The Joy of Golf

The legend is that Mark Twain once wrote that golf was “… a good walk ruined.” History tells us that he may not have said this at all but it has always been my opinion on golf. It seems a major investment in time and money for something that is essentially free. Golf seems to also cause a lot of anxiety and as a former country club bartender I could tell you some stories.

That said, a lot of people love the sport and for them I took this picture of a sculpture that seems to capture the joy. This is at a resort in Palm Desert California.

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The Joy of Golf

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A Desert Oasis

The Palm Desert in southern California is home to Palm Springs and famous as a golf resort and winter oasis. It is also the home to Indian Canyons. It is not a national park since the park is on an Indian Reservation. In 1876 and 1877, the U.S. Federal Government created a deed in trust to the Agua Caliente people of 31,500 acres for their homeland. The tribe takes care of the park with assistance from California.

There are many different hikes and canyons and it is worth the short drive from Palm Springs to see the wonder of a desert oasis. We were there after a heavy rain and it was lush and green but also some of the trails were washed out.

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A Desert Oasis

Mountain Textures

My cousin in Los Angeles seemed confused when I told him we were planning to drive to Las Vegas for a couple of days. Oh he understood the occasional need to go to Las Vegas but couldn’t imagine why anyone in their rights mind would drive instead of fly. Especially when I told him we had done the drive before. He has lived in Los Angeles for all of his life and can’t say Desert without putting the word stinking in front of it. He looked at me with confusion when I asked him what to see in The Mojave Desert.

For me, every terrain offers unique challenges and opportunities. Every time I am in the Desert I find the photographic challenges to be unique and also rewarding. It is too bright, too stark and kind of boring. However those very features provide unique opportunities. The drive is hot and tiring but worth it as long as you never stop in Prim Nevada.

This image was taken at Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas.

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Mountain Textures

Beautiful Barstow California

Not every place in California is beautiful. However even the Mohave Desert that runs between Pasadena and Las Vegas has some beautiful and unusual spots. Barstow however is not one of them.

It lies about halfway between the two cities and a lot of people stop there for gas, food, and Alien Beef Jerky. It is a town famous for UFO sightings.

Around town you will notice drawings of aliens and strange men drawn on deserted buildings. There are many of them. This is an abandoned gas station on the outskirts of town. In my opinion, it’s best to drive through Barstow and stop at Peggy Sue’s Diner.

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Barstow CA

Our Pittsburgh Garden– White Iris

White flowers are the hardest to photograph. Iris especially are difficult because they reflect so much light but are thin enough to also refract a fair amount of light and light therefore transmits through the leaves.

To compensate for this, you must use a tripod so that you can use a low ISO setting and achieve enough depth of field to capture the transmitted light as well as the reflected light. During editing in post production it will be necessary to reduce the highlights by at least one and a half f-stops to be able to see the texture of the bloom in the white area.

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White Iris

Smithsonian Candidate #1…African Butterfly

I am thinking of entering the Smithsonian Photo Contest even though I have zero chance of winning. I say that not to denigrate my ability as a photographer, but each category already has over 50,000 entries. Sure a lot of them are crap but some, well follow the link above and see for yourself. Also you can only submit work from 1/1/2016 until the present and all works with people must have a model release.

If you are familiar with any of my work (e.g. Moment and Souls) you probably realize I don’t have a lot of model releases.

Fortunately I do have some images that may qualify in other categories and will be publishing some here to see if you feel they quality. Please comment and let me know your thoughts. This is an African Butterly photographed at The Tucson Botanical Garden.

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African Butterfly

Nancy Reagan

I never really paid any attention to Nancy Reagan while she was in The White House. All I thought I knew about her was that she was an empty headed actress that was in Donovan’s Brain, a movie I liked back in the day. Not too much was expected from FLOTUS back then, we all knew nobody could be better than Eleanore Roosevelt after all.

I gained some respect for her after the White House and the way she took care of her husband who had progressed far in to dementia. I saw this on Air Force One in the Reagan Library. Maybe she was also a decent First Lady after all?

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Aboard Air Force One