The Azure Blue Indoor Pool at Hearst Castle

See you all today at Google!

I’m excited to meet a lot of my Google friends in person!  The talk is today, and I’ve got everything ready for it.  For reference, here are a few links I will mention during the talk:

  • HDR Tutorial – Free tutorial here on the site – you’ll be up and running with a pretty pic in an hour!
  • Jill Bolte Taylor – about the Right and Left Brain on TED
  • HDR Spotting – a site with the Attention Distribution Engine to drive more traffic to other HDR Artists sites (still in beta – you have to get an invite code from existing member)
  • Textures Tutorial - The textures and a video showing how I got those textured-photos
  • Videos – A collection of free videos showing how I take HDR Photos in the field…
  • Twitter and Human Evolution – A longer treatise on what it suggests…

Daily Photo – The Azure Blue Indoor Pool at Hearst Castle

I mentioned yesterday that I was able to get a private tour throughout Hearst. It was a long and great day! Thank goodness I had a mass of memory cards… I got so much footage it was crazy!

I could have picked a bunch of shots to be the “first”, but I thought this one was particularly wonderful. There are two enormous pools at Hearst Castle, and this is the indoor one. This is a nice vantage point because this spot is actually quite difficult to reach! There is no door behind me… so I had to “shimmy” along that edge you see… It was NARROW… the shimmy was like a video game, except while holding a $10,000 camera! Sketchy! But I just had to get over here because I could visualize the shot before it happened…

Here’s a cool fact about this pool. Nearby, there is a huge room that was intended for a gymnasium that Hearst never constructed. The State then made it usable for IT and Archive area, so the water cools the computers… wild, eh?

The Azure Blue Indoor Pool at Hearst Castle

The Azure Blue Indoor Pool at Hearst Castle

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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  • Eugene

    Wow, amazing!! One of your recent best, to be sure :)

  • John Cox


  • Cate

    I agree with 1 and 2 – I remember studying the Hearst Castle in an architecture class – it seems like an amazing place and I’m glad you got to photograph it – can’t wait to see the rest and hear [read] some more stories

  • peter

    wow. this is epic.

    cover shot for your next book :)

  • Michelle

    Oh my goodness! This is THE BEST one I’ve seen so far. It gave me chills as soon as I saw the top of the photo and brought tears when in full view. Fantastic Trey – just fantastic!

  • Patrick Ahles

    This is so cool!

  • Doede

    Nice photo, but it’s a bit tilted to the left ;-) For the rest: great HDR, I’d say very realistic.

    BTW, where is this Hearst Castle located on planet Earth?

  • Michael Hatten

    Beautiful image! I love seeing detail like this in images


  • Silona

    majestic and calming at the same time.

    reminds me of being the first person to jump in the pool in the morning…

  • Linda

    IT Department? At Hearst Castle? WTF?

  • Chris

    Crazy Cool!

  • Alan Kesselhaut

    Love it.

  • Stephen Wilson

    An amazing image Trey. Love the blue shades, textures and reflections off the water.

  • cindy williams

    Fantastic image.

  • Brian Hoffsis

    Love the Hearst Castle. And what a fantastic shot! Now I’m ready for a dip!

  • Brenda

    Awesome Trey .. can’t thank you enough for sharing your expertise with all of us … especially people like me who are new to all what photography has to offer.

  • Victor Cajiao

    I hoped you would get a shot in this room, it’s one of my favorites. Did not know about the IT department there but I guess it makes sense. I think you will get your bravery photog badge after this one Trey. You are braver that I would be with that rig.

  • Gail Moshier

    Wow, beautiful blue pool, great capture, Trey!! Thanks for sharing! :-)

  • Maggie Hogan

    is this pool available for floating around like a princess? because i am highly interested in doing just so..

  • david lauder

    Magnificent! And the photo is not bad either. :-)

  • Darrin

    WoW! This pool is amazing.

  • http:[email protected]/ bsimak

    Beautiful job! That lens is fantastic.

  • Reid

    Awesome shot. The first thing this photo brought to mind was the Ishtar Gate from ancient Babylon that’s in the Pergamon museum in Berlin (google it to see what I mean). Really like the symmetry of this pic, the long reflection off the top of the water and of course the incredible color. Can’t wait to see more of this shoot!

  • Chad Delany

    Absolutely love how the yellows and blues go together. What a fantastic shot. Since you were on a ledge, were you able to use a tripod or did you shoot this hand-held? One picture or a five shot bracket? Thanks for all the inspiration.

  • Ali

    That is INSANE! Nice job!!

  • Elizabeth Fernandez

    The Hearst Castle is one of my favorite places and you just made it even more beautiful with this amazing shot. :)

  • Carl Licari

    Been there several times but not at that vantage point. Guess I missed out on the refrigerator and five-gallon buckets. ;-)

  • casusan

    Oh wow! Gorgeous shot Trey – love this!!

  • Deniece Bonner

    Trey~ This is beautiful! Thanks for doing the shimmy:)

  • Chuck

    Awesome !

  • Jim Nix

    Absolutely excellent shot Trey, well done in all regards.

  • Jacques

    My wife and one of my daughters (11 yrs old) are sitting next to me. Even they found this shot just amazing. Daddy… I want to go there, she implored!

  • Jason Cook

    Trey, you have so many stunning photos, but I never left a comment. I like this photo alot. The blues really capture the feel of that place and I feel envious of your opportunity to shoot there!

    I work in IT so it intrigues me exactly how they would use the water as cooling, but must be innovating. Would be an interesting place to work tho huh!

    Awesome Photo!

    PS: looking forward to the NZ photo walk!

  • pbv

    INSANE! ;)

  • Suzi

    Stunning shot! The pool looks quite different shot from this angle. Congrats on the steel cojones to risk your camera with that ledge shimmy!

  • Jamie Wallingford

    Beautiful photo, but what I want to know is how you were able to get a private tour!


  • Jan-Erik

    This is a gorgeous picture! Love the vibrant color and the reflected light.

  • Bernie

    Spectacularo. I think this is the first time I’ve commented on your site but have been following it for about a year now. Not that all you other pics were junk but this one is terrific.

  • Glyn

    So nice, how deep is the pool?

  • Stuck In Customs

    Thanks everyone!!

    The pool is actually pretty deep here – well – like 4 or 5 feet – the refraction makes it look smaller…

  • Jim

    This wouldn’t be double tonemapped would it…. Down low to get the reflections, a beautiful path for your eyes to follow, great framing of the shot and maybe cropped just a little. Sorry, going though the HDR Workshop notes…… just kidding, One of my favorites.

  • Stuck In Customs

    No – single tone-mapped… thanks!

  • Jason St. Peter

    Trey this photograph is wonderful! An instant fav and classic for sure!

  • http://goole none of your business

    Awesome photo I love it when i visit there how did you get a private tour is my only question did you see the video

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