Friday, January 29, 2010

Da train! Da train!

Thursday I took the train up to San Juan Capistrano to have lunch with a friend who drove down from northern Orange County. This is the first time I've taken the train and it was FUN! Comfy seats, footrests, tray tables, and BIG windows. I sat on the ocean side and took photos along the way and ick, they're really bad. But it's still interesting to see how things look from the vantage point of the train. Sunny day, sat outside to have lunch, and then wandered around the town a bit taking photos until I had to return. The best shots of the day are of some cactus, but I can't process them until I return home. Am planning on revisiting the cactus during my photo walk there on Saturday. This is a shot I took of downtown San Diego just outside the train station.

The best part? (Other than the visit with my friend?) Eating outside on a sunny day! Novel concept for this Oregonian... ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A clog in the photo tube . . .

I'm in San Diego right now with a slow laptop loaded only with Photoshop Elements 5. Although I'm shooting a lot, I'm not inclined to (a) spend three minutes waiting for my computer to clone out one spot of sensor dust and (b) work with slow and substandard post-processing software, so I shan't be posting many photos until I return February 5. Having fun, however, AND it's sunny! Hoo ha! Off to La Jolla now to see what I can find. -- Carol Leigh

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Downtown L.A.

Terrific photo walk in downtown L.A. this morning with a great group of people, including Beverly R., Pat F., Terry M., Barbara C., Pat G., Barbara S., Dennis B., Rich B., and CJ. The Disney Concert Hall was a huge hit, and we could have spent even more hours photographing it. Lighting, weather, reflections -- everything was just perfect. It's been a great weekend, both here and at the Getty. Thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable. ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Oregon to California

After a four-hour delay in Portland, my flight finally took off Thursday and landed safely in San Diego. In the rain. Lots of rain. Intermittent showers on Friday, but we were able to get in a quick walk around the cruise ship terminal and then out to Shelter Island to try to photograph the ships (three of them) as they headed out of the harbor. Cold and windy. Felt just like home!

Saturday morning I conducted a photo walk at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The architecture is incredible and the photo possibilities almost too overwhelming. It's tough to process my photos while on the road without a fast computer and having to use a very old Photoshop Elements program, so this is all I'm going to do.

Blue skies and puffy white clouds, clear air and visibility all the way out to Catalina Island -- it was a perfect time to be there. And tomorrow? It's a photo walk in downtown Los Angeles. Looking forward to that one, too! ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two more from Waldport

Two more from yesterday's little walk around Waldport. A colorful door on one side of the street, and a colorful little shop n the other. And this is about as much color as we've got around here! Most things are weathered silver, grey, and green, and oh, yeah, there's rust ... ©Carol Leigh

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thirty minutes in "town"

We had a horrendous wind/rain/lightning/thunder storm last night. Abby spent the night under the bed in the guest room and I felt like joining her! I read that the rains are supposed to begin again oh, right about now, so earlier I went into town to see what I could find to shoot.

I liked the nautical decor on this bayside home. And then I found a mural painted on the side of a small building.

In my current online class, students have been working on an assignment called "Extreme Colors," and I'm hearing some whining from the Californians ... "It's dark and gloomy here and I can't find ANYTHING to shoot." Weenies. I found a colorful door on the main street of our town, and then on my way back to the car created a sort of weird composition of the corner of a house. Pretty good colors. And I live in OREGON, you California wimps!  :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Before dawn

On the road early in the morning. Two more photos from Friday's trip inland. ©Carol Leigh

Friday, January 15, 2010

When you come to the fork in the road . . .

Attributed to Yogi Berra: "When you come to the fork in the road, take it." We had to go inland today in the middle of a miserable wind- and rainstorm. I shot through the windshield, as usual. I manipulated this picture in Photoshop to create something kind of whimsical.

And what did we learn? A Trader Joe's is opening next month just 1½ hours away! Woo hoo! ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Last photo stop of the day . . .

It's unusual for us to have pelicans in huge numbers this time of year; usually they're all in La Jolla by now. But apparently the food supply up here has been extremely good, so the pelicans are sticking around. As we approached Seal Rock, I could see a large flock sort of hovering about. I ran up to the top of a little hill and there in front of me were lots of pelicans all hunkered down on the side of an offshore rock. They're facing into the wind and every once in a while one would slowly swoop in and land or about 10 or so of them would just rise up in the air and then slowly settle back down.

It's been a good day. A really good day. May we all have many more like this. ©Carol Leigh

Nye Beach miscellanea

After lunch we took a walk around Nye Beach, a place that Sir James would call a "target-rich environment." I found a nautical-looking door, a leather purse inside a store window, some colorful architectural detail, and some funky texture. Every time I walk around this town I find something new and different and cool to photograph.

We headed home, but at Seal Rock we had to make one more stop . . . ©Carol Leigh

Wait, wait, wait!

Finished with the sea lions, we were back in the car and I spotted this. Do we just drive away, or is it worth getting the camera out again? "I'll hate myself if I don't take this." Chris is so patient. Thank goodness. What makes the scene for me is the lone crab pot buoy leaning up against the building. And no, I don't carry one around in the car to carefully put in place before shooting! (Although hmmm . . . not a bad idea . . .) ©Carol Leigh

Tourists from San Francisco

After we walked around the fishing boats, we decided to check out the sea lions at Port Dock 1. Earlier we'd seen a TV news crew there and so figured there were probably lots of sea lions about. Well, there were maybe 12 . . . But over on the jetty there were lots of them hauled out plus a big raft of them just floating around with their flippers sticking up out of the water. My lens was too wimpy for distance shots, so I concentrated on shooting straight down on them as they dozed on the docks. In the second picture, doesn't it look sort of like a sheep? ©Carol Leigh

A good day for photography

We went north to run some errands and I had a great time photographing all along the way. From the passenger seat I photographed this guy in a cherry picker working on electric lines and power poles. I used a 70-200mm lens set at 0.3 seconds to create plenty of blur.

Next I used a fisheye lens to shoot an overview of the docks. Not good at all, but definitely different.

And then walking along the docks, still with the @#$% fisheye lens on the camera, this fisherman leaped up and said, "Here I am!" So naturally I had to take a shot. See how the brown pole on the right is curving inward? Fisheye lens. We stopped to talk, asking what the barrels were for, what are they catching? "Liquid gold, liquid gold." Actually, what they're catching are slimey eels, also known as hagfish. (Don't look them up, they're disgusting.) The eels crawl into the openings and can't get out. The catch is then sent to Korea, where they're used for wallets and as an aphrodisiac. Apparently they sell for $20/pound over there.

More to follow . . . although "slimey eels" is a hard act to follow. ©Carol Leigh

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Different day, different beach . . .

This is the last dry day we're going to have for awhile, so I headed south to a different beach. And it was kind of boring, mostly flat sand, a few washed-up logs, broken clam shells, and not much more. I took an overview to show what the scene looked like, and then concentrated on a log that had washed ashore, as well as a shell. Yawn. But it was a good walk, nevertheless. Any time I can be upright, mobile, breathing clean air, and finding SOMEthing photographable is good. Oh, and staying dry, too, is important. Using the 70-200mm "L" lens a lot these days, for those of you who care. ©Carol Leigh

Werewolves of Waldport . . .

Scary face in a piece of driftwood. Ow-ooooooooooo! ©Carol Leigh

Two more from yesterday's walk . . .

See what I love about these beaches? The rock colors are amazing, especially on these overcast days.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

75 minutes on the beach

Tides and weather combined nicely this morning to be out wandering around on the beach. Other than having to slog through a little creek in non-waterproof shoes, it was a great walk. Very foggy, very monochromatic, very mysterious. Visibility was about maybe a quarter mile.

I shot a lot of rocks (as is my wont), but also tried to take overviews. Since I tend to not notice the big picture, one of my resolutions is to broaden my vision, and so a few landscapes sneak in lately. I found some turnstones (I think that's what they were) and love how the wings flare out in this one shot. And the crow on the rock? Love it! I'm sure he's going to show up in some montages soon.

Beautiful morning. Life is good. ©Carol Leigh

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Um, Pier 39? We've found your sea lions . . .

If you're wondering where your 1,700 sea lions went who used to live at Pier 39 in San Francisco, well, we've got 'em. They're slowly drifting north and will probably be just off the coast of Depoe Bay this evening if you'd like to retrieve them.

As I looked out onto the water this morning, I saw rocks offshore. Rocks that have never been there before. Looking again, nope, they're sea lions, with their flippers sticking up out of the water, just past the surf line. This is not a good shot since my lens was too wimpy (200mm). I've cropped it down and tried to smooth out the grain so you can see what I saw.

Having read this morning about the disappearance of sea lions from San Francisco and how large herds have been reported off the central Oregon coast, I figured I'd let SF know where "their" sea lions are currently hanging out. I'm sure they'll be heading home once the next storm comes through. But they seem to be enjoying our 58-degree temperatures at the moment. ©Carol Leigh

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Extreme Colors

My online class students right now are working on "extreme colors." With that in mind, I found an old slide, a photograph of a palm tree I shot probably in Huntington Beach, California, during an incredibly vibrant sunset. I scanned it and punched up the color just a bit more. If these ain't "extreme colors," I don't know what are! And over in the montage blog, I just posted something that also has rather vibrant colors, in a slightly different way. I've been up since 4:30 a.m. yesterday. Time now to get some sleep! ©Carol Leigh

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Passing Through

©Carol Leigh

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nothing but net . . .

It was overcast but not raining this morning, which is perfect weather for me to photograph a place I call the "fishnet ranch." Big piles of colorful fishing nets are scattered about in a huge parking lot. For me, it's incredibly exciting, sort of like how I used to feel as a kid going to Disneyland.

Last month I was looking at some of my previous photos taken at this location and was thinking that they were all starting to look the same. Does this happen to you? You visit a place over and over and uh-oh, you're not doing anything new? This time, I really TRIED to come up with different stuff.

Something that caught my eye was how dark black the freshly surfaced parking lot looked — wet and clean from previous rains. I knew that by metering off the lighter-colored nets, the black would go even blacker, thus setting off the bright colors. Black + overcast light = jewel-like colors.

So, for me, this is something different. Instead of concentrating solely on patterns in the nets, I included the asphalt. It grounds the piles of nets and helps emphasize color.

Remember the old movie with Alan Alda — "The Four Seasons?" One of the characters was a photographer. And all she photographed was fruit. Finally she had a breakthrough, announcing she was no longer photographing fruit. She was going to photograph vegetables. Methinks this "radical shift" for me might be akin to forsaking fruit for vegetables . . . ©Carol Leigh

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gourd art

When I have free time, I embellish gourds. Ha! Haven't been doing much gourd art these days! Anyway, I put this one on what we call the "Holly Cabinet" (Chris's sister Holly had it in the garage and she gave it to us) and photographed it this afternoon. I added a background that I'd handpainted and put the two together. There's so much texture that it looks particularly good as a black and white image. And makes me want to get back to my gourd art . . . and move to Santa Fe. Where we will have a "craft casita." ©Carol Leigh