This big guy with the World War I German helmet is driving his mother in the sidecar. A Sunday drive on Mother’s Day.SONY DSC

Here’s a little shop that sells lots of things to do with the wind. SONY DSC Konos always has a line.


Don’t order The Little Breakfast from Konos if you want something light. The name is a joke, apparently. SONY DSCThank you! I happily accept!



Crystal Pier

SONY DSC SONY DSCThis shot I had in the first post, but it needed something in the foreground. Well, our neighbor provided it! There’s a little plane, too, if you look closely.SONY DSC








SONY DSCBack to work. Yikes … hope my yoga teacher doesn’t see this posture!





25 thoughts on “Pacific Beach day 2

  1. Leanne said it all for me, Nia! Excellent! Loved the …For Nia! And your writing is like the bird’s cruise – elegant, and smooth! Bravo, Nia!!!


  2. We have been busy Nia. 1. With landscapes have a look at the rule of thirds. Try to have the sea, land and sky reasonably even. You may have an auto depth of field on your camera. If you use this it should get the whole view in focus. 2. The concept is good but the light pole detracts from the shot. I know, you have to snap when you can. Don’t be afraid to focus in closer and set your camera on continuous shooting. That way you can rattle off 3 shots a second. 3. This is my favourite shot. I see you use Gimp. Don’t be afraid to play with the brightness and contrast. A little bit of contrast will enrich the colours on this one. 4. Unless you’re going for a lean effect give them a straighten up if needed. If you go to Tools-Transform-Rotate in Gimp you will get a little window where you can do graduated changes to the level of the picture. A dash of contrast will make this a great pic. 5. I like this with the placement of the plate and newspaper, if you removed the phone and lens cap from the table and moved the plate out of that touch of shade , perfect. 6. Lovely. 7. Working with the pic afterwards can make or break it. If you crop the photo first it brings the bird up closer. Have enough water there to show where he is and some bare air in front of him. The large area of water detracts from him. 8. Once again the light pole gets in the way. Are you following the birds here and continually shooting? If not give it a try, you increase your chances of getting a great shot. Think of where the viewer’s eye will be drawn, this goes, building-tree-pole birds. I know, I get excited getting birds flying too. 9. This is a good picture, all it needs is some tweaking. I took the liberty of downloading it to Gimp. I straightened it and played a little with the brightness and contrast. Wow. The flowers stand out and the pier is muted with a delicate bokeh. I didn’t keep the pic. 🙂 10. The sandcastle is great. Gimp has an excellent clone tool. If you didn’t want the woman on the left you could crop her out and remove the lovely bottom next to the castle. *cough* It all depends on what you want, I just want to show you options. 11. An interesting look at angles. 12. This is okay. You could crop out the surfer or clone him out, he detracts from the birds. 13. You could crop this left to right just short of the light pole. All the action is in that part of the pic. 14. Is this place the home of poles and palm trees? 15. A closer focus would have made this a better pic. It’s a toss up between the cyclist and the hedge for what takes precedence here. The road pulls you away a little. My eye keeps getting drawn around the bend. When you have your pic on screen, close your eyes for a moment, then open them and see what takes your attention. 16 and 17, what can I say? Lovely pic of you relaxing and slaving. 🙂 18. You know what I’m going to say, the light. Straighten the horizon, clone the light off to just above the wave then crop it. You’ll have a nice balance of sky and sea with the bird suspended beautifully.
    It’s great to see you experimenting. Hint, take more shots of your subjects especially the moving ones. Bump the size of your photos in camera, don’t be afraid to zoom closer. In post production play with the brightness and contrast, level the pics, unless you want the angle and look at cropping out unwanted bits.


    1. Thank you, Laurie!!!! I’m going to try doing the changes you suggest. I was using light poles for orientation. To show the viewer where we are. With the sandcastle, I wanted to show people using the beach around it. I know … the bottom! LOL I liked that, though! That is the only picture where I adjusted white balance because I was trying to be real and show the softness of the light quality caused by the bit of mist that was in the air all day. But I adjusted that one to bring out the detail on the sand castle.

      I’m always trying to put things in context…. here’s everything that was going on at the time, like the cell phone and lens cap. But the shadow was just lazy. I do need to look at what is going on in the photo better as I click. I wish I had taken a second shot of the breakfast because I needed to use that photo to make my joke. When I know I’m taking a shot I’m definitely going to use, I need to be more careful.

      I do use motor drive. LOVE it! I kind of like the birds appearing around that light pole. I had three there and chose that one. Again, I’m always trying to contextualize things. It’s semi-conscious. I wonder if it’s because I’m a writer. I’m literally trying to tell stories with the photos and sometimes I don’t want the photos to be too pretty. I get too much going on in them, I think. Subject? What’s that?

      I love this dialog. It’s so fun. I have tons of photos from this trip. I threw out the RAW, thinking I was done, but I can pluck them out of the trash for the ones I want to adjust. Yes, I use GIMP, but not very well. I’ve noticed that with the Sony software and the RAW, I can adjust brightness and that’s the only thing I’ve been doing lately. I use GIMP to crop and to resize the photos down so they load faster on the web, though I keep the original size too. I have tried cloning and found it difficult. I will look up some YouTube on that.

      Oh… straightening the horizon! LOL I do do that, but I’m so crooked sometimes I don’t even realize the photo is crooked!

      As for the pictures of me. My husband is a good photographer. I think he’s like you. He gets it about visual design. My head shots are always by him. He takes his time and lines things up.

      I’m a mad clicker. I’m always trying to take everything in, all the atmosphere, the characters and especially movement. And story. I need to learn the rules of the medium and the basics and then see how I can bring the story in. Of course, I can, because I’m a blogger, so I can just put words around them, so maybe now that I’m thinking about it, I can optimize visual design (now that I’m learning it) for the photos and just put my stories around the photos.

      I’m highly verbal. 😉 LOL

      You’re right about all those palm trees and light poles. Straight vertical lines and light pole tops are too powerful of visual cues to be using them for orientation. The roller coaster shots were my favorite. I’m going to try the cropping you suggested to see if I can downplay the visual noise of all those palms.

      The photo of the Swings ‘n Things shop was my favorite, too.

      I’ll try fiddling with the Crystal Pier shop some more, like you did.

      Thank you so much. You are giving me a lot of things to work with here. It’s fun!


      1. You’re welcome Nia. What it all boils down to is what floats your boat as the photographer. On the other hand one needs to look at what they’re trying to convey to their audience. I think you’re trying to show too much, let the viewer make up their mind. If the woman on the left was closer, then yes, leave her in. The castle was the main subject and you caught it nicely. The bottom, well as nice as it was, distracts the eye. If it was a sunny day I would have put the WB on sunny, or, use the take 3 pics at a time option. Where you dial in three different exposures and you get three pics, (Have a look in your book) which are over, under and hopefully properly exposed. It’s great.

        Like writing a book we put in the necessary details and the reader works it out. Give them too much and they bog down. The food and newspaper was a good shot. So set the scene and show what you want people to see, no more no less. I look at scenes now and put them in a rectangle in my mind before looking through the lens. What do I want, what do I need to show? With your motor drive just make sure you have the subject in focus as you go. Contextualising? Okay, remember you don’t have to tell everything. With the birds and the pole it’s about what the viewer sees and it’s the pole that takes their attention. It’s good to have a subject, a point of interest, something to draw the eye. With crowd scenes well, you have a lot to look at. I’m enjoying the dialogue too. By no means am I an expert at this but I do like to help with what I’ve picked up. I keep my RAW files on a separate drive, treat them as your negatives. If it’s an excellent pic then make a copy of the file and work from that. Just in case. 🙂
        With my RAW files I use the canon software for brightness and contrast, cropping and levelling (maybe). I also use GIMP and PhotoScape. Both have things the others don’t. When my pics are ready I use PhotoScape to resize them. It has a great section of templates; I can slip a 15megabyte pic into one and it downsizes to 400kb, without losing its oomph. I love the clone tool for those annoying little things that pop up. 🙂 Straightening? Do it slowly and click it up or down in the little box. Yes your Husband takes the good shots of you and so he should. Mad clicker eh? Of course you can do it, just remember you can’t do it all in one photo. Take separate photos of an area or subject, a couple of steps ahead or behind. Then make a triptych out of them. I can see that you’re highly verbal. 😉 Look, a lot of photos don’t need dialogue, they speak for themselves. Others can be made into a short story about what is there. The poles and trees are fine if that’s your picture. You’re right they are too powerful when you’re trying to shoot something else. The cropping will make the rollercoaster look much better. The pier will look amazing. It’s amazing what you can accomplish post shooting, although the aim is to do more as you shoot. So there we have it. Now get to work. 😉 Cheers,


      2. Ah ha! Yes, I understand all this. I love the idea of saving the RAW versions of the photos on another drive. Didn’t think of that.

        Thanks so much, Laurie! I had been thinking I need to make choices when taking travel shots. That’s hard for me to do, but since I’m a mad clicker, I can take multiple pictures of a scene, each with a different subject. I love triptychs! Never thought about that.

        I’ll read up on that triple exposure idea.

        I’m going to work through all the photos you commented on and shift that Swings & Things back. I vacillated from one extreme to another, no changes to heavy-handed.

        Thank you, again!


      3. RAW is great, you can keep using the jpegs from it and create different hues, shades, B&W. Love it. With your sony the RAW file would be about 10MB, so even with a 16GB card you could put 1600 pics on it. That’s why I use a 32GB you just never know. 🙂 I used the triple exposure yesterday on some landscapes, it works well. It pays to play with your pics cutting, dicing, hue and saturations etc. Just adopt the delicate touch of a chicken sexer. 🙂


      4. They’ll be up in a fortnight. I have a collection from a car show to put up this week. 🙂


    2. P.S. While out walking this morning I thought of what I’m going to do. I’m going to modify the pictures and put them on Pages. I’m starting to change how I do pages so that instead of links they have the pictures themselves. I’ll let you know when I have the revisions up. I can’t wait! Thanks again.


      1. A great idea Nia. I will reply to your big reply later. I’m heading off to take some pics. 😉


      2. I put up the new page and did a couple photos. It is called Photos revised and it’s the first page in the list at the top.

        I played around with the Swings & Things store. I made it less bright with more contrast. What do you think? I think it might need to be more bright. But I made it less bright because I liked how that disappeared the interior of the shop door. As soon as that went all dark, I stopped. I also blurred the guy in the middle a little.


      3. Yes the swings and things needs to be a little brighter, just a bee’s hair touch that’s all. The birds on the sea looks better and the motorbike one is much better. It’s a little bigger and the lines and cars draw you across the picture.


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