inch across. It’s amazing how life can hang on given a little moisture and some soil.


The House Across the Street

Right after Manny and I dropped our suitcases off at our hotel in Washington DC, I asked him where he wanted to go first. He answered "Ford's Theater". Knowing that he had recently been studying Abraham Lincoln in school, I asked if he wanted to go to the White House first and walk the route that President Lincoln took to the theater on the night he was assassinated and he agreed.
Once we got to the White House we took some photos and video as well as checking out the secret service agents on the roof who were keeping a close eye on us tourists. I remember Manny saying "Wow, I can't believe I'm standing here!" I could definitely relate to he how felt, as I often feel the same way when walking around our nation’s capital.
We then decided to walk across Pennsylvania Avenue and explore Lafayette Square. While there, we were asked several times by other tourists to take photos of them with the White House as a background. I think they were fooled into thinking we knew how to use a camera based on the DSLR's we were carrying. We asked one these folks to return the favor and this is the shot they took. I think it turned out pretty nice. I like how you can see the Washington Monument rising behind the executive mansion.


Union Station - Washington D.C.

Manny and I had been told by security that we couldn't use our tripods on the floor of Union Station, so we climbed up some stairs to an elevated open air resturant. I asked the seating hostess if we could use our tripod during our lunch and she said "sure no problem". This is one of the shots we took. Union Station is a beautiful place.


The Sea of Love

The Sea of Love, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Saint Valentines Day: I was waiting for Kathy and just sitting across from this large glass viewing window, thinking that the lighting in the room was very beautiful when this young couple walked up to the glass. I thought they were framed pretty nicely by it. Seemed kind of like a first date type situation. After taking the sequence of shots, I went in search of my own beloved girl.


Jump in, the water's wine

This photo conveys California's amazing weather better that any other image I have ever made. This was taken in early October, the sun was so warm and the cobalt sky was completely devoid of clouds.

Kathy and I were on our second Hearst Castle tour of the day and when we climbed the steps that led to the extraordinary Neptune pool, I was once again overwhelmed by the grandeur and beauty of this place. I reflected on how wonderfully situated it is on the "enchanted hillside". Architect Julia Morgan once said she drew inspiration from the pools she saw in Mediterranean villas and Roman baths while studying in Europe.

Two curved colonnades and an ancient Roman temple set the stage for the beautiful mythological statues carved by Charles Cassou.

Holding 345,000 gallons of spring water, this is one of the largest and most expensive pools built for a private residence in the world.


Freedom is not Free

Freedom is not Free, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

They fought a war to help people they had never met and were largely forgotten when they returned home. This is the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C.

It was raining fairly hard when I took this shot. Manny was holding an umbrella over me and the camera but some water still got on the lens.


The Lone Sailor

The Lone Sailor, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

This moving and evocative statue is located at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. We sleep well and safely because there are soldiers, sailors, marine and coast guard men and women keeping watch or walking a post for us. Our laws grant us our freedoms but we need to remember it's the men and women who serve in our armed forces who defend those freedoms.


Lowdown on the A4 Skyhawk

I had been walking around the USS Midway for about an hour with my camera and tripod shooting HDR sequences here and there. I wasn't really liking the photos I was making though. Looked ok I guess but nothing special. Then I realized that it was my viewpoint that was off. When photographing a car, I almost always collapse my tripod and get a low angle shot. This makes the car look more powerful and the viewpoint is interesting because we rarely look at cars from 3" above the pavement. Why should it be any different for aircraft? The fun part was watching the other Midway visitors puzzling over why I way laying down on the abrasive flight deck peering through my camera.


Shine on you crazy diamond

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun? 
The National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington D.C. is a huge space to a big guy like me so it must look even bigger to my Nephew Manny here. As you can see he took it in stride. The great hall is supported by several of the giant columns you see in the background. They are truly colossal in scale. While the NBM is not the most popular destination in Washington, it's a fantastic place to go if you are in town.

This is a 3 shot HDR which is the largest number of exposures I can generally shoot hand held and have some chance of aligning and stitching together. Since the kid is naturally wired, he moved around during the sequence so I had to mask him into the HDR image from the middle exposure and adjust his saturation and tonal values so he seamlessly blends into the background. Shoot right into the sun? Sure. Photoshop just rocks!