Whitney Portal


I decided to head out this weekend on the motorcycle and escape the heat here in Bakersfield. In hindsight maybe heading into the desert wasn’t the best choice for this but overall it worked out very well. Early morning riding past Tehachapi was nice and cool and it wasn’t till I neared Mojave that the smoke from nearby forest fires clouded the air.

I continued North up through Red rock Canyon and soon I was riding in clean cool air again though as the sun beat down it was getting noticeably warmer. By midday it was becoming hot so I was glad to take a ride up Whitney Portal road. This very steep road soon had me up at cooler climes and I was able to relax near a stream for awhile. I had intended to pop into the portal shop for a bite to eat but there was a considerable crowd up by the trail head/ parking area so I decided to make my way down back towards 395 instead. Progressing along the interstate it wasn’t long before I realized  a. it was pretty darn hot out and b. the air quality was significantly worsening as more smoke flowed out of the forest fires.  The smoggy skies did make for an impressive sunset as I passed back through Red Rock Canyon so I stopped for a few pictures and as I headed towards Mojave a gusty wind started blowing which while it made riding a little uncomfortable did cool things off.

450 miles later I was home, a very enjoyable outing.

See the rest of the pictures HERE

Broug Dadford turns 80!


Brug Dadford turns 80! Brug Dadford turns 80!

For many years now It has been a Mother Lode Grotto tradition to Celebrate Doug Bradfords birthday with a trip to one of our favorite caves. He has made this an opportunity to encourage a better sense of style and attire amongst cavers, by making this a formal affair. He certainly makes a dapper figure caving in his tuxedo!

In the cave In the cave

This years trip was a great success and while Doug said he doesn’t intend to continue (it is a pretty strenuous hike, usually leaves me feeling tired for a couple of days after), hopefully others will continue this great tradition.

Once in the cave Dave had fun directing a photo shoot  and I got to test out a couple of new video lights I picked up- overall consensus was they were pretty darn bright. You can check out the results- http://captnemo.smugmug.com/Video/CaptNemos-videos/i-Cfn5hqR/A

You may want to go make some popcorn first though its 20 minutes long or just skip ahead to 12:45 that’s my favorite bit.

Matt poses over the lake Matt poses over the lake

There was still a little water in the cave though the water levels were not surprisingly very low.

Conrad,Rich,Forest and Scott. Conrad,Rich,Forest and Scott.

Millipede in the cave. Millipede in the cave. approx. 6cm

Sun setting as we hike up. Sun setting as we hike up.

lupine lupine

After our great trip we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at El Jardin, though our party filled the restaurant to capacity. I still had a long motorcycle ride before I got home but it was worth it.

 

 

To draw or not to draw, another silly question?


Fabric, charcoal drawing

Fabric, charcoal drawing

Last semester at Bakersfield College I was told a class in the arts was necessary before transferring to Cal State. I happily enrolled in Drawing 101 and enjoyed it immensely. The teacher chose to have us work almost exclusively with charcoal, a medium I had not previously used. I found the shades, tonal range and ease of use to be pretty good.

 

My rendition of plate 5 by Charles Bargue

My rendition of plate 5 by Charles Bargue

One of the most carefully studied bits of Styrofoam ever :)

One of the most carefully studied bits of Styrofoam ever 🙂

Ears are deceptively difficult to draw!

Ears are deceptively difficult to draw!

Crosshatching techniques

Crosshatching techniques

Skull and Cross bone?

Skull and Cross bone?

Architectural

Architectural perspective

Portrait of a caver

Portrait of a caver

At last a little bit of color!

At last a little bit of color!

My final project- Game over man!

My final project- Game over man!

I really enjoyed the course and intend to continue drawing with charcoal- I’ve got a new project on my desk right now 🙂

 

Night in the City of Angels


L.A at night

L.A at night

Since I was driving down to the airport at LAX to drop off my parents I decided to make an evening of it  and drive around taking some pictures.

Venice at night

Venice at night

My first stop was Venice beach. It certainly has a different vibe at night. I especially enjoyed taking pictures of bicyclists going by with led’s in their spokes as the long exposures made for some interesting shots.

Bicyclist at Venice beach

Bicyclist at Venice beach

Even the Murals and graffiti take on a different appearance at night.

Mural with graffiti

Mural with graffiti

St. Mark Mural, Venice Beach

St. Mark Mural, Venice Beach

Touch of Venice Mural

Touch of Venice Mural

Next I headed down towards an inlet.

Waterway inlet

Waterway inlet

Here I spotted this Pelican.

Pelican

Pelican

and while taking the pelicans picture I was lucky enough to spot a night Heron.

Night Heron

Night Heron

I then headed towards downtown Los Angeles, hoping to get a skyline shot.

I worked my way through the garment district and wound up in some sketchy neighborhood.

Right after I took the picture at the top of the post several police cars came speeding past and then were questioning someone just up ahead. I also became aware of huge numbers of homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk on the numerous side streets,  so that was enough for one night, I made my way back to the freeway and headed home.