Monday, December 30, 2013

Kardashian's Teeny Weenie

Be honest with me and let me know if you opened up the link strictly based on the headline.  If you did, go sit in the corner and feel shame (Slapshot reference, hey-o!)

What follows are a bunch of "family photos" from our trip to Stinson Beach.  This is the digital version of the dreaded event that commonly took place about 30 years ago.  The good news is that now you aren't invited to our house under false pretenses and then subjected to hours of after dinner crap you never wanted to see in the first place.  If you're here, I'll assume it's by choice, enjoy.

We've taken these end of year trips for about 4 years now, coinciding with my birthday.  The premise this year was to go somewhere relatively flat with easy access for our 13 year old girl, Bella.  Renting houses instead of staying in hotels has been a game changer in the way we enjoy the experience and this one was not a disappointment.  There's a lot to be said about cooking your own meals at the end of the day with the people you have chosen to be around.   No loud talkers, no up-talkers, no full-of-shitters, no liars (unless these are your people, in which case we're probably not friends anyway). We've done it with friends in the past and this time it was just Nikki and I.  Both are good experiences.  What follows are some our favorite shots from the trip.   Be aware there will be shots that are photographically cliché (and perhaps trite), but that's what happens on vacations.  You see sunsets and you photograph them.  Oh yeah, you'll also see a lot of dog photos as well (sometimes at sunset or sunrise).

The house was relatively small and this was the most important part of it.  We were either on the beach or watching the beach from the window.  Directly behind us was the kitchen, but who gives a crap about a photo of a kitchen?

We could see the young Bella while on this trip.  The beach never seems to lose its appeal for any creature, young or old.

I was surprised to see Bella retrieve a thrown rock on this early morning jaunt.

I liked the way the foam encircled her on this shot.  The tree in the background is the original Bonsai tree from the "Karate Kid" movie.

Cliche warning!  Footprints in the sand.  Which ones belong to Jesus?

This is a shot Nikki took and she's very proud of it. This one is in focus!  I always tell her, "Put the red square on my face", but it doesn't always work.  This is taken when we went hiking up in the hills near the beach.  It's converted to sepia due to my extremely pasty and pale skin color.

Official "farkle" score cards.  Two in a row for me, according to the official scorekeeper, which was me.  Great, fast paced game for parties.  Google it.

We found this crab flipped over on its back.  I turned it over and it moved.  I may have squealed.  I imagined him having a french accent.  Bella came over and had a sniff, but the crab didn't have the energy to try and pinch her.  I threw it back in the water, but he washed back up (on his back) and was devoured by the seagulls.  There must be a tenderloin on the underside towards the bottom because that's what the birds hit first.

The rocks and sand matched Bella.  No brainer to include this one.

She retrieved a bigger rock this time.  Surprised again.

This is what I'm used to seeing.  Sticks have always been her thing.  I imagine her having an east coast accent in this shot.  Right now she's saying, "Hey, fongul!!!"

There are hundreds of old artillery positions in and around the San Francisco hills and they are nearly all universally grafitti'd.  I have no idea why I struck this half assed Emminem wannabe, hip-hop, knock-off pose.   The colors of the graffiti matched my shirt, though!

Another portrait that Nikki was very proud of.  I must admit, I like it as well.  Like many folks, I pick apart most portraits taken of me, but this one turned out nice.  We were both practicing making sure our jaw lines were prominent, which they say is one of  the keys to a good portrait.

Same spot, Nikki's turn.

Sunrise with Daniel Larusso's tree in the background.  The bird in the middle just asked the one to the right about the tenderloin on the crab with the french accent.

Some dude in a cowboy hat was fishing in the early morning.  I like to make up stories about absolute strangers so I'll say this about him:  He recently moved to California from Montana because of his work.  He prefers fly fishing, but any day he can put a line in the water beats a day without fishing.   He had to leave early to meet a client but planned on fishing again around 4:30, right at dusk.  He's sort of boring, which makes meeting women a huge challenge.  His profile can be found on  Search "boring,cowboy,montana,heath ledger,jake gylennhaall,confused".

This is not just another cliche sunrise shot.  There is a little nugget behind the back wave in the top right quadrant of the shot:  I inadvertently captured a dolphin.   It's small, I know, but I didn't plan on it.  For those doubters in the audience, I was shooting in rapid fire mode and in the photo immediately before this one, you can see the wave with no dolphin.

A bird sits in repose amongst an oil slick from a negligent oil company.  We later cleaned him off with Dawn (TM) and nursed him back to health.  Just kidding.

I love the fact that all animals have the "play" gene.  There is no biological reason for this bird to keep this ball, but he tossed it around and then took off with it like a kid taking his ball and going home.

Sunset cliche alert!!

This little girl was fascinated with these gigantic bubbles.  I was set up to shoot long exposure sunset shots when I wheeled around and saw her chasing the bubbles.  This is after sunset so I had to change the settings from (insert some camera geek talk) to (more camera geek talk) to get the shot.  I was pretty proud that I damn near got her in focus.

This might be my favorite shot from the trip.  Those colors aren't photoshopped in any way, that's the real deal.  Any number of religious, self-help, inspirational memes could be used in conjunction with this shot.  That is a random kid who climbed up the "ladder" and put his arms out as seen.  I shot this through the window of the house.

This is the second night and the sunset wasn't quite as brilliant as the first.   I was taking long term exposures (30 seconds) to get that dreamy look in the water.  I liked the shot but thought it needed a little extra "something" so I decided to put myself in the shot.  That's me standing there for 30 seconds. I liked the result.

Cliche window shot!  I bet there's not a woman who viewed this photo who didn't go "Awwwww.........".  That's what we call a crowd pleaser.  This was right before we had to leave and Nikki told me I had one shot.  This was it.

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