Thirty Years of Photography (Part III 2010-2014)

Nikon D90 Digital Camera

I took far more photos and made far more journeys in this decade than the previous two. Whether that’s from having better photo gear or finding a travel partner who set me on the road to visiting Alaska, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, and more, I don’t know. Whatever the cause, it made it so I had to split what was intended to be a three-part series into four parts.

Be sure to read PART ONE (1989-1999) and PART TWO (2001-2009) of my Thirty Years of Photography Series if you haven’t already.

The Year Two Thousand and Ten

I’ve always liked sports photography. It might even be my favorite, running back and forth on a basketball court or wandering around a racetrack to try an capture the excitement of the moment.

Mission College Prep CIF Championship (02-26-10)

February, 2019. The rain poured nonstop and turned the Mission College Prep soccer field into a swamp for this season ending match. That’s not just a splash the kid is jumping over – if you look closely you’ll see another kid on the ground.

24 Hours Of LeMons - Sears Pointless (03-06-10)

There’s a racing series for $500 cars known as the “24 Hours of LeMons.” Got a junker? Deck it out in a hot dog and burger and see if you have what it takes to win – or just survive – this two-day challenge.

In early 2010 I traveled to Costa Rica for a short visit and to fly my 88-year old mom home who had flown down a few months before to visit family. As it was, this turned out to be less the jungle adventure and more a family visit with a few small side trips.

"Feria del Agricultor" [Vendor at the Farmers' Market in San Jose, Costa Rica]

One of the many farmer’s markets scattered around the San Jose suburbs.

Cattle Egrets in Costa Rica

Ever wonder why a cattle egret is called a cattle egret? Well, here you go…

"Flower on the Volcano" [Escolonia Flower at Parque Nacional Volcan Poas, Costa Rica]

This escolonia flower was on the trail leading from the visitor’s center to the crater of the Poas volcano.

"Iglesia San Pedro de Poas" [Roman Catholic Church in San Pedro de Poas, Costa Rica]

Iglesia San Pedro de Poas in the small town of Poas near the foot of the volcano.

"Our Lady in the Falls" [Statue of Virgin Mary Behind Waterfall in Alajuela, Costa Rica]

These small statues of Virgin Mary are scattered around the countryside in little alcoves carved behind the many roadside waterfalls.

In 2010 I met the most incredible travel companion. She not only has accompanied me on my travels, but has encouraged and, in fact, taken point on adventures that I would have never taken on my own. Any destinations you’ll see from this point onward that involve a plane or a ship can be directly attributed to her influence. But before we were heading overseas or on the seas, we took a road trip to northern California.

"Complementary Colors" [Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California]

This is, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge.

"Oxymoron?" [Historic Life Saving Station Cemetery Sign in Point Reyes National Seashore, California]

This small cemetery is in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

2010 was the year I was introduced to cruising. I didn’t know if I would like it, so we booked a 5-day trip from Vancouver, BC, to Los Angeles, California, to get a taste. As you’ll see as you continue reading my blogs, I enjoyed cruising indeed.

Sushi Plate at Mo Mo Sushi, Vancouver, BC.

Best $9 I ever spent. I got this sashimi plate at a place called MoMo Sushi in Vancouver, British Columbia, while waiting to board our ship.

Norwegian Pearl Cruise Ship

My first close-up view of a cruise ship. And this is a little one by today’s standards!

"Modern Design" [Cruise Ship Funnel on the Norwegian Pearl]

Hours spent walking the decks resulted in a lot of photos of the ship’s details. This one of the funnel is one of my favorites.

"The White Pearl" [Norwegian Pearl Cruise Ship  in San Francisco, California]
"The Man in the Yellow Helmet" [ Officer on the Norwegian Pearl Cruise Ship in San Francisco]

The Pearl tied up in San Francisco. Unlike the Princess line that docked at Fisherman’s Wharf, we were relegated to “the docks” way down at Pier 30 and people had to take shuttle busses to Pier 39.

"Welcome to the City by the Bay" [Ferry Building in San Francisco, California]

Of course the Princess passengers didn’t get a beautiful bay tour of the city and a cruise under the Oakland Bay Bridge like we did.

"Moonlight Ride" [Bicyclist on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California]

After cruising under the Golden Gate Bridge as the full moon rose behind us, this bicyclist was kind enough to be crossing at the perfect time. This was shot with a long zoom on a moving ship and with very little light so it took a lot of work to get this photo print-ready, hence the grungy black and white look.

"Hangin' Out" [Emerald Tree Boa at California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California]
"Inner Space" [Moon Jellyfish in Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California]

Our cruise ended in Los Angeles where we picked up a rental car for our drive home. Before we left we stopped at the Long Beach Aquarium and got these photos of the Emerald Tree Boa and Moon Jellyfish.

Here are a couple of more “local” photos – and as usual local to me means anywhere in California! The first at Death Valley National Park, the second is from Bakersfield, California.

"Desert Vagrant" [Woman Walking on Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, California]

Badwater Basin in California section of Death Valley National Park, the lowest point in North America.

Woods Tea Company (11-06-10)

I met a talented musician on my 2008 train trip to Denver. In 2010 Patti Casey was in California playing with her band so we took a quick trip to Bakersfield to watch her play. The stage was across a pool of water from the audience, giving me this lovely reflection.

Two Thousand and Eleven

In January of 2011 I got a phone call at work – “I found a great deal on Travel Zoo! Do you want to go to Maui for five days?” Surprisingly I didn’t get many good photos on that trip, just a crab lounging on the beach and the famous neon sign in Lahaina.

"They Even Brought A Neon Sign" [Jesus Coming Soon Sign in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii]

With our first cruise being a success, we decided to take a longer one around the Mediterranean. We started in Barcelona, Spain, then on to Monaco and France, Italy, Turkey, and Greece.

"The Rain in Spain..." [Street Scene in Barcelona, Spain]
"Filling Up" [Sea Plane in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France]
"In the Spotlight" [Tourists at The Pantheon in Rome, Italy]

"Brilliance" [Sunset from a Cruise Ship on the Agean Sea ]
"Building Blocks" [Greek Homes in Fira, Santorini, Greece]
"Get Your Ass Against the Wall!" [Donkey in Fira, Santorini, Greece]

After the Mediterranean cruise we took a couple of road trips. First was a weekend at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, then to Hoover Dam and the Eastern Sierras.

"Sampling the Air" [Western Terrestrial Garter Snake in Kings Canyon National Park, California]

"Pressure Waves" [Folded Metamorphic Rock in Kings Canyon National Park, California]

This Western Terrestrial Garter Snake being a bit less than terrestrial and spectacular rock formation were in Kings Canyon National Park

"Feats of Engineering" [Hoover Dam from the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Bypass Bridge]

This fisheye view of Hoover Dam from the new Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge captures the old Highway 93, the dam, and the shadow of the bridge on the canyon wall.

"National Disgrace" [Plaque at Manzanar National Historic Landmark, California]

Not all National Landmarks commemorate achievements and victories. Manzanar National Historic Landmark stands as a reminder of what prejudice and hysteria can lead to. In this case, over 120,000 innocent United States citizens were uprooted from their homes at gunpoint with only what they could carry, and moved to camps located in such lovely places as the California desert.

This is re-creation of one of the barracks at the Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp, not to be confused with a prisoner of war camp. Barbed wire fences and soldiers in towers with machine guns made sure the internees (don’t call them prisoners) didn’t leave until the end of World War II. I guess it can be confused with a POW camp after all.

Two Thousand and Twelve

Oh, no! Not another cruise! Our Mediterranean cruise ship experience was less than stellar. We still liked cruising and seeing the beautiful destinations, but our experience on board ship left us wary. We decided that our next cruise would be on a familiar ship and a shorter itinerary, and so we booked a 7-day cruise of the Alaska Inside Passage on the Norwegian Pearl. Our cruise took us to three Alaskan towns, plus Glacier Bay National Park and Victoria, British Columbia. The photos below are on board the Pearl, on the highway from Skagway to the Yukon Territory in Canada, Glacier Bay National Park, and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

"Gateway to the Klondike" [Snow-Covered Landscape in British Columbia, Canada]
"Water and Stone" [Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska]
"Walking Together" [The Unity Wall Mural in Victoria, British Columbia]
"No Signal" [Cell Phones on a Wall in Victoria, British Columbia]

These next photos are from home along the Central Coast of California.

"22 A and B" [Granary Wall in Templeton, California]
"First Winter" [Western Gull in Morro Bay, California]
"Mermaid Under Moonlight" [Mr. Rick's Cocktails Neon Sign in Avila Beach, California]

The metal tags and wooden wall are at the granary in Templeton.

The Western Gull is from the north “T” pier in Morro Bay.

Mr. Ricks is in Avila Beach.

Two Thousand and Thirteen

This next series of photos is again from the local area – really local, not 200 mile away local.

Bad Feather Day -- Brown Pelican Silhouette in Morro Bay, California

Sunset silhouette over Morro Bay, California.

"Hanging On" [Bushtit at Oso Flaco Lake in Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, California]

Oso Flaco Lake is a hidden gem near the tiny town of Guadalupe. It’s a peaceful spot unexpectedly located on the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area where birds, ducks, raccoons, and more are often seen.

Corn Dog Grass -- Cattails at Santa Margarita Lake, Santa Margarita, California

I nearly walked into these cattails on a trail at Santa Margarita Lake.

"Hey Baby, Wanna Neck?" [Brown Pelican in Avila Beach, California]
"Ol' Blue Eyes is Back" [Brown Pelican in Port San Luis, California]

These pelicans were on Stearns Wharf in Port San Luis near Avila Beach.

Could it be another cruise? Of course! Our Norwegian Pearl experience to Alaska hit the reset button after our negative Mediterranean experience. This time we booked on what has become our favorite cruise line, Celebrity Cruises. For this trip we flew from San Francisco to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and picked up the Celebrity Summit bound for the southern Caribbean.

"Pssst....Back Here!" [Two Green Iguanas at San Juan National Historic Site, Puerto Rico]

We got into San Juan at about 4am and spent the night in a hostel. We had a day to visit old San Juan before our ship sailed that afternoon and I got this picture of two residents of the San Juan National Historic Site.

I can’t believe I slept right through both the Rapture AND the end of the world!

This warning was stuck on a wall in Barbados.

"Sea Hunters" [Fishing Boat in Castries, St. Lucia]

Looking down from the deck of the Celebrity Summit. Its amazing how the water in the Caribbean really does look as turquoise as it does in all those photographs you see.

"Caribbean Color" [Curtains for Sale in St. John, Antigua]

I don’t know what it is about the United States, but it seems that everywhere else in the Americas is splashed with color! These colorful curtains were for sale in St. John’s, Antigua.

"Ahoy, Mateys!" [Naked Tourists on the Cruise Ship Adventure of the Seas]

This is, by far, the most popular photo I’ve ever taken. I can put this on facebook and it gets five times as many views as my other photos. I put it on my new Flickr page and it got 250 hits in twelve hours. (I usually get about 10.) I need to stop taking pictures of rocks and start photographing naked people!

This is the famous Maho Beach in Saint Martin. Princess Juliana International Airport is across a fence just beyond the beach and tourists come from all over to stand under the airliners as they make their final approach. Sadly we had to leave before the 747 came in, which is twice the length of this 737.

"Sailing Into the Sunset" [Sunset on the Caribbean Sea ]
"The Bridge" [Celebrity Summit Bridge on the Caribbean Sea]

After the Caribbean, we spent some more time around “home” before our next trip.

"British Chrome" [Jaguar at the Woodlands Family Automobile Display in Paso Robles, California]

This Jaguar is at the Woodland Auto Display in the Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles.

"Bedroom Hallway" [Abandoned Zoo in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California]
"Dungeon Staircase" [Abandoned Zoo in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California]

These two photos are from the old abandoned Los Angles Zoo in Griffith Park.

"Flaking Away" [Piedras Blancas Motel In San Simeon, California]

A close up of the old sign patinted on wall of the Piedras Blancas motel in San Simeon.

"You've Got Mail" [US Post Office PO Boxes in San Luis Obispo, California]

The San Luis Obispo Post Office in downtown has some great old post office boxes.

"My Future's So Bright I've Got to Wear Shades BW" [Street Musician in San Luis Obispo, California]

This sax player was in downtown San Luis Obispo.

"Chinese Folk" [Chinatown Street Musicians in San Francisco, California]

Musicians playing traditional folk instruments in Chinatown, San Francisco.

"A Streetcar Named Toronto" [Streetcar Under Fisherman's Wharf Sign in San Francsico, California]

The cliche shot of a streetcar under the Fishermans Wharf sign. Shouldn’t there be an apostrophe in that sign somewhere?

"No Rest for the Weary" [Abandoned Crane Cables and Pulley in Alameda, California]

This pulley was on an old crane in Alameda, California. The crane is no longer there, which is a reminder to always take the shot when you see it because you never know if you’ll have another chance.

"Made in China" [Container Ship Kobe Express at Port of Oakland, California]

This shot of a container ship and dock in the Port of Oakland was taken from near the old crane in Alameda.

When we planned our Australia/New Zealand cruise, we decided that we’d fly in to Sydney early and rent a car for four days. Then we’d board the ship, sail from Sydney to Melbourne, then over to New Zealand.

"Tin Man's Rod" [Chrome Statue in Garland Valley, New South Wales]

This chrome statue was on the road between Singleton and Winsor, New South Wales.

"Who's That Cockatoo?" [Sulfur Crested Cockatoo in New South Wales, Australia]

Seeing cockatoos flying in the wild was definitely a high point for me.

"I'm a Harp!" [Australian Pelican in New South Wales, Australia]

This Australian Pelican was perched on a street lamp in a town south of Sydney.

"Unidentified Flying Objects" [Gulls over Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, New South Wales]

We boarded our ship on Thursday but didn’t depart until Friday, so we got to spend a night on board. We couldn’t have asked for a better location, just across from the opera house and with the Sydney Harbour Bridge directly ahead.

"You'll Know Me by My Hat" [State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia]

Our first stop after we left Sydney was Melbourne, a city of some incredible architecture. This is the interior of the State Library of Victoria.

"Black and White" [White-Fronted Tern in Port Chalmers, New Zealand]

White-Fronted Terns are incredibly fast fliers, and I managed to get a couple of good shots while visiting Port Chalmers, New Zealand.

"Reading Room" [Coronation Library in Akaroa, New Zealand]

We found this small reading room in Akaroa.

"Pigeon Toes" [Wellington Railway Station in Wellington, New Zealand]

I spotted this scene while at the railway station in Wellington.

"Watercolors" [Fountain on the Cruise Ship Celebrity Solstice ]

This colorful fountain is on the the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice.

"Losing Ground" [Sheep and Cow in Tauranga, New Zealand]

We couldn’t leave New Zealand without at least one picture of their famous sheep.

"It's Not the Size, It's How You Use It" [Tugboats and Cruise Ship in Tauranga, New Zealand]

Finally, this is the scene of the dock in Tauranga, our last stop before disembarking in Auckland.

Two Thousand and Fourteen

After all that cruising to exotic lands, we decided in 2014 to do a Southwestern camping trip that would take us to six national parks.

"Old Girl" [Cadillac Hood Ornament in Barstow, California]

We spent our first night at what we call “The Round Bed Motel” (it’s actually the Route 66 Motel) in Barstow, California. This small motel has a collection of old cars in the parking lot, including this old Cadillac.

"Thirst" [Pinyon Tree in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah]

This old tree was in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Just beyond the tree are the incredible amphitheaters the park is known for.

"Striations" [Wall of Rock in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah]

We planned on driving from Bryce Canyon to Arches in one day, but we got a late start and ended up camping in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.

"Fins" [Rock Formations in Arches National Park, Utah]

Just like the hoodoos aren’t all there is to see at Bryce Canyon, arches aren’t the only thing to see at Arches National Park.

"Canyons Inside Canyons" [Islands in the Sky Region in Canyonlands National Park, Utah]

Canyonlands National Park, Utah, where the canyons are inside even bigger canyons.

"Tse' Hone' A Rock That Tells A Story" [Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument, Utah]

This is Newspaper Rock State Historic Park in southern Utah.

"No Pedestrians" [Tunnel Entrance in Zion National Park, Utah]

We had visited Zion National Park before, so we just drove though on the way home.

Stay tuned for the next installment which I’m expecting to cover 2015 to 2019.

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