Sunday, March 9, 2014

Where is Kent?

Ok, ok, once again I have been remiss in writing.  Not that I have been eating bon bons and watching Oprah all day.  NOT.  I have just been busy with photo activities.  Whether shooting on locations or processing photos.  Or communicating with friends and family.  i could write 10 blog posts about all of this but am going to condense into one for now. Writing this blog post has taken all afternoon. Long post and click on the photos to see bigger ones.

We have spent many, many weeks this winter in Tucson.  Not totally, since we spent most of January in Phoenix area (see previous blog posts).  Late November through December then back late January through late March.  It's been unseasonably warm if you consider the 70's warm.  We couldn't hope for better weather which has it's downfalls too with draughts, etc.  Not the place on this blog to comment much on all this.  I am a member, in good standing, of the Camera Club of Tucson and wanted to participate in many of its regular activities over a period of time including field trips and Thursday night meetings.

Now it is early March.  Sraddha went to Oregon for 3 weeks and returns tomorrow.   What has he been doing?  Hmm. I like lists so let's look at list and I will fill in with photos.  Click on photos to expand.

One of my bike routes with details
Bike Rides - We rented a spot in an older "over 55" Mobile home park which allows a few RV's Located about 4 miles north of downtown Tucson it is also about 3 miles from Rillito Parkway bike trail which leads to more bike trails.  I have been out 3 times per week for 90-120 minute rides on road bike not mountain bike. I could go further but would need to take more fluids etc so this distance and time is about right.  doesn't take the whole day yet still gives plenty of exercise, and caloric burn so I can eat what I want. But my stomach as shrunk a little as it usually does when traveling so I don't eat as much anyway

Kent, Paul, Loren at Desert Museum
Photo shoot at Arizona Sonora Desert Museum - I love going out the the desert museum which is all about the Sonoran Desert.  I have talked here about it before and have posted many photos of birds wildlife and animals.   I went out with my friends, Loren and Paul to photograph the Raptors during free flight.  We then got a behind the scenes tour by Wally, the raptor trainer.   We couldn't photograph the birds and show you.  Sorry.  But I did get to pet the little Barn Owl.

Attended Wizard of Oz musical at U of A.  Some friends we met last November are musicians who have a a gig traveling with broadway musicals around the country.  They are also really good photographers of birds, bugs, airplanes, tanks etc.  They invited me to attend a showing of their current musical, Wizard of Oz when they returned in early March.  What a treat!  I must confess i cannot remember if I ever saw the original movie in its entirety but knew the story.  The musical was written and adapted for stage by Andrew Lloyd Weber, who added 4 songs yet kept the original theme, songs and script. Amazing musical and now I want to see the original movie.

Photographing Warbirds -  Friday,  after the Wizard musical, I joined my friends, Loren and Paul, to photograph vintage warbirds at the Davis Montham Airbase east of Tucson during an event called "Heritage Flight Training".  We were to meet a freind of theirs who knew the area.  We floundered around for a while watching the various planes take off and fly around but didn't get many photos.  We finally met up with their friend at a place just before lunch where I got a couple photos of the planes.  Shot 350 photos.  deleted 345.  Here is one photo of a P-51 coming in for landing.  I shot this with 200mm lens and heavily cropped to get close enough.  Should have used 200-400 lens.  But fun  Kinda like shooting the Sandhill Cranes.  I learned the settings needed to stop the propeller.

At Zabriskie Point
Photo shoot in Death Valley - I joined 4 other members of the Camera Club of Tucson for a little trip up to Death Valley, Las Vegas, and Valley of Fire.  We stayed 2 nights in Beatty, NV at Motel 6 because it was cheap.  I left the RV here in Tucson.  I had been there last November so knew the lay of the land. We photographed Zabriskie Point and Mesquite Dunes in morning and Badwater in the evening and Furnace Creek Borax works.  You can see my photos here.

Lake Cuomo at the Bellagio on the strip
Photo shoot in Las Vegas - We headed to Las Vegas for two nights.  Arriving late afternoon at a Rio Casino Hotel just west of "the Strip", checked in, rested a little while, then caught the shuttle over to the Strip.  My friend, Steve Dell, was our guide.  We took our cameras and photographed some interesting things.  Paris,  New York, Lake Cuomo in Italy. Chinese New Year.  We had a wonderful dinner at the Mesa Grill run by famous restauranteur, Bobby Flay.  My photos were not that great and my battery died just before dinner so I borrowed Steve's battery for a couple shots.

Pano of Horse in Bellagio Lobby.  Chiluly on ceiling
Me at Pinao Rock in Valley of Fire
Photo shoot in Valley of the Fire - The main reason for stopping at Las Vegas was not the strip. It was a state park east of Las Vegas out by Lake Mead called Valley of Fire, the oldest state park in Nevada. With pretroglyphs, and incredible red sandstone formations it is an amazing place.  I had received a PDF guide to photographing the area which told us some of the great locations.  We ended up spending the morning finding 3 different cool formations.  I am still processing these photos.  Here are a couple.

Bebe inside Windstone Arch
One of the most interesting formations was this one at Windstone Arch.  Literally had to crawl in on hands and knees.  I had knee pads I had purchased  at Home Depot.  Bebe had better ones.  Sraddha and I will return to this place as there is a really nice camping area.  I need to be there in the morning and evening.

Windstone Arch (B/W)
Bee on flower.  Macro Simplified
Photo shoot at Tohono Chul - One morning last week, I met my friends, Steve and Vicki for coffee at Starbucks then headed to Tohono Chul gardens to photograph.  Here is link to my album of photos of the plants, bugs, birds.  I shot some with Macro lens and others wit normal lens, then processed the photos both normally as I do in Lightroom, then put several of them through a filter called "Simplify" which renders them as paintings.  Real fun to see.  I have put up some additional photos on my photo site

Posing Camera for HDR shot
Photo shoot at St. Anthony's Monastery - I got to tag along with Steve and Peggy of the Camera Club of Tucson when they were reconnoitering a place to take the club members for a field trip.  St Anthony's Monastery lies in the middle of the desert about 50 miles north of Tucson, halfway to Phoenix but 10 miles east of the freeway. Literally right in the middle of the desert.  Founded only in 1995 by six monks from Athos Greece, this Greek Orthodox Monastery is home to 48 monks now and some of the most amazing architecture in recent times.  We walked around and shot a few locations looking for opportunities to bring the group back to teach HDR photography.  I am not sure I will be here then so asked to tag along.  Glad I did.  Haven't posted photos yet but got a few good ones.

Farmer's market shopping - no pix but good food.  We usually go to St Philip's Plaza Sunday mornings.  I bought some great purple asparagus,  tamales, grapefruit, eggs, escarole.  Coulda bought more but our fridge is pretty small.  We also to to Saturday market up by Catalina State Park.

Oh, yes, clean the RV prior to Sraddha return. Whew.  Is this enough?  Gotta get back to processing photos.

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