Visiting San Diego

I just got home from a trip to San Diego to visit friends and family. There were many photo opportunities on this vacation. Here are some of my favorites.

Ocean Beach:

Cabrillo National Monument:

Balboa Park:

Marina/San Diego:


SF Botanical Garden January 2018

It’s my birthday week and I have to cram 2 weeks of vacation into one week since I lost last week to the fly, therefore I will do my favorite things. Today I did one of the best things to do in San Francisco: went to the botanical garden and had lunch at Nopalito. By the way, if you go there order the Caldo Tlalpeño con Pollo, it is divine.



The Shortest Days

I took these photos around 2:30 pm today, but they have an evening, late light feeling nonetheless. We had one rain this week, a little one. So far, a very dry winter. I’m still holding out hope for a rainy January and/or February. Last year the winter magnolia trees had already bloomed and the petals had fallen to the ground. This year, they are still but small fuzzy buds.


Morning Light

I have been meaning to go to the park in the morning, just to see what kind of photos I might get of my flowers in different light than what I typically see in the afternoon. I want to work on a larger colored pencil drawing soon, but so far the right photo hasn’t presented itself. It has to definitely be the right one, because a larger colored pencil piece is going to be a big time commitment. Did I get the photo today? Maybe. I will have to see how I feel about it going forward.

I did get some very nice light photos though. You can feel the atmosphere- early, sun low in the sky, summer, it’s going to be a hot day.


The Park

I haven’t been posting as much here lately, but I have still been taking photos. My attention has been diverted to making myself a website for my art, which is a work in progress, but here if you’d like to check it out. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this blog. Move it? Keep it? Repurpose it? Still considering.

I’ve also been thinking about filming some stuff and making some videos. I would like to make something I can show people to display the fact that I do indeed have video editing skills. I might make a video about the park, because I like the park so much. Still thinking about that too.

Just stopping by to say I haven’t put down my camera, just took a break from posting photos here.


I Like Flowers

Walking around the park today, taking pictures of flowers with my new lens, I thought, “no matter what lens I use, I’m probably going to take pictures of flowers.”

I really like flowers. What’s not to like? They’re so colorful. They come in so many shapes. I love flowing, curved lines. I love bright colors. And they are so interesting to observe in various types of light. I like to photograph flowers and I like to draw and paint them.

So here are the spring roses in bloom, and one bird.



Up until now, my longest available zoom has been 135mm. Then I was poking around on Amazon and I noticed that I could grab a 55-250mm discontinued Canon kit lens for less than $120. I felt I would be stupid not to get this, so I did.

Camera gear enthusiasts are an interesting bunch. I’ve been reading more blogs and videos about camera gear and photography this year and I can see how one could easily get sucked into a never-ending crusade to acquire the ultimate camera/lens combinations. I must remind myself that there is no real reason for me to do this, from time to time. I don’t aspire to be a professional photographer. (But if someone is offering some awesome job I may reconsider!)

Photography serves several purposes for me:

  1. It’s an art you can do outside! It entices me to go outside and walk around. Drawing and painting are my real artistic passions, but you must sit still to accomplish them. One cannot sit still all the time.
  2. Reference photos for my art. I only draw from my own reference photos when I draw realistically and since I learned more about photography it has really improved all of my painting. Taking pictures that capture interesting and beautiful light is the key.
  3. Documenting the things around me. I live in an amazing place with great weather almost year round (rain excluded) and an incredible array of plants, especially flowers. No matter what lens I use, I’m going to take more pictures of flowers and hiking trails than anything else because that’s what interests me most.
  4. Messing around with abstract photography. I get composition and color ideas from my abstract photos, and can see whatever the thing is that is “my style” in them.

None of these purposes require me to buy the most expensive gear.

Here are some photos from the new lens. It’s definitely going to be fun to use to capture more bird photos. And I was impressed with how great the flowers look at 250mm.


New Lens, Canon 50mm STM

Trying out my new lens, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. It’s a small lens and the lightest of any I own. It’s also not terribly expensive, making it a good candidate for hikes. A lot of reviewers recommend it for portraits, which don’t really interest me unless they are flower portraits, but I think it’s going to be a good walking around lens. Here are today’s best shots: