Manhattan Beach does their annual firework display at Xmas. They don’t compete with the neighboring beach community that does it in July. It’s a very large beach. You have to get a good seat. And so we did. The traffic was horrible. But we were already parked. I guess that was the limiting factor.
We sat alone with no one nearby and had the best seats in the house. It was chilly! And I got fireworks! Next July I’ll look for fireworks images. For now we got some great ones. How do you know he’s going up? He was. I suggested it would be easier to pull than push. But the image? It could be more likely he’s going downhill with the stroller…except he’s not.
On the technical side: I shot the fireworks handheld. This meant I could not use an extended exposure. Ideally: Use a tripod. Set the shutter speed to 3-4 seconds. Adjust your ISO and aperture accordingly. You get sharp trails of light and even multiple bursts. Handheld? Hey, it works too if you set up correctly. It’s what I did when I started. It’s not what I’d do now. But one adapts to the conditions provided. No, it’s not worth buying a tripod special for this occasion. I’m not OCD. Ha!
We have been on a long journey to California and back. The estimate was 5500 miles point to point. The actual miles turned out to total 8200. Yeah, you never go in a straight line. This was the turn around. We spent a weekend with Jules. She can make gnocchi! I helped. It was great fun! And delicious.
There were cupcakes for dessert. I’d do it all again. In case you cared, I don’t really eat icing… too much sugar. I gotta watch my sugar. And I’ve been avoiding high fructose corn syrup too. So should you.
Hey! We got Jeff that hat in Moab. He actually wore it immediately. I usually wear my new stuff about a year later. I bet you didn’t know that either. Alas, my new jeans and new shoes had to be worn almost immediately. It’s inside info except for those who know me.
We were at the pier. There was a laughable lame aquarium. I can say this because as a snob I have diving on a pretty awesome reef in the Red Sea. And outside there was a fake shark garnering attention. So we mugged. I’m not sure sharks come in black and this guy is definitely not too scary as is.
Here’s photography lessons. I read a site in which people are always there asking how to do portraits and they are just about to do their first wedding shoot. Could someone please help? And the response – if you are asking, don’t do it. I’m not the shooter for my daughter’s wedding. She hired someone. I did not ask. She’s pretty organized. Tips:
It helps if they love each other. Duh? But close and tight. You don’t need to see pores but close up. You don’t need the whole body. Hey, do you actually notice? Anyway a kiss helps. But there are so many people who smush. That looks funny. This was about right. I did not ask but this was the right shot. I was just there to shoot it.
A winning smile. You need the couple to be at ease. It helps that I know my daughter. And her fiancée was cool, So everyone was relaxed and spontaneous smiles were in ample evidence. Clothes are optional but I did not tell them how to dress. I merely warned them I was shooting a lot of images.
Once you have them laughing, you need to move around. Get a different perspective. But keep them smiling. I don’t patter. You can. I just smiled and let them know I appreciated the moment too.
Background check. Not too close. The background will be in focus. You want a more soft one? Keep your subject well away from the glass behind them. No? Well, then that is a choice.
The fence made a nice graphic. Focused. It added an element and you might decide it is distracting. Remember I’m just trying things out as we go along. Ah! Remember the light. No harsh sunlight to make squinting. Nice even soft light. Indirect light works. It would be open shade. Yes, you can work with a flash but that would be too formal for me.
Another kiss and a neutral background. Elegant and classy. Yes a monotone background lets you concentrate on the main subjects. It is also nice that my daughter can kiss back.
This was an odd shot. I was pleasantly surprised. When I shot it I did not think it was so special. But the spontaneous action was nice. Sunglasses hide the eyes. But here they work rather well. Yeah, I shot it but I consider it a brilliant snapshot.
This was actually the start of our walk. Dappled sunlight and shade. Watch for the highlights. The overexposure will kill the image. But controlling the light is good. Jeff’s taller so sitting put them more even. Yes, Happy helps too.
Moonrise. We arrived at dusk, missed the sunset, because we were lost. The last tram was headed to the top and there was no admission because we were so late. It is a rather nice view of the city lights. And the moonrise was just another bonus. We didn’t see much of the art. But I was there for the photo op anyway.
Well, the unofficial official time is in… J did very well in her age group, among females, and overall (better than 75%) among all racers. The top woman in her age group was one of the top finishers in 2hrs 25min. The next woman after that was 2hr 43 and then 3 hrs. Except for the first two women everyone was in the range of 3 hrs and up. Competitive? Well J finished better than 80% of the other women in her age group. Lisa sent video. She needs work as a videographer. J was on screen about a second and a half.
The finish line video is out also. Amazing!! In this day and age everything is recorded and you can get access on the internet. They had a two camera angle setup and you can look up your video based on finish time. It’s Los Angeles – Hollywood – but this ain’t a Hollywood work of art. I know my daughter and couldn’t pick her out till I looked at the video about 4 times. But since I’m accessing this information from halfway across the world, hey, not too shabby!
The next thing are the race pictures but no doubt screen saving an image or two will trigger all sorts of copyright problems.
Am I still competitive? Well the other day in the pool, the training coach goaded us into a short sprint. I got touched out by a colleague 20 years younger and was pissed.
When I was a senior resident, my chief, Dr Ransohoff, arrived at the hospital late one weekend night. He had traveled back from the Hamptons having injured his quad muscle in a footrace in a parking lot outside a restaurant. I didn’t know from quad injuries and it was a strange feeling to be examining my boss’s quad as he dropped his pants in front of me so I could check him. All the while his disapproving wife was in the background making the sounds of, “I told you so.” Come to think of it, I’m about that age now. But don’t worry, I’ll not be dropping my pants for an exam anytime soon.
Me running? I never did like distance running though the coaches all told me that my build was not for sprinting (which I preferred).
J, it seems has found her niche. She did middle distance in high school but was not a fan of distance running either.
David was not a competitive athlete but has completed the NYC triathlon which is no minor feat. I was surprised at his skills in swim, bike, and run.
No couch potatoes, these kids of mine. Did I mention I’m proud of them both?
Marathon Sunday Los Angeles, TODAY. J did it! The internet is great and wonderful. They gave me updates every 10K. And I could watch the feed on Los Angeles TV. Of course, they concentrated on the winners. And I was in contact with the family halfway across the world. I did remind them that the daylight savings time kicked in overnight. Fortunately J made it to the start on time. Right now as of this post, the news is fresh within the hour I was notified that she finished. I still have to wait to speak with her.
But it’s still quite an accomplishment. And I can honestly say that J has done something that I would never try myself. It’s nice when your kids surpass you. Need I say more?
PS – Spoke with her. She’s injury free but tired. There are hills you can’t see on TV (everything looks flat). At mile 21 everyone bonks and she did as well, almost walked. But then at the finish she said it would be embarrassing to be walking so she was running. Her time is average at 4 and 1/2 hours among all marathon (average human, male or female) runners in general (very nice!). But keep in mind that the winners were done in a little over 2 hours which is faster than I can ride my bike (just about). So that is a bit humbling to me.