Monthly Archives

January 2013

Jardin du Luxembourg, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Paris

Photo of les Jardins du Luxembourg, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

One of our favorite parts of Paris is the Luxembourg Gardens. We visited under both miserable, cold, rainy skies and again on a spectacular, blue sky afternoon, and enjoyed it both times. This is the fountain and pool in front of the Luxembourg Palace (where the French Senate is located), with toy sailboats and ducks enjoying the water. I made a large panorama of the same scene as well. If you like this, check out more photos of Paris. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Jardin du Luxembourg.  The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in Paris located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France. The park is the garden of the French Senate, which is itself housed in the Luxembourg Palace

Jardin du Luxembourg. The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in Paris located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France. The park is the garden of the French Senate, which is itself housed in the Luxembourg Palace.
Image ID: 28181
Location: Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, France

Night Star Trails over the Downtown San Diego City Skyline

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, San Diego

San Diego City Skyline Night Photograph with Star Trails

I met friend and photographer Garry McCarthy at 0-dark-30 yesterday morning, with the goal of photographing the downtown San Diego city skyline with star trails circling above. Exceptionally clear skies are required for this sort of photograph since any moisture or dust in the air serves to capture the ugly glow of the city lights below and obscure the stars. We had nearly ideal conditions for our attempt. I used three cameras with lenses of differing focal lengths to make several compositions. These trails are created with a long exposure (e.g., 60 minutes) as the Earth turns. The star that appears to be a dot is Polaris, the North Star; it lies almost exactly on the axis of Earth’s rotation so has very little apparent movement in these images. Note that in the bottom image, shot with a very wide lens, a meteor appears as a streak above and to the left of Polaris. If you like this, check out my other Night Photographs and Astrophotography Landscapes or my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking!

Star Trails over the San Diego Downtown City Skyline.  In this 60 minute exposure, stars create trails through the night sky over downtown San Diego

Star Trails over the San Diego Downtown City Skyline. In this 60 minute exposure, stars create trails through the night sky over downtown San Diego.
Image ID: 28383
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Star Trails over the San Diego Downtown City Skyline.  In this 60 minute exposure, stars create trails through the night sky over downtown San Diego

Star Trails over the San Diego Downtown City Skyline. In this 60 minute exposure, stars create trails through the night sky over downtown San Diego.
Image ID: 28385
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Broken Hill, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego

San Diego

Dawn breaks over the mesa at Torrey Pines State Reserve, overlooking the Pacific Ocean with La Jolla in the distance. This sandstone formation is known as “Broken Hill” and presides above one of the most spectacular vistas in the San Diego area. I was alone here at dawn with nary a speck of wind. I could hear the waves breaking on the beach far below. Torrey Pines State Reserve is a special place for me. When I was a kid, we drove down from Newport Beach to hike the winding dirt trails from the mesa to the beach, squeezing through the notorious and now-closed “Fat Man’s Misery” (a politically-incorrectly-named narrow trail which discriminates against the width-challenged), wondering whether we would see any free-ranging wild nudies when we reached the ocean below. (Sadly, we learned that the nudist be-ins took place further south at Black’s Beach). When I lived in Del Mar in the 80’s and 90’s I would run in Torrey Pines each day, slowly making my way up the historic old Coast Highway to the golf course on the mesa and then enjoying the downhill trail past Broken Hill and down the view-laden switchbacks to the beach at Flat Rock. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Chateau Versailles Ceiling Paintings

Paris

After a taste of the ceiling paintings in the Louvre Museum in Paris, Tracy and I made sure to look up when we walked through Chateau de Versailles at some of the magnificent ceiling paintings there. Louis XIV sure knew how to decorate in grand style! What is with the bendo look to some of these rectangular panels, you ask? I used an exceptionally wide lens to photograph the interior rooms of the Versailles Chateau, which in some cases (when stitching multiple images into a single large image) produces a circular or spherical view of an otherwise rectangular room. Cheers and thanks for looking.

Ceiling art detail, Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail.
Image ID: 28071
Location: Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail, Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail.
Image ID: 28069
Location: Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail, Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail.
Image ID: 28070
Location: Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail, Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail.
Image ID: 28072
Location: Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail, Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling art detail.
Image ID: 28075
Location: Chateau de Versailles, Paris, France

Ceiling Art, Musee du Louvre, Paris

Paris

Louvre Museum Ceiling Paintings

One of the highlights of our October trip to Paris were two visits to the Louvre Museum. I was looking forward to seeing the Italian and Dutch painting galleries, and they certainly did not disappoint. However, what I found most striking where the many ornate and spectacular ceiling panels. I decided to make a study of these amazing works of art, in some cases stitching multiple images into a single resulting portrayal of the ceiling. I was equipped with what is perhaps the best gear to photograph interiors characterized by very wide angles and low light levels: Nikon D800 camera and 14-24/f2.8 lens. When you are next en Musee du Louvre, remember to look up and be amazed. Cheers!

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre.
Image ID: 28043
Location: Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre.
Image ID: 28220
Location: Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre.
Image ID: 28036
Location: Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre.
Image ID: 28039
Location: Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Ceiling detail, Musee du Louvre.
Image ID: 28040
Location: Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Moonset over Fire Wave, Valley of Fire, Nevada

Valley of Fire

The moon sets over the Fire Wave, a candy-striped bowl of sandstone found in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, not far from Las Vegas. Who knew such a a serene and beautiful scene could lie only an hour from the world’s greatest den of depravity and sin? The dichotomy of the two locations is striking. I will be spending two weekends in Las Vegas at volleyball tournaments in coming months and hope to get out to the beautiful Valley of Fire for a hike when I am there. Cheers and thanks for looking!

The moon sets over the Fire Wave, a beautiful sandstone formation exhibiting dramatic striations, striped layers in the geologic historical record, Valley of Fire State Park

The moon sets over the Fire Wave, a beautiful sandstone formation exhibiting dramatic striations, striped layers in the geologic historical record.
Image ID: 26511
Location: Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, USA