Member Since: February 24, 09
More Eastern Sierras
The little town of Lee Vining overlooks Mono Lake. There wasn't much to the town, but they did have this little campground with some gorgeous trees. And I came across this truck with a strange attachment on the front that is apparently used to push snow into piles alongside the roads. Everyone should have a hobby, but we certainly don't do strange things like that in Florida.
I woke up early the next morning and went down to Mono lake for a sunrise shot. Early seems to be the best time for sunrise shots. At this altitude and time of year, it's also a good time for freezing one's booty off. It was really, really COLD. Brrrr!
Then I headed back down to the June Lake Loop to see what early morning looked like. It was downright magical. The early morning sun lit up the mountain nicely. And then it lit up the aspens along the shore of Silver Lake. And it lit up these roadside aspens.
On the drive back down to the High Mojave, I stopped at Crowley Lake for a shot.
And then I stopped at this little lake outside Lone Pine for a shot of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the continental US at 14,500 feet. They used to call it the highest point in the United States without the "continental," but then Alaska became a state.
More Fall Shots and Some Tufas
Not far from June Lake where we last left off, this is a little mountain stream winding through the valley, so I took its picture.
As I was returning to the car a really stiff wind blew up and aspen leaves went flying everywhere. I'm glad I had my camera, but I'm sure glad I don't have to rake them.
This tree was losing leaves fast, but I liked the yellow and blue color combination and the leaves on the ground helped I think.
This was the back side of the Sierras a little south of Lee Vining, which was my destination, so I could shoot some tufas (as it turns out, they're a little tough, but they taste just like chicken).
All in all I was a little underwhelmed by Mono Lake, which smelled almost as bad as the Salton Sea and had blankets of little flies everywhere, but the tufas were fun and I have finally checked Mono Lake off my bucket list. I also had the unexpected bonus of catching the aspens at their fall peak. I love aspens. That made the trip way worthwhile. And there's more to come.
On a recent trip out to California's High Mojave I took a weekend off and headed up the backside of the Sierras to Bishop and Lee Vining. My object was to visit Mono Lake and shoot tufas. As it turned out, I ended up shooting fall color shots and other nice stuff. The cottonwoods at lower altitudes and aspens at higher altitudes were both in their prime fall colors.
The first shot I came across was this cow shot with a tree and mountain.
Then I came across a little town overlooking Crowley Lake. The lake was okay, but the trees were amazing.
I drove up into the aspens above the town and got out for a stroll about in an aspen grove.
I took a shot of the sun shining through, but it put everything in dark silhouette, so I pulled out the flash and lit up the underside.
I ended up at June Lake, where I was just planning to take a picture of the lake and June Mountain behind it for my wife (June). As it turns out, June Lake and June Mountain are as lovely as June, but more yellow around the edges. I spent a couple of hours there and then went back early the next morning for more.
On a recent trip to the California desert I stopped along the way at a mysterious sight in pretty much the middle of nowhere, a little town named Adelante. The sign at the main road was in some Oriental language, I'm not sure which one, but I would guess Vietnamese based on some of the names on other stuff.
I drove down the dusty road to a very nice temple and asked the caretaker if I could go in and take some pictures. He said that was fine with him as long as I took my shoes off. Other than the caretaker, I had the place completely to myself, and he was busy doing caretaker stuff. There was a big puddytat guarding the entrance, so I took my shoes off, and he just sat there and looked at me, so I guess that was the right thing to do.
Inside was very well done and beautiful, but a bit stark in the furniture department.
I liked the lights.
And they had some gorgeous stained glass windows.
You can see some strange sights and stranger people at the beach. For example, this lady appears to have fallen prey to a gang of graffiti artists.
Or there's this fellow who appears to be standing on the head of large, water-spewing snake.
One of them has really good balance, or perhaps the fellow is actually a talking snake hat.
I noticed a storm out over the bay and took its picture. This is the original.
And then inspired by Mac and the magical things he can do in Topaz, I decided to try the software out for myself. This is the original plus Topaz.
What do you think? Keep in mind that this is my first try at Topaz and that I may be extraordinarily senstive, heavily armed, on meds and that I may know where you live. ;-)
Just kidding -- honest and direct critique is always happily accepted.
I was the Designated Photographer (DP) for a yacht club party recently, which is sort of like the Designated Driver (DD), only with drinking permitted and a camera. Anyway, I shot this toe shot and thought I'd see what titles you might be able to come up with.
PS - I was told they were going to publish 2 or 3 shots in the monthly newsletter. As it turned out, they published about 40, including this one.
A shot from a couple of years ago, because I haven't had a chance to get out and shoot lately, but it is in need of a title...
We had a Salsa Festival not long ago and I like salsa a lot, so I grabbed my camera and a bag of chips and headed on down there. I didn't see any salsa anywhere, though, so I asked a friend where it was. She said it was up on the stage. "Well, that's a pretty silly place to put it," I said. "One of those dancers up there could step in it."
I never did find the salsa, but I did find a lot of very pretty ladies.
And then there was this young lady with unusual makeup, the seldom seen Batman unicorn look.
And there was this young lady, whose little brother called her a name, as nearly as I could tell implying that she was a dainty-girly-frilly-so-and-so, so she tried to bubble him to death.
On a recent trip out to California's High Mojave Desert I went through a little ghost town where a few people still live, most of them hoping that the mining company that started the town will be coming back someday and they'll make a fortune. Whatever the company was mining is gone, of course, so they are, too. And unless somebody discovers gold or silver or a viable vein of peanut butter, they aren't likely to be back. They did leave some interesting stuff behind, though.
This is the mayor's personal limo.
And then there's the shopping mall. It's not quite as big and fancy as it looks from the front, though.
I even decided to try that last shot in bw. I think I like that better. Maybe they should paint the town in black and white. Instead of tin and rust.
And then there's the town's obviously thriving saloon/restaurant. I was in town for nearly an hour and only saw one car go by here, and that one was mine leaving town.
And what ghost town would be complete without a place for the Holy Ghost? I think they ran out of paint after doing this building, because it's just about the only place in town that has any.
More Orlando Stuff
A few more shots from a relaxing vacation in Orlando--a couple of chairs facing the lake. Yes, we left the most beautiful beach in the world to drive to a little lake for a vacation. On the far side is the golf course.
And there were the fountains for aerating the lake and picture taking.
The JW Marriott Hotel on the lake.
This was a guy making candy in a window at Universal Studios.
And I had to have a shot of the Margaritaville sign. I like Jimmy Buffett a lot.
I thought it was ironic that this kid's parents probably spent thousands of dollars on a vacation to Orlando and all this kid wants to do is vegetate and play video games which he could have done back in his living room at home. I'd be tempted to take the thing away from him and introduce him to reality, but then reality is a hard thing to find in Orlando.
We took a vacation recently to Orlando and got to meet a number of unusual creatures, who were also there vacationing.
There was a Great Blue Heron attempting to hide by holding still in the vegetation next to the lake by our hotel. Nothing all that unusual there, of course.
And there was a butterfly snacking on a fuzzy flower in the butterfly garden. Again, not all that unusual.
But then things too a strange turn. June was surprised by an anorexic Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to cut in line at the snack bar.
And the Loch Ness Monster popped up in the lake. As it turns out, Nessie appears to be made entirely of little blocks of plastic.
And then an illegal space alien showed up on the miniature golf course. He shot six over par.
The strangest creature of all, though, was this very cute red, polka-dotted mouse.
And then while playing golf at Grande Lakes we came across this strange flower. I have never seen anything like it. Anybody have a clue what it is?
San Xavier Mission
I hauled my camera along on a recent business trip back to Tucson and had a little bit of spare time so I headed to one of my favorite places, San Xavier Mission, to take a few shots.
The place is really old and has been partially restored, only partially because I think the restorers ran out of money before they finished. The tower on the left is restored, but not the one on the right. From what I understand, the reason the right tower looks unfinished on the top stems from an old Spanish law that said a building could not be taxed until it was finished. Never finish and you never pay. Either that or those folks ran out of money, too.
The structure on the right is a ramada made from ocotillo branches. The indians who own the place cook lunch under there.
This is the bells on the roof of the little side chapel.
This is the back door to the mission and a view across the desert toward Tucson in the distance.
The local photography group took a field trip to Ft. Pickens a few weeks ago and I'm just getting around to posting some pictures. It's an old Civil War fort across from Pensacola and protected the harbor, and it's a great place for old bricks and archways.
I'm not sure why, but this shot reminds me of the Beatles Abbey Road album cover.
And this one reminds me of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.
This lady was walking through the ammo room with the light behind her and I was fascinated by her hat, so I asked her if I could borrow her for a few minutes. Anyway, lady with hat in ammo room.
A cannon used to sit on this pin and pivot about so that they could shoot at door-to-door salesmen. It must have been hard to do that with the bars on the windows.
This shot is a ramada by the pool at the Margaritaville Hotel on Pensacola Beach. What does this have to with Ft. Pickens, you might well ask? It's where I stopped for lunch on the way to the shoot. The seafood mac and cheese was awesome.
Happy 4th to all, and especially to the June Honey--it's our 14th. ;-)
It's Nearly the Fourth!
Sorry I haven't been around for awhile. I've been traveling for work. Anyway, I wanted to wish all my Photographica Phriends a Happy Phourth of July now that I'm back in Phlorida Phor awhile.
The Fourth means fireworks, of course. These were actually taken earlier this month at the Billy Bowlegs fireworks show. He's a pirate who lands here every year to sow mayhem and frivolity. More about that later.
This is one of my favorite firework shots. We were in a church parking lot and I noticed this guy sitting on the base for the cross by the water while watching the fireworks. His pose reminded me of Forest Gump.
Boating is also a popular 4th activity. These were all shot handheld at F1.4 or so using available light--there was quite a bit of it, as it turns out.
And what 4th would be complete without the beach and a bit of volleyball?
I noticed this kid warming up his volleyball skills with his dad, until some girls walked by and the kid caught the ball in order to concentrate on the girls. ;-)
And, of course, this being the South, an iced mint julep might go down well, too.