San Diego: Coronado Island Pier

Coronado Island Pier San Diego Photo

An early morning shot of San Diego’s Coronado Island Pier.  I got to the Island just before sunrise to shoot the skyline.  Once I got the blue hour shot I wanted, I did what photographers usually do: ask myself “well, what else can I shoot?”

The pier was perfect. It’s a pretty small pier, and significantly smaller than the Lajolla’s. It was a bit of a squeeze to get under it, but still easy enough to work with (that’s my way of saying I didn’t bump my head).  I took off my shoes, got setup, waited for a few boats to clear on out of the frame, and shot 3 images.

The Truth Concerning the Death of Corinne Elliott Lawton

The Truth Concerning the Death of Corrine Elliott Lawton


Corinne Elliott Lawton Died on January 24th, 1877.  The lore surrounding her tells the story of a young woman who fell in love with a man below her station in society – a man her family could not accept.  Refusing to give their blessing, her family forced her to marry a wealthy man she did not love.

One her wedding day, the story goes, dressed in her gown, she took her father’s best horse to the shore of the Savannah river and drowned herself rather than marry the man her family chose.

It’s a tragic story of love and sorrow told, and retold, to visitors of Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery where this memorial statue stands.  It’s a tale overshadowed only by the tragedy of how little truth there is to it.

In truth, according to the diary of her mother, Corinne died of a sudden illness accompanied by a fever.


From her mother’s diary:

“In the evening of Sat. 13, Corinne went to bed, promising Lulu & me that she would keep her bed till she was well.  How that promise was to be fulfilled, who could have tho’t? Her sickness seemed so light.

On Sunday I sent for Dr. Houston. After church many of the family came in – some to inquire after the sick ones, some to see Florie Lawton who arrived Thursday.  Among the visitors was Wallace Cumming – his last visit to us!

Corinne felt very weak & begged me not to have her see any visitors – as she could not talk.  Yet very little seemed the matter.  All that week she was in bed & had light fever at times. Thursday night her aunt Lou Gilmer stayed & slept in her room,

Lulu being sick.

Friday evening she was very bright but had a restless night.  I watched beside her much of the night.  Saturday night I stayed with her. Then came the days of darkness which I cannot record.  Their story is kept by Him who has said: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”

Wednesday morning, Jan. 24, at 7:40 A. M. she drew her last breath.”

Corinne most likely died of Yellow Fever – a disease with a sudden onset and a mortality rate of 50% in severe epidemics.   Savannah did suffer an epidemic of Yellow Fever in 1876 that continued into early 1877 when Corrine died. She was 30 years old.

Many thanks to Ruth Rawls whose blog and research were instrumental in telling the true tale of Corinne Lawton.

You can read more from Ruth Rawls about Corinne at this link.

Disney’s Fantasyland: Eric’s Castle

Disney's Fantasyland: Eric's Castle

The light isn’t always there and sometimes you just have to wait for it. This was one of those times where I just sat around with nothing to do for a while until the light was just right.

A cloud or two would have made this just perfect, but one can’t have everything I suppose.

From the new Fantasyland at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Single handheld exposure edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Up Above Miami

Up Above Miami


This is Downtown Miami looking North from the Four Seasons Hotel.

At 789 feet, and comprised of 70 floors, the prestigious Four Seasons is the tallest building in Miami (and all of Florida for that matter). What you see here is the view from an in-construction penthouse on the 67th floor.

I drove about 3 hours for this shot and arrived just in time for the sunset (the ride took a bit longer than I anticipated).  The hotel interior is amazing and quite large; I ended up getting lost a couple of times before I finally made it to where I needed to be (there are multiple lobbies).  I was a little under the gun and worried I might lose the light, but fortunately it was a quick ride up to the penthouse after everything was squared away with security.  I remember seeing the view for the first time and thinking “this is going to be good.”  It was worth the drive as you can see here.  I shot for a couple of hours and have a few different looks of this scene as well as a westward looking view of the city I plan on posting in the future.

To give you an idea of what this hotel is like, I took a wrong turn on the way out of the parking and ended up in the valet section where I found a Maserati, Bentley and a Rolls Royce all parked next to one another!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Hogwart’s Castle at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is pretty cool.  You get to see Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffndor common room, and a few other scenes from the Harry Potter World (video newspapers and talking paintings anyone?).  The ride inside the castle is a simulator in which you explore Harry’s world and even play Quidditch.  Outside the castle in Hogsmeade, you can enjoy Butterbeer, see shows and visit a myriad of shops.   Universal did a great job of bringing Harry Potter’s world to life- Hogsmeade is detailed, immersive and well executed.







Winter Garden Portrait


Downtown Winter Garden, FL as a rainstorm was approaching.  I’ll be heading down to Winter Garden this afternoon for the Spring Fever in the Garden.  It’s a fun even featuring plant, nature, and wildlife vendors along with artists.

It’s a laid-back weekend, but there’s some really cool stuff coming on Monday (I won’t spoil it) but you’ll want to check back Monay

The Garden at Gethsemane

This the interior of the Church built at the site of the Garden of Gesthemane near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

The church sits on the foundations of a 12th century crusader chapel abandoned in 1345 and a 4th ceturny Byzantine basilica that was destroyed by an earthquake in the 8th century.

Another name for this church is: The Church of all Nations as many countries donated funds for its construction between 1919 and 1924.

Most importantly, this is the site of Jesus anguish prior to his crucifixion recorded in Luke 22:39-46.


I’ve been searching for geometry lately and working to see beauty and order in unexpected places. The image you see here is the underside of a lattice at a nursery that is home to millions of plants. This structure supports all the feeding and drainage tubes that serve to make the lives of the plants possible.
I was drawn initially by the tracks and when I looked in, I saw the lines leading everywhere. I knew this was a shot to be had.

By the way, I didn’t use a tripod here. My camera fit on the tracks but my lens kept pitching the body forward, so I simply held on to the strap, set the timer, and held on as the three exposures fired.

Perspective – Orlando Convention Center

This image shows how you can force perspective to create something that doesn’t exist.  In this case, the marble floor doesn’t really exist as you can see below.  It was created by the position of the camera.

The Comerica Building, Downtown Orlando

Comerica Building - Downtown Orlando


Today’s photo is a 2 exposure RAW tonemapped with photomatix.  I did shoot 3 exposures, however, I felt I lost the drama in the sky by tonemapping using the 3 exposures.
While I got the drama in the sky, I also got a lot of noise which needed to be addressed in post.  I also got a little more haloing than I would have liked.


The haloing I fixed by taking the -2 exposure and opening up a layer mask then using a brush at about 15%.  That took care of that.


As for the noise, that was a bear, I ended up denoising a couple of times before using topaz to give it a little pop.


Finally, I finished it off with some sharpening.  I thought I was done, but the long blue strip that runs the length of the building was a bit oversaturated.  So, I quick masked that, took it to a group, dropped the saturation and used a levels adjustment to get it just right.


And, there it is.  Hope you enjoy it.

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