A typical Thursday evening on I-210 in southern California, something that many of us have had to face for decades on end. I am happy to say that I made it through the grinder for about 40 years and now do not have to submit to it, unless I choose. I was in the power chair in the van, positioned just behind the front seats, happily snapping away, while Judy was at the wheel, toughing it out for the trip home.
It was the first time I used my new AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-VR since I had acquired it. As we were rolling through stop-and-go traffic on the freeway I realized that we were missing the Golden Hour lights and shadows expressed across the San Gabriel Mountain Range which parallels I-210. I pulled the camera out of the bag and mounted the big lens and began snapping away, at the distant mountains, and at the cars on the freeway. The light was fading fast, and the jerky traffic movements were not helping me get my shots, this was the best of the lot.
I have a feeling I am going to enjoy using this lens more.
Although it looks like a storm is brewing in this image, those are actually the last vestiges of a storm that blew in the previous few days from the Pacific and headed east over Southern California. The view of the Pasadena City Hall is from the southwest corner of Holly Street and Garfield Avenue, the Jackie Robinson memorial was directly behind me.
Behind the shrubs in the front of the building is a subterranean walkway (open to the sky, below the first floor windows) that circles the entire building perimeter (running under the front steps). As we were capturing these images I was accosted by one of the local homeless people, noticing the camera on the tripod she wanted to know if we were with the news media. I told her “no, I just enjoy taking pictures”. Shen then informed me about the “moat” around city hall, going on to say the city filled it with water and stocked it with piranhas. (The reality is that the “moat” is the walkway in front of the basement level windows of the building, which allows natural light to come through to the basement.) I thanked her, she continued on her way and I continued with my photography.
I have been thinking about the subjects of my photography recently and realize that I am attracted to images of objects or scenes created by the hand of Mother Nature and by the hand of man. Judy and I have made a conscious decision to capture scenery, including lots of trees, in the natural world, we are also both attracted to motor vehicles and I have an interest in aircraft and architecture. In a more documentary and historical preservation sense my eye is attracted to images or scenes that depict humans experiencing life, interacting in their contemporary environment, and scenes (with or without living subjects) depicting contemporary life and life in an earlier time. This is what you can expect to see unfolding in this blog, and hopefully, it will all be telling an interesting story.
This was my first image created with the assistance of my Promote Control, which calculated and instructed the camera to fire off five brackets at f/11 from .6 second to 1/400 second. Utilizing this new tool has been a learning experience and it took me a while to figure out that I had to slow down the Promote Control to 2,000 milliseconds in order to not overwhelm the D80 .
I am beginning to get out and about after a long period of being housebound. One of the places that I visited this week was the Boddy House on the grounds of Los Angeles County’s Descanso Gardens which is located in La Cañada, California. I have always been a fan of landscape photography, there are so many images to be found in the natural world and I want to develop my eye and my skills in capturing my vision of the natural world.
Of the images captured this day, the one above was my favorite. The image is from three exposures, 2 EV apart from each other and then combined in the HDR process and further refined. My only regret this day was that I did not have a wider lens to work with in the oak forest. Descanso Gardens is criss crossed with narrow drives and foot paths, this is the drive leading to the Boddy House.
This is a segment of the same drive, as we were heading away from the Boddy House. We were on foot and in the power chair, the only vehicles allowed on the drives are the tram tour vehicle and the grounds keepers’ powered carts.
The Boddy House was the home of E. Manchester Boddy and his family. Boddy developed the property beginning in 1937.
All of the images could not have been made without the collaboration of Judy Frost.
This is one of the trees in front of my house and I shot it after a light rain had fallen and cleaned the air. Using Photoshop Elements I removed a distracting mailbox on a post behind the tree and added a softening texture with the “water color” filter.