Travel theme: Illuminated

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Remember my 2014 nature photography calendars (choose between five different themes) are still available for sale. Look in the left sidebar on my website for the most up-to-date discount coupon code. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase, and a starving artist (me!). I also appreciate any referral through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course your blog or website.

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “illuminated”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I love how the morning sun illuminates the sky slowly through the trees behind my house. Sometimes the light can be yellow when the sky is covered with gray clouds.

Travel theme: Illuminated golden sunrise in San Diego
Travel theme: Illuminated golden sunrise in San Diego

Other times, the sun illuminates the whole sky at once, making the blue bolder than ever.

Travel theme: Illuminated sunrise with blue sky in San Diego
Travel theme: Illuminated sunrise with blue sky in San Diego

I love how the sun shines down on water and can brighten up a whole ocean.

Bright sun shining on the Pacific ocean waves
Bright sun shining on the Pacific ocean waves

I enjoy photographing the reflections of light on small water ripples, especially when they include colorful reflections of the surrounding bushes and trees. If you’ve ever seen liquid mercury, this water almost looks like it, doesn’t it? I have more photos of the ducks swimming in this pond and I hope to share them soon.

Reflections of light and tree leaves in pond water
Reflections of light and tree leaves in pond water

At night, artificial light can illuminate our dark surroundings to make them more friendly. I love Christmas lights and this is probably the brightest Christmas light display I saw this past holiday. Now, that’s illuminated!

Bright Christmas lights: Rudolph and the reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh
Bright Christmas lights: Rudolph and the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh

Travel theme: Sky

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Remember that my 2014 nature photography calendars (choose between five different themes) are available for sale. Save 60% on my calendars by using coupon code CYBERTUESDAY at checkout (valid until 12/3/13 midnight). Look in the left sidebar on my website for the most up-to-date discount coupon code. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase, and a starving artist (me!). I also appreciate any referral through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course your blog or website.

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “sky”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

We’ve got plenty of sky in San Diego and on a good day, it looks as blue as this.

Travel theme: Blue sky in San Diego and rising moon
Travel theme: Blue sky in San Diego and rising moon

OK, let me clarify my previous statement. The sky tends to be this blue inland, while the sky by the coast is often covered by some haze, the marine layer or some thick clouds. That’s why Denver in Colorado technically gets a lot more sunny days than the city of San Diego. But you just have to drive 10 or 15 miles inland, and the weather is beautiful most of the year.

The sky is even bluer in the mountains of Southern California, where the air is cleaner.

Travel theme: Blue sky in Southern California
Travel theme: Blue sky in Southern California

Of course, we do get some clouds once in a while. I often call them “a waste of clouds” because they don’t bring any rain and just cover the sky with gray layers. Big white puffy clouds like these are rare to spot in the sky and these are my favorite days.

Travel theme: sky with puffy clouds
Travel theme: sky with puffy clouds

Our summer sunrises and sunsets are quite boring, when the sky goes through a few colors with no wow moment. Winter is a different story, as the sun rays hit the sky and the clouds that are sometimes there at a different angle.

Travel theme: sky at sunrise in San Diego
Travel theme: sky at sunrise in San Diego

I haven’t had the chance to capture a sunset this past week, but many of them have looked like this one.

Travel theme: sky at sunset in San Diego
Travel theme: sky at sunset in San Diego

What color is the sky where you are?

Travel theme: Through

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “through”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

Let me take you on a tour through the forest, one of my favorite activities. Sometimes the trail going through is pretty narrow.

IMG_3947

And sometimes it is quite wide.

Travel theme: Through the forest
Travel theme: Through the forest

Pine trees have so many thick branches that it can be hard to see the blue sky through them.

Travel theme: the blue sky through the branches
Travel theme: the blue sky through the branches

Pine tree sap is see through, although it tends to reflect a lot of its surroundings too.

Travel theme: see through tree sap
Travel theme: see through tree sap

Sometimes when you hike in a park, a river runs through it.

Travel theme: a river runs through it
Travel theme: a river runs through it

All the way through.

Travel theme: a river runs through it
Travel theme: a river runs through it

Forests are full of plants and animals, including insects. Insect wings are usually see through, including the wings of this blue dragonfly.

Travel theme: see through wings of a dragonfly
Travel theme: see through wings of a dragonfly

Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “simplicity”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I try to keep my photos as simple as possible and that’s why I like doing macros a lot, focusing on one subject and keeping the background a blur. But I also like the simplicity of some landscapes, especially when they involve water. For this theme, I decided to feature the beautiful Lake Hemet in Southern California. Considering the small lakes and ponds we have in the San Diego area, Lake Hemet is a lot larger. There’s something very peaceful about standing in front of a large body of water. Here’s just one little part of it.

Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet, Southern California
Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet, Southern California

I like the simple landscape around the lake: the shore, some grass and then trees and a mix of shrubs and brush.

Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet
Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet

Even in hot weather, you can enjoy a little breeze right by the lake, which causes a few simple ripples by the shore.

Travel theme: Simplicity of lake water ripples
Travel theme: Simplicity of lake water ripples

The trees around the lake provide a welcome amount of shade. In the morning, before the sun rays heat up the atmosphere, you can witness a beautiful blue sky – a sign of the purity of the air at 4000 feet away from most civilization. Simple and beautiful.

Simplicity of blue sky above the pine trees
Simplicity of blue sky above the pine trees

Travel theme: Motion of Fourth of July fireworks

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “motion”. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I took a lot of great photos of the Fourth of July fireworks last night, and I thought I’d use this week’s photo theme on motion to start sharing them. Fireworks are in constant motion as they go up, as they explode, and as they make their way back down. For the first time last night, I did everything I was supposed to do to get the best fireworks photos I could get: use the right camera, a tripod, and the perfect settings in full manual mode. The trick is to have the perfect timing to capture the motion for the best effect. I still have to work on that part. That means more practice next year!

Here are a few of the photos I’ve edited so far. Remember you can click on these photos for a larger view. Enjoy!

Here’s the first multi-color fireworks I’ve ever seen. Don’t they look great?

Travel theme: Motion of Fourth of July fireworks
Travel theme: Motion of Fourth of July fireworks
Travel theme: Motion of Fourth of July fireworks
Travel theme: Motion of Fourth of July fireworks

I’d never seen fireworks like these below but they looked really nice.

Fourth of July fireworks - 2013
Fourth of July fireworks – 2013
Fourth of July fireworks - burst of pink and red
Fourth of July fireworks – burst of pink and red