Girl with a view

Baloboa Park Towere - shot with Nikon Coolpix L840
Balboa Park Tower – shot with Nikon Coolpix L840

Shooting the dome and tower at Balboa Park is a challenge. They are very high up and other structures block large portions of each. But if you zoom in with your camera, you might be surprised by what you can get. I was lucky that a young woman stepped out of the dark tower to take a look around.

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Why I blog

No one I know is a blogger. Some people I know think blogging is a waste of time. What do I, an expert at nothing in particular, have to contribute? And heck, I’m not a bona fide writer either. I’m a visual person, a graphic designer with a full-time job and a ninety-minute commute to and from work. I definitely don’t have time to blog.

Yet I am blogging anyways. Why?

I’ve struggled with this question for awhile. Then one day I came across a passage in Alan Webber’s book, Rules of Thumb: How to stay productive and inspired even in the most turbulent times.

The author writes:

Context is how we all add value. But how do you develop the practice to know what you know, to see how you see the world? The answer is that context comes to those who develop their way of seeing and making sense of the world. It comes to those who build their confidence and competence for expressing it.

This is the answer to my question.

So if you are discouraged or feeling silly about blogging—or creating art, it may be because you believe you aren’t creating great content right now. But know that you are cultivating context, both for yourself and others.

Hitting a wall

I am so tired.

My cat Frank kept me up most of the early morning: 1:00 am yowl session followed by a short nap; 2:00 am yowl session and pacing, followed by 5-minute play session with favorite string, followed by short nap; 3:40 am pacing and play session until 5:00 am feeding. Usually, he sleeps through the night, but lately, he has had periodic restlessness.

So today I am a walking zombie. I have no motivation to tackle the overflow of laundry in the hamper or to sort through the four boxes of miscellany taking up floor space in the bedroom. The cool May-gray weather isn’t helping either. My head feels dull and my taste buds are numb. My mind doesn’t want to focus, and my body doesn’t want to move.

How quickly lack of sleep can induce me into a temporary depression.

But a part of me knows that movement is life. I’ve got to move. I’ve got to do something.

So I put on my headphones and review a photography lesson on Lynda.com. Then I grab my camera and play with depth of field for twenty minutes. Then I read something inspiring, Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception, for the rest of the afternoon.

I still feel like a zombie, but at least I moved. A little.

A tall drink of water

Storm break over Mission Bay - shot with iPhone
Storm break over Mission Bay – shot with iPhone

For the past two days, San Diego was hit by a cold storm, unseasonal for this time of year. We have been in a four-year drought, so this rain was welcome. But we’ll need more consistent rain. Otherwise, we’ll just get flash flooding. Our cold, rainy season typically happens from February to early April.

Since it’s been raining, I haven’t had a chance to shoot anything. Hopefully, I can get nice photos this weekend. The forecast is sunny and cool.

Seabirds at La Jolla

Pelicans and cormorants resting on rock at La Jolla Cove - taken with iPhone
Pelicans and cormorants resting on rock at La Jolla Cove – taken with iPhone

I’m always aware of the many species of birds that fly around and travel through Southern California. In this photo are pelicans and cormorants resting in La Jolla Cove.

La Jolla Cove is a major tourist attraction in the well-to-do town of La Jolla (pronounced “la hoya”, and it means “the jewel” in Spanish). It gets very crowded, even during the off-season. But everyone must visit the natural beauty of this intimate cove. There are sea lions sunning, athletes swimming, tourists snorkeling, kelp beds swaying, and seabirds preening. It’s very easy to get good photos. Visitors can walk along the adjacent sidewalks and get great views.

I like the tidepools here, although they are not as populated with animal life as they used to be. But if you are lucky, you can get a glimpse of small lobster, baby octopi, and rock shrimp.

Carlsbad Beach

Rocks and photographer at Carlsbad Beach - taken with iPhone
Rocks and photographer at Carlsbad Beach – taken with iPhone

Carlsbad is such a nice beach town, although it has grown so much over the past ten years. And it has lovely beaches. This photo was taken during low tide at one of the tide pools in the area. I happened to get a shot of this photographer by accident. He was shooting the sunset. I liked how the dark rocks reminded me of a Japanese rock garden.

Quiet world

Black and white photo of woman looking sad while sitting in beach cafe
Woman in Oceanside cafe – taken with iPhone

Originally, I intended this photo to be of the interior of the cafe, which had high ceilings with interesting light fixtures and lots of people underneath them. But when I played with different crops of this shot, this one caught my eye.

I didn’t even see this woman in my photo when I took it. She was sitting across from a male companion, but they were both just staring into space. It’s a pretty tight crop, so it looks grainy, but I found the photo was much more interesting when I saw her. How depressed she looks! So silent. What could she be thinking?

I’m a pretty upbeat person, so to see someone so down made me feel sad.