Frank

Black and white photo of my Siamese cat

This is our cat Frank, doing what he does best. He is named after Frank Sinatra because they both have blue eyes. I remember a friend of mine laughed when I told her his name. But, you know, it really does suit him. He really is a Frank.

I just finished the WordPress Blogging 101 course. It was a really good learning experience (I highly recommend it for beginners). But now I’m a little off balance. The daily schedule of the blogging course was a different pace from my weekly posting schedule. And a few things happened at work and at home last week. Nothing crazy. Just life. Changing, as usual. So I’m looking forward to getting back into my flow.

Nautilus Found

Black and white photo of a dome structure,shot at an angle to create a nautilus shape
Ornate dome shot at angle

It’s been a busy week at work, so I’m going through some past shots to post. This is an open dome structure at the entrance of a civic building in Escondido, CA. I had walked all around the dome, and surprise! I found a nautilus! I shot this some time ago but it’s one of my favorite images.

Taking A Closer Look (photo gallery)

I had lunch with a friend in Balboa Park a couple of days ago. Afterward, I challenged myself to take photos of the park that were different from the typical photos I’ve taken before.

I tried to shoot things that most people would easily miss on their first visit. Little building details, hidden corners, and unusual views. Here are a few of those shots.

What surprised me most was finding the bare-breasted ladies underneath the eaves of the Museum of Photographic Arts. I’ve gone there many times and never noticed these figures. You have to look up to see them. There were more than three, but I liked the symmetry of having just three.

Standing tall

Close-up photo of man stinging in bell tower at Balboa Park
California Tower at Balboa Park

San Diego’s Balboa Park is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. One of the fun things that you can do now is climb the California Tower of the Museum of Man.

Be forewarned: 1) You need to make reservations beforehand. You can do it in person or online. 2) You can only purchase the Tower Tour with a Museum of Man entrance fee. I tried to get in myself and that’s what I I found out. 3) Only attempt if you like to climb a lot of stairs. 4) Only the first viewing level is open. The other two are not. 5) The tour is 40 minutes long and you must be there 15 minutes early.

I think I’ll go when summer is over. Here is the link if you plan to go there or want to see the view:

http://www.museumofman.org/california-tower/

Making waves

A duck agrees to have its photo taken
A duck agrees to have its photo taken

A lot of ducks hang out at the reflection pool at Balboa Park. They tend to be relaxed around people. This one was very mellow and let me take quite a few shots without fleeing.

Blogging 101 Assignment: Write to your ideal reader

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.   – Pablo Picasso

I Once Was An Oceanic Conductor

I love the ocean. And the beach.

When I was young, my parents often took my siblings and me to Oceanside Beach. Back in the 1970’s, it was never crowded, and the sand was soft, white, and pristine. As my sisters and brother occupied themselves, I would sometimes walk up to the water’s edge, face the rising waves, breathe in the salty air, and imagine myself conducting an oceanic orchestra.

In my mind, I raised my arms, and the waves paid attention. The higher I rose my arms, the higher the waves. When I lowered my arms, the waves obeyed. I had the power to make the waves crash furiously or undulate calmly. Then I flicked my right wrist and a stampede of white horses appeared out of the surf and raced towards me as seafoam climbed my legs. I would close my eyes and feel the spray as they galloped past me. Then they would get smaller and disappear as the waves reached the shore. Meanwhile, seagulls would fly overhead in synchronized patterns as sandpipers scurried in line at my feet like little ballerinas crossing a stage. (Looking back, I probably saw Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and wanted to be Micky Mouse, who did the same thing but in a sorcerer’s castle.)

A child-like imagination fuels all creativity. But as I grew up and started what we adults call “real life”, a life of responsibility and planned success, I began to ignore this hidden source of energy, and that girl became a distant memory.

The Itch Arrives

Now at the halfway point of my life, I take an account, and my life is good. I love my husband, my family, my home, my friends, my community, and my work. But there’s an itch.

So you’ve got the itch to do something. Write a screenplay, start a painting, write a book, turn your recipe for fudge brownies into a proper business, whatever. You don’t know where the itch came from; it’s almost like it just arrived on your doorstop, uninvited. Until now you were quite happy holding down a real job, being a regular person…Until now.   – Hugh McLeod in his article “How To Be Creative”.

Yes, I’m itching. Like heck. It’s that little girl on the beach wanting to conduct again. I forgot about her, and the itching is not going away.

Finding My Way Back To Me

So how do I appease the girl and make this itching stop?

I have to find my way back to her. And my posts, visual and written, are my way of retracing my footprints to that beach of long ago. I can start to see the girl, who is happily conducting life as she imagines it.

So dear reader, my hope is that you follow the footprints left by you, back to that ideal world you once created, and then live in it today.

My other hope is that this itching will go away.

Midday at the cove

Black and white photo of man standing near edge of beach cliff
Curious man on edge of beach cliff
Black and white photo of two boys standing waist-high in the ocean water waiting for a wave
Two boys waiting for a big wave

Yesterday, I went to La Jolla Cove hoping that the gray overcast would break and I could finally shoot something. It did finally break at noon, but the light was a bit harsh. Out of a bunch of shots, these two were the only ones I liked.

These are cropped images from larger shots, so they are a bit grainy. But the compositions are much better than the originals. For instance, the man on the cliff was standing with a lot of other people to the left of him, but standing alone, he makes this composition work. And the picture with the two boys actually had three boys, but the composition didn’t work with how the third boy was positioned, so I cropped him out.

With the June Gloom creeping into July, there isn’t much sunlight around. So I’m thinking about playing with indoor photography, photographic collages, or photo composites. Maybe I ‘ll have better results. Stay tuned.