La Mesa, CA Sunset

August 29, 2010 by ·  

La Mesa Sunset

Sunset, As Seen From La Mesa, CA

        All three photos in this post were taken at the same time, in the same place. I was just walking around my neighborhood at sunset, and the photos in this post is what I came up with. La Mesa is 12 miles from the coast, but the scenery is right in front of you.

La Mesa Sunset

Silhouetted Flowers Against The Setting Sun

        There are an infinite number of ways to photograph a single event, including an ordinary sunset. Above we see a typical sunset silhouette with the foreground being a clutch of flowers. Nothing special, 1/1000th, f/5.6, ISO 200. The shot below is different, but the same.

La Mesa Sunset

Sunset With Foreground Lighting

        The shot above is the same as the middle photo above except that there is more light on the foreground. The difference between the two photos is massive, even though they were taken at the same place at the same time. Pressing the shutter release button is just the first step for creating a great photograph. Photoshop is your friend after the fact. Admit it.

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Pitching A Movie

August 29, 2010 by ·  

Making A Movie

Pitching A Movie

        There are some very big, inherent flaws in the movie making industry. Not needing talent in order to be successful is the biggest flaw. Paris Hilton, Keanu Reeves and anyone that has directed either of these “movie stars” in a motion picture know what I mean. Just like the ratio of rich people that serve prison time (*cough* OJ Simpson, Vince Neil) to poor/middle class people serving prison time, we can see that if you have money, power, influence, parents with money or are in a successful rock band you can do whatever you want including kill some one, even if you have no talent.
        The rest of you have to earn it. Those of us that ONLY have talent are the ones that have to do legwork, prove what we can do and do it for little or no pay. Or… Am I wrong? No, I’m not wrong because If I was then 75,000 people would be filling a stadium every week to watch cancer research, live on TV instead of watching a bunch bitchy millionaires doing a victory dance for catching a ball or watching silver screen “stars” protesting a war.

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1945 Helldiver SB2C-4 Plane Raised From Otay Reservior Lake

August 22, 2010 by ·  

Helldiver Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo by Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.

        This weekend, my parents were in San Diego and my dad was able to grab some photos of a local event I was not able to attend. The event was the raising of a plane that crashed into Otay Lake in 1945. The plane is Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver Dive Bomber.

Hellfire Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo by Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.

        On May 28, 1945, Navy pilot E.D. Frazar, and Army gunner, Joseph Metz were on a training mission in the air above Otay Reservoir in their Helldiver SB2C-4 when the engine cut out, as the Helldiver planes were prone to do, for reasons that have never been explained. Frazar, made the immediate decision to ditch the plane in Lower Otay Reservoir. Both Frazar and his completely-by-chance gunner, Metz had plenty of time to get out of the plane once it was in the lake. They swam to shore and hitchhiked back to their base. Ah, the 1940’s.

Helldiver Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo By Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.

Helldiver Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo By Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.

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La Mesa Police Station

August 19, 2010 by ·  

La Mesa Police Station

La Mesa Police Station

        There is one very weird thing about photography that is exactly the same as a pot of boiling water. A watched pot never boils. Have you ever popped a couple of pop tarts in the toaster and stared at the toaster waiting for the pop tarts to pop up? I have, and one of those weird quirks of fate is that things don’t happen unless you are not looking. Wherever your camera is pointed is where there will be no action. Those Pulitzer Prize winning moments happened on days just like today, except that someone happened to take a picture.

La Mesa Police Station

A Regular Thing Or A Record Of The Future

        Even though there is a rash of instances, right here in the United States Of America of photographers being arrested and detained for taking pictures from a public vantage point, it is not something that can be captured at will. It is an elusive beast that can hide behind the law, and people paid to uphold the law.

La Mesa Police Station

Just A Regular Photograph

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La Mesa Post Office Is Torn Down

August 19, 2010 by ·  

Demolishing La Mesa's Post Office

All That Remains Of La Mesa’s Old Post Office

        Once the new post office opened up in La Mesa last year, the old building was slowly phased out and has now been torn down. No word of what will be constructed in it’s place or what is to become of the soon to be abandoned La Mesa police department building across the street. In the background is the city hall building for La Mesa.

Demolishing La Mesa's Post Office

Demolishing La Mesa’s Old Post Office

        There is a lot of construction going on in la Mesa right now, and most of the downtown area streets will be receiving face lifts over the next year or so. It will be nice to have another opportunity to document, photographically, the process of raising a building.

Work Being Done In La Mesa, CA

Along University Ave & La Mesa Blvd

        Just down the street and around the corner from the La Mesa post office, University Ave, has been dug into regularly over the last month or so. It seems that most of the work is cable/phone line related, with most of the in charge looking people having the AT&T logo on their hardhats.

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Taco Bell vs. Lawry’s Seasoning

August 14, 2010 by ·  

Taco Bell And Lawry's Seasoning

Make Your Own Taco Night

        I am not a foodie, but I do like to make homemade versions of my favorite fast food menu items… Much healthier and better tasting versions. I like Taco Bell, and they have a seasoning mix available, so I bought a pound of premium ground beef, a fresh head of lettuce and some grated, sharp cheddar cheese. The point of this post is to say that both the Lawry’s and the Taco seasoning packs above require the same ingredients to make, but the Taco Bell seasoning is WAY better. If you like Taco Bell already, this is really for you because it has the distinct flavor of a Taco Bell taco, but because the ingredients are better and fresher, it tastes like the best Taco Bell taco ever made. As for the Lawry’s, it was way under seasoned, and tasted like it needed salt. Yeah, go with the Taco Bell seasoning, brown the beef on a Foreman Grill and prepare some surprisingly awesome tasting tacos!

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Balboa Park Has A Secret Hummingbird Sanctuary

August 13, 2010 by ·  

Hummingbird Feeders In Balboa Park

Hidden Hummingbird Sanctuary In Balboa Park

        This trip to Balboa Park actually had a purpose, and that was to find a supposed hidden hummingbird sanctuary on Old Globe Way. I found it, right where it was supposed to be, around the back (north side) of the The San Diego Museum Of Art building. Up in the trees are a bunch of hummingbird feeders with brightly colored nectar. Unfortunately, there were no hummingbirds at the feeder, so after I do a little research to find out when hummingbirds are the most active, a return trip by me will have to made.

Hummingbird Feeders In Balboa Park

Hummingbird Feeders Sans Hummingbirds

        Without any hummingbirds at the feeders, I felt like I found a buried treasure chest that did not contain any treasure. That’s OK because I was in Balboa Park, and there is always a lot to see and photograph. This clutch of hummingbird feeders is very close to the Botanical Garden building, so I headed there next.

Lily Pads In Balboa Park

Water Lilies In Front Of The Botanical Garden Building

        The water lilies and lotus flowers are in full bloom right now and there are a lot of them. Hundreds of people, tourists and natives alike pose for photos in front of the reflecting pool, in front of the botanical garden building.

Lotus Flowers In Balboa Park

Lotus Flowers In Balboa Park

        If flowers and flower gardens are your thing, then you need to plan a trip to Balboa Park. There are 13 flower gardens, and most of them are very grand.

People In Balboa Park

People Enjoying Balboa Park

        There are fish in the pools in front of the botanical building, and that is what the children above were looking at. Beyond them is another group of girls enjoying Balboa Park. There really is something for everyone, and there are restaurants for when you get hungry.

Kids At Balboa Park Fountain

Playing Around The Fountain

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La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project

August 9, 2010 by ·  

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Construction Can Be Chaotic

        The La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project will widen sidewalks, install new lamp posts with unique night-lighting, plant new trees, flowers and shrubs and many other things in the downtown area of La Mesa, CA.

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Allison Avenue Being Improved

        This is an ambitious project, with one of the goals being to solidify the downtown area’s identity as La Mesa’s city center. As we can see on this map, most of the streets and sidewalks that go through and around downtown La Mesa will be receiving a face-lift.

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Intersection Of Palm Ave. And Allison Ave.

        The entire project is called the “La Mesa Downtown Village Streetscape Improvement Project,” but there was a sign in the area these photos were taken that read, “Allison Avenue Streetscape Project,” so I’m guessing that each leg of the project will have it’s own designation like this one. That makes sense to me and will avoid confusion, no doubt.

Allison Avenue Streetscape Project

Guarding The Open Trench

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Photography Is Not A Crime

August 3, 2010 by ·  

Carlos Miller Being Attacked On The Miami Metrorail For Taking Pictures

        Carlos Miller, a Miami blogger is the chief cook and bottle washer of the website, Photography Is Not A Crime. He started the website back in 2007 when he was arrested for taking pictures of Miami police officers… From a public sidewalk! After being acquitted of all charges, he began to look for and blog about other instances of photographers being detained, harassed and arrested for taking pictures (which is protected by the first amendment to the US Constitution) from a public vantage point. What that means to the layperson is that if you can see something from a public place, you are allowed to photograph it. This includes federal buildings, bridges, police officers, protest marches, arrests, fires, traffic accidents, beaches and parks.
        This really is a common sense idea that shouldn’t NEED an actual amendment to the constitution, but our fore-fathers had incredible fore-sight, and we should thank the creator they did. For some unknown reason, public servants, police officers and security guards think they can CREATE laws, because they ENFORCE laws.

San Diego Trolley Guards Prohibit Photography

        The video above was filmed by me on September 5, 2009, a little after 8pm at the 12th & Imperial trolley station in San Diego, CA. My original blog post that featured this video can be viewed here. In a nutshell, the man being tackled was illegally smoking in the transit center, refused to put out his cigarette and was subsequently tackled to the ground and led away in handcuffs. The problem, or the issue that I had with all of this was that the security guards told me I was not allowed to take pictures. To me, this was an instant red flag. Four non-peace officers (private citizens) tackled a man, put him in hand cuffs and led him away in a PUBLIC transit station, yet photographing the event was prohibited?!? Bullshit. I shopped the video around and it was picked up by the local NBC affiliate less than two weeks later. It was while shopping the video that I came across Carlos Miller’s website, contacted him and he featured the video and the story in an article in February 2010. After Carlos Miller ran my story, the San Diego Reader also ran a story, later in the month. The author of the SD Reader story, Kathryn Snyder found out that the security firm would not release the incident report for the arrest, and this was also reported in a second article on Carlos Miller’s site.
        It wasn’t until it happened to me that I realized just how widespread this problem is. Police and security guards have no right to prohibit photography in a public place, yet they are doing so ALL THE TIME. It was a wake up call because hardly any of the hundreds of similar incidents that Carlos Miller has reported on his blog over the last three years get reported by the mainstream media. Until now, that is, and it’s all thanks to Carlos Miller. So, I would very much recommend that you look at through his website and realize the good he is doing for all of us. PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME!

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