Friday, December 31, 2010

One More Hour

Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
One more hour until the end of 2010 and the start of 2011 (at least in the Pacific time zone). I've been ready for bed for a few hours now! Maybe that makes me an old fart? Anyway, I thought yesterday was going to be my last post of the year, but I'm sitting here bored, waiting for midnight so I can officially hit the hay.

You know, I always looked forward to a new year, but the reality is January 1st is just another day....same stuff, different year. Okay, enough bah humbug. Here's my last post for 2010 and I wish everyone a wonderful 2011.

280/365 - Morning Fog

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bye Bye 2010

279/365 - Autumn Sky
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
I can't believe 2011 will be rapidly upon us! When I started this blog in January, my intention was to take a photo a day for a year. However, I quickly realized a photo a day was crazy tough and respun this blog into a combination photo/creative writing blog. As fate would have it, I came across the "DPS 365" group on Flickr and initiated my 365 project at the end of March.

So, here we are at the end of December. My 355 days are almost over, but this blog will continue, for there are three more months to go until the completion of my 365 photo project.

I hope everyone had a great 2010 and I wish everyone an incredible 2011. Before I sign off from 2010, here are a few photos from our Christmas vacation in San Diego.

276/367 - USMC Aircraft

"Lord, Protect our Aviators"

273/365 - Birds at Santee Lakes

277/365 - Quack, Quack

Monday, December 20, 2010

Outdoor Photography

Christmas Decorations
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Over the course of my 365 photo project (photo a day for a year), I have determined that I am not a photographer that enjoys shooting still life, products, artsy images, or generally anything indoors.

Deep in my core, I am an outdoor landscape photographer. I am also a nature photographer, shooting more intimate, close-up views of God’s creation. While I feel I can capably shoot other things, I find I enjoy being in the outdoors, shooting in the outdoors, and my favorite images were shot in the outdoors.

"I could not, would not, in a house. I would not, could not, with a mouse." I don't like indoor photography, Sam-I-am.

264/365 - Solitude by the Creek

Dusk Falls Upon Us

Sunday, December 12, 2010

San Francisco

I used to dread going into the city. I never liked the long lines at the bridge toll booths, the traffic, the one way streets, getting lost, and trying to find parking. That all changed when they brought the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system to Pleasanton. BART eliminates the need to drive and San Francisco is a wonderful city to travel in on foot.

We went to Union Square today and walked around. After some window shopping, we had lunch at Hubert Keller's Burger Bar, located in the Macy's building.

Here are a few shots from San Francisco. The B&W was shot inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre, looking up from the ground level.

The shot below is from outside Union Square.

261/365 - San Francisco Muni Lines

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amador Beats Las Lomas

Glenn Scores
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
The Amador Valley High School freshmen basketball team beat Las Lomas by a final of 47-38. The team enjoyed a nice height advantage and dominated the boards.

The Las Lomas gym had a stage at one end, so I took advantage of the raised perspective and did most of my shooting from there. I stood on a table on the stage, allowing me to shoot down on the players. Unfortunately, a Las Lomas employee came over and told me it was a safety I had to get off the table.

Inbound Defense


Bad Day

255/365 - Bad Day

Having a bad day?
Dog chew up your shoes?
Boyfriend a jerk?
Wife on the rag?

Well, get over could suck worse!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Game

Defending the Inbound Pass
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Today was the Amador High School freshman basketball team's first game of the season. They played hard and started out the season with a win.

It was a tough game for the team's volunteer photographer. Seems like I couldn't get the right angle on a lot of shots and the referee made a better door than a window. Fortunately, I have a dozen or so more games to figure things out.

249/365 - Sky

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Team Photog

246/365 - Trapped
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
The Amador Valley High School freshman basketball team was looking for a volunteer photographer. I'm not much of a sports photographer and I don't have the ideal gear for it, but I figured it would be fun.

I practiced shooting at the team's scrimmage this past weekend, experimenting with different lenses and shooting perspectives. It's a lot tougher than it looks, that's for sure!

"What's That in Your Pocket?" (Cropped)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Duty, Honor, Country

I flew to Washington D.C. for my good buddy's retirement ceremony. Mark retired from the US Army after 21+ years of service. I had the honor of being his commissioning officer back in 1989, when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army. I can't believe it's been 21 years already!

Here's a photo taken at the Air Force Memorial. I loved the reflection of the Air Force Memorial and Washington D.C. in the wall. I asked Mark to step into the photo to add a human element to the shot. It was a challenge getting an Army officer to pose for a photograph at the Air Force Memorial, but friendships override inter-service rivalries!
241/365 - US Air Force Medal of Honor Recipients

While in Washington D.C., we also visited the U.S. National Arboretum. Here are the National Capitol Columns.
240/365 - National Capitol Columns

Saturday, November 13, 2010


"To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides."
-- David Viscott

The bible says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13). More recently, Alan Jackson sang about it in this moving September 11 tribute.

Show your loved ones how much you love them. Hug them and kiss them every day (and several times a day)...even if they are just a frog.

About the Photo:
Darling Angel gave Mia this beautiful sunflower. When I saw it last night, I stuck it in water because I knew I wanted to take a picture of it. I decided a sunburst would add interest to the sunflower. I used the cedar tree in the front yard to shield the sun (for a more controlled sunburst), a small aperture to create the sunburst, and my flash to illuminate the flower.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

229/365 - Stuck in Autumn
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Happy Veteran's Day and a big thank you to all the men and women who serve or have served in the Armed Forces! Our country is free and our flag waves proudly because of your service and sacrifice.

Here's a leaf that just isn't ready for winter yet.  I don't blame him because I'm not ready for the cold either!

The ducks at Shadow Cliffs send their thanks to our veterans too!

Two Pairs

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


228/365 - Geese Drafting
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Photography is an art dependent on light. Light brings out colors, contrast, and textures. Light creates mood. Confucius says, "Bad subject with good light is better than good subject with bad light."

Darkness falls upon us so early nowadays. I need to make some adjustments to my photography to accommodate daylight savings time. I either need to get to work earlier and get off earlier, so I can shoot after work in the warm afternoon light....or I need to shoot early in the morning and go to work a little later.

I got to work early today and got off early, so I could head over to Shadow Cliffs Regional Park for some quick shots. I shot these beautiful birds on the back lake.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy DST

Happy California Cow
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Happy Daylight Savings Time!

Before I went to bed last night, I set my alarm clock to 6 AM so I could take some photographs of the sunrise. However, when the alarm went off this morning, I did not want to get out of bed. But, I thought about it....sunrise is at 7:30 AM today...and it will be at 6:30 AM tomorrow! It won't get any I got up and headed to the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve.

Here's a picture of a cow grazing....she was totally oblivious to the beautiful sunrise behind her. Perhaps she was just checking out my nice camera?

Here are two more California happy cows.

225/365 - Grazing at Sunrise

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pleasanton Fire of 2010

Pleasanton on Fire
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 burned for days and killed hundreds of people. The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 destroyed hundreds of city blocks and left a quarter of a million people homeless. Hurricane Iniki hit the Hawaiian Islands in 1992 with gusts up to 160 MPH and was the third most damaging hurricane in US history.

On Nov 4, 2010, the city of Pleasanton, California was on fire. Fortunately, it only lasted a few minutes and the fiery flames were extinguished before many even noticed it. You won't read about it in the newspaper, you won't hear about it in the news, and your grand kids won't learn about it in school. But, you read it here first...and I captured the moment on Kodachrome digital film.

Here is what I believe to be the first photo of the fire, flames licking away at the heavens and smoke filling the early evening sky.

Photography Mathematics

Ideally, one's photography skills and images would plot like a linear graph over time (ergo, y = ax, with "a" being a constant greater than zero). An exponential graph would be even better, but not realistic. For me, it seems like my images have been following a cosine graph (or sine, depending on the phase).

I'm sure a few of you (ergo, non-Iolani or USC grads) are wondering what the heck I'm talking about, so let me explain in non-mathematical terms. Some days my photos are cool, other days they look like Facebook snapshots, then they look cool, then they look like elementary school artwork....get the picture (no pun intended)?

Being a non-professional photographer, I need to work for a living, and having a family, I often have other, some days, I'm too tired to create a nice photo, too lazy to seek out a nice subject, or my brain is so cluttered, I just can't focus on photography.

I've been in a rut for the last few weeks and yesterday, I decided I needed to snap out of it (no pun intended). I left the office at 4 PM and headed to my happy place....the Pleasanton Ridge. I'm at home on the trails and it's a great place to clear my head and let my spirit loose.

The challenge this time of year is the sun. The trail head is east facing, so the ridge blocks the late afternoon sun. I walked briskly and jogged up the ridge to get to the beautiful light at the top. Fortunately, I got to the ridgeline before the sun hid behind the next ridge.

Here's a picture of a few oak trees soaking in the sun. The temperatures have been near 80 degrees this week, so it was a great day to hit the trails.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Ghost
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Have a great Halloween, everyone! Hope you're getting more treats than tricks....

The kids are out trick or treating, so poor ole me is stuck at home, all alone, with nobody to talk to....and nobody bothering me as I watch the World Series game in peace and quiet!  Oops, did I say that?  Well, it's not all that quiet, there are actually a fair number of trick or treaters out and about this year!

BTW, so far the Giants are getting all the treats and the Rangers just the tricks!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Already?

216/365 - Wingman
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
I can't believe it's Friday...where did the week go? Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not complaining! The days have become incredibly short, with the sun rising around 7:30 AM and setting around 6:15 PM. It's been a challenge getting a decent photograph this week. To make things even more interesting, it's been overcast this week, with periods of rain.

I went to the arroyo after work yesterday to relax, walk, and take some pictures. Unfortunately, the afternoon sun never peeked out from behind the clouds.

I decided to practice my panning shots on the ducks. The auto-focus on my 55-200mm lens is pretty slow, but I was able to get a few halfway decent shots...nothing great, but good enough for government work....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Dandy

213/365 - Just Dandy
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Every day the Lord gives us is a great day, but Mondays are my least favorite. Too much work, too little time. But I count my could be too little work, too little money....

I grabbed a quick shot of this dandelion before the sun went down. When it comes to photography, some days I'm a lion...on the prowl for a good shot. Other days I'm a hyena....scavenging for anything I can get.

Today I was a hyena...and I ain't lying...or laughing!

Thanks Kevin

A few years ago, we had a little hole in our bedroom window screen. Then, we would hear tapping noises on the window. These little birds were picking pieces of window screen to build their nest in the neighbor's tree. Each morning, the birds would help themselves, until we had this huge hole in our screen. I "fixed" it with duct tape...and when that peeled off, I stapled two envelopes together to cover the hole. I used a Southwest Airlines credit card application...thank goodness for junk mail!

Well, we've had a lot of rain and gusting winds this past week....and the wind sucked the envelopes away....that sucks! My window screen patch just disappeared into the neighborhood.

Then, the door bell was our neighbor. Apparently, she found the soaking wet envelopes in her back yard. She handed the envelopes to Kevin, wondering why they were stapled together. Kevin so kindly explained the a big hole in the window screen and how his dad used the envelopes to cover the hole. So, now the neighbor probably thinks we're rednecks or something...thanks Kevin!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Prince Within

Beneath the frog in each of us lies a prince. Some just need to be kissed more often than others to bring out the inner-prince!

However, if you've been kissing your frog for more than ten years and still no prince charming....sorry, you're probably kissing a toad!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn Is Here

Autumn decided to arrive this week. It hasn't been freezing cold, but definitely cooler and wetter. I was hoping to take my new lens out hiking so I could give it some exercise while I got some myself, but the weather kept me closer to home.

For the dandelion shot, I used a Dutch angle, framing it with the flower in one corner and facing the opposite corner. I thought it would look more interesting this way. Also, with the shallow DOF, a level frame would have had a line of focused grass horizontally across the frame instead of a cool triangle (in the bottom, left corner).

The bird bath is in our back yard. I liked how the maple leaves filled the bird bath and how it looked like the bird was flying away, presumably south for the winter...

210/365 - Time for the Journey South

Friday, October 22, 2010

In Living Color

209/365 - Just a Leaf
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Just in case your eyes like other words, you're not a largemouth bass, white tailed deer, or any other animal that only sees in black and's a cropped version in living color.

I sort of like the black and white version better. Maybe I'm turning into a bass. Hmmmm, that could explain why I've been having the urge to swim around the bathtub, looking for bluegill.....

Nikon 55-200 f/4-5.6

Just a Leaf
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
My new (refurbished) lens just arrived today. It's a cheap, plastic lens, but a nice, compact, lightweight, zoom when stopped down...and perfect for hiking. I really wanted the 70-200 f/2.8 lens, but it's huge, weighs a ton, and costs a I decided to save myself $2000 and went with the low-cost option.....which should suffice for most of my telephoto needs.

Here's my first shot with it. I didn't have much time for photography today because I'm Mr. Mom right now. I went to pick up the boy at the gym today and while waiting for him, I snapped a few shots of the beautiful, yellow leaves in the tree on the side of the street. Not a great shot, but it had to do for my photo of the day. The refurbished lens has a 90 day warranty, so I need to run some shots through it to make sure it's good to go.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Personal Growth

Growth is an ongoing process. One thing that has helped accelerate my growth as a photographer is the sharing of ideas with other photographers. I'm a member of an informal, virtual "book club" with a couple other Flickr members. Through them, I've learned a lot and feel like I've had exponential growth in the last few months.

Today, we had a fun exercise. Each of us took one picture and sent the file to the other two. All three of us then processed the three photos using Adobe Lightroom 3 software and then posted it for review. It was interesting to see how three different people took three different approaches to processing the same photo.

Each of us has our own photographic style so it was pretty cool to be able to process another photographer's work. The differences in style also made it a challenge (and a great growth opportunity) because it made us process an image that was captured in a way that was different than we would normally capture it.

Here's my shot. It was a quick shot taken during lunch (in contrasty, noon-time light). It was intended for our fun post-processing activity...but I liked the result so much, I ended up using it as my shot for the day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars."
-- Walt Whitman

The theme for my photography project this week is "Journey." A journey could be the act of traveling from one place to another, or it could be the band from San Francisco formed in the 70's.

My approach for the theme this week is to take photographs pertaining to quotes related to journeys. I based today's shot on a quote by Walt Whitman. I looked out the window and saw the morning sun glistening off the dew on the grass. My vision was to highlight a taller blade of grass standing above the rest, so I searched the yard...and was thrilled to find one with dew on it! I used a wide open aperture to create a shallow depth of field and a low angle perspective to capture the subject grass standing tall.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Journey to a Cleaner Planet

Journey to a Cleaner Planet
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
"Journey with me to a true commitment to our environment. Journey with me to the serenity of leaving to our children a planet in equilibrium."
-- Paul Tsongas

When I first moved to California, I was shocked that people paid for water. Twenty some odd years later, bottled water is a gazillion dollar a year business. I still can't comprehend paying for water, but some lucky people out there are profiting handsomely....and the landfills are filling up with empty bottles.

Now, I'm not going to tell you how to spend your hard earned money, but if you choose to spend it on water, please recycle the bottles. Better yet, buy yourself a nice Nalgene, stainless steel, or similar reusable bottle and save your cash for more important beer! Oops, did I say that? I meant buy your significant other something a zoom lens....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Where Do you Want to Go?

Curve Ahead
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don't know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn't matter.”
-- Lewis Carroll

Are you on the right road to achieve your goals and aspirations? What are your goals and aspirations? If you don't know, you're driving aimlessly on the highway to nowhere....and unfortunately the older you get, the higher the price of gasoline!

If you've established your goals but haven't done anything about it, it's time to turn on the GPS. Just remember...the road to hell is paved with good intentions...

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Girl's Treasure

203/365 - A Girl's Treasure
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
Who is this mysterious person? Isn't her skin beautiful? Don't you think she has a cute, little ear? What is she doing lurking in the shadows? Is that a real diamond earring? Are those split ends? What is the meaning of life? Who's on first? Why am I asking so many questions?

IDK....okay, I admit, I have writer's I've resorted to ridiculous babble for today's blog....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Death by BlackBerry

Death by BlackBerry. The device kills your soul ever so slowly, you don't even realize it's happening...until it's too late. You don't say "hi" to the people in the elevator, because you're checking the stock prices. You don't talk to your colleagues over lunch, because you're uploading a photo to Facebook. You missed your son's game winning home run, because you were talking business with your boss. You don't even talk to your family at the dinner table, because you're checking your e-mails.

We live in a hyper-connected world because of this amazing technology...but does it enhance our lives or permanently kill our souls? I long for the day I can trade in my BlackBerry for a fishing rod. It's a beautiful morning on the lake, the water is calm, and the sun is rising quickly. There is a sense of urgency, we need to get our lures in the water quickly....the e-mail can wait!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Priceless Treasure

Kevin's Father's Day letter to me - June 2009.

Kevin was headed off to a Boy Scout summer camp last year and was going to be gone for Father's Day. When I dropped him off, he gave me the most wonderful letter, saying he was sorry he would be missing Father's Day...and a whole bunch of nice things which I won't share here.

The envelope and paper costs mere pennies...but the love, thoughts, and feelings captured on the paper are priceless. I will treasure it forever!

Okay son, now finish your chores, shower, and get to bed!!! <3 U


200/365 - Treasure #2
Originally uploaded by Wayne-K
The theme for my photography project this week is "Treasure." I bought a waterproof camera housing, slipped into my wetsuit, and dove into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, looking for the sunken ship containing a treasure chest. I found nothing.

Upon my return home, I realized my good fortunes...I treasure my beautiful wife and two great kids. No sum of money or quantity of gold is worth more than the time we spend together as a family.

Here is Kami holding her softball picture, a picture of her with her coach. I don't remember his name, but he was an awesome coach! Charming, handsome, intelligent, and incredible too....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Seems Like Yesterday

Seems like yesterday, I was supposed to get my bass boat, but the wife decided to get prego. Seems like yesterday, this slimy, gooey, little baby squirted out...and we named him Kevin. Seems like yesterday, I was changing his diaper and he peed on my glasses. Seems like yesterday, I carried him up Mission Peak and turned around before the top because it was windy and cold, and he was crying endlessly. Seems like yesterday, we were at a Y-Indian Guides camp-out and he fell and cut his lip open. Seems like yesterday, he gingerly told me he didn't want to play baseball any more. Seems like yesterday, I taught him how to ride a bike on the road. Seems like yesterday, I took him fishing, but after 30 minutes he just wanted to throw rocks in the water with his sister. Seems like yesterday, he was heading off to kindergarten.

I treasure every moment and pray for many more yesterdays...