Many blog entries and now even a book have been written about Oolong and his ability to balance ordinary and not so ordinary objects on his head. Kaiya, on the other hand, is a very anxious and earnest dog. For example, she would rush to the door and scratch at it when we come home, can’t wait for us to come through the door, to the point that the inside of our door is quite marred.
My wife, who has the patience of a Bodhisattva when it comes to small animals and started teaching Kaiya to calm down enough, at least for a picture or two:
The Northern and Southern trails run along this small California state park, perhaps for no more than 2 or 3 miles, but what a sight to behold. While Yosemite reminds you how small you are with its giant granite faces and unreal sized trees, Point Lobos is different. With the sea lions barking in the distance, the waves pounding at the rocks, the cypress trees stand proudly, it’s a unique place like no others. The ocean waves calm you, the texture of the beaches mesmerize you. No wonder this is the place where three generations of the Weston called home, and in their honor, in turn they named a beach after them.
A full set of 15 photos can be found here:
p.s. some people inquired earlier: yes, any photos on my sites are for sale. Send me email if interested.
I am fortunate enough to photograph the 41st International Taiko Festival again this year. Seiichi Tanaka O’Sensei and the SF Taiko Dojo performers are at the top of their forms. Many more photos to come, but seeing that Ryan is a very popular performer (I wonder why?!!!), here’s a teaser picture.
Darkroom has been dying since the onslaught of the dSLR. For Fine Art photography though, there are reasons to continue to use film and have a darkroom setup. This is not a “Digital vs. Film” question, keep in mind is that B&W film printed in the darkroom is a different medium than inkjet prints. It’s not necessarily better, but give you a different way of expressing your creativity. Moreover, with prices dropping to the floor, you can pick up a medium format setup, including a camera system, plus a darkroom, for pennies on the dollars. If you go with the medium format route, the bigger negative size of medium format would give you much more details and tonal range than most digital solutions, at a much lower cost. High ISO also excels: Delta 3200 on a 6×7 neg look as smooth as a good ISO 200-400 35mm film.
You can also set up a darkroom with some of the state of the arts tools with little cost. For example, I have the following:
- a 4×5 enlarger with a color head, bought for $250. New they go for $1200 for the enlarger and $500 for the head.
- rodenstock top of the line enlarger lens for ~$100 each. New they go for $400-$800!
- a nova print processor for a couple hundreds. It keeps the chemical fresh for months and are smaller (but taller) than a 13 inch printer.
- a F stop timer
Those plus a few trays, safelight etc. and you have everything you need to print.
Do keep safety in mind of though. Some of these chemicals can be quite toxic, especially certain types of developer (for film). Keep the room ventilated, avoid touching any of the chemical, whether it is in liquid, powder, or vapor forms. Use tongs or gloves. Basically, be sensitive. These are chemicals, and you will likely be Okay.
Reclaiming Spiral Dance is one of annual “must-go” event for San Francisco area paganfolks. This year is the 30th anniversary of the event and when two thousands people join hands and dance the spiral, magic happens.
Sometimes when I feel like I need a mental recharge, I just drive over to Stanford and just walk and photo the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden – again. A small spot bound by parking lot, dormitory and roads, it’s a little magical place:
Of course I also can’t resist photographing the other thinker:
The sign says something about “Use the Water At Your Own Risk,” and “Do not Dive” etc., but I doubt there’s any danger of that.
Last weekend, I spent 3 days shooting 4 Taiko concerts – the 2nd annual Meigetsu (Harvest Moon) festival. Each concert is different,
with may be a dozen groups altogether. ISO1600, 1/40 @F2 is not uncommon. I just keep remembering Ted Grant’s words – “if you can see
it, you can shoot it.” I shot ~6000 frames, for the performers, I culled them down to ~1200. Obviously the complete set is only of interest to the performers.
I culled 72 of my favorites. Perhaps you would enjoy them:
The innovative dance + taiko group
As I was carrying two cameras hiking down the Panoramic Trail in Yosemite, one of the oft-heard comments was “you can’t take bad pictures at Yosemite.” A couple times, I jokingly replied, “yes, but I can try!” In all seriousness, while taking bad pictures is hard at Yosemite, how does one convene the scale and immensity of Yosemite? Besides, Yosemite has been photographed by everyone from Ansel Adam to a grandmother with a Kodak Max. It is almost discouraging to raise the camera to your eyes, and then think, “Why bother? This shot probably has been done before.”
In the end, you take photographs for your own enjoyment. The world through your eyes. So in the vein, here’s my images of the Panoramic Trail, ending with a few pictures from the Tuolomne Grove. Enjoy.
and the earlier color photos at: