Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Tides of March

Laguna Beach, California
I was scouting out some photo locations today and took this quick snapshot on the beach.

Playa del Rey photographer

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Salt On C

Salton Sea, California
Michael and I went on a day trip and stopped by Salton Sea. I wish we had more time here - we will definitely be going back. Salton Sea is a former resort area, now abandoned. There are still some people living here, but most of the streets we saw had no houses. A ghost town where the dead fish are the ghosts.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Where is Polka Now?

I promised you another Where's Polka? contest. Here are your 2 photo clues.

First person to leave a comment correctly identifying this place wins. Previous winners not eligible. Good luck!!!

New clue:

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Polka in Chicago!

Chicago, Illinois
I was in my hometown of Chicago for a few shoots. Roxana guessed correctly and identified the lions in front of the Art Institute, one of my favorite museums. She wins a mini album! Stay tuned for more photos from the windy city AND more Where's Polka? contests.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where's Polka???

This last month was crazy busy, lots of shoots, some farther away from home. Can you guess where I went? This photo is a clue.

First person to leave a comment with the correct city name wins. Extra prize if you correctly identify what this lion guards.

And no cheating - so if I already told you where I was you're not eligible for the prize.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Royal Cats

San Pedro, California
Yesterday I was scouting a location for an engagement shoot. The bride-to-be Claudia said she'd like to shoot at Royal Palms County Beach in San Pedro. The late afternoon sun bathed the rocks in pure gold.

As I was walking around I suddenly found myself surrounded by cats. I guess there's a feral cat colony here.

Here's looking at you, kid!


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reflections on Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada
We're back from our shoot in Sin City! Las Vegas Boulevard is one big fantasy, reflecting a vision of glitz and glamour and gold, or in this case reflecting Mike and me.

I love the aquarium in Caesars Palace. Only the statue's head is swimming with the fishes, everything else is just a reflection in the glass.

Reflections are fun, but not always desirable in a photograph. I didn't want anything detracting from these colorful fish.

Here's the view from the hotel window.

I could have turned the lights off inside to lose the reflection, but I decided to take a photo through the sheer curtain instead for a different look.

Here's the mirror again from the first photo. You could say this post has come full circle. I know my friend Melody would enjoy the pun.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Closing Time

San Jose, California
I love the night. It's quiet. Peaceful. All the doors close, the lights go out, and everyone sleeps, except for those few nocturnal souls like mine.

Cities truly shine at night. Here the lights never go out completely. The doors at Original Joe's stay open past midnight. Which was good for us since that's about the time we finally got to eat.

After the doors are locked and everyone leaves with full bellies, a lone worker remains.

Fresh crisp tablecloths adorn each table, perfectly in line with the next.

For those far from home, a bed and pillow await here.

Time to go.  Back to L.A.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

So Long San Fran!

San Francisco, California
It's time to bid this city farewell. Perhaps Walter Cronkite said it best, "Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible."

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Little Fishing Village

Sausalito, California
My favorite cookies used to be Sausalito by Pepperidge Farms. Now I just look at one cookie and go up a dress size. Our calorie-free indulgence for the day was a quick trip across the Bay to Sausalito.

The streets were overflowing with tourists and lacking in parking. Even the seagull parking was full.

We made another quick stop at the Gates Cooperative house boat community.

The old bohemian neighborhood is characterized by its bright houses, many decorated with artwork from calaveras to what looked like nursery rhyme characters.

What all the houses had in common was that they were wearing down.

This boat and smokestack reminds me of Popeye.

I didn't want to intrude for too long. The residents seem tired of tourists coming by - and I don't blame them. It was time to get out of Dodge. But not before I took a photo of the coolest muscle car. Time to drive back.

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Meet Me at the Golden Gate

San Francisco, California
One of the challenges to photographing an icon like the Golden Gate Bridge is finding a different way to see it.

We took a drive across the bridge...

It was covered in a blanket of fog.

Neither rain nor snow nor fog will stop this photographer!

The sun started to come out...

....right at the end of the road.

We continued on to Sausalito, which was about 20 degrees warmer than San Francisco. By the time we drove back, the bridge was almost clear.

I'm so lucky Michael drove across and back so I could take these photos!

We continued on to Baker Beach for another great view of the Golden Gate.

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
- Pooh's Little Instruction Book

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There's No Escape

Alcatraz Island, California
The Rock looks foreboding as we get closer and closer.

Just in case you feel drawn toward the island, this sign makes it clear you should stay away.

Alcatraz is only 1.5 miles away from San Francisco but escaping meant braving the cold waters.

Birds have taken over this island. It is home to many species, including seagulls, herons, egrets, and cormorants.

Walking into Alcatraz Penitentiary is like walking into a black and white photo. The deep blue waters of the bay and the bright green of the grass are all outside. Inside is gray.

Each inmate had his own 5' x 9' cell.

A list of regulations governed all the details of the prisoners' lives.

Regulation #30 CELLHOUSE RULES
At the wake-up bell in the morning you must get out of bed and put on your clothes. Make up your bed properly (as shown in the diagram on Page #8) with your pillow at the end near the bars, blankets tucked neatly under the mattress, and extra blankets folded neatly at the foot of the bed. Sweep your cell and place the trash in the trash basket.

Alcatraz was reserved for the worst criminals.

Among the baddest of them all, was the Polka of Alcatraz. Her quick shooting skills landed her in the joint for life.

Polka's partner in crime was Mike "Shifty Eyes."

There is no escape from the bars. Even the shadows mock you.

Regulation #42 YARD PRIVILEGES
Exercise yard rules: All inmates in good standing are allowed the yard privilege on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, if the weather permits.

I wonder how many only saw the outside world through these dusty dining room windows.

Regulation #33 DINING ROOM RULES
Meals are served three times a day in the dining room. Do not exceed the ration. Do not waste food. Do not carry food from the dining room.

The glass case surrounding a guard's uniform reflects some tourists.

Looking into the offices it seems as if time froze.

Regulation # 21 WORK
You are required to work at whatever you are told to do.

There's even a date stamp. I'm guessing it's from 1952, but I'm not sure of the significance. Anyone know?

Inmates who did not follow the regulations were sent here.

The prison hospital is the creepiest of all. I feel like I'm in a horror movie.

Medical attention is available to all inmates.

This looks like a torture chamber!

That hospital gave me the chills. I could not get out of there fast enough!

I believe that's the guard quarters, with San Francisco gleaming in the distance.

We finished the tour listening to some more prison stories.

The island no longer belongs to the Birdman of Alcatraz.

Regulation #3 STATUTORY GOOD TIME, MERITORIOUS GOOD TIME AND INDUSTRIAL GOOD TIME are types of reduction in sentence which can be earned only by inmates who establish and keep a good conduct record and a good work record.

Thank you to the National Park Service for all of their hard work in preserving history. I highly recommend the Alcatraz Tour for anyone visiting the Bay area. Quick tip: Be sure to reserve your tickets early as they sell out fast. We bought ours a month ahead of time and the night tour the day before ours was sold out.

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