Tuesday, July 13, 2010

History Worth a Second Look

The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town, San Diego, was rededicated July 10th 2010. I documented the event for the Frontier Army of the West, but other groups participated: The Buffalo Soldiers, The Apline Outlaws, and The Marine Color Guard. Old Town holds a significant place in San Diego history as the original site of the city. The hotel has been completely renovated and is now open to the public to enjoy along with the old historic adobe structure that sits adjacent to it. If you've never spent an afternoon wandering around Old Town or it's been awhile since you've gone, it is well worth a visit. You will learn a lot about the history of the city where I enjoy living. I love living in San Diego. All the photos from the event are on my website. Here is a link to the gallery. Now go forth and embrace your city!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Universe Aligns for a Morning

Have you ever had one of those days when the universe seemed to align itself and everything just fell into place so beautifully it almost made you want to cry? Well, I had one of those days last Wednesday. I'm on spring break from my teaching job, so I decided to get up early and head out to Point Loma Lighthouse. I know that if I get there when the gate opens there are usually not so many people around and the light is great for photography.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw only a few cars. Good! All the more for me. I grabbed my camera and headed up the hill to the lighthouse. From the parking lot it looked fantastic! When I reached the lighthouse, it was perfectly quiet. I looked but saw no one, except a worker repairing the roof of the oil shed next to the lighthouse. "Good morning," I said. He smiled and said, "You picked the best day of the year so far to be here. There's no wind today which is very unusual." He was absolutely right. The wind has always been a problem when I've shot at the lighthouse in the past. There's only a short time that the flowers are in bloom and with the wind it makes it difficult to shoot. But today it seemed that all the little blooms were smiling at me saying, "Oh, please take my picture!" I happily obliged.

I walked all around the lighthouse finding all my favorite angles to shoot. Inside I climbed the narrow circular stairs and up the metal rungs to get a shot of the lens. I've never been able to do that in the past, because there are always so many people crowded up there trying to get a look at it. Then I set my focus downward on the stairs. I had to adjust my ISO with the dim light, but I was able to get a couple of nice shots. What bliss to be able to take my time instead of being crushed by so many tourists and waiting, waiting, waiting until I might have a clear view.

At the bottom of the stairs, I backed myself right into the center of the stair well in order to get a shot out the front door looking at the ocean. I could hear click, click, click, click, click above me and I thought to myself that some other lucky photographer had also picked the right day to come to the lighthouse. We talked for a few minutes and exchanged websites. Photographers are so willing to share and be helpful. I enjoy meeting them when I'm out. There is never an attitude of competition or not enough to go around. There is an ethic among photographers like I have never seen in any other field in which I've worked. A couple of days later the photographer sent me a photo of me that I had no idea he had taken. It's pretty cool. Thanks Marcos for sharing. I love the photo.

Ah, yes, the universe aligned for me last Wednesday and I had a fabulous time. I have some great shots on my website. You can check them out at elizabethheathphotography.com. Now go forth and do something fabulous that you love whether the universe is aligned for you or not!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pinas and Padres in the Park!

Fog! Thick soupy fog. There it sits like a bowl of marshmallow cream in the valley below me, and I'm wondering if I'll be able to see the family I'm about to meet at Big Rock Park. The weather man has said it will be warm today maybe even in the low 70's, but right now it looks cold and unwelcoming. I pray and hope for the best while I drive down Mission Gorge Road toward my destination. Eric, my assistant is due to meet me in a few minutes to help get my equipment ready. I made sure my battery pack was charged up, so I don't have a dead battery in forty-five minutes like I did at my last photo session. Lesson learned on that one!

If I were at the park just to enjoy the early morning quiet and a walk, the ambiance created by the slowly lifting fog would be delightful. But I'm not and I'm hoping that in another twenty minutes it will lift enough to get some great images of Gabriel, Jasmine, and their children, Dana, Joelle, and the little guy also named Gabriel. The Pina's are a neat family that I got to know last spring, so I really want to give them some nice images to choose from. Gabriel has told me that it's been six and a half years since their last formal portrait was taken. Gee, little Gabe wasn't even born then! It's definitely time.

Eric arrives and we are ready to go when the Pina family drives up all dressed in their Padres shirts. How cute! They love the Padres, so why not. Thankfully, the fog is lifting just enough to suit me and off we go. The kids want photos on the big rocks, dad wants photos on the swings, and I want photos near the creek where all the gorgeous, huge, and colorful leaves carpet the ground.

After each set of photos, I say, "Do you want to see?" The kids all respond gleefully, "Yes!" Little Joelle says, "Wow!" with lots of feeling when she sees each one. I tell her that I'm going to make her my official ambassador for my photography. She just smiles and seems pleased. Mom and dad are happy with the images they see and I think they may have a difficult time choosing just one.

Our session comes to an end, and while I say good-bye to mom and dad the kids run off to play for a few minutes. I've enjoyed the Pina's so much, and my session with them just reiterates for me why I enjoy my photography so much. The people I get the chance to work with are fun and full of life. I have the best job in the world. Thanks Pina family for a really great morning at the park. Enjoy your images!

You can see all the images from the Pina's photo session on my website, elizabethheathphotography.com.

Now, go forth and do something you love to do!