Tag Archives: {Photography}

Hawks and Falcons

Today I ventured outside around my home in Hemet and was hunting for falcons and hawks to photograph. I didn’t have to go far before I photographed two American Kestrel’s and eight hawks. All within 5 miles from my home. Such an amazing sight to see so many birds surrounding me.

Right by Hemet Airport



Down Warren Ave I just love this photo!


on Warren by the Railroad tracks almost missed him as he was camouflage blending with pole


On the other side of the Hemet Airport close to the Fire Station


down Warren near the egg and dairy farms


This photo was taken at Diamond Valley Lake while I was driving around the area


These next photos are from Diamond Valley Lake near the visitor center. These three photos are of the same hawk



The Salton Sea

On 10/25/2014 I ventured 2 hours south to the Salton Sea. I’ve never been before and I was in search of the Borrow Owls. Never found, but none the less, I found a lot more. Take a peek.

The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial and Coachella valleys.

The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. Like Death Valley, it is below sea level. Currently, its surface is 234.0 ft (71.3 m) below sea level. The deepest point of the sea is 5 ft (1.5 m) higher than the lowest point of Death Valley. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo Rivers, as well as agricultural runoff, drainage systems, and creeks.

The modern sea was accidentally created by the engineers of the California Development company in 1905. In an effort to increase waterflow into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River into the valley. Due to fears of silt buildup, a cut was made in the bank of Colorado River to further increase the water flow. The resulting outflow overwhelmed the engineered canal, and the river flowed into the Salton Basin for two years, filling the historic dry lake bed and creating the modern sea, before repairs were completed. While it varies in dimensions and area with fluctuations in agricultural runoff and rainfall, the Salton Sea averages 15 mi (24 km) by 35 mi (56 km). With an estimated surface area of 343 square miles (890 km2) or 350 square miles (910 km2), the Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. The average annual inflow is less than 1,200,000 acre·ft (1,500,000 dam3), which is enough to maintain a maximum depth of 44 ft (13 m) and a total volume of about 6,000,000 acre·ft (7,400,000 dam3). However, due to changes in water apportionments hammered out for the Colorado River under the Quantification Settlement Agreement, the overall water level of the Sea is expected to decrease significantly between 2013 and 2021.

The lake’s salinity, about 54 g/l, is greater than that of the waters of the Pacific Ocean (35 g/l), but less than that of the Great Salt Lake (which ranges from 50 to 270 g/l). The concentration increases by about 1% annually.
Surface elevation: -226′ (-69 m)
Area: 376.1 sq miles (974 km²)
Length: 34.8 miles (56 km)


I hope you have enjoyed the photographs.

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
Salton Sea History Museum

Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Late this morning I grab my camera bag and dashed out of the house. I wanted to get out and photograph this amazing, beautiful, sunny California day.

The road took me to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands.

A few short moments into my nature walk a group of people started to photograph a bird. It’s my first photo. I can’t recall what they called it but they were totally happy to see it.

My journey continued and I saw a Great Egret followed by a Great Blue Heron and then Brown Juvenile Pelican sitting and adult Brown Pelican flying across the waters.

Something happened not totally unusual for me, a Turkey Vulture flew closely past, circled and then landed to take a closer look at me. Amazing about being out in nature looking at it, when it looks back!

After that touch of nature, I continued my walk. I saw birds bathing, more pelican’s overhead one specific bird playing peekaboo with me and then enjoying the beautiful scenic landscape of the wetlands.

While enjoying the sights, I heard crow calls and saw them lunging at something. It was a Cooper Hawk. I snuck up on him and starting photographing him. I even followed him around as he was flying away from the crows. At one point he

perched on a branch in plan sight and allowed me to photograph him. It was amazing!!

After that excitement, I moved on the trail and came across a Squirrel, a Woodpecker and anther Great Blue Heron.

I ended my journey watching a pelican diving into the water for fish. It was amazing! You can see more at https://sleeklens.com/product-category/lightroom-presets/



I hope you have enjoyed me walking you through my journey and hope you also enjoyed the photographs.

I would suggest the Bolsa Chica Wetlands for anyone who loves nature walks. It’s great for all ages.

Interpretive Center
3842 Warner Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Hummingbirds living in my backyard

Here are just a couple hummingbirds which are living in my backyard. I could swear, one of them is King or Queen with the beautiful jewels around its neck!

Taken 10/12/2014


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is an experience of India’s glorious tradition and faith. A legacy that has evolved, endured, and enriched humanity through the millennia.

Located in Chino Hills, California, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a traditional Hindu place of worship. Derived from the Sanskrit word Mandira, Mandir is a house of prayer that inspires faith in God and guides an individual towards spirituality. A Mandir instills basic virtues of humanity such as forgiveness, honesty, unity, friendship, humility, tolerance, patience, sacrifice, and charity. For countless generations, Mandirs have served society through spiritual and humanitarian activities.


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir & Cultural Center
15100 Fairfield Ranch Road,
Chino Hills, CA 91709
Tel: (909) 614-5000

Southern California Newport Beach Landing Whale Watching

Finally after 40 years of living in Southern California I went whale watching. Despite the fact we didn’t see any whales, we saw over 1,000 common dolphins! And of course we saw seals. Take a peek!


I even took a selfy!


I took a couple panorama photographs as the weather was beautiful.


Newport Landing provides multiple whale watching trips daily departing from Newport Beach. Newport Landing offers whale watching tours year around. December through April is the prime Grey Whale migration period. Newport Landing is ideally positioned to take advantage of the annual Grey whale migration, which brings hundreds of Grey Whales along the Laguna Beach coastline and within minutes of Newport Harbor. May through November brings warmer waters and the opportunity to view blue whales to 80 feet, finback whales, huge pods of dolphin that number in the thousands, seals, killer whales, sharks, and many other marine creatures.

I hoped you enjoy seeing my photographs….if you ever get a chance….go on one yourself. It’s really enjoyable.

Photographing Places While On Vacation {Tips}

There may be a number of reasons why we travel to places. Personally at this moment it’s the ruins or remote places that require hiking or backpacking that I tent to go to. I will save Paris, Italy and Spain for when I’m older. Maybe for you it might be enjoying good weather, good food, known areas, historical landmarks, nature, or maybe it’s just to see family or friends. Whatever the reason, let me provide 8 tips I wish someone had shared me.





Tip #1 : include what you can, highlight want to you want to show off!

Take this photo of Machu Picchu. I knew before I went that I wanted capture a photograph that has never been taken or one I’ve never seen. So when I arrived at this spot and witnessed with my eyes, I knew I had to capture it. Just seeing all of the layers of this magical location amazed me! When I took this, I knew I wanted to include the people, the hill at the top right and the hut on the bottom right. By including these objects it helped to add depth I wanted to bring out in the photograph.









Tip #2: be playful!

This photograph was a sign that I took Downtown Riverside as I was walking around. It captured texture, messages and the artistic flare the artist intended. Instead of taking the photo straight on, I backed up, went to the left and tilted my camera to get this angle. So be a little playful! Try new angles. Stand back and get anther perspective. Some of the best photographs around are the ones that were taken by being playful!




Tip #3: use the rule of thirds. This is a guide which applies to the process of composing visual images such as paintings, photographs and designs. The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.

While I was at Yosemite National Park I spotted a coyote! She was with her pack when I saw them crossing the road. I was driving so I stopped, jumped out and started shooting. I had to rush back in my car because she came so close it scared me. I thought I might be lunch to them!



Tip #4: include yourself in the photos!

Here I was at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I pointed my camera at me and took a shot. I quickly looked at the photo and made some adjustments and retook the photo. In fact I took four more until I was happy with this one. So include yourself and check the photos out before you take anther step to the next location.






Tip #5: shoot it before you eat it!

Take the photo before you eat it! How many times while out on vacation did you ate something and then said I wish I took a photograph of it? I have several times! Now I photograph it and then eat it.







Tip #6: use a tripod and long shutter speed!

When I went to Peru I took my tripod. I knew I wanted to capture some night shots. This type of photograph works when you have your camera steady (tripod or camera resting on something) and using a long shutter speed. For this photo I used a 20 second shutter speed. I wanted to capture the headlights of the cars driving by while freezing the people in place.






Tip #7: look at your destination prior to going!

Before going to Peru I did my homework! I looked at each city and found photos I wanted to capture myself like this one. Just like above I used a little bit of a longer exposure to keep the photograph light but the uniqueness of this photograph is all the photos I’ve seen were yellow. Cusco lights are yellow. Just a little white balancing brought a image to life allowing your eyes to focus on the beauty and not yellow hue.


Tip #8: take video!

I am super guilty for not taking many videos on my trips. Videos add more than beautiful photographs. I actually just found this video as I was researching photographs for this post. When I viewed the video, it brought back the sound and visual images that triggered the memories of the smell and excitement of the gushing waterfalls. It was like reliving it over again. What an awesome experience videos create!

Hope you enjoyed the tips!

Stay tuned in as next week I conclude photographing tips for Events!

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

Photographing People While On Vacation {Tips}

While on vacation or during a gateway photographing people are an important part of documenting your experience. But to many people travel is all about  strange and exotic locations. Don’t forget it’s also the people who live in these locations that often bring out the “strange and exotic” to the location.

Sometimes it’s not always the locals who add this element to a location, the visitors can often put in their experience that helps to bring out the locations.





I photographed this lady in India at the Qutub Minar. She acted like a tour guide
though she wasn’t. At times I witnessed her taking peoples camera’s to be sure she captured them at them at the worlds tallest minaret. Nice act of kindness. Here she decided to automatically pose in front of the camera. I could not resist as it was a beautiful contrast between her skin, saree and the stone.




Awana Kancha





While in Peru we made a quick stop at Awana Kancha.
The young lady was giving us an example of traditional Peruvian weaving.
Here I found myself in love with the natural light the shinning on this girl.

Not all of your photographs have to have eye contact. Some of the finest photos
do not have eye contact.




While I was in Seattle, WA I went to the Woodland Park Zoo. A place I quickly fell in love with!

Here I noticed a lady getting closer to the window and the tiger who also was getting close to the window. This photograph happened in a matter of seconds. If I didn’t have my camera ready, I would of never been able to capture what seems like a lady touching the lions nose. This is a sight you do not get to see regardless if  you have 10 inches of glass in front of you shielding the danger.








This photograph of a boy was in the oldest market in Old Delhi knows as
Chandni Chowk in the Naya Bazar, in India.

This boy was just sitting watching all the people walking up and down the street. We made eye contact and I held up my camera and said photo. He seemed surprised why someone would want his photograph, but he nodded his head saying yes.

In some places around the world it’s custom to provide a few coins when photographing people. I’ve seen this in Costa Rica, Peru and India. I usually carry coins just for this reason.







In Peru I was traveling by train headed to Machu Picchu. I was doing my typical photographing out the window while on this journey. We made a few stops along way. While the train was slowing down, I notice a lady that I captured from my window seat. Her eyes, smile, hat and flowers is what made me drawn to her. A few of my friends said she looks scary. But for me, I wish I got off the train to learn more about her story, her life.






One weekend I decided to take a nature walk down to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. At the end of my walk I saw a local artist (very talented artist) painting. So I got my camera out of my bag and photographed him. I tried to get him in the same surroundings he was painting but the angles were not right. So I went around the right side of him and captured what you see here.

This type of photograph I love capturing, people working in their working environment.







This last photograph was anther from India at the Qutub Minar. Photographing children is always fun as you never know what you are going to get.

Here this little girl was playing running around while her mom was working on one of the ruins. This little girl reminded me of the Coppertone girl. Just the look on her face and the way her clothing was hanging, it was a cute innocent pose.


So on your next journey, be sure to pause and look at the people around you. You might be surprised the wonderful images you might want to capture. The more times you stop look and listen, you will become more aware and start capturing some great memories.

If you are interested or know of anyone interested in my photography services, please fill out the New Client Registration Form.

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

Travel Photography {Tips}

Going on vacation or just a weekend getaway is something we all look forward too. Usually we carry our cameras to record the event but when we get home the pictures could turn out some what disappointing.

Have you ever looked through travel magazines or books and envy the photographer who took them? There is no doubt that travel photography is one of the most popular genre of photography.

Can you admit that your camera sits collecting dust between trips? Why this is the case? It’s because we don’t think about photographing our own surroundings. We take our familiar surroundings for granted, it doesn’t inspire us as we see it daily. Here are some local examples of walk ways, flowers and an entrance to a home I’ve taken.

  like this walk way downtown

   flowers from the beach

anthonylujanphotography-travelphotographyl20080512_013   like this beautiful entrance

Once we go outside our familiar surroundings everything looks fresh and the impact of seeing something different inspires us to photograph it. When we travel, we like to document our travels through photographs, mainly to show others. Also when traveling, people are usually accompanied by family and friends and it gives us a chance to photograph them, which we rarely seem to have time to do at home.

Travel photography isn’t just about photographing places and the people you are with, but rather photographing the people who live their and make up the destination .

Over the next three weeks I will be providing travel photography tips that are in three sections to help you photograph your next vacation or getaway. These sections are:

taken in Peru

   taken in India

   taken in Temecula

So please stay tuned in as next week photography tip is People!

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel