Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Curtain call

I'm not sure what they are saying but I just like this photo from today's softball game and it's a good way to end a wacky March month with one last photo.

Sky high

Even though April is just around the corner we are getting cloudy skies returning to Tracy. Out on assignment the last couple of days I stopped to snap a few pictures of some of the more pretty looking cloudy skies I could see.

Leap year

I don't get to shoot gymnastics very often so it is not my strongest sport. Add to that cramped quarters, dim lighting and busy backgrounds and I feel hard pressed to come back with good art. I lucked out with this shot of a Tracy High gymnast on the balance beam. I waited for someone to get to just the right spot with the painting on the wall and hoped I had the focus right. I debated whether to crop out the balance beam but decided to leave it in to show what gymnastics equipment she was performing on.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The next generation

Adobe is preapring for the rollout of their next generation image editing software with the introduction of CS5 on April 10th. The new version of Photoshop now designated CS as part of Adobe's Creative Suite package is the 12th version of Photoshop to come out of Adobe's labs. I use Adobe's CS4 at home on the iMac but my work computer is only able to limp by with Photoshop 7.

Monday, March 29, 2010


So today's trip to the Animal Shelter turned into a cat festival. While shooting this weeks pet of the week I found a few other characters scattered about the cat room.

Cute Cat

Awwwwww this is for all the cat lovers out there who think I am a cat hater.

Fat Cat

This tubby fellow was thinking about visiting his roommate but then found he was a little to chunky to pass through. Think about Jenny Craig for cats if you adopt this fella.

Scaredy Cat

Like Woody Harrelson said in Zombieland, "Nut up!"

Angry Cat

Look at the bad attitude just dripping of this guy. he was just sitting on a bird cage just waiting for a chance to pounce.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Creek to peak

I had another one of the crazy urges so early on Saturday I packed my gear and head to Mount Diablo for my annual summit climb. My hiking partner Alice was in Arizona enjoying the sun at spring training baseball game so I figured I would hit the road for a monster hike.

The summit hike is a doozie. This was my fifth time up the mountain and the fourth on my own. My route started at Mitchell Canyon following the Mitchell Canyon Creek, heads to Deer Flat and then to the Juniper Trail to the the summit.

I was trying to make push myself and see if I could make it a fast hike. The trip is just about 16 miles round trip with a climb of about 3,400 feet. I wasn't making the greatest time finishing the first leg to Deer Flat in an hour and ten minutes. Those switchbacks on Mitchell Canyon Road are killers and I struggled with them. I was gasses heading into the second leg of the hike and by the time I reached the summit I had failed to crack my goal of three hours to the top. I reached the summit parking lot at the three hours and five minutes mark. So close, I 'll get it one of these days.

The temperature was cool and breezy, perfect for a long hike. There were few hikers on the first two legs of the hike as I practically a had the trails to my self. There were several groups heading out to the top from the Juniper campgrounds but I passed them quickly on the way up and down.

All and all it was a good hike. I was sore afterwards and wishing I worked a little harder on my times but hey I did make it all the way to the top. I didn't take too many photos with my point-and-shoot digital camera but the views were spectacular.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Body English

This conversation came up in the newsroom yesterday when I was writing cutlines for some sports photos. A Tracy High golfer used a little extra attitude to get his putt to drop and was a good example of body English.

This West High pitcher follow through was also unique. I don't know if it qualifies as true body English but he certainly gave it the extra kick to get across the plate.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cattle call

This reminded me of lunchtime at the stockyards, I swear I heard someone moo.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Double play

This is one of those years where all I can get covering baseball is plays at home plate. I couldn't buy a shot at second base but in the first few innings I grabbed these two plays at the plate in today's West High game.

"I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown?"

"I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?"

"You said I'm funny. How am I funny, what is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what's funny!"

In case you were wondering that is dialogue from the movie "Goodfellas." It seemed to work with photos of second graders. Next week I'll have kindergarten kids with lines from "Full Metal Jacket."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So this doesn't happen very often. I was taking some portraits in Mountain House of Celeste Farron today and when I was done she asked me to step in front of her camera. What a terrifying feeling. All I could think to do was hide behind my camera and hope my Canon Eos 1D MKII would hide my fat. And hey while I had the camera up there might as well squeeze off a frame or two.

Traveling tags

I spotted this tagging in Mountain House while on assignment there today. Not two blocks from the sheriff's substation was this graffiti on a road sign. SST is usually considered as South Side Tracy meaning they might be there visiting friends or have moved there. Either way it was a little odd to start seeing Tracy graffiti pop up there.

Net result

I forgot to pack my 300 mm lens so I was stuck shooting the West High tennis match with my 70-200mm zoom with a 1.4 extender. So instead of shooting with an effective focal length of just over 400mm I was shooting with just over 300mm. That is a good thing and bad thing as it turns out.

The good was with the zoom I could pull out and get some nice shots of the doubles team. I could pull in and out to compose the pair. A 400mm shot would be way to tight on the two.

The bad is I lose the high focal length background blur. I shot with as wide open an f-stop as I could to try and drop the background but I still held a little too much background detail. I did get better results when players charged the net for a volley but those were few and far in between.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Squeaky toy failures

I just couldn't get this guy to cooperate. Too much energy, not enough squeak in the squeaky toy to keep the doggie's attention.

Heck, I couldn't get anyone's attention with the squeaky toy.