Yesterday, I drove my grandma and my mom to see my cousin’s baby who had just flown in from China the other day. Here, Anu is showing her great grandma the stick she’d been playing with. She’s only a year and a half, but shes really really big. It was funny watching her reaction to walking barefoot on the grass. I guess there isn’t a whole lot of it in China. I hear its mainly used for dogs to do their business.
On the drive to my cousin’s house, grandma was asking us questions about Dementia and if we thought she has it (she does.) She asked for examples of other things besides memory loss. She seemed to be pretty lucid a few times yesterday and when she was, she was curious about her health. She knows her memory is fading.
At dinner, we were talking about the day. She said she thought someone was coming to see her earlier. That’s because the day before, she kept talking about a nurse that was coming by to evaluate her. I reminded her that she had a whole house full of people that morning with two of her daughters, a caregiver, and a nurse. She couldn’t remember it at all. You could see the fear and frustration in her eyes as she was on the verge of tears. It’s an emotional thing to witness, as you can imagine.
I went to on of the more hidden beaches around here recently. I’ve been here a few times before, but never remember seeing this stop sign in the surf. There’s a whole section of beach closed for some dang birds, the snowy plover. There were ropes and other trespassing signs, but this stop sign seemed out of place.
Shot with camera+. Edited with XnSketch.
After playing in the desert again recently, we escaped the heat and headed to the coast. It was overcast and a little chilly in Santa Monica, which makes for dull photos. I tried to spice this one up with a number of apps, but it still doesn’t pop too much.
Shot with camera+. Edited with Snapseed at first to add saturation,contrast, and to crop. Then TouchRetouch was used to remove a distracting element. Aquarella was used for the conversion to a painterly image. Snapseed was used again to add more contrast and saturation.
I’m back from being on the road again. The engagement shoot was fun and effortless. The couple was awesome to work with and amazing in front of the camera. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to snap a few shots with my iPhone, so I can’t share any of those until I edit the Nikon images.
In the meantime, I found this one from Joshua Tree on my camera+ camera roll. Sometimes I totally forget about photos on that roll. I shot and edited with that app. With the lighting the way it was, I had black and white in mind from the moment I set up the shot. I was going for the same effect as this one from a while back.
After an awful hotel experience the night before in Redlands, complete with screaming children bouncing around the room next door beyond 1am, we splurged on a boutique hotel, called Tuscan Springs, that we randomly drove up to in Desert Hot Springs.
I quickly took this photo while we toured the place. We originally were just looking to pay for day use of the hot mineral water spa’s and pool, but it was so relaxing and inviting that we had to stay. Everything about this place said vacation. Each courtyard had chairs, big comfy couches, and even beds. But, I think, when we were told it was adults only (not clothing optional,) we were already sold.
This particular spa was the size of a small pool.
Shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed
Sometimes you have to get dirty for the shot you want. Sometimes you’re not dressed appropriately to get the shot you want and you have to make a note to return soon.
I was hiking in the woods near my house a week or two ago and saw lots of these little mushrooms around. At the time, I didn’t want to get the clothes I was wearing all dirty, so I told myself I would just come back soon in something I didn’t mind getting filthy.
I think getting on my hands and knees on some damp soil that was covered in dead leaves was worth it for this perspective.
Shot with camera+. Edited with Snapseed and ShockMyPic
I went for a lovely horseback ride on the beach and through some dunes last weekend. While we were cruising along the beach, having our picture taken by lots of random tourists, we saw about a dozen ducks playing in the waves. I’ve lived near the ocean for almost 8 years now and I’ve never seen ducks at the beach before.
Not only were they at the beach, but they appeared to be on dates. They were all paired up male-female like the two pictured above. It was pretty funny watching one duck follow the other around.
Taking photos from a moving horse is really hard, but I was happy enough with this one.
Shot with the default camera app and edited with Snapseed.
May this photo bring you some peace today
I took my first trip up to Figueroa Mountain this week. I’d never been before, so I invited my friend/student to come along for a spontaneous adventure. It’s a lot of fun shooting with someone else thats passionate about photography. Even though we are at different levels, she brings a great perspective and usually sees amazing things that I’m not aware of. I tend to see big, sweeping landscapes, while she sees the beautiful details.
You can’t tell from the photo, but these flowers are on a steep, rocky mountain. I tried to hike down to get some much better vantage points, but I only made it about 10 feet down before the ground slid out from under me and I sent a large rock tumbling down the hill. After seeing that thing tumble down the hill like Chris Farley in Black Sheep, I decided I’d better stay up on the road. Mostly for my camera’s sake.
On this particular day, the lighting was all over the place. It started out sort of overcast, which is good for flower photos, but it wasn’t dynamic enough for my taste. Then the sun poked out for a little bit while it was low on the horizon. That totally changed the scene and brought back some of the vibrant colors. Then, out of nowhere, some fog started to creep in quickly. It actually made for some interesting photos because it was golden fog.
These were taken with my iPhone, but I also posted a photo from my D7000 on my fb page and flickr.
This is the kind of place I could hang out at for hours. Under some big trees. Next to some water. Away from civilization. With good company and my camera. I guess I’m just a simple man
This was a trail at limekiln state park that I hadn’t checked out before. There were a few awesome spots for photos along the creek. I’m sure I’ll be posting those sometime soon. I’ve edited an image from my Nikon, but I’m letting it sit for a while so I can look at it again with fresh eyes. I think I might want to start over from scratch and go over every pixel to make it perfect because it has a lot of potential.
This was shot with camera+ and edited with SimplyHDR.
When I look at this photo, I remember the crazy gusts of wind blowing through this valley. You can’t really tell just by looking at these turbines though. I should have had the girls that were with me posing as turbines too. Then you could see their hair blowing all over the place. This one was actually taken from the passenger seat of a moving car.
Shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed. The drama filter made for a dramatic sky, once again.
Normally, when I go to Julia Pfeiffer Burns in Big Sur, I, like everyone else, hike the short trail to McWay Falls. This time, we had a little time, so we hiked the other direction and found this little waterfall on a hike through the woods.
It was a tricky spot with big, ugly logs just below the frame, and really harsh highlights from sun beams poking through the trees. I think we both made it work though.
I think if I wanted to make the image even better, I would use TouchRetouch to remove the twig from the bottom of the frame, but I don’t have time to go back and do that. I have tons of editing to do already!
Shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed. The drama filter did a great job of bringing detail back into this image.
While heading home from a recent trip to Oregon, I stopped in Redding, California to check out Sundial Bridge. I’ve always wanted to stop, but I normally skip it and keep driving since its a 10 hour drive between the 2 places I’m living.
Its a very cool footbridge to see in person. There were some interesting characters hanging out around there. One random man said “up with beards” to me because I hadn’t shaved in about a week haha. It was definitely a great spot for people watching.
Shot with camera+. Edited with Snapseed.
Our campsite at Limekiln was maybe 250 feet from the ocean. The night we checked in, we had hoped to do some night photography on the little beach there. That idea was quickly squashed by a group of drunks with flashlights that wanted to know what we were doing. Drunks + Flashlights + Long Exposures = Ruined photos. Now that I think about it, we were probably the only sober people in the camp. If you ever go to Big Sur, be prepared to cross paths with foreigners and weirdos.
The next morning, I think we all spent a little alone time on this peaceful beach. My friend pointed out that there was a face in the rocks so I had to go back to camp and grab my gear for a few photos. When some large waves crashed against the rocks, the ocean spray looked like smoke being blown out of the mouth. It was pretty cool, but it only happened a few times before I got my camera.
From this spot, the stream is flowing into the ocean from the bottom left corner. There were lots of cool rocks of various colors. They probably don’t show up too well in this iphone shot, however.
Shot with camera+ and a simple edit with Snapseed. There wasn’t much to do with this one.
It was cold and the snow was deep. We didn’t bring any snow gear on this trip because we thought we were going to be on the coast the whole time. That didn’t stop us. I was knee deep in snow at some points.
The whole time I was looking at Wizard Island, I was thinking of my oreo truffles. I know you see it too.
Both images were shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed.