2009 Amgen Tour of California

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6, 2009 by hotelyankeefoxtrot

Headed up to Paso Robles a couple of weeks ago to shoot at the Amgen tour with hopes of getting some good photos and see Lance Armstrong. I nabbed a couple of good ones, but didn’t even see Lance – the crowds were tremendous and just got lost in the shuffle. I made a bad choice to be at the finish line where we were packed like sardines in a can. I did however manage to get right next to the press area once they were on the podium to accept their jerseys, and behind the podium where the leaders (Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonens) exited.

amgen  005

amgen  006

amgen  003

You can see the rest of the set here.


Project 52, Week 2 – “Life’s a Beach…”

Posted in Project 52 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2009 by hotelyankeefoxtrot

3:45 am is really very early. Much too early. But as always, it’s worth it anyway. There is an elephant seal rookery near San Simeon, CA, a bit up the coast from me that gets thousands upon thousands of calving females, babies being born, fighting males, etc. A big group of photographers in the area got together for some shooting, with excellent results. Here’s a few of the best.

San Simeon Pier


Seal Pup

Juvenile Male

Piedras Blancas Lighthouse






You can see the rest of the set here. Special thanks to the Photomorrobay group for a wonderful day of photowalking.

2 weeks down, 50 to go…

Best of 2008

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2009 by hotelyankeefoxtrot

Another blog-inspired post, I’ve taken a look back through the photos I’ve taken in the last year.













Project 52 – Week 1 – “Dreamland”

Posted in Project 52 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2009 by hotelyankeefoxtrot

First week of ’09 and I’ve managed to keep two resolutions in one fell swoop.

Trip #4 to MDO State Park, Central Coast, CA…quite possibly the best kept secret for hiking, photography, and absolutely ridiculous beauty in the state, if not the whole country. Yup. I’m a fan. I wasn’t sure how well this shoot would work out – when I left San Luis it was sparklingly sunny with not a cloud to be seen. Cresting the hill at the top of Los Osos Valley Rd, with Morro Rock in the distance, a huge fog bank was rolling in which provided some nice, soft light, but not really what I was looking for, and causing some difficult exposure situations. Luckily a little bit of patience paid off and the sun dropped below the fog bank and it resulted in some really beautiful light on the cliffs but not so much that I couldn’t use some long exposures if I wanted. I will work on some processing for prints this weekend.

Not sure the photos do it justice but here they are.








Project 52, Week 2 is already in the works. Keep an eye on this space.

Tip of the week – scout out locations in advance and your results will be better later on. You’ll know the light, will be prepared for the terrain and will have more time to set up your shot based on having seen it before. Previsualize the basics of what you want and come back later. This location
is a hop skip, and a jump from me, and this particular outing is the fourth time I’ve been there – the photos I’ve gotten have improved each time – you can see examples from shoot one here and shoot two here.

Staying Committed. Are you?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2009 by hotelyankeefoxtrot

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions because – let’s face it, how many people actually follow through? I’m not sure I’ve ever known a single person who’s kept a NYR. As a serious amateur photographer, however, I think it’s time to make a commitment or two so that I can improve my photos this year. I’m not setting them too high, because a NYR that’s too lofty is a great way to ensure that I won’t follow through. I have four.

1. Make time for one photo outing per week. I’ve actually already started this already retroactively. KBP has consistently kept me motivated in the last few months to go out and make images happen (props to her! goodness knows it’s hard to do!), and I need to keep up on that. I want to be happy with at least one photo per week, but even if I’m not happy with the image, at least I got out and did it. Photography is like anything else in life – if you want to get better at it, you have to do it and do it often. Nobody ever got better at golfing or painting or knitting by sitting at home thinking about it. If you can just get out and do it, you will progress, even if you don’t want to. This podcast episode got the wheels turning, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

Friend and Twitter follower Mike has committed to a 365 project. Now, I can’t say that I’m quite that motivated (I admire anyone who is). But I can surely get 52 photos a year. And I can always make time for at least one a week, if not more.

2. Make a photography bucket list. The list of places to photograph before you ‘kick the bucket’. You’ll have to check back when I actually make the list…

3. Print more photos! I finally printed a few images this past December. That’s the first time I’ve printed photos for myself since I bought my camera in 2006. I’ve had some printed for people who bought them but never any for myself. Which is quite frankly absurd!

“Film is the score and the print is the performance.” – Ansel Adams

(not that I’m Ansel by any stretch of the imagination!)

I have a scrapbook sitting on my desk right now, so now I have no excuses. Digital is not a license to leave images sitting on a harddrive!

4. Finally, get this very site updated frequently and helpfully. My audience is tiny at this point, but I’d like to have a place that is helpful to other photographers who are making their journey into the hobby and/or profession. I’m not qualified to share very many techniques – but the more non-technique related posts, topical news of the day, and keeping my readers motivated, that I can do.

What are your photography resolutions for the year?

Some very exciting news…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2008 by hotelyankeefoxtrot

I’m a finalist in a great photo contest. Stay tuned for details…

And a new shot for good measure.


I’ve got the world on a string…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by hotelyankeefoxtrot

Sometimes you know when you nailed the shot. Sometimes, like on Sunday, you don’t until you get home and are pleasantly surprised and find out that you do, in fact, occasionally know how to get a good shot. Occasionally being the key word. 😉





These are from the Guadalupe Dunes, Santa Barbara County CA.