2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 4: Rule of Thirds / Toys & Games

FujiFilm XT-1, 35mm, Lightroom, Aurora HDR, Luminar

Just as soon as Eric posted this week’s theme, I knew what I wanted to capture. Our normally boring Central Coast weather has been so dynamic and beautiful. I knew that the Guadalupe Veteran’s Memorial was going to be my subject. The potential skyline drama, the numerous headstones with history and pop, I knew I might create something nice.


Bamboo Gardening

I know many of you detest bamboo. I forgive you. I have a special place in my heart for it! It’s smells great, brings the best green colors to a California Central Coast sand garden, and can really make the windy areas more palatable. (And it also makes for a possible alternate resource in a wide variety of situations, oft referred to as SHTF scenarios.)

A lot of the time detesting the bamboo has stemmed from not understanding how to grow and cultivate it. I’m not super interested in reeducating, to be fair. I’d prefer to just give it a gentle try, and let the results speak for themselves. I’d prefer to trial and error, and share all the results. 

Bamboo is just grass. Some of it is invasive, and spreads like weeds. Tends to be less desirable. You have to protect from it, wall off, raised bed, etc.

In spite of the fact that I’m misrepresenting the facts, there are basically two kinds of bamboo; fast growing (you must control and be prepared to deal with), aka spreading.

Second is the slower growing, oft more decorative and uniform to enjoy. I think cultivation is more of this gardening.

Horrible descriptions, I know. 

One thing I love about the series of tubes we call the internets, is how much I can share, be wrong, yet still learn something, and grow nice bamboo! And Pinterest can get all the glory it deserves and doesn’t!

I was explored!

Today I was wandering around Flickr, adding tags to my photos. I saw someone who had been Explored, and they had celebrated in their description. That got me thinking, “How does one know when they’ve been explored?” So I did what any geek would do, I googled it.

I found this.

Guess what?! I was explored, last August. Below is that photo. What do you think? Is it my best photo ever? I don’t think so. But, I’m grateful anyway. Here’s the page where you can find my explored photo.


At The Getty, with The Princess

A week back, I really wanted to hit The Getty Center with my daughter, The Princess. We lost our shot, and so I rescheduled for this week.

DSC_9362A View of the Grand Canal: Santa Maria della Salute and the Doana from Camp Santa Maria ZobenigoDSC_9263Architecture at The Getty

Yesterday, we drove down to the parking structure, adjacent to the 405 freeway, just down the hill from The Getty. If you don’t know about The Getty Center, it’s possibly one of the best and largest collections of art in the Southern California region. It opened a few years ago to some huge fanfare and has been busy ever since.

You have to pay $8 for parking, but getting into the museum is free. Yeah, free!

I actually wanted to take public transportation all the way down there. Unfortunately, public trans in LA is a joke. There are several different organizations operating different parts of the system. So, we’d have to get on a borrowed seat on the Amtrak train out of Camarillo. Technically we’d be traveling the Metrolink. However, they don’t have enough trains, or something, and they rent seats on Amtrak. Then we’d connect with LA’s MTA for a bus to the Sepulveda/Getty drop-off. Here’s the catch. It’s $18, per person, one way. So, the two of us would be paying $72! That’s more than two tanks of gas in my little commuter Scion. We opted to drive. If urban communities want to help people contribute to helping the congestion, they need to be cheaper than driving. Even with today’s high gas prices, it’s a joke to think that I’d choose a 2 hour trip down and then 2 hours back, for more money.

OK, back to The Getty.

The Princess and I had a great time. We arrived around 11am and headed straight to the first building. We basically wandered from one to the next, covering every inch of each building. In one of the paintings exhibits, the have this really nice room with several large pieces on the walls and a couple of sculptures. They are all very typical museum pieces. Then, in the middle of the room they have several tables and drawing easels set up. The point is for anyone to wander up and sketch your own interpretation of the art on display. There were many people of varying ages that wandered in and out as we were there.

Will you hold still!Well, The Princess is a very good artist. So we took the time so that she could sketch something of her own. She sat down at the table and looked around for a bit. Then she sorta grunted an “OK, I’m ready.” She leaned down and began to draw. It took me a few minutes to realize what she had chosen as her focus. She was drawing a young woman a few feet from her, who was in turn drawing one of the large paintings. It really was surprising to me. I was even a little emotional as I considered what she was doing. I wondered how many accomplished artists would have considered to draw someone drawing.

I could not pass this chance up, so I shot off a few frames. As you can see, she did a splendid job.

We took a break for a late lunch and then continued into the Photography exhibit. It was there that I discovered that they want to show you photographs, but don’t really like photographers.

Don't take pictures in here!Let me clarify. No one really gives me a hard time. I don’t let them. Also, the average security guard is intellectually scared off when you start using 3 or more syllable words. I engaged him with a short diatribe about copyright, and derivative works. He didn’t follow. I allowed him to leave, and I shot my one and only rule-breaking-shot. “This one’s for Thomas Hawk,” I thought to myself.

It's too bright!When we finished there, we decided to head home. We didn’t have time for the beautiful gardens, nor much more than one quick stop to enjoy the view. I promised her we’d return once more. Possibly for a group photowalk, this summer.

Above all, I had a great time with my daughter, enjoying some beautiful artwork and taking picture together. She’s a lot of fun. Oh yeah, BTW, that was her school day.

Architectural Photography, fixed

Shanghai Commercial Bank

So, I’m shooting some architectural photography these days. As I progress, I expect to add it to my skillset as a marketable skill. One that will hopefully allow me to grow my professional photography. While I’m working on it, I’m needing to practice shooting with the wide angle and then correct it in Photoshop later. So, here’s my first stab at it.

I’m sure I’ll need some work, but not bad for my first one? Don’t you think?