Duffie The Wonder Dog

Duffie The Wonder Dog

I met Duffie – and his human, Jason, at Navy Beach along the south shore of Mono Lake. They had just finished kayaking and were packing up for their trip home to Bend, OR. Duffie brought me this ball – and then dared me to toss it away. I did. It came back, and back and back. Duffie is a great ballplayer.

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Merry Happy One And All

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These Things Run Rampant In Beverly Hills

This is how it came. Couldn’t see that it needed a single solitary edit

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Just A Cottage In The Hills

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ReBlogged-Kerstenbeck

I just love the work done by Kerstenbeck Photography and this is certainly no exception.

Kerstenbeck Photographic Art

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The essence of all being is Energy. Our physical and ethereal selves depend on the unrestricted flow of Life Energy that is the source of wholeness and wellness. Though the channels through which this energy flows are open systems and influenced by factors outside of our control, we ultimately choose what impact these will have in our lives. It is up to us to identify and clear blockages in the energy field to ensure that flow is maintained. A healthy, grounded individual absorbs some portion of the energy emitted by other people and the environment, but this does not interrupt the continuous stream of balanced energy sustaining them. The same individual copes constructively with stress and upset, and they are not subject to the stagnation that frequently goes hand in hand with negativity. When we keep the energy in and around our bodies flowing harmoniously, we are naturally healthy, vibrant…

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A Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood

Took the opportunity today to just go out and walk around the neighborhood a little to see what I might find. The highlight of the outing for me was watching a woman come out of a store and immediately go to war with the door of her Land Rover which apparently was not cooperating with her remote device. This went on for about 30 seconds or so. Then something caught her eye: the identical black Land Rover parked immediately behind the uncooperative one. The remote seemed to be ok with that one. Away she went.

l have to tell you that walking around this particular neighborhood can be a little intimidating. The most popular auto brand on the street is Mercedes. It’s also the low end brand, or at least vies with Lexus for the dubious distinction. Lamborghini’s and Maserati’s?  Sure. But you can also pick up a shiny new McClaren on this street.Image

In fact you’d probably be able to get one of those long before you’d find a cab ’round here. I saw three or four in the course of a two hour stroll. Fortunately we have Uber.

I did manage to get a few iPhone shots- which is what I had in mind, Today is 12-12-12 and I had signed up on Google+ to contribute a photograph to the event. Some six hundred others also signed up but I said I’d be there so…..

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We have lots of little alleyways along Robertson and a few along Rodeo and Canon. reminds me of Paris except that these pathways are not so extensive or grand. Here we have the entrance to the Beverly Players theater and then the rather long entrance to something called Super Vision. You need good eyes to see to the end.

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Christmas decorations are up around the Hills but we’re also into the fourth day of Chanukah and decorations honoring the holiday are visible in lots of the shops around the hood.

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Cars caught my eye today since there are lots of them and quite a few that you’d rarely see elsewhere. Take this Mercedes Formula Racer for instance – sponsored by an old friend of mine:Image

This is a DUI sitting stock still, no?

I also ran across a vintage favorite sitting on the backlot of an establishment called Auto Doctors. I guess it wasn’t feeling well.Image

Looks good though, don’t you think? 

Rodeo Drive is the better known street here but it’s paralleled by Canon Drive which is to food what Rodeo is to clothes. Even the Pizzeria has valet parking.  As I was walking up one side of Canon I noticed a photographer on the opposite side of the street taking pictures of some street sculpture and made a note to check it out on my way back. It turned out that the photog was also street sculpture. 

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I got in on the act.

A couple blocks further and I ran across a slightly different sort of sculpture adorning the entrance to a public parking lot – next to a Private Client Chase Bank. So, are these rocks coming or going? And what’s a Private Client Bank anyway?

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The best shots of the day were of the opposite sides of a fountain in the entrance courtyard to an office building I passed.

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This corner gift shop had one of the most attractive awnings I’ve run across here or anywhere.

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And although they don’t get a lot of publicity the residential parts of this area – the un-gated, Image

normals areas – are all but pastoral.

I walked past one building that I found particularly attractive in a art deco-ey way and spent some time after I returned home recasting it with some of the iPhone apps i’ve collected. Here’s the series.

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What follows is a combination of edits performed with Luminance, Mobile Monet, Color Blast, Paint FX, PhotoCopier, and 100 Cameras.

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This final version also incorporates an Instagram filter – Kelvin I think. Pretty cool huh?Image

For those of you who have been asking about the work done in Death Valley – be patient, we’re almost there. Will be up soon.

 

 
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Mono Lake South Tufa

Sunrise captures of the South Tufa Area of Mono Lake in Lee Vining, CA.

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Mobius Arch

I first heard of this Arch in the Alabama Hills from a photog I ran into at Zabriskie Point one morning. I’ve spent a couple of days scouting the location and tomorrow hope to get situated just before sunrise and see how well my planning works out. This afternoon just as the sun was setting over the edge of Eastern Sierra I snapped a few shots of the Arch and these ones in silhouette worked rather well. IMHO

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Whitney Portal

Whitney Portal

Sunset over Lone Pine, CA and Lake Owens as seen from the Whitney Portal

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Panamint Dust Up

Panamint Dust-up

Panamint Dust-up

I was crossing the Panamint on my way to Darwin Falls and ran right through this minor sand storm. Winds nearly ripped the door off my car on my first attempt to get out and set up to shoot. Turned out rather well though. The sand clouds in the background look innocent enough but take my word – they were more than mere dust devils. More like sand evils.

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Mono Lake

A number of people were thrown off when I told them a principal waypoint on this trip would be Mono Lake. For the most, easterners haven’t a clue what Mono Lake is. Aside from being a very large body of saline water, it sits in the middle of what once was the western portal of a project of the early 30’s that was designed (and run by) the LA County Water Department. LA County Water still plays a large role in the control of this area since it depends upon the basin to supply its jurisdiction with water. Turn off the spigot up here and people in Santa Monica will get mighty dry.

The reason I wanted to visit here once again – came last September with the Green Tortoise group – was to record the place to a degree that was impossible last fall. I needed to be here early morning and early evening to get the right lighting. I was also hoping for a little morning glow to capture the image you see here. Didn’t get the glow but its still a decent shot.

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At Lone Pine

At Lone Pine

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Mt Whitney

Taken from Lone Pine

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Dante’s View Redux

 

Dante’s View is about 6000 ft above the bottom of Death Valley’s lowest point – 287 ft below sea level. I am about 500 feet above the point. Much too high for me. But WTF. This caps off a long day trekking round the desert. Getting cold up here. Later

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Mt Hood

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When I arrived in Washington State I had in mind that I’d be able to capture some photos of Mt Rainier. I had done so on a crystal clear day a couple of years earlier and it never occurred to me that I had been subject to extreme good luck when I took it. I faced grim reality on this visit. The fact is Mountains in WA are rarely visible. Too much rain. Too many clouds. Aberrant, unpredictable weather patterns. You name it. When I brought this up to a WA native she simply said “What mountains?”; So, no Rainier, no Olympus, no Cascades, and no Mt St Helens. I had in mind to visit Hood River, OR when I headed south and by now was pretty sure there would also be no Mt Hood.

And for the time I was in Hood River that was the case. This was temporarily offset somewhat by the utterly striking surrounds provided by the Columbia River Gorge and places along the river like Multnomah Falls. But as I headed south again, this time on my way to Bend, I came round a curve and what you see here is what I saw. It just popped right up in front of me. I literally slammed on the brakes, hopped out camera in hand, and began shooting. I was taking no chances it too might disappear.

Not the greatest shot you’ll ever see of Mt Hood but a lot better than the ones I didn’t get in WA.

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Heritage Park – Olympia, WA

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Santa Monica, CA 2012

Thought I’d share a few shots form my roaming around Santa Monica Beach. Not your usual beach shots

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Multnomah Falls Lodge

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It was a dark and rainy evening along the Columbia River Gorge and so far I have not been able to revive my shots of the Falls themselves. Light emanating from the Lodge more or less saved this shot though.

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Beaufort National Cemetery

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Thank You For Your Service

Of course it goes well beyond this hallowed site. The human race has invested blood and treasure measured in the billions in an attempt to assure its security. In some cases – such as ours – freedom was the return on that effort. In others, an increased and increasing level of misery and despair.

Days of remembrance, such as this Veteran’s Day in the United States, are pasted all over the global calendar, setting aside an annual slice of time to recall and consider the sacrifices made so that we can recall and consider. In my immediate family those thoughts extend to my grandfather, my mother, my uncle, my son, and in all due modesty, me.  And in my extended family more people have served than I’ve ever come to know or know about. Most of us returned home with all out physical parts intact.  I can’t really speak for our other essential elements of our being – mind and spirit – but if my personal experiences are any measure the enemies we all battled  on the killing fields are vastly outnumbered by the demons we fought (and fight) that followed us home.

Wars never really end. It’s tragic so few leaders manage to grasp a working understanding of that simple fact. Some of ours have: Washington. Lincoln. Roosevelt. And most certainly Eisenhower and Kennedy. Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt escaped the immediate physical pain we have become so ready to inflict on the battlefield, but not the demons those fields release. Never.

And, lest we forget, as it’s written somewhere, those also serve who stand and wait. We don’t have days set aside to honor them. Our leaders occasionally give speeches to address, in passing, their courage and some of our policies recognize the part they played to support their warrior, but rarely is it mentioned that for every one of the stones that planted in our memorial cemeteries there are probably dozens of survivors who mourn the loss of the person lying below. And grief, like war, never really ends.

I captured the image depicted here some months past. In my travels I visit cemeteries all over the country. I read the inscriptions the families have etched on the face of the markers and sometimes marvel at the monuments that some of the residents or their associates have erected in their own memory. You don’t find those sorts of self-centered edifices in a military cemetery.  There are lots of very good reasons for that but one certainly is that most of these warriors never lived very long. Most of them were veritable children. Children that we  sacrificed for the greater good.  That’s about what I was feeling when I sat in this cemetery on the day I photographed it. I was grateful for the souls those stones represented. Not all of them died in combat – but they could have had the dice rolled maybe once more in their direction instead of toward the warrior standing next to them.  There are many ways to serve. And there are many ways to die.

I always think of my son on occasions like this. He is no longer in service. He made it through not one but two wars and found his way back into workaday society. He escaped the perils of battle when his commander-in-chief , who together with his principal advisors had never personally experienced the hell of war, sent him on these vainglorious missions. Humans forgive, but forgetting is another thing.

Remembering doesn’t seem to have had any effect on our affinity to engage in mortal combat as a solution to our presumed feelings of national insecurity. But at the very least it does seem to have resulted in our planting fewer of these stones (for our side anyway) than did our forebears. They engaged in conflicts that counted their service victims in the hundreds of thousands. The war I lent my hand to accounted for them in the tens of thousands. And my son’s? In the thousands. The question is, does this continuing decline in combat losses represent an increasing willingness to seek less bloodthirsty implements of negotiation for maintaining the peace, or is it simply a reflection of an increasing efficiency in deploying the tools of death? The cynic in me leans toward the latter as the answer but deep down in my psyche I’m really, really hoping it’s the former.

I’ll never run out of cemeteries to visit. As much as I despise the reason that many of the residents are victims of political chicanery of the vilest order (doesn’t sound as good as courageous warriors who gave their all in defense of your freedoms does it?) as long as I remember them and pay them homage they will not have died in vain. I owe them that much. We all do. We who also served.

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Rogue River Gorge

This shot of the Rogue River Gorge proper garnered quite a bit of attention on Google + but I don’t think it was shared elsewhere. This post should correct that.

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East LA

East LA

Time to get to work

Along The Rogue River Gorge

I am really enjoying the richness of color that is available from subjects that have been living in the wet and the damp for a while

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Crater Lake

Crater Lake

I raced to get there tonight to capture a few shots of a snow-covered Lake. I did. But this turned out to be my favorite