July 28, 2014

Hwy 1 Roadtrip: The Elephant Seals of San Simeon

Be very glad smell-a-vision does NOT accompany this post.  From 24 seals in 1990 to over 1700 seals today (on this stretch of beach), this was a pullover worth beholding.  These seals are fascinating – their floppy ways, their epic flatulence and belching and snoring, their sand baths, their ENORMOUS size, and their battling for mates.  Totally. Fascinating.

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July 27, 2014

Rivers into Ocean…

All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.
Ecclesiastes 1:7

July 22, 2014

Hwy 1 Roadtrip: Day 2, part 2

After enjoying the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium, we continued on down the road.  A section of Pacific Coast Highway that we had never explored before…

hwy1-1 Double-fisting the cameras …hwy1-2Watch out.  The Teen is driving… hwy1-3 hwy1-4 hwy1-5 I guess it doesn’t matter how old you are.  If you’re a boy, you throw rocks off cliffs.hwy1-6 hwy1-7 hwy1-8 Windy.  Super windy.hwy1-9 hwy1-10 hwy1-11 hwy1-12 Big Dude, back at the wheel, and GoPro-ing.hwy1-13 hwy1-14 hwy1-15 hwy1-16 hwy1-17 hwy1-18 hwy1-19 hwy1-20

July 16, 2014

Tilt-Shift Shenanigans

The Teen wanted Joshua Tree.  Which is a pretty funky place.  And I wanted to add to the funky.  So I rented a 17mm tilt-shift lens for the occasion.  This lens is fascinating.  To state the obvious, it has both a tilt function and a shift function – both of which give the photographer multiple choices as to which items/planes to have in focus).  Additionally, each of those functions can be separately rotated 180*.  To say that this is a sophisticated, complicated piece of machinery that I couldn’t possibly exhaustively learn in 48 hours is an understatement.  But even as clueless as I was to its numerous possibilities and abilities, I surely had fun with it…
IMG_1793 IMG_1795 IMG_1797 IMG_1798 IMG_1800 IMG_1814IMG_1815 One of the trickiest elements of this lens – for me, anyway – was the manual focusing.  Because, truth to tell, I’m quite nearsighted and desperately dependent on my camera’s autofocus function.  Since this lens was 17mm, it was “pushing” items even further from me than the naked eye naturally registers.  Thus, I had no clue that in the picture below, Big Dude’s right hand is perfectly in focus, while his left hand was already falling out of focus.IMG_1860 IMG_1865 Or, in this picture, I couldn’t remotely tell that The Teen was completely OUT of focus.  But I’m going to embrace my “mistake” and call it art.  Who says the focus needs to be spot on him?!?IMG_2742 IMG_2781 IMG_2790 IMG_2799 One of the neat possibilities with tilt-shift is that the photographer can have infinite focus front to back with a wide-open aperture.  So conceivably – if I could remotely see to focus properly/manually – I could have the rock on which I’m standing be in focus, as well as the furthest rock peak, as well as the moon.  All on the widest aperture.  But alas.  It was dark.  I’m practically blind.  And I didn’t quite pull off that feat.  But still, I like resulting image.  I’m calling it art.  It’ll be our little secret that my out of focus areas weren’t intentional. IMG_2821