Yesenia is a friend of Candice’s, and they work together on a regular basis. She came over with her husband, Francisco, on New Year’s Eve to hang out and celebrate with us. Yesenia is also going to school at a local community college, and Francisco is in the Marines. Unfortunately, they’ll be moving in the near future because of a relocation with the Marines — and they don’t even know where they’re going yet! It’s too bad because her and Candice really get along well.
I know, I know… yesterday a dog, and now a stuffed animal. Hey, if dogs are people too, why not a stuffed giraffe? I didn’t really feel like going out to look for another willing participant of the December Challenge, so I figured I would try working with something else.
This is just one of the kids’ stuffed animals placed out on the back porch. We’re having the surface refinished and they have this sand (or maybe it’s kitty litter or something) laid out over the entire porch. I’m probably not supposed to walk on it, but whatever… it’s my porch.
I promise, tomorrow will be a portrait of a real person.
I went out to the Westfield University Towne Center in La Jolla to pick up a few things this morning, and I ran into this interesting character. She was a friendly little dog — came right up to the camera (so close that one of my shots was all nose!). This was her first time out at the mall, but I understand she was doing very well with it. Apparently, she and her owner were taking a little breather after Maggie started shaking nervously in one of the stores. She was fine after getting back outside though.
Candice and I spent the day at the San Diego Zoo with the kids. We ended up buying season’s passes since the price difference wasn’t that much. Plus I knew we couldn’t cover the entire zoo in one day with the kids, so now we can go back any time. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive for us.
This photo is of my son Rex hanging out by the Elephants. He likes to wander around and climb on the rails, so we had to keep a close eye on him. He really wanted to see the Panda, but the line was outrageous so we told him we’d see them next time. We ended up settling on the Elephants as our last stop for the day, and the kids were fine with that.
This photo actually says a lot about how my kids act in front of the camera. Bailey goes into "model mode” and starts posing and batting her eyes. Honestly, I don’t know where she picks up on this stuff. Rex, on the other hand, will do what he can to show off or place himself in some strange configuration while saying “look what I can do.” And if I’m not taking a photo of him (as was the case with this one), he’ll do everything in his power to insert himself into the photo. Usually he puts his face or hands right in front of the lens, so at least this time he had the decency to place himself inside of the focused region.
This was taken in Downtown San Diego. We attempted to get down there in time for the balloon parade, but we showed up just after it had finished. So we walked around the city for a little while then headed back home for lunch.
Sidenote: On the way home, we drove through Little Italy and I scoped out a photography store. I’m going to have to head back down there by myself one day and check it out.
Daniel is a street performer (card magician) I encountered on Hollywood Blvd at the recent photowalk. I stopped to take a few shots of him, and he started giving me a hard time about it (as shown in this photo). I believe his words were "Sir, you’re not being sneaky. I can see you taking pictures.” So I walked over to him to show him the shots and I told him I’d make him a star.
After that, we ended up having quite a conversation for about 15 or 20 minutes on various topics. I got the impression that he’d been to many places across the country including New York and Hawaii.
The most interesting topic of our conversation was his observations on how the weather effects the people on the streets. He said you can actually see a change in the way people act and react to things when the temperature changes or the wind picks up. I suppose that with a job such as his, you’d have plenty of time to analyze society as it passes you by on the sidewalk.
All in all, Daniel was a really nice guy and a great conversationalist. He seemed to be happy with his job, and his character suits it quite well. I think he’s on MySpace, but I’m not certain that it’s him. Here are a few other photos of him in action.
This is my Grandpa Bill. Truthfully, I don’t even know how old he is (my Mom just informed me that he’s 75). You wouldn’t know it by watching him get around and take care of everything himself. He’s had both knees completely replaced, he’s got really bad arthritis in his wrists, and I think his back is starting to give him problems. And yet… he plays with my kids, builds camp fires, shoots guns, and travels frequently to other countries. Just this last year, him and my Dad went to Taiwan and Borneo and hiked all around the mountains for days on end (my Dad said he had a hard time keeping up sometimes).
Aside from his brutal stubbornness to do everything for himself, he’s got to be one of the nicest and sweetest men I know. He lives just a few miles up the road from us, and he’s always more than accommodating to have us over for dinner and whatnot. The kids love him to pieces and they get so excited to go to his house.
He was also a Marine, he likes guns, he like swords, and he likes all things of the Asian culture. In this photo, he was looking back through one of his yearbooks (I think from his days at the academy). The late afternoon sun was shining through the windows across the room and he lit up like a Christmas tree. Here are some other photos from our little family get-together on Christmas day.
Yes, it’s true. Tonight I photographed the infamous Captain Barbossa of the Black Pearl… actually, that’s just what his name tag said. His real name is Ian, and he works over at the Blockbuster in Del Mar Heights. I swear, every time I go in there he ends up helping me check-out, but we’ve never said more than two words to each other. Well, I guess even after talking to him a little about the December Challenge project, I still didn’t talk to him much on a personal level. He’s a really quiet guy (meaning that he doesn’t say much), but when he does talk he’s got this booming deep voice that kind of catches you off guard.
Oh well, maybe I’ll talk to him more next time… I know where he works.
I encountered Dino at a local gas station in Del Mar Heights late this evening. I was topping off the truck and I still needed a photo for the December Challenge, so I figured who would be safer to approach at a dark gas station at almost midnight than the security guy? I let him know about the project and he happily agreed to a photo.
Dino is originally from Romania, and he currently works as a security officer. He’s been in the business for the last 27 years and he says he loves his job. It also turns out that Dino is a bit of a photographer himself. He’s got a Canon dSLR that he typically shoots with, but he also has a few really neat cameras that his parents left him. One is an older Hasseblad, and the other is a Leica rangefinder that his Mother picked up in 1936 (I’m guessing it’s a Leica II). He said that the Leica is still in near perfect condition and he uses it from time to time.
We talked about so many things in front of that gas station for about 45 minutes — I’ll bet he’s got a ton of other stories and life-lessons to share. He had all kinds of stuff to talk about… lived in New York, retired from the army, four kids (I’m pretty sure on that number anyway). But the biggest thing I got from him was that he really enjoyed his job and he loved to talk about his experiences with it.
I was trying to think of an interesting place to get a portrait for the day, and I ended up at the grocery store in the produce section. I figured the colorful fruits and vegetables would make for a nice background. Well, when I got there the place was pretty much dead — not many shoppers, especially in the produce area. There was, however, an employee stocking the bananas.
Matt is an X-Ray Technician student at San Diego Mesa College, and he works over at the local grocery store when he’s not in class. He also spends his free time surfing the local beaches. Interestingly enough, Matt is a native San Diegan — born and raised down here. And after being here for nearly half a year myself, I’m not surprised he’s decided to stick around.