Palm Springs, CA – Forever Marilyn


From the wonderful and relaxing Palm Springs, CA you can find the amazing statue of Marilyn Monroe in her famous pose. Some info from the web:

The 26-foot-tall 34,000 pound sculpture manufactured in New Jersey of painted stainless steel and aluminum, is a super-sized sculptural tribute to Marilyn Monroe’s iconic scene from Billy Wilder’s 1955 infidelity comedy, The Seven-Year Itch, with the figure imitating the instant that a blast of air raises her dress. It was built in New Jersey before being transported to Pioneer Court, part of the Magnificent Mile section of Michigan Avenue, Chicago. In May 2012, Forever Marilyn was moved from Pioneer Court to Palm Springs, California. It is now located in downtown on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way.

If you live or are visiting Palm Springs…go see it soon…I hear it is there only until June 2013. Next stop…unknown.

Palm Springs, CA – Windmill Energy


When you drive out to Palm Springs, CA from Los Angeles you can find a sea of Windmills on the side of the highway (Route 10). You can even take a tour if you are interested! Here is quite interesting info from the web…

Increasingly popular as alternative sources of energy, wind turbine generators are a type of windmill that produces electricity by harnessing the wind. Wind turbine generators are much less harmful to the environment than burning fossil fuels, but they do require average wind speeds of at least 21 km/h (13 mph). The largest of these windmills stands 150 feet tall with blades half the legend of a football field. The compartments at the top containing the generator, hub and gearbox weigh 30,000 to 45,000 pounds.

A wind turbine’s cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts – the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month. Almost all of the currently installed wind electric generation capacity is in California. The high-tech megatowers are engineered in cooperation with NASA and nursed by federal and state subsidies. This wind farm on the San Gorgonio Mountain Pass in the San Bernadino Mountains contains more than 4000 separate windmills and provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley.

Palm Springs, CA – Golf Time!

I love to watch and play sports. But one sport unfortunately I have no time for is golf.  I get to play once a year for a charity event…I am not good at all.  My short game is decent, but driving is my worst area.  If you cant get off the tee properly..might as well forget it!  One day when I am retired I will try to master this game.  In the meantime, I will stick with basketball and tennis!    During our last visit to Palm Springs I went out early in the AM and grabbed some IR shots.  While walking back to the hotel around 8 AM…I passed a golf course and saw these people warming up before they golfed for the day.  Just a simple classic golf shot…I do like that you can see the guy with the hat’s golf ball in mid flight!   If you are a fan of golf…tough not to travel to Palm Springs and golf all day and hit the pool and restaurants at nite!  Palm Springs is all about relaxing!  Typically you can finish up your golf game in the afternoon around “Fore!”.  LOL

Palm Springs, CA – Palm Trees (Infrared)

At this time in many places of the world….we are wishing for spring to arrive!  This winter has been tough!  Even in the South!  Here is an Infrared photo of some palm trees from the lovely Palm Springs, CA!  How I wish I was there right now!  Stay warm and enjoy!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 50.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/60 sec
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, ,Silver Efex Pro, onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6, texture

Roger Federer in HDR

In honor of the French Open going on right now…here is Mr. Roger Federer in HDR (from Palm Springs, CA).  Its a long holiday weekend in the US…and I will be watching lots of tennis from Paris.  If you are a fan…you gotta be routing for another Nadal vs Federer final.  Hope it happens.   Right now I consider Roger the best player ever in tennis.  Rafa Nadal has a chance to unseat him one day…but must stay healthy.   Good luck to Roger this week!  Oh yes…and to my favorite Maria Sharapova as well!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 112.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/1600 – Single RAW HDR  (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

Palm Springs, CA – Maria Sharapova

This photo is from last year at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA (Palm Springs).  This tournament is going on right now.  We miss not being there!  As big tennis fans, this to me is the best tournament to attend for fans all year.  Great weather, beautiful location and great players to see!   This shot was of Maria Sharapova’s practice session last year.    She was just coming back from her shoulder surgery.  It is still an issue for her. We watched her last nite vs. Zheng.  Her serve and metal game is a big mess.  She lost.   Sorry Maria!

She is my favorite player on the women’s side.  Her drive and competitiveness is tops in my book!  I hope she can overcome her issues and get back to the top.  She has the ability.  Like the pic above, the ball is in her hand! Sports are a BIG percentage mental.  If your mind has issues, your game (no matter what sport) will falter.

As for the photo….I love to watch the practice sessions at Indian Wells!  You get so close to the best tennis players in the world.  Sometimes they walk among the crowds!   Bust out a big fast lens and you can get some great shots!  We hope to get back to this tournament next year!!!   I think it is 85 degrees there today?  NICE!!  Time to book a flight!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8
  • Setting: Manual Mode
  • Focal Length: 240.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/1600 sec
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4

Palm Springs, California (HDR)

Palm Springs CA HDR

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

Summer is coming to an end as school is starting all over the US soon.  So why not post a nice relaxing picture form Palm Springs (Indian Wells), CA!   This is one of a series I shot this morning back in March…including my favorite IR shot to date!  Now with this shot, I felt that a realistic HDR might be better.   I turned down the strength to make it more realistic while still having a HDR feel to it.   I only use a realistic HDR process around 5% of the time, but when its used, its very nice.  Almost looks like a standard photo….with a little touch to it!    But with HDR’s the fun part is your can make it look however you wish!  Realistic or artistic!   Is it really fall soon?  Cold weather is too realistic for me!!

Maria Sharapova – Palm Springs, CA

Sharapova 07 copy

NIKON D300, Nikon 70-200 VR, TC-14EII Teleconverter

One of our favorite sports is tennis.   Not only to play, but also to watch.   As it is the best time of year for tennis – the French Open and Wimbledon are coming up in the next few weeks.   My favorite women’s tennis player is Maria Sharapova.   She has beauty and a drive to win unlike any other player I have ever seen.   That winning attitude has made her go far in life.   She had been injured over the past year and missed alot of action.   We were lucky to see her only tournment play this year in Indian Wells.  She is now back playing this past week in Poland and I’m sure will regain her form soon!  

Our family tries to go to a match every year.   This past year we went to the Indian Wells (Palm Springs, CA) tournament in March.   Per my previous post on Rafael Nadal…this is the best tournament to visit!  Beautiful Palm Springs in March is lovely!   Not only to you get close to the players, but you can watch them practive from only a few feet away!   I had rented through LensRentals.com a dream lens of mine – the Nikon 18-200 VR F/2.8.   This lens was amazing!  What does amazing cost??  $1900.00 just for this lens.   But what it can do blew me away.   I added a teleconverter to the lens and this added another 100mm of action to my camera.  As you can tell by the picture above…so close!  I was about 30 feet away from Sharapova to get this shot.

It was my first time shooting with such a big lens and using it in conjunction with sports.  So I had a learning process.  This shot is solid, but needs a little EV+ kick.  I will learn next time to work better with shadows.  I also took this hand held.  With so many people around it was difficult to manuever such a lens.  If you click on the link above you can see how big this lens is.  I’d estimate with my camera body, teleconverter, lens and the hood – the length of this outfit was around 18-20 inches!  Wow!  I overheard a few people around me say “that guy is getting great shots!”  Hopefully I will get this lens this year.  If not, I may rent it again for some baseball action.

We met Sharapova later the next day.  She was signing autographs and my 4 year old gave her a flower and Maria thanked her signed a poster for her and laughed  “hey isnt this poster bigger than you?”  Thank you to Maria…she was so nice to us!    Hope you think this photo is an “Ace”!

Palm Springs, CA IR (Infrared)

Palm Springs IR #2

NIKON D70S ( Life Pixel Modified Infrared), Nikon 18-70, Lightroom 2.0

I was having fun post processing my recent IR photos.  I wanted to see if I could get different color looks.  This is version 2 of the blue hue version post I did earlier.  That version is cool…this one is HOT!  LOL  A nice effect!  The cool version I post processed in CS3.  This hot one was post processed in Lightroom 2.0.  I just played with the hues and this is what I came out with.  I was reading the book by David Busch “Digital Infrared Pro Secrets”  (nice read for IR introduction) and I see all the different styles of photos included and it makes me want to improve my post processing skills.  I dont think he had any scoops on the style above, that was my own experimentation.  Still lots to learn…but it sure is fun!  Hope you enjoy!  Heading out today for a Texas Wildflower hunt…hope to have some pics in a day or so!   (Life Pixel IR Conversion Web Site)

Peter Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D70S – Converted to IR (LifePixel)
Tripod using Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ball Head
Really Right Stuff Contest Page: Water Photo Contest