My brother owns an R22 Helicopter, a 4 seater which can prove quite handy for getting a unique vantage point for activities below. Every so often he invites me up to take pictures of yachting and boating events that are happening off the coast of San Diego. A few months back he invited me to shoot a race that several of his friends were participating in. The day was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky and the ocean was a deep and rich blue. It made for a spectacular day of shooting. He even took the doors off the helicopter to reduce the glare on the photos. Have a look.
Many people say San Diego lacks culture. I always laugh when I hear this because San Diego has large Latino, Filipino, American Indian, Asian and Hawiian influences which can be seen in many parts of the county. Check out a San Diego Chargers game at Qualcomm on any given Sunday in fall and you will see that the predominant makeup of San Diego is people of color and not surfers as most people would imagine.
San Diego also has one of the most influential and masterful pieces of architecture in the world in a place called the Salk Institute. The Salk Institute was designed by Luis Kahn and it consists of two symmetric buildings with a stream of water flowing in the middle of a courtyard that separates the two. The buildings themselves have been designed to promote collaboration, and thus there are no walls separating laboratories on any floor. There is one floor in the basement, and two above it on both sides. Talk about “open plan” in today’s business world – well this is it. It is a tremendous location and believe it or not sits right above some of the best coastline in the world. If you look beyond the infinity water flow that goes through the building it seems to flow directly into the Pacific Ocean.
This is a magical and wonderful place in San Diego.
I have 3 brothers – Bill, Danny and Patrick. We are all pretty close and we all live together here in San Diego so you can imagine the good times that we have. My brother Bill used to be heavily into Martial Arts and was actually a Black Belt and expert at fighting. He took a picture in the 80’s which my brother Patrick wanted to emulate. It is a pretty dramatic picture, I guess you should judge for yourself which person would fill you more with terror if you came at them.
This is the original picture of Bill
The new picture of Patrick
I took an interesting shot I liked this weekend. The picture of course if of Tu and she is sitting on a red couch wearing a beautiful red dress. I liked the shot a lot because it seemed dramatic to me and I liked the colors and contrast. Las Vegas can be an interesting place to photograph if you are looking for dramatic scenes. There are lots of them.
Who wrote the book of love? Well, no on has that answer but my sister did complete 2 top hit cookbooks in the last 18 months. The cookbook is so unique combining both interesting pictorials of her food and family and recipes on how to cook the tastiest gluten free deserts you could ever eat. Erin McKenna started her bakeshop in 2005 and when she started it, we had no idea how successful it would become. It went from being a New York phenomenon to a national one and she has built locations in 3 states (soon to be 4) and the business is booming. We are all really proud of her.
I took a picture of her latest cookbook. The book she wrote comes straight from the heart, and it’s good for it too.
San Diego has many different macro-climates – the ocean, the mountains and the deserts. The good thing is that you can generally get to all three with a 2 hour drive of wherever you are at. One moment you can be surfing and the next moment in the mountains skiing.
I went to Borrego Springs which is a national park here in San Diego figuring that the post holiday crowds would be gone and it would be easy to take pictures with no one in them. Boy was I right. The place was absolutely deserted (no pun intended). There was nobody there except for a few rangers. I decided to take a hike on Palm Canyon Trail. The first couple of signs on the trail warned me to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes and mountain lions. I was definitely scared a bit as I hiked over rocks and dry creek beds. Well, I ended up hiking for awhile and after finding myself drenched with sweat and getting more worried about rattlers by the moment, I turned back.
On the way into the park, I noticed these pretty awesome cloud formations and I took a few shots of the tremendous clouds forming over the desert horizon.
I was having some fun tonight taking pictures of Tu again tonight. It was late and she wasn’t exactly in the mood to take pictures but she let me. It took about 5 minutes and I managed to duplicate her sitting next to herself on the couch. It’s amazing some of the things you can do with digital cameras and photoshop.
Photography really helps you understand a lot about yourself. I like to think I am very persistent person, but I am positive that I am not very patient. That shows I think in a lot of the raw photos that I take. I tend to take hundreds of pictures in a very short period of time and never stop for breaks when I am shooting something – that is my persistence showing. But also, many of those photo’s are poorly composed and not crystal clear focus – that is my lack of patience showing. Luckily in this digital age my lack of patience is forgiven as I just delete any of the photos that are not good – and there are many. I would say about 50% of my photos are discarded right off the bat, and another 25% deleted after a second go through. I focus on fine tuning the rest of those photos with PhotoShop and some remarkable software from NIK Software (a company based here in San Diego).
I took the shot below in Vinh Long Vietnam. For about 5 days straight I was trying to capture a good shot outside of Tu’s home there. Each day I ended up with an array of non-inspiring shots that didn’t really convey anything about the neighborhood. On the last day, I finally captured a photo I liked. Three girls on bikes were sharing a bike ride home during an outright monsoon. I mean it was pouring rain like you have never seen. The girls were laughing. What you do not see before this photo is what setup that shot. The girls were cycling by and they noticed a crazy white guy standing in the middle of the rain taking pictures. First off they probably rarely so white people in this town, and secondly they probably never saw anybody taking photos in the pouring rain. You would think based on this photo that they were having a laugh at the cow, but it was in fact me. This photo is a good example of you can get a good photo but it will oftentimes take a lot of patience and persistence. In this case it took me about 4 days.