$11 each E-book Sale till Oct. 23rd 45% OFF

45% Discount CODE:  Q-T-C E-book Release





Just some inside pages to tease you.

3 e-books all work done by the artist, me.


The covers, and links.



CALM Photos e-book link:    https://goo.gl/KW5yV7


Trona Pinnacles E-book link:   https://goo.gl/iDiwNc


Quinta 90 Minutes e-book link:   https://goo.gl/B6tuYV

100% my work folks… just an artist trying to get a paycheck.

45% Discount CODE:  Q-T-C E-book Release

Each e-book is 50+ pages long, photos on every page. Each e-book was created this year, while Calm & Trona photos span several years past collection of photographs.

Regular price is $20 so with the discount you get 50+ nice photos and hopefully inspiring thoughts for Just $11 USD.

20161007: Black & White Conversion Lesson, Don’t just do “auto”.


In an answer to Cee’s Black & White Post Processing Photo Challenge, I put this post together.

{UPDATE NOTICE: I have put the screen shots of the street lamp conversion in as 20161016. Was working on the e-book and did them. Well worth looking at. PEV}

Here is the above photo in color.


In the Lightroom screen shot you can see the color sliders pushed around to bring out the textures in the clouds and darken the building.

However to make the fountain in the foreground apparent to the viewer, I used the adjustment brush.


I did not like the warning sign to take the viewer’s eye into it so I left it out of the adjustments. That way the viewer looks at the “water beasts” of the fountain & the clouds. Again you can see my pushing the sliders around in the screen shot. I also use the Dehaze slider on the overall shot to increase the clouds depth of texture.


Here I am further back from the church where the fountain is at, but again I want the focus on the towering clouds.


The color original shot, again I have “Dehaze” the shot some to increase the cloud structure. The color “Graduated filter” slider screen shot. After adjusting the shot in the color mode. I then hit “ctrl + ‘” to make a Virtual Copy. That copy then gets the Black & white treatment.



As you can see the sliders are massively changed in the black & white to lighten the river containment wall and add some balance.

I then decided to crop it more to the clouds on top and removed some of the rock river containment wall.

I had to use the green color slider to lighten up the trees, just to powerful a black and that was also part of the cropping consideration.


These clouds coming in over the western side of town were intense, I wanted to place as much as possible on them yet leave the human element of the town in focus.

The color image.


Pushing the Color sliders to darken the Blue & Aqua on the sky & clouds, while using the green, red, orange, to lighten the city building, road and palm fronds made that happen. {sorry guess I forget the Lightroom screen shots}


Again, I want the emphasis on the clouds, while letting the river water draw the viewer “upstream into the photo”.


As you can see I first correct the color image to get where I want to go.


Then pull the Virtual Copy sliders around to make things more in that range of  ideal image. Pushing the blue & Aqua sliders to darken the skies. Sliding the red & orange & yellow & green to lighten the city and river banks. I could also if I wanted more of the reflection on the river use the Adjustment Brush to add some Dehaze & Clarity plus other adjustments and make it stand out more.


In this shot, I wanted the clouds there to make a nice background, but wanted to keep the viewer on the church itself. So this shot went through several adjustment. Also in Lightroom “crtl + E” opens the image in Photoshop and lets you save those changes BACK INTO Lightroom, quick and fast.


Here is the cleaned up color version. Below is the Lightroom screen shot showing the several versions I had Virtual Copies & Photoshop changed which puts a TIFF file into Lightroom.



The TIFF with all color sliders zeroed.


The Black & white version and the color sliders pushed around to draw the eye to the church. By playing with the”red & orange & purple” sliders I got the brick work of the church to standout  more. Since there is the palm fronds and plant at the bottom I did push up the green slider to lighten them, keeping interesting detail.


And the top screen shot to show the Contrast slider and Exposure sliders pushed up. Highlights are pulled down to keep the clouds from blowing out.

You can also see in the final image I have cropped sky down lower, the plants at the bottom are cropped up towards the church. I also in the final image used the Burn in Photoshop to darken the Shadow & Midtones of the plants some more to keep the eye on the church.

Street Lamp Sunset

{UPDATE NOTICE: I have put the screen shots of the street lamp conversion in as 20161016. Was working on the e-book and did them. well worth looking at. PEV}


I have fun with these street lamps… this one was lit up and the clouds behind made a nice composition… but way too many distractions…

So to work on it and we have.


Virtual Copy at this point and the Black & White work begins to get this image.

2016-bw-conversion-lessons-6093-aIn the above screen shot, you can see the virtual copies. Because these are just sets of instructions NOT whole image files, you an make several without the huge disk memory space use of creating several Photoshop files. The pipe pointing at the street lamps had to go, “crtl + E” and into Photoshop,  once you make your changes hit save in Photoshop and the TIFF file is created in Lightroom with those changes. Very quick and easy to move back & forth in the work flow.  Again nothing in the original RAW file is affected/effected.

The photograph was shot with the understanding I wanted the ‘angle of the street lamps’ to be matching the ‘angle of the clouds’ so I knew I would crop and straighten it out later. Get rid of the pipe by itself up above the balcony. Not much about the balcony & roof on the left side. Simply too much Healing brush for my desires. I knew I wanted the sunset and street lamps to be focus, so I figured I would wait and see where I cropped at. As you can see in the right hand photo, just a tiny piece left after I cropped and straightened the image. I did apply some “Dehaze” on the Main slider and increased the exposure to compensate. Both “Dehaze” and “Clarity” darken the image. 9 years as Photo Editor of 6 newspapers, working an image to make something of it is nothing new to me.



In these two screen shots you can see that I have cropped the image. I have removed the offending pipes. but just a little of the roof on the right side remains.  The exposure sliders have been adjusted some, but not the color sliders.



The Black & White conversion and the beginnings of the color sliders being moved around.


In the above screen shot you can see that the color sliders have been adjusted to lower the street lamps, the ‘orange’ & ‘yellow’ dim these lights nicely and don’t affect too much else.

In the screen shot below, I have also adjusted the exposure, contrast and other sliders for the black & white effects.


Here I have started to use the “adjustment brush to darken in the clouds and make my “light beams” more obvious without overpowering the whole photo. Those rays on the setting sun were a bit hard to keep. I used an ‘adjustment brush’ on that area & then used a 2nd adjustment brush layering on the darker area on the top to lighten it back up.


The below screen shot you can see I put a second ‘adjustment brush’ to lighten up the area where the first adjustment brush was too dark.


Next I have used the ‘circle graduated filter’ to darken the HOT spot of the sunset.


Next screen shot,  I have come in with a second ‘circle graduated filter’ and adjusted the contrast of the “light beams” & clouds. Because each of these you can go back and re-adjust, you may play for hours to do this. Since I was shooting for the sunset & those beams in the very bottom right. Yes, the lights of the street lamps were near correct exposure too. Pure Luck, photography is a matter of timing, being there when the light is right. However as you can see, several objects are really screwing up the photograph otherwise. I knew I wanted the diagonal of the lights to match the clouds so shooting off angle on the frame did not matter. I would straighten it later. A single second to click the shutter and capture the image, hours in a darkroom or in Lightroom doing post-process, photographer verses a snap-shot shooter.

In the bottom screen shot, you can see I have added a third ‘circle graduated filter to reduce the the exposure slightly on the left side of the image clouds.


In the bottom screen shot, you can see the global “Dehaze” control at the bottom of the tools panel.

Again I must stress, everything can be adjusted & re-adjusted, you may find adjustments on one level messing up some thing and need to go back and forth adjusting stuff.

Your end product, that Final Photograph, however will be so much better for the effort.


The final image again….



Well, I do answer questions, so ask me in the comments below if there are issues about what I did here.

And I hope Cee likes my showing the difference between “auto black & white” conversion and a Old Timer playing around with the tools of the trade.

I do put my camera in black/white mode when shooting for black & white, I started shooting film in 1962 at age 4yr. I had my 1st darkroom at 16 in 1974, so I don’t have an issue with looking at a color image and conversing it to black&white, but by having ALL images in RAW, and the reminder of seeing it on my camera in b/w while shooting is nice. I get a clue what is happening and what to adjust if needed while shooting.


Creative shooting everyone









Stars, Light Painting And Wildflowers! Mojave Desert


Red Rock Canyon wildflowers landscape fine art

Red Rock Canyon, Mojave CA. What a find! Wildflowers, was not expecting it at our lunch stop out to Trona Pinnacles. 2015

Yes, we were seeing green in the desert around us as we were driving up from LA. Small patches here and there, But this took us by surprise…..

Red Rock Canyon with wildflowers lanscapce fine art photography

Carpets of yellow wildflowers. Red Rock Canyon Mojave CA 2015

So, we stayed a little longer than planned and decided to check on the wildflowers when we came back from Trona if we had time. We were in a remote-er area and wondered what would be over the hills in the main canyons.

On to Trona Pinnacles, got the spot we wanted just in time. Couple vehicles pulled up and talked of having dozens of cars following to that spot. Explained we were doing night photography, won’t work too well. They moved on.

We set up camp and got ready to shoot sunset and stars.

Trona Pinnacles Mojave Calif lanscape fine art photography

Thin crescent moon set. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Trona Pinnacles moon set landscape fine art photography

Setting crescent moon and I think Venus in the top left corner. Trona 2015

Trona Pinnacles light painting on rocks with stars.

Looking South, orange glow is light pollution. Light painting green and purple flashes on pinnacles. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Then the clouds moved in. Could not see much myself but, you can see the effects in this photo.

Trona Pinnacles night photography light painting

Clouds moving in, softening the stars, orange glow. Trona Pinnacles 2015

So we called it a night, 2 am and shut down. Next morning, 5:30am alarm for sunrise. We figure we got 2-2.5 hours sleep.

Not much of a sunrise, coffee time.

Trona Pinnacles campsite

Ah, coffee, fresh air, even birds singing. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Then as the BIG group started showing up we realized our peace and quiet had ended.

Still while that night we had some VERY different light in our photos……

Fireworks going off behind our light painting. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Fireworks going off behind our light painting. Trona Pinnacles 2015

And during the day,

Trona Pinnacles light painting with stars landscape fine art photography

Hole shot! Found a hole to climb into. Note kids running up the hill. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Scenic Trona Pinnacles landscape

Trying to work the clouds. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Trona Pinnacles landscape fine art photography

Yes, little bit of greenery out here. Have to look careful for the flowers. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Trona Pinnacles Black & White landscape fine art photography

Playing with black and white out in the field. Later doing a conversion myself. Trona Pinnacles 2015

So it was a good trip, timing was good. The group of people and a film crew Sat. morning broke up the quiet of the place, but it is a favorite of mine to study light. Very primitive camping out there, no water. Here are some more photos from the trip.

Trona Pinnacles light panting

I use a remote trigger, so here I am walking down from checking a flash unit. Trona Pinnacles 2015

This time I'm walking down with my red light on and the flashes triggered too. Trona Pinnacles 2015

This time I’m walking down with my red light on and the flashes triggered too. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Red Rock Canyon wildflowers landscape fine art photography

Red Rock Canyon wildflowers 2015

Red Rock Canyon wildflower fine art photography

Macro of wildflower. Red Rock Canyon 2015

Trona Pinncales light painting

Light painting Trona Pinnacles 2015

Red Rock Canyon landscape wildflower fine art photography

Red Rock Canyon wildflowers. 2015

Red Rock Canyon Mojave desert wildflowers

Wildflowers, Red Rock Canyon 2015

Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos. Leave me a message in my comments if you have questions about any of the photos.

If you would like to hire me as a guide of sorts, contact me and we will see what I can arrange for you and what you want to learn about photography.

In the mean time,

Creative Shooting,



Low light, moving objects…..Shooting the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Calif.

Aquarium of the Pacific, Photographer"s Night. A lesson in high ISO shooting. 2013

Aquarium of the Pacific, Photographer’s Night. A lesson in high ISO shooting. 2013

Photographer’s Night!! Wow, Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif. does a Photographer’s Night.

Bring your own gear, nothing but other photographers around. OK, so it sounds better than it was.

October 6, 2013.

I was in the first group, had my wheeled cart with gear. In the introduction lecture I saw that there were hundreds of photographers. Tons of equipment, from people with point and shoot cameras to pro systems. The second group would be an hour behind. Both groups together till closing with access to most of the exhibits.

I quickly found myself, being pushed around by other photographers, jumped in front of, and had shots ruined by other’s camera flashes going off and messing up my exposure or reflecting off the glass.

My gear was a liability, I would have been better off with just a couple lens, tripod, camera extras in my vest and backpack, a small 3 or 5-in-one reflector and camera. I used my reflector to block light reflections on the glass a couple times after the crowd thinned out. Oh, some water. I use a hydration backpack (large storage and water).

So, I’m Taoist-Buddhist, I wandered around, looking for where the others hadn’t reach yet. I was patience knowing, if I was pulling around too much equipment others were too. Others would take the snap shots their tablets, point & shoots and yes cell phones photos and go home. The crowd would thin out, just wait.

Group of Nautilus in tank. 6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/30 sec. 2013

Group of Nautilus in tank.
6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/30 sec. 2013

Single nautilus, spent 20 minutes chasing these around to get a decent shot. 6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/60 sec. 2013

Single nautilus, spent 20 minutes chasing these around to get a decent shot. 6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/60 sec. 2013

The tanks holding the fish, sea creatures, had a variety of lights, coloring the internal scenes. Black lights to show off the bio-luminescent. Here is a sample of what you get to shoot. AND YES, it is worth it, just be patience, wait for the crowds to thin out. Most of the people left after a couple hours and it was much easier to move around and get shots.

Sea Dragon, exhibit closes early, so go there and get your shots in the beginning when few are there. I found it late and the crowd had thinned out, but the light went out while I was there.  6400 ISO, 50mm f1.4 1/80 sec. 2013

Sea Dragon, exhibit closes early, so go there and get your shots in the beginning when few are there. I found it late and the crowd had thinned out, but the light went out while I was there.
6400 ISO, 50mm f1.4 1/80 sec. 2013

As you can see, these sea creatures and their backgrounds have movement. A faster lens lets you use a faster shutter. Flash just bounces off the glass, if you direct it in at the object and are too straight on and at angle you don’t get much light in. Bouncing the flash doesn’t get enough light in to the tanks (most are rectangle hole in the wall) to do much good. Of Course, everyone will thank you for the flash in their photos and faces.

I borrowed the 50mm F1.4  from my brother, but found that the Canon 100mm F2.8 did much better for the small animals.

Yes, that one you want shoot just moved to the back of the tank. Might try my 70-200mm F2.8 zoom just for the fun of it sometime.

Wild colors! 2013

Wild colors! 2013

BIG fish. People in the frame to show size. 2013

BIG fish. People in the frame to show size. 2013

Bright colors, fun to shoot! 2013

Bright colors, fun to shoot! 2013

Hypnotic to watch these jellyfish. Several tanks, different color lights, styles of tanks for different effects. 2013

Hypnotic to watch these jellyfish. Several tanks, different color lights, styles of tanks for different effects. 2013

Can't forget the seahorses. 2013

Can’t forget the seahorses. 2013

Shark egg case with hole to see baby shark growing in egg.  2013

Shark egg case with hole to see baby shark growing in egg. 2013

So, as you can see there is a lot of fun things to shoot. If you are patience you can try these kind of shots during regular hours, I don’t think they let tripods in so, High ISO cameras, fast lens (F/2.8 or better), and the patience to wait for everything to come together for a photograph. The new mirrorless cameras and latest generations of major DSLR cameras are raising the bar for ISO levels. Cell phones are getting more and more complex cameras in them, too.

If you have questions about any of these photographs or the techniques used to get them. Please ask me, leave a question in the comments. I love to heard from all of you the readers.

If you live in the Southern California area and want me to shoot for you, I am taking reservations for photography shoots after I get off my restrictions for this hernia surgery, and I am back up to carrying my gear. Photo-journalistic event coverage, environmental portrait/group shots, Street photography (I like cityscapes more than people, looking for good areas to chase the light. Post coming soon), and camping to do landscape, star and light painting. Of course, if you plan to visit the So. Cal. area, I would be happy talk to you about your needs as well. Got to pay for my photography habit somehow. End of March and forward I should be up and running. Limit myself in carrying gear, but looking for work. Till then,

Creative Shooting,