Newport Beach, CA – Pier

Newport Pier HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

Here is version two of the Newport Beach Pier in HDR.  This version is looking back at the beach away from the ocean.

Here is some info from the web: Newport Pier is one of several prominent piers in Newport Beach. From this wooden structure you can look south to see the Balboa Pier, the second major pier in the OC city. Newport Pier, historically known as McFadden’s Wharf, is where the Dory Fishermen dock their dory boats and bring in their catch of the day, selling them to the public.

The Newport Pier is ideal for strolling and features a lifeguard station at its base, several rows of shops and restaurants, several hotels, lots of beach rental houses, a bicycle path, public restrooms, a ready teller machine, and a huge parking lot where you put coins in the individual pay meters and pay to park. The pier overlooks a beautiful sand beach and series of jetties  where tourists like to climb the rocks, and surfers head out to catch waves. On the pier is a sushi and fish restaurant with two floors for dining. The upper deck views offer splendid ocean dining.

When visiting Newport Beach’s peninsula that travels along Newport Boulevard, make this pier your first stop. You can grab a bit at Charlie’s Chili, Sharkeez, Il Gelato, Il Farnio other options. Then go for a relaxing stroll on the Newport Pier where dolphins and occasionally whales are observed.

This shot was taken on a tripod, cable release with 5 exposures post processed in Photomatix.  Enjoy!

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Orlando, FL – Disney World

Disney World - Dancing Broomsticks

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

What kid or adult does not like Disney?  This was taken a year or so ago at the Disney World Parade along main street.  They are the dancing broomsticks or are they mops?   One thing they are is colorful!  Imagine dancing the street in that costume during the summer!   Whew!!  Kudos to those guys and gals.

This parade during the day or nite is so special.  It will bring a smile to you face no matter what age you are!  Grab a seat and watch all the characters walk on by…and you might even see Mickey Mouse!

Praying Mantis (HDR)

Mantis HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

Here is a cut little guy that posed for me in my backyard one day.   Praying Mantis are great subjects as they stand very still!  He was cool and let me set up my camera and tripod with a nice telephoto zoom!  The lens was probably only seven inches away as he looked at what I was doing.

I was not sure how an insect would  look as an HDR.  One great idea I have would be to shoot a butterfly in HDR…but they move a little too much…so it may be difficult.   But this Mantis came out solid!   Here is some info on these amazing insects: Mantodea or mantises is an order of insects which contains approximately 2,200 species in 9 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. Historically, the term “mantid” was used to refer to any member of the order because for most of the past century, only one family was recognized within the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other eight recently-established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.), and the term “mantises” should be used when referring to the entire order. A colloquial name for the order is “praying mantises”, because of the typical “prayer-like” stance, although the term is often misspelled as “preying mantis” since mantises are notoriously predatory. The word mantis is Greek for “prophet” or “fortune teller”. In Europe, the name “praying mantis” refers to only a single species, Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the orders Isoptera(termites) and Blattodea (cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder. They are sometimes confused with phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.

What was cool about this guy is that he must have had some babies recently as soon as we saw him, a little baby mantis came into our house when the door opened the next day!…so cute!  He was afraid of us yet curious.  I love when their heads turn as they watch you move…such beautiful insects!

San Diego, CA – Mission Bay (Infrared)

SD IR Boats

NIKON D70S (Modified by LifePixel), Nikon 18-200 VR, Silver Efex Pro

When we recently stayed in Mission Bay.  I took a morning stroll with my daughter and took this shot near the hotel.   I am laways looking for new subjects for IR…why not boats?  This one had some Palm Trees in the background, so I thought…might work well!  I took the shot and post processed in CS4 and added the black and white filter with Silver Efex Pro.

MissionBay was fun…here is some info form the web: Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the country, consisting of 4,235 acres, approximately 46% land and 54% water. The park offers a wide range of recreational activities including paths for walking and jogging, and playgrounds for children. It is one of San Diego’s most popular locations to fly a kite, picnic or sail a model yacht. Fire rings make it possible to cook out and stay warm. Mission Bay Park also offers a variety of free opportunities to the public such as professional volleyball and Over-the-Line sporting events. Annual attendance in the park is estimated at 15 million.

It is located only 5 miles north of San Diego and easy to get to…right off the Route 5 highway!  Always nice and sunny in San Diego!  Enjoy!

NEWS: Published in Texas Monthly (Oct 2009 issue)

Bat Photo mag

The October 2009 issue is now out on news stands.  My photo is located in the “Best of Austin” section.  The Bats of Austin.  I have been published before, but this might be the highest publication magazine yet.   Not bad for $100.00 payment!  Thanks Texas Monthly!  Hope to be published again soon!  Thats why we take photos…to be noticed!  Enjoy!

Paris, France – Elevation of the Maritime Fountain

Paris Fountain

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Water fountains at night are special subjects for photography!    This was taken in Paris, France just down the street from the Arc De Triomphe and the Louvre.   I had photographed this during the day, but the night shots are where its at!  I had posted an earlier shot of this fountain…close up in HDR.  This is a more panned out shot.

It was taken with a 2 seconds exposure in order to give the water that flowing effect.  You can see the light from the Blue Eiffel Tower glowing in the upper section in the background.    On my next trip back, I will surely spend a little more time at fountains during the evening hours!  Enjoy!

Madrid, Spain – Parroquia San Manuel y San Benito

Madrid, Spain

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

One of the most lovely cities in the world is Madrid, Spain.  The culture and people are just so nice!  Here is some info on Madrid from the web: Madrid  is the capital and largest city of Spain. It is the third-most populous municipality in the European Union after Greater London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-most populous city by urban area in the European Union after Paris and London.

The city is located on the river Manzanares in the centre of both the country and the Community of Madrid (which comprises the city of Madrid, its conurbation and extended suburbs and villages); this community is bordered by the autonomous communities of Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha. As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political centre of Spain.

I had an afternoon to walk the city and it was amazing!  This photo is one of the beautiful churches in the city called Parroquia San Manuel y San Benito….which means the Parish Church of St. Immanuel and St. Benedict.  This neo-Byzantine style building was projected in 1902 by architect Fernando Arbós Tremanti (1840-1926) and built between 1902 and 1910.

I have yet to explore Spain, but from what I have seen in Madrid, places like Barcelona are a must!  Hasta La Vista Madrid!