Photographing Surf Dogs

I saw a photograph of a bulldog riding a surf board as an advertisement for a Surf Dog Competition. I thought it would make a fun event to photograph. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who thought so..

Media Frenzy

Media Frenzy

Turns out it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. While I expected the dogs to be escorted by their owners/trainers, I didn’t expect all the junior lifeguards. I think there were about 5 lifeguards for every dog in the water.

Get Out of My Way, I'm coming through

Get Out of My Way, I’m coming through

Sometimes the human element added to the photograph…

A Moment Between Friends

A Moment Between Friends

..but most of the time I cropped or otherwise removed distractions

Tail in the Air

Tail in the Air


Besides being on the beach, there were photographers in the air and the sea

Photography By Air and by Sea

Photography By Air and by Sea

Like human surfers, the dogs had their own moves. Some liked to go backwards..

Backwards

Backwards

I’m not sure what angle of view this camera is getting 🙂

Just Where is the Video Camera pointed?

Just Where is the Video Camera pointed?

..and some sidways..

Sideways

Sideways


..and some sit..

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty


..and some stand..

Surf Dog

Surf Dog

..and some couldn’t run away fast enough

Get Me Out of Here

Get Me Out of Here

They didn’t mind posing for cameras

Posing for the Cameras

Posing for the Cameras

and a bunch had cameras of their own.

Camera Ready

Camera Ready

Camera Not so Ready

Camera Not so Ready



Check out my SmugMug gallery if you want to see more.

San Diego Skyline at Night

I recently had a chance to venture down to San Diego to photograph the San Diego Skyline from the Coronado side of the bay. There is an area near the Coronado Ferry Landing with restaurants, beach and grassy areas so you can hang out as formal or relaxed as you want.

I was supposed to be meeting a few people I hadn’t met before from a new meetup group I joined. I didn’t know what they looked like and there were a lot of cameras in the area so that was no help 🙂 There was a grassy area next to the Coronado Ferry Landing so I sat down and setup my tripod as low as it would go and starting shooting across the bay as the sun went down.

San Diego Skyline at Sunset

San Diego Skyline at Sunset

When I first got to Coronado there were some nice clouds in the sky, but by the time the sun had set, they were mostly gone.

San Diego Skyline after sunset

San Diego Skyline after sunset

A half hour after the last photo, the reflections really stand out

San Diego Skyline Reflection

San Diego Skyline Reflected in the bay

Turning my camera and tripod to my left, I played with getting the lights as starbursts and their colorful reflections under the pier. I like how the moving people show as a blur

Coronado Ferry Landing

Coronado Ferry Landing – 3.2 second Exposure to capture the people moving as a blur at f 16 to get the starburst

While the last photo shows the effects (starbursts, motion blur), the next tells a better story with the inclusion of the ferry boat. The ferry illustrates the purpose of the pier and why there is a constant flow of people on it.

Coronado Ferry

Coronado Ferry

I was seeing this light string in the background and it wasn’t until I moved further down the pathway, that I realized it was the USS Midway aircraft carrier that is permanently docked by downtown San Diego.

USS Midway at night

USS Midway

As I mentioned, I finally moved from my grassy position to work some different angles. I setup my tripod in a new location not too far from some other photographers and it turned out they were the group I had been looking for. After some conversation about how much water to include when it was so dark outside, I chose this composition.

San Diego Skyline at night

San Diego Skyline

As it was getting darker and darker, I thought the photos I was seeing on the back of my camera were looking too orange. After some conversation with the group around white balance, I decided to manually change the white balance setting on my camera to 2500 Kelvin with the intention of making the sky look more blue than black. It also change the lights from orange to blue, which I really liked.

San Diego Skyline at night

San Diego Skyline with creative use of white balance to make the photo more blue than orange

We decided to move in the opposite direction down toward the Coronado Bridge to get some photos of it. We never really found the perfect angle to get the whole bridge, but we did find a beach with a punch of boats sitting around. I took out my flashlight and light painted one of them. I still had my white balance set to 2500k so it cast a blue color on it.

Coronado Bridge and light painted row boat

Coronado Bridge and light painted row boat

The twin reflections of light are from Petco Park Baseball Stadium. The San Diego Padres were playing so the stadium was lit up very strongly even from across the bay.

San Diego Skyline and Petco Park

San Diego Skyline and Petco Park home of the San Diego Padres

We ended up staying an hour later than originally planned because there was so much to see and experiment with. With an hour+ drive, I didn’t get home to after midnight but it was worth it. 🙂

Visit my SmugMug gallery for the full portfolio view

Sunset Cannon Battle

The Ocean Institute of Dana Point holds the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival every September. As part of the festival the tall ships conduct a cannon battle at sunset. In previous years I’ve tried to photograph the battle from behind the Ocean Institute. The problem I had was that the ships need to be too far away in order to avoid the rocks. This year I decided to buy a ticket on an escort ship so I could be much closer to the action.

The ships look so good at sunset, it was hard to narrow down the best shots. I’ve selected a few here and the rest I’ve added to my SmugMug gallery.

Exy Johnson

Exy Johnson – Low light towards sunset highlights the color on the sails

Cannon Battle between the Exy Johnson and the Irving Johnson

Cannon Battle between the Exy Johnson and the Irving Johnson

Irving Johnson firing on the unarmed Escort ship Sea Explorer

Irving Johnson firing on the unarmed Escort ship Sea Explorer

American Pride Sails

American Pride Sails

The Spirit of Dana Point

The Spirit of Dana Point

On the Horizon

On the Horizon

American Pride

American Pride, the only ship with colored sails and I convert to black and white to highlight the effect of the sun

Smoke Rings

Smoke Ring – I didn’t even see it at the time

Abandoned Base

I recently had the opportunity to photograph parts of the old MCAS El Toro base, thanks to the Legacy Project at Great Park. I went to the first of what will be a series of photography workshops based on the work of the Legacy Project whose goal is to document the transition from military base to park.

I thought it would be fun to be able to photograph an old abandoned base. It was a challenge to show the idea of “abandonment” when there are well over a 100 fellow photographers with the same plan 😉

so I focused on the details

and looked up

and found some leftover messages

The photographer who lead the workshop, Douglas McClulloh, who is part of the Legacy Project, said one of their biggest challenges was to document the runway. The runway is after all just a flat surface.

I made my attempts, including trying to get as low a perspective as I could, but a runway just needs an airplane.