July 26, 2010

Sunset/Moonrise at Mission Peak

So, what should one do on a nice warm Monday night? Drinking beer, watching sunset, taking a bath as a nice alternative. But, guess what Scott, one of my friends, encouraged us to do? Hike up to the Mission Peak and watch moon rise.

So, against my wish, I lugged my gigantic camera bag AND a tri-pod up to the top. A new rule of thumb - simply not to have a friend like Scott. Wait, I will take that back. Will keep him as long as he continues to supply his delicious baked goodies. :)

Had a nice time, and at least got one picture I like.

July 12, 2010

Hiking at Black Mountain

Going through the scorching mountain top and suffering through the steep climbs.

July 11, 2010

Point Cabrillo Light Station

It was an overcast morning at the coast, setting up the mood of leaving and wanting to come back some time in the future. Hopefully not too long.

Amusing to Visit My Own Stupid Mistake Sometimes

I found sometimes it's kind of amusing to visit one of my own stupid mistakes. Of course, the mistake cannot be so material, otherwise, it would be too painful and embarressing. :)

I went on this hike on Black Mountain today, which reminds me one of those unexpected long-run I had a while ago.

One of those days a year ago, I went out my usual weekend running at Rancho San Antonio. As usual, the coconuthead did not pay enough attention to the map. So 3 hours later, I found myself no where near Rancho SanAntonio.

Another one hr later, I was running along the Black Mountain Trail. Finally rescued by a family of 4. They gave me a ride from Mounte Bello to my car parked back at Rancho. What an advanture!

July 10, 2010

Out of the Touch of the World

Today is one of those days that I definitely feel I am out of the touch with the real deal. On my drive back from the running at Rancho San Antonio today, there is a discssion about "the cost and benefit analysis of cursing in the public" in NPR News. That did give me a scatch-on-the-head. :)

What this world has become to be?!

July 06, 2010

Flowers with Macro Lenses

It's easy to take a picture of a flower if it merely looks like so. The more interesting part is to capture the intricate design of a flower so it may look like a piece of sculpture, or some fascinating architecture...

The Macro lense gives me a new perspective to look at the delicate details of those beautiful flowers. Many details are often overlooked by a pair of untrained eyes.

For some subjects, like flowers, there aren't really much skill of composition needed. Keep shooting and keep discovering the wonder of a beautiful world.

July 05, 2010

Driving Across Alexander Valley

Monday morning, after another delicious breakfast at Glendaven Inn, I was on my way back home. The drive through Alexander Valley is rather enjoyable, sunny, breezy.

Learned some techniques about using f stops this morning. Guess this picture would show the focus and the depth of the field.

Stopped at Roederer Estate for the beautiful vineyard, the gorgeous view from the tasting room and the tasty bubbly.

Beautiful terrens.

Ranches at Alexander Valley

Driving through Alexander Valley and passing through numourous wineries.

July 04, 2010

The Architecture at Mendocino

Mendocino County was one of California's original 27 counties, created in 1850 by the State Legislature.

The Mendocino Presbyterian Church is one of the famous landmark in town.

The Masonic Hall is one of Mendocino's oldest buildings, and the sculpture atop it is one of the town's most recognizable landmarks. Below is a picture of the roof top. Not sure what the scuplture means. But, when I did not look at it closely enough, I thought the guy behind was beheading the woman!!!

Water towers like this one are a characteristic part of Mendocino, and you'll see them scattered all over town.

This last building is one of the many bed-and-breakfast in Mendocino.

This one seems to have some history too.

Not sure about this one either. But,at least it looks old and gives you the weight of history.

Mendocino Botanical Garden

Mendocino botanical garden is under-rated, I thought at the moment I walked into the gate.

Just like anyother botanical gardens that you may imagine, it's cute and lovely.

A perfect place for macro photo-shooting.

Knock your own socks off! Till you would not want to even touch a macro lense for a month. :)

Till you see that even a bug can look so beautiful. Then, you want to pick up the camera and keep shooting.

Mendocino Coast Line

I miss my dad. It has been a full year, since he left mom and me. While I believe he is happily in heaven doing his oil-paintings, I wish he were here with my on this trip to Mendocino.

Dad had always encouraged me to see the world in my own eyes. Probably that's why I don't mind taking on a road trip on my own, just like what I always did even in college.

I told mom over the phone that how much I appreciate dad's influence on my life. Immediately, mom gets jealous. "Hmm...you don't give me any credit?" Funny, I often do need to deal with parents that compete with each other for the credits of raising a daughter.

There are awekward moments though. Very rare, you may find a single woman travling in Mendocino. This seems to be a place for families, for couples,even for gay lovers, just not for a single woman. I wish I were a single guy who could travel to some random places, legitimately sitting in a pub, drinking beer and looking for sex. All those behaviors are more acceptable to a single guy. It's not that I want to be as irrespoinsible as those single guys. I don't. I don't have that desire at all. However, sometimes, it's a bit awkward when some old fat married woman would look at me with a sense of pitiness, and her eyes would say, "Oh, so sorry that you are alone....".

Oh, well, this is not a perfect world that's completely designed and intented by God.

Be a Real Photographer?

At the casual wine gathering with the inn keepers, I was asked whether I am doing photographing for my living. Not to be too carried away by my own big coconut head, I am aware that the only possible reason I would be remotely considered as a photographer is my look equiped with a huge camara and a sleek carbon-fiber tri-pod. Not because of my picitures. Not even slightly.

The answer is "I am afraid not." It's not that I could not get better at photographing. I know I can if enough money and efforts would be invested into this. But, the real issue is that I don't think I am tough enough to be a real trooper. This point has become more and more obvious to me during my trip to Mendocino. I complained (of course to God and myself) the whole way through.

Being a real photographer, one needs to suffer through many ordeals. Just imagine this. Getting up at some ungodly hours for a sun-rise? Waiting endlessly for the right lighting from a sunset? Feeling hungry and cold out at a bluff for that perfect view? Tirlessly setting up the camera and the tri-pod for hundreds of times? No,the answer is no, no, no....

Oh, BTW, the inn keepers at Glendevan Inn are the absolute local celebreties at Mendocino, of course, along with their 6 lovely Llamas. Llamas is the type of a strange animal with a look of sheep except bigger, camel's hair, goat's legs and rabit's heart and courage.

The Kelley House Museum at Mendocino

The Kelley House Museum is an historic house museum in the heart of Mendocino. The home was built in 1861 by William Kelly (sp), one of Mendocino’s founding fathers, and now contains 19th Century furniture.

The elegant door nob.

An old style timer used in the kitchen. The Kelley Old House still kepted everything orginal. So nothing in the house is powered by the electricity. I personally found the old-time kitchen toys facinating.

Guess this is how they baked cookies long time ago. In at 12, and out at 3.

Old style waffle maker.

Heavy-duty cast iron.

July 02, 2010

Flowers from Macro Lenses

A flower that can fly.

A flower that can dream.

A leave that can tango.

A flower that can smile.

A flower that can whisper in your ears.