Monday, March 28, 2011

Pink Cows

I can't say I understand the creative force that leads people to paint animal sculptures outlandish colors and put those sculptures in odd locations, but they almost always make me smile, no matter how bizarre they are.  Today's examples are no exception: these bright pink bovine specimens were casually "grazing" in and near Napa Valley vineyards.  A great contrast to the somewhat stuffy attitude of wine country.  I hope they make you smile, too!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

California Missions - Part 1

You may have read in my last post that I decided to take on photographing each of the California Missions as a personal project.  I love capturing history with my lens and the Missions seemed like the best place to start. Only a few miles from my home is Mission San Diego de Alcala, where I began my photographic journey of the Misisons.

Mission San Diego de Alcala was first of the 21 California Missions, founded on July 16, 1769, and blessed by Junipero Serra. It was the birthplace of Christianity in the west and the first church in California. The church as it stands today is the fifth to occupy the site, being rebuilt in 1931 to mirror how the church looked in 1813. (Click here for more in-depth history of Mission San Diego de Alcala)

I enjoyed exploring the Mission grounds earlier this week with my camera. I took several photos, one of which I submitted for Jessica Rogers' Photo of the Week:

My Photo of the Week submission

Inside the Church

I hope you enjoyed visiting Mission San Diego de Alcala, though my lens. I will be traveling north soon, and hope to visit at least another Mission or two along the way.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Personal Project

I listen to a lot of photography podcasts and read a lot of photography blogs. One thing that repeatedly comes up as an exercise to boost creativity is a personal project. For some this may take the form of a 365 project (taking and perhaps posting online a photo every day for a year), and for others it can be using a specific piece of equipment, or photographing a certain subject - really, the sky is the limit.

I've had it in my head for quite some time now that I need to do a personal project. I've had several ideas, but one that keeps coming back to me is the California Missions.  I'm a history buff in my own special way.  I can't recite too many pieces of random information like who was born when and what year certain events took place, but I love love love seeing history coming alive in front of me, being in a place where I can imagine the stories of the people who lived there long before me.

I know this is one of the reasons I loved living in Italy, history was absolutely everywhere! It was so easy to go out and photograph the details around me because I knew they were historically significant. Now that I'm back in the States I've found it difficult to find the same kind of photographic inspiration I had in Europe. We, as a country, simply don't have as much history.

Once I recognized this about myself, and why I like to take certain pictures it occurred to me that California is rich in history! It may not be as old as the Colosseum in Rome, but it is the history of where I live, where I am from - it is MY history.

One of the significant aspects of California's history is the Missions, and El Camino Real. I've visited several of the missions during my life, but many not since childhood. I decided that taking on photographing every one of the 21 California Missions would be my personal project.  I don't have a particular timeline involved, but in the next year (or years) I would like to visit and photograph every Mission in California.

I started my journey today at Mission San Diego de Alcala. I will share photos and a bit of history of this site later this week, but for now I will leave you with a photo of one of the many gorgeous flowers gracing the Mission grounds.

I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me. I think I will learn a lot about California, and will hopefully in the process become a better, more creative photographer.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Signs of Spring

For this week's Photo of the Week submission I chose to take a quick walk in my neighborhood to photograph the blossoms on the trees that line my street.

Signs of Spring

While it may not be officially Spring quite yet, the warm weather, green hills, and abundant wildflowers around San Diego certainly say Spring is here!

Here are a few more shots from that day:

If you are interested in participating in Jessica Rogers Photo of the Week please check out her website!

Have a wonderful weekend!

And for those of you who are interested I use OnOne Software's PhotoFrame 4.5 Free to create the edging on my many of my photos.  Its a fun Photoshop plug-in. Check it out!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Mom is AWESOME!

She sent me cookies :)

Not just any cookies, Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookies!!

I savored a couple of them today with my afternoon cappuccino...YUM!

Thank you, Mommy!!

If you'd like to get your hands on some of these awesome cookies visit the Brown Butter Cookie Company website or find them on Facebook.  Seriously, they are worth the effort!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Daddy's Truck

For the past few years my dad has been working on restoring a 1968 Ford F100.  It is a gorgeous truck!  Last weekend when I was visiting my family on the Central Coast I spent a bit of time in my dad's shop taking photos.

I love how they turned out!  Most of them have been processed as HDR. I love the extra detail and texture this process reveals. I also decdied to submit one of my truck photos for Jessica Rogers' Photo of the Week. Here is the one I chose:

Daddy's Truck (1968 Ford F100)

I had a hard time choosing which one of my photos to submit for Photo of the Week.  Here are the other contenders:

What do you think? Which is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A glimpse at last weekend's photo shoot

This past weekend I had the honor of photographing a family. Not just any family, but part of my family!  This beautiful group of four is about to become 5 and I had great time capturing images that will hopefully be enjoyed for generations.

I shot over 500 frames and still have a lot of editing to do, but here is a quick sneak peek of what is to come:

Enjoy! More are on the way...