Cityscapes: Downtown Los Angeles

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] had never been to Dodger Stadium and as a Giants fan, I thought it would be a great to finally check it out in the middle of the pennant race between the two rivals. I dropped in to visit my son, Randy, who is attending school in LA so it worked out as a good father-son get-together too. I was very impressed with Dodger Stadium – it is really quite amazing, especially since it’s older than me. But then again, it’s no AT&T Park either. I was equally impressed with the view of the downtown Los Angeles city skyline from the parking lot. I was glad I brought along my camera so that I could make a couple of long exposure night shots after the game.

The game didn’t end quite as well as I had hoped. The Giants couldn’t muster much in the way of hitting from the middle of their lineup and that Zack Greinke was just too much for us. I did still enjoy seeing the game and visiting my son but it was also cool to take a little souvenir back too – that evening shot of LA.

We were parked right next to the edge of the cliff where we had a great view of the city so while everyone else was stuck in a unmoving line of traffic, I set up my Canon 5D, tripod and cable release. In between 2 minute exposures, I was asked to take photos of folks walking by with their cell phones. Apparently I wasn’t the only one caught with the impressive view.

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After 15 years as a resident of Clovis, I thought it was finally time to see the balloon launch for ClovisFest in 2014.

I can’t  believe I’ve missed doing this for so long. I’ve been to the kick-off event (for The Bee) which is done with mostly media and only one balloon a day before the real ClovisFest celebration, but that’s nothing compared to this. Seeing eight balloons take off with hundreds (thousands?) of people watching was really pretty cool. I guess it was the 6am alarm on a Saturday that kept me from ever doing it. And my kids were never into checking it out either.

So since I my schedule had me free in the morning, I thought I would take a run out to the Clovis Rodeo Grounds and finally check it out. It was about as cool as you can imagine. The air was cool and very comfortable in the predawn moments just a day away from fall. As the sun began to peak over the mountains, the balloons began to inflate and catch the warm colored rays of light.  In minutes, the balloons were a flight and hovering above clovis. There were photographers galore out there so it was tough to stay out of people’s shots, but it really was a cool event for families.

Glad I went.

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Golden Gate Bridge

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] grew up in the Bay Area so I have a particular fondness of many things there, but a big one has to the the Golden Gate Bridge.

I love looking at it from lots of different angles – nighttime or daytime. I’ve even walked across it a few times – once was during the 50th anniversary of the bridge in 1987.

So recently I decided to finally take a few nighttime photos of the bridge from the Marin Headlands overlook. I set up my tripod and waited for the sun to set and the lights in the city to take effect while my family waited in the car (we were on a vacation visit – thanks family!). Finally the sky was dark enough to take a few long exposures. I had to hurry because the state park rangers were closing access to that road just after sunset. My favorite image shows a streak of light from a jet about to land at SFO.

I managed to hit a couple of other spots along the road. It was tough though because I wasn’t the only one with that idea. Dozens of photographers were dotted along the vista parking areas on the road. Someday, I’ll have to hit it again because there was one more spot I would love to get.

If you are interested in prints from this shoot, go to my contact page and fill out the form. Just select “other” in the drop-down menu and I will get back to you with options and costs.


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JULIA Boutique

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ULIA Boutique is a jewelry and accessories store located at the River Park Shopping Center. They recently asked me to do some boutique photography of the merchandise in their store as well as the store location itself to help gets some online traction through

I always think it’s a smart move for store owners to get professional photography for their stores to help make their merchandise really stand out. Professional business photography will provide images with  clear, sharp focus and good lighting and give them a professional edge. It’s worth it to spend a few bucks because viewers who see quality photography will be more inclined to click and potentially buy.

While it’s always a great idea for businesses to use professionally designed marketing and websites, the single most important part of presenting your business online is going to be the photography. You can even have a sharp, well-designed website with professional copy writing and slick features, but poorly lit or blurry photography will turn people off right at the get-go.

I can totally understand why some business owners would prefer to go with “Uncle Bob” to do their photography. He needs something to do, right? And you can’t beat free. But the problem is, is that the Canon Rebel he got for Christmas isn’t going to cut it. You need professional cameras with high megapixel output to produce high level images. And beyond that, you have to have lenses, lighting and a creative eye to make those images pop. You’re only going to get that from a professional photographer.

The shop owners at JULIA Boutique at River Park had the forethought to hire a professional for their boutique photography because they know what’s going to attract business. I hope JULIA sees some quick rewards from their decision to do so.

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Dumont Printing

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y first of many (hopefully!) Fresno commercial photography shoots for Nettra Digital Marketing was of the Dumont Printing Company. Basically any complex printing jobs in the area are all done right here at Dumont – and many go all over the country too. It’s quite an operation, printing on everything from four-color programs to cups and banners. It’s quite an amazing place and I was happy to help show off their work and their workers with some good photography for their website.

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