Thursday, March 29, 2012

Symmetrical Coffee

While we were still living in Fontana at my aunt’s place, I had a reflective moment with my cup of coffee – and my Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker.

This cup belonged to my aunt but I claimed it while we lived there.  It was the right size.
Gallery print?  Probably not but what I love about the shot is the symmetry between the light and shadows.  It captures you in the moment; especially if you’re a coffee drinking.
These three photographs were taken with my Canon EOS Rebel XS using the kit lens, EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.  I did not use a flash.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


According to, art is: The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

Thus artistic would be conforming to the standards of art.  Well, said that too.  I took these two shots at my dad’s place back on January 9th of last year.  I was trying to shoot an “artistic” type of still life.  Up to this point, I had some formal training under my belt (a few art classes including 2-D design, beginning photo, drawing) so I was photographing specifically to make an art photograph.  That’s something I normally don’t do.  I would try this again – a few times.  I don’t think shooting in this manner works that well for me but I had to try it.
You tell me.
Both of these photos were taken with my kit lens, EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, on my Canon EOS Rebel XS and I did not use a flash.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Snowcaps through the Cajon Pass

We’re still on January 5, 2011.  I’m heading back to Fontana on the 15 heading to the Cajon Pass.  And I’m snapping the shutter and taking photos!
If you have ever made that run from Vegas to So Cal proper, then this will look familiar.
Just past the summit heading down the pass.  Everyone was kind of enough to stop their vehicles for me so I could take this shot.
It is a magnificent view.  Most never notice though.
On the left side middle of the photo, you can see where the north and south bound lanes rejoin.  It is also the CHP’s favorite spot to wait for those unfortunate souls who are still pissed off from losing so much money and are not paying attention to their downhill speed – probably 90 plus.

And this is what happens when your auto focus decides the windshield is what you wanted to capture.  A dirty windshield doesn’t help.

These five pictures were shot in program mode and all shot with my Canon PowerShot A540.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Snowcaps from Victorville, CA

The next day, I rode up to Victorville to talk to some folks at Victor Valley College because I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to school there but knew we would be moving to Victorville.  Again, I had my workhorse in tow, my PowerShot A540.  All of these pictures were taken in program mode utilizing my patented “drive by” photography method I perfected in Iraq during my tenure in the war.  Wow, that just makes it sound cool doesn’t it?
This is what it looks like right before you make a right turn on to Bear Valley Road coming off of the 15 from the pass.
This is staring eastbound down Bear Valley.
After my fact finding mission at Victor Valley College is done, I’m returning to the 15 on Bear Valley westbound.  I’m shooting southwest at Mt Baldy.  Even in Victorville, the setting is idyllic – though most of us are still hustling for gas money.
Speaking of gas money, look at those prices from Jan 5, 2011.

You’d think this was some sort of resort town.  The dichotomy of life here – it’s kind of surreal, unless you’re on the low income side of the equation.  In that case it is very real.

As I said, all photographs were taken with my Canon PowerShot A540.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Snowcaps from Fontana, CA

It is Sunday, March 25.  On March 24, I had eight members on my page.  Today I have seven.  With so few it is easy to notice a change.  Such is life.

And by the way, I will photograph practically anything I can – with no regrets.  So we have arrived in 2011.  January 4th to be exact.  I was out and about in Fontana (where we were living at the time) taking in the view.  We live in a paradise like environment but it’s difficult to recognize it when you’re hustling to make sure you and your family can eat.  But I wanted to capture it just the same.

I was using my “drive by” camera, my PowerShot A540, when I was doing this.  If you were me that day, you would be looking north towards the San Gabriel Mountains at Mt. Baldy from a parking lot off of Foothill Blvd in Fontana, CA.  I had the shooting mode on “Kids&Pets” – I haven’t a clue why.  The camera set the shutter speed at 1/250 and the aperture at F-8.  The focal length was 15.8mm.  I wonder, does this kind of photographic data matter?

This photo was shot in “Landscape” mode.  And I was at a light heading east on Foothill looking at the San Bernardino Mountains (Mt. San Gorgonio to be specific – I think).  California State University, San Bernardino, sits at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains – right along the San Andreas Fault which is why the mountains are here in the first place.  I don’t know, but that’s more interesting than shutter speed and F-stops.  But I was hustling that day and took the moment to capture this scene because I know I would not remember it years later.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chriskwanzakkah 2010, Part 6, The Conclusion

I’m sick – I have some kind of crud.  I have been sick all week but I couldn’t let that stop me – it was finals week.  It’s my spring break now so I need to pack my bag and head to Cabo.  Or should I stay closer and just run to Vegas?  Or maybe…  Maybe nothing, I have 2 little pirates to take care of and their spring break is a week away.  So I’ll blog.

This is the last installment on Chriskwanzakkah 2010. Here are five ladies (only three photographs) that I took some liberties with in Photoshop.  Primarily working with the shadows and highlights tool.  I like the effect.  On this, my photographic journey, I’m working towards being an artist.  That’s the end goal, having my photographic prints as art pieces.  Like an Alec Soth, Cindy Sherman, or Gordon Parks  (all of who’s work I admire tremendously).  I’m not there yet.  I’m getting closer, especially with what I’m doing now on my projects but I’m not there yet.  And I will bring this blog current.  But this is where we are right now. 
No, don’t remember any of their names but they are fun to look at just the same.  Love those elf costumes.  Southern California is one of the few places you can get away with dressing as such in December.
Those collars, they just let your imagination run wild don’t they?
It’s funny how those plastic blue (or red) cups are always invited to the party.

Three photos shot in program mode like all of the Chriskwanzakkah photos.  I used my Speedlite 430EX flash on all of the shots too.  All photos were photographed with my kit lens, EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, on my Canon EOS Rebel XS.  And this concludes my Chriskwanzakkah 2010 coverage.

Oh, before I forget, I just want to say thank you to Mr. Humberto Dib for following my blog and his kind words.  His blog is pretty cool too.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chriskwanzakkah 2010, Part 5, Hanukkah Harry and Jesus

Ok, this is wrong in so many ways but it is funny too – if you have an off center sense of humor.  I guess you should keep in mind this is done by people who are a part of the alternative Los Angeles art scene.  If you are unfamiliar with what that implies, you should know that Los Angeles artist have been considered “alternative” to the majority of the art world for a long time anyway.  So these guys are a bit further away from “middle” than that.  And of course, this is all done in fun.  Well nevertheless, it’s up to you to decide for you.  I present to you Hanukkah Harry and Jesus of the December 2010 Chriskwanzakkah party.  You make the call.

35 photos (I know, that’s a lot) – shot in program mode like all of the Chriskwanzakkah photos.  I used my Speedlite 430EX flash on all of the shots.  All photos were photographed with my kit lens, EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, on my Canon EOS RebelXS.  I will wrap up Chriskwanzakkah 2010 with the next post.  And it will have only three photos.