While out driving around seeing what I could see, I came across the Hornbek Homestead (link below). Not only is the countryside in this area beautiful, but the drive there is beautiful too. Here are a few images from one of my trips there.
I came up on this part of road unexpectedly and had to swerve off the road to capture it once I saw it, it was just so picturesque to me. I had to dodge a couple on coming cars as I was in the middle of the road trying to get this shot. I am happy I did!
This is a close up of the front door on the Hornbek Homestead I posted about here.
Random dirt road in the middle of nowhere next to a barbed wire fence at dusk.
There is a nature walk at the Hornbek Homestead that crosses this awesome little bridge. This is the view looking out into the nature to come once you cross it.
This is part of the valley you see on the nature walk as you are crossing the bridge above. As I was walking into the valley, I saw a fox running off into the canyon. It is some beautiful nature out here!
Flowers like these adorn the trail all over. I had to capture one of these, they were very pretty!
I thought it would be a nice change to post some photos taken with my smartphone since that technology keeps getting better and better. All the pics below were taken with my Nexus 5 smartphone, made in collaboration between Google and LG. Now cameras on phones are still behind the mighty DSLR, but they sure are making huge strides! Now the camera on my phone is not considered to be one of the best out there. It has 8 megapixels and is mediocre. There are phones that shoot over 35 megapixels and even in RAW with excellent image quality! Are you kidding me?!
Because my phone camera is not great, I tend to tweak the pictures quite a bit to make them pop. I know the photos below are a bit overdone, but for a smartphone I think they look pretty cool. I would never edit a photo this way from my DSLR, but when from a phone I think it is OK. I use a free app called Snapseed and it is available on iOS and Android. For most purposes, it does a pretty good job.
The photo above was a panorama image that was then edited with Snapseed.
With the iPhone 6 right around the corner (announcement on 9/9/14), there are a new batch of cutting edge phones hitting the market soon. With each new batch of flagship phones, cameras get better with more capabilities. To be honest, I think these cameras are getting so good that it is beginning to push the DSLR manufacturers to innovate faster which is a great thing for photographers.
At this point, though, pretty much every phone can benefit from the added editing from apps such as Snapseed. These programs will really bring out the potential of your phone’s camera. Instagram has some pretty good editing options, but the problem is that it forces your photo to be cropped and post within their ecosystem. What if you just want to edit your full size photo and save for other uses, such as posting to a website or emailing? Then the third-party app is the way to go.
Whatever phone you shoot with and whether it is iOS or Android (my preference), it is an exciting time because the technology is so good. Enjoy yourself. If your phone takes sub par photos and you have become discouraged creatively, try one of the reputable editing apps and really explore the capabilities. It may reignite that creative spark in you to keep shooting and having fun!
Clouds and Meadow
I just made this image last night and since it so clearly goes along with this topic, I had to add it.
This beautiful sunset seemed so much more magical in person than what my camera originally captured. So, to make it look more like how it felt,I made it to have a slightly painted feel to it. A dreamy touch on the already amazing canvas of clouds and ocean. Isn’t a peaceful scene? It sure was when I was taking it. I am happy that this image brings me back to that same feeling that I can visit at any time. This might have to go on my wall…
I happened to stumble across the road to this valley by chance, but boy am I glad I did! It was the perfect time of day with the sun behind the rain clouds that were moving in at dusk. I definitely felt like I was in another time in a land far, far away. What a beautiful place.
There is a local spot referred to as “Top of the World” in Laguna Beach, CA. This spot has fantastic views of the Laguna Beach coastline and skyline, as well as the valley behind Laguna Beach. After a rain here recently, I knew there would be some great cloud action going on so I jumped in “Em” and jetted down to, er, up to TOTW.
Beautiful LB sky and sunset. Very cool trail that gives great views of the surrounding area.
Another view of the amazing colors in the sky.
A little earlier, just as beautiful. You can see someone off in the distance enjoying the view.
A couple enjoying the outdoors and fantastic surroundings with tons of wild flowers paving the way.
After wrapping up the photo sessions from my previous two posts, me and my dad swang over to the local lake. It was just in time to capture a beautiful, peaceful sunset. It was a Wonderful way to wrap up the day.