Writing with Light

California

iPhone Friday – Talking Phoneography

A couple of months ago I was asked by the President of my Photography Club to deliver a presentation on the basics of Phoneography. The presentation was a success and the members of the club that were in attendance that night were very appreciative of the information delivered and excited to explore the many of the apps that I talked about and the capabilities of their phone camera. As a result of this presentation I was then asked to write a guest post on the GTCCC blog.

The GTCCC (Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs) is an association that governs the photo/camera clubs in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario stretching from Oshawa in the east to Hamilton in the West. Every month they ask one club to submit a guest post to their readership. I was honoured to be asked to contribute as a guest writer. You can find my post, Phoneography РTaking Big Pictures with a Little Lens by clicking on the link.

On another note, last week I was reading David Pasillas (aka iPhonePhotographer) and he was reviewing an app called DistressedFX. David writes terrific reviews and I’ve found a lot of apps and inspiration through him….check him out. I download DistressedFx but didn’t get a chance to try it out until a couple of days ago. I really like this app. I took this last summer in California but never really did anything with it. What do you think? Let me tell you a little secret…but don’t tell anyone ūüėČ the birds weren’t in the original image.

iPhoneography, iPhone, pier, California, DistressedFX, Snapseed, GTCCC,

 

 


2013 – A Year in Review

I can’t believe another year is coming to a close but then again I say that every year. It seems they go by so quickly these days. As I look back on 2013 I’m proud of some of the images that I produced and some of the projects that I’m working on. As I announced a couple of months ago I’m launching a new pet photography business, PhoDOGraphy by Edith Levy. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for sometime and I’ll have the website ready for launch in January.

Below are some of my favourite images from this year. They don’t necessarily reflect the most popular images by hits or comments but ones that resonated with me for various reasons and I’ll let you know why as you go through them. Enjoy!

One last thing…wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Jackson Square in B&W

Interestingly enough this image never appeared on the blog. The colour version did (and you can see it here) but for some reason I didn’t post the B&W version which happens to be my favourite of the two. This was shot before sunrise and I love the moodiness that comes out in the B&W.

New Orleans, NOLA, Jackson Square, benches, sunrise, dawn, travel photography, monochrome, Black White

Jackson Square

Cafe du Monde

To call Cafe du Monde a coffee shop is downgrading it a bit. It’s a landmark and institution in New Orleans which was established in 1862. Cafe du Monde is open 24/7 and it was the perfect place for me to duck in and warm up with a piping cup of coffee and beignet right after my sunrise shoots in the city.

New Orleans, Cafe Du Monde, cafe, coffee, French Quarter

Cafe Du Monde – New Orleans

The Elgin Theatre

I was fortunate to be able to shoot this iconic theatre in Toronto at the beginning of the year. This was one of my favourite images from that shoot. Little did I know that it would be selected to appear on the cover of the theatre’s souvenir brochure. Below is a scan (sorry about the poor quality) of the cover.

Elgin Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Balcony, ornate, interior

The Elgin Theatre, Toronto

Elgin Theatre, WinterGarden Theatre, 100th Anniversary, Brochure Cover, Edith Levy Photography,

Boston Strong

I attended a conference in Boston in April. At the time I wasn’t quite sure if it would be taking place as it was taking place a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing. The conference went on as scheduled and although security was tight at the airports and in the city I was amazed at the resilience of the city and its people.

Boston, Memorial, Bolyston street, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Golden

This past July I took a trip to California, starting in San Francisco and driving down the coast to L.A. While the weather wasn’t always in my favour (lots of fog) I di manage to come away with some images that I was really pleased with. My second day in San Francisco called for an early morning wake up call to shoot the Golden Gate bridge. Being in a place for the first time without a lot of time to explore and get to know you’re way around means that you waste a lot of time looking for the perfect vantage point to shoot from. I was lucky here because as soon as I shoot this the lights on the bridge were turned off.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, Sunrise, Blue Hour, bridge, landscape, Edith Levy Photography

Golden

La Bicyclette

Come on…you had to know I’d include a bicycle image in my year-end recap ūüôā I loved that the name of this restaurant in Carmel-By-The-Sea was called La Bicyclette.

Carmel, California, night, bicycle, La Bicyclette, restaurant, window, French, flags, dining, travel photography

La Bicyclette

The Roman Pool at Hearst Castle

I was just really pleased with the way this came out. The light was very low and I didn’t have a tripod with me. I increased my ISO, braced myself against the railing and took the shot. Sometimes you just have to go for it.

Hearst Castle, Roman Pool, San Simeon, California, indoor pool, water, reflections, travel photography

The Roman Gods Stand Tall

Sponge

This is just a personal favourite. I took pictures of this little guy…his name is Sponge as part of my portfolio building sessions. Isn’t he just adorable.

French Bulldog, Frenchie, pet photography, best friend, dog photography

The Lonely Path

This image was taken at the Rockwood Autoyard in Ontario while I was attending a workshop with Denise Ippolito. It was drizzling the whole day with a light mist floating in the air which made for some terrific light.

Ontario, forest, path, autumn, fall, changing colours, trees, fine art, texture, fog

The Lonely Path

Santa Barbara Marina

Here’s another personal favourite from my California trip. I loved the different colours emanating from the boats and wanted to give this image a bit of an abstract, impressionist feel.

Santa Barbara, California, harbor, sailboats, abstract, pacific ocean, surreal, wharf

Santa Barbara Harbour Abstraction

Santa Monica Pier

One the last night of my California trip I was determined to get a shot of Santa Monica pier at night. Even though it was cold and I really wasn’t dressed properly I headed to the pier (with my husband in tow…he really does deserve an award) and set up for this long exposure.

Santa Monica, pier, amusement park, lights, ferris wheel, roller coaster, night photography, long exposure, travel photography, beach

Amusing Lights

Malibu Pier

This is probably the image I’m most proud of this year. A long exposure of Malibu Pier with a high key treatment.

Malibu Pier, California, long exposure, high key, beach, waves, malibu pier cafe, travel photography

Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas

I really had fun photographing these elephant seals at Piedras Blancas which is about 3 miles north of San Simeon on the Pacific Coast. I title this image “A Little Disagreement” but someone made a comment that it looks like the seal on the right might be laughing at a joke (wish I had thought of that), but the loud barking of these mammoth seals is still ringing in my ears ūüôā

Elephant Seal, Rookery, San Simeon, Piedras Blancas, California, beach, nature, travel photography, ocean front, beach

A Little Disagreement

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a Very Happy New Year.


Sidewalk Surfing

Skateboarding was born in the late 1940’s as a result of surfers wanting to practice their surfing skills when the ocean was calm, hence the name sidewalk surfing. ¬†Right in the heart of Venice Beach, California is a skateboard park which was packed on the day I was there. The skateboarders were unbelievable to watch and I had a blast photographing them. It was a good opportunity for me to practice shooting sports/action which I don’t do very often.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Venice beach, California, skateboard, skateboarder, park, beach, pacific ocean, action photography

venice beach, California, skateboard, skateboarder, park, beach, pacific ocean, action photography

Venice beach, California, skateboard, skateboarder, park, beach, pacific ocean, action photography

venice beach, California, skateboard, skateboarder, park, beach, pacific ocean, action photography


A Little Disagreement

Here’s another image that I took at the Elephant Seal Rookery at¬†Piedras Blancas. You can see the first image from the rookery here. These two fellas were arguing about something and I have to tell you they are loud. Males can weight up to 5,000 lbs, so I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to get into a fight with one.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Elephant Seal, Rookery, San Simeon, Piedras Blancas, California, beach, nature, travel photography, ocean front, beach


The View from Nepenthe

In 1947 Lolly and Bill Fassett bought a log cabin in Big Sur, California with the dream of building a restaurant where people from up and down the coast could come and eat and drink under the sun and stars and marvel at the spectacular views of the Big Sur coastline. The name of the restaurant is Nepenthe and today it’s still owned and operated by Lolly & Bill’s children and grandchildren. The views of Big Sur are indeed spectacular but unfortunately on the day that I was there it was shrouded in fog. I certainly wasn’t going to get the image I was dreaming off (looks like I’ll have to make another trip out to California ūüôā ) but decided to try to see what I could do with the fog and my 10 Stop ND filter.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Nepenthe, Big Sur, California, Pacific Coast, PCH, fog, mist, view, mountains, long exposure, travel photography


Lunch Time Retreat

In the heart of Filmore District in San Francisco is a terrific pizzeria called Delfina. My husband and I had lunch there one day and the food, atmosphere and service were terrific. While  tables and the outside patio were full of diners the counter was a decidedly much quieter place to be.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

San Francisco, California, Delfina Pizzeria, Filmore District, counter, lunch, pasta, pizza, stainless steel, counter dining


Venice Art Walls

A section of Venice Beach is a fantastic art gallery. Street artists can create beautiful works of graffiti art (“by permit only” as the sign says) for all to see and enjoy. Here’s a sampling of what you can find.

Click on the images to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Venice beach, California, graffiti, wall, beach, artist, spray paint, art, outdoor art, pacific ocean

Venice beach, California, graffiti, wall, beach, artist, spray paint, art, outdoor art, pacific ocean

Venice beach, California, graffiti, wall, beach, artist, spray paint, art, outdoor art, pacific ocean

Venice beach, California, graffiti, wall, beach, artist, spray paint, art, outdoor art, pacific ocean


A Typical Day in Venice

I love Venice Beach…actually I love people watching on Venice Beach. ¬†I hope that for those that had an extra long weekend it was filled with lots of family time and good food and that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I’ll be sharing some images from Venice Beach this week. This 3 mile stretch of beach in L.A. is home to street performers, bodybuilders, rollerbladers, skateboarders, graffiti artists, fortune tellers, funky shops and lots of tourists. It’s a great day to spend an afternoon and if the boardwalk gets to be too much then find a spot on the sand and enjoy the ocean breeze and the beautiful view of the pacific.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Venice Beach, California, boardwalk, storefront, crowds, people, graffiti, fun in the sun, message parlour,


The Bell Tower

I was going through my images from California (can you believe I still have quite a few to process) and I came across another one from the Carmel Mission that I haven’t posted yet. I really loved this place and it was just a joy to photograph.

Just a reminder….yesterday I posted a review on 2 new books from Dreamscapes – Desert Paradise, A Guide to Death Valley National Park and Gear for the Landscape Photographer.¬†I found out after I posted the review that¬†the¬†Dreamscapes Store¬†will be running a Thanksgiving Sale starting tonight, Wednesday Nov 27th at midnight. 15% off everything in the store. No discount code required!

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Carmel Mission, Carmel, California, bell tower, garden, Monterey Peninsula, travel photography


Floating Pier

Sometimes you work on an image, where an idea and a pre-visualization of the end result had been percolating for some time and it just clicks. I’ve been waiting to post this image for a few weeks. It’s not often that I’m pleased with the outcome of one of my images (I tend to be my own worst critic) but I was really pleased with this one. This was taken at the same time as the surfing images I posted a couple of weeks ago. I used my 10-stop ND filter in order to achieve a long exposure and I used Topaz Black & White Effects to create the final image.

Click on the image to see a larger, high-resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Malibu Pier, California, long exposure, high key, beach, waves, malibu pier cafe, travel photography


Amusing Lights

This week is turning out to be about night photography. I’ve been wanting to shoot Santa Monica Pier at night for some years now. I was in California about 5 years ago on a family vacation and didn’t bring a tripod (I’ve learned from that mistake) and just didn’t make it to take this shot. Well this past July this was definitely on my shooting list.

Click on the image to enlarge (honestly it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

From now until December 25th all products in my gallery are 15% off. Use the coupon code Holiday2013.

Santa Monica, pier, amusement park, lights, ferris wheel, roller coaster, night photography, long exposure, travel photography, beach


Zuma Beach

It’s Friday…yahoo…and with the weather getting chilly in my neck of the woods (and maybe yours) I thought I’d kick off the weekend with some warmer thoughts. Have a great one everybody!

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Zuma Beach, California, Los Angeleas, mist, sea, pacific ocean, seagulls, sand, waves


Super Hero Hall of Fame

This past summer while strolling through Westwood Village in L.A. my husband and I spotted a Soda Pop & Candy Store called Rocket Fizz. We walked in and I just about kicked myself for not having my tripod with me…sometimes you just need to give your back a break. ¬†I was really like a kid in a candy store…OK…maybe not a kid but definitely in a candy store. It was retro, it had candy and comic books and soda pop and while my husband was admiring the vintage collection of comic books and all that soda I was trying to figure out the best angles to shoot and what settings I should be using to get the best shot. Enjoy and no you can’t eat the lollipops ūüôā

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Rocket Fizz, Los Angeles, Westwood, California, candy store, comic books, super heroes, root beer, pop, HDR, retro, lollipop


Swim or Surf?

This wraps up surf week. Thanks for joining me for a little trip back to Malibu and letting me share my some of my surfing shots with you. Before we get to todays images I just wanted to let you know that I added a new review to my site yesterday for the Gura Gear Bataflae camera bag. You can find it under the Product Reviews tab on the main navigation bar or just click here. Would love to hear what you think of the review.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Malibu, California, surfing, beach, ocean, pacific ocean, surf board

Malibu, California, surfing, beach, ocean, pacific ocean, swim, pier, sign, flags, travel photography


Surfin’ USA

If everybody had an ocean
Across the U.S.A.
Then everybody’d be surfin’
Like californ-I-A
You’d see ’em wearin’ their baggies
Huarachi sandals, too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin’ U.S.A.

The Beach Boys

Yup…I know you’re going to be singing that all day now…me too, but its The Beach Boys, it could be worst.

Welcome back to surfing week. I had a great time hanging out on the beach in Malibu watching the surfers. The more I watched the more I marvelled at their skill. Honestly I don’t think I’d be able to stand up on a board let alone ride a wave.

Malibu, California, surfing, surfer, waves, beach, ocean, pacific ocean, action photography, sport photography

Malibu, California, surfing, surfer, waves, beach, ocean, pacific ocean, female surfer, action photography, sport photography

Malibu, California, surfing, surfer, waves, beach, ocean, pacific ocean, action photography, sport photography

Malibu, California, surfing, surfer, waves, beach, ocean, pacific ocean, action photography, sport photography


Surf Shack

Welcome to surf week. I had a blast on the beach in Malibu photographing all the surfers. ¬†I’ll start the week of with a look at the Surf Shack. This haven for all things surfing is located directly across the street from the beach on top of a fish restaurant. I loved the look of this place and knew it would be perfect for a HDR image.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Malibu, California, surf, surf shack, hang ten, travel photography, HDR,


Eat Lotsa Lobster

In my last post I posted an image of Stearns Wharf at sunset. I think I mentioned that I was standing behind a restaurant near the end of the pier to take that picture. I thought it only appropriate to show you the restaurant in question, The Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. This is a HDR (3 bracketed images) processed in Photomatix. I decided not to “de-ghost” the flag as I wanted it to be fluttering in the wind.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Santa Barbara, California, pier, wharf, Stearns Wharf, restaurant, seafood, lobster, HDR, travel photography


Stearns Wharf at Sunset

I thought I would take you back to California today. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I just loved Santa Barbara so I wanted to share this shot of Stearns Wharf taken at sunset. Stearns Wharf is perfect for a stroll regardless the time of day but the evening was really a lovely time. This is looking inland but along the pier is a smattering of shops where you can get ice cream or pick up some touristy T-Shirts. I’m positioned right at the end of the pier behind the seafood restaurant.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, California, pier, wharf, sunset, seascape, pacific ocean, travel photography


A Shoulder To Lean On

TGIF! It’s been a long and busy week but the weekend is before us and even this rainy weather can’t change that. ¬†This is a very exciting weekend as I’m going to meet andDenise Ippolito, workshops, Toronto, Toronto Digital Photography Club attend a couple of workshops with Denise Ippolito. My photography club is hosting Denise over the next few days and she will be conducting 4 workshops for us and a seminar. ¬†If you’re not familiar with Denise’s work you can check out her website here. If you’re in the Toronto area there are still some spots available. The information is on the Toronto Digital Photography Club website here. Once on this page click on the 3rd bullet.

Now on to today’s image. Driving south the Pacific Coast Highway about 4 miles north of Hearst Castle is the elephant¬†seal rookery at Piedras Blancas.

You can walk along the path and see these amazing creatures up close. As expected I took a lot of pictures here and I will share them with you but when I was processing them this one really put a smile on my face.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

elephant seals, rookery, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California, nature,


Santa Barbara Harbour Abstraction

Before we hit LA we spent 2 days in Santa Barbara and I absolutely fell in love with the place. The beautiful harbour front, the quaint downtown area and the friendly people made me wish we were staying longer.

I took this image of the harbour from the wharf while we were waiting to be seated for lunch.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Santa Barbara, California, harbor, sailboats, abstract, pacific ocean, surreal, wharf

Speaking of lunch, if you’re ever in Santa Barbara you must go to Brophy Bros. After checking in to our hotel we asked at the front desk if they could recommend a good local restaurant. We were sent to Brophy Bros. I have to tell you the baked clams were the best I have ever had. And the oysters. And the shrimps. Ok…I’m making myself hungry and I really want to go back.

Santa Barbara, California, restaurant, Brophy Brothers, Brophy Bros., seafood, wharf, clams, sign


iPhone Friday – Neptune Pool

Wow it’s really been a long time since I did an iPhone Friday post. ¬†A couple of weeks ago I post photographs of the Roman Pool at Hearst Castle. You can see those here. There’s also an outdoor pool which is just as magnificent. I do have shots that I took with my DSLR but I wanted to share this iPhone image of Neptune’s Pool. This was shot with my iPhone 4S and edited in Snapseed.

Hearst Castle, Neptune Pool, San Simeon, California, outdoor pool, water, travel photography


Need Weed…And A Little Something For You!

I think the image speaks for itself.  Taken in San Francisco at Pier 39.

San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, street photography, homeless, weed, sign, black & white, #whylieguy

And now for a little something for you guys and quite appropriate for this post. I found out today that PhotoWhoa is offering a free ebook on Street Photography. The Street Collective  is the result of many hours interviewing top photographers such as Bryan Formhals (of LPV Magazine) and World Press Award winner Laura Pannack about their process and how they achieve
their unique looks. I’ve just downloaded it myself and it looks quite good. You can download it here. When you get to the PhotoWhoa click on Freebies in the navigation bar and scroll to the bottom. Enjoy!


Sea Lion Cove

As a photographer planning a trip there are certain places that you research, determine the best time to be there, ¬†jot down your shot list and hope that mother nature cooperates with you. Then there are other times when you decide to stop at a place that was totally unplanned. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve was one of those places. My husband and I left Carmel and were going to head straight to Big Sur. ¬†Point Lobos is located approximately 3 miles south of Carmel and I remember reading about it but thinking that we just wouldn’t have time to stop given all the other things we wanted to do and see. ¬†When I saw the signs for Point Lobos, I said to my husband, “I think we should stop and just check it out.” Being the adventurous spirit that he is, we did. ¬†We stopped first at Whalers Cove and did a short 1/2 hour hike along the trail, marvelling at the panoramic views. ¬†Figuring that we were already there and realizing what a gem we “almost” missed we decided to check out Sea Lion Point Trail…. BINGO! ¬†Following the trail along up the hill the views of the pacific ¬†are just incredible. As we were getting higher up the hill my husband suggested we turn around as we were already behind schedule and should start towards Big Sur. Just a bit further I said. ¬†We made it up the hill and then I started down the hill on a natural staircase that led us to Sea Lion Cove. When we got down to the bottom (after a bit of climbing across some big boulders) we had the cove all to ourselves. Ok we weren’t really alone. The rocks just offshore and the water were filled with California Sea Lions.

Park Entrance Fee – $10

The sheer joy of being on the beach and photographing sea lions swimming nearby – Priceless!

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Sea Lion t Point Trail, Sea Lion Cove, seal, harbour seal, nature, travel photography, nature photography


Morro Bay Marina Glow

About 10 minutes or so after the brilliant sunset around Morro Rock and as the sun continued to fall below the horizon I turned to look south towards the marina. While parts of the sky still had orange and reds sparkling¬†through¬†the clouds around the rock to the south the glow was purple. It really quite amazing…and peaceful.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Morro Bay, California, marina, sunset, boats, water, glow, purple, pacific coast