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

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23 thoughts on “The Del Mar Castle near San Diego, California

  1. SmallHouseBigGarden

    I like your plan!
    One of my prized possessions is a sketch of the old Victorian house (sadly, lost to foreclosure) where I brought up my kids. It looked wonderful in a place of prominence on the staircase landing the whole time we lived there.
    When I moved to Florida, one of my sons really wanted it and now it hangs in HIS house. I imagine it will be passed to future generations of Mulherns as a little piece of family history..
    Your work is quite beautiful, and I’m sure the homeowners you target will be delighted and buy, buy, buy! 🙂
    Good Luck with this new venture…and keep us posted about it!


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Exactly! My wise old grandmother had a large water color of the house she grew up in hanging in the hallway. Once Google really starts indexing me at Fine Art America, all sorts of people might be able to find the home they grew up in!


  2. babso2you

    Good plan! I hope that it works for you! From the panoramic photo one can really see where the wind comes from on this property by the junipers in the front! Cool photo! Would love to see what the inside looks like!


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I remember my first trip to California in the summer of 1973. I was amazed at all the trees everywhere that grew lopsided in response to the winds. In South Texas, the only winds we ever got were hurricanes, and they simply blew the trees down!


  3. tchistorygal

    You’ve changed things up quite a bit while I’ve been busy with my conference. This is great. I have a few things on Fine Art America, but I am not sure that I am making art. That and I haven’t done anything new in a very long time. It’s good to visit you again. Hope things are going well in your lives. 🙂


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  6. philipfontana

    Russel Ray!!! Del Mar Castle is a beauty!!! How van I say thank you, thank you, thank you for all your time of recent looking at so many of my posts on “Excuse Us…” & ALL your great comments & experiences! Love that you know the beach at Delaware so well! Love the story of growing up at your granddad’s old house. –The steins!!! –Your draft story!!! And then your real estate & vast “house experience” at all levels! Please, really, we are interested in your opinion as to whether or not we should have our 70% old electric wiring replaced or sell “as is.” The electric is totally functional with new wiring for all appliances. And the electrical inspector in town says it is perfectly safe. The issue is a buyer getting a mortgage as well as home owners insurance with a house inspector who will fail the house on the old electric wiring. Thanks! Phil


  7. Gypsy Bev

    Beautiful pictures. I’m wondering how you could produce this picture with so many pixels? Is it your camera or do you have a special program you use? We sometimes want pictures enlarged to billboard size but the pixel count is too low. Any secrets you can share?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      My camera is a Canon 760d. Its pictures are 6000 pixels on the long side by 4000 pixels on the short side. The panorama was created using the Photomerge function in Photoshop and stitching many pictures together. To use even numbers for simplicity, presume 40 pictures, 20 wide by 2 tall. Presume there is an overlap of 1000 pixels, so 20 pictures wide times 4,000 pixels for each picture equals 80,000 pixels. At the default of 72 ppi, that’s 1,111 inches wide.

      Resolution is very easy to change in Photoshop if you need high resolution. When I’m publishing a book, I use 600 ppi pictures for foreign publishers and 300 ppi pictures for U.S./Canada publishers. For printing on photographic paper, I use 300 ppi. For large posters, metal, acrylic, and canvas products, I use 100 ppi.

      For your billboards, the pixel count is too low only if you are standing just feet from the billboard. The father away you are from the billboard, like in a car cruising by, the lower the resolution you can get away with. I’d still probably use at least 100 ppi, but it’s easy to go to 300 or 600 ppi, or even higher. I have done 1200 ppi once but it was very expensive because it uses a lot (!) of ink.

      Liked by 1 person


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