Recently, the 2013 All Media Southern California Juried Art Exhibition opened to the public and for the first time, I have one piece showing at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. I am proud to say that my photograph, Near the Pier, is being featured at the show. It is the first time my photography is being displayed at a public exhibition. I do sincerely hope the piece sells. I captured photograph while I was in Manhattan Beach and the people, the pier and the vibrant colors all set up perfectly for this shot. I also know people like it online as it is one of the most visited photographs within my online gallery. This show features two- and three-dimensional art, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics and digital media. The juror for this show is Grace Kook-Anderson. She is also the curator of exhibitions at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California. The exhibition is from September 21 to October 26, 2013. I am very grateful that I was chosen to participate in this show. There is no rest however as my next goal is to be admitted into the 2014 Laguna Beach Festival of Arts show. The application process is well under way and I will keep readers of this blog updated as to my status for next summer. Stay tuned.
However, it is what I saw and captured during my trip to Colorado that really sparked the photographer inside of me. I titled this blog entry, the Best Places to photography in Colorado for a reason. Before this excursion, I had only driven through Denver once, years ago during a cross country trip to see professional baseball games. This was before the Colorado Rockies even existed.
That said, I was not going to miss this opportunity to capture the amazing nature scenes Colorado has to offer. As I prepared for my trip, I did two important things that would make any photographs I took better. I researched great photography spots in Colorado and I spoke with people. A lot of people. In fact, I spoke with anyone who has been to Colorado and was willing to offer me suggestions of where to shoot. I even spoke with people I met once landed, but more about that another day.
Some of the spots, I wanted to shoot I never got to while others were added as I went along, and yes, one helpful couple unintentionally led me to a dead end. No matter, I loved the short amount of free time I had and made the most of it. In no particular order, here is the highlight list from my trip to Colorado, a few photos and a bit more commentary.
1. Vail – It was the destination for the conference and once I arrived, I knew instantly why ski lovers are passionate about this vacation destination. The summer/falls months are not to be missed either.
2. Red Rocks Amphitheater — Was tipped off about this music destination on my way to Vail, but had to pull over for a half an hour and see this beautiful setting for myself. There was a crew setting up for an event later in the weekend, but I took full advantage of the this stop, which was not far off the freeway.
3. Hanging Lake — I ventured on this three-mile round trip hike on my own, post conference and before I needed to catch my plane from Denver. This location is further West from Vail off the 70 freeway, about an hour in fact, but I woke early and made the most of my Sunday morning. Again, more about this wonderful hike and site in another blog post.
4. Sapphire Point — The drive here, just outside of the town of Dillon, Colorado, provides a spectacular view of Lake Dillon Reservoir. It is a little bit out of the way and not especially well marked, but wasn’t too tough to locate. The stop provided a nice rest spot between Denver and Vail, about 10-15 minutes off the freeway.
While there, it also provided me the opportunity to meet this guy.
5. Nature Hikes — The photograph below was actually taken during my walk to Hanging Lake (see #3). That said, there are so many amazing natural places to shoot, I promise you, your camera will have ample opportunity to capture scenes like this.
I know I have missed so many more places. it will be a great reason to return to the Rocky Mountains. For those of you who have never visited, put it on your vacation or travel schedule. These were my Best Places to photograph in Colorado — for this trip. I look forward to discovering many more.
If you like these photographs, there are certainly more to view on my photography portfolio at Charles Harris Photography. Click on the Landscapes portfolio.
I certainly need to make up for lost time. This is my first public post since capturing the last parts of winter in New York City. While I have captured many new photographs, I somehow have not found the time to post about them until now. I will ask for your forgiveness as I try to catch up a bit.
The following photographs were taken during a visit to Laguna Beach. If you read this blog or view my landscape photography on my website, you will know that Laguna Beach is a favorite destination. But, until this visit, I had never spent time at Victoria Beach.
This hidden gem in Laguna is known for his Turret or castle as outlined below. of course, I made my way to this beach right before sunset as the lighting and time of day seem to provide for the best photographs. While it was a bit cloudy at times, the small thin castle provides for a truly unique setting to capture the Pacific Ocean.
Around the corner from this castle, which resembles more of a tan NASA rocket with windows than a traditional Chateau, is a wonderful tide pool which the waves often rush over rocks.
At the time of this photo, the tide must have been pretty low. I was able to stand on the rocks themselves and somehow avoided getting wet. The last shot I am posting in this set, is a cool photo of the summer waves with the classic trees, tourists and houses as the back drop. When you drop down the steps to Victoria Beach, this is the first setting your eyes will fall in love with as you make your way to the sand.
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Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph great destinations outside of my normal Southern California beaches. If you have the opportunity to view my portfolio, many of the shots I have featured are focused on these magical Southern California beaches. I do not think anyone would question why not. These beaches are so picturesque and colorful that nature’s perfect backdrop makes for stunning backgrounds.
As I also mentioned in another post, I recently spent time in North Carolina shooting, but this was after I departed from New York City.
And when you have the opportunity to photograph in New York, how can one not stop at Central Park at sunrise to capture one of the most iconic places in the city that never sleeps. The early light in the Central Park plays off the city’s buildings. It’s captured in a yellow/orangish hue that helps to light up the darker path.
These shots, not taken long ago, shows in both the picture above as well as the shot below that there still was snow on the ground in March, 2013. In fact, the city was dusted with snow while I was there and that proved to be an additional incentive to reach Central Park before it all melted away.
In the photograph below, I wanted to capture the feeling that you were crossing the bridge into the heart of New York City. The early morning light helped to illuminate the city buildings.
I have shot this Central Park bridge before (below), but never at sunrise.
I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to my landscape photography. While my passion for taking photographs has not waned, the time I have had to write and showcase some of my favorite work has escaped me until now.
Recently, following a business trip to New York, I was able to spend a weekend in North Carolina. It was my first visit to this region and while I have traveled through most of America’s 50 states, I have no idea why North Carolina escaped me until now. After seeing and witnessing its beauty, I regret not coming through here years ago.
This first shot, shown above is one of my new favorites that I will be showing for a long time. I have titled it, ” A Deer, a Duck and a Small Red Roof.”
The red tin roof and the duck are easy to spot. The deer not so much. I must have sat in this location for about 30 minutes trying to capture the perfect time of day. Dusk is my favorite light and I was rewarded by this peaceful pond.
In North Carolina, there are no shortages for bridges and it seemed I was shooting bridges and water at every turn. The photography below is called “Chapel Hill Bridge.”
Another bridge over calm waters…..
And one finally that had no water.
I could not help but capture the photograph of the couple below, enjoying the afternoon sun by a bridge, in a garden.
The final photo in this set is a more well-known bridge over water. Can you name the place?
Each one of the photographs I take sets a scene and tells a story from a moment in time. This week, the flu hit me hard and knocked me out of work for a few days. I hate not being in the office and confined to my home, but tried, when I had the energy to make it productive.
The following video is a brief montage from the photographs I post on the Charles Harris Photography (On Smugmug) website.
The difference is, this time, I set it to music and added a bit of motion to a few of the photographs.
Once upon a time, I lived in Newport Beach while attending school as an undergrad at the University of California, Irvine. 32nd street to be exact. The environment and landscape in the area was so captivating that I never wanted to leave my surroundings. If I only had my Canon camera back then….
I recently found myself back in the same area on an early Sunday morning with time, the right lighting and great views to take a few photographs of my former Newport Beach neighborhood. It was right round 8:00 a.m. when I parked the car and walked to the bridge overlooking Lido Isle, where it seems everyone has a private dock, boat and a multi-million dollar home.
I could not capture a perfect reflection in the clam water as a small group of birds continued to cause a ripple effect that is shown in the water’s tree line. They were just playing in the shallow end of the water and these ripples caused the small waves in the water.
Eventually, I moved to the Newport Beach Pier, where I planted myself under the pier itself and set up for a few photographs.
While I think I should have been here at sunset instead of the early morning, the blue sky was as clear as I could remember. At this spot, birds gather by the dozens as fishermen bring in and cut up fresh fish they catch during the night. It took a while (photo below) to get most of the birds out of the shot but it was well worth it. The endless pier made this a great way to end my time in Newport Beach.
When it comes to shooting landscape photography, I have quickly come to prefer two times of day to pull out my Canon camera: First Light and Last Light. Translation: Sunrise and sunset.
The way the sun cast these early and late shadows just makes all the difference when capturing the mood, shadows and overall feeling.
Not one to ever sleep much, I am often up before the sun rises so I head to the closest beach to see what I can see.
I especially like the photo above, where it shows the sun creeping through the grass as it begins to wake up the West Coast.
The above photo was one of the first I took, when I arrived at Crystal Cove State Park. I could just imagine a warm summer’s day picnic. The clouds in this photo are especially clear right between the pillars, providing a magical experience to the shot.
The two rocks in the foreground of the above photo enjoy the colorful skyline, here with a pinkish hue before the sun brightens up this portion of the world.
Finally, I leave you with this last photo, what I call the “Tiered Sunrise.” The clouds add an effect of two different colors as the sun creates a yellow and orange-ish color to them.
I have been asked if I use some sort of editing program like Photoshop to alter the photos. I do not. I have not yet learned how to use Photoshop. The only editing tool I use in my photography is iPhoto.
This weekend is a bit dark, cold and rainy so I have chosen this post to look back on a photograph I shot last weekend. I call it Sunset Sail in Newport Beach for obvious reasons.
I often pass by Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach and it just so happens by Canon camera was in the backseat last Sunday, just as the sun was setting in Orange County.
The evening sky has been putting on quite a show of late and was glad I took time out to capture this sail boat coming back into Newport Bay.
My goal was to place the boat between the palm trees in the distance. However, the sail and the angle they came at me did not allow me to create perfect symmetry for this shot. That said, I am very pleased with the vibrant colors in the sky for a November dusk evening.
I recently viewed a photograph on Instagram where someone listed the beautiful shot with the hashtag #skyporn. I laughed out loud as I both admired the photographers shot and the thought that mother nature can deliver #skyporn.
Having never seen this reference before, I Google’d it on the Internet and learned of its definition via urbandictionary.com
“A term often used as a hashtag on social media services like Instagram or Twitter when accompanying an image showing extraordinary picture of the sky. Usually the image will feature unusual or spectacular cloud formations or an impressive sunset.”
Well, here are two of my submissions from photographs I took in Manhattan Beach, California, looking out towards the pier.
Here is the Charles Harris version of my skyporn.
Recently, I started lugging my camera with me, just in case a wonderful opportunity presents itself. I cannot tell you how many times I have been somewhere, only wishing I had a professional level camera at my side.
Yes, I have an iPhone, but I prefer something a bit more sophisticated when I really want to capture the moment.
I got lucky recently during one of my frequent visits to the beach. As the title suggests, I captured what I think is a bit of magic in Laguna Beach. The sky lit up shades of purple and pink, magical colors I could never make up if I tried. It was really nature’s magic show.
A short while earlier, before the colors turned a beautiful shade of pink, there was this photograph, a mystical shot of the sun before it descended below the horizon.
I called this photography Beyond. It speaks to me in a much different way than the previous two. My work — Charles Harris Photography — is to capture something that will last. With this photo, I think I have done so.
The three day Labor Day weekend allowed me to head off to my favorite photography spot in Orange County, Laguna Beach. I have been to this seaside city many times over the years, but the stops never get old and I always find something new to photography. So this weekend, it was Fall in Laguna Beach.
There is a spot that I have come to like, not far from my home. It is the Crystal Cove State Park, right off Pacific Coast Highway at the edge of Laguna Beach/Newport Beach in California. I took the camera and returned this spot where I settled in for the end of summer sunset.
Yosemite is one of my favorite national parks to visit.
No matter how many times I go, there is always something new to photograph. I feel that I am only getting started in a place Ansel Adams made famous.
Most of my photographs of Yosemite and not processed and saved in a black and white format. They are in color.
However, this one struck me more as a black and white photo than color. I believe it to be more dramatic.
It was taken during the morning for an 11 mile hike. I must have been with some 50 people and they walked right by this spot. bringing up the rear in the group, I took my time. What struck me so much was the burned out base of the tree, still nestled in the ground just to the right of this seedling that had begun to grow.
In the background is Yosemite Valley, with wonderful cloud lines that makes this photograph much more complete.
When we fail to pay attention to the smaller things like the new vs old tree, then we often miss the bigger picture in the valley.
Below, just to show you a bit of the difference in the way Yosemite in Black and White vs color appears in my portfolio, I have also included a morning photograph of half dome. Enjoy!