San Diego Padres at PETCO Park

June 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Padres Swinging Friar Mascot

The Swinging Friar

    Yesterday I went to my first San Diego Padres game in PETCO Park where I watched them play the Arizona Diamondbacks. The tickets, wonderfully provided by my good friend and companion for the game, Jane were great; a scant 19 rows in from first base which put us well within foul ball and souvenir throwing range.


Looking At The Sky While Inside PETCO PARK

    The June gloom that grips San Diego is annoying, unless you are watching a Padres game at PETCO Park, I found out yesterday. You see, I’m from Denver, Colorado where I only attended Rockies games at Coors Field when the forecast called for 100 percent sunshine. In Denver, clouds like what you see in the photo above and the photo below means either afternoon thunderstorms or snow, depending on the time of year; wet or cold and wet. Out here in what is usually sunny San Diego cloudy skies mean you don’t have to worry about being cooked alive in your seat by the sun or freezing to death at the end of the game, but as the time of sunset approaches you will understand why I recommend bring a jacket. It wasn’t until I got up to leave the stadium that I finally put it on and it felt good!


Fans Hope For The Best From The Padres & The Weather

    Despite the cloudy skies it was a pleasant Saturday afternoon and all the fans were in great spirits, hoping to see the Padres begin their long climb from being the team with the worst record to the team with the best, starting with this game right here. Alas, it was not to be. It seemed to me that the Padres need to improve their pitching. My first home game had me bear witness to the Padres bullpen give up a homerun, balk a runner on to base, walk six others onto base and walk a run home. They did bring nine strikeouts to the table and they where surgically spread out amongst the Diamondbacks batting lineup with eight of their nine batters going under that knife but come on! You can’t put eight runners on the bags for free and win a ball game!


Chase Headley Laments Ending The Bottom Of The Inning

    The Padres just seemed to have a hard time getting the fire lit. Chase Headley failed to get on base and was also the third out so he slowly removed his batting equipment whilst waiting for his glove to arrive. You play your best whether you are winning or losing, arriving to the field with a clean uniform and a broken in glove every single game.


PETCO Park Full Of Fair Weather Fans

    It was nice to see most of the fans stuck it out to the bitter end. The bottom of the ninth is when miracles happen, so leaving early when you are the home team is never a gamble I’m willing to make. Either way it felt good to finally be a fair weather fan on a cloudy day in San Diego; I cheered, did the wave and have photos to share with the world so it was a good day. Cheers!

Coronado Low Tide Ride & Stride

June 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Low Tide Ride Stride Coronado Rotary

Silver Strand Beach As Seen From Camp Surf

        This morning I came across a charity fun run & bike ride on Silver Strand beach called, “Low Tide Ride & Stride” put together by Coronado Rotary Club. The course is the 8 mile stretch of beach between Camp Surf and Sunset Park in Coronado. What makes the event extra special is the United States Navy being gracious enough to open up their section of the beach to all runners, walkers and bike riders of the event. That section is normally off limits because that is where Navy SEALs train.

         How’s that for something awesome that should fill you with American pride? The guys that took out Osama Bin Laden got their start as Navy SEALs right here in Coronado, so by participating in this event you get to touch sand that is normally reserved for our most elite military personnel. This is an exciting event that only happens once a year and this year, it started with a bang.


Mouseover Image Above To See Before & After The Boom

        The person tasked with firing the cannon fired when the countdown reached two, instead of zero which had the effect of scaring everyone, including me. If you tell me you’re going to pull the band-aid off on the count of three, pulling it off on anything OTHER than three is not cool! Anyway, I was not a participant in the event so after the exciting start I continued my morning bike ride. You can mouseover the image above to see the moment right before everyone flinched. Cheers!

Kitesurfing Silver Strand Beach In Coronado

April 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

kitesurfer-silver-strand-beach state-park coronado kitesurfing

Kitesurfer With Awesome Kiteboard Graphic Catches Some Air

        The winds on Coronado were perfect for kitesurfing at Silver Strand Beach, so I interrupted a leisurely bike ride along Bayshore Bikeway to take some photos. I’ve never tried to kitesurf but I’d like to try.

kitesurfer-silver-strand-beach state-park coronado kitesurfing

kitesurfer-silver-strand-beach state-park coronado kitesurfing

kitesurfer-silver-strand-beach state-park coronado kitesurfing

        These guys were kitesurfing on the southern end of Silver Strand beach, right in front of the southern most lifeguard tower. The weather, wind and waves all seemed to be favorable and it was fun to watch and a pleasant addition to to my bike ride.

kitesurfer-silver-strand-beach state-park coronado kitesurfing

A Perfect Coronado Day

Metal Mulisha On Coronado NAS

February 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Metal Mulisha Demo At Coronado Centennial Of Naval Aviation Navy Airshow On North Island NAS

Metal Mulisha

        Just before the Parade Of Flight at the Centennial Of Naval Aviation last Saturday, I caught Metal Mulisha jumping their motorcycles and entertaining the crowd. This was a really fun and exciting thing to watch, especially with the back drop of airplanes all around.

Metal Mulisha Demo At Coronado Centennial Of Naval Aviation Navy Airshow On North Island NAS

Metal Mulisha Soldier

Metal Mulisha Demo At Coronado Centennial Of Naval Aviation Navy Airshow On North Island NAS

Motorcycles Flew At The Airshow Too

Metal Mulisha Demo At Coronado Centennial Of Naval Aviation Navy Airshow On North Island NAS

Metal Mulisha, You Are Cleared To Land

Metal Mulisha Demo At Coronado Centennial Of Naval Aviation Navy Airshow On North Island NAS\

Metal Mulisha And Their Fans

        The airshow was a perfect venue for Metal Mulisha and they did a great job of pumping up the crowd in the minutes before the Parade of Flight began. The Mulisha’s full schedule can be seen here. Great job guys!

Girls Softball Clinic In Imperial Beach

January 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Girls Softball Clinic Imperial Beach

Receiving Instructions At A Softball Clinic

        I made a dedicated trip to Imperial Beach Sports Park to see a girls softball clinic the other night to get an idea of what the nighttime lighting conditions are like at this particular field. The lighting turned out to be very good. You would normally expect lighting to be the problem at night at a venue like this, but my enemy the entire time were the chain link fences which seemed to be everywhere, spoiling my backgrounds and foregrounds. I’m gonna have to work on that. Spring training is not just for the players, but the photographers and staff as well.

Girls Softball Clinic Imperial Beach

Girls Softball Clinic Imperial Beach

Girls Softball Clinic Imperial Beach

Learning Techniques For Pitching And Catching

        There are several ball fields at the park, some of them less fenced in than others so with any luck the actual games will be played on different fields. Kulken Field, in La Mesa is a great little league baseball field and I got some great shots at an all star game there last summer. Anyway, I’m looking forward to watching a lot of live baseball and softball this year, while working on my photographic technique at the same time. Cheers!

Soap Box Derby In La Mesa, Part II

November 14, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Soap box cars at La Mesa Kiwanis race.

La Mesa CA Soap Box Race Cars

        I found a few more photos from the La Mesa Kiwanis sponsored soap box derby I attended last weekend. If you would like to see my first post about the derby, with more photos and commentary, click here.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap box Racer

The First Racer Of The Day

        Kiwanis really does a lot to help bring joy into the lives of kids by making things like a soap box derby race possible. My dad was in Kiwanis when I was growing up so I have fond memories of my family and I enjoying things like spaghetti dinners, Christmas parties where the kids would all get presents and even getting to march in a parade or two, all thanks to Kiwanis.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap box Racer Steering And Brakes

The Nuts And Bolts Of A Soap box Racer

        Pulleys and cables are the mechanical method for steering and applying the brakes. The brake is a rubber tipped pole that is pressed down onto the road, very similar to how the Flintstones stop their cars.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap box Racer

Soap Box Car Racing Down The Hill

        According to the La Mesa Kiwanis website, there will be another soap box derby in March of 2011 at the same location as this one, in front of La Mesa middle school so come on down and support the kids by cheering them on and purchasing Kiwanis provided hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas.

Kiwanis Club La Mesa California November 2010 Soap box Derby

Soap Box Derby Car Race In La Mesa, CA – 2010

November 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

La Mesa Soap Box Derby Racing 2010

        Saturday, the 6th of November, 2010 saw La Mesa Kiwanis holding a soap box derby race in La Mesa, CA this weekend, and I was there. Kids & parents from at least as far as Arizona threw their hat into the ring for this event, which I was fortunate enough to stumble across.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

Kiwanis Club Racer In La Mesa, CA 2010

        There were about 20 soap box race cars for this event, with most of them looking like dad had more than a disciplinary hand in building them. What counts is what you bring to the table, not the garage, so every form of mechanic can try their wares at this event.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race

        Even though it’s kids that do the racing, adults are not far behind, eager for any chance to jump in a soap box derby car and roll it down the hill.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

Soap Box Derby Racing In La Mesa – 2010

        This is a two day event, with the pics for this post all coming from the first day of soap box derby racing. Kiwanis of La Mesa as well as Drew Ford sponsor the event, which eventually included $5 hot dog and hamburger meal deals.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

Science Meets The Real World

        Above we see two great examples of the styles of soap box derby racers I saw at the race. In the background above is what I would consider to be a garage-built soap box derby race car. In the foreground is a kid’s parents with more money and competitive spirits than most others… The aerodynamic situation of the soap box car in the foreground is the direct result of what happens when the parents of a soap box racing kid watch too much Discovery Channel and mistake a paved street in La Mesa, CA for the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

Racing Down The Hill

        Competing in a soapbox derby is something I have never done. I’ve competed in pinewood derbies before, which is basically the same thing, minus the excitement. There was a heavy boy scout presence at this race, so I’m sure merit badges were being earned.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

Boys & Girls Race Their Soap Box Derby Cars

        Living in a world that only glorifies and broadcasts paid athletes, I can forget what it’s like to compete and participate in an event just for fun, and just because I can win. Kiwanis helps to bring things like a soap box derby race to kids and neighborhoods for no other reason than because it’s a fun thing to do.

La Mesa Kiwanis Soap Box Derby Race 2010

Soap Box Racing Is Fun For All Ages

        Above is my favorite shot of the day. My position, relative to the racers was perfect. I think the expression on their faces says it all. This was the first day of a two day event, right in front of La Mesa middle school, so come on down and cheer on the kids while eating some Kiwanis provided hamburgers and hot dogs.

Test And Tune Night At Bandimere Speedway

September 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

1998 Suzuki GSXR750 At Bandimere Speedway

1998 Suzuki GSXR750 About To Smoke A Ford Mustang c.2003

        I recently had some film photos of mine scanned and digitized, so I’ m about to have a lot of fun playing with photos that were taken before digital cameras and ESPECIALLY before I knew what Photoshop was. The camera I used back then was a Pentax ZX-M.
        Bandimere Speedway used to be open to the public on Wednesday nights. For $20 you could race your car 3 times down an official NHRA 1/4 mile racetrack. On this particular night, back in 2003 my friend, Tim was racing a GSXR750, which ended up pulling a 13 second quarter mile.

La Mesa Little League All Star Game

June 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kuhlken Field La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

La Mesa Little League Baseball – Kuhlken Field

        Yesterday, I happened to be passing by Kuhlken Field and I saw that a little league baseball game was about to start. The all star teams from Tierra Santa and Serra Mesa were about to play.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

Baseball Players Warm Up Before The Game

        Once I saw that a baseball game was about to start I completely abandoned what I was doing and headed straight for the bleachers. The smell of baseline chalk, leather, hot dogs and pretzels instantly transported me back to the mid 1980’s, when I was playing little league baseball.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

The Pitcher Warms Up

        The first thing that I noticed (photographically) from the bleachers was the chain link fence between me and the action on the field. Even with my smallest f/stop, I couldn’t make the fence completely disappear, so I watched the players warm up from the shade of the bleachers, but once the game started, I placed myself under the sun, along the third baseline. From this vantage, I had a clear view of all the bases and the action that would surround them.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

The Action Begins For La Mesa Little League Baseball

        I was hoping to get at least one shot like the one above. I wanted to get some action shots and some photos that would help settle an argument, and that would just be generally exciting. That is exactly what I got.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

Out At First Base!

        There are a lot of close plays in little league, and the umpires were on top of every one. They did a great job of keeping things moving and accurately making close calls, like the one above.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

Batter, Catcher And Umpire At The Moment Of A Foul Tip

        The biggest difference between a little league and a professional baseball game is the wild card factor. In pro ball, specific pitches, hits and strategies will have a desired outcome 99% of the time. In little league, EVERY pitch and EVERY hit is a wild card, so the games are infinitely more exciting.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

Stealing Second Base

        I won’t lie, I pictured myself somewhere in PETCO Park snapping shots of famous millionaires when I took some of the photos for this post. As I baked under the sun and watched these boys play I realized that the heart these kids, coaches and parents have is so much bigger than professional baseball players. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean it in the way that no player on a little league field is paid to be there, yet they still swing, run and throw as if millions of dollars were on the line. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, when I saw this game about to start I was taken back to the mid 1980’s when I was in little league and there was no such thing as a millionaire athlete.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

        There are so many reasons for a child to take up some form of sports, and the best one I can think of is that you may end up in an action packed photo essay like this one. Families converging on a baseball field on a Sunday afternoon, with both dugouts shouting nothing but positive things while the spectators in the bleachers clapped and cheered for every play was my backdrop, so I knew right away this would be fun and the photos would be great.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

Safe At Third Base

        There was a lot of action at all the bases, and at home plate as well. As a photographer it is nice to be able to get so physically close to the action that a long lens is not necessary. I had a 55-200mm attached to my Nikon D5000 and it was more than adequate.

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

Sliding Into Second Base

        Something that was new to me was the Little League Pledge. It was recited by all the players just before the game started:

I trust in God
I love my country
and will respect its laws
I will play fair
and strive to win
but win or lose
I will always do my best

La Mesa Little League Baseball All Stars

The Action Never Stops During La Mesa Little League Baseball

        The photo above was a very close play, but the runner slid across home plate just ahead of the tag, scoring the first run of the game.