Sharing moments in time…

  • Central Park Horse Carriage-1
  • Panamint Valley Panorama-1
  • Surfs up!!
  • Intro to an Icon.....
  • Baha Sunrise
  • "Whale of a Treat"
  • Time to Head Home
  • Modern and Medieval
  • Muted colors, quiet moment
  • First "star" of the evening


Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

I’ll stick with the idea of autumn as a transition as we just got back from NYC and happen to have a few photos of the fall color.  We don’t really get much of seasonal changes here in San Diego.  Even though the temperatures will change, the range always stays pretty comfortable.  We spent a week in NYC and it ranged from the 60’s all the way into the 30’s which is frigid to us SOCAL folks.  We really enjoyed the chill in the air as we wandered all over the city and went to a number of Broadway plays.  One of my favorite city places is always Central Park and at this time of year the leaves are changing and the whole park is lit with brilliant yellows, oranges and red.  I took this photo early on one of those crystal clear mornings that provided lots of color and contrasting shadows for everyone to enjoy……Central Park Horse Carriage-1


Take a Breath…

With the terrible acts of last week and the continuing turmoil of loss, fear, anger and other emotions that are being felt around the world, I thought I’d post a calmer, gentler view of our world.  I took this photo a few weeks ago looking out across Death Valley towards the Panamint Range of mountains in Nevada.  Panamint Valley Panorama-1

I had the great pleasure of sharing a day taking photos with a Scot, an Englishman, and an Aussie in this desolate but beautiful and quiet part of the country.  I was looking at this photo this morning, and remembering that moment had a peaceful effect on me that I wish could be shared among those who have suffered loss or are just anguished at the terrible events in Paris.  I also wish that such a scene would remind people to take a breath and think before reacting (or over-reacting) to those events.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

I’ll post a rather small “Victory” for this week’s challenge.  We were in Kauai, Hawaii a couple of weeks ago in a house right on the beach with beautiful breaking waves.  I have always been enamored by the ocean and can sit for hours just watching the ever changing views of the surf.  What I have never done is try to capture a decent picture of the surf as kind of a stop action landscape.  I took many photos that week trying to get something that expressed the beauty and the power of the crashing water.  I kind of like this this one as I can almost hear the sound and smell the salt spray – I hope you enjoy it also.

Surfs up!!

Surfs up!!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate

Intro to an Icon.....

Intro to an Icon…..

When I think of  “Ornate” I always reflect on the cathedrals and monuments that I’ve had the opportunity to see around the world.  One of the most incredible is, of course, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.  I could easily have picked many of the pictures I have of that monument but I thought I’d take a slightly different view that many people don’t even know exists.  The “Taj” is surrounded by an equally incredible compound that is amazing by itself.  The entry points and corners are marked by large, very ornate structures that would be attractions all by themselves if they weren’t just an “appetizer” for the Taj.  I chose to show one of those main entryways here.  It is impossible to describe the detail of these building but I hope this at least gives you a taste.  For context, the white domes that can be seen on the left side of the photo are the actual Taj Mahal…..

Baja Beauty

I said in earlier post that I would talk more about our trip to the Baja.  We booked our trip through Baja Air Ventures because they had a trip to see the whale sharks that fit us perfectly.  Their trip included a small aircraft flight from nearby Brown Field (from San Diego) which was absolutely painless as far as security and customs going into Mexico.  After clearing customs in the tiny airport at San Felipe, we continued down to an even smaller strip at Bahia De Los Angeles.

Desert Contrast

Desert Contrast

From there we took about a 45 minute boat trip to our home for the week at the Los Animas Eco Lodge.  This charming lodge is made up of 8 yurts (all with “limited” air conditioning and in-room composting toilets) plus a larger central yurt and outdoor covered deck which provided the kitchen, bar, meeting place and dining area.  All of this is nested in a beautiful and protected cove between the surrounding mountains and the sea of cortez.  Baha Sunrise

Eating is always important on a trip like this and the Lodge did not disappoint.   I am not the worlds greatest fish eater but the food was outstanding.  Although there was a lot of fish, it was all freshly caught (often during our morning whale shark trips) and delicious.  There was also many dishes served without fish but with the same tasty preparation in the mexican tradition.  I should also mention that ample soft drinks, beer and excellent margaritas are also included in the trip price.

Besides the morning whale shark snorkeling opportunities, there were all kinds of other activities available – sailboats, paddle boards, hiking , snorkeling, or just lounging on the beach or in the water.  All activities were coordinated with our combination pilot/guides, Andy and Fred, who were very helpful and knowledgeable of the area and its ecology and who also did an outstanding job of meeting the varied needs of the 10 guests who were there during our visit.

Kick'in Back

Kick’n Back

Lastly, I would be remiss if I neglected to say that the sunrises, sunsets, and stars at night were incredible!  It was worth the price of admission to just enjoy these experiences with a few new friends and marvel at nature’s bounty.  To illustrate, I’ll include this photo of our own yurt with just “a couple of stars” in the background – as the commercial says, priceless.

Home to the stars.....

Home to the stars…..


Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

We have been very lucky in “treating”ourselves to a couple of recent trips (hence my lack of posts).  We first had the opportunity to go on a short notice trip to the Baja in Mexico to spend some time with Whale Sharks.

These incredible creatures come in close to the shore in the Sea of Cortez to feast on the plankton in the water.  While that is great for the giant fish (not either whales or sharks), it is horrible for underwater photography due to the lack of visibility caused by the plankton.  This photo was taken from our boat which was about 18 feet long – this whale shark was longer than the boat – about 22 feet in length.

"Whale of a Treat"

“Whale of a Treat”

From the surface they appear to be hardly moving but when you get in the water to snorkel with them, you quickly realize that they are hard to keep up with and that they can disappear in seconds with one flip of their enormous tails or by just sinking down into the cloudy water.

Tail of the great fish....

Tail of the great fish….

In any case, it was a tremendous treat to spend some time with these very gentle giants.  I’ll post some other photos from our lodge tomorrow and explain a little more about this wonderful trip.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

If there were no “Change” there would be a lot of bored photographers out there.  Much of photography is catching those moments of change whether it be in a person’s action, or the state of the environment.  I’ll use one of the most common changes that photographers focus on – the golden hour between the day and the night.  When the sunlight is low in the sky, when the clouds are highlighted, and when everything seems just a little more clear and focused.  This photo I call “time to head home” with surfers transitioning to a new part of their day as the sunset starts the change into night.

Time to Head Home

Time to Head Home


Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge  “Grid”, I ‘ll submit this photo I took in a German town square (don’t remember which town it was) while on a river cruise last year.  I took it because the “grid” provided a good backdrop to highlight both the old and the new architectures sharing the same square.

Modern and Medieval

Modern and Medieval


Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

India is not exactly a place that I would classify as  “Monochromatic.”  Virtually everything is awash in color as well sound and aroma.  I did recall this photo that I took inside one of the temples in the ancient city of Khajuraho.  In contrast to many modern (western) places of worship, the areas inside are small, intimate, and intended for private reflection and meditation.  This Indian woman was enjoying a quiet moment inside the temple early in the morning before the throngs of people began to show up.  I thought the light coming through the window reflecting against the wall and onto her face made an interesting scene.  The tone of the light, the walls, and her face all blend into a single pallet and resulted in one of my favorite photos from this incredible place.

Muted colors, quiet moment

Muted colors, quiet moment


Photo Challenge: Today was a good day

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge, “Today Was a Good Day” I chose to show the end of the day.  A week or so ago, we took a short (1 and a half hour) trip out to the Anza Borrego State Park for a one night mini vacation.  We stayed at the beautiful Casa Del Zorro in Borrego Springs but we spent most of the evening out in the desert to take photos of the sunset and then the Milky Way.  Here are a couple of shots from that trip.

First "star" of the evening

First “star” of the evening

We drove out to a deserted area of the desert and never saw another person.  This was a nice little canyon to watch the sun fall below the mountains and create this nice sun star over the cactus.

Cactus Star

Cactus Star

Another angle at sunset highlighting the local fauna.

Ocatillo Milky Way

Ocatillo Milky Way

And finally, the main event – the incredible views of the Milky Way over the desert.  This was actually taken about midnight – the end of a very nice evening and day.


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