Category Archives: Trip

Calm Ocean at Dana Point

Calm Ocean

Small fishing and sport boats can be seen on the ocean just off Dana Point, California. We were there in January on an especially warm weekend. I almost feel bad showing this while thinking of the folks dealing with blizzards in most parts of the country this week. I love California!
The sea was so calm and flat that day – rather unusual, even for California.


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SoFoBoMo 2010


Shadows and escalator at Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville

It’s that time of year again… for SoFoBoMo, which stands for “Solo Photo Book in a Month.” The idea behind it is for photographers (of all abilities and interests) to commit to creating a photo book within the space of just one month. Anyone can participate and you can learn more here.


Stair lit by the setting sun at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville

Last year I made a pdf book of pictures of my dancers (cloggers). You can see the pdf of the book here or view it on Issuu, which is a cool way to see it. It was a lot of fun and I loved the result. This year it was harder for me to decide what to do for my project. However, I finally did make a decision after I realized I’d already been shooting pictures for it.

This post includes a few of the photos I’ll use in the project. They all have to do with lines or patterns. I know what the subject is, but I haven’t figured out a good title, yet. I’m open to suggestions!

At the end of June we were at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville for the National Square Dance Convention. The exposition center offered many opportunities for interesting shots. I collected photos that fit my theme even before I’d decided on it. This last picture shows one of the many dance halls at the convention. The pattern of the lights is what I like about this shot.

hall lights

One of many halls at the National Square Dance Convention in Louisville, Kentucky

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Filed under Photography, SoFoBoMo, Square Dancing, Trip

Bored in the Airport

A little over a month ago my husband and I spent a few hours in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in the evening. Being bored I did some exploring with my camera. Although I was a little uneasy about shooting pictures in an airport, nobody gave me any trouble about it. Here are a few of the things I found while exploring.

1. Reflections – can be interesting, like a double exposure.

2. The ceiling of the terminal – cool lines and shadows!

3. Light show in the tunnel connecting terminals. The lights on the ceiling were alive. I first noticed their reflection on the shiny floor as I started down the stairs. Very cool and fun to watch.

4. Light panels in the same tunnel/hallway. Of course I had to go for the classic “silhouetted traveler” picture!

5. This was an almost empty hallway. I sat on a bench and propped my camera on it to take a long exposure (and to lower the ISO). A couple of people came through the photo but you can’t tell because of the long exposure. The only thing that shows up is a darkened diagonal line near the center of the picture. It’s crooked because of the way I propped the camera. I have a version that I cropped and straightened, but then I decided I liked this one better.

6. Random window art illuminated by the outside lights.

7. You can get a decent photo in low light even if you don’t have a tripod. For this shot I just held the camera against the window glass to keep it still during the 2-1/2 second exposure. There are a couple of workers in the shot that are blurred because they were moving.

8. This was a first! A public toilet with an automatic toilet seat cover. What a kick! I confess that by the time I’d gotten my pictures, I forgot to try it out!

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Wet Plants

wet plants

After the rain

Things around here have been wet, lately, thanks to the rain. We need it, of course. Every year there’s the concern about not getting enough rain and having another drought. I guess we’re not out of the woods for this year, yet, but things have sure been looking wet. So, anyway, I thought I’d share some pictures of wet plants that I took last September in Oregon.


Wet Dahlia

petals on leaves

Petals on leaves after the rain

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Ancient and Modern Typecasting

Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible at the Huntington Library, Pasadena, California.

The Sunday after Christmas we were in Pasadena visiting our son and his fiance. They took us to the Huntington Library and Gardens, a place that requires multiple visits to enjoy it all. One of the buildings held a vellum Gutenberg Bible, among other ancient texts. Being in the printing business for many years, seeing this was especially interesting to me. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, of course, and although the Bible wasn’t his first project, it was his most important. You can read more about it here.

Typecasting Woodcut

Woodcut from "Panopleia" depicting typecasting, 1568

In the same room were some reproductions of woodcuts depicting the craftsmanship of book and manuscript production in the 1500s, a century after printing with movable type was invented. These images first appeared in Panopleia, by Hartmann Schopper in 1568, Germany. I was drawn to these for one in particular seemed familiar. It’s the one reproduced here. (Sorry it’s not very sharp. The room was very dim and I had to shoot this handheld.)

Within minutes of returning home from the 6-1/2 hour drive, I took a closer look at a drawing made by my great-grandfather in 1879, which hangs in our living room. He was a typecaster in the Boston Type Foundry and an artist. My dad had this hanging on the wall in his den for as long as I could remember and my brother owns a painting of just the bottom image. It depicts typecasting in ancient and “modern” times, the modern being 1879. He obviously copied the image for 1564 from this same woodcut. You can play a game of “what’s different in these two pictures?” They’re very close, but not exactly the same.


Ancient & Modern Typecasting by William A. Robinson, Sr., Boston, 1879

This drawing is also a self-portrait. My great-grandfather, William A. Robinson, Sr., is depicted as the man on the right of the large image. Notice the city of Boston outside the windows. Although he never had formal artistic training, he left behind a few paintings and drawings that demonstrate his talent and understanding of techniques. This drawing is one of my treasures and it was exciting to me to discover this little connection.


Filed under Family History, Miscellany, Trip

Continuing to Oregon

Redwood Trees

Redwood Trees

More on our short trip over Labor Day Weekend…

Part of the reason for driving up 101 was to spend a little time in the redwoods, my favorite trees. There is something extraordinary about the coastal redwoods. They are the tallest trees (but not the biggest), and they’re my favorite. Perhaps it goes back to our days as kids visiting grandparents in Boulder Creek and playing amongst the redwood trees. Perhaps it’s just because they seem so majestic to me. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always awed by them.

Along highway 101 in Northern California there are numerous redwood parks and groves that can be explored. I’ve only been to a very few, so we picked one new to us, Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. It’s just off the freeway, has a visitor center, and an easy-to-walk trail as well as longer trails. It’s perfect for a quick break from traveling. We used the restrooms, stopped in the visitor center briefly, and walked the trail. Bob rested on the many benches along the way while I spent time trying to photograph the giants. Because very little light filters down through the trees, it’s really difficult to get good photographs without a wide-angle lens and a tripod. I had the wide-angle but no tripod with me. I compensated by opening the aperture up wide (gives a shallower focus depth) and using a higher ISO, which adds (ugly) noise to the photo. Some of the pictures are OK at the size they are on this blog, but they aren’t good enough for enlargements. Still, they’re a reminder of a beautiful place we visited.

Elk at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park

Elk at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park

At the same location, there’s a large field where elk are often found and as we were about to leave we noticed a few of them, including this large buck. He was making his presence known to all. They were stopping traffic.

Lagoon south of Crescent City, CA

Lagoon south of Crescent City, CA

Just south of Crescent City, California is a roadside stop with a picturesque lagoon. I’ve stopped here before and have a few favorite photos of it. The fog was playing with the treetops and the place felt very serene.

Coast Sunset

Coast Sunset

Further up the road, probably in Oregon, we made one more stop so I could take a few quick shots of the setting sun. The sunset wasn’t much but the rocky coast is always interesting. Thanks to my camera time, we got to Bandon about an hour after we’d planned. Luckily, our “motel” was still open and ready for us!  🙂

Oregon Coast at Sunset

Oregon Coast at Sunset

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Coastal drive to Oregon

Beach at Trinidad, California

Beach at Trinidad, California

Bob and I visited family in Oregon over the Labor Day holiday weekend. I took 1 day off work so we could drive up on Friday, visit on Saturday and Sunday, and drive home Monday. I like to get up there at least once a year. I’m gradually working on my photos from the trip and here are some from the first leg.

Pampass Grass

Pampas Grass

We took 101 on the way up so we could make a couple of stops along the way. Highway 5 is faster but less interesting. Other than gas and restroom stops, our first stop was at the small town of Trinidad, which is on the coast just north of Eureka. It’s often fog-shrouded and this day was no different. The thing about fog, though, is that it is always moving so the scene is always changing. These pampas grasses were on the bluff over the beach.

Fishing boats in the fog at Trinidad, California

Fishing boats in the fog at Trinidad, California

While Bob spent some time working (laptop in the car) I explored the beach a little and took lots of photos of the fog, rocks, sand, and fishing boats in the cove. There were quite a few fishing boats out, often obscured by the fog, but now and then a spotlight would shine from a boat. It was a little eerie.

I found a steep set of steps that ended up on the beach. It was an odd feeling, going down those steps with no idea of how far down it was to the beach. I couldn’t see where I was headed because of the fog and brush around the steps. It wasn’t a long hike, though, and I came out onto the beach before very long. There were a few others exploring the beach, including a photographer. The many rocks, birds, and even seals made the place quite interesting.

Crab shell

Crab shell



Many crab shells littered the beach and the water and sand made interesting patterns. I could have spent another hour or two exploring here, but knew that we needed to get on the way. We stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a few things and use the restroom. I got one gala apple there and later wished I’d bought several. It was the best, sweetest, juiciest apple I can remember having. Then onward to the north.

To be continued…

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