Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer heat

This photo was a happy accident while I was trying to get a summer weather photo. I was shooting the mister at Hoyt Park a a group of children played in the spray. I choose a shooting position that would give me a backlit look at the water so it would show up against the dark blue sky. Water falling on my lens gave me just enough of a watery feel to make the water seem a little closer to the reader.

Monday, June 29, 2009

100 miles an hour down a dead end road

I was going through some of my favorite photography websites when I stumbled across a link to this short movie. It isn't any thing earth shattering but it does have a message to those who create.

I wonder how many photographers watched this only to say they shared the same feelings, the same doubts, the same despairs over their own work. I know I have had my own fair share. I too have found the feeling of traveling down a dead end road at a breakneck speed as the work load and life pile atop each other. The photos seem to be getting worse, creativity seems lost and you constantly rate your performance by looking at the other photographers around you.

I will try to take his words to heart as I create images. Sure some will suck but that's ok, at least I will have said something with my camera something unique and that is what is really important.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Watered down

I like these shots of the Discovery Learning Center students getting pelted by the water stream coming from Tracy Fire's Truck 91. Kind of reminded me of how they do riot control in South Korea.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

White line fever

Last time I took a picture of a cat on a white line in the road the cat was significantly thinner and the photo drew the ire of many readers. I think this guy was just taking a quick catnap in the shade.

Down to the wire

This is just a random shot from opening day of the San Joaquin County Fair. I went by the horseraces to see if there was any action and caught this one race. I like the tight crop action more than a loose view of the whole field coming down the stretch. the best shot would have been the start where a rider was thrown leaving the gate but I was blocked by the race scoreboard.

End of an era

After 75 years Kodak announced the end of Kodachrome film. You can read the offical press release here.


If you ever wondered where tie dyed t-shirts come from it is from special sheep like these. They arte very rare and not often seen in public. I caught a picture of this guy waiting for the next show at the San Joaquin County Fair.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Roaming Rock City

This wasn't one of those high-calorie-burning hikes around Mount Diablo, think of it more like tourists with cameras taking in the sights. We wandered about for almost 2 hours snapping photos of everything from sandstone caves to peeling bark.

The Windcaves

Sentinel Rock

Manzanita Bark

The Trail

Monday, June 22, 2009

The dandelion project

Alice and I headed out for a hike today to get outdoors and relieve some of the stress building up. We didn't really plan this outing we just headed out and wound up at the south gate of Mount Diablo. We decided on a small hike around Rock City, nothing too strenuous, just a good look around.

Near the end of the trail we ran into a patch of dandelions clinging to the rocky trail. We stopped for some photos as their fragilke shapes glowed in the sunlight filtering down through the trees. We even tried some man made wind exposure to catch their fluff in mid-flight.

The red coat

We found this rather odd looking sight during our hike around Mount Diablo's Rock City today. On the trail hanging from a manzanita tree was this wool red coat. There was no one around it, the coat was in good shape, hung carefully from one of the branches. I was thinking it was probably a neat mountain lion who decided to eat the hiker wearing it. That's the kind of mountain lion that puts a napkin around his neck before he starts to gnaw on your leg.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fight night returns

After a one-year hiatus the Portuguese bloodless bullfights returned to the small ring in downtown Tracy. Whether the absence was due to the economy or concerns over animal cruelty the event made a return to the cheer of the crowds.

For those who have never been to this event it is like stepping into another country for a night. Filled with sounds and sights of traditions from long ago the ring becomes a arena from a cross the oceans as men test their bravery and faith before the bull.

I understand the dislike of many to the idea of a bullfight whether bloodless or not but it is part of a culture many strive to keep alive. I am half Portuguese and most of what I saw is foreign to me. I never delved that deep into my heritage but it does stir a sense of pride that we keep some things alive from one family to the next, one generation to the next.

As a photojournalist the bullfight is interesting to say the least to cover. Even thought it is a small ring the bull can move fast, the light is dim and the action is fast paced when it happens. It makes for a challenge to get a nice picture form the event. One of the things I try to do when shooting sports is capture moments or sights that might slip by the crowd. In the fight I try to capture the intensity of the bull's charge, the flowing motion of the capes and the rich colors of the clothing and pageantry.

I am the bullfights returned this year. Good action, festive sights and the glimpse of a culture not usually scene. It would have have been a shame to see such a long standing tradition slip silently into the shadows.