Weekend Photoblogging Posted by: Dale Franks
on Sunday, November 05, 2006
Because of my personal schedule, it hasn't been possible for The Lovely Christine and I to go out on a photo safari in several months. Last weekend and this weekend, though, we have simply had to get out and have some fun, so we got out out the cameras and hit the road.
Last week, we started off at Dog Beach in Encinitas. They call it Dog Beach because it's the one beach where dogs are allowed to go. Some people, though, seem to be a lot more keen to get their dogs into the water than the dogs are to get in it.
Notice that, here in San Diego, even though it's fall, you can still go into the water comfortably.
OK, maybe "comfortably" is too strong a term. But this guy's chick seems to be handling it a lot better than he is.
Or the dog.
Most of the dogs, though, seem to be having a blast. Lot's of people bring tennis balls to throw for the dogs. And the dogs don't seem too careful about trying to figure out whose ball is whose.
In Old Town San Diego, they've reconstructed the Victorian portion of old San Diego by moving several old buildings into a small area around a park. One of these buildings is the old synagogue, which is still lovingly maintained by volunteers from the city's Jewish community.
There are musicians that go through the central portion of Old Town around the original US Army post in the Town Square. This is one of them.
We ended the day last week on Coronado Island, taking night shots of the city. It's enjoyable, and interesting as well, because, over the last 10 years, the city's skyline has constantly changed due to a massive spurt of downtown renovation and building. For instance, of all the buildings in this picture, only two of them existed 10 years ago.
Here's a picture of Chris, taking a picture. Well, not really. The exposure time was around 30 seconds, so this picture is staged. She had to stand very still.
That's the end of last week's trip. This week, we had less time to go out and play, so we stayed a lot closer to home. We started off this week by going to Bates Nut Farm. It's more of a farm park than it is an actual working farm—although it used to be—and now it's primarily known for the large pumpkin patch it maintains for Halloween,, and as a pleasant place to hold events.
This week, the event was a meeting of the East County Cruisers, a custom car society. And, of course, you can't have a custom car without pinstriping, which this gentleman was doing professionally.
Here's some of the cars that were there. I'm not an especially big car guy, so, if you've seen one old car, you've seen 'em all really.
One Corner of the park has a little petting zoo, which contains the usual suspects. Here's a goat. There's something about goats that is just icky. I think it's the eyes. Goats have very strange eyes. The pupil is kind of a weird, horizontal, oblong thingie. It's like the pupil of no other mammal. It really creeps me out.
Right next to the Bates agricultural/social complex is a working horse ranch. This horse apparently really needed to take a roll in the grass, and I just happened to be there when he did it. That's one of the things about photography. A good part of it is luck; just being in the right place, when something happens. If you see something you think you'd like to take a picture of, it's best to do it immediately. If you don't, you'll probably miss it. "He who hesitates is lost" is a truism when it comes to photography.
Another truism is that direct sunlight sucks. Notice how the bottom of the horse is completely black? You simply cannot balance sunlight, short of setting up a shot yourself with reflectors, flashes, and whatnot. And in the real world, there's never time to set them up. things happen—bam!—and it's shoot it or lose it, and the light is what the light is. A diffused flash can help sometimes, if conditions are right, and you're close enough for your puny flash to balance out the power of the huge frickin' fusion flare that is Mr. Sun. But for the most part, you're stuck with the light you got, and it's just never right for any kind of candid shooting.
For some reason, there were these girls going around dressed like Santa's Sexy Little Helpers, having their pictures taken with the car owners. I don't know what the deal was with that, but I grabbed a shot of them hanging off this classic Ford owner. He didn't seem to mind the attention, though.
Here, the light is wonderful. First, it's in the shade, so, the natural lighting is a lot more even. Second, I used a flash fitted with Gary Fong's Lightsphere II (Cloud). You just get really nice fill lighting with it, it's very diffuse, and, for the most part, the shadows just disappear. It's better suited for indoor than outdoor use, I think, because you get light reflecting back from ceilings and walls to even out the light, but, in a pinch, you get very nice light with LSII outdoors, too. Better than natural lighting, anyway, especially in difficult conditions. (A good example of what I'm talking about can be seen at my photography site, where I posted some quickie private pictures I took for people who were at a corporate event that I shot this summer. Bad natural light all round. In fact, in the first set, I'm shooting directly into the setting sun, and lighting the people entirely with the flash and the LSII. Note: These are the large-format 8MP images. Oh, and my understanding is that the two Asian girls are lesbians. Now, if that doesn't get you to look at the pictures, well, I simply don't know what will.)
On the way back home, we stopped off briefly at lake Wolford. It's less a lake than it is a fairly small water reservoir, where you can do some fishing. They have outboard boats for rent, and...here they are.
This is lake Wolford itself. Not much too it. Kinda pretty though.
So, that's the photo collection from the last two weeks.
Last week, we started off at Dog Beach in Encinitas. They call it Dog Beach because it’s the one beach where dogs are allowed to go. Some people, though, seem to be a lot more keen to get their dogs into the water than the dogs are to get in it.
But at Torrey Pines Beach, you can have a beer, unlike many of the other beaches around SD.