Photographing Monument Valley Utah

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you ever watched old western movies they probably had some iconic scenes in this place – Monument Valley.  Talk about beautiful, this place really took it to another level. Well it wasn’t very easy to get to – many hours driving by car across flat dry cold desert but I finally made it there by around 3pm in the afternoon.  Monument Valley is actually in Utah (right on the Arizona border) and it is in Navajo Country.  When I got there I had a little over an hour and a half to take the rugged trails by car to visit all of the different parts of the park.  It wasn’t easy as the road was all dirt and very bumpy.  It was so dusty but so beautiful – everything was red sand and the sun was setting so the colors were so warm.  I was amazed at how the formations appear to be crumbling. The soft sandstone is constantly changing and in 100 years this place may look very different.  Monument Valley is one of the 7 wonders of the world.  What a beautiful and fantastic place.


Watchin Ollie

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Bridget, my sister, had to work late this afternoon so she asked if we could pick up Ollie and watch him after school for a few hours.  What an afternoon we had. In the course of a little over an hour we ended up playing soccer, eating pizza, watching movies and playing “ink a bink a bottle of ink”. I lost – I stink.  Ollie has such a great and happy disposition and he never stops moving.  Like a lightening ball of energy so you always have to be on your toes.  I really enjoyed the afternoon with Ollie, it’s always fun to spend time with him.

Windansea Beach – San Diego’s Surfing Jewel

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am lucky enough to live right next to one of the most iconic surfing spots in the world – Windansea Beach in La Jolla.  During the winter months the swell in the area is such that perfect 6-8 foot waves roll in gently providing some of the best surf in California.  In 1946, they erected a palm covered shack on the rocks and it became known as the Windansea Surf Shack.  Locals still take care of the shack replacing the palm fronds when they blow away in large storms.

The beach first became known because it appeared in the classic surf movie, The Endless Wave and was known for having some of the best surfers in the world frequent the beach.  The beach was also the inspiration for the “Beach Party” movies that became very popular in the 1960’s and Tom Wolf’s book “The Pump House Gang” was based on surf rats that were based at Windansea beach.  There is a pump house near the beach and that is why the book was called that.

I usually head down to the beach at least 2 to 3 times a week just to marvel at the sunsets and watch the surfers out on the break.  It’s a place that you probably don’t want to surf at if you are a beginning surfer and not a local.  They will literally chase you out of the water and there have been some violent confrontations at the beach over the years.  I love Windansea beach and I am so happy to live here.

Desert Dog

Posted on Dec 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Where did this guy come from.  While driving my very dusty SUV through dirt roads in Monument Valley I found this little guy in the middle of the road.  I have no idea why he was there.  I felt sorry for the poor little guy but I didn’t have any food to give him. I suspect that he got his food from the occasional cars that would pass him by on there way to take photos in the amazing valley.

Stunning Photo of Horseshoe Bend

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

I just got back from Arizona after a couple of days of looking for interesting places to photograph.  Well I found a place that is pretty stunning and it’s called Horseshoe Bend.  It is located about 6 miles south of the town of Page smack dab in the heart of Navajo Country.  It is the only place in the world where a river makes almost a complete circle.   The shape of the Colorado River at this location is quite literally a horseshoe and that is why it got the name.

Taking this particular picture took a few things including a long car trip, a short hike up some sandy hills and the ability to let go of my fear of heights.  The vantage point for Horseshoe Bend is 1,000 feet above the water and there are no guard rails to protect you from the sheer cliffs which plunge almost straight down.  A few people die at Horseshoe Bend every year because they get too close to the ledge which is made of sandstone and it literally crumbles beneath there feet sending them all the way down to the water.  When I heard the stories of tourist and photographers being killed at this location it definitely raised my fear level up a bit.

In any case, I did manage to creep to the edge of the cliffs and take several nice photos. I actually stayed there for about 30 minutes trying different angles.  I shot in bracketing mode because there were such extreme lighting conditions between the sky and the bottom of the canyon. By bracketing I was able to expose for the light in the sky as well as the bottom of the canyon.  I am actually really glad I got this picture. It took a lot of work and I almost chickened out when I was there because I was afraid.

Ocean Beach Pier Cafe

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

I took a walk down the Ocean Beach Pier and I came across a cute little cafe down at the end of the pier.  It was just called “Cafe” and it had great views of the pier as well as a lot of the nice coastline here in San Diego.  To be honest I had never taken a walk down the Ocean Beach pier but the city has some of the nicest coastline in California that is for sure.  The sun was shining and it was a brilliant cool December day along the Ocean Beach Pier.  A perfect San Diego winter day.

The Castle of La Jolla?

Posted on Dec 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

La Jolla has many beautiful places to see.  None is more beautiful, strange and mysterious perhaps than the Mormon Temple which is right off the 805 Freeway.  You can’t miss it, as you enter La Jolla it is one of the first things you see. At night, it is brilliantly lit and draws your eye.  Children believe it to be a castle from the old days.  I went there this week to take some pictures.  It’s easy to see why some people mistake it for a castle.  It is beautiful isn’t it?

Mom’s Cottage

Posted on Dec 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

My mom lives in Coronado in a simple but beautiful seaside cottage.  She decorates everything so tastefully and simply and the spirit of cottage living.  We were over to her house visiting her and to watch the Coronado Christmas Parade which is an annual event.  It was a nice night, although we somehow managed to miss most of the floats.  I went up to her bedroom and it seemed so calm and peaceful.  I took this photograph of her bedroom which shows her simple but very nice taste.  There is a cross above her bed – she is very religious and always has been.  A night-stand, a simple makeup table and books stacked on the floor.  My mom likes to read. She reads in bed at night before she goes to sleep.   This looks like a nice peaceful place to wake up to in the morning as the fresh sea air and bright sun rises.