Poison oak is dangerously seductive. Good thing the photos of it are safe.
My youngest daughter was playing at the beach in Santa Barbara in her sun dress and I grabbed this photo. Everything about her pose, expression, the long grasses, sand and hill behind her screamed for a vintage look. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro to get the look I was going for. Some have said I need to crop it, and I can see why from a composition perspective, but I’ll be leaving it just as it is since I like the environment.
In the Almaden Quicksilver County Park in South San Jose are some abandoned cinnabar mines and a few structures that were present in the mini camps that existed up in the hills. This is an old barn that existed in English Camp (yes, there was a neighboring Spanish Camp for the Spanish speakers). I’m not sure if the red color is original or added by the parks department a decade or two ago. It’s pretty beat up and has some charm. I’m not sure if it has as much charm as I was hoping for after a long hike lugging my camera gear around. :)
Part of the reason why I didn’t post much last year was due to softball. My daughter made a competitive team and I signed up as the volunteer team photographer. It was a great excuse to get a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and get my practice in for sports photography. What I didn’t know was quite how many images I would shoot and the trials of shooting softball. The action in softball is very fast and you’re never quite sure where the ball is going to go. At least you know where the plays are likely to happen. The hard part, which became somewhat of an addiction, is to try to get good shots at interesting points in the play. I shot some 25,000 frames over the 6-week tournament season. There are tons of useless shots, some good story shots that are weak in composition, and some nice moments. I’ll post some of the latter this year.
In the image above was taken in the last hour or so of sunlight. The sun was behind me and things were starting to turn very orange. This is one of the very few ball-on-bat moments I was able to capture. If I remember correctly, this ball launched off the bat and was good for at least a double.
A few months ago, I rented some lights and messed around with learning how they work. I took a few photos of my family. Here is one I really liked that came out of my little experiment. My daughter had been upset about something that little kids get upset about. She had also just gotten out of the bath. Needless to say, she wasn’t impressed by my setup. The upside is an awesome photo! :)
Continuing my journey around the mighty battleship is this view of one of the main guns, the bridge and the tower. This illustrates just how massive these guns truly are. The clouds couldn’t have been more cooperative at the moment I was snapping the shutter on this one. This was just at the start of the roped-off section, hence the lack of people in this image.
I ended 2011 with another trip to the USS Iowa. This time I was able to get on board! The ship is finally getting restored and prepped for its voyage to Southern California. In the meantime, they are letting people check out the foredeck. I took the opportunity to push the 10-22mm lens. Close quarters, huge structures lots of people make for a challenging shooting environment. On a positive note, the morning clouds & sun were extremely cooperative. This shot is one of my favorites of the day. I’ll post a few more and I plan to visit again in a couple weeks. Maybe there will be additional areas we can look at. I’d love to capture more of the ship before it’s fully restored.
Happy New Year everyone! This year, I want to at least get an image a week posted. Despite shooting well over 25k images last year, I only managed to post a couple. This year should be better. :)