Thursday, December 29, 2011

Made the Magazine

As I stated in the Friday, November 18, 2011 post, one of my photographs was recently selected as the winner of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine's 2011 photo contest in the People/Activity category and was to be featured in the January 2012 print issue of the magazine. 

The January issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine arrived and I quickly flipped through the pages looking for the article about the photo contest and there it was on page 14. 

It is very gratifying to have one of your images selected as the winner of a photo contest and then to be published in a print magazine is just over the top.... I'm so happy!

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Reminder of my Childhood

This toy tractor and trailer truck is a fond reminder of my childhood.  Not so much for playing with the truck, which I did, but more about how I acquired it and what it meant to me then and now. 

My twin brother and I were raised for the majority of our childhood by our single mother.  While my mother worked hard to provide for us we still didn't have a lot of money which meant that new toys were mostly received at Christmas or on birthdays. 

As I recall, when I was about six or seven years old  I received 25 cents a week allowance.  I saved all my allowance money and any other money I received for months until I had about $6.00 in my piggy bank.  I don't recall if my brother and I asked our mother or she offered, but we went to the near by five and dime TG&Y store which had the best toy department in town so we could spend the money we had saved up for so long. 

I can still remember the feeling of standing in the aisle of the toy department and looking at all the shelves filled with toys and knowing I had enough money to buy just about any toy I wanted. The feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that I felt at that moment has stayed with me my entire life.  That simple and seemingly uneventful moment in my youth taught me that saving for future needs or wants is a good thing and I have my mother to thank for that.

As I grew older and found other interests I naturally played less and less with the truck but I could never bring myself to part with it.  My mother suggested that I put it away and one day, in the future when I had children they could play with it.  The truck has sat packed away in a cardboard box at my mother's house for over 30 years.  Recently while visiting her I asked about the truck and she pulled it from the closet and we unpacked it and I brought it home for my children to play with it as I did so many years ago.  Today my children play with it and I've told them this story in hopes that they understand what this toy represents to me and maybe some day their children will play with it as well.

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Tim The Painter

I just found out this photograph I took during a plein air painting outing at Brazos Bend State Park was selected as the overall winner for the People/Activity category in this years Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Magazine photo contest. Photo contest winners from each category will be featured in the January 2012 issue of the TPW magazine.

In the photograph is Award winning plein air painter Tim Schneider ( as he works along the shore of new horseshoe lake in the Brazos Bend Texas state park.

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Companion

I spend a lot of time in front of my computer editing photographs, writing my blog, keeping up with friends and family on Facebook and reading photography related blogs. I typically have my companion a tuxedo cat named Gypsy sitting on my lap or curled up on the floor near me.

I recently purchased a new Canon PowerShot S100 camera and I used Gypsy as my test subject. This is the first image from my new camera.

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hodges Garden - Giant Grasshopper

My boys found this giant grasshopper crawling on one of the benches in the garden. My wife, who is not squeemish when it comes to critters picked it up and posed with it for this image.
Hodges Garden - Giant Grasshopper #2
All images copyright
Daniel Ray Photography.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hodegs Garden - Orange Moth

I must have chased this poor little guy for 15 minutes from flower to flower. Finally the wind settled down and i was able to creep up and capture this close-up image using a 200mm lens.
Hodges Garden - Moth
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hodges Garden - Nector Sucker

Finally, I was able tp capture a sharp image of a beautiful butterfly sitting on a flower.... patience grasshopper, patience.
Hodges Garden -  Nector Sucker
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hodges Garden - Purple Stuff

These purple flowers where bouncing around in the blustering wind making it rather difficult for the butterflys to land so I decided for forgo waiting for the butterflys and just capture on image of these flowers.
Hodges Garden
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hodges Garden - Old Flower

I wish this butterlfy, or moth, I'm not sure which it is would have found a fresher looking flower so that it looked better in this image, but I guess it knows what it needs.
Hodges Garden - Butterfly
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hodges Garden - Cypress Stump

I ran across this cypress stump surrounded by pine needles and covered with a light green moss. I thought the shadows around the stump and the deep, dark cracks in the wood would result in a nice High Dynamic Range  image.  I'm pleased with the results and how the gree moss on the bark pops out a little more than what I recall.

Hodges Garden-Cypress-Stump 
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hodges Garden - Willow Point

This was a beautiful early fall day in central Louisiana. This young family utilized the fishing peir at Willow Point in Hodges Gardens to try their luck or possibly skill at cathing a string of fish.
Hodges Garden - Fishing Pier at Willow Point
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Hodges Garden - Lake Panorama

During a recent week end get-away to lake Toledo-Bend we decided to take our children to Hodges Gardens state park near Many, Louisiana. Both my wife and I visited Hodges Gardens when we were children but that was many many, years ago. Unfortunately due to the extreme drought that impacted much of Texas and Louisiana in the spring, summer and fall of 2011 many of the water features of the park were turned off to conserve water for the botanical gardens. This image is of the main part of the lake adjacent to the botanical gardens.

Hodges Garden -  Lake Panorama
Hodges Garden - Many, Louisiana
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Drift Wood and Sea Shells

I found the textures of these objects interesting and thought the use of HDR (High Dynamic Range) would help bring out the textures of the wood which I think it did.
Drift Wood and Sea Shells
Surfside Beach, texas
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Sea Shells and Dry Reeds

A large pile of shells and reeds littered the area where my children were playing on the beach. My wife, who is an avid collector of treasures was sifting through the pile searching for something to add to her shell collection.
Sea Shells and Dry Reeds
Surfside Beach, Texas

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Great Day for a Walk

I was setting this image up so the focal point was the wooden railing and the shadows it casted on the concrete walkway. As I was about to capture the image I saw this couple heading my way so I hurriedly changed the focus to automatic put the camera on a ten second timer and stood back like I wasn't going to take a picture. The couple passed me by and wandered right into into the scene of my image. Little did they know they just became the subject of my image. I love it when unforeseen things happen like this that add interest to the image.

Great Day for a Walk
Surfside Beach, Texas

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Some things are bigger in California

We've all heard the saying that everything is bigger in Texas. Well that may not apply to some plants that grow in California. Here you can see my Toyota rental car and a row of huge aloe vera growing along the cemetery wall.
Some things are bigger in California
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Point Loma Cemetery

The fog rolling over the hillside and blanketing the grounds of the Point Loma cemetery begged to be photographed. I stood looking over all the graves of the brave men who served our country and watched as a crow circled low over head. I was hoping he would find a perch among the many headstones that lay before me. He finally found a resting place after hoping and jumping between several headstones and provided me a moment to capture his image along with the final resting place of these many veterans.
Point Loma Cemetery
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Polished and Worn

How long do you think these rocks and stones littering the edges of this tide pool have been here in order to have their edges worn round and the surface polished too a smooth finish.
Polished and Worn
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


I like this image because it almost allows me to feel the course surface texture of the rock.
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Just for scale

I took this image not because I know this person but to provide scale as to the size of the boulders in this image. Also of interest to me was the rectangular structure of the rock surface she is standing on.

Just for Scale
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Monday, October 31, 2011


The abundance of moisture from fog and sea spray provides an ample amount of moisture to erode the steep hillside into natural sculptures that reminded me of the giant termite mounts found in Africa.

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Natural Balcony

Many of the ledges look as if they were carved by man from the rocky cliffs of the tide pools. Here the way action coated the rocks with sea water and gave them the look of polished stone.

Natural Balcony
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I was drawn to the many layers of rock and sediment that made up the rocky coast. How long must the sea batter these cliffs to turn the rocks into sand. As solid and unchanging as this scene appears, the truth is that it is in constant motion and it has never look like this before and will never look like this again.

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Two Boulders

Standing here I was imagining how these enormous boulders found their way to be positioned on the edge of the cliff over looking the waters of the Pacific. Did they roll down the hillside behind the camera? That did not appear to be the case as there were no comparable boulders on the hill side. It occurred to me that similar boulders were scattered in the waters below so I think these boulders were deposited on this ledge from the waters below buy heavy surf conditions and waves. It's hard to fathom the power it would take to move these huge boulders upward from the sea floor to their current resting place.

Two Boulders
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Point Loma Navy Base

Standing at the Point Loma lighthouse you can see the Point Loma navy base where this ship is departing, the buildings of downtown San Diego and on the horizon (very faint) the mountains to the east of San Diego.

Point Loma Navy Base
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


On my way out from Balboa Park headed to Point Loma I stopped to take a photo of the roadway below  and downtown San Diego from the bridge I was on and managed to capture a plane on approach to the San Diego airport.

San Diego Travelers 
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Balboa Park Koi Pond

Spent a little time touring Balboa Park near the famous San Diego Zoo and I ran across this koi pond in front of the Botanical Building. Did see any koi but I liked the way it reflected the builds and trees.  Too bad there weren't any clouds to break up the solid blue sky.

Balboa Park Reflecting Pool
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mirror Refections of the Sky

Another beach image from my recent trip to Coronado, California.  This is the same beach with scattered rocks from yesterday's post but with a much different feel.  It took a little waiting to get a clear beach in order to take this long exposure.  In several other attempts people wondered into the image and caused several blurry streaks.  If you look closely you can see a blurred seagull lurking among the rocks nearer to the water.

Mirror Refections of the Sky
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Purple Haze

I am a technologist. I thrive on understanding and using technology in the way it was intended to be used.  Why am I telling you this?  Because this image does not use a specific photographic technology known as white balance in the manor it was intended. The purple hues in this image did not actually exist when the image was created, but due to a missed reading of the ambient light by the Automatic White Balance (AWB) of the camera I ended up with something that was different from what I expected. I could have corrected the white balance of the image in Photoshop but I chose not to do that because I like the image just the way it is.

Purple Haze

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Room With a View

I recently visited Coronado, California to attend a business conference.  Knowing the picturesque nature of this Southern California peninsula near San Diego I of course brought my camera with me in hopes of acquiring some free time to make some photographs.  I stayed at the historic Hotel Del Coronado on the beach.
Hotel Del Coronado
I was fortunate enough to get a first-rate room on the top floor in one of the oldest sections of the hotel with a magnificent ocean view from the room. 
A Room with a View
 I can say that I spent a fair amount of time sitting at the small round table working on my laptop and gazing out toward the Pacific ocean.  Through this window I was delighted to have witnessed a large group of California sea lions, a rather large whale surface and toss a fin skyward and a US Navy nuclear submarine returning to the nearby Point Loma Naval base.  Now that is a lot to see from such as small window.

In the next few days I'll be posting more photos from my trip to California.
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reaching for the Sun

Reaching for the Sun by Daniel Ray
Reaching for the Sun, a photo by Daniel Ray on Flickr.

The warm glow of the setting summer sun and wildflowers reaching for the last rays of sun. This image was taken in our backyard late one evening.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bayou Vista Silhouette

Bayou Vista Sunset 3 by Daniel Ray
Bayou Vista Sunset 3, a photo by Daniel Ray on Flickr.

A sunset silhouette image of Bayou Vista, Texas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bayou Vista Sunset

Bayou Vista Sunset 4 by Daniel Ray
Bayou Vista Sunset 4, a photo by Daniel Ray on Flickr.

On the way back home from the Galveston Art-walk I stopped in the small community of Bayou Vista and just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be able to capture this image of the setting summer sun.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

San Leon

Along with several other local photography enthusiast from the League City Photography Meetup Group, my wife, children and I visited the small community of San Leon, Texas in hopes of getting some sunset photos and possibly catching the full moon rising over Galveston bay. 

We started off with an early dinner at the Topwater Grill (the stuffed flounder is AMAZING!) and we talked photography and whatever else came to mind while waiting for the sun to fade and the 100+ temperatures of the sweltering south Texas summer to subside. The record setting drought that has impacted Texas for the last six months has provided us with near cloudless skies, but not today.  We instead were greeting with an overcast sky, and a much needed light rain for most of the day and continuing into the evening.  As dinner wound down the light rain stopped and the temperature dropped allowing us to enjoy the end of the day and capture some amazing photographs.

San Leon Sunset

San Leon Shrimp Boats

Capt Devin

Elizabeth R.

Brown Pelican

Low Tide


All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chinatown Musicians

While walking through San Francisco's Chinatown I heard music playing and though it was coming from one of the many small shops that lined the street. As I rounded a corner I came upon this group of five men playing authentic Chinese instruments.  A small crown was gathered around them listening to them and taking videos.

Street Musicians

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creative License

When I first started on my journey into digital photography I had a purist mentality where I thought the image should be created in the camera with little to no post processing using the computer.  Through research I came to realize that even the legendary photographer Ansel Adams didn't capture the final image in the camera, he too used some sort of post processing in the darkroom to create his final images, so why can't I?

So, with the purist mindset pushed aside I set out to create the image that was in my minds eye but didn't actually exist at the moment I captured the original image.  I used Adobe Lightroom to convert the image to black and white and used a bit of dodging and burring (old darkroom terms for darken and lightening and image) to get just the right look.

EZ5 Cocktails

Below is the original image straight out of the camera with no post processing.

Monday, May 09, 2011


I think every photographer needs to do a self portrait at some time to capture how they see them self. I've been wanting to do a self portrait for some time now and finally got around to it.

This image started out as me just playing around with a single off camera speedlite (Canon 580EX II) to try and get a low key image illuminated with only the flash. This image was taken in my home office with the lights turned on, the camera mounted on a tripod with the 10 second self timer enabled and the speedlite sitting on a side table while I sat at my desk. The exposure was set to F8.0 at 1/125 of a second using ISO 160 to limit the ambient room light so the speedlite's flash would be the key light.
The color image was converted to black and white using Adobe Lightroom with some contrast, clarity and sharpening added. There was no heavy Photoshop editing used to produce the effect in this image.

So, what does this image say about me? Am I trying to hide something or expose my dark side? Maybe, but what I think it says is that I tend to see things as black and white. Not black and white photography but rather that I view the world as a contrast of black or white, good or bad, true or false. I'm typically not a "shades of grey" kind of person. I think my subconscious drove me to express this about myself through this image, plus it looks kind of cool.

Self Portrait

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ford GT

You don't see many of these on the street.  I found this one in Friendswood, Texas at the annual Friendswood Fig Festival car show.
I'll be going back to the Friendswood Fog Festival again next year.

See more exotic car images here and here.

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hill Country Drought

Somewhere along state highway 16 between Fredricksburg and Llano, Texas.  as you can see the grass is very dry from the serious drought that is currently affecting the majority of the state of Texas.

Fence Line
All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Magnolia At Last

One of my favorite flowers is the magnolia, maybe because it is the state flower of my home state of Louisiana or possibly because they remind me of  growing up in south Louisiana where these trees are plentiful.  But all my life I can't ever recall having a magnolia tree on the property where I lived.

Well, I do now.  The home we purchased last year has a small magnolia tree in the front yard and it is filled with flowers.  This is the first magnolia bloom I picked from that tree, but I'm sure it will not be the last.

Magnolia Bloom 1

Magnolia Bloom 2

Magnolia in Monochome

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.