July 5, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Flower Shaped Fireworks On Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach hosted a gigantic fireworks display, launching fireworks off their pier for 2011 4th of July Independence Day celebrations and guess what? That’s a 7 minute bike ride from my house! I’m serious; my total commute time was a mere 30 minutes (because I made two trips) while automobile traffic was a parking lot nightmare. Getting out of Imperial Beach and Coronado; the entire Silver Strand looked like a cross between a drive-in movie parking lot and a Taco Bell drive-thru line at 2am. What is the lesson to be learned here? Next year, if you go to Imperial Beach or Coronado to see the fireworks on the 4th of July, ride your bike!
People At Imperial Beach On The 4th of July 2011
Most people start arriving during the day, and even though it’s more crowded than usual, it’s never out of hand. In the photo above you can see people patiently waiting for darkness and fireworks as well as being issued a ticket for having alcohol on the beach.
IB Woman With Amputated Arm
The lady above is always around Imperial Beach pier and was enjoying the live music when a phone call interrupted her. I snapped this shot because the way she’s holding her phone, her white wrist wrap and the color of her fingers matching her hair did a trick of the eye on me, making me think she was a double amputee. The tattoo on her right arm is a classic frontier star with the word, “SHERIFF” in the center.
Flower, Shadow, Sunlight, Bee, Blue Sky
IB pier was gated off by the time I arrived due to the large amount of pyrotechnic booty that had been carefully placed about. Sunset was to happen exactly at 8pm and the show at 9. This is where the magic was going to happen, this is where we can all say, “Boom goes the dynamite.”
During summer it’s not exactly dark at 9pm, so the opening barrage of fireworks had nice wisps of clouds behind them. The opening volley of fireworks is where you’ll find some golden moments of photography because during the explosion of the first set is the ONLY time you’ll have a smoke free sky, so you can actually include the sky in the background of your fireworks shot. As you see in the photos above, smoke becomes a problem very fast. The pic on the left was shot at 3200 ISO & the right at 1250 ISO.
I didn’t have a tripod so I had to find a combination of ISO and f-stop that would work with my self-imposed handheld photography shutter speed limit of 1/20th of a second. The f-stop turned out to be easy, wide open! For the lens I had that meant f/3.5. I wanted to include a lot of foreground/people in my photos so my ISO was determined by the lighting of the foreground; I cranked it up high, from 1600 to 3200 if the foreground was dark or dropped it to 200 if there was already ambient light around, such as those taken with people seated under lights. Whatever my ISO was, my shutter speed was always slow, 1/20th of a second or slower so I made sure to stand still, hold my breath and press the shutter release button with a surgeon’s delicate touch for each & every frame. What that did was keep my own personal movement and the movement of the camera to a minimum. These are the problems that I have to compensate for by not using a tripod. I sacrificed stability in favor of mobility since I was going to spend the entire 16 minute show running around.
Imperial Beach Portwood Pier Plaza Sign
The photo you see above is the main sign at the foot of the pier, in the center of Imperial Beach’s Seacoast District and is an example of planning ahead in order to get ahead. I knew the show would last 16 minutes, so I made sure I was near the Imperial Beach sign at the 16th minute for two reasons: First, because I wanted shots of the sign silhouetted by the fireworks and second, because from that spot I was already off the beach and the pier. In other words it made for a great shot and a great escape! Cheers!
July 4, 2011 At Imperial Beach, CA Pier
June 11, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 4 Comments
Golfing Under Blacklight
Technomania Circus held a blacklight theater at their usual in Barrio Logan venue, The Center for Performing Arts last night and I was there, right in the front row, which I think are the best seats in the house. For those of you that don’t know, San Diego has a regularly performing circus troupe that happen to be an amazing group of people we all know as Technomania Circus. Dr. Techno is the lead Technomaniac as well as the man that keeps the bacon sizzling. Yes, bacon was served during the show, cotton candy was available and there is a fine art gallery in the foyer of the bathroom. Awesome!
Technomania Circus Art Gallery
This month’s theme was, “Blaaack Liiiight,” always spoken in a deep, menacing voice. Blacklight theater is a lot of fun because it’s like a real life special effect; you don’t get to see everything and that’s what makes it special. The show started at 8pm but thanks to our perfect San Diego weather and long summer days it wasn’t dark yet so we were treated to some music, comedy, juggling and balancing as the sun slowly drifted away.
Balancing On Ladders
This summer will make it two years that I’ve been going to shows at Technomania Circus. It was way back in July of 2009 that I first went to, photographed and wrote about their show and I haven’t looked back since. The address of the circus is 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, CA 92102, right next to the 25th & Commercial St. trolley station. You are certainly welcome to bring food, drinks and cameras into the show and the venue is in an area heavy with taco shops and corner stores so you can get everything you need for the show when you arrive.
Willy Bologna About To Play The Harp
Once we got past twilight it was time for, “Blaaack Liiiight!” This is what we’d all been waiting for and it did not disappoint. They took us all over the place, as you’ll see in the photos and in the video at the bottom of the post. For you photographers out there, the sharp photos were taken at 1/45th, f/3.5, ISO 3200 while the photos that show a lot of motion blur were exposed for 1 second, f/3.5, ISO 800. Ya done good Technomaniacs, ya done real good. See you next time.
1 Second Of Time At Technomania Circus
A Blacklight Creature
Pleasing The Blacklight Gods
Technomania Circus Blacklight Theater
February 27, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
San Diego’s South Bay At Night
It seems to me that I’ve been ignoring the night lately, so I’m going to change that, slowly but surely. For my fellow photographers, both photos in this post are 30 second exposures at f/8, ISO 200.
Front Porch With A View Of Downtown & San Diego Bay
Both photos above are from the front porch of a lucky person that lives, literally at the very edge of San Diego bay. The view is looking north, with downtown San Diego glowing in the background.
October 24, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
Zombies At Technomania Circus
Technomania Circus entertained us last night with a performance of the 2nd annual ZOMBIE SHOW!! This show is perfectly timed for Halloween with fire and an entire cast of zombies. For those of you that have never been, Technomania Circus lives right next to the west-bound orange line trolley station at 25th & Commercial.
This was my first Zombie Show, so I wondered what the Technomaniacs would have in store, beyond a zombified theme. It turned out the entire cast performed the entire show as zombies… Brilliant. We got to see zombies dance, match wits on a game show, play musical instruments, juggle and play with fire.
(Above) The Newlydead Game
Dr. Techno Performs
Dr. Techno is the guy and the guy behind the guy at the home of Technomania Circus. He is the magnetic force that attracts and holds the circus together, working tirelessly and guess what? Today, (October 24, 2010) is Dr. Techno’s 65th birthday! Happy Birthday Dr. Techno! The world thanks you for all the laughter & joy you’ve brought us.
Not to be out-done, Willy Bologna played the harp, rocking us out to a zombified version of The Cranberries song, “Zombie.” Anton the zombie juggled for us, which was amazing considering that he was after all, a zombie.
There was a smattering of fire and blacklight at Technomania Circus during the Zombie Show, as well as an appearance by The Welderman. The zombie above sang to us while slowly ripping off pieces of his own flesh and throwing them into the audience. Halloween is a great time of year!
Blacklight Theater At Technomania Circus
The Welderman At Technomania Circus
And that’s a wrap! Once again I had a great Saturday night adventure at Technomania Circus, and this show took place under a full moon, which helped to make the night night extra scary and extra lively. Check the Technomania website for future shows and special events. There’s at least one show per month, and sometimes even more so you are never too far away if you happen to be in need of a fix from the circus. Above is a video that shows a minute or so of intros and Dr’ Techno’s famous balancing act and wraps up with zombies rocking out to the L7 song, “Pretend That We’re Dead.”
October 18, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
15 Seconds Near La Mesa Blvd Trolley Station
We have our first update for trolley closures that will accommodate construction for the trolley renewal project. In a nutshell, blue line southbound service will terminate at Palm Ave. on the weekends between now and the end of 2010. Shuttles will run in lieu of the trolleys between Palm Ave. and the border. There will also be an express shuttle running directly from San Ysidro to Palomar station. During the holiday weekends of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years there will be no construction so the blue line trolley will be running regular weekend service all the way to the border. This seems very straightforward to me: From now until the end of the year, there will be trolley service disruptions on non-holiday weekends between the Palm Avenue station and the San Ysidro/International Border station.
October 10, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Arlington West Afghanistan War Memorial
This weekend, which marks the start of the TENTH year of the war in Afghanistan, San Diego Veterans For Peace & Vietnam Veterans Against The War have set up an Arlington West Memorial on the lawn of the Midway Museum in Downtown San Diego, in honor of the service men and women who have fallen in this conflict. As I write this, the number of Americans killed in the Afghan War stands at 1317. To raise awareness of the human and fiscal toll this war is taking on our country, members of these two organizations have placed 1317 tombstones and candles, one for each fallen American, on the Midway Museum lawn
Today (October 10, 2010) Begins The Tenth Year Of The War In Afghanistan
The Arlington West Memorial is a sprawling, emotional display of exactly how big a number 1317 is. As one walks through the memorial, the first thing that crosses your mind is that there are A LOT of tombstones. Shortly thereafter, it starts to sink in that each marker represents a dead American soldier, and that’s when the emotion takes over.
Arlington West Memorial In Front Of The Midway Museum
At this memorial, the veterans that set it up and staff it through the weekend have other displays detailing the fiscal cost of the war over the last 9 years, which is currently just over $1 trillion. That is a number that might be hard to wrap your head around so I offer the following analogy: $1 trillion dollars is enough money to give every American man, woman and child a check for about $3300, which means everyone in our country could be paid $2.50 every time an American is killed in Afghanistan.
After Sunset At The Arlington West Fallen Soldier Memorial
As a veteran and a patriot, it can be hard to stomach some of the things my country has done since starting the war on terror, the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. The main problem for me is that the government and the military inflexibly believe that I should just trust them to do what is best, even though they both have track records that show they can’t be trusted, believed or held accountable if either one does anything wrong. I offer the Bradley Manning case as additional evidence of this.
1317 Dead Americans In Afghanistan… And Still Counting
This memorial will be in place on the lawn of the Midway Museum until sunset tonight and is open and free to the public. Feel free to walk through the memorial and talk to the veterans that set it up. They have a guest-book in which they invite the public to share their thoughts or art regarding the memorial or the war in Afghanistan. The book will be mailed to the White House, with the intent of helping to wake congress up to the fact that Americans are sick of war, distraught over their sons and daughters dying and would like our democracy to actually function again.
September 26, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
The Beer Show Begins
I have inexcusably missed a show or two, presented by Technomania Circus this summer, but I did attend the BEER SHOW last night and the Technomaniacs did not disappoint. This particular show was about all things that, in one way or another, having to do with beer. It started out with a clutch of the cast walking in a zombified manner to the stage, affirming their allegiance to beer.
Dr. Techno Introduces The Musicians
One (or two) of the unsung heroes of Technomania Circus are those that provide the music for the shows, playing everything from a tubas to accordions to pianos.
Evil Lucy Plays With Fire
There were a few guests from out of town performing at this show and one of them was Evil Lucy, from New York. She is one of those irrational people that plays with and flings fire around like a yo-yo.
John and Anton are two of the mainstays at Technomania Circus. They like to balance things on their faces, juggle and heckle the crowd, more or less in that order. We all know that I am an anti-flash advocate. Flash photography is just about the worst thing in the world. This show, and Jon in particular helped to drive that point home… When some one is balancing on a ladder, 10 feet in the air while juggling bowling pins, turn your flash off! Crank up the ISO on your camera and slow your shutter down. The photo below is a great example of this. The slow shutter and lack of flash create a great sense of movement.
There was a goodly amount of audience participation for this show, and that is something that never fails to entertain. Even though I have only two series of live theater performances under my belt, I have a vast reservoir of public speaking and debating to draw from, so performing, as a volunteer or not is something I personally find easy to do. That being said, it is very comical to watch people being dragged up on stage that would rather remain as members of the audience. The joy of Technomania Circus is that audience participation transcends phobias like this, and brings everyone up (or down) to a level that consists of laughter, happiness, joy and comedy.
All Hail The Beer!
Cows Filming A Commercial
We all remember that late 1990′s and a series of Budweiser commercials with three frogs, each responsible for a syllable of the word, Bud-wise-er. For the photo above, a big shot Hollywood director tried to re-create this commercial with cows, but all cows can say is, “Moo.” Or so we thought.
So, ultimately and for the umpteenth time in a row, Technomania Circus entertained, amazed and perhaps even enlightened me… Great show guys, the world of beer drinking will never be the same!
Technomania Circus Presents The Beer Show
April 3, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
UFO Shines A Light On La Mesa, CA
This is my third close encounter I’ve experienced during my 36 years of life. The first was in 1994, just North of the Straits of Malacca, in the Indian Ocean. I didn’t get any photos of that encounter so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that it was an amazing experience for a 19 year old sailor, 8800 miles from home. The second encounter was during June of 2009. I have a photo and blog post of that encounter that you should read. This time, I have 2 images, both taken with my Nikon D5000 at 3200 ISO.
Why Do Aliens Come To America?
Just a little camera info for you readers about these images: They were both shot with my Nikon D5000 at 1/4 of a second, f/1.8, 3200 ISO. They were also shot hand-held (no tripod), through the glass of my bedroom window, which explains the noise and general low quality of the images.
March 27, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Men With Beards Have To Eat Too
This particular location, where these men are, is a restaurant, and they were somewhere in the middle of their meal when I took this photo. This stats of this shot are: 1/50th, f/1.8, 1400 ISO.
D5000, 1/50th, f/1.8, 2500 ISO
Here we have a self portrait of my Nikon D5000. A friend of mine recently rented a wide angle lens, so after playing with it for a little while, I want one of my own. I have no idea when or where I would actually use it, but that doesn’t matter… If you use it, the photos will come.
D5000, 5 Seconds, f/8, 200 ISO
This was an accidental shot. I have no idea how or why I tried to take a hand-held photo with a five second exposure, but apparently I did. There is nothing redeeming about this photo, but I thought it looked cool, so it made it into the post.
January 10, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 4 Comments
Burning Man at Technomania Circus
Before the show even began, the DJ entertained the crowd with music from the late 20th century, warming us up and setting the mood for “The Parody Show” at Technomania Circus. This was the first show for 2010, and The Technomaniacs pulled out all the stops, including fire, burlesque, juggling, Elvis Presley, blacklight theater and Lady Gaga even made an appearance, as did Martha Stewart. For The Parody Show, the cast of Technomania Circus made fun of just about everyone, including the audience, themselves and Tiger Woods. This was three hours of fun and satire and it closed with a fast moving awards ceremony honoring many of the most talented performers in San Diego. The show is so easy to get to, especially on the orange line trolley. Technomania Circus is located at 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, in Logan Heights, right across from the 25th & Commercial Orange Line trolley stop. Trolleys come by every half hour, and the schedule can be seen here. I was fortunate enough to be using a borrowed Canon T1i for the evening, so I shot every frame at 3200 ISO and a shutter speed of 1/15th for almost every frame as well.
Dr. Techno started things off with his guitar playing balancing act and was also our host for the awards show that followed the performance. The cast were all presented with trophies that varied from a small statue of a three headed dog to a diorama that contained a hula dancer and shrunken skull. You just never know what will happen at a Technomania Circus show.
Lady Gaga took cooking instruction from Martha Stewart, and one of the rhyming orders by Martha was something like: “Lady Gaga take this please and bake that bitch at three fifty degrees.”
The Cast Of Technomania Circus
The entire cast was all smiles for this show, and rightly so because most of what they did was very funny, with several moments of outright hilarity. Their awards ceremony, which wrapped up the evening was just as funny as the show itself and even a lucky audience member won an award.
Fire is my favorite part of these shows, and the cast always makes sure to add extra elements of danger. You’ll want to take note of a few things in the photo on the left, including the spaceship in the background, the fact that the left performer is balancing on a two point ladder, the juggling pins on the stage and the woman in the center wearing a bathrobe with possibly nothing else underneath. Saturday nights that hold a performance from Technomania Circus are just so easy to attend and are so much fun to watch. They are full of energy and engaging for the audience so the more you cheer the better and funnier the show is. Next time I will bring a tasty beverage because after three hours of cheering, I was feeling a little parched. Their next shows will be on February 13th & 23rd, with the doors opening at 7pm, pre-show at 7:30pm and the show starting at eight. The show is entitled “A Mob Show: Happiness Is A Warm Tommy Gun.” See pics from previous shows: The Fire & Blacklight Show, and The Wild Wild West Show .
San Diego’s Technomania Circus Cast & Crew, January 9, 2010