Author Archives: Russel Ray Photos

About Russel Ray Photos

Forty-five years as a photographer, beginning with yearbook staff in sixth grade.

I like to be different

Out & About

Yesterday I went with the Pacific Photographic Society to the Del Mar Thoroughbred races…. with a Photographer’s pass. Long-time readers might remember that I got to go two years ago, too. (See I had a nice shower, too, and the three posts previous to that one.)

All of us, of course, took pictures of horses, trainers, hot walkers, jockeys, races…. but I look mostly for pictures that will make great Photographic Art, and pictures of people don’t usually fit into my requirements.

I also tend to wait for the other photographers to upload their pictures because I don’t like mine to duplicate theirs.

Here is Photographic Art of a horse sculpture in one of the gardens at the Del Mar Fairgrounds:

Horse sculpture in a garden at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California

I mean, who would go to a thoroughbred horse club where there are about 3,500 horses, lots of opportunities for action pictures, and take a picture of a static concrete horse sculpture in a garden….

….sigh….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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About these ads

No BWS!

House & Home

Because I have been in real estate for 48 years, I have a natural, built-in, defined market for my Photographic Art since real estate, both residential and commercial, is where most people would hang it.

So I came up with what I think is a good way to broach the subject:

No BWS!

BWS stands for “Bare Wall Symdrome.”

So No Bare Wall Symdrome!

Now all I have to do is fill my Fine Art America galleries with billions and billions and billions of beautiful Photographic Art and then find billions and billions and billions of people living in real estate who might have some disposable income to spend on, uh, me!

Fine Art America has a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee, so if you have BWS and would like to get rid of it, check out my Fine Art America galleries.

If you see something you would like to buy, use discount code

VBBRKZ

for a 20% discount. The discount is good only on my markup on my Photographic Art, not on anything else you might buy from Fine Art America, such as frames, matting, etc.

Here are three recent Photographic Art creations:

Coronado LibraryCoronado library

Sunset Surfer
Sunset Surfers

Imperial BeachImperial Beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

SNIPPETS (7-29-2014)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I recently read a report somewhere, probably on a blog, that not only is the younger generation supportive of gay marriage, but generally they don’t mind paying higher taxes for things like police protection, fire protection, emergency medical transportation, roads, bridges, teachers, schools, and libraries. Pretty much the things that make a civilized society civil.

Such was proven in 2010 when students at San Diego State University were asked whether or not they supported an extra fee—a tax, basically—that would go to tear down the Student Center, built in 1962 for a campus of 10,000 students, and build a new one for a campus of 40,000 students. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the fee.

Does that show that they were in favor of the tax, or that the old Student Center was grossly inadequate?

Here is Photographic Art based on a picture of the old Aztec Center which served from 1962 to 2011.

San Diego State University Aztec Center 1968-2011

SNIPPET #2

And just for comparison, here’s the new Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Center (click on the picture for a monster image).

The new Aztec Center on the campus of San Diego State University

Conrad Prebys is one of those good billionaires (and there are way too few of the good ones) who gives a lot of money to charitable purposes. In this case, $20 million to provide scholarships to Aztec students.

SNIPPET #3

When I was growing up in Kingsville, Texas, under the watchful eye and whip of my wise old grandmother, a second cousin came by to show us his brand new 1965 Ford Mustang. I loved that car, and I have been enamored of Mustangs ever since. I finally bought a 1989 Saleen Mustang in 1991 and drove it until 1998. Its top end speed apparently was 153 mph because I reached that speed twice, once on the I-8 straightaway between Pensacola and Fort Walton, Florida, and once on the boring stretch of I-10 from Fort Stockton to Van Horn, Texas. Don’t tell anyone, though.

Recently I saw a 40th Anniversary (2004) edition of the Mustang. Here is Photographic Art based on a picture of the 40th Anniversary logo from the side of the car:

Mustang 40th Anniversary logo

SNIPPET #4

Balloons are very popular with children, so when I go to a parade and see balloons, I’m pretty sure that’s where all the rugrats are going to be, making it difficult to get a good picture.

Following is Photographic Art based on a picture of balloons at a recent Gay Pride parade in San Diego. The children were cropped out.

Rainbow balloons at San Diego Gay Pride

SNIPPET #5

Pelicans are my favorite bird that I’ve actually seen out in their native habitat. The awesome Julian says that Russel Ray Photos has to have the largest collection of pelicans in the world (or something like that). Here are three of my recent Photographic Art based on pictures of brown pelicans in La Jolla, a beachside neighborhood of San Diego:

Brown pelican coming in for a landing

Brown pelicans in flight

Brown pelicans in La Jolla, California

Remember in a recent post that I said I cannot be trusted? Well, the second picture is actually Photographic Art based on two separate pictures of brown pelicans in flight. I lifted the pelican from one picture and placed in with the pelican in the other picture. Twins are much better than loner birds!

SNIPPET #6

The original designers of downtown San Diego at the harbor saw fit to install lots of ugly parking lots and ugly buildings. Fortunately, the City is coming to its senses and realizing that since downtown is located directly on the bayfront, it might be a good idea to make everything look snazzy.

The following is Photographic Art one of the new water parks in downtown San Diego, this one on the south side of the San Diego County Administration Building (where Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008).

San Diego Water Park

All of the trees and water you see in that picture used to be a huge, ugly parking lot for the Administration Building. So, you might ask, where do they park cars now?

A-ha! (not the group). The two water parks are on top of an underground parking garage:

Underground parking

The former surface parking lots were so ugly that I don’t even have a picture of them. Must be the only thing in San Diego that I don’t have a picture of!……….. :)

SNIPPET #7

When cruise ships used to arrive in San Diego, there was no real place for them to dock. I think sometimes they just parked in the bay and pushed people overboard. A few years ago we got a new cruise ship terminal, and it is beautiful.

San Diego's cruise ship terminal

SNIPPET #8

Of course, cruise ships always make nice Photographic Art. The Sapphire Princess is my favorite so far because it looks like they stole the engines from the Starship Enterprise and put them on top of the Princess.

Sapphire Princess cruise ship in San Diego, California

SNIPPET #9

A mommy red river hog and her six little ones:

Mommy red river hog and her six little ones

SNIPPET #10

Smile if you can read this:

No cheating

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (7-28-14)—Rock instrumentals

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Instrumental music by hard rock, heavy rock, and heavy metal groups always has seemed kind of oxymoronic to me.

As I was doing research for this post, I remembered that my all-time favorite rock/pop star, Sir Paul McCartney, and his group, Wings, won a Grammy Award in 1980 for “Rockestra Theme” in the category “Best Rock Instrumental Performance.” It was a new category that year and was eliminated beginning with the 2012 awards.

So for today’s Music on Mondays, let’s listen to some rock instrumentals, beginning with my favorite two, both by Black Sabbath:

“Laguna Sunrise,” Black Sabbath, 1972

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Fluff,” Black Sabbath, 1973

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Next I have three instrumentals associated with my all-time favorite non-classical group, The Beatles.

“Flying,” The Beatles, 1967
This is the first Beatles song
which had the writing credited to all four Beatles.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Rockestra Theme,” Wings, 1979

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Marwa Blues,” George Harrison, 2002
This was on the album “Brainwashed,” released posthumously.
It illustrates Harrison’s distinctive guitar style at its finest.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sting weighs in with the instrumental that got me to thinking about rock instrumentals.

“Saint Agnes and the Burning Train,” Sting, 1991

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the first rock instrumentals came along in 1962 and hit #1 on the charts in both the United States and Great Britain, a unique feat.

“Telstar,” The Tornados, 1962

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There are many rock instrumentals based on classical music, usually done by musicians who were classically trained before hopping over to the rock/pop genre. Here are my favorite two:

“In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Electric Light Orchestra, 1973

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Abaddon’s Bolero,” Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1972

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Metallica, a heavy metal group if ever there was one, checks in with a very heavy metal instrumental from their “Master of Puppets” album, arguably their heaviest heavy metal album.

“Orion,” Metallica, 1986

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I would be remiss in my instrumental duties if I did not include something by The Who—and there are many—so I chose one from their classic rock opera, “Tommy.”

“Underture,” The Who, 1969

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My music computer includes complete music collections from many groups. Three of those groups which are relevant to instrumental music are The Alan Parsons Project, Rush, and Yes. Picking just one song from those three groups is arduous. Here I go, though:

“Mammagamma,” The Alan Parsons Project, 1982

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“YYZ,” Rush, 1981

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Sign Language,” Yes, 1997

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There are hundreds more that I have in my music collection but I didn’t want to totally overwhelm you this Monday morning. We’ll visit rock instrumentals again in the future.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?  Choose Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Free flowers for everyone! (restrictions apply)

Picture of the Moment

For anyone liking my Photographic Art Facebook page between now and midnight Pacific time July 31, 2014, you get a free high resolution Photographic Art creation of any flower from my Flower Gallery at Fine Art America. A $20 value.

First go like https://www.facebook.com/russelrayphotos?ref=hl

Then go to http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-russel-ray.html?tab=artworkgalleries, click on Flowers, choose your flower, and email me at photoartsd@aol.com. Friday Flower Fiesta(If you laugh because I’m still with AOL after 20 years, you lose your right to a flower….)

You can do anything you want with your flower file. It’s yours!

Feel free to order any of my Photographic Art directly from Fine Art America.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.
Now go like Russel’s Photographic Art Facebook page!
Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Some days are longer and more glorious than others

Out & About

Today is going to be a long but glorious day, first teaching chess at a fabulous Rancho Santa Fe mansion….

2014 National High School Chess Championship in San Diego, California

Rancho Santa Fe home

….then a home inspection at a beautiful City Heights home….

Home inspection

….followed by an outing with the Pacific Photographic Society at Comic Con’s Zombie Walk.

Going anywhere with the Pacific Photographic Society is fun, but fun events make it even more fun!

Here are a few pictures from past Zombie Walks and Comic Cons:

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Headless Horseman at 2014 Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

click here to like us on facebook

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

I cannot be trusted

 

 

How I Did It

I first started taking pictures in sixth grade when the principal, Miss Gustafson, asked for a volunteer photographer. She explained that the volunteer photographer would get in free to all sporting events, and the rest is history.

Even though I was using a Canon SLR in sixth grade, my first pictures really were just snapshots of the sports team and crowds.

In high school and college, my photography became more serious. I endeavored to understand the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Then throw in there film speed, film type, lenses, filters, and even film processing methods.

After college, I tried to develop a photographer’s eye for composition. Sometimes that meant sitting in the same spot for several hours waiting for just the right combination of things—light, weather, people (or lack thereof), etc. Sometimes I would take a picture and then go back several times over the next weeks and months, hoping to get a better picture.

Them days are gone………………………..

In today’s world of Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom, Corel Paintshop Pro, and many other digital photo software editing programs, I think I have come full circle, back to taking snapshots with my Canon 550D. I’m more interested in getting the picture and then making something out of it when I get back home. I think someone calls it “Photographic Art.”

For example, here’s a picture of two pigs sleeping at the San Diego County Fair:

Two pigs sleeping

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s a cute picture, but I thought it could be better if I removed the bars from their pen, not to mention the food dish and the butt of the black pig in the other pen. I even thought about that while at the Fair because I took a picture of sawdust which I thought would be good to replace the bars with:

Sawdust

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

First I removed some sawdust from the pigs, as well as a few pigskin imperfections, by simple cloning, which Photoshop makes real easy. I cloned out some feathers from on top of the sawdust as well.

Then I masked the bars and deleted them. That left me with a huge blank space behind the pigs’ heads, but Photoshop also makes it pretty easy to insert just about anything into a picture.

Here is the result:

Two pigs sleeping

Isn’t it a lot better picture without the bars in there?

Lets you focus on the two pigs, especially the smiling pig, obviously in the midst of sweet dreams.

What you see at Russel Ray Photos might not be what you get. I just can’t be trusted.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift? Check out Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Sea lions at play in the wild

Out & About

As much as I love visiting zoos, aquariums, and animal sanctuaries, there’s still something special about seeing wildlife in the wild.

So yesterday Jim and I took a walk along Fisherman’s Landing between Harbor Island and Shelter Island. We were there rather later, when the day fisherpeople were coming in and the night fisherpeople were leaving.

At the side of one of the just-arrived boats were three sea lions playing in the drainage from the boat. Normally the docks are private, for owners and fisherpeople, but since there was an arriving crowd and a leaving crowd, I snuck onto the docks and got a 3-minute video of the sea lions at play.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

click here to like us on facebook

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

A visit to La Jolla, California, jewel of the Southern California coast

Out & About

If you have been following along with my recent posts, you might have detected that I was in La Jolla recently, several times since Hillary Clinton was here signing books a month ago.

Let us stay with the La Jolla theme for one more post.

Following are Photographic Art based on pictures in and around La Jolla, mostly along the coast and in the central business district.

Let’s start at the coast first, the La Jolla cove, which is where you’ll find billions and billions and billions of brown pelicans, white-breasted cormorants, harbor seals, and sea lions.

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Look back at the very first picture, the panorama, smack dab (smack dab?) top center, you can see a little platform. Here is what was happening on that platform the morning I was there:

La Jolla, California

The coastline is awesome, so you can find all sorts of art for sale. Of course, the best La Jolla art is in the La Jolla Gallery of Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America! (I might be slightly prejudiced.)

La Jolla, California

There are many art galleries in La Jolla, and some of them put their art outside for the enjoyment of all:

La Jolla, California

Along with murals on exterior building walls….

La Jolla, California

….you can find “trash can” art. Virtually every trash can and public utility box is painted on all four sides….

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Native Indians (the Kumeyaay and the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians) enjoyed La Jolla before the white man (actually Spaniards) ever got there. One trashcan’s art features an American Indian, and the feathers spell out the names of several areas along the San Diego County coast:

La Jolla, California

I find it amazing that we have so many murals, trash can art, and utility box art here in San Diego yet California schools continue to dismantle K-12 art (and music) programs. Of course, sports programs live on…. Sad….

You can find wall art at restaurants and on the front walls of many homes:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Some restaurants and stores make art out of plants:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Because of the cool, coastal climate, as well as natural watering via night mist and dew, virtually any plant will grow in La Jolla, and they make some beautiful Photographic Art:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

Of course, La Jolla would not be a seaside, (rich) beach community without common seagulls:

La Jolla, California

La Jolla, California

If you plan to visit San Diego County, be sure your plan includes a trip to La Jolla for awesome views of the coast and the amazing wildlife which choose to hang out there. You might even see me walking around with camera in hand!

La Jolla, California

Visit La Jolla on Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

click here to like us on facebook

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Mug shot reveals identifying characteristic

 

 

Picture of the Moment

Seems law enforcement agencies are posting mug shots to Facebook and agency blogs in today’s world.

Some of them do make for an interesting break from work. Justin Bieber’s comes to mind.

Recently I went for a walk at Lake Murray, a large lake about a half mile from me.

Lots of birds, and this beautiful pigeon decided he wanted his mug shot taken:

White pigeon

It kept walking up and down, back and forth, perhaps used to people feeding food to it.

I, on the other hand, was looking for identifying characteristics, sometimes difficult to find on wildlife that is all white.

A-ha! (not the group)

We found an identifying characteristic:

Identifying characteristic

It will not get away from us now! We’ve got him!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray