Technomania Circus Is Still A Circus

February 27, 2010 by ·  

Fire At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Technomania Circus Breathes Fire Over Barrio Logan

        Their next show is March 20th, 2010. It is the Fire & Blacklight Show and it is incredible to watch. To see photos from last year’s show, click here.

Technomania Circus Jugglers At The Mob Show

Jugglers Warm Up The Crowd

        Technomania Circus is fun to photograph cameras are welcome. For better pictures, don’t use your on camera flash. Instead, raise the ISO on your camera, have your aperture wide open (smallest f/#) and use shutter speeds between 1/30 & 1/100th of a second.

Strength & Balance At Technomania Circus

Dancing, Balance & Feats Of Strength

        This was shot at 3200 ISO with a Nikon D5000. I am really liking my new high ISO and what I can do with it. The dancing pair above are always fun to watch and are very friendly before, during & after the shows. HE, is also the fire breather from the first picture in this post.

Fire First Appears At The Mob Show - Technomania Circus

The Fire Appears

        200 ISO, 1/50th, and f/1.8 cracked out this shot of the fire as it was first brought onstage at Technomania Circus.

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Blackbird In The Rain

February 27, 2010 by ·  

Blackbird In The Rain

450mm, 1/1250th, f/5.6 200 ISO – In The Rain

        This black bird was sitting atop a street light in the rain. I like the detail of the perch and feathers, and the way the bird seems to be staring back at me. I don’t know if it’s a crow or a raven, so if anyone out there can tell the difference, let me know.

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San Diego Reader Story: We Don’t Want You Taking Pictures

February 25, 2010 by ·  

San Diego Trolley Guards

        San Diego Reader has just published a story that was started by my video, which can be viewed above. Please click this link to read the SD Reader story. The title of the story is, “We Don’t Want You Talking Pictures.” and it is written by Kathryn Snyder. It reports about my video and how the trolley guards tried to stop me from filming or taking pictures. The article goes on to say that the incident report for the evening is not available for one of two reasons: “…based on the California Public Records Act, which exempts documents from disclosure that are either: (1) records pertaining to current litigation to which the public agency is a party; or (2) records of complaints to, or investigations conducted by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, and any state, or local police agency.”

        These are links to posts and videos that lead up to the SD Reader story:

My original blog post can be read by clicking here.
Story featured on Carlos Miller’s “Photography Is Not A Crime” website can be read here.
The San Diego Reader Story can be read by clicking here or by clicking the photo below.
For the follow-up story on “Photography Is Not A Crime” website click here.
To visit the Illegal Photography page referenced in the San Diego Reader story, click the following link:

San Diego Reader Story: We Don't Want You Taking Pictures

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Technomania Circus’s Mob Show

February 22, 2010 by ·  

Shootout At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Mobsters Abound At Technomania Circus & The Mob Show

        “The Mob Show: Happiness Is A Warm Tommy Gun” was the full title for Technomania Circus’s latest production, and what funny, exciting and all around entertaining show it turned out to be. This was my fifth (I think) Technomania Circus show, and I have taken photos at every single show I’ve attended. I posted photos and wrote about my experiences at The Fire & Blacklight Show, The Wild Wild West Show, The Gypsy Music Show and The Parody Show. As a finicky photographer, I don’t just photograph what I see, I photograph what I like, and I really, REALLY like Technomania Circus. I emailed Dr. Techno, the leader/founder/spokesman with links to my posts and pics, and he always emailed me back to say thank you, and has even featured my photos on the Technomania Circus website. All the while, I never identified myself to the Technomaniacs.         I snapped my pics from the anonymity of the audience, and then left after the show, without saying what I had done, who I was, or what I intended to do. When I showed up for The Mob Show, a full half hour before the doors were scheduled to open, Dr. Techno himself was at the door, and I said, “Hi, I’m Rob, from The World Is Raw.” He knew immediately who I was and ushered me inside to meet the cast of Technomania Circus. The entire cast chatted with me, talked with me and showed me around, just because of what I had produced with my camera! They are such an amazingly friendly and talented group of people that I hardly felt worthy to be there, yet they allowed me to be there. So, Technomaniacs, thank you for showing me who you are BEFORE the show, and I now present to you what you are to all of us DURING your show.

Conspiracy At Technomania Circus's Mob Show


        The roaring 20’s may have roared a little less had Congress not ratified an amendment to the constitution that made alcohol illegal in the United States. This well thought out, brilliant idea essentially created organized crime in a country that was barely 150 years old, and that is where this story begins… If you know what I mean. The Thompson sub-machine gun, which we all know as the Tommy Gun, fires .45 caliber slugs at a rate of 600 rounds per second into any living or non-living thing that that stood in the way a the delivery, distribution or consumption of what today is the last legal drug… Alcohol. The story has a beginning, middle and end, so the puritans can’t complain. What happens when a group of mobsters hang out in a speak-easy that is has a mole, working for the FBI as a bartender? I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you!

Mob Olympics At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

The Mob Olympics

        As the show was getting ready to begin, this musician played song after song of Deadwood era music on his keyboard. He played with an effortless calm that helped to set a false tone for the performance that was about to begin. Even though I am not a prophet, I knew that if Technomania Circus was going to put on a show dealing with mobsters, gangsters, the Tommy gun and prohibition that it would not be a lecture or a learning experience. I knew it was going to be a riot of laughter, fun and drinking.
        This gifted piano player simply played and played with what appeared to be very little effort… Of course as the audience, we don’t see the years of practice, only temperate discipline that musicians somehow manage to summon.

Mobster's Girlfriends At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Mobster's Girlfriends

        One of the best things about Technomania Circus is how much fun the cast have performing. This was reaffirmed to me while I was backstage before this particular performance. These are not a group of elitist, snooty performers that prohibit photography and charge $80 per person like Cirque du Soleil. These are folks like you and I that hold down regular jobs while bringing joy, love and art to the world. For ten bucks you can walk on in, chat with the performers, laugh with your friends and walk away with a priceless memory that can only be formed in Barrio Logan, San Diego.

Tommy Gun At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Happiness Is A Warm Tommy Gun

Fire Piano At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Fire Piano At Technomania Circus

        Technomania Circus, for me, will always mean one certain thing, and that thing is fire. These guys are fearless, fireproof performers that will always deliver at least a fireball or two during each show. Did you know that a trombone and a piano can spit fire like a cowboy spits tobacco? Have you ever seen a man climb 30 feet into the air and shoot fireballs into Barrio Logan’s dark night sky? If you haven’t then you need to put Technomania Circus on you to do list right now. Do it RIGHT NOW! One of a kind art is produced by Technomania Circus at least once a month before your very eyes.

Blacklight Underwater At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Swimming With The Fishes

        Blacklight illusion is one of the trademarks of Technomania Circus, and they didn’t disappoint for this show. During the course of the show, the mobsters learned that the bartender in their favorite speakeasy was an undercover FBI agent, so they sent him to swim with the fishes. This agent of early American justice did not become fish food, he became and ultra-violet, bright fluorescent survivor that battled sharks, the sea and eventually the Mob.

        Blacklight theater was something I had never seen before I made the acquaintance of Technomania Circus. It is a real art form that has a wonderful, counter-intuitive quality about it. You can’t see the color black, while all the other colors beam at you like planets and galaxies under an extra-terrestrial sky. I forget exactly what was said, but the shark to the left spoke certain words of wisdom to our intrepid hero, that had just been sent to “sleep with the fishes.” These words gave him the hope, courage and desire to make it back to shore, and crush the vile scum that had cast him overboard in the first place. How often do you see a a UFO a boat, the ocean, a shark and a blacklight man in the same photo?

Fire Trombone At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Fire Trombone At Technomania Circus

        You just had to know that sooner or later, fire would make an appearance at this show. Of course, it would not just be a simple wood-burning fire, this was fire emanating from instruments, torches, pianos, a man’s mouth, sparklers and butane torches. These Technomaniacs stepped up to the plate for the audience, and they hit a fiery, propane fueled home run. San Diego weather, practically NEVER includes rain, but rain fell for about 3 of the last 5 minutes of the show. Not one member of the audience of cast minded, and by the time the 2 minutes rain-shower stopped, the cast had already killed themselves, and the audience.

Fire At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Fire At Technomania Circus

        Photographically speaking, fire is one Hell of Prima Donna bitch to capture correctly. The next show to be produced by Technomania Circus is The Fire & Blacklight Show, so with any luck at all, I will be able to hone my fire catching skills there. For The Mob Show, the fire portion came on very suddenly at the very end of the show, and of course it started to rain right at that very moment. As I tried to shield my Nikon D5000, focus, adjust my camera settings and look for some killer composition, the Technomaniacs ignited their flammable materials, and rocked the house with music, fire, dancing, gunshots and song. They sang a song, to the tune of “We Are The World” that swapped out lyrics to make it “We Are The Mob,” and it was hilarious. It ended with the entire cast in a Reservoir Dogs style Mexican standoff that resulted in the entire cast gunning each other down. After they were resurrected for the curtain call, they gunned down the audience, and we all died willingly, and with huge smiles on our faces.

        March 20th, 2010 is the date of their next show. It will be special for me because The Fire & Blacklight Show LAST year was what really turned me on to the Technomaniacs and what they do. Don’t miss it, or you will be sorry. You can bring your own snacks and the more you cheer, the better the show.

Mobsters At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

The Mob Show – Happiness Is A Warm Tommy Gun

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Don Francisco vs. Godiva Coffee

February 22, 2010 by ·  

Don Francisco vs. Godiva Coffee

A New Champion & A New Challenger

        Don Francisco’s Plantation House Blend was able to edge out 2 time workplace champion Dunkin Donuts Original Blend coffee last week in a battle that seemed to be neck-a-neck until down to the final cup. This week, Don Francisco will defend his title against Godiva Breakfast Blend coffee. I am very unsure about this particular match-up because the Godiva blend is bringing something a little different to the table, that no previous coffee competitor has brought: “Subtle chocolate flavor notes.” I can only hope that my coworkers will accept this flavor addition in good spirit, and not see it an unfair advantage or disadvantage. In my defense, I didn’t realize the Godiva blend had chocolate flavor in it until after I made the purchase. So… This might end up being a comparison of sailboats to bowling balls, but either way, there will be a contest and there will be a winner.

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San Diego Needs Me To Take More Pictures

February 17, 2010 by ·  

Construction In La Mesa, CA 2010

Chop Chop Dig Dig

        As you see at the lower right of the photo above, terra cotta pipe is being dug up for something a little more 21st century. This area of La Mesa, CA was constructed in the 1950’s, and is very hilly and densely populated.

Spraying For Nothing

Just A Random Group Of Men In The Desert North Of Tijuana

        I have no idea what these men, dressed in HAZMAT attire were doing out here. My companion at the time remarked that it was like a scene from the end of the movie “E.T.” We were just wandering around the desert when these guys showed up. What the hell are they doing?

Construction In La Mesa, CA 2010

Still Chopping Still Digging

        Out of a 24 hour day, 13 of those hours have me dealing with my job as a photographer. Incredibly enough, this timetable is hindering my personal photography. I am starting to realize that being paid to partake in photography for 9 hours per day is 9 hours LESS that I have for UNPAID, personal photography per day. Couple this statistic with an UPSTAIRS manager that knows nothing about what I do or the business that I’m in, and a DOWNSTAIRS manager that for some reason, despite being the REAL boss doesn’t do what is best, I am dying.

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SDMTS SANDAG Whatever San Diego Trolley Bus Started It

February 16, 2010 by ·  

Chatting on SDMTS Bus

You Are Preaching To A Reflection

        I’m not taking big enough risks when I break out my camera, so my photography is not risky at all, and I can’t explain why. I suspect that I am using my secretive and unseen method of photography as an excuse to not branch out and explore other areas of photography, but even that excuse, ultimately seems like an excuse as well. The man in the photo above was either trying to show the person seated behind him something to do with God, or something to lead her into his bedroom. I’m not sure which route she chose.

Passenger On San Diego Bus (SDMTS)

In Or Out Of Focus – San Diego Bus Rides Are Eclectic.

        I don’t know what “eclectic” means, and as I refuse to Google it right now, I’m going to define it as “weird”. If you pass through 12th & Imperial trolley station during the day, trolley guards will hassle you for not tapping your Compass Card for the umpteenth time during your commute. At night, degenerates will hassle you to buy pistols, drugs, bus/trolley passes, ipods, jewelry and cigarettes. Take your pick. For me, knowing I can score a any of those things on my way home from work at 12th & Imperial makes my daily commute a little easier. On the OTHER hand, knowing that Compass Cards are a retarded rouse for trolley security guards to line the pockets of San Diego’s politicians with MORE of my money AFTER I buy a monthly pass for $72 really grinds my gears. I didn’t get that line from Family Guy. I invented it right now.

Cat Drinking From The Faucet

Reduced To A Cat Drinking From The Faucet

        After my gutless crusades on the bus this night, I ended up watching fleas drown and an ordinary house-cat drinking from a faucet. By next weekend life will be good.

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Valentine’s 2010 On Coronado, CA

February 13, 2010 by ·  

Waves Off Coronado, San Diego, CA. February 13, 2010

Crashing Waves Off Coronado For Valentine’s 2010

        Valentine’s Day Weekend in San Diego, specifically off the West coast of Coronado saw set after set of 8 foot waves and at least one surfer rolled the dice with his skill on this windy day. It was very bright, my 300mm lens is unfamiliar to me and there was sand everywhere.

Seagulls Fighting For Food In Coronado. San Diego, CA.

Seagulls Fighting For Food

        The seagull on the right has a crab, so all the OTHER seagulls chased after him, trying to make him drop the crab. These birds are LOUD, and they ultimately did make the original crab owner drop it.

Valentines Day On Coronado, 2010

February 13th 2010 On Coronado

        People that live in San Diego have a weather advantage over most other places. It was beautiful today, and Apollo Ohno won the silver medal, so life is good.

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego CA.

Hotel Del Coronado, Valentine’s Day Weekend 2010

        As seen in “Some Like It Hot” even though they said it was in Florida, Hotel Del Coronado is one of the 1000 Places To See Before You Die” by Patricia Shultz. It is very picturesque and there was even a wedding photo shoot going on down by the shore.

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Raven Hits The Glass

February 12, 2010 by ·  

Raven Hits The Glass

The Raven The Glass & The Wardrobe

        A raven, trying in vain to enter a building with mirror-like windows was my entertainment at lunchtime today. This bird was banging the shit out of these windows, and my guess is that the stupid bird thought his reflection was an adversary that must be destroyed. This is a raven, not a crow, so all you EMO fans will have to go yet another day wondering why the world doesn’t understand you. Do you know how to tell the difference between a raven and a crow? I do. Crows pronounce the “C” in their voice when they call… Caw! Ravens have a deeper, raspier voice that sounds like, “Ahh” or “Rah.” This bird is a raven.

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Compass Cards Unloaded

February 11, 2010 by ·  

San Diego Trolley

Same Pictures – Same Story

        One of the self imposed “things” I have done since May 2009 on this blog has been to provide new, fresh photos for each post I write. This post is a clip show with photos I have already used because the subject matter is the same… San Diego and the new Compass Cards it has issued for trolley and bus passengers are a straight up scam to generate revenue for the city. Tonight, on my way home from work on the blue line trolley, I watched two trolley guards make a disabled person get off the trolley to issue him a citation. The reason? He did not have an ID that proved he was disabled, he only had a valid disabled rate Compass Card. Now, I’m not going to get into what physical/mental liabilities this man had, but anyone with eyes could see from a mile away that this guy was disabled. Anyone with ears could HEAR that he was disabled when he tried to explain to the trolley guards that he had purchased a monthly, disabled rate Compass Card. The trolley guards still wanted him to exit the trolley so they could issue him a citation, even though he said that the delay would make him late for dinner with his mother.

Compass Card Validator

This Trolley Guard Compass Card Validator Does Not Feel Emotion

        Before the trolley guards made this disabled man get off the train, the female guard, that seemed to be the senior of the two guards present told the disabled man that the citation would be “on hold” for three days. All the disabled man had to do was procure something that proved he was disabled, and the citation would be nullified. So, a disabled person that, due to his liabilities rides public transportation had to to take public transportation to where ever in the Hell disabled persons have to go to prove to SDMTS that they are indeed disabled withing 72 hours, or the citation would go into effect. Today is Thursday, February 11, 2010. That means that SDMTS trolley guards told a disabled person, right in front of me that he had Friday, Saturday and Sunday to acquire documents to prove his disability or he would have to pay the citation fine come Monday. A cripple now has to take the San Diego trolley, OVER THE WEEKEND, with a prepaid Compass Card to prove he is disabled.

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Night Photography In La Mesa With Nikon D5000

February 10, 2010 by ·  

San Diego Trolley At Night

Deboarding The San Diego Trolley At Night

La Mesa Public Library

La Mesa Public Library

Guess What This Is

Skater Countermeasures

La Mesa Trolley Fountain

The Fountain Adjacent To The La Mesa BLVD Trolley Station

Gypsy Treasure Costume Store In La Mesa

Gypsy Treasure Costume Store In La Mesa

        “Chasing It,” is a gambling term. Google it. I’m not going to explain it here. A few months back, some friends won the lottery in China. I didn’t buy a ticket, so I didn’t get to feel the joy that comes from winning the Celestial Lottery, only the humiliation of knowing I was wrong. Ever since then, I’ve been chasing it. I’ve been looking for my own Chinese Lottery and after all this time I’ve finally found it, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find it in two places. For me, that means I will be able to pull my brain back onto an even keel. I’m going to visit a cove in Japan, and a wasteland in Kentucky. I’m going to win the lottery in both locales.

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Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Don Francisco Coffee

February 9, 2010 by ·  

Dunkin' Donuts vs. Don Francisco Coffee

The First Title Defense Of Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee

        The first bout between two coffee heavyweights took place right here on this very blog, just about a week ago. The winner was Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend, mightily crushing Starbucks Morning Joe. I’m glad that Starbucks lost right away, and I placed Starbucks in the first round for that very reason, to watch them lose. I didn’t know they would lose, but I figured they would either lose immediately or steadily topple opponents like the stupid New York Yankees. Sometimes, you just have to roll the dice, and I’m glad I did this time.

        The new challenger is Don Francisco’s Plantation Morning Blend. If I was made to pick the better tasting coffee, based on the the photo above, I think Don Francisco has the edge. It looks to me like Dunkin’ is cowering in front of Don.

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Rain In San Diego

February 6, 2010 by ·  

Rain In San Diego, February 2010

San Diego’s Second Rainstorm in 2010

Rain In San Diego

Some Braved The Rain While I Sought Cover

Kitty Watching San Diego's Rain

Cats Don’t Like The Rain

        This cat was content to watch the rain from the cover of a porch. On a side note, I’d like to say that I really like my f/1.8 lens… The bokeh in particular. I’ve never had a lens this fast, and when it is attached to my Nikon D5000, it’s hard NOT to get great shots. That’s right, my shots are great!

Christ Lutheran Church, La Mesa, CA

Christ Lutheran Church – La Mesa, CA

        So, I had to choose between video capabilities on Canon cameras, or low noise at high ISO’s on Nikon cameras. I went with Nikon.

San Diego Street Lights During The Rain

Street Lights Reflected On The Wet Street

        My old camera is a Panasonic DMC-FZ28, and at ISO speeds above 100 the shots are just not usable, because of the noise. With this Nikon D5000 however, ANY speed up to 6400 can be used for display… At least on the web.

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Eventually He Pointed His Camera At The Sky

February 4, 2010 by ·  

The Moon On February 3, 2010

Try On 450mm For Size

        Even though I’m eventually going to spring for a 75X telescope lens, I have to pass the time in that interim somehow, so my 300mm (450mm equivalent with my Nikon DX D5000 camera) will have to do. I missed out on the Mars photo-op last week, but whatever the cosmos hold in store for the future will be captured by me, a telescope and my camera.

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La Mesa Is So Boring

February 3, 2010 by ·  

Manicure Neon

Neon Is Not Exactly Photo Friendly

        Back in the days of shooting with my Panasonic DMC-FZ28, night photography was easy. Simply put, any ISO above 100 was too noisy, so all my night stuff with the FZ28 was at 100 ISO with a long shutter speed. Now that I have a Nikon D5000, noise at high ISO is not an issue, other than I feel like I have a whole new chapter of nighttime photography to learn. Other than that, everything is great.

San Diego Culinary Chefs In Training

The Mirror Above The Head Chef Tells All

        The first picture in my last post is a shot a really like, and this opinion was echoed by a fellow photographer that looked at it. That was all the encouragement I needed, so I set about capturing lightning in a bottle once again, and I failed. The pic above was taken on the sly. No one knew I was there except for the bouncer at the bar next door.

Chinese Super Buffett

American People Being Served Chinese Food

        Yes, I admit that this shot is much less interesting than the shot I took from the outside of the San Diego Culinary Institute, but I was trying to capture lightning in a bottle, so I’d appreciate it if you’d ease up off my back about it.

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Nikon D5000 High ISO Photography

February 2, 2010 by ·  

San Diego Culinary Institute

San Diego Culinary Institute

        My Nikon D5000 has a boosted ISO of 6400, so that’s what I set out to test tonight. I wanted some real, after dark photos shot with ambient light while gunning the ISO throttle of my D5000 all the way to the max. The biggest lesson I learned tonight was that when you are out testing a specific “thing” on your DSLR, don’t forget that you don’t have to stick to the thing you are testing. In this case, I was out testing the 6400 ISO of my camera when I camera across the scene above. I had the presence of mind to switch the ISO to 200 before taking the shot. This resulted in the dark exterior of the building creating a frame around the soon to be chefs inside.

Compass Card Validator

Compass Card Validator

        The Compass Card validator to the left was shot at 6400 ISO, and is presented to you here WAY smaller than actual size because full size was pretty noisy. Anyway, I was out looking for any dark alley type place around my neighborhood so that I could give 6400 ISO a real stretch of the legs, and my general consensus is that 6400 can not be shown at 100%, even on the web. You can still get very low light shots that will blow your mind, especially if you are from the days of film, but for the sake of passing images on for posterity, I’m going to have to hold back on 6400. What I will do is work with 3200 ISO because it is WAY less noisy than 6400, and yet is still very light sensitive. I’m going to find the sweet spot for high ISO and my f/1.8 lens even if I have to stay up all night every night. SO, with that in mind, here is where I am with this post. That pic above is ISO 200, because I remembered to change it down from 6400. The pic to the left is 6400, as is the pic below. I am now wishing that I had remembered to dial the ISO down from 6400 for the pic below because I really would have liked the sad detail in the man’s face to show through.

High ISO tests

Unnecessary Use Of 6400 ISO

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