Sunday, January 31, 2010

Building his Pinewood Derby Car

This coming Saturday is Riley's Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Last year I built most of the car because he was having troubles. But this year he was able to do most of it himself. I cut a few of the harder parts and helped him cut the longer parts (his hand was getting tired), but he did most of it. He's just finished painting it in glow-in-the-dark paint. When it's all done I'll post another photo. BTW, it's going to be a skateboard. :)

Riley Cutting out the car

Marci + Richard MORE

Another photo from Neskowin. I should do some post processing to enhance it more, maybe when I have more time. You can see Proposal Rock on the left and our condo way over on the right. I had fun writing "Marci + Richard MORE" in the sand, then showing it to Marci after downloading them onto my computer. We always say to each other, "Love you MORE!" then sometimes just simply, "MORE". :)

Neskowin 2009

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Two Panoramas

I love creating panoramas! All of mine are hand held. I've tried using a tripod before but I find it takes more time and the results aren't that much better - though once in awhile I don't keep the camera level enough and either have to crop way too much or leave it looking funky. haha

Today I couldn't decide which panorama to put up so I'm doing both. Thanks to Blogger not giving me enough space, I had to post the smaller versions. Please click the photos to see the larger sizes, these are much better larger! The first is from the Pumpkin Patch. Inside the maze there's this bridge you can walk on top and look around. I took several pictures and stitched them together to create this.

Corn Maze Panorama

The second is from several years ago. We were in a parking lot and I saw this really awesome cloud. Took a bunch of photos and stitched them together. It came out very cool!

Storm Clouds today

Again, please click these to see the larger versions, they are definitely more better!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Laser Headlights

This is shortly after I got my current camera. We were in Reno and I was having fun playing with long exposures - this one is 30 seconds. No post processing. I like how that car at the stop light looks like it has lasers coming out of its headlights. LOL!

Camera fun w/Reno at Night

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Playing in the Misters

One year at the Oregon Brewers Festival, it was REALLY hot. So they got smart and setup some water misters that you could walk under and cool off. Being a kid, Riley of COURSE wanted to play in them. We didn't care, he got very wet but had a ton of fun. I really liked the composition of this one.

Playing in the misters

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Philadelphia Mummers Band

This group came out to Portland to march in our Rose Festival Grand Floral parade. They were extremely colorful and bright, playing great music! Very fun to watch. One guy who you can't see here (but you can on my Flickr page) marched the whole parade carrying a full upright string bass! WOW! A very fun group.

Philadelphia Mummers Band

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Looking for our Christmas Tree

Each year we head to this great place to cut down our Christmas Tree. This year while walking around I saw this view, looking through the branches of one tree at the other trees, and thought it would make an interesting photo. :)

Finding our 2009 Christmas Tree

Monday, January 25, 2010

2009 Starlight Parade

I'm a member of the One More Time around Again Marching Band. We are about 560 musicians, dancers, flags and other auxiliaries, and I've been in it for 25 years now! Every year we march in two parades that are part of our Portland Rose Festival, a Starlight Parade (done 9pm when it's dark, hence the name) and the main event, our Grand Floral Parade. It's really a blast to march along, wave to the crowd, get silly, not worry too much how straight the line is, etc, after several years of doing this parade in high school where we were judged and HAD to be super perfect.

I was taking photos while on the parade route (which I love to do, give a different view of the parade) and forgot my camera was on the wrong setting. After I saw this one I actually liked it a lot. No extra processing here, just a camera goof that turned out well. :)

Mary conducting

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Heavy Rain

It does rain a good amount here in Oregon, though it's usually a really light rain, many times almost a mist. It can get quite annoying and bothersome, but at least when you're going from your car to the store, that means it's not raining hard enough to need to go through the "Put Up The Umbrella" dance while getting out of your car. We have a saying; you can tell the REAL Oregonians - they don't use umbrella's. LOL! Anyhow, on this day we had an exceptionally hard rain. Drops were very big and coming down HARD! It was mesmerizing to watch. Fortunately I came out of the trance and was able to capture this raindrop landing on our fence.

Heavy rain

Saturday, January 23, 2010


AHH!!! I almost forgot to post a photo today! Slept in late, played games on the PS3 with Riley, Marci went to Chinook Winds with her mom so Riley, Maddie and I went Bowling then to dinner, it was a fun day, I just forgot about posting a photo. D'OH!

This is another I took at the Crystal Sprints Rhododendron Gardens. I liked how the rhody is in focus and the background isn't, and the framing. :)

Rhody Gardens

Friday, January 22, 2010

Footbridge Pulled Up

At our favorite beach, Neskowin, there's a small river that flows into the ocean, it's very shallow. Going from the condo's to the beach there's a footbridge. In past years it had often been wiped out by high tides. Finally they replaced it with one they could pull back. It has worked great, just means you have a longer walk to get to the beach. Here they pulled it up. This was taken after I had learned the rule of 3rds and was playing around with that. I like how the composition turned out. :)

Neskowin Beach Trip 10/25/08

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Morning Birdie

It was early in the morning, things were quite, calm, the sun was warm, I looked out and saw this little bird sitting on the fence. I was really happy he stayed there long enough for me to get my camera and take a picture. :)

Morning Birdie

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cub Scout Camp Ireland

Riley started Cub Scouts last year, I'm his den leader. It's been a lot of fun. Last summer was his first Cub Scout camp, we'd go in the morning and come back around 3:30pm. We had a GREAT time - even though all week the temps were above 100, which is really hot for Oregon! This photo is of the entry area where the little store is. It's six photos merged with Hugin, then I did the fake HDR thingy in Lightroom. I thought about posting a smaller version, but decided only a little bit was cut off and people can click the photo to see the whole thing - and when you click the photo, you can also click "All Sizes" to see the full original sized version.

Camp Ireland Pack 769 2009

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Watching the Waves

I love going to the beach for many reasons, digging in the sand, playing in the water, skipping rocks across the small river that empties into the ocean, and of course all the wonderful photo opportunities. Here's Marci, Maddie, Riley and mom Mom watching the waves.

Neskowin 2009

Monday, January 18, 2010

Summer Sunset

I really love taking photos of sunsets and sunrises when the clouds glow with such great colors. Here was a wonderful summer sunset.

Clouds at night

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Red Tree

In the fall around here the oak trees stay green longer than other trees, like the maple trees. I went outside with the kids to watch them play and saw this small maple that had turned a beautiful red with these two huge oak trees in the background that were still a nice green. I loved the contrast! I like the zoomed in photo much better, but thought I'd also share what the whole view looked like. I couldn't really capture how cool the whole view was with the camera, I still have more to learn. ;)

Red tree

Red tree

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Marci & Maddie at the Beach

Another photo from Neskowin. The sun was setting, Marci and Maddie were walking by the waves and there's nothing quite like a mother and child photo. I really like the reflection. This is shortly after I learned about the rule of 3rds and was trying it out.

Neskowin Beach Trip 10/25/08

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beautiful Sunrise

One morning while driving to work I saw the sun starting to come up and could tell the clouds would look pretty. I got to work, looked straight ahead and the clouds looked ok, but not as cool as I thought they would look. Then I got out and looked behind me - WOW! I quickly grabbed my camera and took this photo.

Beautiful Sunrise!

I put my camera away, grabbed my stuff and started walking to the building. I can't remember why, but I turned around and looked back towards my car - and saw this! I've never seen a rainbow with such an amazing sunrise! My camera couldn't get the whole thing so I took two photos and stitched them together in Photoshop.

Full sunrise rainbow

Thursday, January 14, 2010

County Fair

This was in early August. While was overcast, it was still quite warm. Eventually the sun came out and it was hot! While waiting for the kids to get on a ride, I stood back, turned the camera sideways and took four photos, then stitched them in Photoshop. It turned out pretty cool, I was happy quite happy with it.

Fair panorama

Then I decided to have some fun. I saved the jpg, pulled it into Camera Raw and played around with the settings trying for some kind of fake HDR look. It ended up being too over saturated, so I pulled the saturation WAY down and then it REALLY looked great! TOTALLY different feel from the original photo, but I really like it a lot!

Fair Panorama artsy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Through The Trees

This was taken at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens. They have this really nice man-made lake that separates the gardens from a golf course. I liked how these two huge trees framed the photo. When I got home to process the photos I took I noticed there was some kid in this one. D'OH! Oh well, I still think it turned out nice. :)

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sun over Proposal Rock

I've been really busy lately which hasn't allowed me a lot of time to take some new photos. That and I haven't seen anything that has interested me either. So I'm still cycling through my older photos.

The beach at Neskowin is one of our favorite places to go in the summer and fall. Here the sun was setting over Proposal Rock. It wasn't a super photo, until I took it into Photoshop, cropped it and played with the colors. I like how this came out. In one of his blog posts, Trey Ratcliff of (who has some simply amazing HDR photography) said to seek out other photographers and ask them to look at your photos. So I asked him to look at mine and it was so freaking awesome that #1 he did it and #2 he liked this one! WOW!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dressing a Clydesdale

Every year here in Portland we have a Rose Festival with the big event being a Grand Floral Parade, 2nd only to the Pasadena parade in size. Budweiser brings out their Clydesdale's which are a crowd favorite. Here they were getting them dressed for the parade, putting their harnesses on. This was a riot. This horse turned just as I was ready to take the photo and smiled. It was like he knew I had a camera and he should smile!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Pirate Park

There's this fun park close by that the kids love to go to. It has a Pirate theme, hence the name. There were some cool clouds, so I took nine photos and stitched them together in Photoshop. It was a little dark so I saved it as a jpg, then pulled it into Adobe Camera Raw to have some fun with it. :)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

School Arts Festival

There was an Arts Festival at Riley's school. We got to see some things he did and a bunch of other neat things. I was just playing around with this photo, didn't really have a direction I was going with when I came to this. I really like how it turned out!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Water Trough

Many years ago when I stumbled on HDR I thought it was really cool, but didn't have the awesome tone mapping software. Then I found a tutorial of how to get that HDR look from a single RAW or even JPG file using Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop. I went looking through my photos for one to try and found this one. It's a water trough behind a building at our local Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens, a simply beautiful place not just to photograph but to walk around in, feed the ducks, geese, and squirrels.

I pulled it into Camera Raw, played with the settings I found in the tutorial, then tweaked them until I came up with this. While the colors are really blown out and everything, I really like how it turned out! It almost looks like something you found on an island in the Pacific in the 30's, 40's or 50's. Hopefully you like it too. :)

As always, clicking the photos will take you to my Flickr page where you can see the full sized versions.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Big Beach Panorama

I'm very proud of this photo. One thing I like about some multi-image-stitched-together photos is the photo looks nice but you can zoom in and see great detail. That's what I tried to accomplish with this. I zoomed in all the way then took 68 photos. I used Photoshop CS3 to stitch them together, and this was all done hand-held, no tripod. It required a lot of patience and framing of each photo, remembering where the last was AND the previous row was. But it was a lot of fun and I think turned out really well. There is one slight problem with doing these multi-shot photos: Look at the girl, then look to the left and you'll see her reflection again in the water. D'OH! I know I could have fixed that, but it made me laugh when I saw it and decided to keep it. :) This one you really need to click to see the larger size in Flickr and even look at the original for the full-sized version, I couldn't upload a larger version without part of it being cut off. I'd really like to get one of those Gigapan things and do more of these.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Last summer we went to the Bethany Nursery for a kids scavenger hunt. The kids had a great time and I took some photos. Marci told me to take a picture of this sunflower. The original was ok, but then I played around with it in Lightroom. I REALLY like how this one turned out! It looks extra cool viewed on black!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


My Mom's sister owns a little condo at Neskowin in Oregon. We go there every year, it's a wonderful beach that doesn't have a ton of people. The kids just love it! Last year they had quite the storm that brought in this giant piece of driftwood - more like a drift-Tree! It was very cool. I thought this photo turned out really well, I like how I composed it and everything. :) No post processing done. This is from August 2009.

Monday, January 04, 2010

2009 Holiday Parade

Every year in Portland we have a Holiday Parade right after Thanksgiving. One year it rain big time and was cold, another it didn't rain but was freezing cold and cloudy. This year it was cold but really sunny too, when you were in the sun it was pretty nice. We turned a corner and I saw this view with the sky looking really nice and blue. I was supposed to be playing, but we had enough other trumpets playing so I could quickly take this pic. I think I over processed it, added back in too much color. Oops! Oh well, at least I'm still keeping up with my new photo post each day! :)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Zoo Lights

The Oregon Zoo does a fantastic job every Christmas season setting up tons of lights around the Zoo. It's really beautiful. These fish were on something spinning around. Since it was really dark I knew if I just stood there they would come out blurry, so I moved with them as I took the photo. Still came out a little blurry, but I was pretty happy with the result. :)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Morning Fog

I took this a few weeks ago when it was really foggy. It was taken through our upstairs window, which is really dirty, so it's not my lens. ;) I put the camera in B&W mode and cropped it in Lightroom. Photo #2, I'm on a roll! haha

Friday, January 01, 2010

A Picture A Day Experiment

I'm going to try something this year. I follow a few blogs where people post a photo every day. That's really cool and I didn't think I would be able to do that because I never thought my photos were that good. But after reading some other blogs in late 2009, I decided to give it a try. My photos may not be world class, but I think some are pretty good.

These won't necessarily be photos I've taken THAT DAY. They are just photos I think are neat. Some I'll have processed a lot, some I won't have done anything to. My goal is to post a photo each morning here, hopefully I'll be able to do that. :) I upload all my photos to Flickr and clicking the photo will take you to that photo on Flickr.

Oh, and for those curious, I have a Sony DSC-H50. I'd love to have a nice DSLR, but I feel I first need to learn more about photography before I purchase that level of camera. If a professional were using my camera they could take amazing photos, so me buying a DSLR won't instantly make me take better photos.

So here's the first photo. It's from Christmas morning 2009. I left the shutter open for 1.3 seconds with all the lights off except the tree. This is unprocessed straight from the camera. I might process this later if I have time. I thought it turned out pretty good. :)