Monday, July 26, 2010


Saw this tonight with Skip and Heriberto. So much fun. Learned two new words: hangry and procrastibator.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Skip’s Graduation 5.22.10

My friend Skip completed his Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling and invited me to the graduation ceremony. One of his classmates works with a Doctor who allowed them to use his house in La Jolla for the event. It’s an amazing place overlooking the ocean and full of interesting passages and outdoor sculpture.

Skip’s parents flew in from Massachusetts for the ceremony. They were teachers and missionaries in Afghanistan where he was born and raised until he was 15. His brother recently returned from there and brought the him the Afghan cap that he wore.

It was a wonderful ceremony. Several of the faculty and students spoke about their experience working together through the learning process. Each speech was wonderfully personal, heartfelt, and meaningful. I enjoyed every word.

More of Skip’s Graduation

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


By the time the Zoo opened at 9am I was completely exhausted from the previous long days and early mornings. None of my pictures seemed to be working so I used the take-as-many-bad -pictures-as-possible approach hoping some good ones would sneak in there.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Balboa Park 5.15.10

Saturday morning: 7am. Again early if not bright. A horde of photographers descends on Balboa Park. Not a flower, tree, or architectural detail is spared. All are shot without mercy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tide Pools

We headed down to the Tide Pools when they opened at 9am. High tide covered most of them but the rugged coast was beautiful.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pt. Loma 5.14.10

Thursday, the 13th, 200 or so photographers from across the continent started arriving in San Diego for a photography weekend sponsored by the company I work for. This gave us all a chance to rub elbows with, take photos with, and listen to world famous photographers give advice and talk about their work. More information is at:

Early, if not bright, Friday morning we boarded buses to Pt. Loma and the Cabrillo Monument. The day started out overcast and hazy so I pointed my relatively little lens at things other than the views of downtown San Diego, which are normally amazing.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Grandma: 1912 - 2010

All stories from my mother’s childhood center around the house on Eagle Street. The house was just outside of town in the early 40s when my grandfather, a carpenter (died a few months before I before I was born), rescued it from its former life as a public tavern (with small rooms in the basement where a gentlemen could pay for the company of a lady), and turned it into a single family home. After the GIs came home and re-visited old haunts, the family was woken up late in the night frequently enough that my grandmother would just leave the butcher knife out on the large kitchen table, the better to run them off. It was sort of a reverse Three Little Pigs: after huffing and puffing and blowing the door down, they got run out by Mama Bear.

Several years after my grandfather died my grandmother, with her youngest daughter still at home, moved into a 1st floor flat of a 2-story house, where all the family gatherings of my childhood took place. She and all of her daughters (5), including my mother, had well-trained voices. She also played the organ very well and had one in her front room that we’d gather around and have sing-a-longs. I remember watching her with both hands and both feet going full blast, in walks one of my older cousins (brother?) with a girlfriend. She yells, “Hi, I’m Grandma” and goes back to the song without missing a beat.

The picture above was from a trip home in 2006 where Mom and I took a break from Thanksgiving with my brothers and went to see her. She was happy and alert, just a little hard of hearing. She mentioned dreaming about my grandfather every night. She had only occasionally mentioned him over the years, saying how proud he’d be of his family.

My mother’s voice was understandably a little shaky when she left me the message last night that Grandma had passed. But I’m finding it hard to be too sad. She missed her husband for over 47 years and now she’s back in his arms.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Reflecting the Setting Sun

For this picture, and the previous one below, I used our black & white program, which is so much fun to work with, to add a burnt edge, a color filter, and toning. Then, back in Photoshop, I changed the blending mode from Normal to Luminosity to blend the effects into a color image with unique lighting.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cruise Ship

I learned an important detail today about how to use our sharpening software. It makes me want to go back and redo every photo I've done for the past 6 months, which I'll try to resist. But it does make the details pop ever so nicely.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Maidenhair Falls

As the trail continued to climb up to 900 ft above the desert floor, the canyon got narrower and the boulders got bigger until we're climbing over these minivan size behemoths. The trail also started to weave back and forth across a tiny trickle of a stream and a few palm trees appeared. Finally, after going further than we ever planned on a trail way more rugged than we were ready for, we sprawled on the broad, flat top of one of those boulders to rest before heading back down.

I knew there was something special at the very top of the trail and I didn't think we were very far from it, so I told Steve and Jeff to enjoy the sunshine and I'd be back in half an hour. After hiking exactly 15 minutes up the trail and crossing more and more water I came to Maidenhair Falls.

At 18 feet and little more than a trickle most of the year, Niagara it's not. But after hiking in the desert for a couple hours, coming to this cool, shady place with the sound of falling water and a cool clear pool to soak your feet in, it may be better.

The first thing I did? Pulled out my cell phone, of course!

Steve and Jeff, back down the trail, exhausted on the rock, wondering 'what did he get us into?' Hearing the phone ring. Thinking there wouldn't be any signal out there. Dammit!

I think they enjoyed the falls. It certainly was a memorable trip. We'll see what they say next time I suggest an outing.