Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ella Attacks Bay City!

Ella Attacks Bay City!, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Innocent and unaware of her destructive potential baby Ella rises from the cold, murky depths of San Francisco Bay.

I don't normally play around with these heavy handed photoshop techniques, but I've been immobilized with a cold for the past three days. It's good to try something new now and then. I played with the Transform Perspective tool for over an hour trying to create realistic shadows across Ella's body.

How did I do?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Inspired By Donnie

Fantastic Voyage, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

I've been stuck in the Hyatt in Dulles with a cold for the past 30 hours. Without anything to do I started watching photoshop tutorials on youtube. I came across the "You Suck at Photoshop" series. It's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. It inspired me to make the "Fantastic Voyage" photo illustration you see above.

Here's the first Video from season 1:

You can see all of Donnie's videos here.

Modern City

Modern City, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Here's another sunrise photograph of downtown Seattle. This photo was taken about ten minutes before the sun cracked over the horizon. There was enough light in the sky to illuminate the skyscrapers, but it was still dark enough to get nice light trails on the highway. This was shot at ISO 50, aperture f16, and 25 second shutter speed. The Canon 5D ISO 50 setting is awesome. Even with a 25 second exposure I didn't get any sensor noise.

You can purchase the rights to or a print of this photo of downtown Seattle at

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to Find a Photo Location

Seattle Sunrise, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

This is a photo I have wanted to take for years. It's Downtown Seattle from Beacon Hill. I don't live in Seattle, and I've only stayed overnight there a few times. However, I once saw a photo of Downtown Seattle with a twisted mass of interstates entering the city. After a long time spent on Google maps I found a probable location for this shot.

Last week I had two overnights in Seattle. On the first overnight I took a scouting jog towards beacon hill. It was surprisingly easy to find. The next morning I got up before sunrise and set out with my camera and tripod. I had two locations for the shot scouted. One from a bridge and this location in a park. Because I had scouted the scene the day before I had time to shoot both spots during the brief period of good light.

Double Capped Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier Aerial, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

It's been a while since I posted an aerial photo. What can I say -- the weather hasn't been good lately and this time of year the nights are a lot longer than day.

This is a photo of Mount Rainier taken late last week at sunset. There is a fresh layer of snow on the summit. It had snowed the day before. The little cloud hanging around the top of the mountain is called a cap cloud.

Friday, November 21, 2008

San Francisco Skyline

San Francisco Skyline, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Yesterday I had a free afternoon in San Francisco. I took BART into the city, got off at Civic Center, and took a hike around the city. I ended up on Telegraph Hill near Coit Tower for sunset.

This photo was taken through a rare vacant lot looking down into downtown. In the center of the frame is the Trans America Building. If it wasn't for the vacant lot I am sure I never could have gotten this photo. I imagine the real estate on Telegraph hill is some of the most expensive land on earth. Selfishly I am hoping they build on this lot soon so I have a unique (more valuable) photo on my hands.

When composing this photo I purposely left some of the messy lot in the frame to contrast with the well ordered sparkling skyline. Also, you might notice the subtle lead in lines that help create a nice single point perspective. On the left side of the frame the lines of the foreground building point towards the center, and on the right side of the frame a well lit street also forms a line pointing towards the skyline.

To the bus driver and other bus passenger I met on the drive down the hill-- I'll have this photo up at my stock site in a few days. If you are still interested in a print email me at for details.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dad and the Boys in Nebraska

Here's a photo from our move from San Francisco to Wisconsin. That's my dad and our two dogs romping around a rest stop off Interstate 80 in Nebraska. The light was great at this rest area so I took my camera along when we let the dogs out to run.

Moving across the country with five pets is a challenge, but it is possible. Our animals made it intact, and we got away with sneaking all five pets into our hotel room each of the three nights we were on the road. The Quality Inn in Lincoln, NE was our biggest challenge. The only hotel entrance other than the lobby was a stair well that opened up directly behind the check in counter. We had to carry the three cats and the litter box up four flights of stairs. Jack our black border collie mix liked that hotel best, because he found a ton of rabbits to chase in the warehouse district behind the hotel.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Perched Above the City

LA Sunrise, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

It seems like I have been shooting a lot of photos from high vantage points lately. This is another sunrise shot from the Roof of the LAX Weston. The building has to have the red aviation hazard lights because it is very close to the airport. I put the lights in the frame because I think it helps give a sense of scale and height to the picture.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

San Francisco from Twin Peaks Park

I'm not living in the bay area anymore, but I am commuting there once a week. I took this photo last week week in Twin Peaks Park. It's a panorama stitched together from five photos. The original image is 7200x4000 pixels. That's pretty big. I think this photo could be printed about 8 feet wide without using any upsizing software.

This was my first visit to Twin Peaks park. It was very hard for me to find. I think this would be a great location for sunset or sunrise photos f the city.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to Work

LAX Westin, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

This is only my second post for the month of November and it is already the 17th -- pretty pathetic. Things are starting to settle in after our move and I should be able to get back to regular posting soon. I had plans to do some work on this blog during my last trip, but I forgot half of my computer charger at home. I also forgot my running shoes. However, I didn't forget my camera and tripod. I got a bunch of cool pics.

This is the view from the roof of the Westin Hotel at LAX airport. I took this photo at sunrise. An advantage to being on central time is sunrise on the west cost feels like mid morning to me. The aircraft landing is a Skywest Brazilia. It's on final approach to runway 25L at LAX.

A techincal note: This photo was one of the rare times I ever use ISO higher than 100 while using a tripod. I used ISO 400 with this picture to keep the aircraft from blurring. I also opened the aperture to f/8. Normally for a picture like this where I want lots of depth of field I would have shot at f/13, but because the airplane is such an important (even if small in size) part of the photo, I wanted a speedy shutter speed to keep it from blurring.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wendover Rest Stop

Wendover Rest Stop, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

If you have been wondering why I haven't made a post in awhile it is because we moved from California to Wisconsin last week. I've been too busy to post. Our two dogs, three cats, and 13 month old daughter all made it safely across the country.

This photo was taken in Wendover Nevada/Utah (it's right on the border). I had time to take a few photos on the trip. I'll post them as soon as I get some more free time.