Posts tagged “Photomatix



A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy and is an underlying force infused in all of us. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the gifts that were bestowed upon us. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source and as we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

Clean out a corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it! And remember, creativity and inspiration exist, but they have to find you working!

Now a bit about this Basilica which we explored during a trip to the wonderful city of Rome…and imagine the creative inspiration and hard work which took place over the many years to realize this magnificent basilica!

The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran  is the oldest and ranks first among the four Papal Basilicas of Rome. An inscription on the façade, Christo Salvatori, indicates the church’s dedication to “Christ the Saviour”, for the cathedrals of all patriarchs are dedicated to Christ himself. As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, it ranks above all other churches in the  Catholic Church, including  St. Peter’s Basilica in the  Vatican City. For that reason, unlike all other Roman Basilicas, it holds the title of Archbasilica.

(Shot handheld with a Nikon D90, wide-angle lens, three exposures were combined to capture all of the subtle details)


Here comes The Sun

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

OK, how many of you, when you saw the title to this post harkened to the song written by George Harrison of the Beatles…?

““Here comes the sun,  here comes the sun.  And I say it’s all right”  and to follow, here is a quotation from the author of this song:

“It’s being here and now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”  ―    George Harrison

Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.

It seemed appropriate for this image taken first thing in the morning in Queenstown, New Zealand. It was another glorious start of the day during our adventures down-down under, quite, a bit chilly and very tranquil as the city slowly came to life. As you know, Photographers tend to get up before the sunrise to catch the first rays of sun, “The Golden Hour“.

Typically, lighting is softer (more diffuse) and warmer in hue, and shadows are longer. When the sun is near the horizon, sunlight travels through more of the atmosphere, reducing the intensity of the direct light, so that more of the illumination comes from indirect light from the sky, reducing the lighting ratio. More blue light is scattered, so that light from the sun appears more reddish. In addition, the sun’s small angle with the horizon produces longer shadows.

“Hour” is used here quite loosely. The character of the lighting is determined by the sun’s altitude, and the time for the sun to move from the horizon to a specified altitude depends on a location’s latitude and the time of year. In Los Angeles, California, at an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset, the sun has an altitude of about 10°–12°. For a location closer to the equator, the altitude is greater (or the time less), and for a location farther from the equator, the altitude is less (or the time greater). For a location sufficiently far from the equator, the sun may not reach an altitude of 10°, and the golden hour lasts for the entire day in certain seasons.

Because the contrast is less during the golden hour, shadows are less dark, and highlights are less likely to be overexposed. In landscape photography, the warm color of the low sun is often considered desirable to enhance the colours of the scene. Sometimes the dynamic range of light is quite large and one can then use exposure bracketing and combination to overcome this to bring an image closer to what our eyes can perceive – this is called High Dynamic Range Imaging, or HDR. (More on this later)

Today is May 17, 2012. It is the only May 16, 2012 that you will ever have –> Make it spectacular!

The Reservoir of Wisdom

The Sunrise is God’s greeting – the Sunset, His signature

One of Life’s ironies is that the more time we spend becoming “educated”, be it in a University, vocational school (or just the street), the more we forget that we are all extraordinarily intelligent beings to begin with. The conditioning to which we have and continue to be subjected to simply reinforces the myth that mental prowess is Nature’s unique gift to its favored few. Often we go through life totally oblivious to our innate brilliance and natural abilities.

If we are looking to improve our circumstances, we need to keep in mind that as “part-owners” of that boundless reservoir of wisdom that surrounds and is available to us, we have the means to accomplish more than we ever dreamed of. All we need to do it recognize this source and draw a few buckets from it. Every human has four endowments self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.

This was shot with a Nikon D90, Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens, polarizing filter all mounted on a portable lightweight tripod. Three exposures were taken to capture the full dynamic range of the light and then combined with Photomatix Pro – an High Dynamic Range (HDR) tool. This vista presented itself when we arrived at a charming Bed and Breakfast at Bird’s Ferry in New Zealand.

The Northern West Coast Region offers a wide range of scenery and historic sites to see and outdoor adventure sports and activities to do, all set within the natural riches that are found here from the mountains to the sea. By far the region’s biggest attraction is its geography and wildlife, from the rugged coastline and its spectacular rock formations, the deep gorges and valleys carved by ancient glaciers and the region’s many rivers, to the lush rainforests filled with an abundance of unique and wonderful native vegetation and bird life. Truly a must go destination!

Old Number 4

This is a shot of a rusty hub of an ancient  wheel. I like the macro and selective focus of this image.  I was looking for an Old Nunber 7, so I could relate a cool Jack Daniels Story, now I must only relate some curious Math Facts about the incredible Four!

Four is the smallest composite number, its proper divisors being 1 and 2. Four is also a highly composite number. The next highly composite number is 6.

Four is the second square number, the second centered triangle number. Four is the smallest squared prime and the only even number in this form. It has an aliquot sum of 3 which is itself prime. The aliquot sequence of 4 has 4 members (4, 3, 1, 0) and is accordingly the first member of the 3-aliquot tree.

Only one number has an aliquot sum of 4 and that is squared prime 9. The prime factorization of  four is two times two. OK, enough already!

Downstairs to Downtown

This shot was  taken after a brief heavy shower in San Diego from the top of the stairs at the Convention Center, this time facing North East. From here it is a short walk to The Gaslamp Quarter and PETCO Park, home of the Padres. The architecture of this complex is just amazing!

The Embarcadero, San Francisco

This image was taken during a morning shoot of The Embarcadero in San Francisco, Marine Layer thick in the background and if you look to the distance, Alcatraz!

A Real Working Pier

I was surprised to find this huge crane on a barge and accompanying tugboat at the end of the pier. The Embarcadero is home to many shipping businesses, a tented theatrical circus, fisheries, restaraunts, a Submarine (see earlier posts) and a Fresh Produce Market. And this is just one aspect of this amazing city.

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Zoom Zoom Zoom, Rome

Piazza della Repubblica is a semi-circular Piazza in Rome, next to the Termini Station and is close to the Teatro dell’ Opera. The long exposure emphasizes the speed at which the drivers zipped along this traffic circle which is around the Fountain of the Acqua Pia. What is funny is that, this being our first night in Rome, we convinced ourselves that this must be Fountain Trevi, and then the next fountain we discovered must be the Trevi…until we found the real deal and were stunned by its scale and beauty (Silly Tourists).

PS Many new additions to today – check out all our Rome images!

Jump in, grab the shot, jump out



Arco di Costantino, Rome

To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus Maximus

This triumphal arch was erected by the Senate in honor of the Emperor Constantine, “Liberator of the city and bringer of peace”, after his victory over Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge A.D. 312. It is the largest (21m/69ft high, 25.7m/84ft wide, 7.4m/24ft deep) and best preserved of Roman triumphal arches.

The arch, with three openings, is decorated with reliefs taken from earlier structures, which the sculptors of the early fourth century were unable to equal.

Get Off My Head, Rome

Hey Pigeon, SCRAM!

Plaza Della Rotonda in Rome is the square in which the Pantheon stands. The plaza also contains a majestic fountain with a Obelisk at the center. As the Pantheon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome, the square is very busy almost all the time. In the evening it is a fantastic place to come and have a meal in one of the many restaurants that line the square.

The fountain is frequented by scores of Pigeons (And Tourists). I can hear these figures yelling, “Hey, get off my Nose” and “Pigeon, off of my head!”

Honey…Build Me a Temple, Rome

This is another view of a previous post which “The Green Door” was highlighted. This shot gives some perspective to this amazing Temple. I can somehow hear Faustina mentioning to Antoninus, “Honey, I’m sick of this Castle, can you build me a Temple?”

The building stands on a high platform of large peperino blocks. The later of two dedicatory inscriptions says, “Divo Antonino et Divae Faustinae Ex S.C.” meaning, “To the divine Antoninus and to the divine Faustina by decree of the Senate.”

The ten monolithic Corinthian columns of its pronaos are 17 m. tall. The rich bas-reliefs of the frieze under the cornice, of garlanded griffons and candelabri, were often copied from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.

Mausoleum Door, Rome

The Roman Emperor Hadrian built this Mausoleum to house his and his family remains in 123AD. The ashes of Emperor Hadrian were placed here when he died in 138AD, along with his wife and his adopted son, and so are other Emperor’s ashes. The Mausoleum became a military fortress in 401AD, then a castle in 14th century…then as a prison.

 This red door beckons you to enter…


Enter if you dare

Image of the Day: Tide Pool, Monterey, CA

I am fascinated by tidepools and love to shoot them with a long shutter speed, polarizing filter, wide angle lens and wet feet! The waves were quite strong, but the slow shutter helped to smooth out the water. I like all of the sea critters on the rocks waiting for their next submersion!

more at

What Planet is This?

Nightly Post: Red Boat, New Zealand

Returning from a road trip to the spectacular Milford Sound in the south tip of NZ, we stopped by a Cafe for a Minced Meat Pie (NZ Staple food). I spotted this little red boat by the lake at sunset. Striking. Simple. (more at

Image of the Day: Champagne Pool, New Zealand

We were the first ones in to the Rotorua cauldera region last July. It was cold, misty, steamy, spooky quiet. Lucky I didnt fall into this steaming cauldron as I was composing and taking the shots – apparently many people get cooked in these every year!

Lobster Pot for Overly Zealous Photographers

Bonus Image of the Day: Gate’s Pass Sunset, AZ

Gate’s Pass, just west of Tucson, has one of the most stunning sweeping views, spectacular sunsets and for you cactus lovers, there are thousands of all shapes and sizes. I caught this little fellow enjoying this sublime sunset.

My Prickly Friend

Image of the Day: Cannery Row, Monterey, CA

This is another awesome view from Cannery Row over looking Monterey Bay. Once again a thick marine layer added to the smokey atmosphere. This is a must visit location – very charming and ripe with history!

Cannery Row, Monterey, California

… apparently some famous guy even wrote a book about this place way back! 😉

More images at

Image of the Day : Laguna Beach, CA

Laguna Beach Sunset

After a fun wedding shoot, we stuck around to capture the setting sun at high tide. Laguna Beach is probably one of my favourite places to photograph and visit with tons of artist’s galleries and great places to eat. This image was a super long exposure – it was tricky to keep the waves from eroding the sand from underneath the tripod, and myself for that matter!  …..more sublime images at

Image of the Day: Asilomar State Beach, CA

After exploring Cannery Row I drove to the west where I found Asilomar State Beach, a 1 mile long sandy beach with spectacular rocky coves and tide pools. While hoping for a spectacular sunset, I settled for a thick Marine Layer which allowed for some slow shutter speed shots before it just got too dark. More images at

Image of the Day: Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

With the Marine Layer just starting to dissipate, I was struck by the lone rusty pylon in the Bay and how, seemingly, the industrial pier reached into the fog – wonderful feeling of scerenity……..More images at

Lone rusty pylon

Image of the Day : Pancake Rocks, New Zealand

This image was shot at Pancake Rock in New Zealand- this is a unique geological formation where the sedimentary rocks look like stacked pancakes.