Category Archives: Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta (10-31-14)—Merry Halloween!

Friday Flower Fiesta

Let’s see if anyone can guess what the theme for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta is.

Aloe flower buds

Flower in an organic garden

Flowers at San Diego State University

Friday Flower Fiesta 4-5-13

Friday Flower Fiesta 4-5-13

Nasturtium flower

Ranunculus at the Carlsbad Flower Fields

Flower and rain drops

Flower and rain drops

Flower and rain drops

Coneflower

Friday Flower Fiesta

Happy Halloween!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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My first Photographic Art sale to a Realtor

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I had great success in March and April 2014 when I set up my first galleries at Fine Art America. Then, on April 27, I hired Julian Rey Saenz to help me with my Photographic Art. He cataloged thousands of files, uploaded hundreds of files to Fine Art America, and created a database of over 8,000 Realtors to whom we could market Photographic Art as close-of-escrow gifts.

Photographic Art, and thus Julian’s job, had been capitalized for six months. I thought we would easily have appropriate sales at the end of six months to keep the company capitalized into the future as far as we wanted to go. That didn’t happen, and I’m not really sure why. I still have some analysis to do there.

Yesterday, though, I sold my first Photographic Art to Thomas J. Nelson, a La Jolla & San Diego Realtor who is using it as a close-of-escrow gift. Thomas and I have been working together since 2004; I have been doing the home inspections for his buying Clients.

Thomas bought a 48″x6.75″ metal print of San Diego Panorama. Looks like this:

img_5974 panorama 1200

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Click on the picture for a huger version, and then visualize that huger version (1200 pixels wide) as a metal print 48″ wide. That’s four feet! It’s going to be awesome!

Total cost, including shipping, was $126.49, and my profit was $23.26. Not much but it will buy half a tank of gasoline. More importantly, though, I have that first sale as a close-of-escrow gift, which allows me to do better marketing, i.e., marketing with a testimonial.

Now if I do some projections with those 8,000 Realtors in my database, all I need for first-year success is 50 Realtors to buy close-of-escrow gifts similar to that just once a month. That would allow me to continue to capitalize the company with ongoing sales, and those ongoing sales would allow me to do some very serious marketing, including keeping a small inventory to use as samples and emergency close-of-escrow gifts.

Julian got a job with one of our city politicians. Maybe after political season is over with, or during the spring when Julian will be playing high school tennis instead of working, I can hire him back and we can have another go at this.

With or without Julian, I can make this work. I’m going to go back to what I was doing in March and April and see what happens for the rest of the year.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#4: Presidio of San Diego site, part 1

San Diego Historical Landmarks

San Diego Historical Landmark #4 is the site of the Presidio of San Diego.

Presidio of San Diego site

San Diego Presidio Site
Soldiers, sailors, Indians, and Franciscan missionaries from New Spain occupied the land at Presidio Hill on May 17, 1769 as a military outpost. Two months later, Fr. Junipero Serra established the first San Diego mission on Presidio Hill. Officially proclaimed a Spanish Presidio on January 1, 1774, the fortress was later occupied by a succession of Mexican forces. The Presidio was abandoned in 1837 after San Diego became a pueblo.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Only ruins of the Presidio remain, simple bumps in the ground:

Site of the Presidio of San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A walk around the surround grounds finds many items of interest, such as a statue of “The Indian” by Arthur Putnam (1873-1930)….

The Indian, by Arthur Puinam, in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

….a statue of “The Padre,” also by Arthur Putnam….

"The Padre" by Arthur Putnam in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

….and a hugemonstergiganticreallyreallybig cross made out of bricks:

The Cross in Presidio Park in San Diego California

The Cross in Presidio Park in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wouldn’t it be neat if we discovered that the bricks are from an old building in the area? Sadly, I could find nothing about the cross other than what is told on a plaque at the base:

In this ancient Indian village of Cosoy
Discovered and named San Miguel by Cabrillo in 1549
Visited and christened San Diego de Alcala by Vizcaino in 1602
Here the first citizen
Fray Junipero Serra
Planted civilization in California
Here he first raised the cross. Here began the first mission.
Here founded the first town, San Diego, July 16, 1769
In memory of him and his works. The Order of Panama 1913.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Just across the street from the ruins of the Presidio is the Junípero Serra Museum, one of the most familiar landmarks in San Diego.

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Junípero Serra Museum is often mistaken for Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá—indeed, for many years, I counted myself among the mistaken.

The Serra Museum was built in 1928-1929 for the purpose of housing the collection of the San Diego Historical Society (now named the San Diego History Center), which was founded in 1928. William Templeton Johnson was the architect and used Spanish Revival architecture to resemble the early missions that once dominated the Southern California landscape.

Following are three pictures from the Museum’s collection of the Museum in 1929:

Architect’s elevation drawingElevation of the Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Project completedJunipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dedication DayDedication day of the Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Prior to the Great Recession, the Museum was open seven days a week. Now, sadly, it is open only on weekends.

There are other markers from the past, and I’m sure I missed some because they are located in strange places, places which probably weren’t so strange many decades ago. An example is this tree, possibly as old as the ruins:

Presidio Hill in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

See the crooked gravestone-like marker at the right of the trunk? Obviously I had to go see what it said:

Presidio Hill in San Diego California

Dedicated in memory of
Father Francisco Palou
Biographer of Fr. Serra

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I also discovered a huge statue of a man on a horse:

Presidio Hill in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The plaque on the base is in Spanish:

DONADO A LA CIUDAD DE SAN DIEGO
POR EL SEÑOR LICENSIADO
GUSTAVO DIAZ ORDAZ
PRESIDENTE DE LA REPUBLICA MEXICANA
NOVIEMBRE DE 1970

Wikipedia tells me that Gustavo Diaz Ordaz (1911-1979) was president of Mexico from 1964 to 1970. That, however, doesn’t explain anything about this statue and why it is there. Research for another day….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As I said earlier, the Junípero Serra Museum is open only on Saturdays and Sundays. I went a couple of weeks ago, and in my next posting about San Diego Historical Landmarks, I’ll take you inside the Museum. It’s quite beautiful and should not be missed if you make a trip to Presidio Hill.

The San Diego Presidio Site is also California Registered Historic Landmark #59. Considering that this is where California was founded, what 58 sites could be more important?

Junipero Sera Museum in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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2015 Photographic Art calendars—Flower Variety

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Here is my first Flower Variety calendar:

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I thought I was only going to make one Flower Variety calendar but I simply have too many favorites, way more than 12. So I’m sure there will be a second Flower Variety calendar, and possibly even a third.

Current list of calendar subjects:

Birds – done
Little Cats I – done
Little Cats II
Big Cats
Dogs
Wildlife Variety I
Wildlife Variety II
Sunrises & Sunsets
Orchids – done
Roses
Hibiscus
Flower Variety I – done
Flower Variety II
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Great houses (idea provided by a reader)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Friday Flower Fiesta (10-24-14)—2015 Orchid Photographic Art calendar

Friday Flower Fiesta

What a long day yesterday….

Although the clock said it was only 24 hours, I’m pretty sure someone slipped in a 36-hour day….

I need a few more 36-hour days, but I also need advance notice of when they are going to be provided….

Please….

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share a Photographic Art Orchid Calendar for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For more on my 2015 Photographic Art calendars, see these posts:

Little Cats Calendar

Birds Calendar

SNIPPET #5 in SNIPPETS (10-21-14)

2015 Photographic Art digital calendars

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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2015 Photographic Art calendars—Little Cats

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I made a calendar today featuring little cats, but I have so many great pictures of little cats that I’m thinking of doing one of two things: (1) make several calendars featuring little cats, or (2) letting people choose which 12 pictures of the little ones they want on their calendar. I’ll have to think more on #2 and figure out a way to make it easy to choose. I’ve found throughout life that if you give people too many choices, they just leave. Anyways….

Here’s my calendar featuring little cats:

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Surprisingly, I haven’t found enough good pictures of butterflies to make a butterfly calendar. I know I have enough; it’s just a question of finding which directory they have been misfiled in….

Current list of calendar subjects:

Birds
Butterflies
Little cats
Big cats
Dogs
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
Orchids
Roses
Hibiscus
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Great houses (idea provided by a reader)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)
More little cats

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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SNIPPETS (10-21-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

For the past six months, I have been visiting up to 400 blogs a day and leaving likes and comments. That takes time.

With Julian gone (see Someone’s missing from Photographic Art), I need to use the four hours a day that he was working to find a substitute for home inspections (my main source of income) that will pay my bills. That means I’m going to have to cut down on blog visits.

Since I’m following 3,302 blogs, the result is that it’s going to be a longer time between my visits to your blog.

My records (yes, I really am that AR!) indicate that over the course of my WordPress blogging (since January 7, 2012), I leave one comment for every four LIKEs. I’m going to change that and try to make it one comment for every like.

For the near future, then, blog camping is on an extended vacation, but I hope to make up for it by leaving more comments when I do visit.

SNIPPET 2

Ever since Random Acts of Kindness came about (Wikipedia says it was 1982 or 1983), I have been a huge fan.

Well, last Thursday at 2:40 p.m. I had a tire blow out at a high rate of speed. Having never experienced that before but having visualized it hundreds of times, I had no problem slowing down and getting off the freeway.

I pulled onto a side street in front of a high school and proceeded to try to change the tire. My left shoulder is not capable of provide the torque necessary to operate the jack to raise a 4,400-pound car and untighten the five lug nuts.

I was hot and sweating by the time school started letting out at 3:00. A teenage girl stopped, said hello as she was looking in her backpack, and pulled out a bottle of water, giving it to me along with her kind words, “I know it’s hot out here and you look like you’re struggling.”

Well, I was struggling so I gave up and called AAA to change the tire for me.

I don’t know the girl’s name or even the name of the high school, but I wanted to give a shout-out to some fine parents raising that girl, not to mention to that fine girl herself.

SNIPPET 3

I moved to San Diego in April 1993 specifically so I could live my life as an openly gay man, something I didn’t see myself doing in my native Texas.

Never in my wildest dreams 21 years ago did I think I would ever be legally married, yet that happened when Jim and I got married, legally, in California on October 30, 2008. Prior to that, we had dated for 2 years, lived together for 9 years, and were domestic partnered (such an ugly term) for 5 years.

As of a few days ago, gay marriage is now legal in 31 states and the District of Columbia, covering about 61% of the American population.

gay marriage

It’s only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal across the land. I’m going to guess less than two years.

What amazes me is that gay marriage was legal in Iowa before California, and that Utah won’t be the last state carried screaming and kicking into the modern world. I’m predicting that the southeast will be last, all joining at the same time due to an Appeals Court decision covering those states, basically a repeat of history from June 12, 1967, when the United States Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional:

Interracial marriage

SNIPPET 4

California allows permanent voting by mail:

California mail ballot

It doesn’t mean that I have to return my ballot by mail, but I can. I usually simply drop it off at a polling place on election day since there’s one just two blocks from me.

I was a registered Republican from 1976 to September 2013. I was trying to work within the system to change the Republican Party, but with the advent of the so-called Tea Party taking over control of the Republican Party, I finally gave up and registered as a Democrat last year.

Today I will be filling in those little dots on my ballot.

SNIPPET 5

I have finished my first Photographic Art calendar. This will be the one that I print and hang on my wall:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I plan on creating several more calendars:

Birds
Butterflies
Little cats
Big cats
Dogs
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
Orchids
Roses
Hibiscus
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Custom (you pick any 12 Photographic Art from my Fine Art America galleries)
Double Custom (you provide 12 of your own pictures)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

Note that calendar weeks begin with Monday and end with Sunday, keeping the weekend together.

I will be offering two versions: one without designations such as New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day…. Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. and one with such designations.

I have plans for one other version but it will be complicated to produce so I’ll not announce that yet, waiting until I’m sure I’m going to do it. I’ll do January this week and then decide.

I have looked at calendar-creating software online and am not happy with any of it. I have also looked at prices to buy calendars and can assure you that I will price my digital calendars for less. I am also considering having some printed for promotional purposes, maybe even for sale. I’ll keep everyone informed.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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