Category Archives: Manmade

Music on Mondays (4-14-14) – Taking it easy

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Since I will be a vendor at the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser the weekend of May 3, I pretty much decided that I won’t be going to Los Angeles for National Train Day (May 10) this year. I’ll miss it because ATSF 3751, a steam engine built in 1927, is always there since it is housed just a mile south of Union Station.

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fortunately, ATSF 3751 always shows up a month earlier at San Bernardino Railroad Days. That’s where I went yesterday, taking the
San Diego Trolley from La Mesa to the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego,
then Amtrak from San Diego to the historic Union Station in Los Angeles,
then Metrolink from Los Angeles to the historic Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino.

Santa Fe Depot, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I left the driving to them, which allowed me to take it easy. Ah that peaceful, easy feeling as the train left here yesterday morning. Sadly, none of the trains went by the Hotel California.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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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►►►►◄◄◄◄

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

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

San Diego Historical Landmarks: #1–El Prado Area Designation, part 7

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

El Prado Area Designation

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Continuing from west to east on El Prado, we’re about halfway finished with our El Prado Area Designation tour. Next up is the Mingei International Museum.

Mingei International Museum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mingei International Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mingei International Museum was founded in 1978 by Martha Longenecker, a professor of art at San Diego State University. She had studied pottery-making in Japan and became acquainted with the founders and leaders of the Mingei Association of Japan, inspiring her to carry the vision of mingei to the America. According to Wikipedia, “The philosophical pillar of mingei is ‘hand-crafted art of ordinary people.’” Therein lies the goal of the Mingei International Museum, to collect, conserve, and exhibit arts of daily use, from unknown craftsmen of ancient times to present-day craftsmen.

Before you ever walk through the doors of the museum, the children want to stop and play on this:

Mingei International Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That is a big alligator. It belongs to the Museum, and the Museum’s web site tells you not to leave Balboa Park “until you’ve climbed it, touched it, walked under it, and posed for a photo.”

The inaugural exhibition of Mingei International Museum was Dolls and Folk Toys of the World. Throughout the ensuring years, Mingei has shared hundreds of exhibitions featuring a wide range of cultures, themes, and media.

Two of my favorite exhibitions were the Bold Expressions exhibit in 2011, and the Maneki Neko exhibit in 2011-2012.

Bold Expressions was an exhibit of African American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley, showcasing quilts from the American South made between 1910 and the 1970s:

Quilt from the American South

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Maneki Neko exhibit didn’t appeal to me initially when I saw it on the 2010 list of upcoming exhibitions. However, after I read about maneki neko, I realized that I had one! Yes! Maneki neko means “beckoning cat,” but I always thought they were waving cats.

Beckoning cats

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Beckoning cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Read more about maneki neko at Wikipedia.

Zoey the Cool Cat encouraged me to go see her Japanese cousins, so I did, of course.

The other cool thing about the Museum’s exhibit of maneki neko is that the collection was donated to the Museum by Billie Moffitt of Long Beach, California. True tennis fans recognize the name as none other than the great and incomparable Billie Jean King, winner of 39 Grand Slam tennis titles. Moffitt was her maiden name.

Current exhibitions:

  • Function and Fantasy (through May 26, 2014)—Steven and William Ladd are brothers working with beads, fabric, and boxes to express their shared memories of family life in Missouri.
  • Log Cabin Quilts (through July 3, 2014)—Features Log Cabin quilts from a collection of 350 quilts given to the Museum in 2012 by local collectors Pat and Tom Nickols. A Log Cabin quilt is formed in squares known as blocks, each with a central small square surrounded by bars or logs.
  • Huyler’s Pure Delicious Chocolate, 1874-1925 (through August 17, 2014)—Explores the 50-year advertising and marketing history of one of the nation’s earliest, largest, and most prominent chocolate manufacturers.

Mingei International Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and “most national holidays,” which, I guess, means to check their web site for closings.

Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors age 62 and over, $5 for youth age 6-17, $5 for students with ID and military with ID. Members and children under age 6 get in free!

Also, on the third Tuesday of each month, free admission is given to all San Diego County residents, students at local colleges and universities (ID required), active duty military with ID, and, quoting from the web site, “part-time residents/vacation home owners (except time share owners).” Now how in the world do they determine that you’re a time share owner?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Use code FTNSD to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

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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

Friday Flower Fiesta (4-4-14)—Photographic Art postage stamps

Friday Flower fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A selection of photographs of flowers that I found showing off this past week. Fortunately, they were not bullying anyone, so I let them go to Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America and show off there, too.

1¢ Kangaroo Paw stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

2¢ Amaryllis postage stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

3¢ Aeonium stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

4¢ Bottlebrush stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

5¢ Calla stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

6¢ Clivia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

7¢ Poinsettia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yes, poinsettias are blooming in San Diego in early April. They bloom year-round here and grow into large, scraggly bushes, getting up to 15 feet tall.

Poinsettia 15' tall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art stamp offer

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?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Use code FTNSD to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

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

Since they are dead, they won’t mind

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back in the 1960s when my wise old grandmother was helping me find my place in the world, she would often say, “Don’t re-invent the wheel.”

The first time she said that, she also had to explain it to me. After that first time, though, I was always looking for the wheel that someone else had invented. I never felt guilty about using someone else’s wheel when appropriate, legal, and ethical because, as my wise old grandmother told me, “There have been a few billion people on Earth before you. It’s highly likely that they invented something that you can use, and since they are dead, they won’t mind.”

Recently I found several wheels for Photoshop that someone else had invented and is selling for what I consider reasonable costs. Those wheels are called Actions, and the ones that I have fallen in love with are by PanosFX.com.

You might remember me mentioning them fairly recently when I tested their photo corner Action (see Ready? Set? Action!). I did wind up buying all of the Photoshop Actions that PanosFX.com offers.

Here are some of my favorites, demonstrated quite ably by Zoey the Cool Cat, of course.

FanZoey the Cool Cat fan

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

WristwatchZoey the Cool Cat wristwatch

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

WeaveZoey the Cool Cat weave

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

BookZoey the Cool Cat book

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Light bulbZoey the Cool Cat light bulb

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Film stripZoey the Cool Cat film strip

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wanted posterZoey the Cool Cat wanted poster

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Spiral-bound bookZoey the Cool Cat spiral bound book

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Magnifying glassZoey the Cool Cat under the magnifying glass

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

And lastly for this post, a Zoey the Cool Cat cube which you can print, cut, and glue to get a real cube to set on your coffee table or bookshelf!

Zoey the Cool Cat cube

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

WordPress problems resolved!

Did you know?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 is fast, fast, fast, fast, fast.

As many of you know, I have been having WordPress problems since January 2, 2014. Many things:

  1. LIKE buttons were not loading on any blog whose URL ended with wordpress.com. Other blogs were fine. Just those ending with wordpress.com were problematic.
  2. Most of the time, not always though, I could not comment on blogs either. This problem affected all blogs, not just those whose URL ended with wordpress.com.
  3. My blog would not load correctly the first time. I would have to refresh or reload it in order to get it to work.
  4. My site stats would not load at all. Never.
  5. The gold star notification at the upper right would not work unless I clicked on the star twice.

SkyTower at SeaWorld San DiegoToday I had some extra time while preparing to go Dine With Shamu at SeaWorld. I could not access the WordPress Help Forums from anywhere on my blog like I could prior to January 2, 2014, so I went to Google, typed in wordpress help forums, and got to them that way.

I spent several hours reading through several hundred threads in the Help Forums before I finally found a clue about what might be happening. The clue was in a very long thread and was about the hundredth comment from someone outside of WordPress, someone like me who was having problems.

The clue was that the commenter was of the firm belief that WordPress was not compatible with Internet Explorer 10. I knew that I had upgraded from IE9 to IE10 but I didn’t know when. I pulled up my computer records and what do you know? I upgraded from IE9 to IE10 the night of January 1, 2014. Ah-ha!

I tried to downgrade from IE10 to IE9 but that apparently isn’t possible. All of the computers that I use daily are running IE10. I pulled out an old laptop computer that I don’t use anymore but which I knew had IE9 on it. Sure enough, I had no WordPress problems on the old computer using IE9.

I saw that IE11 was available, so since I couldn’t downgrade to IE9, I considered upgrading to IE11. I created a restore point on my Windows 7 computer so that if IE11 really caused problems, I could easily go back to IE10. Well, not only did IE11 load easily and quickly, but I have no more WordPress problems. LIKE buttons are loading, my stats page is showing up again, etc.

So there you have it! The problem wasn’t with my computer per sé but with a computer program that I needed in order to even get to my WordPress blog. The interesting thing is that apparently when Internet Explorer is your main browser, Firefox, Chrome, etc., don’t override everything in Internet Explorer. That explains why I was having the same problems in Firefox and Chrome.

I’m so happy! I can go blog camping again now, something that I really missed doing these past three months.

Lastly, not only is my Internet browsing so much faster than it was with IE10, but my whole computer seems to be much faster. Can’t explain it, but it is what it is.

And following a close-up of Shamu from this evening’s Dine With Shamu at SeaWorld San Diego. Jim and I were sitting about three feet from four Shamus, separated only by a piece of glass four feet tall.

Shamu at SeaWorld San Diego on March 29, 2014

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

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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 lesson in customer service

SeaWorld

Back at the beginning of March, SeaWorld sent me a gift, which was a free $39 Dine With Shamu meal. It could be redeemed only online. Unfortunately, online redemption has been giving me an error for the past two weeks when I have tried to redeem my gift.

Since the gift expires at the end of my birthday month, which is in just a few days, I printed out the error message and my birthday gift email and went to Guest Relations at SeaWorld.

First person couldn’t resolve the issue and called his supervisor over.

Supervisor couldn’t resolve the issue and called his supervisor over.

Supervisor II couldn’t resolve the issue but commented, “I think I now know why Dine With Shamu hasn’t been selling out.”

Supervisor II didn’t resolve the issue while I was there, but what he did do was practice customer service of the highest order. He simply made reservations for Saturday (that’s today!) at 6:00 p.m. for Jim and me, and then comped both tickets! So Jim and I are Dining With Shamu. Free! An $78 value!

Jim and I dined with Shamu two years ago, and it was awesome, not to mention that the food was far superior to what I was expecting for a theme park event. Following is a picture of Shamu from when we dined with him in May 2012, up close and personal:

Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

P.S. I’m not impressed with the new picture editing functions that WordPress instituted a couple of days ago, and I’m still having problems when I visit the blogs of other people, those problems being most noticeable when I try to comment or LIKE blogs whose URL ends with wordpress.com. About half the time I cannot comment, and LIKE buttons never load, so I can never LIKE!

The WordPress crowd in their Forums ignore me. Thus, I’m pretty sure that when my WordPress.com upgrade expires, I won’t be renewing. I’ll be taking my money to my own server.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

The Del Mar Castle near San Diego, California

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the reasons why I think I can make my Photographic Art venture work is because I really like real estate, having spent more than 47 years in the real estate industry in various professions, including as a Realtor in Texas and as a home inspector now.

My husband, Jim, also happens to be in real estate; he’s a Realtor here in San Diego with HomeSmart Realty West.

Because of that real estate interest, I have a natural market. After all, people pretty much like the houses they live in, so if I can take pictures of their homes, create Photographic Art, and then let them know where they can buy that Photographic Art, it should be fairly easy.

Obviously, the extraordinarily wealthy not only have unique homes but also probably have more disposable income to buy my Photographic Art. Thus I have been creating a list and checking it twice of where to go to find the homes of the 1%.

One of our rich enclaves is the city of Del Mar, so recently I went up there to explore some of the hillside neighborhoods. That’s when I found the Del Mar Castle (click on the picture for a huger version):

Del Mar Castle in Del Mar, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The other thing that I can do to make my work unique is include some history on the back of the pictures. I’m endeavoring to find out more history about the Del Mar Castle, but as of right now I can tell you this:

  • Built in 1926 by renowned architect Richard Requa (see Wikipedia entry)
  • 7,304 square feet with 5 bedrooms, 6 full bathrooms, and 6 fireplaces
  • Had the first telephone in the City of Del Mar: Del Mar 1
  • Tony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within; see Wikipedia entry) bought the castle for $1.5 million in 1987 and sold it in 1998 in a private sale, which means we don’t know how much he sold it for.
  • The house is high up on a hill, and the turret has a 360° view of the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Diego and Tijuana to the south, and the San Dieguito Lagoon and Del Mar Race Track and Fairgrounds to the east.

The view above looks west to the Pacific Ocean. From Interstate 5 on the east side, this is the view of the castle:

Del Mar Castle

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I get ready to make Photographic Art out of these pictures of the Castle, I’ll be replacing the gray overcast sky with a sunny blue sky with just a few clouds to add variety. Then I’ll upload them to my store front at Fine Art America and send a postcard to the owners (public records available to Realtors make that so easy!) to let them know where they can find some pictures of their home.

The original panorama above is a whopping 11,895 pixels wide x 3345 pixels tall, which means that Fine Art America can create high quality prints that are about 138 inches wide. That’s about 11½ feet! I can see the extraordinarily rich with an 11½-foot Photographic Art picture of their home hanging in the great room! Oh, yeah!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-14-14)

Friday Flower fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have been so busy that I almost forgot that it was Friday!

Today’s Tonight’s Friday Flower Fiesta features my Photographic Art creations of flowers that are now available at my store on Fine Art America.

Various versions of these flowers have appeared in my blog before, but the versions here are the versions that are for sale at my store on Fine Art America. Fine Art America offers many different types of prints, such as standard matted and framed prints, prints rolled in a tube so you can do your own matting and framing, metal prints, canvas prints, and acrylic prints, as well as greeting cards and cell phone cases.

If you would like to buy any of my work, use the discount code
FTNSTD

to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

I upload many pictures each day, so follow me here at my WordPress blog or at my store on Fine Art America.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia)Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

CliviaClivia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sunflower and CloudsSunflower and Clouds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Hot PokerRed Hot Poker

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus Flowers and Fruits
(of a barrel cactus)Cactus Flowers and Fruits

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

ThunbergiaThunbergia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pink HibiscusPink Hibiscus Flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

African Tulip TreeAfrican Tulip Tree Flowers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Purple GeraniumPurple Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

White DaffodilsWhite Daffodil Flowers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pink GeraniumPink Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flower & BeeFlower & Bee

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orange PoppyCalifornia Poppy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

California Tree Poppy & Visitors California Tree Poppy and Visitors

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Raindrops on Gerbera DaisiesRaindrops on Gerbera Daisy 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?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Today is World Sleep Day!

Did you know?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Today is World Sleep Day. I mentioned that to Zoey the Cool cat:

World Sleep Day

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

World Sleep Day is an annual event organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Association of Sleep Medicine and held on the Friday of the second full week of March. The first World Sleep Day was in 2008.

Its purpose is to celebrate the benefits of good and healthy sleep (isn’t all sleep good and healthy?) and to draw attention to the burden of sleep problems and their medicine, education, and social aspects; and to promote sleep disorders prevention and management.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Capturing the cards in photography—Beginner’s pointers for poker photography

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Capturing the cards in photography
Beginner’s pointers for poker photography

Apart from actually coming across the many natural wonders of nature or some truly amazing manmade structures, photography for the most part is all about capturing the ordinary and making it look extraordinary.

It’s not just about taking a picture of a sunrise. It’s about taking that picture when the sun’s reflection on the waterline makes it look as if it’s half-submerged, with that perfect shade of twilight sky for good measure.

It’s not just about taking a picture of a kid smiling. It’s about placing your camera perfectly so that the light bounces just right to heighten the child’s beaming smile.

And when it comes to poker photography, it’s not just about taking random shots here and there. It’s about amplifying the energy inherent in these gaming sessions, an energy that’s otherwise hidden from unsuspecting eyes. This might prove to be a bit tricky for some budding photographers. Unlike other sporting events, poker isn’t particularly physical. In lieu of players running up and down a field, you have them sitting around a table, giving just the slightest of gestures every now and then. Everything, it would seem, is relatively static. That said, anyone who has witnessed a World Series of Poker tournament match will attest that the tension in this sport is no less palpable.

And therein lies the challenge: how to bring that tension out with your photography. Needless to say, getting a good eye for this type of thing takes some skill, but it isn’t necessarily difficult to achieve. There are a couple of things you can do to get you started right.

Lighting is everything in this field of art, and since poker is an indoor sport that often isn’t too brightly lit, increasing your camera’s ISO to within the 900-1000 range allows more light to enter the lens. From there, gradually bring it down until you get a lighting scheme that you feel best captures the mood you’re going for.

Another thing you can experiment with is the shutter speed. In direct contrast to something like an NBA game where a fast shutter speed is of the utmost importance, slowing that speed down is the way to go with poker. Not only will it help highlight your subject, but you could also get cool shots such as when the player you’re taking a photo of casually flips his poker chips. The spinning chips (and the people constantly moving in the background if you’re lucky) will register as blurs on your camera, but your subject will still remain in focus, contrasting that “poker face” attitude against busy surroundings.

Joe Giron is one of the more notable names in poker photography. His recent work on the World Poker Tour event—many of which are showcased on WPT online partner Partypoker’s Twitter page—display his skill to a tee. Of his work, he emphasizes the importance of being “comfortable in the studio, on the set, or on location.” It’s this level of comfort that you need to reach, because that’s when you start getting a feel for things, which hopefully would translate into some very beautiful shots.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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