Category Archives: Photographic Art

Does this still life qualify public art?

I live in my own little world

Scott #745, Crater Lake National ParkMany hundreds of years ago when I was but a child growing up in Brigham City, Utah, I joined the Cub Scouts. It was there that I took up philately and became a philatelist, a stamp collector. Eventually I went on to study philately, specifically Railroad Post Office history. It was those first few years of simply collecting stamps from the United States that, I believe, helped me develop a critical eye for art because postage stamps themselves are little works of art.

When I got to high school, I took an art appreciation class. Turns out that I didn’t really have an appreciation for art, especially still life. I thought that a painting or picture of a bunch of bananas sitting in an ugly bowl on an ugly table wasn’t art.

But look at my idea of still life 43 years later:

Still life

Does this still life qualify as public art? Asking for a friend.

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Friday Flower Fiesta (12-8-17)—San Diego Botanic Garden in December

Friday Flower Fiesta

I like to take my photographs and kind of mess them up in Photoshop and various other programs so that they don’t look like photographs anymore. That means I’m always on the lookout for new digital photo editing programs. One I discovered a few days ago is called “Impresso Pro” by a company called JixiPix. They claim to have

a long and lucrative history developing well-known 3D, Video and Multi-Media software, not to mention an industry of iOS and Android apps. Thanks to the response from our users, we have been recognized as one of the top developers from Apple, Mac World, USA Today and other industry leaders.”

Yet they don’t have a page on Wikipedia….

Nonetheless, following are 24 photographs from my December visit to the San Diego Botanic Garden, messed up a little bit in Impresso Pro.

Which one is your favorite?

1 – BromeliadSan Diego Botanic Garden

2 – AgaveSan Diego Botanic Garden

3 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

4San Diego Botanic Garden

5 – PassionflowerSan Diego Botanic Garden

6San Diego Botanic Garden

7San Diego Botanic Garden

8 – Day Lily & visitorSan Diego Botanic Garden

9 – FigSan Diego Botanic Garden

10San Diego Botanic Garden

11 – Bamboo TunnelSan Diego Botanic Garden

12San Diego Botanic Garden

13 – AgavesSan Diego Botanic Garden

14 – BromeliadSan Diego Botanic Garden

15 – Woodpecker treeSan Diego Botanic Garden

16 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

17 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

18San Diego Botanic Garden

19 – CycadSan Diego Botanic Garden

20 – BromeliadSan Diego Botanic Garden

21 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

22 – Shaw’s AgaveSan Diego Botanic Garden

23 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

24 – SunflowersSan Diego Botanic Garden

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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

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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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

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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.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosNeed a unique gift for Christmas?

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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