Category Archives: Digital photo editing

The brown pelicans of La Jolla, California

Out & About

The first time I visited La Jolla in 1993, it was to watch the people.

Over the years, though, it has become much more fun to watch the wildlife—pelicans, cormorants, harbor seals, and sea lions—as they seem to have taken over the La Jolla Cove.

Following are some Photographic Art of pelicans based on pictures from a recent trip to the Cove. We’ll get to the cormorants, seals, and sea lions in a future post.

If you plan to visit San Diego County, be sure your plan includes a trip to La Jolla for the views of the coast and the wildlife.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pelicans at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, north of San Diego.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I finally learned its name!

Picture of the Moment

San Diego State University is just a mile down the road from me.

I often ride my bike to campus and then ride around campus, or I’ll walk down the hill from my house to the 70th Street trolley station and take the San Diego Trolley over to SDSU.

Either way, a ride or walk around the SDSU campus invariably provides many picture opportunities.

Following are two Photographic Art of Hepner Hall, the iconic building on the campus that appears in anything and everything about the university. I never knew its name, even after 21 years in San Diego, until Julian and I were uploading pictures to our galleries at Fine Art America.

Hepner Hall on the campus of San Diego State University

Hepner Hall on the campus of San Diego State University

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

See San Diego State University on Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (7-11-14)—Leftovers

Friday Flower Fiesta

I got so busy with work that I almost forgot that this was Friday!

The theme for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta is “Flowers that haven’t made it into a Friday Flower Fiesta yet,” i.e., the leftovers.

#1
Water lily

#2
Bird of paradise

#3
Day lily

#4
Crepe myrtle

#5
California tree poppy

#6
Unknown tree

#7
Proteacae species

#8
Unknown flowers

#9
Unknown flowers

#10
Unknown flowers

All pictures, minus the framing, will soon be available for purchase in my Flower Gallery at Fine Art America. You can buy matted & framed prints, metallic prints, acrylic prints, greeting cards, cell phone cases, posters, and more!

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

 This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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SNIPPETS (7-10-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

My wise old grandmother subscribed to Saturday Evening Post when I was growing up. I always looked forward to getting it because the front cover often was artwork by Norman Rockwell. I freely admit that Norman Rockwell has an influence on my Photographic Art, and I think this would do Rockwell proud:

Starving artist in San Diego's Balboa Park

I love how the children are being children while the starving artist does his thing.

SNIPPET #2

The water lilies in the Lily Pond in front of the Botanical Building in Balboa Park are recovering from the $100,000 worth of damage wrought by a Facebook-advertised party in late 2012. Unfortunately, the criminals still have not been caught. Here’s what one looked like a couple of days ago:

Water liles in the Lily Pond in San Diego's Balboa Park

SNIPPET #3

The Museum of Natural History in Balboa Park has this piece of art on the exterior of the building:

Artwork at the Museum of Natural History in San Diego's Balboa Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

Although the crepe myrtles are taking over the landscapes, there are still a few areas where the jacarandas are hanging on.

Jacaranda

SNIPPET #5

Pelicans are my favorite bird that I’ve actually seen out in their native habitat. This is a pink-backed pelican, but it is a resident of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park since this is not their native habitat.

Pink-backed pelican at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

SNIPPET #6

Lantanas are one of the prettiest bushes in the San Diego area. They love it when it’s hot and dry.

Lantana

SNIPPET #7

The following picture is a white-breasted cormorant. It lives with the pink-backed pelican in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. I really like this picture because of the gold on the back and wings.

White-breasted cormorant at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

SNIPPET #8

The following is Photographic Art of a wild iris, a common plant here in San Diego that blooms year-round.

Wild iris

SNIPPET #9

I think I like the reflection of this Great Egret better than the Great Egret itself!

Great Egret

SNIPPET #10

I was testing the photographic capabilities of Facebook a couple of days ago to see how it treated huge, monster, gigantic, really really big pictures. Sadly, Facebook downsizes it to a useless low-resolution picture, which is kind of good if you don’t want people stealing your pictures.

Following is the picture that I used for my test. It is a photomerge of 16 pictures encompassing about 270° in the view, so it’s a panorama that cannot be captured with a birdseye or fisheye lens since they only capture about 180°. Click on the picture for a gigantic version with readable text.

270° panorama of San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (7-5-14)—Bigger is better

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Home, home on the range….

The range looks different in different states, sometimes even different in different areas of the same state. Here is a range from the central valley in California:

The range

SNIPPET #2

I was exploring a deconstruction site a few weeks ago when I found five windows that were the only windows left intact in the building that was being demolished. Following is what was on those five windows, with the glare removed from the pictures. I’m willing to bet that someone is going to save the windows.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SNIPPET #3

Happy Fourth of July weekend to everyone!

Eagle and United States flag

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

The Magellanic penguins at SeaWorld San Diego are a joy to watch. This one was well camouflaged in the midst of the rocks and was playing peek-a-boo with the crowd:

Magellanic penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

SNIPPET #5

As you exit the Arctic penguin exhibit at SeaWorld, this is what you see:

Penguin flight

SNIPPET #6

It is hard to get good view of the mansions in Rancho Santa Fe because they are walled compounds behind gates. When I go out there on Saturday mornings to teach chess to four children, I always go early with an intent to explore the roads. I found a road leading up up up and got a fairly decent picture of the 11,700-square-foot mansion where I teach chess:

Here I come!

Since that is a fairly decent picture (take my word for it), you now understand the problems inherent in getting really good pictures of these mansions in one of the richest areas of the United States.

SNIPPET #7

Just outside the entrance to the San Diego Zoo is the Balboa Park Railroad. It’s a garden railroad that offers rides, and the area where the railroad goes has garden sculptures of zoo animals:

Garden sculpture at the Balboa Park Railroad

Garden sculpture at the Balboa Park Railroad

The tower you see in the first picture is the California Tower, one of San Diego’s most recognizable buildings. Read more about the California Tower in my blog post here: San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3

SNIPPET #8

My wise old grandmother used to sit at the dining room table taking her pictures and cutting out parts she didn’t want, cutting them into interesting shapes, and placing the results very carefully in her photo albums and scrapbooks. She was the one who taught me that “what comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

The following is Photographic Art of one the San Diego Zoo’s ambassadors, this one a turtle. The turtle was all grungy looking and the picture was all washed out due to where the sun was when I took the picture. Most people would have deleted it. Not me! Thank you oh great and wise old grandmother!

Turtle

SNIPPET #9

Someone more famous than me once said, “Bigger is better.” Obviously this leaf was paying attention:

Big leaf

SNIPPET #10

SNIPPET #9 was taken in the Botanical Building in Balboa Park, the nation’s largest municipal cultural park. I had gone to see the leftover orchids from an orchid show, as had this guy:

Taking a picture

I always feel guilty when I’m taking a picture with my big Canon 550D and someone else is taking a picture with their little smarty pants phone.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Friday Flower Fiesta (7-4-14)—From the San Diego County Fair

Friday Flower Fiesta

I spent yesterday at the San Diego County Fair, North America’s seventh largest fair by 2013 attendance.

Many decades ago I used to go to the Texas State Fair, the Houston Lifestock Show & Rodeo, and the San Antonio Lifestock Show & Exhibition to ride the rides.

Now I just go to see the beautiful gardens, bonsai, and flowers.

The theme for this year’s fair is “The Fab Fair,” celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles arrival in America in 1964. Here are some flowers from the 2014 San Diego County Fair:

#1
Orchid from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#2
Orchid from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#3
Begonia from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#4
Orchid from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#5
Irises from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#6
Dahlia from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#7
Dahlia from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#8
Dahlia from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#9
Dahlia from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#10
Dahlia from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#11
Dahlia from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#12
Rose from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

#13
Roses from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

All pictures, minus the framing, will be available for purchase in my Flower Gallery at Fine Art America once Julian gets back from Texas. You can buy matted & framed prints, metallic prints, acrylic prints, greeting cards, cell phone cases, posters, and more!

click here to like us on facebook

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
photograhic art taking pictures making art

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#1: El Prado Designation Area, part 12

San Diego Historical Landmarks

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 1
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 2
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 4
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 5
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 6
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 7
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 8
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 9
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 10
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 11

El Prado Area Designation

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Continuing on our west to east travel on El Prado, after the Timken Museum of Art is the most photographed building in San Diego, the Botanical Building:

Botanical Building in San Diego's Balboa Park

It is worthwhile to visit the Botanical Building anytime you are in Balboa Park because, along with the resident plants, there are seasonal displays created by many of the plant societies throughout San Diego County. The most recent display comprises leftover orchids from the latest show of the San Diego Orchid Society.

Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

I could tolerate a few leftover orchids in my gardens!

The Botanical Building and the Lily Pond (aka the Reflecting Pool) were built for the Panama-California Exposition of 1915-1916. The building is one of the largest lath structures in the world. Plantings include more than 2,100 permanent plants comprising mostly cycads, ferns, orchids, palms, and similar tropical plants. The meat-eating-plants bog is one of the best.

Pitcher Plants

The Lily Pond was severely damaged in late 2012 when someone promoted via Facebook a midnight party at the pond. The party turned into a drunken brawl, destroying all of the lilies and damaging the pond and its infrastructure to the tune of about $100,000. Sadly, the perpetrators have not been caught.

 Water Lily

Water Lily

Water lily

Just outside the two entrances to the Botanical Building are two tall, scraggly bushes. The flowers are beautiful:

Flower of the California milkweed

The bushes are Crown Plants (Calotropis gigantea), a member of the milkweed family, which means that throughout the year you can find monarch caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies.

Monarch caterpillars, September 2011, San Diego

Chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Not surprisingly, adults tend to walk right on by the scraggly bushes. Children, however, are quick to spot the butterflies and caterpillars. If only children didn’t have to grow up to be adults………..

The Lily Pond also is home to fish (mostly koi), the occasional turtle, and birds.

Koi

Sadly, many of the fish and turtles are unwanted “pets” that owners didn’t want anymore, so they dump them in the Lily Pond. The birds, however, come and go, and quite often you can find some Mandarin Ducks hanging out.

Mandarin duck

Admission to the Botanical Building is free. It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. but is closed on Thursdays and holidays. Closing on holidays is somewhat strange because Balboa Park gets extremely crowded on holidays since it’s a regional attraction and destination.

Lotus

Botanical Building in San Diego's Balboa Park

For more about the monarchs of Balboa Park, see my post Monarch—Caterpillar to butterfly (WARNING: graphic content).

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Desert bighorn sheep

Picture of the Moment

It is so much fun to take blasé pictures and try to make Photographic Art out of them. After all, my wise old grandmother said, as she sat at the dining room table cutting pictures apart and pasting them in her scrapbooks and photo albums, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

Here are two blasé pictures of desert bighorn sheep that were washed out and really horrible pictures, but they make pretty darn good Photographic Art.

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Desert Bighorn Sheep

These desert bighorn sheep are in a remote location in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It’s not an easy walk to where they are, so I suspect not too many people actually see these beautiful sheep.

The desert bighorn sheep is indigenous to the southwestern United States and the northern areas of Mexico. Interestingly, the total population of desert bighorn sheep is only about 20,000 yet their conservation status is listed as “least concern.” That I don’t understand.

They are superb climbers, using their climbing ability to escape mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats, their main predators.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

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Just inches away

Picture of the Moment

There has been lots of action this year at SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Seaworld San DiegoSeaWorld is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary of being a top attraction here in San Diego.

The San Diego Zoo is renovating its oldest exhibit areas which have been in use since the founding of the Zoo in 1916. Once those exhibit areas have been renovated, the last of the animal cages will be gone in preference for open exhibits which allow the animals to roam more freely.

Out at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the new Tiger Trail opened a couple of weeks ago. Safari Park has six Sumatran Tigers, but in the past, the likelihood of seeing one was about zero percent, and that’s being generous.

The new exhibit area comprises 5.2 acres and cost over $19 million to create. Not surprising to me, these beautiful big cats are quite comfortable being close to humans.

The new Tiger Trail building has several viewing areas with huge glass panes being all that separate humans from tigers, and the tigers don’t mind being the object of attention:

Sumatran tiger at Tiger Trail at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

However thick that glass is, is how close I was to that beautiful cat. I even got some pictures of tiger paws and tiger stripes:

Tiger paw

Tiger stripes

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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We come in threes

San Diego Zoo logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yes, Jim and I made it to opening night for the San Diego Nighttime Zoo yesterday.

In three hours I took 141 pictures and 13 videos.

It was the night of threes, though.

WE COME IN THREES

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
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Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray