I took a little last minute trip to one of the most beautiful places in Canada – Banff National Park. It truly is stunning however I seemed to have arrived just as a big rain storm brushed through the area. There were periods of snow and of rain. The snow was hard to believe as I just left San Diego in what appears to be an Indian Summer with nice weather. Banff is a very large national park here and it is quite popular but it is virtually empty this time of year given the fact that most people do not take their vacations now and kids are back in school.
This photo was taken during one of the very brief intermissions of rain which seemed to constantly fall every time I exited my car to take a photo. I am looking forward to taking much better pictures tomorrow and thursday as the rain is supposed to leave the region. It is beautiful regardless.
My nephew Oliver celebrated his 5th Birthday yesterday. The party was held at their house in Encinitas and it was a blast – there were lots of kids, chickens, superhero’s and a real life BatMobile. Now this was not just any Batmobile but a unique one of a kind custom build by his dad Michael. The custom build took over 40 hours (probably many more) and involved a lot of blood sweat and tears. The result was the most awesome looking kids car that I have ever seen. Michael designed and built the car himself using fiberglass, paint and other materials. You have got to see this car. I took a picture of Oliver in the car after the part ended. Oliver said it was the most awesome birthday ever. He has some great parents I must say and now he has a really awesome new car.
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.
You be the judge. Do you see any resemblance here?
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.
Just got back from Las Vegas after celebrating Tu’s birthday weekend there. The trip was quite fun, we stayed at Mandarin Oriental (which I would recommend) and did most of the “Vegasy” things that one would expect. We did a little gambling – didn’t lose our money which was good. We did some eating – good noodles, sushi and dim sum. We did some watching of the Chargers – they did lose. And visited some of the beautiful hotels and attractions – like the one pictured below. Vegas was filled with people drinking on the streets. In fact it seemed like everyone had these big long cups filled with some kind of drink in them. I am not sure how people can drink so early in the morning and keep drinking all day – that must get kind of tiring. I took the picture below by setting the camera on the ledge outside of the Bellagio during the light show. The camera was set at f22 with a 10 second exposure and ISO about 320.