Tag Archives: canon 550d

I cannot be trusted

How I Did It

I first started taking pictures in sixth grade when the principal, Miss Gustafson, asked for a volunteer photographer. She explained that the volunteer photographer would get in free to all sporting events, and the rest is history.

Even though I was using a Canon SLR in sixth grade, my first pictures really were just snapshots of the sports team and crowds.

In high school and college, my photography became more serious. I endeavored to understand the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Then throw in there film speed, film type, lenses, filters, and even film processing methods.

After college, I tried to develop a photographer’s eye for composition. Sometimes that meant sitting in the same spot for several hours waiting for just the right combination of things—light, weather, people (or lack thereof), etc. Sometimes I would take a picture and then go back several times over the next weeks and months, hoping to get a better picture.

Them days are gone………………………..

In today’s world of Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom, Corel Paintshop Pro, and many other digital photo software editing programs, I think I have come full circle, back to taking snapshots with my Canon 550D. I’m more interested in getting the picture and then making something out of it when I get back home. I think someone calls it “Photographic Art.”

For example, here’s a picture of two pigs sleeping at the San Diego County Fair:

Two pigs sleeping

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s a cute picture, but I thought it could be better if I removed the bars from their pen, not to mention the food dish and the butt of the black pig in the other pen. I even thought about that while at the Fair because I took a picture of sawdust which I thought would be good to replace the bars with:

Sawdust

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

First I removed some sawdust from the pigs, as well as a few pigskin imperfections, by simple cloning, which Photoshop makes real easy. I cloned out some feathers from on top of the sawdust as well.

Then I masked the bars and deleted them. That left me with a huge blank space behind the pigs’ heads, but Photoshop also makes it pretty easy to insert just about anything into a picture.

Here is the result:

Two pigs sleeping

Isn’t it a lot better picture without the bars in there?

Lets you focus on the two pigs, especially the smiling pig, obviously in the midst of sweet dreams.

What you see at Russel Ray Photos might not be what you get. I just can’t be trusted.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift? Check out Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pansy

Friday Flower Fiesta — #9 (March 23, 2012)

Friday Flower Fiesta

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I got into trouble at Walmart today. I stopped to get some Shedd’s Spread after my home inspection. As usual, I always enter and leave through the gardening center. They were particularly well stocked today with some beautiful flowers. I decided to take the Shedd’s Spread to the car, get my Canon 550D, and take a couple of pictures of the columbines and pansies. Turns out that you are not supposed to take pictures inside Walmart. I asked how they monitored all of the smart phones with cameras. No answer. Of course, I had a big, bad, professional DSLR….

Picture 1 — ColumbineColumbine

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 2 — ColumbineColumbine

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 3 — ColumbineColumbine

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 4 — PansyPansy

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 5 — Pansy Pansy

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 6 — Pansy Pansy

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Columbines and pansies are two of my favorite flowers, definitely in my
Top 10. I was surprised to see so many pansies in the garden center since they really are a winter plant here in San Diego.

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All pictures taken by Russel Ray with a Canon 550D camera and a Canon
55-250mm lens. Post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta, and picture framing was done in Corel Draw X6.

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

House at the University of California San Diego

A challenge to all my real estate friends: List this house!

Ron and Alexandra Seigel of Napa Consultants in Santa Barbara, CaliforniaThis post is dedicated to Ron and Alexandra Seigel, luxury real estate marketing consultants and owners of Napa Consultants in Santa Barbara, California. I have known Ron and Alexandra for a few years through a real estate professional networking site. I highly recommend them for anyone needing luxury real estate marketing services anywhere in the world, not just in Santa Barbara or California.

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I did a post on March 2 about Dr. Seuss and the Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), I was reminded that there are lots of picture-taking opportunities on the UCSD campus. It ranks probably as the quirkiest campus I’ve ever visited, and I’ve been to five or six hundred college and university campuses, maybe more.

An addition to campus late last year was a house. It seems to be a standard house, until you look at where it’s located. Is this an example of the old real estate adage: “Location, location, location.”

I want all my real estate friends to come up with their best listing presentation for this fine piece of Southern California real estate:

House at the University of California San Diego

House at the University of California San Diego

House at the University of California San Diego

House at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That house sits on top of the Irwin & Joan Jacobs School of Engineering building, which I think is six stories tall. Irwin Jacobs is a founder and former chairman of Qualcomm, the company that makes much of the stuff that lets your mobile phone do what it does….. blame him.

I went over to the Geisel Library, sixth floor, to get one more picture:

House at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Related posts:
» The Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego
» The Sun God of the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All pictures taken by Russel Ray using a Canon 550D camera and a Canon 55-250mm lens. Picture frames from Corel PaintShop Pro X4.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Sun God at the University of California San Diego

The Sun God of the University of California San Diego

Robert Gilbert, real estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Katy, TexasThis post is dedicated to Robert Gilbert, a real estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Katy, Texas. I have known Robert for a few years through a real estate professional networking site. I highly recommend Robert for anyone needing real estate services in Katy, Texas, just west of Houston.

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I did a post on March 2 about Dr. Seuss and the Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), I was reminded that there are lots of picture-taking opportunities on the UCSD campus. Off I went yesterday, and my next few posts will be of some of them.

UCSD is a rather young university, having been founded in 1958. In the ensuing 50+ years it has risen to be a major public university, particularly strong in the sciences, particularly engineering and the health sciences, and annually ranking in the Top 10 of research universities ranked by research funds that the University brings in from outside sources.

Its 2,141-acre campus was built in the midst of a eucalyptus grove overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Blacks Beach, a world-renowned Naturist beach. Unfortunately (in my view), much of the eucalyptus grove has been destroyed over the years in the name of progress, i.e., constructing more buildings on campus to meet the needs of a population comprising 1,205 faculty members, including six Nobel Laureates, and 29,000+ students.

There are many unique buildings on campus, as well as many works of public art, of which the best known is the Sun God:

Sun God at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sun God, by Niki de Sant Phalle of Paris, France, was the first sculpture commissioned for the campus by the Stuart Collection. It was installed on the campus on January 27, 1983. The sculpture itself is 14 feet tall, constructed of fiberglass, and sits on top of a concrete arched base that is 15 feet tall. No public monies were spent on the sculpture; it was funded entirely by the Stuart Foundation of San Francisco.

According to then-Stuart Collection Director Mary Beebe, “[Sun God] appears to have just landed there out of some fantasy world. It’s a friendly and embracing bird, with mythological and primordial overtones. ‘Sun God’ is very colorful, exuberant and certainly joyous, but with a slightly awesome edge.”

Sun God at the University of California San Diego

Sun God at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Related posts:
     » The Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All pictures taken by Russel Ray using a Canon 550D camera and a Canon 55-250mm lens. Picture frames from Corel PaintShop Pro X4.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Snow in San Diego!

In the eleven years that I have been making a living doing home inspections I have only had to do an inspection in the rain seven times. Interestingly, I’ve done two inspections in the snow, both right here in San Diego County.

Yesterday my inspection was out in Cuyamaca, a great retreat 6,000 feet above sea level where you can go camping, birding, boating, fishing, hiking….

Location of Cuyamaca, California

It snowed in the East County mountains two nights ago, with some areas receiving up to eleven inches of snow. Snow in the mountains means that the population of the City of San Diego drops to about 600,000 at times while the other 600,000 head to the mountains to play in the snow. I’m not one of them. I’m afraid that the heater in my car will stop working as soon as it sees snow…. Car’s way of punishing me for taking it out in the cold.

Cuyamaca is just 60 miles from downtown San Diego. Theoretically, that’s a one-hour drive. On any given snow day, though, that drive could take you three or four hours, due mostly to traffic on those winding two-lane mountain roads.

Following are a few snow pictures from yesterday’s journey to Cuyamaca.

The main road, State Highway 79, is just a two-lane winding road with lots of switchbacks:

Two-lane winding mountain road to Cuyamaca

There is no stopping on most of the road but where stopping and parking is allowed, it’s full on snow days:

Parking areas are full on snow days

When you find a line of empty cars, just look off to the side of the road in the snow to find the people who have abandoned their cars:

People playing in the snow

I couldn’t stop on the way out because I had a schedule to keep. Here’s the house that I inspected, except that I disclaimed the roof:

House in the snow

Once work is done, it’s time to play. First, go exploring the small roads through the neighborhood:

Road through the forested neighborhood

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a snowman:

Snowman

 On a snow day, the boats are docked, waiting for warmer weather:

Not too many boaters out today

The fields look beautiful in their white dress:

Field of snow

Can you feel sorry for a rock? This one looks cold:

Snow-covered rock

I wasn’t looking for birds, but I did find quite a few, including this Canada goose looking lost and forlorn, and speaking his mind about the snow:

Canada goose speaking his mind about the snow

Will Hamm, real estate agent in Aurora, ColoradoThis post is dedicated to Will Hamm, a real estate agent with Cornerstone Homes/Metro Brokers Marina Square in Denver, Colorado. I have known Will for a couple of years through a real estate professional networking site. I highly recommend him for anyone needing real estate services in the Denver, Colorado, area.

All pictures taken by Russel Ray using a Canon 550D camera and a 55-250mm Canon lens.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Shoebill at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

The shoebill: Some birds just look weird

I had a home inspection up in Escondido today, and when I’m in that area I always try to make it by the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park for a little while. Safari Park comprises about 1,800 acres, eighteen times larger than the San Diego Zoo. That makes it feasible to have some animals that require more room to roam than what the Zoo can provide.

The mountains are bigger….

The lakes are bigger….

The gardens are bigger….

Some of the birds are bigger:

Shoebill at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

Shoebill at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

That’s a shoebill (Balaeniceps rex), named for its massive shoe-like bill:

Shoebill at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

I don’t have any shoes like that, but it does remind me of those wooden shoes that they wear in Holland.

The shoebill gets up to 59 inches tall, weighs up to 15 pounds, and has a wing span up to 100 inches. It is indigenous to tropical swamps in east Africa.

Known to ancient Egyptians, the shoebill was not classified until the 19th century when the scientific community got some live birds. Originally it was classified with the storks but recent DNA studies indicate that it is more closely related to pelicans. Some ornithologists consider the shoebill to be the missing link between pelicans and storks.

Habitat destruction and hunting have resulted in the shoebill being listed as a vulnerable species.

There are two shoebills at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. Check out the look that this one is giving me:

Shoebill at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

Belinda SpillmanThis post is dedicated to Belinda Spillman, a real estate agent with Cornerstone Homes/Metro Brokers Marina Square in Aurora, Colorado. I have known Belinda for a couple of years through significant interaction on the Internet at a real estate professional networking site. I highly recommend her for anyone needing real estate services in the Denver, Colorado, area.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

I went out birdwatching and came home with these….

Picture of the momentI went out birdwatching early yesterday morning with the San Diego Beginning Birders.

Although I got lots of good bird pictures (San Diego: A bird-lover’s paradise), I also came home with pictures of some of our fine, furry, four-legged friends.

Fine, furry, four-legged friends (dogs!)

Fine, furry, four-legged friends (dogs!)

Fine, furry, four-legged friends (dogs!)

Fine, furry, four-legged friends (dogs!)

I particularly like the last picture of the dog resting on the picnic table waiting for his master to return. Master had gone to the edge of the woods to spread some bread for the birds.

Find other posts in my Picture of the Moment series by clicking on the logo at the upper right.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat