Category Archives: My wise old grandmother

Oh, dear, my wise old grandmother was wrong

My wise old grandmother

Some relevant words from my wise old grandmother:

There are no shortcuts in life.

If you want something, work hard to get it.

Well, recently I wanted to be able to see the road when I was driving at night or in the wee hours of the morning.

It’s pretty much not possible when your headlights look like this:

Headlights

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I stopped by Pep Boys to ask about cleaning them since I had seen the commercial on television and the Internet. I was pretty sure that whatever I bought to clean them wasn’t going to work and that I’d be spending several hundred dollars on parts and labor to buy new headlight covers.

The Pep Boys boy (he really could not have been more than 16 or 17) was very knowledgeable, assured me that “the stuff works,” and even explained to me why it works and why simply washing the car wouldn’t clean them.

Here’s the stuff I bought:

Turtle Wax headlight lens restorer

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It took about 15 minutes to do both headlights, and here is the result:

Headlights

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looks like my wise old grandmother was wrong! There was a shortcut, and I didn’t have to work hard to get what I wanted!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (12-12-14)—Orbs (or making something out of nothing at all)

Friday Flower Fiesta

My main reason for creating Photographic Art is because my camera, a Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i if you bought it in the United States) is a semi-professional camera that cost me about $700. My main camera lens is a Tamron 28-300mm macro zoom lens that cost me about $300. In other words, I have a whopping thousand dollars worth of camera equipment. Although I have 48 years of photographic experience, do I really think that I can compete with the professional with $35,000 worth of camera equipment and his own gallery downtown? No, I don’t.

So with the poor quality from the inadequate equipment, I create something unique, one of a kind images that no one else can create because they don’t know how I do it. They can try because they know I use Photoshop, and they might even come close, but unless they know the exact settings I use, they’re not going to get an exact reproduction of my Photographic Art. Heck, sometimes the Art is so unique that even I don’t know what settings I used, so even I cannot reproduce it!

Some of the pictures in my vast collection are what many photographers would call throwaways. However, a couple of things that my wise old grandmother told me back in 1966 has always stuck with me:

“What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”
and
“Don’t throw anything away. There is no away.”

Throughout the ensuing decades, I have learned to throw things away, but I take far less trash to the curb each week than my neighbors do. Maybe they just buy more crap than I do………….

Anyway, for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta, I thought I would take ten of my throwaway photographs and use them to make flower orbs in brushed aluminum frames. These pictures were out of focus, had poor composition, or are simply too small to use to make high quality Photographic Art. Here they are, with the original picture beneath each framed flower orb.

1

Framed flower orb

flower (226)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

2

Framed flower orb

flower (253)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

3

Framed flower orb

flower (269) original

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

4

Framed flower orb

flower (270) original

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

5

Framed flower orb

flower (301)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

6

Framed flower orb

flower (302)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

7

Framed flower orb

flower (312)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

8

Framed flower orb

flower (334)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

9

Framed flower orb

flower (342)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

10

Framed flower orb

flower (350)

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

Number 5 is my favorite. It looks like a face, maybe something out of a Stephen King novel. Number eight is my second favorite, and then number 7 is third.

If you would like to learn how to create orbs, see my post here. It’s really easy; takes just a couple of minutes…. Unless you don’t have Photoshop…. Then it will take a lot longer!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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If you don’t ask, there’s only one answer

My wise old grandmother

In 1966, my grandmother taught me that if you want something, you have to ask.

If you ask, there are two answers: Yes or No.

If you don’t ask, there is only one answer: No.

My left shoulder and both knees are asking me to get out of the home inspection business. They don’t like crawling around anymore in attics and under houses. I have spent all of 2014 applying for various jobs, but I can tell you that ageism is alive and well in the work environment.

I would like to ask you to buy any Photographic Art and use it as a gift for Christmas, a December wedding or anniversary, a December birthday, or for a Fall graduate. Of course, if you can come up with other reasons for a gift, I’m all for it!

I am just starting out in this venture so I don’t have a decades-long track record. However, Jim Frimmer (missionvalleyliving.com) and Thomas Nelson (thomasjnelsonrealtor.com) are using my work for close of escrow and anniversary gifts. They attach their business cards and various messages to the back using rubber cement. From the reactions of their Clients, I know I have something going here.

I am at Fine Art America (1-russel-ray.artistwebsites.com) mainly because they are inexpensive compared to my local printing, art, and framing shops; and they have a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee, even for buyer’s remorse!

If you think shipping costs are too high, you can buy the digital file directly from me for $49 and then have it printed at your favorite local shop.

I also do custom work for $49. For example, Thomas Nelson saw five Photographic Art that he liked for his most recent Client. Buying all five as one close-of-escrow gift was a little expensive, so he asked me if I could merge them, which I did. Here is the result:

Harley-Davidson montage

With my photography collection and resources, I can make one-of-a-kind Photographic Art in huge sizes. Thomas Nelson bought a panorama of San Diego (San Diego panorama) that I created using 16 separate pictures. The final product was four feet long. His Client was surprised and ecstatic!

San Diego

I recommend metal prints—they are virtually indestructible, the color is spectacular, they are light and easy to hang, and they are inexpensive compared to traditional glass and frame.

Please consider buying Photographic Art
for your gift-giving needs.
Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Best wishes for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity
in 2015 and beyond.

Looking for a unique gift for Christmas?Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Suffering from Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

Five of my favorite quilt pictures

My wise old grandmother

My wise old grandmother adopted me in 1965 when I was an 11-year-old juvenile delinquent. Through her love and discipline, she created a pretty good person, if I do say so myself.

Along with the spankings I got for being bad, I remember three other specific things about her: (1) she loved to cook, (2) she loved to garden, and (3) she loved to quilt.

She made quilts for all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Sadly, a college roommate stole mine in 1974. I didn’t have the heart to tell my wise old grandmother that I was so careless with my quilt that I let someone steal it, so I don’t have one of her quilts. Everytime I go to a quilt convention, or see quilts in stores and craft shops, I think of my wise old grandmother.

Following are five of my favorite quilts from all of the quilt conventions I’ve been to. I suspect most readers will know exactly why they are favorites.

Wildlife quilt

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wildlife quilt

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Quilt Convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Quilt Convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Quilt Convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Suffering from Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

Free calendar page—any month, any year

My wise old grandmother

Back in 1966, when I was 11 and my wise old grandmother was helping me set up a typing business for college students, she introduced me to many four-letter words: free, give, help, love, need, want.

She told me that when I got to the point that I loved to give free help to people to meet their needs and wants, I would know that I had a career, and my career would provide for my own needs and wants. She taught me all about marketing, yet all she had was a partial first grade education, having dropped out of school to work in the fields after her dad died.

At the time, what she was telling me didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Now it does.

Since we are now in the fourth quarter of 2014, I have to start seriously thinking about the new year, and that always means calendars. I have rarely liked the calendars that you buy in the stores. They are always too big, too small, have a few pictures that I didn’t like, would not remain flat against the wall, were too heavy to hang on the wall with a pushpin…. whatever.

For 2015, I have resolved to create my own calendar, and that’s where YOU come in.

Here is my October 2014 calendar page:

October 2014

So what’s different between my calendar and store-bought calendars?

Well, first, my page is 8½x11…. easy to print on any printer.

Second, I use my own photos.

Third, I start the week with Monday. I have never understood why religions say that Sunday is the seventh day of the week but calendars make it the first day of the week. With my calendar, the weekend is now together instead of split.

Fourth, I have six rows instead of four or five. That means that every day gets its own square…. always!

Fifth, if I have a calendar hanging on the wall, I’ve always disliked having to remove it in order to look at the previous month’s last days. My calendar fills in all the squares with days of the month…. last month’s, this month, and next month.

So here’s the deal:

I’ve made October 2014, but I need November & December 2014. And I need 2015 months…. January, February, March, April…. well, you get the idea.

For the first 50 people who leave a comment here on this post on my WordPress blog, YOU get a free calendar page. You can make it any month and year you like…. You can send me a picture to use (needs to be high resolution, at least 800 pixels wide at 100 ppi) or you can choose any of my pictures, one that you’ve seen in my blog over the 2½ years I’ve been here, or one in my galleries at Fine Art America.

Once you’ve decided, leave a comment here, and then email your month, year, and picture choice to me at

photographicart@russelrayphotos.com.

Attach your picture if you want me to use one of yours. I will create your calendar page and email a digital file to you.

These calendar pages are not easy to make, so I’ll acknowledge those first 50 comments and acknowledge your email. After that, you’ll just have to be patient.

This would make a great present for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Suffering from Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

SNIPPETS (8-16-14, #2)—WordAds revenue, and more

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

The earnings report from my WordAds came in. I got approved for WordAds on July 15, so the revenue is for 16½ days.

Drum roll please….

$16.62.

Yep. A measly $16.62. Wait! Measly? NOT measly! I did nothing other than allow their ads to show up on my blog. $16.62 is 97.76¢ per day! That $16.62 for 17 days in July equates to about $30 per month. Julian and I think we can get to $50 per month by the end of the year, if not sooner. And ever since I got WordAds approved, I have been endeavoring to do everything possible to increase readership and views to get us there. I have even……….

SNIPPET #2

………..caught up on my backlog of blog visits. Remember when I was using Internet Explorer 9 from January 2 to March 27 and got so far behind in reading, liking, and commenting on blogs because the LIKE buttons and the comment boxes wouldn’t load? I got nine months behind. I pleased to say that as of today, I’m exactly 30 days behind.Goats at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

I find 30 days to be just about right because not everyone publishes a blog post each day like I do (sometimes two, like today!). The one thing that really gets my goat in the blogging world is when I go to visit someone’s blog only to find that they have published absolutely nothing since the last time I visited.

SNIPPET #3

My wise old grandmotherMy wise old grandmother was a master gardener before there was such a thing. Everything I learned about gardening, I learned from her. So my memories of her are strong when I visit gardening sites and blogs.

Recently I visited a blog that was telling the reader to provide nesting materials to get birds to build nests in your yard. Twigs make great nesting materials, and the article said that the twigs and sticks should be under four inches long.

Hmmmm.

Nest-building osprey

SNIPPET #4

Photographic Art of a rhinoceros at the San Diego Zoo:

Rhinoceros

Created by Julian. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

SNIPPET #5

Would y’all like a blog post by Julian?

If there is strong enough demand, I’ll force him to comply with that demand as part of his ongoing partnership agreement with Photographic Art, but I won’t put any restrictions on what he can blog about. That might prove interesting……….LOL

Let me him know with a comment.

SNIPPET #6

Suicide is in the mainstream news again due to Robin Williams.

About a year ago, Junior Seau, also known as Mr. San Diego, committed suicide.

For readers who might not know, my dad committed suicide when I was six years old, although I didn’t find out about it until much later. Much, much later.

I also have been depressed and suicidal at times in my life, so I get quite disgusted by people with such a cavalier attitude about suicide and the effect on the people it leaves behind. So disgusted that I unfriend, unfollow, and unlike them.

SNIPPET #7

Tony GwynnWith the recent death of Tony Gwynn (see stamp at right) in June at the age of 54 from cancer, and the fact that the San Diego Padres, for whom he played his entire professional baseball career, won’t be going anywhere in the playoffs, people are reminiscing about the best years of the San Diego Padres. Those years are few and far between, with the Padres playing in, and losing, the World Series in 1984 and 1998. Tony Gwynn was with the team both times.

There have been some highlights beyond the team itself, though, such as when Tony Gwynn got hit #3,000 (see stamp above).

Here are two other players who provided lots of highlights for the Padres:

Steve Garvey
Home Run in the 1984 NLCS,
winning the game and sending the Padres to the World SeriesIMG_6979 steve garvey faa stamp

Trevor Hoffman
Save #500Trevor Hoffman

SNIPPET #8

When Jim and I went to watch the Big Bay Boom! fireworks downtown for the fourth of July, the San Diego Country Administration Building had been made into a Tony Gwynn memorial:

Tony Gwynn memorial on the San Diego County Administration Building

SNIPPET #9

A mural, titled “Escalera After Bechi,” in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego:

Escalera After Bechi

SNIPPET #10

Hope you enjoyed the extra blog post today!

Hope you enjoyed the extra blog post and SNIPPETS today

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.

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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

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

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!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