Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30

I took this photo for my nephew's birthday card.  There's a theme for the birthday gift, but I won't give too much away here, since maybe he'll check the blog before his birthday :)  It's pretty obvious anyway, right?  I'm happy with the came out just how I was imagining it, which is pretty rare for me.  I guess I wasn't imagining a guitar/violin combo, but the patterns are pretty I think.  It's my prime lens set to f/1.8 again, which creates the blurry background.  The folks at Watermelon Music in downtown Davis were kind enough to let me set up my tripod and have fun with the camera.  It was a cool store; large and casual with lots going on.  It would be the perfect setting for a sitcom, with a cast of regulars (the employees) and a group of regular customers who stop in and work through life's little issues while playing a lot of guitar music.  Just being in there for a while makes you want to play guitar!  It doesn't hurt that I just read the Keith Richards book either...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29

We took a little detour driving to Antioch today, and ended up winding through the Montazuma wind farm.  It was the crystal clear air and clouds that drew me astray.  The clouds and the windmills of course.  I photographed plenty of windwills and clouds, but in the end it was a photo of this little old dinosaur of a windmill that I ended up liking best.  You can see just a few of the hundreds of modern windmills peeking over the hills.  But this little guy has such nice contast...and character!  It's a great place for a wind farm; near the delta coming from the bay, it's a breezy spot.  You don't live here long without loving the delta breeze in the summer!  I could have driven around and photographed here all day today, but for my son complaining from the back seat (after all, it was his errand we were on.)  Still I never would have driven to Antioch without him, and I'm so glad we made the drive on such a photo friendly day! And that I remembered my camera!  I used to complain about photographing here in California where it's blindingly sunny all the time.  But I'm adapting, I think.  I love that I can fill all the pixels in a photo like this.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 26

Question: Peaking at almost 4000 ft, why did we drive to the top of Mt. Diablo?  To see the other side?  We drive to Doug and Cora's coming down 680 from the north, so here is the view of 680 leading south toward San Jose.  To see the view from the top?  Clearly hazy... but it did make for a nice vista shot.  I like the road leading into the photo, and wish I'd positioned slightly to the left so you could see it trailing off toward the distant peak (will update later with its name), but this was the shot with the deepest tones so I went with it.  I think it's underexposed by about three stops and I wish I would have tried underexposing even more!  We passed many cyclists making their way up the winding path.  It was an easy climb in the car.  I'm glad we went to the top though, because we can see this mountain all the time in the distance from our town.  Thanks Doug and Cora!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23

So this is very cool.  It's called Titan Arum...this one is named "Ted the Titan", and it only blooms once every two years for 48hrs.  It started blooming today at the UC Davis greenhouse!  When it blooms it gives off a smell like rotting meat.  The smell wasn't as strong as I was expecting but it did sort of waft out a scent like the garbage needed to go out a day or two ago.  It turns out this scent helps it attract flies to pollinate it.  Weird.  Technically it's not a flower but an inflorescence...a huge leaf holding hundreds of tiny flowers.  As for the photo itself, I wish the photo included the top and bottom of the flower.  Also compositionally I wanted a photo with just the bloom, but I realize that makes it harder to tell its size.  You can see a little bit of someone's elbow poking in the right had side of the photo under the leaf, just to give and idea of the size.  Here's a link to the greenhouse website if you're interested in reading more about Ted:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 21

Not much to this photo really, but I haven't posted in so long, and that was really eating at me.  Just too busy.  I was thinking this morning that I probably wouldn't have time to go out with my camera today, but when I walked out the front door to get the newspaper, the light was just right on these stems, so voila!  No it hasn't rained here...we're well into hot and dry summer...our sprinkler ran this morning.  At the end of these stems are little purple flowers, and they smell like chives.  I've photographed them before (maybe in September).  The flowers aren't chive flowers though they're obviously related.  Anyway, hoping to turn over a new leaf and post more often.  Twice a week would be a good goal I think! :)