Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sunset winds

I went out looking for the harvest moon with a fellow photographer today around the windmills in the Altamont Pass. A thin cloud layer disappointed us but gave some nice sunset views.

Smoke gets in your eyes

On assignment to a new hookah bar opening in Tracy I was offered the opportunity to puff on a peach flavored pipe. Now my only vice is coffee so I declined but was able to snap a few photos of the reporter as she tried the pipe for the story. The sacrifices we make in the name of journalism.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Never a dull day

After a couple of days sitting in a jury room at the county courthouse I was starting to get cabin fever. Sure I snatched a couple of assignments in the evening after my jury duty but I was out of the loop, in a rut and worst of all, not shooting enough.

Back to the paper today I was reminded never a dull day, no two days are the same. The morning found me at a prayer service at sunrise at Tracy High School as they joined in the national event.

Later in the morning I walked the mean streets of Deuel Vocational Institution’s lifer wing for a story on a race integration program.

Finish it off in the afternoon with a cute photo of kids playing in the park and it makes for a well-rounded day. Any day shooting is better than being stuck in a jury waiting room. I can’t imagine what the rest of the week will bring.

A different view

Change is good and it always helps to look for a different view of the same subject. It helps to give the reader a change of view from the same old assignments day to day.

Shooting a volleyball game at Tracy High I looked to change things up. I got the usual shot at the net but was looking for a unique angle. I climbed the bleachers and shot the net looking down from as high a vantage point as I could. I like the perspective and it made for a clean background.

Not all the action takes place on the court. A rowdy cheering section made their way into the gym and a tight shot of them in action was a different look at the game, on and off the court.

In the line of fire

You would think that standing near youngsters with a squirt gun would be more risky that photographing someone throwing a football but guess again. Shooting a school carnival I was comfortably out of water gun range shooting with my 300 mm lens for a pleasantly soft background and dry camera.

Shooting the football game that voice inside my head urged me to try something different, something stupid and shoot from behind the opening they were throwing at with a wide-angle lens. Great idea, the ball just missed my camera by inches.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Truth in advertising

I swear I have had this conversation before.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Meet Ottoman, 30 pounds of fat and fur that was less than enthused to be selected for pet of the week.

The only thing that kept him from taking a swipe at me was he would have to lift one of his pudgy little paws. Fat cats, not very photogenic.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Grand view

The Grand Theatre opening night was the first chance for many to see the interior of the restored stage and auditorium.

The view from the balcony was spectacular as the stage saw its first performers in years.

I am sure I will make return trips to the Grand as it becomes a center for arts performances in Tracy.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A tale of two kitties

So I had the evil kitty picture the other day and I am sure some people are saying to themselves “Glenn just hates cats”. Not true.
Meet KC, the official house cat of KC’s Custom Framing and the unofficial king of downtown. KC rules the roost or as least as far as his harness and leash allows him to explore. He can be found most days slumbering on or under a table but has been known to amble around the sidewalk looking for bugs. Now that’s my kind of cat

Making a splash

There is nothing like shooting water polo at a high shutter speed. The water droplets frozen in mid-flight always make for a cool photo.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Evil kitty

Young "Hunny" was less than thrilled to have her picture taken for pet of the week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Trick shot

I took this photo just to see if it would work. I have shot through chain link fences; it’s an old trick I learned. You shoot as close as you can with as long a telephoto lens as you can with as wide open an f-stop as you can. But I tried something different for this shot. I was leaving the Tracy High tennis match when I saw the light on the player. She was playing in the middle court and through the viewfinder I had a decent tight shot with my 300mm telephoto with a 1.4 extender. But what was different was I was standing about 15 feet away form the fence. I was counting on the shallow depth of field to drop any hint of the fence out. It almost worked; the dark lines are the small amount of detail from the chain link fence. Not a bad effect.

Bean there, done that

This is a sign that your assignment has gone horribly wrong.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I was on assignment today in a high school art classroom and listened as a teacher described art forms the students were studying. Shape, light, texture, color, patterns, hey patterns…sort of reminded me of a photo I took recently.

This shot certainly is a study in patterns. Are there any sharp-eyed readers out there can put this picture into perspective and figure out what it is?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's been a long time

I was on assignment today to the Grand Theatre for a feature and found myself in the upstairs balcony seating. While shooting the area with the newly installed chairs a sudden twinge of nostalgia swept across. I had been here before long ago.

Born and raised in Tracy I have many fond memories of town. Climbing all over the train in Dr. Powers Park, 4th of July fireworks shows at Tracy Airport and homecoming parades down 11th Street among them. Of all my memories of home and growing up I have one faded image of the Grand Theatre in my mind. I had been to this very balcony.

It is funny how pictures can jog you memory and as I sat the computer I could almost remember where I sat. Way back in the early 1970’s my father took me to the movies at the grand. I remember my brother and next-door neighbor went with us as we went to see the Disney film “The Million Dollar Duck”.

Now I don’t remember anything really about the movie except the duck was on a conveyor belt with lots of flashing alarms. What I do remember was being terrified as my dad picked out a spot in the balcony seating. I think that was my first high altitude viewing experience and in the dark I had the bottomless pit sensation. I remember grasping the side of my seat for dear life as the light flickered and showed the wide expanse blow.

How times have changed. On today’s assignment I have the opportunity to lean out an open window to get a shot of the marquee with downtown stretching below in the distance. The theater may look the same but my view has certainly changed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Colorful assignment

There has been a lot of talk at online photography sites about black and white photography and how it is making a comeback. The subtle tones and shadow graduations are enticing more photographers to shoot in this elegant and artistic form.

Not me though. I learned my photography skills shooting black and white film. Tri-X pan film, Microdol X developers and hundreds of 8 X 10 black and white enlargements were all part of my schooling. Now I can’t seem to ever want to go back to my old school ways, even digitally.

I like to think I have a pretty good grasp of light and color. Composition and cropping is important too but you have to be able to see the color. My hiking partner and fellow photographer Alice DeLaurier-O’Neil is a confirmed black and white artist. She has a talent to see shape and form and how it translates to the silvery tones of a grayscale image. I still favor the contrast of colors as they play against each other within the pictures composition.

One of these days I will really have to test myself and shoot an assignment or a hiking adventure in black and white. I don’t know if I have the eye for it but it would be quite the camera adventure.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


I saw this the other day, I kind of like it.

Snapshot (photography)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A snapshot is a casual photograph taken without any particular pre-arrangement, often of everyday events or sightseeing excursions. Snapshots are often imperfect or considered amateurish and may be out of focus or poorly framed or composed. However, snapshots document moments in life more "truthfully"; that is, the photos tend to be more spontaneous and unstaged.

Light speed

I shot this photo a couple of weeks ago to go along with a story about speeding on Lincoln Boulevard. It is a simple photo trick called panning. You use a slow shutter speed and follow the subject as it passes by. The result is the subject is sharp while the background is a blur.

The problem is I bumped into the driver of the car in the photo the other day. She was nice, and told me she had endured some good-natured ribbing from family and friends about speeding along the road. Just for the record, she was driving safe and sane and it was an in-camera effect to make it look like she was going fast.