Monday, October 10, 2016

A morning with...

...the Gibbons

Groupon has become my new favorite app.
I find the best deals and it's where I discovered the Gibbon Conservation Center. The Mr. and I made the drive out there this morning not sure what to expect. I'm not particularly fond of patronizing places where animals are held in captivity. The enclosures are too small, dirty and impersonal. I do however like to support local groups that make an honest effort to conserve, repopulate and reintroduce an animal back into their native environment. 
I was pleasantly surprised at the GCC and what's going on there.

As you walk through the gates you are asked to dip the bottom of your shoes in a large pan filled with what I can only assume is an antibacterial/water mixture. Thats so you clean off and leave behind anything harmful to the Gibbons from the outside. 
We roamed around for about 30 minutes before the guided tour. The guide was very knowledgeable, engaging and funny. Gibbons are apes not I learned something new. 

The guide was telling us amazing stories about gibbons in general and of the families housed at the GCC. They behave in many ways like humans. She went on to talk about the gibbons very distinct songs. Once one starts they'll all start and the tour would pretty much be over because she wouldn't be able to talk above the callings and we'd never hear another word she'd say. But none of us were prepared for what came next. Pretty much on cue, there was a low sort of hooting noise. Then another...and another and literally within seconds there were 42 gibbons "singing" in tones and sounds that were nothing short of breathtaking. To say it was deafening would be an understatement. Combine thunderous, booming, roaring and powerful...then that might come close to what we experienced. We also learned that their songs can be heard 2 miles away! 

Gibbons can travel up to 35 mph and leap 50 ft at a time. 

I would have loved nothing more than getting a little closer to the enclosures to fade out the chain links but Gibbons' arms are 1 1/2 times longer than their legs so being any closer wouldn't be safe for either of us. So I tried my best to adapt and capture these amazing creatures that were beyond my lens' reach. 

What a thrill and an honor to experience a few hours in a day of a life of gibbons.

Do you use Group-on? What deals have you found? I'd love to hear.

Happy (find your group-on) snapping.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Good, Random...


Anytime you find yourself at a museum, especially a modern art museum in downtown LA, it's good, random fun everywhere you look. I continue my day-cations when I can as the school year is well under way, but The Mr. surprised me with a new lens that was on my short list...and what better place to play with a wide angle lens then a museum with lights!

It was high time to visit LACMA and these gorgeous restored Urban Lights. 
I left plenty early and was well rewarded! 

What are the odds, to be that one person in a city of millions that gets to play at such an iconic place all by yourself?

Oh and the lens did not disappoint!

I heard children playing here call it spaghetti but it's really  Jesús Rafael Soto's "Penetrable." It is described as kinetic and op art and is nothing more than 1000's of yellow tubes hanging from metal bars. It's really popular with the kids especially when most art is "hand off" and this is totally interactive.

The La Brea Tar Pits with its bubbly pitch are right next door to LACMA.  Fossils are still being excavated from Pit 91. 
You can walk around the park and watch methane gas escape and make its own "art!" 

I draw the line when "art" becomes...well...a 340 ton boulder that took 11 days for the 105 mile journey to it's final resting place...but does all this make it art? 
Michael Heizer and his "Levitated Mass" thought otherwise and it is a permanent piece for sure. 

I will say it is peculiar standing under something so behemoth knowing full well it's weight and size. 
I had another thought as I happily snapped away. Personally, I love being someplace historic and talking photos where there are as few people as possible~even though people can give the pulse and vibe to a setting. People distract me, from the view. Maybe it's a control thing. I know there are way more times than not when people and their energy are an absolute must in a shot. It's something I think I'll work on and get more creative in shooting.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about people vs. no people in a shot.

Happy Snapping!

I'm sharing over at Tamar's today

And Lisa's

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Little Things...



Hello September!

There's a burst of joy, like confetti, that happens inside my brain and trickles down to the tips of my toes when I see September roll around. I know that cooler weather will eventually reveal itself with crisp mornings. There will be warm days but by dusk, the doors and windows will burst open and the evening's fresh air will be allowed to seep into every corner of the house.

Everyone has a favorite season or two...and if we had milder summers, well, she would win hands down. But for me, I adore everything autumn has to offer. It truly energizes my soul with her colors, aromas and flavors that I've waited all year to savor. I know the time to slow down and embrace the inevitable shorter days are soon to follow. This is a time of renewal for me.
And let's not forget that extra hour of sleep is on the horizon! 

I plucked the first two pomegranates off our tree this morning. We haven't had much luck with other fruit trees over the years. We've seen our lemon, peach and plum trees just wither to barren, unproductive woody plants that really hold no other purpose than root support for the tiered  landscape. But our Pom tree is another story. She thrives in the oppressive heat and bears the most delicious, buxom fruit. The jeweled seeds are perfectly tart and juicy~and right now all over my counter and walls as I split them open for todays photos!

Comfort foods like stews and chilis replace salads and Bar-B-Q's. Spices and baked goods will waft through the air. The transition from sandals and shorts to scarves and boots are much anticipated. 
It really is the little things.
How do you welcome the cooler weather?  I hope you'll share.

Happy (almost fall) snapping!

Sharing over at

Monday, August 15, 2016

The final slice...

...of summer

I wanted to post this earlier, like yesterday earlier...really I did. However, it was my last day of summer vacation and with that, my feelings were all over the place. Instead of blogging, I kinda did everything else I could think of to reflect avoid facing what was going on inside my head. I know me and I wouldn't have been able to articulate or make sense out of the jumbled mess in my head.
Today was a pupil free day and it was so wonderful seeing everyone again and
being back at our home school after the relocation.
I had such an enjoyable summer. It was the perfect amount of travel and relaxation. I finished up with a quick trip up to Monterey to visit my aunt, Ms. M.  
San Francisco is as far north as I've ever been and
what a little slice of heaven the Central Coast is.

California has been in a drought for many years now-I lost count how many times my mouth fell open and uttered how amazing this place was. We sat and had a mini breakfast at 
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn. Every cabin is built with milled redwood and named to match its unique personality. The ambiance hasn't changed much in the 70 years the inn has been opened. 
The Library

It's no wonder artists and writers come to Big Sur for inspiration.

Wednesday morning, the Mr and I took a short drive out to the coast to visit the Getty Villa.
The villa is home to some 44,000 antiquities that belong to the J.Paul GettyMuseum.
It was a beautiful day spent with my honey.
I just love this little peek-a-boo shot of the ocean.

I didn't get to check everything off my summer list-but I'm ok with that. I'm ready for another school year and plan on ticking off some of those day-cations through out the year.

What's your favorite part of summer? I'd love to know.

Happy (summer) snapping!

Linking up with Lisa today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Little Things...


I have a mental prop list for my still life photography.
  I've turned to Etsy a few times only because we just don't have a lot of antique stores in our area for what's on that list...and lets face it, half all the fun is in the hunt.  
Because I never settle, I eventually find my prize.

As was the case this past weekend.
The 4th Sunday of every month, 50-100 venders gather at a local college parking lot to sell their wares at the Topanga Vintage Faire. I go about every other month hoping to check a few things of my list. This past Sunday I decided to go but I needed to get out there when they opened as it was going to be in the triple digits & that happens REALLY quick.
Getting there early paid off and I got to scratch antique coffee grinder from my list!

It's German made from about 1940. I always ask the dealer if they know the story behind the item they sell. This one didn't come with a story but that's ok because it's kinda fun creating one. Judging from the condition, it was well used. 

It's nice having a barista son that can bring home fresh espresso beans.
I love the dovetail joints.

Do you have a mental prop list and/or collect anything? 
Please share, I'd love to hear about it.

Happy (collection) snapping!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Good, Random...


The Good

I've slowly been sifting, deleting, reminiscing and reflecting as I thumb through my USB drives before transferring the photos to an external hard drive. 

There are times I sure miss rearing these beautiful creatures.

The Random

Funny thing about composting...

...seeds will grow... now we shall have red and yellow peppers sometime before summer is over!
I don't really know when, as I've never composted before or  have grown peppers it'll be a surprise.

The Fun

Last week, the museum I wanted to visit was closed the day I chose to go. I wanted to do something- so out of the blue I decided to go to The Getty, but not to shoot what's inside...
...but the architecture of The Getty itself. What do I know about architecture? Absolutely nothing! I went with no pre-conceived ideas except that I wanted to give it a go.

Ohhhh did I ever figure out fast why I loved it.

I had hard start in photography. Being a bit of a perfectionist and all those photography rules I just couldn't relax to shoot the story I wanted to tell. Well, practice, practice, practice till I found my style and then this boom....
All those beautiful straight lines!!!

I spent 3 hours wandering around and I noticed that perception and perspective changed with every foot step. Not to mention that shooting in full sun has always intimidated me but I was killing two birds with one stone that day. I have to say I love when I shoot purposefully and not everything is a "happy accident."

Of all the 1000's of art pieces at The Getty,
 this is my favorite.

Have you been practicing anything that you find challenging?
I hope you'll share.

Happy (trying something new) snapping!

I'm playing over at