Posts that contain technical notes about photography are filed in this category. This can be anything technical really – cameras, lenses, software, post processing, etc.

The section with the technical bits may not be placed very prominently, I try to add it at the end of the post for those who are really interested in it – the word “Tech” or “Tech Notes” will appear as a heading at the start of the paragraph.

A Monsoon Morning

The Laguna Crest is a terrific location for sunrise photos – the road that runs more or less along it is called Sunrise Highway for a reason: the views to the east from the road are largely unobstructed already, and even better from the Pacific Crest trail, which contours the landscape just before it drops into the desert here. The obstacle from going there more often for sunrise photos is of course the inertia of the human body in the early morning – in particular, my body. :-P Continue reading

Red on Black

While hiking with Shuwen at Torrey Pines Extension to show her the Delphinium cardinale (Scarlet Larkspur) in bloom, I remembered a technique I had not used in a long time – “killing the ambient light” with a fast shutter speed and a small aperture (high f-stop number) and then use flash to illuminate (and thus, isolate) the foreground subject. Continue reading

Scarlet Larkspur (Delphinium cardinale)

A brief online conversation among fellow Chaparralians made me aware of the Scarlet Larkspur (Delphinium cardinale, also called Cardinal Larkspur) bloom at Torrey Pines Extension. Thankfully, we got a little break from the intensive heatwave that grilled Southern California early in the week, and a nice marine layer kept things cool – and the light nice and even, just the way I like it best for flower macros. :-) Continue reading

“Washed out” look in Lightroom

The “washed out” look for photos has been popularized by the barrage of “retro” filters in apps like HipstaMatic or Instagram (think of the “Willow” filter for black & whites). With “washed out” I mean photos where true black has been eliminated (it can of course be used for white as well). This is simply a compression of the tones in the darkest areas of the image, eliminating detail – the lack of detail and added brightness makes these areas look “washed out.” Continue reading

Starry Night at Laguna Meadows (3 photos)

Santa Ana weather is pretty annoying if you ask me – clear blue skies and hot, dry winds. Not exactly any photographer’s favorite I guess, but at night the winds die down, temperatures drop, and the dry air brings exceptionally clear skies that are pretty good for night time photography. Continue reading

Coulter’s Snapdragon (3 photos)

Perhaps due to the “super” blooms at Anza Borrego, Carrizo Plain and elsewhere this year (thanks to California’s wet winter), I’m looking at our local flora with a more elevated sense of curiosity than during regular walks in the springtime. Because maybe, just maybe, there’s a flower or plant out this year that I haven’t seen before? Continue reading

Blue Hour at the Tabletops (4 photos)

I hadn’t been to South Cardiff State Beach and the tide pools of Tabletop Reef in quite a while. Or rather, the coast in general. It had been 6 weeks, and I began to feel a certain longing for the ocean. I thought that’s interesting – I lived in Germany for 40 years, and I’ve been on “beach vacations” in Italy, Greece and Turkey in the past, but I never felt that I actually missed the ocean.

Continue reading

West Side Road

West Side “Road” is a hiking trail on Cleveland National Forest land that starts at the very end of the San Diego Country Estates area near Ramona. It’s very close to the super-popular Cedar Creek Falls trailhead – and receives very little attention. Continue reading

Long Exposures at Tabletop Reef (2 photos)

I’m close to finishing the culling/editing and processing of my photos from December (three days with photo activities left). Here are two photos from a morning outing to the familiar tide pools at Tabletop Reef. Continue reading