Category Archives: Nature

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

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About these ads

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

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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

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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

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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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

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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!

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Marine mammals of La Jolla, California

Out & About

I have accomplished so much today that I thought I would treat y’all to an extra blog post.

Since my blog post earlier was Photographic Art of the brown pelicans of La Jolla, I thought I’d stick with the wildlife of La Jolla theme and show you the harbor seals and sea lions.

Smile (or leave a comment) if you know the two quickest ways to tell a harbor seal from a sea lion.

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

Harbor seals and sea lions in La Jolla, California

If you plan to visit San Diego County, be sure your plan includes a trip to La Jolla awesome views of the coast and the amazing wildlife which choose to hang out there.

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

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

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

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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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 (7-18-14)—Live and learn

Friday Flower Fiesta

In creating my Photographic Art, I use the highest resolution pictures I have.

Many years ago when I first started blogging, I never thought I would need pictures bigger than 800 pixels on the longest side.

I had my Canon DSLR camera set to save the picture as a JPG file, and then when I got home I resized all the pictures to 800 pixels on the longest side.

Sadly, I have some great pictures which I can’t use for Photographic Art.

Following are ten of them in all their unframed, un-Photographic Art glory.

Ah, well, as my wise old grandmother used to say: “Live and learn.”

#1
Friday Flower Fiesta

#2
Friday Flower Fiesta

#3
Friday Flower Fiesta

#4
Friday Flower Fiesta

#5
Friday Flower Fiesta

#6
Friday Flower Fiesta

#7
Friday Flower Fiesta

#8
Friday Flower Fiesta

#9
Friday Flower Fiesta

#10
Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

click here to like us on facebook

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

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

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!

click here to like us on facebook

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

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

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