Category Archives: Picture of the Moment

San Diego beach houses of the extraordinarily wealthy

Picture of the Moment

Yesterday afternoon’s low tide was one of the lowest we’ll have in January, which means that the tide pools along the coast required a visit.

Depending on where you go to see the tide pools, sometimes the little ol’ beach houses command one’s attention, like these two beach houses in La Jolla:

San Diego beach houses

Click on the image for a larger version.

La Jolla is one of San Diego County’s enclaves of the rich and famous. In 2008 & 2009, La Jolla had the highest home prices in the nation, an average price around $2 million.

It’s one of the places politicians stay when they come to San Diego.

John McCain owns a home in La Jolla…. Mitt Romney lives there. Racquel Welch…. Robin Wright Penn…. Shane Harper….

There are rich Republicans and rich Democrats there. Probably some rich Independents, rich Atheists, rich Wiccans, and rich Satanists….

La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Location of the two beach houses:

La Jolla beach houses

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Drill here! Drill now!

Picture of the Moment

Although I have a lot of books and online resources concerning everything in Southern California, last week I discovered an online resource that lists places of which I was not aware, and which aren’t in my books.

I suspect it’s because my books are ca. 1989-1998, and some of the places I discovered at this new online resource were built or created later than 1998.

After browsing online, I picked a site that’s not too far from me to check it out last weekend.

On my leisurely drive, leisurely because I’m always on the lookout for things to photograph, I saw this huge sign on a residential fence:

Drill here! Drill now!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That reminded me of my time at Texas A&M University when I was looking for a Greek organization to pledge. One of the organizations I was considering was Sigma Chi.

Fraternities at Texas A&M University in the mid-1970s were a new thing because previously they were prohibited as recognized student organizations. As fraternities and sororities started establishing chapters at A&M, they had to do so off campus without all the benefits that recognized student organizations got. Thus there are some huge fraternity and sorority houses in College Station, off campus. One of the largest was the Sigma Chi house. If I remember correctly, a rich Sigma Chi alumnus had lent the money to build the house on several acres of land.

Shortly after I had decided to pledge Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity instead of Sigma Chi, they discovered oil under the Sigma Chi land. Rumors at the time were that the oil company which obtained the drilling rights had paid the Sigma Chi chapter $1.2 million, as well as 10% ongoing royalties. Oil companies probably still pay a large sum initially for drilling rights, so the people who own this house are hoping for that initial large sum.

I wonder if drilling rights include fracking rights….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (12-26-14)—Electric Avenue

Friday Flower Fiesta

When one takes an average of 300 pictures each day, there will be pictures that look good on the camera’s little LCD screen but, when seen on the much larger computer monitor, they lack the subjective quality known as composition, have something ugly in them that I don’t want to take the time to fix, or have poor backgrounds, something that I also don’t usually like to fix….

Such is the case with today’s Friday Flower Fiesta.

So I made Photographic Art out of them.

I used Redfield’s Fractalius plug-in for Photoshop to create electric flowers. Thus, “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant for your listening pleasure while viewing….

I don’t like all of these, but Fractalius takes several minutes to do its thing on a 5184×3456-pixel image, so I’ll just let you decide.

Fractalius works well when there are good focal points and colors, not to well when there’s too much of one color or not a clear focal point.

I have included the original picture below the Photographic Art so you can see what Fractalius does. I even tell you at the bottom of the original picture what I didn’t like about it so you can see my thought process.

My favorites are #10, #1, #3, and #5.

1Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Didn’t like all the bright spots at the left.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

2Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Didn’t like the background; too out of focus
and the purple doesn’t go with the blue.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



Background too glary.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



Dying leaves at left.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



Too many partial flowers.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

6Alyssum and begonia

Alyssum and begonia

Too many background patterns.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



A mound of white flowers. Uninspiring.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



Background too busy;
busy focal points should not have busy backgrounds.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



Almost a perfect example of symmetry…. almost.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



Again, busy focal point with busy background.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Picture of the Moment (12-20-14)

Picture of the Moment

I had to travel quite a ways yesterday looking for San Diego Historical Landmark #10.

I’m not sure I found it because there’s no good description of where it is…. you’ll just have to wait….

I did get some great pictures going to and from, like this one of a glider taking off from the cliffs at the Torrey Pines Glider Port with downtown La Jolla in the background:

Torrey Pines Glider Port in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

When blogging friends come to visit

Picture of the Moment

I love it when blogging friends call to tell me they are in town and actually want to meet me!

Petals Daye and Russel Ray

That’s me on the right, just in case you didn’t know.

On the left, though, is Kelly, also known as Petals Daye, also known as Boomdeeadda.

Kelly is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We got together yesterday for 90 minutes and had a great time. She even brought me a little Canadian gift (that’s the red box in my hand). I heard from Jim that it was something edible but I wouldn’t know because by the time Jim finished telling me what was in the box, the box was empty.

Ah, well.

Thanks for a wonderful 90 minutes, Kelly!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for a unique gift for Christmas?

Rainbow quintuplet

Picture of the Moment

I went to Old Town San Diego this morning at 6:00. Old Town is coming up very quickly in my San Diego Historical Landmark series and since I don’t like people in my pictures, I thought this morning would be a good time to get pictures without people in them.

Old Town is about ten miles from me, and halfway through the drive it started raining, hard, even though the part of the sky I could see was partly cloudy with three huge rainbows.

I tried to get a good picture but it’s difficult to do when you’re driving 65 mph in the rain. Without focusing I was pointing the camera and clicking. I got only two decent pictures, neither of them worth writing home about but certainly good enough for blogging:



Photographic Art logo

I suspect many of you see much better rainbow pictures on a daily basis. Here in San Diego we get excited if we see rain, much less rainbows!

I searched Google to see if there were any good pictures of the rainbow trio. Not a one. Then it occurred to me: It was 6:00 in the morning! No one except me was up! I could claim it was a rainbow quintuplet, get busy in Photoshop, post a rainbow quintuplet on Facebook, and probably no one would question it……..LOL

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for a unique gift for Christmas?