Saturday, April 28, 2007

Afternoon at the Dam

I've lived here for almost 12 years and I'd never been to visit the Dam. I've passed by it countless times, but never found the time to just walk out there. Last weekend I went out to catch the sunset, but realized I had gone out too early and was trying to think of something to shoot; the Dam! I parked and walked along the long curving levee and to my surprise found that I had the place all to myself. Also surprising was the fact that I could actually walk right up to the structure.

I was fascinated by all the symmetry and angles that provided such a wealth of photographic opportunities. The beautiful blue sky also made a great backdrop for many of the images.

The were such cool textures with all the aged wood and metal.

I stayed about an hour and a half and had such an amazing time exploring and shooting. I look forward to going back and seeing the things I overlooked and also how a different time of day will change things. This has also motivated me to not be a "someday" kinda person but to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Baby girl

Oh my baby girl. My youngest, my only girl, my little heart-stealer. She loves the camera and the camera loves her. There is not a lens wide enough to capture that smile, nor one long enough to see all the way into those eyes. The frame cannot contain her, it can only hope to capture a moment.

My wife and I traveled half way around the world and adopted not only our daughter but the rich history and culture of Ethiopia. We had decided that if we were going to have a third child we wanted a baby girl. The only avenue that would promise us that was international adoption. We had seen a program some time ago that showed a Canadian couple adopting from Ethiopia and at the time that seemed rather random. Delving a little deeper though showed us the deep love Ethiopians have for their children and their strong desire to give the best to them. As a result of this even the children in orphanages are given great attention and shown love as if they were family.

We embarked on a journey that eventually led us to a orphanage run by an American adoption agency in the country's capital, Addis Ababa.

There, in a city of 10 million, through the deserted streets, down a nondescript alley, behind iron gates, across the courtyard and into a room full of cribs and sleeping babies, we found the baby whose pictures we had been pouring over for weeks and weeks. After all the paper work, and shots, and fingerprinting, and paperwork, there she was; curly hair and sleepy smile.

That day was 8 months ago and there has been great change in our family. Prayers have been answered, dreams fulfilled and new challenges have arisen. We feel our family is complete now, our hearts content. God only knew that the one to complete our family was being born on Christmas Eve, 2005 in a faraway land called Ethiopia.

She joined our family at a time when I was discovering my love for photography and the power it has not only to record events but to move people and express emotion. My children were my initial motivation for buying a digital SLR camera. Their movements and moments of showing their true selves were too quick to be caught by shutter-lagged point and shoots. And though I have found many interesting and creatively fulfilling avenues in photography, none brings me greater joy than photographing my kids.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Day at the airport

My younger son and I were taking out some trash this morning when we heard an airplane approaching that didn't sound like one of the planes that come and go from our local airport. We looked up to see a Boeing B17 flying overhead and he exclaimed, "Whoa!".

We rushed inside and grabbed my older son and my camera and drove to the airport. We arrived in time to see the B17 preparing to take off with a load of people who had paid for the chance to take a flight in this beautifully restored aircraft. After watching it take off, and knowing that it would be back in a little while, we enjoyed the comings and goings of the other aircraft and the kid friendly viewing area.

This lovingly restored DC3 is owned by Clay Lacy.

We watched the B17 come and go a few times and each time was just as exciting as the last. Hearing those four engines wind up and seeing that big bird start to lumber down the runway and then lift majestically in the sky are wonderful things to behold. Those sights and sounds take you back to another time and place when radial engines were high tech and flights of bombers were measured in the hundreds. Seeing it land is almost surreal. Here comes this massive aircraft, hardly making a sound, seeming as though it will fall out of the sky it's going so slow. And yet land it does, with the chirp of it's two massive tires and the gentle let down of it's tail.

The grace with which this aircraft flies is from a bygone era and I'm so glad I could share this experience and this time with my boys. They left with the sound of those big radial engines in the ears and their heads in the clouds.

Here's a video I made a few years ago at the same airport of another B17 giving rides.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday at Rocky Peak

I got to spend some quality time with my big boy today while we hiked in the hills at the edge of the San Fernando valley. It rained a bit as we were driving there but had stopped by the time we parked. This was the first time I had taken him there and he loved it.

He wanted to explore every nook and cranny and was determined to find a suitable walking stick.

In the end we didn't find a walking stick that was up to par but we had great time just being together, exploring, and enjoying the beauty of the day.