Blue Mustang Fastback at the Long Beach Hi Performance Swap Meet

Long Beach Hi Performance Swap Meet

A blue Mustang Fastback at the Long Beach Hi Performance Swap Meet on a rainy day.

Once again the rain minimized the crowds at the Long Beach Hi Performance Swap Meet. I was skeptical in bringing my DSLR out for fear of it getting wet. However, I’m glad I did because this Mustang Fastback was waiting for me to take it’s picture.

The weather lately has been crazy in Southern California, one day it’s 80 degrees, then a few days later it’s in the 40’s and raining. Yesterday morning at the swap meet, it finally stopped raining allowing everyone to get a couple of hours of business.

Normally in this lot there are many cars out on display, some for sale others just for show. Towards the end of the morning only a few cars were out. This Mustang stood out in the cold wet lot.

I used a wide shot, focal length of 18mm at 100-ISO, f/13 and 250/sec. Because of the gloomy day the color of the car was a little underexposed so I adjusted the exposure a little in post-work. Shooting in overcast days is easy, but when you get the sun peaking in and out of the clouds, then that’s when it’s tricky.

Confusing Santa Monica Parking Signs

parking meter

The City of Santa Monica and it’s confusing parking signs.

Santa Monica has some of the strangest parking regulations, especially the metered street parking. Here’s a good example. And I assure you it’s not the worst, there are many others with additional restrictions.

According to the signs, I can’t park from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I also can’t park from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. on any day. But I am able to park for one hour at a time from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. everyday except of course on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Plus, it seems I can park for more than an hour if it’s from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. any day, except of course Wednesdays and Saturdays. However, if I do have a Farmers’ Market Permit, then I’m good for both Wednesday and Saturday.

Pheeew! Glad I sorted all that out before parking in this spot. Oh wait, I’ve been sitting in my car sorting out the rules for the past hour. Here comes the parking officer to give me a ticket!

Brown Pelican Posing in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Pier

Brown Pelican Posing in Huntington Beach

While out for a short walk at the Huntington Beach Pier, I noticed a small crowd surrounding this large Brown Pelican. For the most part, the people were trying to pose with the bird. Watching them interact with the pelican was funny.

For example, this guy was trying to do the Karate Kid pose next to the bird, but instead the bird flew away and moved a few yards up along the pier. Needless to say the crowd was upset at him.

Having spent so much time on the HB Pier, I’m surprised I haven’t seen a pelican snap or bite a person. Instead, it seems the birds are very aware of their surroundings and let you know when you get too close. The pelicans instantly snap their large beaks when people get near them.

These pelicans are at the HB all the time, I’ve seen them year round and each time they decide to land on the side of the rail, it’s picture time with the tourists or locals. Here’s one taken last summer during the U.S. Open of Surfing. Looks like these birds have a good life!

As for the photo above and you photography people, it was one of a series of shots (five in all) taken quickly. The camera (Nikon D7000) was set on continuous high shutter speed. However, I made an error, the ISO was incorrectly set to 1000 instead of 100 and that is why you see the “grain” on the photo. The aperture was set to f/7.1 and the shutter to 1/4000 sec.

I normally don’t have the camera set to auto-iso, but I was doing some test shots using that feature earlier indoors and forgot to turn it off. This shot would normally be taken with about 1/1000 sec. and 100 ISO. But considering the error, the image turned out ok.

Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier

Night lights

Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier

A couple of nights ago I took a walk over to the Santa Monica Pier, more specifically to Pacific Park. On a clear night this place looks awesome, almost like a movie set.

Although I’ve been here many times, this was the first time capturing it with my new DSLR. Viewing this place through a viewfinder allowed me to see things I hadn’t seen before. Like the vibrant color combination of the Ferris Wheel with the facade’s of the buildings.

It was a cold out, yet a few locals and tourists were still out enjoying the night. For taking pictures it was the perfect amount of people, not to crowded but also not empty. Because I didn’t want to use my flash to any of the images, most of the pictures were either handheld or placed on a post or table to capture a long exposure.

Below are two additional pictures worth sharing.

On a sad note, today we learned that Heull Howser from the popular PBS show California’s Gold passed away. For those of us living in California, he explored local spots in our own cities and taught us how to appreciate this wonderful state. His positive attitude made everything and everyplace he visited so much more interesting. He will be missed.

Sable Antelope at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Safari Park

Sable Antelope at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

I photographed this Sable Antelope backlit by the early morning sun at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It was looking at me as if to say, “take the picture already, I’m getting tired posing for you!”.

While trying to figure out what type of animal this was prior to posting, sadly I found out that the Sable Antelope is widely hunted for sport in Africa. I figure hunting in order to consume it for food is widely accepted and is ok, but to kill it as a sport is almost like shooting a hummingbird with a BB gun just for fun. Doesn’t make much sense.

But back to the photo itself, the Antelope was very backlight making the animal underexposed. It looked nice, but I brightened up the animal just a bit in post editing using PS. The brighter tone allowed the face and texture to show.

For those photography buffs, the camera settings were: Focal length at 200mm, f/3.2, 1/640 sec, ISO-100 and it was taken at 6:34 AM. I used a Nikon D7000 and a Nikon 80-200mm AF-D 2.8 lens. But I must admit, the original image was not that great, I had to adjust the contrast and remove a little pile of Antelope dung in the foreground!

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