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Motorcycles and the Art of Zen Maintenance

Location: Pacific Palisades. Subject: Lake Shrine Temple and Gardens

Recently, I decided to join a few photography groups. One of them is going to Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades next weekend, but unfortunately, I can’t join them. I had a couple of hours to spare today, so I went up on my own. Located near the intersection of PCH and Sunset, Lake Shrine is a “Self Realization Fellowship” site. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with a blending of Hinduism, yoga, and the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

The one thing I do know is that the grounds are beautiful, and although relatively small, well worth a trip. The facility was built in 1950, when I imagine it was a lot easier to lose oneself in meditation. On the whole it’s a peaceful experience walking the grounds, but when a motorcycle (or group of them) comes rumbling down Sunset the whole park takes notice.

Enjoy the photos.

This first photo shows a 1,000-year-old sarcophagus containing some of Gandhi’s ashes. Part of the “World Peace Monument,” it’s one of the first artifacts you encounter as you head into the grounds.

Nothing says “be still” and “quiet” like a noisy camera clicking away. ;)

This windmill was on the property before the temple facility was built. According to the visitor guide, it’s an authentic replica of a 16th-century Dutch windmill (although the chapel beneath it has been extended a few times).

You can’t see it, but above this waterfall is a large statue of Jesus wearing what appear to be leis. A smaller waterfall across the way has a statue of Krishna.

And last but not least, a small boat moored to the side of the windmill. Besides these small boats, there’s also a large house boat on the lake (which I don’t show here). This place is so eclectic, it’s fantastic.

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Of Heaven and Hell

Location: Pennsylvania. Subjects: trains, flowers, ruined town, ruined hospital, other jazz.

I made my way to Scranton, PA, this past week on a business trip. Before I continue, let me extend thanks to Mark Sarno and Bruce Burke of Sarno & Son for being great hosts, and to Jo Ann, Erika, and Emily for continuing to be lovely company.

Also before I continue, let me suggest that no one ever travel with me. I have the worst possible luck with air travel. Delayed flights, engine trouble, broken A/C, bad weather, bird strikes: they’re all fair game when you fly with me. At least I’m charming (and humble!), so if nothing else I’m decent company.

After a seemingly endless day of travel, I arrived very late to Scranton and hit the hay. I have a strong interest in places with historical value or vintage style, particularly if it’s ruined and/or abandoned. To that end, the plan for Saturday was to visit the Steamtown historical park (think lots of old trains), to find the destroyed city of Centralia, and finally, to locate an abandoned and ruined hospital supposedly in the hills near Lake Scranton.

Steamtown National Historic Park

Steamtown traces the history of railroads in America, with particular focus on their role in the development of the coal industry (of which Pennsylvania is intimately tied). In addition to historical exhibits, the park boasts a number of active trains, a live repair facility, and a working turntable. They had a number of really interesting looking old trains on the various railways in the park, but most of them were off limits unfortunately.

This locomotive was in the repair facility. Note the missing engine parts in the front; I can only imagine the size of the equipment necessary to remove that part.

Throughout the day trains come onto the turntable, spin around a few times, and either go back out to the park for rides or into the service facility. You would think that a train turning in a circle wouldn’t be that interesting, but it actually is a decent spectacle. I took high ground to get this photo and laughed at all the ground-level suckers who got covered in soot and smoke once the train started spinning.

I should note that it’s cool for about 1 minute. After that it’s just a spinning train, and so I moved on.

According to my extensive knowledge as a hobo riding the rails, I can authoritatively state that all of these knobs are for the radio.

Workers in the iconic attire of train employees everywhere.

The Town That Was: Centralia

In 1962, a coal seam underneath the town of Centralia caught fire, likely the result of a badly managed trash fire in an abandoned coal mine. To this day the coal is still burning underneath the former town, having destroyed it in the process. (Fires like this are, unfortunately, very common around the world. Some, like the Gates of Hell, are natural gas fires. One of the oldest coal fires is estimated to have been burning for 6,000 years.)

After years of living next to and above the coal fire, the citizens of Centralia were eventually bought out by the state and federal governments and moved to other areas. Once they were gone, the authorities tore the city down (although some persist in living there to this day). Visiting the site now, very little remains. There are vacant lots and overgrown streets but not much else to signify a human presence. The two most striking indicators of the catastrophe are toxic smoke rising out of the ground in various places, and a  destroyed section of route 61, which suffered major damage as a result of ground shifts from the fire.

For a relatively short, but very interesting documentary on Centralia, check out “The Town That Was.”

Walking down the old part of 61 is both comedic and sad. In the last few years it’s been turned into an active graffiti canvas. There are a number of clever and beautiful tags, as well as some very funny–and very sophomoric–illustrations. Here’s one that greets you as you head south.

Arriving at the subsidence is weird. The ground is very hot (a reminder that the fire is not far underground), and white smoke rises out of the pavement in various places. The smoke wasn’t particularly heavy on this day, although I’ve seen pictures where it’s been really thick.  The whole scene looks (and smells!) like something from a Hollywood horror set. Below are two different parts of the damage.

Here are a few of my favorite tags.

There are 3 cemeteries within the boundaries of old Centralia, all within about a quarter mile of each other. The largest of the 3 lies very near to one of the most scarred areas (off South Street). These flowers were tied to a random corner of the chain link surrounding it.

This is a shortish long-exposure overlooking the Russian Orthodox cemetery, the smallest of the three. I stood in the grass just outside of the gate and tried to capture the light trails created from lightning bugs streaking over the graves. Having never seen lightning bugs, I was transfixed not only by their simple presence, but also from the haunting impression that I was witnessing souls at play above their headstones. Having stood there for too long, I was positively devoured by evil, unknown bugs in the tall grass.

After leaving Centralia I went looking for the West Mountain Sanitarium. Unfortunately for me, I was given the wrong location. As a storm moved in and the wind built, I found myself turning down an unmarked and overgrown forest road at midnight. Noticing that there was literally an eerie white light shining from deep within the foggy and dense foliage where no one lived, I decided to try again during daylight.

Longwood Gardens

I won’t spend much time explaining Longwood Gardens, other than to say they’re massive and simply incredible. If you’re ever near Philadelphia, you owe it to yourself to visit (particularly if you’re a fan of orchids, of which they have something like 900 varieties).

Here are a few more from my time at the garden. Click to enlarge.

Nay Aug Park and the West Mountain Sanitarium

On Monday I talked Bruce into trying to find the sanitarium with me now that I had the correct location. (When going to scary, abandoned facilities in the middle of an old forest, it’s always advisable to bring a friend. That way when the zombies, ghosts, or monsters attack, you’ve now got a 50/50 chance of survival).

Whilst Bruce finished up some work I quickly ran over to Nay Aug park, ran down to the gorge and took  like 3 photos before running out. The park looked really cool, but having found my primary target (plus a train hanging out on a bridge for some reason), I drove out to pick up Bruce and head up to the hills.

The West Mountain Sanitarium was built in the early 1900s as a place to help sufferers of TB. Apparently, it was abandoned several decades ago and subsequently set on fire a couple of times by vandals. Although it’s in rough shape (and very dangerous in some places), there are parts of it still intact. Throughout various structures one can find old beds, documents, and other signs of its former purpose.

Although the tubes are rife with stories of the place being haunted, the only other life form we saw was a frog in one of the basements.

Modern visitors have left their mark on a number of the buildings.

I originally planned to tell you that this was the site of the old crematorium where they burned the bodies of those that died from the torture experiments, but that would be dishonest. So instead, I’ll tell you that this was where they simply stacked the bodies of those that died in the torture experiments.  (No, not really. I don’t know what this was.)

The roof on most of the buildings had either collapsed or was in the process of collapsing. Ever the erstwhile cautionary, I merrily tramped my way under this one.

Oh look, a scary basement. Normal person: “let’s not go in it.” Jake and Bruce: “let’s see if there’s another entrance. Hooray!”

And there was. My flashlight well dead by this point, I could barely see as I sloshed through the creepy, wet, and very dark basements.

Old accounting paperwork, fused to a desk.

There were a number of these “you’re going to die” type signs throughout the buildings, telling you to look up, down, behind you, etc. Usually they pointed towards some hazard (like a big hole in the ground, or a dangerous ceiling above you). This one didn’t seem to actually pertain to anything behind me. It probably activates only at night, when there likely would have been a guy in a mask standing there.

And…a random chair stuck in the roof. So that’s nice.

Tuesday night I had a wonderful dinner with Mark and his wonderful family. Beforehand, he drove me by Waiverly, a very historic and proud part of the area. This was one of the last photos of my trip, taken of the community center (which was built to resemble Independence Hall). Although ruins are fun, living and active history is well worth a visit too.

I’ve come to really like Pennsylvania. Having just bought a new book on hidden and hard to reach ruin sites near NYC, I think a trip back to the region in Spring is in the works. With a number of incredible targets in mind, it should make for an exciting trip.

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Making Appleade -or- How I Ruined New York City

Location: New York City. Subject: architecture, cars, street photography, people.

Landing in New York City recently, I had high hopes for my photography. As one of the most dynamic cities in the world with incredible architecture and people, I smugly thought to myself, how hard can it be? As Moltke the Elder once said, “no plan survives first contact with the enemy.” And boy, was New York my enemy.

Mind you, New York didn’t try to kill me or anything. Rather, it was one of the best trips of my life. It’s just that the city is so overwhelming. It’s tall (try catching a sunset), busy, loud, and just plain awesome. As probably the most photographed city in history, how could I possibly do anything to set myself apart?

I spent 5 days walking around pointing my camera at stuff only to realize that my photo was lackluster, or that someone famous had shot it better. I kept trying to photograph all the skyscrapers, but everything looked so…normal…when caught by my lens. Oh look, Jake took another photo of a tall building.

And so, in the end, I’m admitting defeat. New York beat me. I don’t think my photos are bad, but where I imagined leaving as the conquering hero–having slain the beast with my mad skillz–I instead left humbled and determined.  I may not have made appleade when given the Big Apple, but I’ll be back.

(Note: there are lots of big photos in this post, so you’ll need to give it a minute to load everything.)

Cabs are everywhere in the city, so I took some time trying to get panning shots of them zooming around. I spent a few minutes teaching my friend Aislinn how to do this; as you can see from this photo she took, she picked it up pretty quickly.

As we ventured out into more colorful parts of the city, graffiti and wall art became more common. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been fascinated by the anonymous artists who design cool stuff like this and then paper it up on random walls and overpasses. I found this intrepid explorer near Greenwich Village.

Flying child, Central Park.

Besides the obvious irony of the homeless person in front of the bank, I like this photo for a different reason. Despite living out of a number of bags, this woman took the time to put on eye makeup and paint her nails. Even the homeless aren’t without their small vanities.

As with most tourist areas in the world, Central Park was surrounded by vendors selling miscellaneous junk. In the middle of all this noise I randomly came across a vendor selling figurines made from dried grass. I bought a butterfly that I liked and then promptly crushed it on accident.

In the middle of MOMA, I happened to look up while going down an escalator. I think I rode the up and down escalators three more times trying to get this shot.

Standing in the middle of the street, somewhere near Times Square.

This little girl would run across this bridge to a nearby open area and then spin around rapidly while doing an imaginary dance. She’d fall over, run across the bridge to hug her mom and get a spoonful of pudding, and then do it all over again. Shot in the sculpture garden at MOMA.

Indulgences, St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

MSG, f/7 @ 10s, ISO 100

Another example of incredible urban art found on a random wall. Green Point, I think.

The Apple store near Central Park. The exterior is awesome looking. The interior looks like an Ikea showroom and is boooooooring.

Hipsters and their trademark single-speed bikes are everywhere in the city. I think if I were 8 I’d be impressed by the front tire, but I’m not, so I’m not. ;)

One of the few skyscraper photos that I’m actually happy with. Does this building look familiar to anyone?

Window display.

The Planetarium at night.

The Creation of Adam

Grand Central ghosts

$10 to the first person to tell me what this is (AJ and Ania excluded).

I have no idea….

Times Square midnight proposal.

Fellow patron, Ukranian diner. (Props to Ania.)

After flirting with the front desk clerk for a little while, she upgraded me on the second night to a top floor room looking out towards Jersey and the river. After a long day on the town, I was lucky enough to return to the room just as the moon turned bright red and set over the horizon.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my travels, it’s to interact as genuinely and frequently as you can with the people who really make cities spin. Tip your waiter a little extra, shake hands with doormen, and offer a smile whenever you can. The reward is often rare moments like these.

(The first image in this post is shot in the same direction, but near sunset a few hours earlier.)

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Half a World Away, 2010

Location: Rome and Naples, Italy and various places in Ireland. Subject: architecture, landscapes, cemeteries, ruins, people.

To just look at my photos, keep scrolling down the page and ignore all my blathering.

I had the great fortune to travel to Ireland and Italy in late March, 2010, with my sister and cousin. My brother is sort of living in Ireland, so we started our trip there and then headed over to Italy for a few days. This post will have more text than usual, since I have some observations and back story for many of the photos. Additionally, further explanation on some photos can be found at the bottom of the full-size enlargements.

We started our flight to Dublin with a connection in Amsterdam, where interestingly, there was no compunction about having female attendants in the men’s restroom. It was no big deal, but it was something I hadn’t experienced at home so thought I’d mention it.

Landing in Dublin, we took a comfortable 3 hour bus ride to the city of Galway on Ireland’s west coast to meet my brother. We stayed the night at the very pleasant Sleep Zone Galway hostel, and got up early to make the drive to Ros an Mhíl to catch a ferry over to the Aran Islands.

We landed on Inishmore about 40 minutes later, got setup at the clean and comfortable Kilronan Hostel, and then rented bikes to explore the island. Inishmore is a good size island, but fairly easy to cover via bike. The maps they give you with the bikes don’t do much to help you navigate parts of the island, as they neglect to tell you that whole parts of the circle are off the beaten path with no obvious trail markers. Even so, we had a good time.

After a very steep hike to the highest point of the island, we explored an old fort and signal tower built in the late 1700s (Dun Arann Lighthouse & Signal Tower). We then continued on to a pre-historic fort perched high atop an imposing cliff. Finally, the last highlight of the day was our visit to the 7 churches site, which was founded in the 8th century, and which remains an active graveyard to the present day. Note: if you want to really explore the site, you’ll have to get past any hangups about stepping on graves and grave slabs. They’re everywhere, and literally bursting from the earth.

On our return trip, my sister’s bike broke far from the town. An incredibly kind woman named Dierdra let us user her spanners (wrenches) to fix the bike and carry on. We got some Irish gourmet pizza, and before heading to bed I hung out for a little while in the hostel’s common area with a girl from Germany, one from Australia, and an employee from North Carolina (she’s the vulgar fun one with the Southern drawl).

Getting up even earlier the next day (Thursday), we caught the ferry back and drove east to County Offal to visit the impressive Clonmacnoise. Founded in 545, it was an important monastic site for hundreds of years. Attacked and pillaged something like 50 times (alternately by the Vikings, English, Normans, and Irish tribes), it was destroyed in 1552 by a British garrison. Ancient graves abound, as do impressive old structures and monuments. Nearby, the ruins of a Norman castle perch precariously on a tall mound. We were late getting to the Rock of Cashel, and headed to Cork where we would spend the rest of our trip.

We met up with my Irish friends at their college house, and went out for the night. As luck would have it, the long hours coupled with spending so much time with my cousin–whom we’ll call Patient Zero–got me sick. Sucked. Nevertheless, we struck out to drive the Ring of Kerry on Friday.

The basic drive is something like 200km, and takes several hours while you cover this south-western most area of the country. The drive takes you through impressive mountains and near the sea, and was absolutely beautiful. I recommend that you take an entire day to do it, and make sure to venture onto some of the side routes. We finished the evening over dinner with our friend Aoife at her family’s country club in Kilarney, and got to witness a spectacular sunset.

Too sick to go out with everyone Friday night, I stayed at our B&B and cried. *sniff*

Saturday, a group of us went to Blarney Castle in Cork, of the legendary Blarney Stone fame. The castle itself is interesting, although castles start to get pretty repetitive. There’s a lot of stone, tight spaces, and so on. At the very top of this very high castle, the Blarney stone lies dangling from a walkway in a very precarious position. You have to contort yourself backwards whilst looking down over a couple of hundred feet to get access to the stone. Even though there’s an attendant and a safety grate, it’s not for everyone.

The real treat is not the castle, but the extensive grounds surrounding it. There are some beautiful locations, as well as some very interesting ancient sites used by the Druids. If you should visit, make sure to visit the wishing steps.

My brother, the American, in a house lived in by 6 or 7 Irish girls, made us a traditional Irish dinner of bacon and cabbage which wasn’t half bad. Sunday morning we packed our stuff in preparation for our flight to Rome, and then headed over to St. Finbarr’s Cathedral. It’s a fairly recent structure built on a site that has been used for worship for more than a millennium, and boy, is it pretty. Unfortunately, we only got to enter for about five minutes before they closed it for the day.

The flight to Rome was the longest short flight of my life, thanks to the 100 or so 12- and 13-year-olds who were going absolutely nuts the entire flight. On the bright side, I learned some funny Irish vulgarities, and the two kids I sat next to were completely stoked to be sitting by an American.

We touched down in Rome and prepared to take a train to stay the night with friends in Naples. The weird thing about this is that you buy tickets from random newsstands in the station. I’ll expand on this at the bottom of the post, but let me mention now that Rome’s train stations are not at all helpful to travelers that don’t speak Italian.

In any event, we caught a 2-hour train to the Aversa station and were picked up by Antonio in his Chrysler 300, something virtually unseen in Italy. Everywhere we drove Italians strained their necks staring at the car, an unashamedly large and luxurious American import in a land of buzzing, bee-sized transport.

We got some espresso Monday morning and drove out to the ruins of Pompeii. Unfortunately, our GPS navigator wasn’t helpful and we spent a long time lost and driving around. Nonetheless, it was very interesting, as we got to see the heart of a number of small area cities. Driving the 300 through narrow back streets was interesting. :)

A note about Naples: it is absolutely crazy. As Antonio explained it, it’s the Wild West of Italy, and an area still heavily influenced by the mafia. The highways looked like garbage dumps, as people literally would bring their household garbage and just throw it out their car windows wherever they wanted. Traffic was insane (which is saying a lot, considering Italy’s already crazy traffic), and prostitutes lined some of the main highways. Sort of like immigrant workers in the States, they get picked up early and spend the day with their customers.  Maybe they’re prostitutes/roofers.

Pompeii was incredible, though my cousin and sister grew bored early. Admittedly, a lot of the ruins are repetitive, but the remnants of some of the buildings were just astonishing. Although it was unfortunate for the thousands who died when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. , the city was incredibly well preserved by being covered in the volcanic debris.

We walked around modern Pompeii afterward, then grabbed some authentic Napolese pizza before almost missing our train to Rome.

Our hotel, the Atlante Garden, was a 4-star building and was quite pleasant. By American standards it was small, but it was quite cozy and clean. The real upside was that we were only a few hundred meters from St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican city. The area around the hotel was pretty nice as well, and we spent late hours at night walking the area.

We spent the first day touring St. Peter’s and the Vatican museums. Although the museums are huge and impressive, I probably wouldn’t be in a rush to make it back next time I’m in Rome. Similar collections (though usually smaller) can be found throughout major museums across the world.

The one real treat was the Sistine Chapel. My words won’t do it justice, so I’ll just say that it’s one of the most incredible human endeavors I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, no pictures allowed. :(

The second day found us at the Colosseum, the forum, and the Palatine hill. In retrospect, I wish that we had taken a guided tour of these locations and the Vatican.

After the forum, we wandered west through the city on foot, my cousin talking to pigeons along the way. We wandered beautiful back alleyways before ending up at the Pantheon, the best preserved of the truly ancient Roman structures. Originally used as a place to worship the old Roman gods, it’s now the burial site of important Italians, like the first King of unified Italy. Well worth a visit.

Thursday we flew back, and then I got horrible jet lag and got sick all over again. The end.


That dramatic ending out of the way, i wanted to offer some observations for others planning a trip to Ireland or Italy.

  • Cash is your friend and your enemy. Lots of places don’t take cards, in particular in Italy. Get a good money belt, like one that goes around your calf and make sure you have a fair amount of cash available. We nearly missed our flight back home because we were 10 Euro short for train tickets.
  • Watch out for Nackers and gypsies in Ireland, and pickpockets in Italy. Keep your wallet and your money out of your pockets if at all possible, in particular on crowded subways.
  • Driving in Ireland was relatively easy, although roundabouts can be difficult and the streets very narrow. Driving in Italy is insanity, and the disregard for pedestrians is completely unnecessary. In particular watch out for people on scooters, who seem to enjoy darting as quickly as possible between pedestrians.
  • Be prepared to get lost and to have trouble getting help in Italy. If you think it’s going to take you 2 hours to get somewhere, give yourself 3. Better yet, give yourself 4. There are often late connections, cash only purchasing stands, broken self-help kiosks, kiosks and ATMs that are in Italian only, lack of international signs, and any other number of problems to frustrate the international tourist. (For a country so wrapped up with tourism, they do a bad job making their customers at home.)
  • The train station in Rome is annoying. Find one of the large green and yellow kiosks to get the best automated service, and avoid the white regional-only machines. If you are trying to get to Rome from Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) airport by train, buy a ticket at a newsstand. If you’re trying to get back to the airport, buy a ticket at the airport stand near where the trains leave. Cash only, and the ticket was several Euro more to get back then to get into Rome.
  • Be prepared to get yelled at in Italy over trivial things. At a McDonald’s we went to, my cousin suffered a 4-minute tirade by the cashier because she ordered a combo incorrectly. It was ridiculous, even by animated Italian standards.
  • The metro service in Rome is excellent. Use it. Train and bus service outside of Rome is unreliable and often running behind.

If you’re heading to either country, send me an email via the contact link. I’ll be happy to help you as much as I can.

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Location: Huntington Beach pier, Dana Point whale watching cruise. Subject: Ocean sunsets, seascapes, long exposure.

Below are some random sunset photos from two recent excursions. The first three photos are from a New Years Day boat ride off Dana Point. It was supposed to be a whale watching trip, but ended up being just a water watching trip.

The second set of photos were taken at the Huntington Beach pier. The two long shots of the pier are mine, while the tighter shot is one my cousin–Jonathan Moore–took with my spare camera.

Click the thumbnails to enlargify.

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Random Jazz: 12/29/09

Location: Orange, CA, Mission San Juan Capistrano, my studio. Subject: family and children photography, architecture, female portraits.

Another post with random photos for you. The first set comes from my good friend Declan (“Danger”) and his mom/dad Becky and Trevor (who in my head I just accidentally called “Decky, Beclan and Trevor”). They’re now expecting child numero dos, which is what the “+1″ is all about. The last photo is my favorite; while we were shooting someone started up a power tool; apparently, it concerned him greatly. :)

The second set is from a short trip I took to Mission San Juan Capistrano. I wish that a) there had been fewer people, and b) that it wasn’t so overcast, as this made for flat lighting that wasn’t too interesting. I’ll need to go back on a brighter day.

Finally, we have some studio-esque poses of my long-time friend Kristin Schult. She’s on her way to being a superstar Christian speaker, so we took some shots that hopefully will end up on her upcoming website. I think the photos look quite lovely, don’t you? (Ignoring me in the last photo, of course.) These were shot with a fairly simple setup: 2 Canon 580EX II speedlights in Apollo softboxes to the front of her, and a naked 430EX speedlight in the back against some black seemless paper for a little rim lighting.

Click the pics for low-calorie bigger versions.

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Walking Amongst the Eternal

Photographers and artists are in the business of engineering. For the most part, our goal is to represent “whole” things in ways that people know them. Whether it be faces, smiles, or landscapes, our audience expects something ultimately recognizable. Something large and complete.

The irony, of course, is that the artist, the photographer, or the engineer has to coordinate a million small things to put together that recognizable form. Are we balancing exposure on someone’s face? Shall we use cross strokes with green paint on the trees, or blend yellow and blue?

I went to LACMA today with an unusual plan in mind (for me, anyways). Rather than photograph complete works of art, I wanted to focus on patterns and some of the more singular aspects of the pieces. We typically look at art and life as so many wholes without appreciating all the beauty in the nooks and crannies. Certainly the face of our lover is a welcome sight to behold, but true intimacy comes from pressing your fingers across their flesh, brushing your lips on their cheek, or taking in the smell of their hair as you nuzzle their neck.

As I walked through the galleries at LACMA today, I tried to see the small in the large. To be partner to so many ancient craftsmen pouring their souls into the details so that we the viewers can appreciate the whole. Art always has a secret to share, and the artist will whisper it to whomever cares to really listen.

All pretentiousness aside, here’s a selection of shots from today, including a few panoramics I stitched together. If you haven’t been to LACMA recently, you should go. The temporary Pompeii exhibit is incredible, as is the new modern art building which has, among other things, a cool Warhol collection.

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Smokey Stables

I had planned to do some bike riding around Back Bay Newport today, but because of a severe case of Independence Day foot sunburn, that was out. Instead, my brother and one of our Irish lasses (Annette) and I did a photo hike through Smokey Stables at sunset.  Here are some of the shots from the day.

I don’t usually shoot “pattern” type shots, so this was a lot of fun. Try and spot the photo in which Annette is an unhappy subject. :)

Click the thumbnails to pop.

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Day at the Getty

Some friends and I went to the Getty museum yesterday as part of an assignment. Unfortunately, the gallery we were supposed to look at was closed, so that was a bust. But the Getty is beautiful, and it was fun to walk around and shoot. Of the samples below, the second to last picture was taken by my friend Sonja, with retouching by me afterwards. Click all to make bigger.

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