Do we owe nature more truth in photography?

On a recent morning visit to Torrey Pines (State Natural Reserve) I saw a group of three young people walk out towards a little vista point. Upon reaching the vista point, the girl in the group mechanically said “wow” (without any audible punctuation mark, more like a half-yawn), and they turned around and walked back. They’re standing at one of the last places with somewhat intact maritime chaparral, and home of the rarest pine tree in the United States, and that was it? 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

Save the Carrizo Plain

I’ve previously mentioned the current threat to 22 precious national monuments and 5 marine national monuments which are “under review” after a presidential executive order. I am particularly passionate about saving the Carrizo Plain, and making sure that it remains protected in its entirety. I’ve been there multiple times and this vast, empty and unspoiled landscape is such a unique and special place. So I’m trying to focus my attention and efforts on preserving this particular National Monument. Continue reading

On the cover of Sunset!

Today while grocery shopping I spotted a Sunset (magazine) special “Summer Trips” and thought “Hey, I have a quite similar photo from Crater Lake!” – then I looked again, and recognized the distinct shape of the cloud in the distance. “Is this my photo?!” I thought and looked inside for the front cover photo credit. Continue reading

Not the March Madness?


March was a busy month. Spring, green and wildflowers everywhere, running creeks, filled ponds and vernal pools! Lots of running around (not really in all the wrong places though;-) and all that while I’m preparing a Lightroom class for the San Diego Photo Club, and my “photographic hike from coast to crest” for the San Dieguito River Park as well. Continue reading

Chaparral Clematis (3 photos)

Last Sunday I joined a docent-led hike at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (SMER) – an open space that is normally closed to the public. Volunteers who lead hikes make it possible to see and experience this wonderful place. The hike went from the reserve’s south entrance down into Temecula Canyon, where Santa Margarita River flows nicely at the moment. Continue reading