Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Archive for June, 2010

Silverback Staredown

Silverback Gorilla - Santa Barbara Zoo

After attracting the Flamingo’s glare at the Santa Barbara Zoo, I managed to catch the attention of the Silverback Gorilla.  This was pretty cool.  I’ve seen plenty of gorillas at the zoo, but never one quite as active as this one was.  He even charged to his spot for a moment.  That was enough for me to clearly understand that I never want to be at the receiving end of that charge.  He was looking my way for me to get plenty of shots.  These are my two favorites.  Yup, for the bottom one, I even had the time to turn bracketing on to make the most out of the 2pm lighting.

Silverback Gorilla - Santa Barbara Zoo

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Flamingo Staredown

Flamingo Staredown

We hit the Santa Barbara Zoo today for Father’s Day.  The shutter was clicking and I managed to get a few decent shots.  This is a sleeping flamingo that was somewhat curious in what I was up to, but not enough to remove its beak from under his wing.


America in Recession

America in Recession

Today I saw the full extent of the recession here in the United States.  We can’t even afford bald eagles for photo ops.  We’re settling for bald seagulls in front of old flags.


Deep in Thought

Deep in Thought

This image pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling the last couple weeks.  Completely wrapped up in what I’m doing and oblivious to the outside world.  I think I have caught up, for now, to all I need to get done and can resume posting here.

What we’re looking at is my four-year-old daughter (she would correct me, 4 1/2) painting a mug for Mother’s day.  This was a great moment where she paused to figure out what her next move was to trace the outline of what she wanted to paint.


Three Twos and an Entry

This evening’s Light & Shadow Camera Club competition went pretty good.  The categories this evening for digital were Monochrome, Color Pictorial, Nature and Creative.  All of my entries except monochrome held a second place.  No real critical commentary on the images this time around from the judge.  Overall all of the submissions were really strong and I’m more than pleased to have been awarded seconds.

Salsify Seeds

Salsify Seeds - Digital Monochrome

A View to Something More Beautiful

A View to Something More Beautiful - Color Pictorial - Second Place

Thistle and Honeybee

Thistle and Honeybee (Apis mellifera, Silybum marianum, Schizaphis graminum) - Nature - Second Place

Supported Asymmetry

Supported Asymmetry - Creative - Second Place


Beach House

Beach House

Back to the Monterey trip.  This blue house overlooking the rocky beach with the gold grass in the foreground caught my eye.


Abandoned Shack II

Abandoned Shack II

Here is the other image of the inside of the shack from yesterday.  While this one lacks the wonderful junk vs. beauty contrast, it certainly screams junk and abandoned in spades.  The right-most window is the same one you saw in yesterday’s image.  The early morning light really makes this work.  Now that I am home, I would have preferred to see more off to the left of the image than is there.  I’ll have to try again one day.


Abandoned Shack

Abandoned Shack

Just outside the suburban areas of San Jose you’ll find lots of farmland that provides several possibilities for shooting rustic images.  One such opportunity, just at daybreak was a shack along the side of the road  filled with all kinds of junk.  There was some gang tagging on the walls and weeds growing up between all the clutter.  All the windows were broken out and water damage was very apparent.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love images of gritty scenes.  I’ve always been a fan abandoned places.  This image, with  the nasty mattress, cracked walls and trash contrasted with the soft, warm morning light, hills and trees has it all.  I really like this one.  It may even move to my favorites page next time I update it. 🙂


Making the Crossing — With Snacks

Making the Crossing --  With Snacks

Not much time to write today, so I’ll let the image tell its own story.


Salsify, Revisited

Lets take a break from the California coast and once again revisit our (well maybe just my) favorite gigantic dandelion, the Salsify plant and its softball-sized seed ball.  Before this year, I had never heard or seen one before.  Now they are all over the place.  It must have something to do with the abnormally cold weather we’ve been subject to.

To get these images, attempted to pick the seed head off the plant to give it a proper backdrop.  Unlike a regular dandelion where this is a trivial task, salsify required me to resort to more aggressive tactics like such as employing a pair of scissors because breaking the fibrous stem by hand was difficult and risked disrupting the seeds.

Salsify Seeds on Head

Salsify Seeds

Salsify