A couple of months ago, I started seeing posts on Instagram of these beautiful warbirds. The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has squadrons all over the US dedicated to the restoration and demonstration of these aircraft. Only after we loaded up and hit the open road to visit family for Christmas, did I realize that this particular squadron lived just a short distance from my in-laws, and that meant hangar tour!
This particular aircraft is a North American SNJ-5 “Texan” carrying the markings of a training squadron. You can read more about this particular aircraft on the CAF’s website, and be sure to follow @cafsocal on Instagram.
Shot with a Fujifilm X-E2 and a Fuji 18-55mm lens. 1/180th sec @ F5, ISO 5000. (I think it holds up pretty good at ISO 5000)
As the sun sets on 2015, we find our itinerant photographer opening a fresh can of cliché… This photo is literally the sunset on December 31, so while clichéd, it is fitting and accurate.
I’ve shot this scene before, but it’s one I really like and I enjoyed the moment of being there on the beach watching the sun sink into the ocean for the last time in 2015. The sun, beach and ocean don’t care – it’s just us people who place a greater significance on this event at this time – the last sunset of the year.
I look forward to the coming year and hope that it finds you well.
The details: Fujifilm X-E2, XF18-55mm @28mm, ISO 800, 1/80th @ f/22.
Spent a day with my in-laws at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, and had a really great time. Lots of fantastic exhibits and plenty of things to see and touch. There is something captivating about jellyfish though. They’re like Nature’s Lava Lamp. I mean the motion is kinda endless and fluid. Very tranquil, very mellow.
These guys are West Coast Sea Nettles. It amuses me that I manage to make an image of jellyfish that look like November’s mushrooms. This image is actually upside down – all the jellyfish were swimming (being pulled?) down toward a drain in the bottom of the tank (there’s a webcam!). The suction would let them go after a moment and they would all go back up and then start being pulled down again.
For a while now, I’ve been wanting to shoot some longer exposure stuff of surf on the rocks in Oregon, I’ve just not managed to get a trip planned for that purpose. Well mid-December rolls around and we find ourselves putting the lights on timers, loading up the bus, pointing it south and letting it go. What better way to end the year off than with a rather unplanned trip to Southern California? I mean, California has beaches, too, right?
Sunset at Point Mugu State Park provided the model and the lighting, all I had to do was frame it and shoot. The eight-second exposure looked alright in the camera’s LCD, but overall, I left the beach that evening a little disappointed, feeling like I didn’t get the image I was looking for.
Loaded the images in Lightroom and started poking around with exposure and gradient filters and suddenly there was an image that was exactly what I had imagined when I tripped the shutter. A little more dramatic than I would normally edit, but I really like the end result.
December gone and another year behind us! We spent the last couple weeks of the year visiting family in warmer parts of the country, and I gotta say, Southern California did not dissappoint.
Somehow, our plans took us to Griffith Observatory above Los Angeles on the night of the full moon (what a coincidence!), and the previous days’ rain and wind made for impressively clear skies.
Admission to the Observatory is free and there is something for the inner science geek in all of us. From a massive Tesla coil dating from the 1930s to a Camera Obscura, to the Foucault Pendulum to the underground lair-like Depths of Space exhibit gallery this place delivers huge inspiration to explore science and the universe around us.
This month’s wallpaper shows the Observatory silhouetted by the rising full moon.
Ok, so I’ve added a bunch of photos to a gallery, figure I should take some time to describe them.
I’ve grouped these two photos together because they were taken in close proximity and are similarly themed/composed.
The first is this shot of the pier at Hueneme Beach park in Port Hueneme, Ca. Twenty years ago, I was stationed at the Naval Construction Battalion Center here (not as a Seabee – but attached to Naval Support Force Antarctica (A.K.A. Operation Deep Freeze) – we called NCBC our summer home and the Aviation Squadron (VXE-6) was based out of nearby NAS Point Mugu.)
I used to grab a burger and chili at the nearby Wendy’s and come down here to see the sunset. I met the woman who would eventually become my wife while stationed here and we shared an apartment with a couple other sailors nearby. Needless to say, this area has good memories and we regularly visit her family who live in the area.
I had imagined this shot, a sunset slow exposure to capture the motion in the waves, and was looking forward to shooting it, And when I got down in the sand was kinda not impressed with the sunset, but shot anyway. The thing I hadn’t counted on is what for me makes the shot – the fishers on the pier and their captured movement.
The other photo is the iconic Mugu Rock. Another shot I had imagined in advance and when I arrived on site – was a little shocked to see the Sun in the wrong place. I hadn’t accounted on the seasonal movement of the sun and how it would not exactly line up with the composition I had in my head. I like the shot, but figure I’ll have to go back in the summer to capture the composition I have in my head.