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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Riverwalk Christmas, Looking West, in 2011

Hello, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

This is a photo that I took back in November of 2011 after the city of San Antonio first changed the Riverwalk decorations from the old style Christmas lights to the newer LED lights. I stood in the spot on the Riverwalk for about 15 minutes waiting for the right moment to be able to take the bracketed shots (I used -1, 0, and +1 to get this shot) without any people walking through the scene. I think it was definitely well worth the wait!

The photo was taken near the Omni Del Mansion Del Rio (it is the wall on the right side of the photo). You can see one of the bridges that crosses the Riverwalk in the distance, as well as Rita's (and sister restaurant Pizzaritas) on the left side of the photo. I used the newest version of Photomatix to process this shot and honestly, I had to do very little after processing in Photoshop. So if you need a Christmas gift for the photographer in your life, I would recommend Photomatix as it is currently on sale, and it is a great deal!


Riverwalk Christmas, Looking West



Please feel free to click on the photo above to view it in various sizes. Clicking on the photo also takes you to my online gallery, hosted over at smugmug, where you can browse this (and other) photos that I have posted. If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback. Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire. Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chincoteague Island Sunset

Today's photo was taken at the end of a pier on Chincoteague Island, Virginia in July of this year during a weekend trip to the beach. The pier was a shared pier between the hotel that we stayed at and a set of vacation homes. This was, by far, the best sunset of the entire trip, and was worth waiting for (we also managed to get in some fishing waiting for the sunset as well, just in case it was not as spectacular as I was hoping for!).

The shot is a combination of a -2, 0, and +2 bracketed exposure, with some extra work done on the sky (color and saturation) and water (desaturation and smoothing). The shot was taken looking directly west from the pier, and is looking over an inlet between Chincoteague Island and Wallops Island, from where some NASA and private sector rockets, like Space X, have been launched since the end of the space shuttle missions from Florida.


Chincoteague Island Sunset



Please feel free to click on the photo above to view it in various sizes. Clicking on the photo also takes you to my online gallery, hosted over at smugmug, where you can browse this (and other) photos that I have posted. If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback. Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire. Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Knoebels Grove at Night

Today's post contains two photos that I took last year during a visit to Knoebels Grove in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. I posted a few pictures from the trip last year, but have not had a chance to share these photos yet.

The first photo is of the "Downdraft" ride, it is located along what (many years ago) used to be the main road that ran past and through Knoebels and the very large Crystal Pool. The ride rises, spins, and twists riders in various directions. I wondered exactly how an early evening, long exposure shot (two seconds) would come out and I got pretty lucky with how it turned out. I also got lucky that the young girl in the foreground stayed fairly still throughout the duration of the shot!

Downdraft



The second photo is a shot of one of my favorite rides at the park from when I was young, the Paratrooper. This ride spins riders in a large circle after lifting into the air. It is a fairly basic, simple ride but it is a very enjoyable one! I used a mixture of black and white and color processing in this photo in an effort to make the "center" of the ride stand out more than normal

Paratrooper



Please feel free to click on the photo above to view it in various sizes. Clicking on the photo also takes you to my online gallery, hosted over at smugmug, where you can browse this (and other) photos that I have posted. If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback. Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire. Thanks for stopping by!!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Natural Window

Hello again! I promise you that my blog has not been forgotten. I have not had anywhere NEAR the time that I would like to devote to my photography hobby and I am making a resolution to attempt to make at least one blog post a week. It is a goal that I believe I can achieve and I would like to thank all of my readers for taking the time from their busy schedules to stop by my little slice of the internet and read my ramblings and view the photos that I have taken!

With that being said, hopefully you all have had a chance to see Comet PANSTARRS by now! If you have not, you can view the photos from my Comet PANSTARRS post. (Also, thanks to WBFF FOX 45 Morning Meteorologist Jonathan Myers, one of my photos and the blog was even seen on the FOX 45 morning news cast!)  I am hoping the weather cooperates and in early April I have a chance to get some photos of the comet near the Andromeda Galaxy, but we shall see.  It has been quite a month so far with a lot of great experiences, ranging from baby bears at the Plumpton Park Zoo, to my photo being on the cover of the book "The Church", and briefly gracing the FOX morning news (check out my Facebook Fan Page for that)!

But enough of all of that and let us move on to discussing this photo.  This shot was another one taken at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas in late November 2011, just a few days before moving to the East Coast.  I have been debating how I was going to process this shot for awhile.  I was happy with the shot and the brackets, but I was unsure of exactly what I was looking for in the final result.  I ultimately decided on blurring and desaturating the edges of the photo while keeping the middle ("window") portion sharp and clear.  I decided that it looked sort of window-esque, and I edited the photo to try to highlight and accentuate the presence of a natural window in the setting and am pretty satisfied with the result.


Natural Window




Please feel free to click on the photo above to view it in various sizes. Clicking on the photo also takes you to my online gallery, hosted over at smugmug, where you can browse this (and other) photos that I have posted. If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback. Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire. Thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

All Your Baby Bears Are Belong To Us (except, not really at all)

Hopefully the blog post caught your attention a bit and you are thinking exactly what I had hoped you would be thinking..is there a sequel to Zero Wing that involves baby bears? Sadly, no, that is not the case (hey Nintendo, that would be an awesome idea though!) instead the blog title was thought up by my girlfriend Jill, who accompanied me today on a trip up to Plumpton Park Zoo in Rising Sun, Maryland.  We became Platinum members of the zoo this past week after seeing the two European Brown Bear Cubs Frankie and Ringo on the morning news this past week.  Being a Platinum member at the zoo has a TON of benefits, but perhaps the best benefit is the ability to take a behind the scenes tour with a staff member that allows you to see a lot of the animals much closer than you could at probably any other zoo (I cannot speak from experience on that, however). During the tour (led by Michelle, who was great!!) we got to meet (among other animals) a giraffe, a porcupine, a fox, two tigers, timber wolves, and we also got to see Michelle (our tour guide) interact with many of the animals as well (this was probably the only time that I will ever get a chance to see a European Brown Bear give upside down bear kisses to another human being!)  All of the photos of the other animals were taken by Jill (as my arm is still in a sling after rotator cuff/bicep tendon surgery) but the baby bear photos were taken with my Canon S100 Point and Shoot.  We will be posting photos of the other animals (including some really unique shots of tigers) in the very near future, so be sure to check back for those photos!

But, of course the absolute highlight of the tour were the bear cubs Frankie and Ringo.  The cubs were born on 8 January 2013 and are quite possibly the cutest animals that I have ever seen.  They already have some pretty big claws and try to suckle on your hand and make a noise that resembles purring.  They are already pretty adept at climbing and even took a nap in the middle of a petting time!

I want to thank the staff at the zoo for taking the time to give us the tour today and making the bears available to Jill and me for some photos (and of course some cuddle and play time).  If there is an influx of Platinum Level members the staff may not be able to schedule time for all of the new members to see the cubs but a membership is a great way to support a great cause and (potentially) have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see and pet European Brown Bear Cubs!



Michelle, the zoo manager/our tour guide

Nap Time

Inside the tall X-Pen

Owner of the zoo

I get a high paw!

Cuddle time

I want some food!

Jealousy Part I

Jealousy Part II

Nothing My Paw Can't Fix

Time for Noms!

More Noms

Starting To Fall Asleep


The link to my Google + photo album

The link to Plumpton Park Zoo

The link to my flickr album

These photos are shared via my Google+ account, so you should be able to download them and view them without any issue.  If you would like a copy/copies of these photos, please feel free to contact me (preferably  through the Email me tab at the top of the page). If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback. Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire. Thanks for stopping by!!