HOME – About the Real View, New Work, New Places

Welcome to The Real View!

Lake Michigan shore, Kohler

The Real View is all about creating an authentic representation of our magnificent world through images that convey a sense of realism, or "being there." This is accomplished using a combination of old and new technologies I refer to as my vintage+digital technique. My aim and passion is to capture my favorite slices of the natural and man-made environments and bring them to you, preserved as special windows on the world as I see and experience them–what I call real views.

Through this work, I aspire to present to you some of the best of what can be experienced from the outdoors, especially in summer, of my favorite places on earth. The most special to me are Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the Lake Superior region, and the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. I also have an interest in architecture, buildings, and the man-made environment, and hope to bring you more images involving those subjects in the future, especially in both straightforward and abstract black and whites.

In general, my images are created and processed with minimal manipulation and are presented as I visualized and experienced the scenes. I say that with the understanding that photography is not a perfect medium, and always involves some degree of manipulation of reality. Because of the medium's many variations, there are also opportunities to create images that obviously deviate from reality. Black and white images are a good example of this. Also, much more creative and abstract material can be created using digital photography than was ever possible with traditional photographic processes, and I intend to experiment with this option and bring you some new work in the future.

New images from 2011 and 2012

I'm always taking more pictures, capturing new material, and enjoying the process of creating new insights/images that reflect the beauty of what I see every day. Some is of this activity is planned months in advance, while much is spontaneous, impulsive, random, fleeting. It usually takes several months before I begin to see something I like from the initial images captured by the camera. Occasionally, I find something I love right away and quickly add it to the website. Several times per year, I embark on trips to my favorite destinations to photograph them, and will probably add a "recent travels" page to present a collection of new images.

The images below were all taken around Raleigh, North Carolina, where I have lived since mid-2010. The last several autumns here have been spectacular, and I have thoroughly enjoyed just visiting nearby Umstead State Park and finding new images around town. The top two pictures were taken outside my wife's office in Raleigh. The middle two were taken at an historic millpond (Yates Mill) just south of Raleigh, and the bottom three were taken at Umstead Park in November 2011. I'll continue featuring my most recent work here. Please look for these images to change monthly, perhaps more frequently in the summer.

fall color Raleigh NC fall color Raleigh NC Yates Mill Raleigh NC Yates Mill Raleigh NC fall color Raleigh NC fall color Raleigh NC fall color Raleigh NC

New images from years past

I'm constantly exploring and foraging through unretouched and unenhanced "raw" images from years past and some of them catch my attention as having potential. As mentioned earlier, I often don't identify my best images until I've revisited them over and over, perhaps for a long time. There are also the really good ones that I've overlooked for one reason or another, or they just got buried in a large "haystack." The images below are some some of those that eventually caught my attention after they sat dormant on my computer for years.

The top picture (below) was taken at a city park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, in October 2005. I lived in Wauwatosa for 17 years, and would often wander around several nearby parks in the fall. There were actually a few favorite individual trees I would have to see every fall because of their spectacular colors that stood out among the rest. The top picture is one of those, and the fall of 2005 provided me with many other similar images, like those in the Galleries.

The middle picture (above) was taken at Grand Sable Dunes on Lake Superior in September 2005. The dunes are located in a remote area of the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and getting there on 30 miles of dirt roads was an experience in itself. My son and I were only there for 2 or 3 hours in late afternoon, but the scenery was magnificent and I captured some great images. I believe these are the only sand dunes on Lake Superior, and they are quite large and have a unique coarse reddish colored sand, unlike the fine white sugar sand of Lake Michigan dunes. I must get back to this very unique spot within the next few years.

The bottom left picture (below) was taken at another less remote UP location called Silver River, just outside of L'Anse, Michigan, in 2004. This is a favorite spot for trout fisherman, as the stream has several nice pools of water between the falls, and before it empties into nearby Lake Superior. I love this spot because the stream and waterfalls have good visibility and accessibility, and the scenery is quite pristine and infrequently visited by tourists.

The bottom right picture (below) was taken at Raulston Arboretum at NC State University in Raleigh in 2011. I visited one June morning after a day-long gentle rain, and found many plants just blooming and covered with beads of water. This colorful leaf caught my eye, along with many flowering plants, some of which can be found in the Galleries.

Prints of all sizes available!

The "Galleries" section of The Real View is where my best work is exhibited for you. Prints are available in a range of sizes, and can be matted in standard ivory or to your specifications. I will also create custom sizes/shapes and mats (of any color) to match your frame/mat preferences.

New content always added!

I have a large stock of images from years of photographing landscapes, nature, cityscapes, and flowers. I am also constantly capturing new images on film and digital media. As a result, I continue to offer new images on the website. Please visit regularly to see what's new on the home page. Please contact me if you have any suggestions for new material.

New black & white galleries!

I have taken many black and white photos over the past 35 years, all of them on film in various formats from 35mm to 4x5. Here are a few samples which I hope to include into some new galleries soon.

New "wide" gallery!

My wife came up with this idea when we spotted 12"x36" frames at a local store, and thought these would look great on the wall of my office. Some of these can also be seen as full images in the galleries. Check out the new "wide" gallery too.

Check out these other
photographers and artists!

These are some of my favorites, most of which I've been following for years. They all have very interesting stories about their history in photography. Just click on the links below to open their websites in a separate window.

Kevin Adams – Western North Carolina, especially the waterfalls

Mark Bashista – Scenic landscape photos from all areas of North Carolina

Craig Blacklock – Lake Superior region, especially the north shore of Minnesota

Alain Briot – American Southwest

Danny Burk – Well-traveled and totally awesome photographer based in Northern Indiana

Clyde Butcher – Very large format black and white images of the Everglades and South Florida

Ken Cravillion – Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Digital Outback Photo – Chock full of information on the latest digital equipment, image processing software and techniques

Ken Duncan – Australian panoramic photographer

Brian & Shawn Malone – Photos of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior, a unique part of the world

Ethan Meleg – Unique landscapes of Bruce County, Ontario, Lake Superior, wildlife, and more

Nye Simmons – Southern Appalachains and the American Southwest

Rich Stevenson – Specializes in and maintains a website on North Carolina Waterfalls, other western NC places

The Chromazones – Group of abstract artists in Raleigh NC

The Luminous Landscape – One of the most interesting photography sites on the Internet for many years

Upcoming Activities

I haven't traveled much in the past 4 years, due to completing my MBA degree, moving 1,000 miles, and the recession. I plan on getting around more over the next several years, particularly in the Carolinas, Virginia, and Tennessee. Over the next several months, I'll be traveling to Michigan and Pennsylvania, and points in between, on several family-related ventures. Of course, there will be many picture-taking opportunities in between, at many places I've never been before. I need to research eastern Ohio.

Over the past two years, I've discovered the beautiful beaches of North Carolina, which will likely be the source of much new work in the future. This summer will definitely involve a trip of several days in the mountains, which I haven't really photographed much since 2007.

I've been working diligently on developing this website and about 5 others, and am working on several more. I acquired this valuable skill during the winter of 2010-2011 while trying to figure out what to do with myself in a pathetic and worthless job market. I learned HTML, CSS, and PHP quickly, developed a draft verion of this website, and put it on a shelf for about a year. A few months ago, I got an opportunity to do some graphic design and website work for the Apex Downtown Business Association in Apex NC. More website work quickly followed, and I think I've stumbled upon a good business opportunity.

Finally, I must make a priority of working with my sizeable library of images–some of them up to 35 years old–to create some new work worthy of bringing to you and adding to this website. Most of this will involve digital processing and printing with my vintage+digital technique, but I'm also itching to make some old-school black and white prints in the darkroom. On that note, I really must add some black and white image galleries to the website to display several decades of work in that area. In addition, I have a large number of slides and negatives from pictures I took in Germany 28 years ago that I should bring back to life.

All images and web design Copyright © 2012 Tim McCauley

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