Sunday, November 24, 2013

Portrait of the Week #1

I'm going to make an attempt to put up one portrait every week. I love portraiture, but I also want to give myself something specific to shoot for and get out of the winter doldrums. I had the opportunity to do nine faculty portraits the last two weeks for our parent and alumni magazine, so I'm off to a running start. Today's selection is Meighan Wilson, my colleague, friend, and head of the English Department, so also my boss! This was an easy shoot, as Meighan, despite her protests to the contrary, has a naturalness in front of the camera. I used the Sony NEX 7 with a Sigma 30 mm, 2.8 lens, my first extended use of this model. Thanks Meighan!

Lighthouse, Portland, Maine

On our return from Cuba in 2002, we flew to Boston and drove to Portland for a family reunion. It was my first time in Maine and I had the chance to go out for a couple of hours to photograph the famous lighthouse. We spent a day in Boston to see the Red Sox before heading home to California. Sony NEX 7.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Savannah, Georgia

My first trip to Savannah, Georgia, took place in April of 2011 while we were in Columbia, South Carolina for the graduation of my step-son Josh from USC. We had a day to spare and decided to drive the three hours to Savannah and back later in the afternoon. This is a fascinating city, second only in tourism and popularity to Charleston, SC, but similar in many ways. Beautiful parks and gardens are scattered throughout the city, the architecture is fascinating, and a river runs through it! I need a few days here at least. Sony NEX cameras.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lucca, Italy 2006

On a 2006 Mediterranean Cruise with assorted family and friends, one of our stops was Livorno, or Leghorn as it's sometimes called. This is not the destination. Florence and Pisa are where most cruise passengers head on tours. We had no intention of spending about three hours each way on a bus to Florence in the middle of summer. Instead, we decided to take the train about forty-five minutes to Lucca, a delightful walled city full of bicycles and outstanding restaurants. What a great day! I was using the Nikon D 50 back then and a whole new world of photographic possibilities opened up for me on this trip, not the least of which was to pay more attention to composition and not cut off interesting parts of the photograph!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Time to Give Thanks to Our Mothers

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thinking about how lucky I have been in life to have had both a wonderful mother and a too-good-to-be-true mother-in law. My mother, Mary, in blue above right, died last year and the family is still in various stages of mourning. Today, Naomi Schulman, my mother-in-law, passed away peacefully at the age of ninety. In the middle photograph, she is surrounded by her family; son Johnny on the far right, granddaughter Jenny is next, then Naomi, grandson Josh on her other side, her daughter and my wife, Margaret, and then me crowding in at the far left. Naomi and her two beloved grandchildren at bottom.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rock and Roll: Spanning the Decades

More of my favorite artists, although not necessarily the greatest photographs. From the top, Jackson Browne, probably taken at the Berkeley Community Theater in the 70's. Below Jackson is Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA, in 2008. This photograph, along with Joe Jackson at the bottom, was taken with the Canon Powershot G9. Next is Cat Stevens at the Oakland Coliseum in 1976. Apparently he is recording some new material with Richard Thompson. George Harrison follows, also from 1976 at Oakland and then Paul McCartney, of course, Oakland 1976. Last is Joe Jackson at the Warfield in San Francisco, 2008. The Warfield is great because you can walk up to the stage or find a seat nearer the back.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

More Series Sights

Games three and four were exciting from the first pitch to the last, but the World Series offers all kinds of sights before the game as well. There are the pre-game ceremonies which include celebrity National Anthem singers, team introductions, fans pouring out of the Cardinals store with bags of swag, standing-room-only spectators, and the Stand-Up-To-Cancer tribute in the seventh inning, with players holding cards with the names of cancer survivors as well as victims. I like the photo of David Ortiz, "Big Papi," with his arm draped around a teammate.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

World Series in Saint Louis 2013

I had the great pleasure of watching two of my former players at Saint Francis High School compete against each other in games three and four of the World Series. This will probably never happen again in my lifetime and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to get to Saint Louis to see it. Thanks to the quick response of my wife, Margaret, I was able to get a flight on Friday which got me into Saint Louis at midnight. I was joined on the flights by the father of Cardinal infielder Dan Descalso, George, so the time in the air flew by. (It always does) Mark O'Brien and I got to the park early for batting practice, and it was fun to see the children of the players take part in the pre-game activities. At top is Boston relief ace Koji Uehara and his son Kaz leaving the field at the conclusion of batting practice. The little guy speaks English and was an in-demand inteview by the press corps. Photo number 2 is Daniel Descalso taking a hack in game three, and at the bottom, Daniel Nava singles in a run in an eventual Red Sox loss on a freak interference call in the bottom of the ninth. A great weekend all around!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Saint Louis 2013 Abstracts

Last Friday, I flew to Saint Louis, Missouri, for the third and fourth games of the 2013 World Series between the Saint Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. After taking the train into Saint Louis from my hotel near the airport, I had a couple of hours to kill before my friend Mark O'Brien arrived and our hotel room was ready. So, I walked a couple of blocks to the Gateway Arch, the symbol of the city and the "gateway" to the West. Once upon a time, Saint Louis was the westernmost city in the major leagues, pre-expansion to the west coast. Today it is home to arguably the most loyal and fanatical, not to mention knowledgeable, fans in the United States. While the city itself does not offer the sophisticated world traveler much in the way of must-see attractions, Midwesterners are among the nicest and most hospitable people one can find. The Arch is an architectural wonder, and one can take a rather cramped car up to the top to see far into both Missouri to the west and Illinois to the east. Not that there's much to see, mind you. Our hotel room on the ninth floor also offered a nice view of the arch, and it is clearly visible from downtown Busch Stadium. The arch changes colors depending on the time of day and direction of the sun. I took the golden-colored shot from the stadium, and the second shot from my hotel room. Shot number four is a golden hour snap of a building across the street from the stadium.