I spent much less time taking pictures during family vacation this year - trying to stay in the moment and all that. We started a new "sunset cruise" ritual every evening. It was a fabulous reward after spending long hot days in the hot sun and humidity. I loved taking photos at this time, especially of my adorable nieces and nephews
My mom and two younger brothers visited me in San Francisco last month. They don't usually get to see a lot of museums where they live so we came to the Legion of Honor in the Presidio in SF. The museum has great views of the Golden Gate bridge and is surrounded by Lands End hiking trails. We parked by the Sutro Baths and hiked a mile to and from the museum. It's fairly small so you can see everything within just an hour, and the cafe was a terrific treat at the end.
A few pieces I liked from our visit last weekend ///
Really just trying to use up the rest of my smoke bombs at this point. Ocean Beach in SF has a great big concrete levee covered in graffiti running all the way down the coast. In this case way it was more interesting of a back drop than the ocean itself.
Dug these up from the archives - they were shot back in March [before I owned a tripod OR understood the importance of a proper ISO setting] ... Imagine how nice they could have been with out all that noise!
A little low-light photography practice
Seven Magic Mountains
I bought my first TRUE wide angle lens specifically for this trip... I was invited to a bachelorette party in Vegas, and the party wasn't starting til Friday night, so I flew in early Friday morning, rented a car, and visited the Seven Magic Mountains. It is an art installation in the desert about 20 minutes outside Vegas. The stacked neon boulders against a barren desert background is nothing short of trippy. It's reminiscent of a mirage of cold, hard popsicles you want to just press your body against for relief from the 106 degree heat, that literally cooked my skin, which began bubbling immediately after getting out of my car.
The Hoover Dam
With a couple hours left before meeting the group, I decided to drive an hour east to see the Hoover Dam for the first time. It was cool to learn about how they built the dam with such little technology and man-power compared to today.
This picture was scary to take, hanging my camera over the look out point. The dam was one thing, but to me, the bridge across from it was even more intense. The thing is unimaginably high. Picture being on the very top of the vertical suspenders on the Golden Gate Bridge. Now picture you're 140 feet higher than that. That's how high you are when you're on this bridge. Stomach-churn-worthy for sure.
I went on a little photo rendezvous of the Marina - the pictures I thought turned out best happened to all be symmetrical
I watched a tutorial on learnsquared.com called Artistic Portrait Photography by Jingna Zhang over the summer. She teaches her methods of prepping, shooting, and post producing her photoshoots. It was truly an inspiring lesson and well worth the money if you're at all interested in photography. My family vacation was at a lake house in VA this year, so I decided to fill my suitcase with costumes, props, and camera equipment. I was really interested in trying my hand with colored smoke bombs (regardless of the fact it may be a dying visual trend.) I couldn't take them on the plane, so I had them shipped to the lake house, where they were waiting for me in the mailbox the morning I arrived. I have a huge family, so my production crew was set, with my sister & niece modeling, and my nieces & nephews as PA's.
A lesson I'm learning more & more in my career as a creative is just how many people it takes to make something great. I think most of my career I've had unrealistic expectations of how good I had to be on my own, without anyone else's help. I was, and sometimes still am, afraid that asking for help or being dependent shows weakness, and should be avoided at all cost. Contrarily, asking for help [if and when it's necessary] shows the strength of how much you care about the final product. I still pride my independence, in life and career, but there is a happy grey area between stubbornness and neediness I continue to strive for. This picture wouldn't have existed without my sister/niece, and it wouldn't have been nearly as good if I didn't have help from my nieces and nephews, who are all under the age of 13 and have no professional experience. But that didn't matter! Much like life, it often takes the helping hands and encouragement of others, to create something noteworthy.
Plus, it's more fun that way.
Chaos at the dock