One last Flickr drop before we leave

The new camera is great. I just uploaded a few more shots to Flickr from this past weekend in L.A. with my Dad. The foggy trail is in Claremont Hills Wilderness Park – a pleasant little five-miler on fire road sort of stuff, with lots of joggers, dogs, etc. to keep us company. The picnic by the creek was somewhere just uphill of Mt. Baldy Village, if I was reading the signs correctly.

shadows and fog

The Mystery Spot and other poorly-kept secrets

It took me almost three months to finish this roll of black & white film, (That’s the old stuff with the sprocket holes, kids.) but I like what I’ve got, despite having to run everything through a little extra photoshopping to get rid of some weird scanner gridlines that were overlaid on top of everything.

The results are at Flickr.


The Mystery Spot, hero of bumper stickers across this great nation, is neither a mystery, nor a spot. Discuss.

We didn’t really come out of the short tour feeling any more mystified, although nausea and dizziness did play a role in the experience.

If you go, I recommend not eating lunch before the trip.

Also pictured in some of the photos are my wife, her youngest brother, our cat, and our feline houseguest, who seems to think that our bed belongs to him. We had a hard time talking him out of that one last night.

“I live here, cat,” I said.

“Roooowwwwwwwrrrrrrllllllrrrrrr,” he replied.

Meanwhile, back at our second annual attempt to get outdoors more often in the summertime, we inaugurated our hiking season on Memorial Day with a trip to Big Basin.

Lucky for us, I made a wrong turn at the first fork in the trail, and we ended up headed for the set of waterfalls which I thought we had seen before.

I was wrong.

Sure, you can take the trail that just goes straight to Berry Creek Falls, hang out at the viewing platform, and turn around, but you’ll be missing the set of Indiana-Jones-jungle falls just up the creek.

falls_logs_vertical_800I was expecting the familiar redwood-shaded falls these hills often yield, but instead it felt like we were in some sort of Central American jungle, with ferns and golden rock everywhere, smooth flat stone at the base of the falls where the creekbed should have been.

Toss in the steps carved into the trail, and the whole scene felt totally foreign – more Old California than NorCal.

I was shooting 400 ASA Tri-X, pushed one stop, with a yellow filter of some sort on my 28-200 zoom lens.

I like the contrast I get out of that configuration, and sometimes I throw on a red filter if there’s a big sky involved in the day.

My photog friends know that I’m trying to figure out what I need as far as a digital camera goes. Our point & shoot hasn’t been the same since that rainy night when a tree fell on our car. (The car was fine; the camera got pretty wet while I took flicks in case the insurance folks needed them.)

But I can’t really rationalize spending the cash for a dSLR right now, at least not until I either have a regularly-paying job, or a job that justifies buying the Big New Camera.

So we’re leaning toward a new digital point & shoot, keeping the budget low-but-functional. I’ll post something as soon as I’ve got the new machinery in hand, and I’ll throw in a review if I have the time. (Hint: I probably won’t.)

For more about hiking in the general area of San Jose and Santa Cruz, check out Tom Mangan’s Busy Being Born blog.