Saturday, February 22, 2014

Round Robin Challenge: In The Dark

"Life isn't just about darkness or light, rather it's about finding light within the darkness."

~Landon Parham, First Night Of Summer

RRC: In The Dark

Karen came up with a really challenging challenge this week... In The Dark. I love a good challenge. If it isn't challenging, then it isn't a challenge... right? LOL. But while I love a good challenge, this time it proved to be more of a challenge, then other challenges have! LOL. And that is a good thing! What I came up with is darkness at varying stages, for comparison. In most cases I tried to take the photos at the very last moment of available light, but in some photos you will see plenty of light on the horizon, but very little light where I am standing. Does that make sense? Anyway, here is my gallery for this challenge, hope you enjoy my take on it!

In The Dark...

"The Dot." San Mateo Bridge. I just love that little dot. I don't know why there is just one dot lit, but it is there constantly. When I have the chance to cross that bridge, from the San Francisco Peninsula to the East Bay, that little dot is always there to greet me. It's kinda like a friend of sorts. It's something that I count on seeing, and it makes me smile.

"Stormy Trees." About a week ago, a gully washer of a storm came through the Bay Area, and in the 24 hours leading up to it, there were some amazing clouds in the sky, that, at times, made everything dark. It was pretty and quite unique! I waited until very late in the day, grabbed my camera, and photographed this tree against the waxing and waning light in the sky. I thought it came out pretty nice. You can see the fine lines on the tree, but you can also tell that the light in the sky wouldn't last much longer. It was pretty much what I was going for.

"The End Of The Day." The title pretty much says it all. I actually took this photo back in January, well before this challenge was announced, because I was interested in working with low light situations. It seems I have an easier time when I create the environment, such as with candles, but I have a much more difficult time with low light in nature. So, practice makes perfect... right? I wasn't completely happy with this shot, but when I reviewed it for the challenge, I learned a little about angles I hadn't noticed before. It's good that I can take that from the experience.

"The Dark Sunset." I love taking sunset shots in winter, because the sun sets so early, I don't have to worry about being out so late. I took this shot from here in the Berkeley hills, on Grizzly Peak Boulevard. From this vantage point you can see all around the bay. Directly across is San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Marin Headlands, Mount Tamalpais, Angel Island, Alcatraz and Treasure Island. Also visible is Oakland and the long San Francisco Peninsula. The sunsets from up here are stunning, and this one was no exception. Again, I waited until the last possible moment, at least as far as my camera's capabilities, leaving just enough light to make the point of the coming darkness.

"Conservatory Of Flowers At Night." Okay, this one is from the archives. I took this photo several years ago, after attending a nighttime safari at the conservatory, in search of night moths. Among them was the gorgeous Luna Moth, which is a stunning green glow at night. It was so beautiful! When I got outside, and looked back at the gorgeous building, with all the colored glass lit up, I couldn't help but think of the beautiful butterflies and moths inside. Snap. :)

"Buckeye Butterfly By Flashlight And Uncooperative Luna Moth." Here is one of those butterflies that I photographed using only a flashlight, and beside it is the Luna Moth. The Luna Moth decided it didn't want to hide in the dark, as most moths don't, and so it insisted on sitting on a window sill, directly under a small light. I can't show you how it glows, but you get the idea. LOL.

Okay, that's my take on the subject of "In The Dark." Now, go see what the other Robin's have posted for the challenge! Simply click the link at the top of this post, to be redirected to the official Round Robin blog, where you will find the list of participants and all the information you need to play along!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Colors Of Golden Gate Park

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

~Alice Walker, The Color Purple

California Poppy

Isn't that color amazing? I found the pretty little purple flowers growing at the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, in Golden Gate Park. I am not sure what they are, pansies I think, but I can't be certain. Anyway, they were so lovely I couldn't pass up the chance to capture their image when I was there the other day. Beautiful.

Spring is beginning to blossom all over the park. I could see that among the gorgeous California poppies, there were tulips here and there. In a month or so, the place will be all tulips! That's why spring is my favorite time in this park, everything is so alive with color! It always lifts my mood and makes me smile. 

There is a lot of beautiful color to come... stay tuned!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Camera Obscura

"To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."

~Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography And Photographers

Camera Obscura is one of those places in San Francisco, like seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, that I always recommend to out of town visitors. It sits on a small cliff, just below the Cliff House restaurant, and gives the visitor to the attraction a 360 degree view of the entire Seal Rock area. It's an awesome, and unique part of San Francisco both for the camera itself, and because of the history of the general area where it sits. The view of Ocean Beach from the street above is breathtaking, as is the view of the old Sutro Bath ruins just below the cliff. I plan on doing a lot more photography in this area as the weather warms up. It is a wonderful part of San Francisco to get lost in one's thoughts.


There is more to come! Stay Tuned!

Mood: Relaxed/Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Art About Town: Berkeley... "Rondo"

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."

~Edgar Degas

This is the newest piece of public art in Berkeley. The title of the piece is, Rondo, by artist, Bruce Beasley. Rondo is actually series of sculptures that are sprinkled here and there around the campus. I will have to go back at some point and photograph all of them. The series will only be on display through August of this year, so I have a feeling that this might be a great way to spend a warm sunny day in June, perhaps sometime around my birthday! The Cal Berkeley campus is beautiful, and has many different pieces of art that I will be able to add to my collection of public art photos. It makes me smile just thinking about it!

To learn more about the artist and his art see the following article...

Bruce Beasley: International Known Lord Of The Rings
(The Daily Californian) 

"Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art."

~Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Brothers

"Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it is the sickening grammar that they use."

~Mark Twain


"... the thing with brothers is, you're supposed to take turns being the keeper. Sometimes you get to sit down and be the brother who is kept."

 ~Orson Scott Car, Ender's Shadow

The brothers are coming along fine, in fact better than I ever thought they would! Joey and Hendrix became playmates almost immediately, which took a lot of pressure off of Dylan, who isn't the most social cat I have ever known. In fact, Dylan prefers to do a lot of sleeping or cuddling, but rough, rowdy play wrestling or boxing simply isn't his style. But I must say, since Joey's arrival, he is participating in group playing more often. Dylan likes chasing the laser mousie, and he will fetch the balls with the bells, which is called DillyBall in our house! LOL. Joey has brought out the play in Dylan, and that makes me very happy. And Hendrix, who is the alpha male, he has a new little person to watch over, and he is very happy to do so. 

Ours is a happy house!

"When everything goes to hell, the people who standby by you without flinching... they are your family."

~Jim Butcher

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another February Sunset...

"Sunset is the opening music of the night."

~Mehmet Murat ildan

I took this photo on the evening of February 11th. I was out doing errands, and just had to pull over and take a photo! I hate to miss any sunset, but this one seemed especially beautiful. Truth is, I never saw a sunset that didn't make me feel warm and happy inside. But there is something about the sunsets in winter that seem more beautiful than any time of year. I know the drought situation in California is devastating, but the sunsets at the end of those unusually warm winter days have been nothing short of glorious!

Mood: Mixed Feelings

~Me :)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Face In The Crowd: Berkeley... Mr. Meter Cover

"For a moment, be the smile on someone else's face."

~ Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches The Sun

I was beginning to wonder if I was going to spot a "face in the crowd" in 2014! We are already 7 weeks in, and I haven't seen any... well... until last Wednesday! I was walking along Addison street, here in Berkeley, photographing the poetry panels, and other assorted works of art along the street, when I suddenly noticed this meter cover. I think it's an underground water meter, but I am not sure. It's a meter lid of some sort. In any case, it made me smile. Not all of the faces I have found have done that, some make me curious, some made me sad, but this one seemed pleasantly content.

What do you think? 

Is Mr. Meter Cover happy?

Mood: Curious

~Me :)