Archive for the ‘clouds’ Tag

“Evening’s Entrance”– San Clemente, CA – Charlie Stinchcomb (Me) – Transition Day!   63 comments



“Evening’s Entrance”– San Clemente, CA – Charlie Stinchcomb (Me)

Transition Day!  Today is the day that we are transferring (upgrading) from to  Since PhotoBotos might be down for a couple hours, we didn’t want to “short change” a Featured Photographer and we are showcasing one of Charlie’s images instead.  As we noted yesterday, everything will remain the same except that our daily images will no longer show up in your WordPress “Home Dashboard”.  There are a lot of Pros and Cons when it comes to making the decision to transfer to, but, we felt that it was in the best interests of everyone to do so.  Let us know if you would like us to detail our reasoning behind the decision and we will put together a review for our community.

Take it away Charlie!!

There are great rewards in having a camera handy almost everywhere you go.  You don’t have to wait until you are on vacation before you start looking for that prize image to hang over the fireplace.  Some of my best shots are taken during spontaneous brief periods of time where I slip away from a daily activity to capture a shot.   I captured this image between the time my family and in-laws finished dinner and paid the check.  I slipped out (almost unnoticed) for about ten minutes from the restaurant while everyone else was finishing their glass of wine.  I adjusted my camera settings on the quick walk across the street to the beach.  I was able to grab a couple dozen shots of which I thought this was the most appealing!  So throw your camera in the car so you will not miss that next great wall hanger! 

“Golden Castle” – Loch Assynt, Scotland – Dylan and Marianne Toh – Featured Photographer   74 comments



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“Golden Castle” – Loch Assynt, Scotland – Dylan and Marianne Toh – Featured Photographer

“Life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans” – John Lennon.  This famous quote describes the photograph perfectly.  You see Dylan and Marianne set out to take a photo they knew would be beautiful, changed their plans when the opportunity arose and created something magical.  Every time I see this photo I imagine a different mythical beast is about to stick it’s head out from the entrance to the rundown castle.  Dragon?  Troll?  Or just a lonely old hermit?  You decide.   Follow the links at the end of the post to their truly wonderful portfolios.

Enter Dylan:

Marianne and I arrived on the north eastern shores of Loch Assynt in late afternoon hoping to photograph Ardvreck castle at sunset and twilight. It had been raining steadily all afternoon so we were considering driving back to our accommodation at Ullapool.  Then, a clearing occurred in the western skies which allowed beautiful golden light to illuminate the castle with a rainbow behind us. I abandoned the original plan to photograph the sunset and ran to the westerly aspect of the castle in the rain in order to photograph the castle with the rainbow in frame.  This is one of many images taken from that window of opportunity.


The image was taken in manual mode with a Canon 7D, Sigma 10-20mm lens, Gitzo tripod and 3 stop soft edged GND.





“To the Sea…” (First Dream – The Meeting) – Coastal Portugal – Paulo Flop – Featured Photographer   72 comments



“To the Sea…” (First Dream – The Meeting) – Coastal Portugal – Paulo Flop – Featured Photographer

I keep wondering what this woman is doing here?  Why does she have a lantern in the water?  Paulo’s photography doesn’t answer a lot of questions, but it sure does inspire them.  We have a lot of people who visit our website mention that they get inspiration to write a poem, story, or paint a picture from the photographs we post.  I think this one has story written all over it.  Feel free to add your poem or link to your artwork in the comment section.  We are all one big community here and you never know who might be reading!  Also please check out Paulo’s portfolio to see the rest of this beautiful trilogy.

Here is  Paulo:

This photo was taken in Portugal on a beautiful autumn day when the ocean was thick with fog.  It is the first photograph in a trilogy of photos called My Three Dreams. Each one was an attempt at a deep understanding of philosophy.  This shot was a success and I am very pleased with the way it turned out.

Camera:  Canon 40D

Lens 10mm

 F-stop: 3.5


Shutter Speed: 1/125


By the way, I made up the title “To the Sea…” just because I thought it was fitting.

“Farewell India” – Taj Mahal, India – Trey Ratcliff – Featured Photographer   72 comments



“Farewell India” – Taj Mahal, India – Trey Ratcliff – Featured Photographer

Sometimes a photo truly makes you want to pack your bags immediately and hop on the next outgoing plane to wherever it was you just saw.  Today’s submission is exactly that type of photograph for me.  Sure the Taj Mahal is amazing, but I think Trey was able to capture that “amazingness” is this photo.  In fact, he captures a lot of it in his rather extensive and remarkable portfolio.  So, do yourself a favor and check it out because this is one you won’t want to miss

Enter Trey:

I had a truly wonderful time in India and I can’t wait to return.  After spending most of the day exploring the Taj Mahal, I found a car to take me across the river.  The bridge was over 100 years old and crowded with every type of locomotion – from donkey to pull cart to bike.  After working my way down to the river, I found I could not quite get low enough to take the photo I wanted.  So, reluctantly, I took my camera off my tripod and buried it in the mud, about half an inch above the water.  I spent all night in the bathroom saying I was sorry to the camera… cleaning her up back into her old self once again.

“Sea of Horses” – Gullfoss, Iceland – Danilo Atzori – Featured Photographer   92 comments



“Sea of Horses” – Gullfoss, Iceland – Danilo Atzori – Featured Photographer

It is tough to know where to look first at the photograph.  The abstraction of horses pull in the eye then my view shifts to the marbled sky.  The mountains in the distance then draw the viewer into the frame and suddenly I pop back to the original herd once more and separate the animals one by one.  My interest is kept for several moments.   The black and white really works with this shot almost giving the appearance of a charcoal painting.  Danilo’s great photos are all over the web, but check out one or more of his original portfolios below after reading his quick story about the horses.

Here is Danilo:

Next to the breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall,  a tired herd is resting from a long stroll.  The horses appear in a fusion of alternating dark and light coats.  The bushy horse’s manes resembling ocean waves mirror the surreal sky above the mountain topped Langjökull glacier on the horizon.

This was the most representative picture of the whole journey!

ISO: 100


Shutter speed: 1/200 sec

Focal length: 18 mm

“Late Afternoon on the Moorland” – Peak District, United Kingdom – Les Wilcockson – Featured Photographer   41 comments



“Late Afternoon on the Moorland” – Peak District, United Kingdom – Les Wilcockson – Featured Photographer

Moorlands have always seemed like a mysterious place to me.  Maybe it is from reading too much English literature in high school and college. A common theme seems to be spirits and marauders frequent them when the sun goes down. If you are willing to brave the elements and underworld you can head out around Derbyshire with Les and capture some fantastic scenery shots and, who knows, maybe a floating orb or ghostly apparition.  To see more of the haunting beauty of England and beyond please check out Les’s website or follow his WordPress bog at

Here is Les:

The Peak District, UK, has a wonderful horseshoe edge of Gritstone that includes a superb stretch around Derbyshire known as Curbar Edge. This photograph was taken early evening on a very cold January day this year on Curbar Edge looking out towards Frogatt Edge. In the very far distance Winn Hill can be seen on the left.

Alongside my commercial work I also run photography training courses and on this day we had called at this location with the intention of capturing the setting winter sun.  I’m fortunate to live within a short distance of this location and although I’d been here on numerous other occasions, on this particular day the light was wonderful.

Although I consider myself mainly a black and white photographer, on this occasion I decided to experiment with HDR and color.  Using a very solid tripod I shot five images of differing exposures which I then imported into Aperture 3 and from there I processed them using Photomatix HDR software.

“Frozen Capital” – Vilnius, Lithuania – Laimonas Ciunys – Featured Photographer   88 comments



“Frozen Capital” – Vilnius, Lithuania – Laimonas Ciunys – Featured Photographer

Yup! It is as cold as it looks.  I am curious to know how many people are reading this post and are thinking that this looks like a typical winter’s day.  Here in Southern California we are pretty wimpy when it comes to weather.  I don’t really care for anything under 60 degrees Fahrenheit and my brother Tom  in coastal Carolina complains about anything under 50 degrees.  What is your threshold?  In the meantime read the “chilling” story below and then be sure to check out the rest of Laimonas’s beautiful portfolio at .

Here is Laimonas:

This was a very cold winter morning in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. I went to work and I saw a beautiful vapor over river. I always have my camera with me and I decided to take few shots, but very quickly, because it was very cold  -25°C (-13 F) ! So I did a few quick shots and ran back to my warm car. When I published this photo to Internet I was pleasantly surprised about great the success!

Canon EOS 5 Mark II settings were:

Shutter speed – 1/400 sec

F-stop – 8

ISO 100

Focal Length – 140 mm

“On Guard” – Notre Dame, Paris, France – Benjamin Becker – Featured Photographer   67 comments



“On Guard” – Notre Dame, Paris, France – Benjamin Becker – Featured Photographer

This is the view that inspired Victor Hugo to write “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.  The gargoyles were originally created to allow rainwater to run through their mouths and away from the church’s foundation.  Today they are just a part of one of the best examples of French gothic architecture ever created.  Ben did an excellent job of incorporating the gargoyle into the photo without overpowering the shot.  Enjoy and then please check out his website at

Here is  Benjamin:

I took this photo on a short trip to Paris in June last year.  Me and my girlfriend had a long waiting time in a much longer line of people to enter Notre Dame, it felt like an eternity – we managed it.  But to arrive on the top platform we had to climb up some very narrow circular staircases – we managed it, too. And our reward was this wonderful view over Paris.  Then I saw these amazing gargoyles and one was looking better than the one before.  The clouds were great and some sun rays came through them.

So I took some shots in landscape format with my EF 24-105mm on my 7D, but I didn’t get a nice capture. So I took a little series of portrait format shots to stitch a panorama at home.

“Death Valley Racetrack” – Death Valley, California – Paul Rojas – Featured Photographer   40 comments



“Death Valley Racetrack” – Death Valley, California – Paul Rojas – Featured Photographer

I was just talking the other day to someone about how we will spend thousands of dollars to travel the world to take photographs, but we seldom take advantage of the magical places within a few hours’ drive from home.  Well, I am guilty of never having been to Death Valley although I have lived in Southern California for almost 20 years.  Fortunately, Paul was there recently and took some spectacular photos including the one featured today.  The tones are incredible.  Read his story below about how things didn’t go as planned yet he got great photos anyway.  Then check out the rest of his portfolios.

Here is Paul with a detailed account :

This was from a trip to the Racetrack in Death Valley, CA a couple of weeks ago to photograph the sailing stones.  Nobody really knows how it is that the stones move, but theories suggest that a rare combination of rain and extremely strong wind could provide the conditions needed to push them along the playa surface.

It was my very first time getting to the Racetrack, so I got there early in the afternoon to allow enough time to scout for compositions. Using a handheld GPS device, I also marked the coordinates of all the stones I found interesting for possible nighttime visits.  After doing so, I just hung around, took goofy shots with my girlfriend, and waited for the right light.  Judging by the clouds overhead, I was optimistic that there would be good light and colorful skies. But just as the sun began to drop below the mountain range, dark rain clouds started rolling in, casting a shadow over the playa.  Though not what I was expecting, I found the gloom somewhat interesting and I liked how it added to the overall desolation of the place.

For the shot, the camera was tripod-mounted and positioned probably no more than a couple of feet away from the stone. With my past landscape shots, I took single RAW shots and used hyperfocal distance to set the focus.  Being so close to the ground and foreground subject though, I was certain to get a soft foreground using this, so I decided to try something different.  In the days prior to the trip, I had been reading up on a technique called “focus blending” and it seemed to be the best way to go about capturing the scene.

To do this, I focused my camera on the foreground stone and took a shot, quickly refocused on the midground and took another shot, then refocused on the background mountain and took a final shot. When I got home, I manually blended the in-focus portions of each of the three shots together in Photoshop to create a single image.  This article by John Williams provides an excellent guide to the technique and post-processing:

Camera/lens: Canon 5D MKII with EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II @ 22mm
Camera was set to Manual and 3 shots taken at the following settings:
Aperture: f/13
Shutter speed: 1/25 sec
ISO: 100
No filters my personal favorite.

“Cathedral Sunset” – Sedona, AZ – Michael Wilson – Featured Photographer   63 comments



“Cathedral Sunset” – Sedona, AZ – Michael Wilson – Featured Photographer

I have been to Sedona, AZ several times with my family and camera in tow.   Known for its red rocks, the scenery here does everything except disappoint.  Michael captures the landscape perfectly.  This photograph gives an entirely different perspective of Cathedral Rock from most other photographs of the area.  If you go back to this photo (click here) you can see exactly where Michael is photographing from up on the rock formation.  Once you have checked out both images then head on over  for some more great images of his home state.

Here is Michael:

I live in Prescott, AZ which is about an hour and a half drive from Sedona.  My wife and I drove to Sedona early one morning to take some sunrise photographs from the saddle on top of Cathedral Rock.  I hiked up the mountain to shoot the sunrise, but the clouds were not cooperating with me.  During the day in Sedona, the storm clouds were accumulating, so I went back again at sunset.  It started lightly raining on my climb up the mountain, so I found a rock overhang to hide under until closer to sunset.  When the sun was getting closer to peeking out from behind the clouds, I put some rain gear on my camera and started taking some shots.  The rain finally let up just before the sun appeared.  I took the protective cover off the camera and watched the sunlight spill out over the canyons below.  There were beautiful views toward and away from sunset at the time. However, this photo was my personal favorite. 

“Zottel is Back”- Alps, Switzerland – John Wilhelm – Featured Photographer   50 comments



“Zottel is Back”- Alps, Switzerland – John Wilhelm – Featured Photographer

As with many great photographs, John has not only created an emotion with his photo, but also leads the viewer into an imaginary story written in their own mind.

I hope this photo makes you smile.  I certainly did when I opened it.  At first, I thought “what a silly goat chewing on a flower”.  Then I realized this was only the beginning of the destruction.  I assume by now that entire field of daisies has been reduced to goat made fertilizer.  Please follow John below on how he painstakingly created Zottel.

Take it away John :

Hi there everyone.

Wonderful to be here on PhotoBotos with one of my shots. Wow!

The selected photo was very difficult to take. We had to keep track of this very rare and shy animal for months.  We chased it with helicopters, dogs and a team of 15 experienced Swiss goat-hunters till we caught it on this wonderful plane of flowers in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

No seriously… this goat lives just a hop outside my house.  I like simple photographs, untouched and straight out of the camera, but I LOVE  to combine all available techniques (camera equipment and software) to develop shots from me  into something special which reflects my imagination of how the the ideal picture should look.

Now the facts to the Goat Pic:

–    shot with Sony Nex 7 (great great cam!) and the new Zeiss 24 1.8 (great lens)

–    3 shots in a focus-stack (manually combined in PS)

–    sky is a separate Shot (Leica M9, 21 Distagon, Swiss Alps)

–    flowerplane and flower in mouth were generated with Terragen

–    everything edited and composed in Photoshop CS 5

–    duration to create this: approx. 10h

 If you like this goat you may like other photos by me too:

“Fairy Tales” – Bagan, Myanmar – Amnon Eichlberg – Featured Photographer   100 comments


Fairy Tales Bagan Myanmar Ruins


“Fairy Tales” – Bagan, Myanmar – Amnon Eichlberg – Featured Photographer

This landscape looks like a Hollywood set for the next “Indiana Jones” movie.  Everything just looks so interesting.  I have been to several ruins around the world, but nothing that looks like this.   After reading a little about this mystical place please check out Amnon’s extensive portfolio at  Prepare to be amazed!

Here is Amnon:

The ruins of Bagan cover an area of 16 square miles (41 km2).  The majority of its buildings were built in the 11th century to 13th century, during the time Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire.   After an earthquake in 1975, there are only 2,217 pagodas left in Bagan, in contrast to more than 5,000 before the disaster.

All of the area was designated like fairy tales country.  This feeling intensifies especially in the early morning and towards sunset when the area is wrapped in mist, fog, and the beautiful light of sunset and sunrise.  The picture was taken from the top of a pagoda with a 360 degrees view of several pagodas.

The photo was taken with  the following data:.

ISO: 100


Shutter Speed: 1/30sec

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