Category Archives: Photographic Art

Friday Flower Fiesta (11-3-17)—Alternatives to that all-white landscaping of the north

Friday Flower Fiesta

I never have been a fan of that all-white landscaping that they seem to prefer this time in northern states. It’s just boring. I want flowers. Lots of flowers. Like these:

Bird of ParadiseBird of Paradise

ArtichokeArtichoke

Tuberous Begonia
Begonia

Tuberous Begonia
Begonia

Tuberous Begonia
Begonia

Wax-leaf Begonia
Begonia

Cane Begonia
Begonia

Tuberous Begonia
Begonia

Water Lily
Water lily

Lily
Easter lily

All of those started as plain ol’ pictures of flowers. I used Redfield’s Fractalius G4 to add a little extra pizzazz to them. Fractalius in one of my favorite photo editing programs. It’s interesting because it literally has millions of settings.

The bad part is that I could not tell you exactly what setting I used for any of those pictures above. The good part is that I could not tell you exactly what setting I used for any of those pictures, which means they truly are one of a kind because other than telling you that I used Fractalius, I wouldn’t know how to do any of them again.

Fractalius does have a little die which you can click on. It’s like rolling the dice. You don’t know what setting is going to come up. It also has a “last used” setting but I quickly discovered that what I liked for the last picture doesn’t necessarily work for the current picture, so I usually just keep rolling the die until I get something I like.

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

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Flower pictures that don’t look quite so picturery

How I Did It

I got so involved cataloging pictures from the last year and photoshopping some of them that the weekend suddenly has disappeared. Where did it go?

Ah, well, since it’s gone, following are a few flowers that I photoshopped using Topaz Glow, an awesome program if you want to create some really interesting pictures that don’t look like pictures anymore. All of these flowers were growing in one yard. They saw me out their living room window taking pictures and came out to talk to me.

Zinnia, Zinnia, Sunflower daisy, Passionflower.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Sunflower daisy

Passionflower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Fletcher Cove Park & Overlook Park in Solana Beach

Out & About

San Diego County has over 70 miles of coastline.

The first time I made it to San Diego, in 1973, two friends and I were on a timeline, created by yours truly, for visiting the national parks, national forests, national monuments, and cities with a population of more than 100,000 west of the Mississippi River, all in a little over three months.Male lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

So we skipped the beaches, preferring the San Diego Zoo as our San Diego attraction.

My second visit to San Diego County was in May 1992. I drove the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego to Monterey. At the first vista point, I thought to myself, “I could live here some day.”Blacks Beach

Eleven months later I was back in San Diego, to stay.

During my first year living in San Diego, I made it a point to visit all the named beaches in the County.

When Staycations became fashionable with the Great Recession, I decided to revisit San Diego County beaches. One that I visited recently is Fletcher Cove.

Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As you’ll notice, Fletcher Cove Park was not there until 2007. I suspect there was a little beach, as there still is, but this illustrates why it is always worthwhile to go again to somewhere you’ve already been.

Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The park also is known as Pillbox because of its history as a gunnery installation during World War II.

According to sources, “the beach gets wider at low tide but pretty much disappears at high tide.”

Fletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s easy to get to the beach from the park because you simply walk down a sloping ramp, much better than some beaches where you have to play like you’re a goat and traverse the sandstone cliffs that are 200 feet high.

There are public showers and restroom facilities as well as picnic tables and a basketball court located on top of the bluffs next to the Marine Safety Department Headquarters. There also is a nice community center in Overlook Park which is right next door to Fletcher Cove Park. Only an ugly chain link fence separates the two but that is of little consequence since the picnic tables and walkways are full of mosaic beauty; you’ll never notice the fence.

Overlook ParkFletcher Cove Community CenterFletcher Cove Community Center

Fletcher Cove Park Fletcher Cove Park Fletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A train station for the Coaster is three blocks away, Pacific Coast Highway and downtown Solana Beach are a block away.

Lifeguards are on duty year round, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the winter months, and from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the summer months.

Fletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove Park Fletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove ParkFletcher Cove Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosThe parking lot serving both Fletcher Cove Park and Overlook Park is at 111 S. Sierra Avenue in Solana Beach.

Map location of Fletcher Cove Park and Overlook Park in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Where do you get YOUR mail?

Picture of the Moment

I was born and raised in the small farming and ranching community of Kingsville, Texas, population 25,000, give or take.

In front of our house, at the street curb, was a mailbox. I used to wait for the mail carrier to raise the red flag to indicate that we had mail, at which point I’d rush out to get it.

Here in the city, we have cluster boxes. They aren’t nearly as much fun as a curbside mail box.

Fortunately, San Diego County has a great many rural areas, so when I do a home inspection out in those boondocks, I often get to see great mailboxes, like these two:

Mailbox in the boondocks in San Diego County

Mailbox in the boondocks in San Diego County

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you come to San Diego for a visit, don’t neglect the boondocks! There are a lot of great, historic sites to see beginning with State Route 94.

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Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Friday Flower Fiesta (10-30-15)—This is dedicated to the one I love

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On this date in 2008, Jim and I got legally married.

Just 5 days later, 13,743,177 votes were cast in California’s general election.

7,001,084 of those votes were cast in favor of taking away the right of same-gender couples to marry, a right that had only been won six months earlier. Kind of sad when rights have to be won, but throughout history the majority has never been kind to minorities….

After numerous lawsuits and court hearings, the California Supreme Court upheld the removal by the majority of the rights of the minority but also ruled, under the grandfather principle, that the marriages of those who had gotten legally married during that six-month period would remain legal.

Thus, our marriage remained valid and legal.

So today is our seventh wedding anniversary. For the record, we’ve been together since May 26, 1994, and got domestic partnered (such an ugly term) on July 31, 2004.

Today’s Friday Flower Fiesta is dedicated to the one I love (Ouch! Zoey! Quit biting!)

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosFriday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas or a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Happy National Cat Day from Zoey the Cool Cat!

Did you know?

Today is National Cat Day.

Here to help us celebrate is the one and only Zoey the Cool Cat.

img_1101 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1145 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1589 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1592 zoey the cool cat preparing for the weekend img_1619 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1803 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1808 zoey relaxed stamp img_1900 zoey carrier stamp img_1910 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1914 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1941 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1954 zoey the cool cat stamp img_4015 zoey the cool cat sleeping floor stamp img_5257 stamp img_5507 zoey the cool cat stamp img_5621 zoey the cool cat stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Are you happy?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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